Episode 2 – Percival 

 November 25, 2020

By  Christopher David Roberts

Note: If you are new to Logical Monkey, I recommend starting at episode 1 to get the best out of the story.

I've provided an audio version below for those that would prefer to listen ...

Percival opens one eye slowly. And then shuts it again as quickly as possible. The sunlight is blinding and it forces his eyelids shut against his will. His vision is filled with red glaring luminosity caused by the light through his eyelids.

“Where the devil am I?” he groans. Something is different about the sound of his voice. It still retains its faux feminine quality but it just doesn’t sound like him.

His body aches terribly too and feels very unusual. As if it has somehow been reconfigured. He brings up one of his paws, Percival is a Shih Tzu, to feel his face and is horrified at the unexpected lack of fur on his cheek. His first thought: he’s somehow been captured in the night and shaved by a disturbed human with unusual sexual appetites. Then, he manages to open one of his eyes and sees his pale, pink man-hand and his worst nightmares are realised. He’s somehow turned human!

“Oh God! I’m hideous!” he screams; staring down at his pale naked flesh and noticing, for the first time, his tail has moved to the front. “What in God’s name is this?” he moans, flicking at the bald protrusion with an ugly, sausage-like finger. “This has got to be a nightmare!” he exclaims hopefully but in his heart he knows it isn’t. It just doesn’t have that sort of quality, and it feels too real.

He realises he is lying naked on the floor behind a bush in Tudor Grange Park. He notices a large scratch on his side, but the blood has dried and the pain is minimal. Panicking, he tries to think back to the previous evening. He tries to retrace his steps, but all he can remember is wandering aimlessly through the Park, as he does most evenings, wondering where his next meal is coming from. He recalls the sun going down and the big, full, September moon shining nonchalant in the black expanse above. And then suddenly he has a rather disturbing recollection. A black shape emerged from the trees ahead of him. A huge muscular dog of some sort. Black in colour. Very unnatural looking. He remembers calling out in a shaky voice laced with cowardice: “I say! What are you doing there?” The Beast’s response was to growl menacingly at him. The testosterone almost overwhelming. That and the Beast’s sent – something like damp clothes and sweat. He remembers thinking is it wrong that I’m turned on? “Are you looking for some company?” Percival asked, only half joking. No response, just the growling. “Oh, go on! Give-a-dog-a-bone!”

Then, without any warning at all, the Beast came hurtling out of the shadows, growling and slobbering with insanity and rage. It picked Percival up in its jaws and flung him aside like a teenage boy tossing a used sock from the bed. That is the last thing he remembers. That and a chilling howl that followed him down into unconsciousness. And now his beautiful little body is gone; replaced with this grotesque pink ball of cellulite! Oh god! His beautiful little body! His wonderful white and grey fur! He was a Crufts prize winner three years in a row in his younger years, before they’d dumped him on the streets. The swine! Three years in a row! Oh, how the fates turned against him. How the stars aligned in just the wrong way. His privileged lifestyle replaced by one of vagrancy and vagabondage. And now this! He is a tale of woe! A classic cliché! A stinking mongrel at his lowest point.

Twelve months ago, before they kicked him out on the streets, Percival was living the high life. He was used to being pampered. His owners were kind, if a little strict; but they treated him well and fed him the best dog food money could buy. He got stroked regularly, tummy rubs in the evenings. And when he was particularly good they gave him faggots and gravy for dinner … and, god how he was partial to faggots!

The only complaint Percival had was the fact they kept trying to force him to have sex with female dogs. They tried it on several occasions in fact. Couldn’t they tell he is homosexual? Were they hoping if he had sex with a female he would somehow realise he’d had it wrong all along? On each occasion they drove him to a stranger’s house and placed him in a room with the bitch in question. He could tell they were listening through the door, or glancing through the crack, evidently hoping they’d just start shagging without any introduction whatsoever. It was simply barbaric. He never would have guessed they’d be into voyeurism and dogging. They seemed too prim and proper. It was quite awkward to say the least. He couldn’t help but wonder whether all humans were this perverse or if it were just these particular humans. The lack of etiquette was astounding. The bitches were all top class of course. He could see the Crufts awards all around their front rooms. A match made in heaven no doubt. A Crufts-winning copulation in the planning. The offspring would no doubt go on to win for years to come. If he’d been heterosexual he would have jumped at the chance. But he wasn’t, and the thought repulsed him. Then the unwelcome sounds of encouragement would come floating through the door. “Go on Percival, just try and relax” or “You know what to do Percival. Go on lad!” When that hadn’t worked the door opened and his unhappy owner, Mr. Robinson, attempted to place him in the correct position and hold him there with his bare hands. As if by doing so Percival would suddenly realise what was expected of him and carry out the heinous acts required. In reality however, his flaccid penis remained like a piece of cooked spaghetti. It dangled there, pressed up against the bitch’s arse cheeks like a paraplegic’s leg. Then it would be over. The money would change hands. Then the apologies on his behalf. And finally, the uncomfortable ride home in the back of the Land Rover, the feeling of disappointment thick in the air.

That was the start of the downward slope. The beginning of his troubles. The second contributing factor to his vagrancy was the Crufts awards. The issue being: he stopped winning them. One year he simply didn’t seem to have it in him. There were younger, fitter, better looking models who were winning the prizes. Suddenly, Percival was off his game. He’d lost his mojo. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson’s disapproval deepened further. It was quite embarrassing for all concerned. Then came the third and final straw: the bump in Mrs. Robinson’s belly. And, then the baby itself. Things came to a head one evening when Percival, having heard something moving in their extensive back garden, and hoping for some faggots and gravy, decided to warn his owners by barking loudly in the middle of the night. This of course had woken the baby who’d only just fallen asleep after a torturous couple of hours being rocked by Mrs. Robinson. The following morning Mr. Robinson drove him several miles from where they lived and left him there in an alley filled with shame and fear. He spent the following months living in that alley under a pile of old boxes and fly-tipped paraphernalia. He only ventured out for food initially, convinced Mr. Robinson would come back to collect him; but of course he never did. The harsh reality eventually dawned on him: he was a just a big gay disappointment.

It has been a difficult time for Percival and things are not improving. He picks himself up off the Park floor and stumbles around like a drunk. How on Earth do they manage this on two legs? he thinks to himself. He decides to stumble over to the Shadow Brook, to gaze at his hideous reflection in the cool waters and to assess the damage. It takes him several moments to cross the distance and he collapses on its grassy bank gratefully. It’s much worse than he fears. Gazing up at him from the surface of the Brook is a moron. Wide-eyed, open mouthed and gormless. An oversized tongue hangs out of that face. His head is covered in a mop of wild grey hair and his face is covered in equally grey stubble. Some of his canine tendencies and habits seem to have remained. For example, he is still panting and wide eyed. At least I don’t look totally ridiculous then, he thinks to himself; pleased something of the dog remains. He stands up naked and places both hands on his hips, looking around the park with a huge idiotic smile on his face. There is a loud female scream and a ringed fist hits him square in the eye. Pain explodes across his face. “You sick bastard!” his assailant shouts; a woman who then gallops her way down the path on high heels before shouting “I’m calling the Police!” back over her shoulder.

Once the shock wears off, Percival realises the seriousness of his predicament. He looks like a fat, grey haired, middle aged sex pervert standing butt naked in the middle of Tudor Grange Park. Judging by the smells drifting to him on the air, Percival takes deep sniffs in the manner of a dog, it’s almost time for the hundreds of god awful school children to start passing through the Park on their way to school. If he is caught in this terrible state he’ll never live it down! Fortunately, Percival knows where a bin bag full of old clothes has been dumped. They’d appeared in his alley several weeks ago, and although they stink to high heaven they will solve his immediate problem.

And, that is how, later that day, Percival finds himself wandering aimlessly around Mel Square, in the middle of Solihull, on unsteady legs and in ill-fitting clothes. The collision of human and canine sensations and emotions is overwhelming. His eyes are wide with wonder. It’s as though he sees everything for the first time, because these eyes he now has are not canine eyes. Colours are more vibrant, for example, and his eyes are now sensitive to the slightest brightness of the sun. Something that wouldn’t have bothered him before. Sounds are much duller. Many of the sounds that crowded his attention before are simply not there now. His sense of smell still remains, although it seems to fade in and out of its own accord.

He spots a bird standing there in the middle of the square, bold as brass. It appears to be waiting outside a coffee shop. The bird doesn’t look like any pigeon Percival has ever seen. It is grey, much like his hair, but its beak is larger than a pigeon’s, curving downwards, and its plumage far more elegant. It doesn’t have the trampy feel a pigeon has. That dusty, cobwebbed appearance characterising the species. It looks cleaner and more ‘put together’ somehow. Percival is staring down at this bird. His mouth is wide open and his over-sized man-tongue hanging out. The bird, that is not a pigeon, is staring back at him with one of its beady black eyes. That all too familiar urge to chase the bird and rip it apart with his bare teeth is starting to build; and with it his eyes are growing wider still. This pent up excitement builds until he is unable to contain it any longer. He barks! People stare. People give him a wide berth. Unable to hold back any longer, he begins to chase the bird, yapping and barking as he goes. The bird makes a mad dash for it; desperate to escape his unwanted attentions: flapping its wings and jumping around the Square. The bird manages to take flight and sits on top of a lamp post staring down at him emotionlessly. Disappointed, Percival sits on a chair outside the coffee shop, panting and out of breath. This human body is in terrible shape. The coffee shop door opens with a tinkle and the biggest man Percival has ever seen comes running out. He’s being chased by another man who seems intent on hurting him, but the fat man is faster than he looks and is across the square, followed by the bird and the man, before the coffee shop door bangs shut behind them.

He’s just thinking about urinating up a nearby lamppost when the coffee shop door opens a second time and another man, this one wearing an expensive suit and reeking of cologne, exits and walks right past him. Percival immediately recognises that scent and a warm patch of urine fans its way out across the front of his ill-fitting trousers. Not the overpowering smell of the aftershave but the one lurking beneath it. The scent of the Beast.

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