Not long ago, I was sane and normal. I had a decent 9-5 job making a living wage and my bonus was never bad. I had a house that was halfway paid off, a sweet ass car, and i even had a dog, my poor dog, Noah. My friends would come over and chill on Sundays to watch the game, we would throw awesome parties, and when I was just plain bored, I would polish my trophies from high school football.

I always knew things had to come to an end, that I would have to grow up and settle down, but I never imagined it would happen in the way that it did. I mean I had it all, I was living the dream, a good looking, athletic bachelor with his own house, decent paying job and sweet ass charger, hell I didn’t want it to change in the first place.

But, here we are, one year later and I have got almost nothing at all. My home and my car were seized to pay bills and taxes. I was fired from my job, and I hadn’t seen any of my friends in over 8 months, even my family stopped talking to me in that time.

One night about a year ago, I had one those really productive days that you get sometimes on my day off. My house was clear, my trophies were sparkling, and everyone else was busy. I was bored, no other way to say it. when night had come, I was out of things to do. I watched a bit of TV, uninterested and half asleep, I decided to just go to bed.

When I walked over to the TV to shut it off, I looked down and saw my old Snes on the shelf in the stand. I never bothered to update it to something newer, I liked gaming when I was a kid but I was always to busy with other thing to get into it. Playing football, find new girls to be with, fixing up my car. Games simply had no place in my life, the only reason I didn’t bother to throw it away was that it still worked, but what the hell, tonight there was nothing better to do I thought.

I fired it up and played some Megaman X, hell yes, Megaman, Mario can suck a dick. And how fucking hard is Megaman anyway, I remember breezing through it when I was kid and only getting stuck on the damn dog in the last level, but now I'm getting my ass kicked by the bird boss.

After I had gone through and either gotten bored or pissed off with most of my games, showing me that I was no match for the Snes anymore, and had lost my gaming edge, I picked out Super Mario World, ironically, and just gamed for a bit before bed.

The next day I had off again, long weekend and that's always nice. I spent the whole day gaming and it was just fantastic, I had taken a few hours and beaten Megaman X, conquered Super Mario World, and made a link to the past my bitch. Finally I was back in the swing of things.

I gamed on my weekends over the next few months, and boy did it save me alot of money in booze. Eventually I decided to spend some of the money I had saved not drinking, and gave my buddy Orion 30$ for his Nes and a few games.

I played a few classic games before finally getting to duck hunt. What a blast that game is, birds fly across the screen and you take them out, then your dog rips them to shreds, or least he does in my mind. I had played the other games, the original Mario game and the legend of Zelda and a few others, but I always ended up switching back to duck hunt, and not really playing the other games once I had beat them.

This is when it really started to get bad. Somehow I had gotten obsessed with this game, and it began to effect my life in a negative way. I had started skipping out on work to play longer, and my sleeping schedule shifted from your normal first shifter, all the way to third shift in matter of days. I began going to bed when the sun came up and waking up around 2 in the afternoon, my Nes and duck hunt ready to go before I had even taken a piss.

I had read some rumors that you could shoot the dog somehow, obviously I tried for hours on end. Hours turned to days and days into weeks, before I knew it I had stopped showering or doing my laundry and I was fired from my job before I had even realized it, how long I had been trapped trying to kill this dog. My health suffered, my finances were fucked, and my mind, well I could definitely feel it starting to slip.

The gun in duck hunt has a spring in the trigger, after a while, it became hypnotic, and would metaphorically take me to another world. I've heard the term zoning out before, but its definitely a trip I wasn’t ready for. When I entered this little world, there was only me, the gun, and my TV, everything else just went white and quiet. Finally, I knew I was gone, because the dog spoke to me. “Hey, you cant kill me you know, I never die.”

This snapped me out of my little zone and back to reality, well almost, because I didn’t shit myself, or really feel as if it was abnormal at all. I was a bit surprised, but to be honest I felt ok with it and knew that I would kill this dog someday.

Months later, the day finally came when I would finish him off for good. During our time in the zone, the duck hunt dog and I had a few conversations. Sometimes it was pleasant, we would debate issues of the world around us, or talk about how much we enjoyed killing ducks or the rain or what have you, and other times it was, well, darker.

Sometimes the dog would bring up the fact that I was not capable of killing him and rub it in my face, telling me how much pf a failure I was. A popular dark topic of discussion, was hate. Who we hated, what we hated, how much we hated those people or things, how we would obsess over this hatred and he would always foster the hatred I felt and help it to grow stronger.

We would talk about what we wished we could do to those we hated, like my neighbor Crisy. Several times during the last few months she would knock on my door and sternly ask it if I was home. Why wont she leave me be, why must she torment my door? Why cant she just leave me to my game, and to talk with my new friend? The duck hunt dog would often tell me to show her some manners. He would try to convince me to hurt her, to rip out her tongue and cut off her hands so would leave us be, and to break her legs if I had to, to keep her from walking to my door.

Finally, I was fed up with this dog, he wasn’t my friend, he was an asshole, and I was finally going to kill him, I was going to take my lightgun, and blast a hole strait through his lungs and let him bleed out. I had imagined listening to him wheeze and cry, spitting up blood and making a little gurgling sounds with every dieing breath due his lungs having a bullet in them. I craved his death and not just that but his suffering.

Finally, after months of trying, months of eating almost nothing and barely ever bathing, months of stinking and feeling greasy and grimey, of neglecting myself and everything around me, it would all finally be worth it!

I fired up the game, and heard him begging me not to play it, because he knew what was about to happen. I shot the ducks and passed the stages, taking aim at the dog with each duck he retrieved but waiting to fire, waiting until I had the perfect shot. With each stage passed the dog looked more and more afraid, sometimes between the levels he would beg and plead, becoming more and more frantic and pathetic with each stage, I loved every second of it. When I finally had enough of this pathetic beast, I took the shot.

I heard what I had yearned to hear these last few months, just like I wanted, he wheezed and cried in pain. I began to laugh hysterically, I had finally killed this son of a bitch, finally killed this dog and he could no longer torment me. But, it was not enough, my laughing turned into tears and I wept for a long time, or least what felt like a long time.

After I had run out of tears, and laid in silence for a bit, I heard something in my kitchen. It sounded like some kind of a monster, something I recognized and I frantically climbed to my feet and rushed into my kitchen. My god! It finally hit me. My dog, Noah! How long had I been in my living room, playing my game? Long enough for my best friend since my childhood, to feel the effects of my total neglect.

His food was rancid and molding, his water dish was foul, and he was to sick to move. He had been using my house as a bathroom, I walked around to get my barrings a bit and finally I was able to smell and feel again. There was vomit, urine, defaecate, and some blood in every room of my house.

Noah let out a few cries, and I ran to him. He was shaking and week, but breathing, wheezing as he did so. With him in my arms, I ran to my car. Somehow, the car still ran, not looking as nice as when I had been of sound mind, but it ran well enough for me to get my companion to the local vet.

When I arrived, they took my dog and asked me to sit in the waiting room while they took care of him, reluctantly I complied, and waited for what felt like an eternity. When the vets assistant came out to get me, she spoke in the voice of the duck hunt dog from the game. “Hes not going to make it, but you already know that don’t you, its your fault you bastard, how could you do this to him!” I shook my head and screamed, I killed the dog in duck hunt and he sure as hell wasn’t the voice of this girl talking to me now.

She stopped, motioned for me to follow, and lead me into the back to see my dog. The vet spoke normally, and calmly. He told me that Noah had been going through kidney failure over the last few weeks and due to the state he was in, he would not get any better. He had to be put down.

I nodded my head and began to sob. I put my head on my dogs side and wept into his ribcage as they took the needle to him, begging his forgiveness. I remembered how when I first got him, he was so excited that he jumped into the air and knocked me down, and how every day when I would get home from my classes he would greet me, wait until I sat down, and lick my had until I gave in and pet him for a bit.

I killed my best friend in the most horrible way, and I could feel the pangs of guilt welling up in my gut, throat and heart. He finally let out a soft whimper and passed, I could hear his heart stop and feel his body relax, my poor dog, poor Noah.

I drove home shortly after and walked to my bed, passing out before I had hit the bed itself in mid air. I dreamt of the duck hunt dog, in my dream he told me this. “You killed your own dog, but I still live. How did you mess up this badly?”

I screamed with tears in my eyes and fire in my chest and charged at the dog, I wanted to rip his eyes out, break his teeth and smash his snout into a putty of bone and blood. “That’s right, hate me because of what you have done, hate me because you have let your mind break, Hate me because you killed something that loved you, respected you, and relied on you!”

I woke up and night had come. After a good long cry, I walked over to my dresser and pulled out my 45. I had always kept it around just in case someone broke into my house, never really having any intent to use it, even if that had happened, I'm not sure I would have been able to kill a human being. I loaded one round into the clip and put the gun to my head, if the safety had been off I would have been a dead man for sure. That would have been better, my TV flashed on and I squeezed the trigger more out of shock then intent, but the safety prevented my sweet release.

The TV screen was static but I could hear the dogs voice loud and clear. “It isn’t over yet you know, I'm still alive and well, and you wont ever escape me. If you die now you will die in vain, and poor sweet Noah will die un avenged. He hates you for making him suffer until his last breath.”

This set me off, pain and sadness turned into pain and hated, I could feel acid in my throat and my skin boiled. This was not enough, no, this bastard had to die, not in a game, but in reality, I had to kill him dead.

I got into my shower and scrubbed away the weeks of grime and filth, the hot water calmed me down and I had no idea how good the steam would feel in my lungs. I toweled off and slipped back into my cloths. I ate, and shaved, and buzzed my hair off before I took another shower.

My TV came on again, and the voice told me “They are coming for you now.”

“Who is coming?” I asked the duck hunt dog. “Those who would stand in your way and prevent you from killing me, of course.” I left my home and set out into the world, me and the duck hunt dog would talk, and I would remind him I was coming to kill him. I would avoid sirens and cars and civilization. It was not easy, but now again I would find someone walking along in the woods or on a dirt road in the middle of now where.

When I found them I followed from the distance, waiting, watching, and finally I would strike when the dog gave me the order. He knew when a person had some useful information for me about him or his location in the world. I would torture them, smash out their teeth and rip out their eyes, which have become delicious. I would break their bones and eat their flesh while they lived, and ask questions as I ate my meal about the duck hunt dog and where he might be.

I know they have the information I want, but they are all very loyal to him, claiming they know nothing and yet still begging me to stop. But killing the dog is much more important the lives of his allies, sometimes I feel like he gives me tips on his subjects just to watch me fail at getting the information I desire.

Yes, sometime ago I was sane, and normal and had a decent life, but now I am on a righteous quest. Ill find him and take my revenge, before he hurts anyone else like he has hurt me, I realize it may sound hypocritical, since I am eating and killing his agents, but they are only allies of the dog, after all, he tells me so himself.


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