Ryder’s Discovery


Photo by Beattie Hoyle

Gwen’s stupid mutt locked inside a small cage. This stupid mutt has caused Ryder a lot of trouble.

“Be still, you stupid mutt,” Ryder begged. With a squirmy puppy in tow, Ryder sprinted across the street and headed towards Fifth Avenue. Glancing down at his silver Rolex, he let out an exasperated moan. It was barely noon and he’d already managed to lose Gwen’s expensive Stuart Weitzman’s fur cuff boots, spill her Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks, and demolish her chances of landing the lead role of Grace, in the upcoming musical, It’s a Girl’s World.

“She is going to kill me, bring me back to life, and then kill me again,” Ryder mumbled. BEEEEEEP. BEEP. BEEP.  A black, Porsche Panamera swerved centimeters from Ryder’s knees. The ugly mutt in his arms wriggled free and hit the asphalt. Out of the corner of his eye, Ryder spied a vanity license plate that read Fight Club receding up the crowded street. He drew in a deep breath but cringed when his right butt cheek vibrated. Great, it had to be Gwen…again. He snatched his gold iphone out of his back pocket, swallowed, and opened her text.

“I EXPECT YOU TO BE AT THE MERCER HOTEL WITH MY PUPPY IN THREE HOURS.”  Ryder’s heart sunk faster than the Titanic. The killer Porsche must have spooked the mutt because it was nowhere in sight. Scanning his surroundings, Ryder noticed two poodles and a Boston terrier, but the world’s ugliest dog, AKA, Gwen’s puppy was long gone.

“Excuse me mister, but I think I know – ,” a harsh voice muttered behind Ryder.

Ryder whipped around, interrupting the homeless man before he could finish his sentence, “Listen dude, I don’t have time for you and your poor problems. I lost a dog, and if I don’t find it, I will literally be in the dog house.”

“I just thought I’d let you know those guys grabbed your dog,” the homeless man whispered.

Ryder leaned in to catch the last of the man’s muffled words. Apparently, Gwen’s idiotic mutt had raced after the black Porsche and they’d nabbed him. Leaving the homeless man in a trail of dust, Ryder took off in the direction of the mysterious vehicle. After nearly flattening him to death, the Porsche had accelerated towards the rougher part of town. Sporting his designer watch and phone, the last thing Ryder wanted was to run into a bunch of thugs. He didn’t stand a chance against the terrors that lay on the east side, but he pushed forward. If he didn’t rescue Gwen’s puppy, everything he’d worked for would be flushed down the toilet, including the promotion from lowly personal assistant to publicist. Gwen trusted him with this urgent task, but with a flip of her sunflower, blonde hair, she could ruin his life.

Ryder squeezed his eyes shut, ran his fingers through his gelled hair, and threw a prayer up to the heavens. The vanity tag flared on the backs of his eyelids, and he remembered a rumor he’d heard about a dog fighting club in an alley on the Upper East Side. Crap.

He wiped a moist palm on his designer jeans and stepped tentatively up the sidewalk. Lost in thought, Ryder almost missed the back alley that led straight to the rumored club. When he realized his mistake, he doubled back. Pitch blackness enveloped him when he crossed the threshold into the alley. Never a fan of the dark, Ryder tried to block out the memories of his haunting past, but they still loomed over him like a black cloud before the storm. BOOM. Ryder’s heart plummeted to his stomach at the sound of the thunderous noise. He raced toward the club in an effort to escape the shrill racket echoing behind him. He huffed toward the bare light bulb hanging above the rusty gates outside the club. When he signed on as assistant to up-and-coming starlet Gwen Deville, he never thought he’d be tracking kidnapped pups into criminal activities, yet here he was, snooping into unchartered territories like a top secret spy.

“So far, so good,” Ryder thought . At this rate, he’d be able to creep through the doorway, sneak past the brawny men, and snatch Gwen’s mutt. Ryder tiptoed, morphing into James Bond mode. He shoved the tarnished gates open and snuck to the side of the club where he saw a fair light breaking through the darkness. Crouching into a defensive stance, Ryder pressed his ear to the side wall and strained to hear the gruff voices lying on the other side. Ryder strained to hear what the men were saying, but he did hear something about an “unfair fight” and “Rottweiler bait”. He realized the ruthless monsters planned to feed the puppy to a blood hungry Rottweiler in a brutal dog fight. A hot wave of anger boiled inside his veins, and he knew what had to be done.

Ryder crept around the perimeter of the building and burst through the glass with a fierce kick his old soccer coach would surely applaud. Temporarily blinded by the bright light, he strained his eyes to see two massive figures walloping in his direction. “Oh God, this is how it ends isn’t it?” Ryder murmured. Suddenly, a loud whimpering pulled him to his senses. Ryder tilted his head and came face to face with a large Boxer. A light bulb flashed in his head. He yanked open the Boxer’s crate, and watched her fly out like a deadly bullet. She shot towards the bulky figures and leapt upon them like a starved lion. The men were stunned for they had suddenly become the prey instead of the predator. With the Boxer snipping at their feet, they sprinted down a dark hallway shrieking like two, chubby four-year-olds. When he could no longer hear the cries of the men or the barks of the Boxer, Ryder let his guard down and slowly pulled himself off the cold floor.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” a sultry, female voice whispered.

Ryder’s blood ran cold at the sound of the icy words. He whipped around to discover himself face to face with Gwen, and she was holding the mutt.