At the request of a reader, who pointed out the fact that Gyro, the official pet/security team/couch destroyer from “The Fearless” series, is never actually taken to get ice cream. Oh, sure– Ring says they’re going to get ice cream, but it never happens. Let’s rectify this injustice.
Without further ado: Feeding the Beast
She wasn’t exactly sure of how it could happen that swiftly, but then, these customers weren’t ordinary. Cara fielded the call personally, since their description of “blood-sucking bugs” fell within her purview, but after an hour of hot, sweaty crawling under and through the property, there had been no sign of bedbugs, unless you consider a partial human hand to be evidence of insect infestation.
“Oh, that.” Wally, the blonde who favored partial nudity had said, scratching her armpit in a most inelegant fashion and then cocking her head quizzically at Cara. “Sometimes there are parts left over from our other job.” She didn’t elaborate, and Cara didn’t ask.
As Risa, the dark haired member of the pair peered up at Cara, handing her a check for the fruitless search, she hesitated before asking, “Cara Mueller, correct? You’re sort of. . . well known, yes?”
Cara looked at her sharply. “I am—wait, known for what?”
Risa glanced surreptitiously at Wally. “Oh, I guess I can just ask.” She made to continue, but the now acerbic Wally leaped in.
“We think you think our dog does not have enough ice cream. So here.” She handed Cara a leash that resembled a tow rope for an ocean liner, then turned and whistled a short trill. Immediately, the gamboling shape of a dog, if you can call two hundred pounds of anything a dog, came loping around the hallway to deposit himself at Cara’s feet, or more accurately, to cover Cara’s feet and the area around her with his enormous, sleek frame. His expressive eyes quirked upward and every gesture on his comical face said well?
Risa slipped the leash over Gyro, who was surprisingly obedient, and as the quartet walked to the tiny, environmentally friendly car parked in their stubby driveway, Cara realized they meant for her to take the creature, solo, to someone who would presumably have a dump truck of ice cream on hand. Her fears were allayed when Wally pointed south on Sheridan street.
“Next to the Publix. The ice cream store there knows him. They will let him in for his . . . special.” She finished, opaquely.
Still more than a little unsure—after all, borrowing a pet was sort of like using someone’s underwear, in Cara’s mind, she opened the door to her now miniscule Toyota, letting Gyro perform a sort of canine origami in which he not only got in the car, he cheerfully occupied the entirety of the front seat, leaving her a sliver of fabric on which to sit and drive. With a merry wave, Risa and Wally went back inside as Cara fruitlessly tried to attach her seat belt, but after a long moment of comedic attempts and a sour burp from Gyro, who whined and perked his ears even furtherinto the car’s headliner, she pulled out, turned east, and in less than a minute spied what was apparently the only purveyor of ice cream in South Florida who willfully disregarded the need to keep dogs from selecting their own entrees.
Cara felt not unlike Julius Caesar as she guided the regal and now drooling beast to the glass door, but when the diminutive girl at the counter lit up at the sight of Gyro, her doubts faded and they stepped confidently inside.
“Gyro! Hi big boy!” Said the tiny woman, whose name tag read Cat. Apparently, inter-species harmony ruled in the store, because Cara wasn’t afforded a second glance as the entire staff went into a whirlwind of action, scooping vanilla ice cream into an oddly baked waffle cone that resembled half of a football.
At Cara’s raised brow of inquiry, Cat said, “You’ll see.”
Apparently, Gyro dined al fresco, so Cara took the ponderous sundae laden with bacon bits to a small patch of grass, setting it delicately in front of Gyro who sniffed once, crouched on his haunches, and began to eat.
It wasn’t pretty.
In less than two minutes, the bowl itself was being crunched in a series of crackling noises that made Cara very aware of the thin line between wild and domestic, and then, with a grand belch, it was over. Gyro stood, leaned his great head against Cara, his lips quivering from the cold effects of the treat, and nudged her urgently to the car.