Author: Sophie Carrillo

My name is Leichenhund.

I was not born like other rat terriers. I was created by a troubled German girl named Heidi. She was a brilliant student at Leipzig University. Her old hund, Hanso, passed away under terrible circumstances. With her science degree and big brain, she snuck into the pet cemetery under the cover of night and began to dig. I am comprised of many hunds. I hear them in my head. When I opened mine eyes, when I felt mine heartbeat in my chest. It was wonderful. I had never known life. It’s beautiful. For the first few days, life was perfect. I finally had someone to take care of and someone to love me. I felt like I had zweck, purpose. Heidi made me extraordinary. I could understand spoken sentences and commands in German, English, French, and even Polish. I could read and almost write. The people of Germany were ecstatic. People recognized us everywhere Heidi and I went. Civilians wanted pictures and questions answered. Eventually, Heidi grew overwhelmed with the attention taken away from her work, so she started leaving me at home. A few hours went by like ten years. I watched every V.H.S. tape in the attic. I practiced mine watercolors. And even took a nap. Then I was digging through a bin and found a bright red box. In gold letters, it read Zauberset für Anfänger. A magic kit for beginners? I hadn’t tried that yet! Over the next week, I practiced and researched and practiced some more. I felt such a strong connection to this hobby. I then discovered its ability to entertain an audience. The next day, I went to show Heidi my discovery. Into her lab I went, only to find her on the floor, foaming at the mouth. So I left.

I was on the next flight to Las Vegas in the Americas. It was harder to get on the airplane than expected, but I managed. In Las Vegas, I went to a few agencies to begin entertaining. I found an agent! That very evening I began rehearsals. The time finally came. I was on the big stage with mine sparkly cape and magic stick. The peoples of the crowd cheered and smiled. I hadn’t felt this fulfilled since electricity first hit my chest. But something happened. My grand finale. That was when everything fell apart. Just as I was to reveal my rabbit friend, someone collapsed on the floor and shook violently. I tried to rush to them. Bright lights flashed in the distance, growing closer. Paramedics wrapped that poor human in grey sheets and took them away. I never finished my performance. People shuffled out of the building murmuring things like “Well that’s Vegas for ya.” I didn’t perform again until a week later.

It happened again. During the finale. I thought I had worked it out. A civilian’s heart stopped at my show. That was only the beginning. During every show after that, an audience member spontaneously lost their life. What is going on!? I should have never gone. I should have stayed in Germany. Then none of this would have happened. Show after show. One person perished unexpectedly. But I kept going. I was sitting in mine dressing room, staring in the mirror, when my manager came in. “Facetime”, she said, “Someone named Heidi,” I answered immediately. I was so excited. She just said these words and then hung up:

“Komm nach Hause, bevor ich anfange, etwas viel, viel Schlimmeres zu tun.…”

Come home, before I start doing something much, much worse…