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The Good Stuff
Short Story

by Debbie McCurry
Length: 794 words

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Chocolate lovers come in all shapes and sizes.  Synce certainly fits this description.  He is a true blue bitser with various pedigrees combined.  To look at him, some people would say he is cute in an unusual sort of way.  The black circle around his left eye gives him a rather distinguished look, like a gentleman with an eyeglass.  Until you see his barrel-shaped body covered in black and white patches.  This is supported by thin, medium length legs and topped off with a stubby yet whippy tail that is always wagging.  Yes, Synce’s appearance definitely has character about it.  But, hidden beneath this bemusing exterior, is an inquisitive and cunning mind, that can’t help but find mischief most of the time.

It is one Easter holiday that Synce outdoes himself in his cravings for food, but particularly for chocolate ...  ah, he has a sweet tooth comparable to any human! The home that he shares with Laura and Dan has been invaded by noisy, demanding children, who are getting all of the attention.  This makes Synce feel neglected and jealous.  He has been delegated to the veranda.  Here he sits looking through the glass doors with sad, pitiful eyes, watching as Laura and Dan laugh and talk to the visitors, instead of fussing over him like they usually do. 

Synce is very curious to know more about the shiny objects that the children are excited about and keen to unwrap.  Synce’s sharp sense of smell can detect the aroma of chocolate, which makes him drool with anticipation.  How dare they not share these tasty treats with him!  He starts to bark vigorously and wag his tail, but no one pays any attention.  Feeling quite indignant about this situation, Synce quietly makes his way over to next door, where the cat’s bowl awaits him.

A short while later, Synce hears Dan calling his name.  Knowing his wandering nature, this doesn’t always get his attention.  But this time Synce is happy to comply.  He’s hoping that his status in the house has returned to normal.  Much to his disappointment this is not the case.  Dan quickly grabs his collar and bundles him into the laundry, with the parting words, “Stay in here and don’t get up to any mischief.” 

Synce stares at the closed door and listens to the sounds of the family’s hurried departure by car.  Then utter silence descends on the house, like an early morning mist shrouding a watercourse.

Opening the door by turning the knob with his paw is a skill Synce learnt as a pup.  He sniffs his way down the hall in search of chocolate.  Like a torpedo fired from a submarine, Synce cruises around the bedrooms until he finds his target. His powerful sense of smell leads him to a wardrobe door.  Using his paw trick to pull down the handle, he successfully completes his mission.

Synce’s gluttony surpasses everything when he goes into a feeding frenzy. Cardboard containers are torn to shreds, and foil paper is consumed along with the chocolate inside it!  He takes a brief pause to unload a loud belch and then proceeds to seek out another cache of chocolate hidden under a bed.  By the time Synce is working his way through the fourth little treasure trove of eggs, he begins to feel a bilious sensation in his stomach.  He staggers down the hallway back to the laundry, like a drunkard making their way home after a night on the booze.

As they run into the house, the children’s exuberance for Easter eggs is quickly cut short by the scene in front of them.  Empty baskets surrounded by pieces of chocolate and coloured wrapping paper!  With wide eyes and opened mouths, the shocked victims look like sunned mullets, as they silently follow the trail of destruction.  They all gasp at the sight of Synce standing there with bulging eyes.   Synce sways from side to side, as loud growling and gurgling noises escape from his large, swollen girth. 

“Well you’ve certainly outdone yourself this time, Synce.”  Laura stands over him while shaking her head. Then she grabs and pushes him out the door into the dark night.  “You can stay outside and suffer on your own. Serves you right for being so greedy”, she says as the door slams behind her.

For the next few days, Synce is extremely unwell.  Nobody comes near him, as he lies on his bed under the house.  He hardly moves from this spot, unless, he has to go on the grass to relieve himself of the incriminating evidence.  This contains fragments of the coloured foil paper from around the chocolate eggs.  But despite this, he survives to continue his endless quest for food of any kind, especially chocolate!

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