Kago woke up and it was dark. His head ached. He looked around but could see very little. He was in some sort of building, inside a cage. He could hear dogs barking but couldn’t see them.

All he remembered was going to Paws R Us and talking with the man there. The man had told him to sit and relax. He had given him a glass of juice. After that he couldn’t remember anything.

Just then the door opened and light came pouring into the dark, musty room. He could see now that there were many dogs in tiny cages in the room with him. Kago lay still, as if he were still passed out, and watched carefully. The large man who he had spoken to was moving around to each cage, injecting the dogs. Seconds after the injections, the dogs began to get more aggressive, biting the cages and growling at their neighbours.

The man watched them for a few minutes. “That’s right,” he said. “Get yourselves ready for the fights tonight.”

* * * * *

Spokes arrived at a big house on the far side of town. He knocked on the door. “What are you doing here? I thought you’d be at the warehouse,” the Paws R Us man asked.

“No, I left Zero there. He’s covering bets. They told me you needed help. That you had a problem.”

The man handed Spokes a gun. “Here. Take care of him – he’s in the garage. Some do-gooder. Thinks he knows shit. Pylon dug a hole at the back. Throw him in, cover him up. I’m loading the dogs. They’ve had the steroid and narcotic injections already. They’re ready to go. Gonna be a good night. I’ll see you at the warehouse.”

Spokes took the gun and headed to the back of the house as he heard the truck pull away. He unlocked the garage and turned on the light. All of the cages were empty, except one.

“Get up!” Spokes ordered. “You’re such a stupid ass. What were you thinking?”

Kago climbed out of the cage. “Me? What were you thinking? I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.” Then Kago saw the gun in Spokes’ hand and became quiet.

“You think I’m going to shoot you cuz?” Spokes said, slapping Kago on the back. “Let’s get out of here. These folks are not playing around. This is big money and they don’t like people messing with it.”

A taxi was parked outside the house. Before getting in Spokes stopped to make a phone call on his cell. “Listen, you guys need to get to the abandoned warehouse at the end of Motsetse Street. Things are going down there. Now!” He clicked the phone off and got in the taxi.

“Who’d you call?” Kago asked.

“The cops, who else?” Spokes said, as the taxi drove away.

“And what about your income?”

“I was hoping you’d help me get a job down at your place. This is all getting too dodgy for me. That was a close call. I need to straighten up a few things. And, I see you got some fine ladies working down there,” Spokes teased, and then he was suddenly serious. “Jojo’s the one who saved your life, man.”

Kago looked at him. “Jojo?” He smiled thinking about her. “I’ll try to find you a job down there, but you got to promise – hands off Jojo.”

“Sure man, what do you take me for? Besides she looks like a one-man-woman if you ask me.”

The taxi drove them back home and Kago thought about work the next day; about seeing Jojo. He told himself life was short, almost too short. Tomorrow he’d ask her out on a real date. Tomorrow was definitely the day.

* * *

Tell us what you think: Has your opinion of Spokes changed How?