Microfiction #writephoto: Death hole

Sue’s photo and Lorraine’s story inspired this flash fiction for the #writephoto prompt


Just a hole in the ground. Out of sight, out of mind. They dump us in it when we no more use, or sick or we puppies with the wrong sire. They tie a stone to a back leg, just in case, and they drop us in. Years and years the huntsmen do it, dumping, killing slowly, easier than a bullet in the head. We saw that with the big animals, the hoof and antler animals too big for us to catch and kill. Quick. Sometimes. The life fades quick, like the night falling. Not when they drop us in the hole. Not quick, they want. Long and painful. They laugh. We hear. And we are angry.

The hole is long and narrow, windy narrow like the long windy cold animals in the grass. It comes out in the light way way far away under a hill. Other dogs help chew the rope, and then stone we have no longer. We run. We run together because the men don’t want us. It broke our hearts. No hearts we now. Only anger. We hear them with their dogs, chasing the small fast animals with the frightened hearts. We hear them, and when they come too close, their dogs run, far far away. Dogs know. Men know nothing, come crashing, looking. We wait, we wait and when close, we leap. We hear the cry the fear when they fall. We bite the fingers that scrabble at the edge. No more laughing.

Huntsmen fall down hole sometimes here, and they have no stone on their legs. But dogs make sure they don’t find the long long way out.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

34 thoughts on “Microfiction #writephoto: Death hole”

      1. People who abuse dogs and other animals deserve to suffer the same fate as the fucker who keeps me awake at night with his fairground music—to be cast into the outer darkness without a broomstick.

  1. I agree Jane a dark tale but I agree with you about the treatment of dogs…my neighbour works away and has a dog in his yard that barks so much of the day, probably out of boredom I would think…

      1. No indeed not in fact in recent times the greyhound industry h was shit down in NSW because of the cruel training practices and the massive disposal of unwanted dogs….

      2. Yes sadly they do…they showed a program highlighting the practice of training greyhounds using live baits…..I couldn’t believe people could be so cruel

      3. Greyhound racing, horse racing, hunting with hounds, circus acts, horse formation dancing or whatever it’s called, all involve depths of cruelty it’s only possible to imagine because we know human beings do the same thing to their fellow humans.

  2. We must always remember nature is red in tooth and claw. I have two well loved cats but I know they kill birds and small rodents although they are well fed . The fact is they are predators by nature and have the killing instinct. Remember also the food chain for most of humanity involves killing for meat although more civilised countries try to do this in a humane way. There is no excuse for cruelty but let’s not get over sentimental . Sentimentality is a human characteristic tigers don’t get sentimental when they kill to eat.

    1. Of course, nature is red in tooth and claw. But I don’t count as ‘nature’ the men who drop unwanted dogs and puppies in wells because they know they will die slowly and painfully. It happens on a massive scale in Spain, and no doubt in other countries where the ‘honour’ of the hunter is sullied by a dog that isn’t productive. There’s nothing natural or acceptable about cruelty. Animals are not cruel.

  3. You are quite right Jane we as humans should know better . What appears cruelty to us is natural with nature , but then we have left the animal kingdom and developed a conscience which gives us endless trouble. I think it is the price we pay for being intelligent, as Freud wisely observed we are at war with ourselves. I do not think the lion will ever lie down with the lamb but it is an ideal Christian dream. We have religion to guide us and hopefully slowly eradicate our animalistic nature.

    1. It’s funny you put it that way round. I tend to see it as we human beings recovering a respect for life we have lost. As you say, we have grown so distanced from everything natural and assumed that because we can use our brains to our advantage, we have the right to take advantage of everything else. I think we need to learn humility and our place in a system of which we are only a part.

  4. I don’t want to turn this site into a debating forum but your analyses is wrong nature has no respect for anything she kills indiscriminately by the Darwinian law of survival of the fittest. Religion teaches us differently do unto others as you would be done by and we became religious when we left the animal kingdom. Hence the phrase beastly behavior.

  5. This is dark and powerful. Raises strong emotions. Humans can be quite brutal, cruel and without remorse. As a result such locations can hold deeply disturbing energies.

      1. Such a terrible state of affairs where these animals are concerned. The energies I was referring to relate to humans. Misery and violence do not make for a pleasant atmosphere.

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