Daniel heard the front door open and hurried to get Rusty into position. The little fluffy ball of a Pomerania wiggled its hind legs as he struggled to squeeze them into the tiny hole he’d cut out in the top of a pumpkin. “You gotta work with me here, Rusty. Daddy’s home.” After a little huffing and puffing, Daniel managed to get Rusty’s torso stuffed inside. “Okay, now look cute.”
“Babe, where are you? And where’s Rus—oh my God!”
Daniel was so happy he had the foresight to ready the camera before Zack walked in the kitchen because he now had the shocked expression Zack made immortalized for the ages.
“Aww, my poor baby! What did he do to you?” Zack asked Rusty, sinking to his knees on the hardwood floor to scratch him behind his ears.
“The magic of Halloween transformed him into a pup-kin,” Daniel replied, puffing out his chest when Zack leveled him with an incredulous glare. “Hey, you’re the one who said he’d be cute as a pumpkin. And you were right!”
“Why didn’t you get him a costume instead of shoving him inside an actual pumpkin?”
Daniel repositioned his legs before his foot fell completely asleep. “But look at how cute he is.”
Zack didn’t look impressed. “I take it you’ve already snapped a butt load of pics?”
“Of course,” he scoffed.
Zack frowned down at Rusty and gave him another long scratch behind the ears. “Good, now let’s get you out of there.” Zack struggled to free Rusty from the festive gourd as the dog wiggled in his arms.
“See, he likes his new home.”
Daniel took up a defiant stance and crossed his arms when Zack shot him another glare over his shoulder. He could’ve offered a hand, but his Halloween surprise hadn’t gone over as well as he’d hoped. They both loved Halloween, and he thought it would be cute to stuff Rusty in the pumpkin. Obviously, Zack didn’t agree.
“If he has pumpkin guts in his coat, you’re bathing him, Daniel.”
“I’m sure he’s fine.”
Apparently he wasn’t fine because after a few minutes of wrestling with the pup-kin, Zack’s panic started to grow. “I think he’s stuck!”
“You just don’t know how to do it,” Daniel huffed, elbowing Zack out of the way. He curled his hands around Rusty’s tiny ribcage and started to pull, but he wouldn’t budge. “Come on, work with me here.” He repositioned his grip and made a face when Rusty licked his bottom lip when he put his head too close. “Really? I’m trying to help you.”
“I’ll hold the pumpkin and you pull,” Zack instructed, moving around to the other side. “It’s okay, Rusty. We’ll get you out.”
When that didn’t work, Daniel joined in the panic. “I swear he came right out on the dry run.” He looked around and caught the shine from the knife he used to cut the pumpkin open as it sat on the kitchen table. He slid across the floor to grab it, but Zack called him off.
“No! No, no, no. Put that back! What is wrong with you? You could cut Rusty!”
“How else are we going to get him out?”
“I don’t know, use some butter? Maybe that’ll work.”
“You were worried about pumpkin in his fur, but you’re fine with butter?”
“This is life or death, Daniel! Who cares about his fur?”
Sometimes Daniel regretted bringing that mutt home for him. Zack treated Rusty like the crowned prince, and Daniel might’ve felt a little jealous over the past few months because of it. Not that he didn’t like Rusty too, but he hated that the dog licked him all the time. And he didn’t like to think about how often Zack let Rusty kiss his mouth before demanding kisses from him. Ick.
“It’s not life or death. He’s fine. Stop being dramatic… and stop licking me!”
Zack’s brow furrowed as he looked at him with confusion, but the unmistakable sticky slide of Rusty’s tongue skating over his fingers distracted him. He looked down and found Rusty licking what had to be pumpkin guts off his hand. “How did you do that?”
“You’re free!” came Zack’s gleeful response. He moved over to scoop the pup up and hugged him to his chest. “My poor little guy. I was so worried. Can you believe mean Daddy D wanted to cut you open?”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “I’ll just make the hole bigger.”
“You will do no such thing. Now hurry up and get dressed. We’re going to stop at the pet store and buy him a proper costume on the way to the party.”
As it turned out, Rusty was a hit at their friend’s Halloween party, but not for his “proper” pumpkin costume. The pictures Daniel took of him stuffed inside the real thing won him first prize in the dog’s costume contest. Even Zack had to admit how adorable he looked after the initial scare wore off.
When they got home, Daniel agreed to let Zack handle next year’s costume. Sure Daniel consented under duress because Zack didn’t always fight fair, but that just gave him one more reason to find Rusty a brother.
So there you have it, the first fic for Lucie’s Halloween Flash Fic Extravaganza 2016!™ I hope you enjoyed it. It didn’t go quite the way I envisioned, but I wanted to start off with something cute and fluffy and sweet! All acceptable Halloween themes.
The prompt for next week’s fic is just one word: Ghosts
Feel free to interpret that how you like if you want to join in on the fun!