You've Got Some Nerve

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The mostly white dog had a few large brown and black spots spread over its torso. It stood a little over a foot tall at the shoulders and had short stubby legs and a brown face with long brown ears that almost touched the ground. It looked well-fed, and its plump body waddled as it walked.

As Ace tried to wrap his head around what was happening, the dog took two steps forward. The familiar clackity clack rang out as the dog's long toenails hit the hard stone ground.

"You have a frickin' hearing problem, schmuck?" the dog said. "I asked you a goddamned question. What the fucking shit are you doing down here, asshole?"

"Ummm," Ace said. "Elvis sent me?"

"Fuck you, the King sent you," the dog said with a mocking tone. "Are you fucking kidding me?"

"It's true," Ace said. "He's up topside in my ship right now. He's the one who sent me down here. Are you a hound dog?" Ace didn't know why he asked that and immediately regretted that he did.

"I'm a fucking Basset hound, you sack of monkey shit. You ignorant dick muncher!" the dog said. "Not just any hound dog. A fucking Basset hound. Not a shit-eating Bloodhound. Not a goddamn Greyhound, those prancing fancy fucks. They think they're so goddamn special because of their speed. Ooo! Look at me! I can run sixty miles per hour, and you can see my goddamn ribs. Who gives a shit?"

The dog continued, "No one has a better sense of smell than a Basset hound. Or better hearing. And you can take that shit straight to the mother-lovin' bank. I got a bead on your ass soon as you dropped down the ladder. You stink like fried chicken and motor oil. You hear me? I'm on to you, Fucko."

"Ace. My name's Ace."

"Good for you. My name is Hank. And I don't give a flying fuck if your name is Mary Fuck-Me-Sideways-Poppins, asswad. You still ain't told me what the fuck you're doing down here. No one but me and the King himself are allowed down here. You got it? So, take your hippie ass and your smell of despair and get the fuck outta here before I get testy and take it out on your testes." Hank growled and chomped his teeth.

Ace followed Hank's gaze right to his own crotch.

"Ummm," Ace said.

"That's right, dickhead. Ummm," Hank mocked him again. "Follow me, I'll show your ass to the door." Hank turned and waddled back towards the other end of the tunnel. With the dog's back to him, Ace stole a quick glance in the opposite direction to a ladder leading up and presumably into the mansion itself, maybe ten feet away.

If I make a run for it, Ace thought, there'd be no way that dog can catch me with those stubby little legs.

Hank continued down the tunnel and hurled insults at Ace. "You stupid asshole. You ignorant piece of turkey shit. You got some nerve coming down here today, Face. You hear me? Oh! Son of a bitch ass whore!" Hank turned to look back just as Ace was about halfway up the ladder. "Get the fuck down here, dickhead! You ain't allowed up there! Get the fuck down here!"

Ace could hear the clackity-clack of toenails scampering below as he pushed his way through the hatch at the top of the ladder.

"Get the fuck down here, shithead! You mother fucker! I'll bite your goddamn nuts off you sack of shit. You—"

Ace cleared the opening and slammed the hatch clamping off the incessant vulgarities flying at him. He stood in a small dark room. A closet maybe? Ace reached into his pocket and pulled out a lighter he got as a souvenir at a Mustache Supernova show on Graxon 12 last year. The lighter was adorned with the trademark image of a humanoid man whose mustache had grown to an unbelievable size, covering almost his entire face. Ace flicked the lighter and a small blue plasma flame burst forth casting the space around him in a ghostly light.

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