I go for these walks in Maple Valley, late into the evenings before the sky is black. People bag their dog-poop in green little bags, and leave them by the side of the trail—the bags preserve it, kinda like the frozen bodies at the top of Mount Everest, although, it’s as hot as hell, here in Maple Valley. Now there are dozens of little bags by the trail. I counted 42.

I’m waiting for the parks department to pick up the poop, but they never do. It must be beneath them—a shit detail, so to speak.

On a smokey evening when the sun is burning red, I walk the trail. There’s an Indian couple, with the man dressed in a suit and his wife in a Sari. There’s the retired man with white hair who has eyes that are sunken-in and looks like he’s possessed by the devil. He waves at me every day. I hope we’re not kindred spirits.

All the people that walk the trail live in suburban homes, and own small dogs. Little dogs poop the most. They have tiny metabolisms, like the energizer bunny.

As I get deeper into the woods, there’s a flaming bag of poop. There are dozens on fire, on the driest day of the year, and I don’t want my community to burn-down because of idiots, so I stomp it out, and the smell makes me gag, but after three or four, it’s fun.

After 20, I’m feeling like I stepped in a lot of shit. Hopefully it’s enough to last a lifetime. The trail follows the lake, and I can see that new bags are catching fire on the other side. Laughing skips across the water like a stone.

“Teenagers—they must’ve escalated their delinquency due to online learning.” Teachers think kids are bad in school, but the environment is almost entirely responsible for their behavior, or at least according to some social psychologists. If kids get bored, they start lighting bags of shit on fire.

It occurs to me that I can talk to them, and explain the danger of setting fires in a tinder box near hundreds of million-dollar homes, but they probably would just laugh at me. Who cares about a life sentence when you already feel like you’re in prison? No, it’s up to me to save my community, by stepping in it, so to speak. Most of the turds are as small as a squirrel’s, but the occasional Doberman makes me think twice about going on.

There are only a few left, when I notice one of the bags is burning a different color. It’s changing colors like the rainbow.

Maybe, one of the dogs ate some chemicals, I thought. I was wearing shoes, so I gave it a good stomp. The feeling was satisfying. A warm sensation, different from the heat of the night, travelling up my legs like a snake. When I stepped out of the poop, I noticed my shoes were sparkling.

“Some new vitamin dog food,” I thought out-loud. I stomped out the remaining bags and went home. My apartment manager was walking her pug near the dog park. He pooped, and she scooped it up in a bag, tied it, and left it! What’s wrong with these people? Dogs must get an enormous ego trip when humans pick-up their shit.

The manager is a Hispanic woman who dresses in fashion, and wears extended fingernails. High maintenance is the word. She has a sour look on her face when she passes by me—she is exposed to chemicals all day—they help her look beautiful, but beauty, painted on, looks stretched. Lipstick on a dog, is still lipstick on a dog.

I was too tired to wash my shoes, and when I woke the next morning, I smelled it—the stench of 41 dogs and the sweet smell of something else—maybe it was the rainbow shit I stepped in. I had this impulse to gamble, and I’m not a gambling man. I wore my shitty shoes to the track. My feet took me to the 20 to 1 horse. And Silver Bullet won. I went to the Lucky Casino, and they almost kicked me out because of my smell, but when they saw I was carrying a sports bag full of money, they made an exception.

“Hit me!” I said. After seven wins, I quit, and the dealer looked like he wanted to hit me with a black jack— that’s a tire iron for those of you who don’t know. I knew at least 12 cameras were watching me, looking for my partner who had helped me cheat, but I was alone, probably because of the smell of shit—no hookers came around. Worried that my magic or whatever it was would rub off, I walked the trail every evening, looking for fresh bags of flaming poop, but the teenagers weren’t burning bags anymore.

Under a Holly bush, I heard some grunting. It sounded like a constipated dwarf who was trying to squeeze a loaf.

“Ugh.. Ugh…”

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“No, I’m not,” came the reply. “I’ve been constipated for a week.”

That was right around the time I stomped out the burning bags of shit.

“Can I get you something?” I asked.

“Yeah. I’m tired of using Holly branches to wipe, and there is nothing worse than an upset stomach. Would you get me some X-Lax and two-ply toilet paper?”

“Sure, I will.”

I was doing good deeds for the homeless. I gave money to the musicians in the Safeway parking lot. They knew me now, and always held out their hands. I believe what is given, comes back 10-fold. It’s a strange belief, cooked up by gypsies who live on luck.

When I got back, he was still grunting. A green hand with yellow fingernails reached out from the bush. The fingernails had dirt on them, or something else. It was his left hand.

“What are you?” I asked.

“I’m a leprechaun. Now, be a good man and grab me one of those poop disposable bags.”

I did as I was told.

“Since you have helped me, I will give you a bag of my shit. The magic will last, as long as my intestinal juices don’t evaporate—usually, it takes about a week. I’ve been having stomach problems for a while, so if you will run to the grocery store, every so often, when you see me on the trail, I’ll give you, my poop.”

“Thanks,” I said. “Are you sure you don’t want to take-up residence in my apartment?”

“No, I prefer nature, and being alone. Plus, with the luck you’ll be having, you won’t need me for very long.”

And he was right. I took home the bag of poop and put it in a temperature-controlled terrarium. On the weekends, I go to the race track, I pick up women, I do all the things that defy the odds. It’s like I can make time stand still, even though suckers are bound by other laws. I change when I want to change. Possessing magic is addicting, and nobody wants mine, because it smells so bad. I don’t have to worry about someone stealing it. The only danger is when other dogs, like the one belonging to my apartment manager, get a whiff. It’s like crack! They lick my shoes, and become lucky too. When that happens, one could say, this world has gone to the dogs.

The End

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