Beware The Ides of April

By Dogfire

Vance drove his blue 4x4 Suburban into the assigned parking slot. HIS assigned slot. The trappings of position. A man of influence, he had a supervisor job to prove it. He looked at his new shoes. Wing-tipped and glossy with a pinkish hue. The salesman had called the shoes winkle pinkle power shoes. They were supposed to be the style for a man of power. He climbed out of the vehicle, his short height ridiculously dwarfed in it's shadow. He bought the truck to compensate for size anxiety in a certain area. A fastidious dresser, he did not want a single hair out of place on a balding head, dust speck on clothes, or parking lot dirt to stain his shoes. Vance's obsession with neatness matched his anal retentive personality.

Puffed chest and peacock stride, Vance Koleman strode inside the office building. In a patronizing tone, He greeted staff members. The office workers nodded, they silently fantasized about starting a rebellion. As one being, the staff decided strangling Vance, an obnoxious pipsqueak of a man, was too much work. They returned to processing forms. Vance had been a supervisor for the Mage Division of the State Department of Revenue for only a month. He knew nothing about the Revenue Department. But he constantly reminded the office staff about his vast experience in Revenue and Government. Vance actually believed his job title, Mage Collections Division Head, proved his acumen in supervisor qualifications. Vance had no supervisor qualifications, intellectual gifts, or expertise in the magic arts. Any internal light of common sense he possessed was as bright as a lump of coal and just as thick. Human Resources had rubber-stamped Vance's hiring in deference to the political influence of his wealthy family. Today he needed to show he was on top of things. He called the Late Returns clerk and asked for a list of failed filings. He picked a name, William Fenwick of Clark County, a village Mage. Bill had not filed a State Mage Practitioner Tax form. Today was April 30, two weeks past the filing deadline.

The country had finally gotten use to the idea of Mages, or Magicians openly practicing their craft. They plied their trade in diverse fields from abiogenesis, through the alphabet to zoology. As useful as duct tape. The State, ever conscious of revenue, taxed practitioners of the magic arts. The Division of Revenue was charged with collecting and enforcing the tax code for Mages. Navigating the directions for the State Mage Practitioner Tax form proved more arduous than the most labyrinth of spells. Most Mages filed forms on midnight of April 15. Those who failed to file extensions felt the wrath of the Department of Revenue. Usually contract Mages dealt with enforcement. If the department was short of qualified Mages, supervisors and Legal staff delivered court summons. The Department had a supply of protective amulets and disks containing canned spells for non-mage collectors to use.

Vance intended to personally deliver a late audit summons. He must prove his mettle with the Department. He had picked a Mage from rural Clark county, to deliver the citation himself. Surely, the skilled and elite of Mage society would never reside in hillbilly Clark County. Delivering an easy warrant to a tax scofflaw should make him a hero to his superiors. He telephoned Legal Enforcement to put his name on edict delivery and write up a court summons for a Mr. William Fenwick, Mage license #TK2345-A. This was going to be Vance's day. Vance carelessly filled out the paper work, checked out a Type AA protective amulet and a MicroMage canned spells disk. At his secretary's desk, he left memos and meaningless instructions for the staff to follow. Vance proudly left.

The secretary dutifully threw his memos into the trash. With Bonehead gone for the day, the staff could get some work done. She looked at Bill Fenwick's file. Bill Fenwick, the same Bill who went to her high school! A small world indeed. What a shame, Bill forgot to file. The secretary checked the extensions list. She frowned, of all the pig-headed stupidity. Her bozo boss failed to cross check Fenwick's name against the filed extensions list. Vance blindly missed the extension form filed by Mr. Fenwick. She telephoned Legal about the snafu. After a few minutes, Legal cancelled the court summons in the computer database and asked the secretary to call Vance on his cellular phone. She hung up the phone and hesitated. She decided Vance's phone was out of order. She called Bill Fenwick's number. After chatting a bit to her old high school friend, she told him an unexpected guest would arrive.

Vance fingered his protective amulet and looked at the MicroMage disk. This part of the South was steeped in the tradition of pickup trucks, gun racks, rifles, six-packs and hunting dogs. The amulet should protect him against bullet wounds, trucks running over him, thrown beer cans, suffocation, and from being chewed up by hostile dogs. He despised dogs; filthy useless beasts. No better than their hillbilly masters. The canned disk of spells he carried should frighten and impress that backwoods Mage. No need to read the instructions on using the disk. Fools read them. Vance did'nt know the disk was empty. There were no canned spells. Despite the best efforts of MicroMage to create an idiot-proof system, the State managed to hire better idiots. The Department preferred to put protection spells into the amulets and issue an empty disk as a placebo.

The blue Suburban bounced along the back roads of Clark county. Vance spotted a roadside mailbox, Dr. Bill Fenwick, MPR. This is the place. He turned onto a washboard gravel road. After few minutes of kidney-busting rattles, he braked the Suburban in front of a low slung shotgun house with a weathered front porch. The yard was peppered with weeds and grass. A tall clump of weeds almost obscured a wreck of an old truck, permanently fixed on cement blocks. Vance rolled his eyes, Clark county was full of truck and car lawn ornaments. Clipboard in hand, Vance put on his most intimidating posture and stepped out of the truck. On the empty porch, a large dog lay sprawled out between two flimsy lawn chairs. The huge chocolate colored Labrador Retriever yawned. The thick bodied, potbellied dog stretched and clumsily walked down the steps towards Vance. Friendly eyes, wagging tail, lolling tongue and a toothy grin on its face.

In the South, popular conceptions of dogs conjure up images of lean, graceful hunting animals baying in the night, pursuing raccoons and small game. The boorish canine slob approaching Vance bore a remarkable resemblance to that human sub-species; the couch potato. The dog only needed a baseball cap, six-pack and a channel changer to complete the transformation. Vance watched the fat, ungainly Labrador Retriever advance closer. His protection amulet had no effect against friendly dogs. The short coated animal was hung with the largest dog boner Vance had ever seen. It reminded him of his own inadequacies. The dog stepped on something squishy. The enormous brown dog trotted up to Vance and leaned against him. The animal planted a manure plastered paw on top of Vance's left foot. The dog's heavy weight bore down on his shoe, immobilizing Vance. The reeking dog looked up at Vance, rubbed a canine head against his hip and belched an odor-filled greeting. Vance shook with rage, his shoes were ruined with barnyard shit from that smelly beast. He clenched his fists, ready to...a voice from the porch interrupted his action.

"Don't let Clancy bother you! He likes to be friendly and annoying!"

The voice belonged to a stocky man of medium height and gray hair. Neatly dressed in casual dress jeans, sneakers and a Georgia Tech sweatshirt. Clean-shaven and relaxed, the man did not look like a backwoods rube. The man chuckled, "Good Afternoon! My name is Dr. Bill Fenwick, retired. Not a medical doctor, mind you, I used to teach Law at Georgia Tech. However I am a part-time Mage." Bill smiled at Vance. "That fat, brown dog standing on your foot is Clancy. Hitting him won't do you any good. His skull is thicker than a bowling ball. He doesn't bite, but he might mistake a punch for a love pat. Pardon me for rattling on. I did not catch your name?"

Clancy lifted his paw off Vance's foot, releasing him. Vance sputtered, then composed his imposing bureaucrat face. "Vance Koleman, Department of Revenue. Mr. Fenwick, I have a summons to deliver. You failed to file the Mage Tax form."

Bill smiled, "Come on up to the porch and we'll take a look at the Summons."

Taken aback by the hospitality, Vance walked up to the porch. Bill slid a lawn chair next to the other one. He gestured. Vance sat down in the sagging, padded lawn chair, he held the clipboard and MicroMage spells disk in his lap. Bill took a seat. To Vance's distaste, Clancy clumped up the porch and sat down beside him. He could feel and smell the dog's blatant panting on the side of his head.

Vance pulled out a form and handed it to Bill. Vance growled, "The State has the most advance and accurate computer system known. The records show you did not file Form XT-23A before the April 15 deadline. Failing to file results in a court summons. Mr. Fenwick I must ask you to sign the court summons and wait for arraignment!" Vance had added that last bit to intimidate.

An unfazed Bill Fenwick looked at the court summons. He spoke, "I remember the process for filing court summons. Five years ago, during my tenure as a Law professor at Georgia Tech, I was appointed by the State to help draft tax legislation for Mages. This summons for failing to file is in context with the law as it now exists. I did file an extension. However, it appears the extension form may have failed to arrived at the Revenue Office." Bill quietly handed the form back to Vance. Bill continued, "In such a case, a summons is just an intent of notice. My signing only acknowledges receipt. In fact this form is missing page 3 which describes the steps the Revenue Office and I must take. It includes provisions for waiting for late extension forms. Perhaps you left the rest of the form in your truck?"

Bill glanced at Vance. Vance's face started twitching, terrified at being shown his lack of knowledge or having his bullshitting bluff called. Sitting beside Vance, Clancy suddenly sneezed, spraying the form with dog germs.

"Ugh!", yelped Vance. "Look at what that dog did!"

"Calm yourself, Mr. Koleman, Calm yourself. I'll get a cloth so you can wipe your clipboard. I happen to have a draft copy of the original summons forms and page three. I'll step inside to get them. Since it's a hot day, I'm dying of thirst. Mr. Koleman, would you care for a lemon-lime soda?"

"Yes,..yes.", Vance muttered, He needed time to think. Bill leaned forward, stood up and walked into the house. Vance fumbled at the empty MicroMage spells disk, maybe he could use one on Bill, even if he had never read the directions. Facing the vast depths of his own ignorance was Vance's greatest insecurity. Worse than enduring dogs. Vance noticed a friendly Clancy leaning against him. "Shoo! Go away!". Vance tried to push the dog's head away. It was like trying to shove off a Mach truck. Vance noticed an odd sensation. His feet were dangling off the floorboards by a good six inches. He felt himself shifting in the chair in an odd manner. Was it him or did the chair seem to get bigger? Clancy got up and padded towards the front of the chair. The huge brown dog rested his chest against Vance's knees. Clancy amorously rubbed his chest up and down against his knees. Abruptly, Clancy heaved his bulk upward. The passionately excited dog wrapped his front legs around Vance's hips. Clancy started pumping his canine hips and boner against Vance's knees. Vance struggled underneath the immense weight. The dog shoved his massive cock between the man's knee caps. A red, moist shaft spilled out of the furry sheath. Clancy's body enlarged with every thrust. No! It was Vance who was growing smaller! Sandwiched between an aroused dog and chair pad, Vance continued to shrink. The now, tiny man was pulled underneath the dog's chest, the thrusting canine rod impaled between his legs.

Not designed for vigorous leisure action, the lawn chair collapsed. Clancy fell forward onto the crumpled chair pad. Underneath the vast furry belly, a bug-sized Vance wriggled, his protection amulet prevented him from being plastered into a pulp. Clancy gathered his paws underneath and stood up. The fat, Labrador Retriever looked around, panting and frustrated. That tears it. Just when a dog finds a good pair of knees to hump, his new found friend up and vanished.

Vance pulled his sore body up. His soggy, smelly clothes were ruined. What happened? He was standing on the gigantic rumpled remains of the lawn chair pad. He was barely an inch in height. Vance noticed a high curved brown ceiling of fur soaring above him. Vance saw a colossal red shaft poke out from an enormous hanging, fur covered sheath. He was underneath the dog, near the back legs. Vance jumped off the collapsed pad onto the wooden porch floor. The inch-tall man ran, the dog hadn't seen him. He dashed between back paws as large as a pair of semi rigs. He turned around, and looked up at the prodigious canine ball sac hanging from gigantic brown hindquarters. The dog's immense back legs started to fold. Clancy's vast rear end descended to the floor. Vance ran faster. Clancy sat down, the dog's tremendous hips crashed to the floor just missing Vance. Vance sprinted beside the immense tree log of a tail. Clancy whisked his tail. The titanic tail slammed into Vance. He shot across the floor like a hockey puck.

Vance skidded to a stop, dazed and out of breath. A gigantic shape blotted out his vision. He stared up at a black, curved moist wall with two scrolled window-sized pits. The dog's nose. Clancy sniffed the tiny object. His new found friend! Clancy inhaled again, the inrushing air vacuumed Vance up against the cold canine nose. Covered in sticky mucus, Vance cringed at the disgusting sensation of being stuck against a dog's nose. The remains of Vance's clothes tickled Clancy's nose, he flicked his wide tongue out to lick the itch. Much better, Clancy panted. Dogs take a bit longer to think of what to do next. Covered by sticky dog snot, Vance was glued to Clancy's immense writhing tongue. Hurricane blasts of foul dog breath assaulted his senses. Dirty, snot covered and inside a fetid dog's mouth, this was worst day of his life. It can't get any worse. It did. Clancy reeled in his long tongue, closed his jaws, moistened his dry mouth with saliva and swallowed. Like an Olympic luge sledder, Vance found himself plunging feet first down a huge slimy chute. He rocketed into the dog's stomach.

Bill Fenwick opened the screen door, carrying a tray with forms and two wide glasses of iced lemon-lime soda. He looked at the collapsed lawn chair. Bill stared disapprovingly at Clancy. Clancy gave him a canine shrug. Bill set the tray on the remaining chair. He placed one of the glasses of soda on the floor. The thirsty dog lapped up the drink.

The retired professor cleared his throat. He spoke out loud to an invisible audience, "Well Mr. Koleman, I hope you don't mind sharing your drink with Clancy. Don't fret yourself from being inside the Dog. Your Department's protection amulet should keep you alive and well against drowning, suffocation and digestive juices. The shrinking potion I smeared on Clancy's fur should wear off in two days. Just relax Mr. Koleman, let ole Clancy give you the long tour of his intestinal tract. I'll pick you up where the dog leaves you off. Since your personality is full of crap, I think it's appropriate you come out surrounded by it. I'll call your secretary. Your office deserves a few days vacation from you."

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