The Pug of the Opera
Summary: Erik finds a pug puppy he adopts. This little ball of velvet fur turns his life upside down immediately. I just wanted to write something funny and fluffy. Based mostly on Leroux and a bit Kay.
It was one of these cold rainy November nights in 1878. Erik decided to use the bad weather as a chance to go for a walk, he felt imprisoned in the opera house. Since he had moved into the cellars he had sworn to be done with the world, but sometimes his opera became his prison and he just had to go outside. He hated the stares of people, but in this night not many were outside and he was covered with a wide-brimmed hat, a scarf over his mask, a cloak with the collar turned up - in the dim light of the street lamps no one would even notice he wore a mask.
He wandered through the streets, enjoying the clean and fresh air. Not that he disliked the smell of humid earth in the cellars or of the water of the lake, but far too often he missed the smell of cleanliness the rain provided. Wearing warm clothing the coldness did not bother him and he walked the streets with long strides, enjoying his walk. He watched carriages drive by, people walking around and sometimes he even stopped to look at something in a shop-window. Not that he needed anything, he felt like he already had gathered much more than he could ever use in his life, but if he liked something he would want to have it. He had a rather large collection of trinkets just because he found them beautiful. He had by far too much clothing, sometimes he scolded himself for his vanity behaving like a spoiled woman demanding new clothing, new shoes, new accessories without any need for them. And then he found he had two of the same kind because he had forgotten he had already purchased than. Well, if the next war would come eventually he had more than enough if he wanted to survive.
When he came through elegant quarters he suddenly heard a noise like the whining of a lost puppy. Looking around he found a wet tiny puppy next to a garden stone wall. It sat there, wailing heart-wrenching. Erik could not help bending down to see the tiny thing. It was a fawn puppy of one of the lapdogs old ladies loved. A pug. It immediately stopped wailing when Erik reached out to caress the tiny round head and waggled its tail happily. It sniffed his fingers, making a funny noise that sounded like a staccato snore, then it began licking Erik's fingers. He laughed and picked it up.
As he turned the puppy around he noticed it was a male. The wet bundle immediately pressed himself in Erik's hands - he could hold it with one hand - and waggled his curled tail, making noises as if he was trying to talk to Erik. It sounded like someone mumbling quietly to himself.
Erik bend his neck to kiss the soft round head. He had never felt anything as soft as the velvet fur of this little dog and as it snug into his arms he felt like a warm glow was lit in his chest. He could not bring himself to put the dog back onto the cold wet street and leave it so he decided to take it in.
On his way home the pug began to snore in his arms and Erik smiled to himself, calling himself an old fool becoming soft for he already loved this dog, even if it didn't even look like a proper dog, it looked... well, a bit like a cat with the large eyes and the short snout, a bit like a pig with his curled tail. Whatever. Looks do not matter, he of all people should know that. And he felt that the tiny puppy had already taken his heart.
He reached his flat and put the puppy down on the floor. It sniffed around, moved in circles and left a puddle on the carpet. Erik sighed. "My fault, I should have let you do this outside," he told the dog and went to fetch old newspapers and some rugs to clean up. When he came back he found the puppy had left a dog-doo under his grand piano. Just great. He had to crawl around to clean up and when he was done he saw that the puppy was happily chewing on the couch table. "No! Bad! Bad! Bad!" He yelled and the puppy sat back on his legs and looked up at him with his large brown eyes. Erik couldn't help laughing, this little dog was just too sweet. "I guess you are just hungry, aren't you? Well, let's see what I can find."
He carried the puppy to the kitchen and left it there. As soon as he closed the door behind him he could hear the puppy howling desperately. "I'm back soon," he promised and went to his ice-cellar. Living so deep down underground had its benefits - he owned an ice-cellar where he could store food much longer than everyone else because it was kept cool. He only needed to buy enough ice-blocks in winter and it would be cool all year long.
Erik chose a piece of meat and took it with him. The puppy greeted him enthusiastic as if he had been gone for years and the dog had missed him terribly. Erik laughed and wondered how this tiny bundle of fur could make him laugh so easily. When he cut the meat the dog scratched his legs and wailed. "Yes, yes, I know you are hungry!"
Putting the plate with the meat on the floor was almost impossible. The pug was dancing on his hind legs, trying to catch the plate with his paws, and nearly knocked the plate out of Erik's hands trice as it began eating long before the plate reached the floor. When Erik finally managed to put the plate down it already was half-empty. The dog seemed to inhale the food rather than eating it, he ate so fast, he looked like he was suffocating because he couldn't breathe and swallow at the same time. When he was finished, the pushed the plate around, licking it and the floor, searching for every last crumb even as his belly was round.
Everything about the puppy was round: his head, his belly, his curled tail, even his snout and the black ears seemed to be round, of course the paws too. "Thirsty?" Erik asked as the puppy burped and waggled his tail. He gave him a bowl with water and the puppy gratefully drank - and left a puddle on the floor only moments later, then ran back to the water-bowl and overturned it. "I guess you will be keeping me quite busy," Erik complained and asked himself if taking in a not house-trained puppy was such a good idea. And how could he go for a walk with the dog? It too by far too long to reach the streets and leaving puddles and dog-doo around his flat in the cellars was a risk he could not take. Maybe the dog could learn to use a cat litter tray?
The puppy kept Erik constantly busy that night as he was exploring the flat. Erik had never thought a dog would give him so much to do and he nearly regretted his decision to take it in - but then he sat on his couch, the tiny warm bundle snoring on his lap as he read a book, he forgot everything that had angered him. He just wanted to sit there and listen to the puppy's loud snore forever. Never in his life had he felt so relaxed. "I'll keep you, my boy," he promised, "And I name you Beau."
I hope you like my new story. It is dedicated to my own pug, Guillaume. I'm not sure how regularly I can update, but I will try.