Bev Vines-Haines
Doorknob Winner
Sky Lambert sucked down a Mountain Dew, shuddering at the burn. He surveyed his domain. Cages lined tables, each unit housing a cuter cat than the cage before. Behind him, he heard the barking and yipping of twenty-seven dogs. It had taken years of planning and a lot of donations for this dream to come true and he wanted to savor every emotion.

He’d grown up in Detroit and managed to escape right after reform school. Hard headed and hard hearted was the way he remembered those Michiganders. Now it was turnaround time.  He would provide the best pets ever, look like a hero, and make a tidy profit.

He’d wanted to start his rescue business for years. The delay came with finding pampered poodles, loyal canines, and snuggly cats he could afford. Pets are spendy even at the Pound. 

Until the day he noticed most backyards had a dog.  Cats roamed every neighborhood he drove through.  Cars can be dangerous and heat can kill.  Any pet found in those conditions was a loving rescue, he determined.

Ever the multi-tasking agent, Sky would procure his pets, pamper and then sell them.  He needed a cover story so he pitched his business on Kickstarter.  Loving Home Shelter, he called it.  No kill.  Raised half a million dollars in a month.

Today his shop would open.  Everything was ready as he unlocked the front door.

Three cops rushed in.

It was over. 

“You boys from Michigan?” he muttered as they cuffed him.

First published: May 2017
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