Stories No. 33 – Tyler Barton

by Tyler Barton

Wishbone broken ain’t no wishbone at all says me. You don’t got no choices anyway, you live and is how you’ll be. If yer makin’ a decision an bitin’ off yer nails or lookin’ out at another man’s lawn yer just deluded. And that’s not even to say the devil’s in you just more like you got a lifelong case of the Mondies an yer walkin’ around three quarters asleep.

Says me to my dog Sam, Either you gonna piss out there or drop a turd, or you won’t see inside this house again tonight, boy. You’ll sleep there frozen in the snow.

My good dog Ted died three weeks prior and my daughter’s man Bob went and bought me this replacement mutt. Sam, I call him. Had a tag on said COOPER when we met, this sad mutt and me. Said, Bob you didn’t have to go and do that, and thanks anyway but his name’ll be Sam, not damn Cooper or whatever it is you want him called.

Just believe and piss says me to Sam, who ain’t pissin’ but just starin’ at snow. No Sam, yer a dumb dog says me askin’ him to believe in his own choicelessness and piss for the sake of our God Jesus King Lord Almighty who’ll without mistake pick our right decisions for us.

And like the little boy could hear me or talk through brains or else took Jesus right then into his heart, he just started pissin’ in the crusted snow wholehog. It come out a frozen stream itself, steady like some yellow cord just held him to the ground like a kite’s line. He’s tethered there to the ground by his dinger like gravity its God-made self! I stood there watchin’ and waitin’ and gettin’ pissed myself, about how long he was takin’. Till damn near what felt like half the hour passed, and me just fixed to the front porch lookin’ at this dull, never endin’ function. Knew then I love this dog just the same as Ted and tried to call for him to hurry it on up and get in here for a treat, but I couldn’t speak. I just stood and felt real wet and warm myself in the seat of my trousers and most of all felt relieved.


Tyler Barton is one half of The Triangle (, the fiction editor of Third Point Press, and an MFA candidate at Minnesota State University. His published stories can be found at Follow him @goftyler.

Stories @ Digging Through the Fat: Volume 2, Issue 14
May 20, 2015
Photography by: Gessy Alvarez

2 thoughts on “Stories No. 33 – Tyler Barton

  1. Well if this ain’t just about the best thing since Jesus rolled away the stone, I don’t know what is. Fine work. Fine.

  2. Wow! I had some resistance at the beginning (my own tastes getting in my way) but my goodness, this is excellent. It’s a real story, a beautiful story, and not “simply” a clever idea with clever language as I had feared. I’m very glad to have experienced it.

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