The night air was still hot when Willy Martin stepped out of his black SUV and onto the sidewalk near the Fallen Angel Tavern on Pittsburgh‘s North Side. The young black male unbuttoned two buttons of his blue shirt to try and relieve his chest from the heat. He put his keys into the pocket of his blue jeans and then walked inside the tavern. Once inside he saw that the tavern had a dark, gloomy atmosphere. And it was not as crowded as he expected. There were only a few people sitting at the four small round tables at the right side of the tavern. Past the tables there was noone playing at the two billiard tables in the back. At the left there were only two men sitting at the bar.I could use a drink.Willy thought. He approached the bar and was greeted by the burly, bald headed bartender wearing a black short sleeved Pittsburgh Steelers T-shirt. “I’ll have a beer,” Willy told the bartender.The bartender reached under the bar and brought up a dark, slim bottle of beer. He opened the bottle just as Willy brought out his wallet.“That’s $2.50,” said the bartender.Willy gave the bartender Three one dollar bills. “Keep the change. And I’ve also got an appointment to see the Sandman.”The bartender pointed to an open doorway in the back past the billiard tables. “In the back. He’s waiting for you.”“Thanks,” Willy replied. He took a swig of the cold beer from the bottle and then walked to the doorway.Willy entered a small room with a dim light. Standing against the left and right walls were tall stacks of boxes containing a variety of alcoholic beverages. In the middle of the room was a small round wooden table positioned under the dim light bulb on the ceiling. Sitting at the table was a mysterious figure dressed in black pants tucked into black knee high boots. He had a black long sleeved shirt and necktie. His black gloved hands were resting on the table top. He was also wearing a black hooded cape. The hood concealing the features of his face. This was the person that Willy came here to see. The Sandman.Willy was nervous in the Sandman’s dark presence. He took a deep breath and a large sip of his beer. Then he sat down at the table.“So you’re the Sandman,” said Willy. No offense. But you look a lot more sinister in person than you do on your website.”“I’ll take that as a compliment,” the Sandman replied. “And you’re Willy Martin. Am I right?”“Yeah.” Willy took a brief moment to study the Sandman. “So, nice outfit you got there. Do you wear this all the time?”“Occasionally in December I’ll take a break and change over to the Santa suit. Of course I’d never admit that in public.”“I see,” Willy returned. He took another moment to study the Sandman. “If you don’t mind me asking, aren’t you hot in that outfit?”“I’m good. Where I come from I’m used to the heat. Although I probably won’t make the cover of GQ. So besides inquiring about my fashion sense is there anything else I can do for you?”Bill nodded. “Yeah. There is. I’ve got sort of a complicated problem.”“Complicated problems are my specialty,” the Sandman told Bill.“Yeah. Well maybe you can help me out with mine. You like dogs?”“Only if they’re cooked well done.”“What?”“Only kidding.”Willy continued. “Well I’m into dogs. But not exactly as pets. I’m into dog fighting. I hope you don’t have a problem with that.”“It’s not my job to make judgments. But you’ve caught my interest. Go on.”Willy took a quick swig from his bottle. “I live in Clairton. And I run a dog fighting operation. It’s a pretty lucrative business. If you’ve got the right dog and have it trained right then you can make a ton of money. This is just between you and me. Right?”“Don’t worry. I promise not to post this conversation on my Facebook page.” the Sandman assured Willy.“That’s good. But anyway, about my dog fighting operation. I was making some big money. I had this pit bull, Gladiator. One of the best fighting dogs I ever owned. I was number one.”“Top dog,” the Sandman commented. “No pun intended.”“Yeah. Something like that,” said Willy. “Then this guy from McKeesport, Leo Whitley, shows up with this big black pit bull mix named Odin. Now this guy is a real first class big mouth. He shoots his mouth off and issues me a challenge. So I take this guy up on his challenge. Then me and Gladiator go to his arena in McKeesport to fight.”“I’ve got a pretty good idea where this is going,” the Sandman commented.“Gladiator got his ass kicked by Odin. He was torn up so bad that I had to put him down. And to make matter’s worse I made a big ass bet with Whitley. And I lost that too. So not only did I loose my best fighting dog but I lost $2,000.”The Sandman crossed his arms against his chest. “An interesting case. Just out of curiosity what pisses you off the most? Losing the dog or losing the money?”“What kind of question is that? The dog and the money. They both go hand in hand.”“You didn’t answer the question.”Willy was becoming irritated at the Sandman’s question. “Ok. The money. Mainly because I don’t have it. Do I look like Donald Trump or something? But I told Whitley I’d take his dog on again tomorrow night. This time double or nothing. It’s my chance to get even. And that’s where I need you to help me. I need you to give me another fighting dog. But this dog has to be a killer. A monster. A real badass.”“Well. This is certainly different,” said the Sandman. “I’ve had people ask me for dragons. But this is the first time I’ve ever had a request for a dog.”Willy was intrigued. “A dragon? Can you give me a dragon?”“No. That would be stupid,” the Sandman scolded him. “What the hell are you going to do with a dragon? Where the hell are you going to keep it?”“Ok then. Scratch that idea. Just give me the dog. And a badass dog. I want a monster,” Willy reminded the Sandman.“I can do that. But first the question is what can you do for me?”Willy suspected what the Sandman was referring to. “You want one of my dreams? Yeah. I can give you one. I had this one last night. I saw myself walking down this street in Pittsburgh. I walk up to this newsstand to buy some cigarettes. I take my wallet out to get my money and I drop it. Then this strong gust of wind comes up from nowhere and blows all the money out of my wallet. I see all these bills spinning through the air like they’re caught in a hurricane. All my money is flying away. It’s flying high up in the sky and I can’t reach it. I keep jumping up and trying to grab some of it but it’s up too high. What do you think a dream like that means?”“I would say that it means that you should apply for a mastercard. To be honest your dream sounds kind of lame. On the lame scale of one to five. One meaning too embarrassed to listen, I’ll give your dream the top score. But to give you what you want it’s acceptable.”Willy smiled. “Then we’ve got a deal?”“It’s a deal.”“So where’s the dog?” Willy asked.“This is a bar. Not a pet store. The dog’s outside.”Willy was filled with excitement over the prospect of seeing his new fighting dog. As well as a rematch against Leo Whitley’s dog, Odin. He rose up from his seat. “Thanks Sandman. Thanks.”“And trust me. This dog is a real monster,” was the Sandman’s final words.With his beer bottle in hand Willy walked out of the room and left the bar. The night air was still hot when Willy stepped outside. He looked around but saw no dog waiting for him.“What the hell is this? Where the hell is my dog?” Willy wondered. “We made a deal.”Willy felt something brush against the back of his legs. He turned and looked down. Standing near him was a small black dog the size of a Chihuahua. With white stripes going along the sides of it’s body like a tiger. The dog stared up at Willy while baring it’s teeth.“What the hell is this?” Willy spat out. He wondered if this was the dog that the Sandman was offering him. This small frail looking creature. He considered the very sight of this animal to be an insult. There was a chain around the dog’s neck with a shiny metal tag attached. Willy reached down to look at the tag. There was a word engraved on it. Buzzsaw.”The dog, Buzzsaw, began to growl at Willy and took a snap at his finger. Willy was just able to draw it back in time.Willy was tempted to kick the dog down the street. But then a better idea came to his mind. Take his dissatisfaction with the dog to the Sandman. In a fit of rage Willy threw his beer bottle against the sidewalk. The bottle shattered upon impact. Then Willy stormed back into the bar and returned to the room. The Sandman was gone. Angry and desperate for answers, Willy went over to the bar to speak to the bartender.“Hey dude. Where the hell is the Sandman?”The bartender shrugged his shoulders. “Beats the hell outta me. He must have stepped out.”“What do you mean he stepped out? He was just here.”“I don’t keep track of him. I just mind my own business and tend bar. You want him then maybe try his website or something and come back tomorrow night.”This was all a big damn joke, Willy thought to himself. He had do choice but to admit defeat and go home.Willy left the bar. The small dog was gone. He was unconcerned about it’s whereabouts. He returned to his SUV and sat down in the driver’s seat. Still angry over his bad deal with the Sandman. Then he heard a high pitched growl at his right. He turned and jumped up. Startled when he saw the dog sitting on the passenger’s seat. It was still baring it’s teeth at him while growling.“How the hell did you get in here?” asked a surprised Willy.The dog continued to growl at Willy. This only served to highten Willy’s anger.“Ok you little four legged sardine. You think you’re some kind of a badass? Well, I got a surprise for you when I get home,” he told the dog.With the growling dog in his vehicle Willy had a long, tense drive back to his house in Clairton. After he parked his SUV he grabbed the still growling Buzzsaw by the back of it’s neck and carried it into his one story white house. Once inside Willy took Buzzsaw down into his basement. The heart of his dog fighting operation. In the middle of his dank basement was a large area circled by a four foot high chain link fence. This was his dog fighting arena. There were three large cages at the left and right of the arena. Inside the three cages at the left were pit bull terriers. All of them letting loose with loud barks and growls when Willy walked down the wooden basement stairs.“You miss me, boys?” Willy asked the dogs. He walked over to their cages and held up the small dog, Buzzsaw. “I brought you some take out.”Willy opened the gate to his arena and dropped Buzzsaw inside. He then took his keys out of his pocket and walked over to unlock the dogs cages. The first dog darted out of the confines of it’s cage and ran into the arena to attack Buzzsaw. The other two dogs followed close behind. Willy smiled as he watched the dogs run into the arena to deal with this small snack that he had brought them. He had given them such a treat several times before. Allowing his larger dogs to attack and maul to death a small dog in order to keep their bloodlust alive. He considered this to be the perfect training regimen for fighting dogs. However, this time Willy received an unexpected surprise when he saw the first dog lunge for Buzzsaw. Buzzsaw jumped back and then leaped forward and clamped it’s jaws onto the larger dog’s neck. Willy’s smile faded as he heard the pit bull let out a pained whine, then spun around in a wild frenzy in an attempt to shake Buzzsaw loose from it’s neck. It was to no avail as Buzzsaw’s grip was tight.The other two pit bull’s let out a chorus of vicious barks and growls. But they both kept their distance from the wild melee. The pit bull spun around in circles several times. It squealed in pain. Then began to let out a hoarse wheeze, as if it were unable to breathe. It fell onto it’s side, it’s legs thrashing wildly. Buzzsaw held it’s grip onto the pitbull’s neck. The pitbull let out a gurgle, then it’s legs stopped moving and it remained still. Willy could only stand and gaze wide eyed at what he had just seen. The other two dogs had now stopped barking and still kept their distance from Buzzsaw. Buzzsaw released it’s bite on the pitbull’s neck. He turned and looked up at Willy. Then began to bare his teeth and growl.Willy still could not believe what he had just seen. This small dog had just killed one of his most vicious killers. And the other two dogs appeared to be in no mood to take up the fight. He went into the arena and picked up Buzzsaw. Willy smiled again. Then he laughed.“Well I’ll be damned,” he said to Buzzsaw. “You filthy little monster. I’ll be damned.”The Sandman came through for me, Willy thought. A plan now came to Willy’s mind. He could still have his rematch with Leo Whitley and his dog, Odin. And Buzzsaw was going to be the perfect trap.The next day Willy made a call to Leo Whitley to set up the rematch. And to make the challenge more interesting Willy informed Whitley that he was offering to double the bet. As he expected, Whitley was quick to accept the offer and set up the fight for 1:00 in the afternoon.Thirty minutes before the fight Willy went down into his basement to get Buzzsaw. As he walked down the steps he noticed an eerie silence in the basement. His remaining two pit bulls were not barking and growling as usual. They remained quiet, sitting in their cages. This is weird, he thought. He walked over to the dog’s cages. Still silent, the dogs looked up at him and whined. Then they looked over to the small, blue plastic dog cage sitting in next to the arena’s gate. Willy had locked Buzzsaw in there last night after he had killed the pitbull.“What the hell’s the matter with you guy’s?” Willy asked. Both dogs seemed to be nervous. He wondered if they were mourning the death of their partner after it had gone up against Buzzsaw last night. Willy had taken the dead dog and buried it in the woods. Then he dismissed such a notion. “No way. “You guys are just dumb animals. It’s not like you’re gonna go out and buy a sympathy card or something when another dog dies.”Willy went to the dog cage. “Ok. Here’s the star of our show. You’re gonna make me a ton of cash little fella.”Willy picked up the cage by it’s handle on top. The cage had an unexpected weight to it. “This thing feels heavier than it did last night,” he said. He looked into the cage at Buzzsaw. He took a long, clear look at the small black dog with it’s white tiger-like stripes. Buzzsaw seemed to be bigger. “ No. Can’t be. You were a runt last night. You’re still a runt. But you’re a runt that’s gonna make me a mint if you do to Odin what you did last night.”Willy put the cage with Buzzsaw into the front seat of his SUV and then drove off to Leo Whitley’s place in McKeesport. At Whitley’s, Willy took Buzzsaw down into the basement where a large group of young white and black men were gathered around a circular chain link fence arena. From somewhere in the basement came the sound of a barking dog. Willy pushed his way through the crowd of men to reach the tall black man dressed in black shoes, blue jeans, and a black tank top. This was Leo Whitley. Leo smiled and laughed when he saw Willy.“Here he is, guys. I didn’t think he’d have the guts to show his face here. Unless he’s got the money he owes me. But here he is,” Leo cheerfully shouted out to the other men.There was a round of laughter from the men. Willy smiled. Jackasses. Five minutes from now you won’t be laughing, he predicted.“So where’s this killer dog you were telling me about?” Leo asked Willy. “You sounded pretty desperate to get this re-match.”“You and I have got some unfinished business,” Willy told Leo. “But you’re just small potatoes. I wanted to clear up my business with you so that I can get back on track with bigger and better things.”Leo stepped closer to Willy. Stopping a foot away from him and gazing into his eyes. “Is that so? And just what do you have to pull this off? Where’s this killer super dog you told me about?”“Right here,” Willy’s answer. he held up the cage to show off Buzzsaw. Upon seeing the small dog Leo burst out in a lout fit of laughter. As did the other men.“You’re got to be kidding me,” Leo cried out Willy. He then laughed again. “Instead of a dog you brought an hors D’oeuvre.”“My challenge still stands. Unless you’re backing out.” Willy told Leo.“Man, I thought you were gonna bring me a fight. A real fight,” said Leo. Grinning from ear to ear. “Take your dog home and use him for fish bait.”“What are you? Scared?” Willy taunted Leo.“Hell no. I’m not scared of you or your little elf dog.”“Then let’s go,” Willy demanded. “I didn’t come all the way here to listen to you talk and smell your bad breath. Like I said, I’m doubling my bet. Unless you’re scared.”The grin left Leo’s face. “There you go with the scared talk again. You’re already into me for $2,000. Are you sure you wanna loose $4,000?”“I don’t plan on losing,” was Willy’s answer.For a moment Leo stared back at Willy. Then he smiled and gave a nod. “Ok then. If you insist on making yourself look stupid then I can play along. Put your baby doll mutt into the arena. Give him his fifteen minutes of fame. He‘ll have less time than that to live once Odin gets ahold of him.”Leo turned and shoved his way through the mob of men to reach a metal cage. The source of the barking.Willy endured more laughter from the other men as he opened the cage and pulled out the growling Buzzsaw. He placed Buzzsaw down onto the center of the arena, then stepped out just as Leo returned holding a large black furred pitbull mix by it’s collar. Leo’s prized fighting dog, Odin. Odin turned it’s head to the left and right to snap and growl at any man within reach. He lead Odin inside the arena and then slammed the gate behind it.“Ok then. This fight is on!” Leo shouted to the crowd of men.While listening to the crowd shout out the name, Odin, to cheer the dog on Willy watched as the much larger Odin, growled and charged at Buzzsaw, while at the same time Buzzsaw charged at him. Buzzsaw clamped his jaws down onto Odin’s throat and held on fast, strangling the dog. The once cheering crowd of men grew silent. After a few minutes Odin collapsed to the floor and continued to struggle until it died. Buzzsaw released it’s hold on Odin’s throat. Then he bit Odin’s throat again. This time tearing out a large chunk of the dog’s flesh and devouring it.Leo was at a loss for words as he looked down at the dead body of his once champion fighting dog. Slain by a dog that was ten times smaller.Willy looked over at Leo and smiled. Where’s your big mouth now, Whitley? Then he laughed.“Looks like we’ve got ourselves a winner,” he boasted to the crowd.Leo opened the gate and entered the arena to examine his dog. Buzzsaw stopped tearing at Odin’s throat and backed away when Leo approached. Willy also entered the arena to retrieve Buzzsaw. Leo kneeled down at Odin. Then he stood back up and confronted Willy. There was an angry scowl on Leo’s face.“What the hell is this?” Leo growled at Willy.Willy was still smiling at his victory. “What do you mean?”“You know what the hell I mean!” Leo shouted. Taking a closer, menacing step towards Willy. “There’s no way in hell that your little elf of a dog can take out my big gun. Not unless you cheated somehow.”“Maybe the dog was drugged up or something,” a male voice behind Leo called out.“Yeah,” Leo nodded. “Maybe you set this up to make your little pea shooter dog drug Odin. That’s the only way that I can see you pulling this off.”Another male voice cried out from behind Leo. “Cheater.” In agreement, the other men repeated the accusation.Willy laughed and held his hands up in front of him. “Whoa. Hold on. I didn’t cheat any damn body. A drugged up dog? Sounds to me that you’ve got a problem being a sore damn loser.”Willy turned and bent down to pick up Buzzsaw. The dog let out a loud, high pitched snarl and then took two swift bites at Willy’s fingers. Willy felt a sharp pain shooting through his hand when he drew it back. Two of his fingers were bleeding. He was shocked as he looked down at Buzzsaw.“Why you little monster. You…you…why you.”Willy turned around to look at Leo. Leo took a gun from out of his pocket and aimed it at Willy. “Get the hell out of here,” Leo snarled at Willy.“Now hold on a second. I got a win here. You owe me money.”“This aint Monopoly,” said Leo as he held the gun up higher to Willy’s face. You cheated me. You think I’m just gonna let that go?”Leo was backed up by a round of jeers from the other men. He took a step closer to Willy. “Take your damn dog and get outta here. Or we‘ll carry your ass out.”Being out numbered and out gunned as well, Willy had no choice but to comply.It took Willy a great effort and another bite to his hand before he was able to get Buzzsaw back into his cage. During the drive back to Clairton Willy was seething with anger over the outcome of his plan to get back at Leo. It was a fair victory. But Leo refused to pay up. Willy had no options to retaliate.Willy parked in front of his house and opened the back of his SUV to get the cage containing Buzzsaw. When he lifted the cage he noticed that it was now even heavier than it was earlier.“What’s up with this?” Willy said to the dog. “Did you gain weight from my blood or something?”Willy took Buzzsaw into the house and put his cage down in the basement with the other dogs. He had no other alternative now but to go back upstairs and get something to eat while still brooding over the way that Leo had treated him.The hours of the day passed. Then night had fallen. At 11:30 Willy retired to bed. He was sleeping soundly until he was awakened by the sound of a loud commotion coming from his basement. Loud howling. A crash. Then more howls. Willy jumped up. Clad only in his grey boxer shorts he dashed out of the bedroom and entered the basement. Willy flicked the light switch at his right and descended the stairs. He looked to his left at the dog cages. Both cages were torn open. He jumped back, shocked at the sight of both of his pit bulls completely torn apart. Their dismembered body parts laying in a large pool of blood splattered across the floor. Standing in the middle of this carnage was a huge black dog, standing three feet high, with distinctive white, tiger-like stripes along it’s body. The dog was busy devouring chunks of the slain pit bulls. It’s long fangs creating loud cracks at it was chewing flesh and bone alike. Then this dog stopped eating when it saw Willy standing on the stairs.At the sight of this dog and it’s familiar appearance only one name came to Willy’s mind. “Buzzsaw?”Buzzsaw dropped the chunk of meat that it was chewing on and rushed over to the stairs. He looked up at Willy and opened his mouth wide to let out a loud, deep toned roar, while baring his long, sharp teeth that were stained red with blood.Willy bolted back up the stairs and slammed the door behind him. He slid the deadbolt lock into place and stepped back. He was shocked to see that the frail wooden barrier would not stop the Buzzsaw. The beast broke through the door with little effort. Willy screamed and made a dash for his kitchen. When he entered the kitchen Buzzsaw leaped on top of him and forced him down. Willy fell face first onto the hard, white floor tile with a painful thud. Letting out loud, deep toned growls Buzzsaw began biting at the back of Willy’s legs. Willy screamed and thrashed his legs about as he felt Buzzsaw’s long teeth sinking into his flesh. Willy kicked Buzzsaw back. Then he scrambled to his feet and went to the white metal cabinet next to his stove. He was in dire need of a weapon. Moving quickly he opened the top drawer and his right hand thrashed about inside until he located a long butcher’s knife.Willy held out the knife just as Buzzsaw lunged for him. The dog snapped it’s vicious jaws down on Willy’s hand while taking the knife into his mouth in the process. Willy screamed out in pain again. In one swift bite his third and fourth fingers were bitten off. Buzzsaw chewed three times, then spit out the knife at Willy’s feet. Willy grabbed his aching right hand to try and stop the bleeding. He backed up against the stove.“Stay back. Stay away from me!” Willy pleaded. He was terrified at what this growling, fanged monster would do next. Buzzsaw took a step forward. Willy shrieked. He turned and then leaped up onto the stove. “Stay away from me!” he shouted.Buzzsaw growled and charged forward. Willy crawled on top of the counter next to the stove. Then he climbed on top of the refridgerator. Buzzsaw bolted towards the refridgerator and took a leap to snap at Willy. Terrified for his life, his bleeding hand burning with pain from his lost fingers, Willy tried to plead with Buzzsaw. “Take it easy little guy. I mean big guy. Calm down, ok? Just take it easy. I’ll give you anything you want. I got cash. It’s in my wallet on my dresser. Take it. You want my car keys? Maybe you want a ride or something. I‘ll take you anywhere you want to go.”The only response from Buzzsaw was another angry growl. Then a loud roar. He jumped up to snap at Willy a second time.“Ok. Take it easy. Maybe you want something to eat.” Willy reached over to the wooden cabinet mounted on the wall next to the refridgerator. He opened it and grabbed the first item he saw. A box of Rice Crispies. “Here you go. Here you go. You’re gonna like this. This is good stuff.”Willy opened the box and poured the cereal down onto the floor. “You want some milk with that? I got some milk and sugar to go with that. No. Dammit. I’m outta sugar.”Willy dropped the cereal box onto the floor. He reached down to the refridgerator to open the top freezer compartment. “I got a lot of other stuff you can eat. Just not me. Ok? I got a chicken. A roast. Steaks. You like steaks, don’t you? I got New York strips. I’ll just pop everything in the microwave.”Buzzsaw reached up and grabbed the freezer compartment door in his mouth. He gave a tug and pulled the entire refridgerator, causing it to tilt and fall over. In the process sending the screaming Willy dropping to the floor with a loud crash. Buzzsaw was on top of Willy in an instant. Willy struggled and screamed as he felt the pain of the dog’s fangs tearing into his back and his arms. He felt the intense pain as a large chunk of his flesh was bitten away from his right forearm. His blood was flowing from his fresh wounds and staining the white kitchen floor. Willy tried to crawl away but he could only manage to squirm a few feet before Buzzsaw bit down onto his right foot and began to drag him out of the kitchen. Willy was still screaming for his life as Buzzsaw dragged him down into the basement to meet his final end.