Prologue

It’s so dark out here that I can’t see my hand in front of my face much less the trees. I’m running faster than I ever have before in my whole life.  I can’t shake the feeling he’s right behind me, but I’m way ahead. I have the advantage. I’m young and he’s old and fat, not that there is anything wrong with being fat. Yet how come I can still hear his voice screaming, as if he is right next to me? I keep running faster, and faster. The trees are becoming blurry, similar to when you are in a car driving really fast and you look out the side windows even though they say not to do that, or you will get car sick, (which I usually do). I keep telling myself if I do not stop running I am going to hit one of those trees, but I cannot slow down. That is the problem I have with running, I cannot seem to stop when I really get started. I just keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny crossed over with the Ten Million Dollar Man when he starts running. At some point I run through a spider web and pray it was not a black widow. Great, this is all I need imagining the spider scurrying all over my body while tree branches scratch at my face. 

By now you are probably wondering who am I, and why I am running? So I will fill you in. My name is Trooper. I am a Chinese American orphan boy. I have black hair that is bowl cut but sticks up near my head. I am no slave to fashion. I just wear regular shirts and jeans. My most interesting feature are my eyes, one is blue and the other is green, but you can only notice in the right light. I love dogs and running, which is good because as you have already heard, I am being chased through the woods. Now that I have got your attention let me start at the beginning. As I said earlier I’m an orphan. I’ve been at the orphanage since I was three. I’ve had a few foster families but I never get to stay long because all the foster families I’ve meet so far are jerks. My real friends have always been the dogs. Dogs have always loved me and tonight I was paying their love back. You see I love dogs, but the people I work for at the SPCA do not. Well, at least I used to work there. I‘m sure I won’t have my job back when they catch me. You see I kind of, sort of accidentally on purpose, let all the dogs whom were sentenced to be put to sleep tomorrow go. It didn’t seem that hard. I thought it was simply a matter of opening the cages. Then I thought I’d let them loose near the retirement home that’s close by, where I was hoping a lonely old lady would adopt at least one or two. That’s wishful thinking.

  I know that the world is not perfect and things don’t end happily ever after like a Hallmark card or Disney movie, but it was worth a try. After all they say owning a pet such as a dog is a better way to lower your blood pressure and control stress. I’m not so sure that’s entirely true for some dogs tear things up like your slippers and your garden and that might add to stress. Still I figured most people would be better off if they had a dog as a pet.

 When I got there I forget just how many dogs we had. There were just too many dogs to hold on to, and they made as if it was a prison break.  Maybe I shouldn’t have let them all out at once. I should have let them out one at a time, but they all just looked so sad and I can’t stand to hear a dog whimper. For me it’s the saddest sound in the world, even sadder than someone saying school starts tomorrow on a Sunday. After I had let them all out they woke the night security guard and when he went to see what was going on, he opened the door and the dogs smelled fresh air and trampled him. It was like watching a scene straight from that music video (Who Let the Dogs Out). It would have been funny if it were not happing to me.

 When the security guard got up, he.... was.... mad, but he could not take it out on the dogs because they were all gone, but I was still around. This brings us back to me being chased through the woods. Now guess who’s chasing me? 

I finally start to slow down when I get tired because that’s the only way I can stop at this point. It feels like I just ran the Kentucky Derby. It’s even darker now. I must be very deep in the woods. I feel so tired now I can barely keep my eyes open. I suddenly collapse as if a safe was just dropped on my back like in an old cartoon. I can’t move, not fast anyway. I'm crawling now with my arms. I’m dragging my feet like they are lead. All I want to do now is go to sleep so badly more than anything in the world right now. But I’m still being chased! But how is that possible, if he’s so fat and slow? He got worn out getting out of his chair to pick up his pen once. How could he keep up with me? Then it hits me ...oh he’s in his car, of course.

 I was so focused on running I didn’t even hear the car motor. All I heard was his screaming and cursing at me. I know that sounds hard to believe, but it happens. I’m so tired now that I don’t care. I know he’s going to yell at me, but I just want to get it over with. What was I thinking, running off like that? All I did was make things worse. I should have just accepted my punishment. What did I ever think running would get me any way? I would have to come back sooner or later. I’ve got nowhere else to go. I closed my eyes and lay my head down on the wet leaves. I could hear him stepping out of his jeep. It had to be one of those off road jeeps that can go down dirt roads. Why couldn’t it have been a minivan or whatever car can’t go off road?  I can hear him come closer so I open one eye, but he doesn’t look mad now. Hey, what’s that in his hand? A stick, I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open more than before. No wait. It’s not a stick it’s.... A Gun! A Big Gun! Is he going to threaten to shoot me, am I in that much trouble? Is he taking me to jail and the gun so I won’t run away again? He aims the gun right at my head. 

“Hey” I say trying to sit up.

“I’ll go quietly” but my throat is so dry from running it comes out in a grunt coughing voices. He aims the gun, 

 

getting ready to shoot. I’m too tired to run to save my life (literally). I close my eyes and pray he’ll miss. It’s so 

 

dark out maybe he won’t be able to see. Then I could just pretend to be dead. But what if he tries to take my pulse? 

 

Then I am screwed! Naw, he’s not smart enough to do that; he’ll just fire one shot near me then go off and brag 

 

about it to everyone. 

 

Suddenly I hear growling, and lots of it. I open my eyes and the guard looks scared now; he’s looking to the right of the woods behind me.  Is there something there. I’m to tried and scared to look.  He aims the gun in that direction, but something flashes by and knocks the gun out of his hand. He runs and he doesn’t even try to pick  up his gun or try and save me, but scenes he tried to shoot me I’m not that surprised. Now theses things are all around me, but what are they? As they get closer I see they’re some sort of animals. There on all fours, there furry and there eyes are glowing. Oh God, don’t be something carnivores, like badgers, porcupines, or beavers. When they get closer I see they are wolves, and they’re coming towards me... 

“Oh great instead of getting shot in the head I ‘m going to get mauled by wolves. That’s fair, I guess, after what I did. I set dogs free then get killed by their cousins talk about irony. I sigh and close my eyes I’m ... so tired, maybe if I fall asleep I won’t feel anything.

“Oh great instead of getting shot in the head I am going to get mauled by wolves. That’s fair, I guess, after what I did. I set dogs free then get killed by their cousins. Talk about irony. I sigh and close my eyes I’m ... so tired, maybe if I fall asleep I won’t feel anything.

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    January 31, 2017