A New Friend

On the left of and behind an open, abandoned section of stripmall, a wall bore a very familiar symbol. A horizontal line, tapered at its ends with two shorter vertical lines, was painted on in a glossy paint that did not quite match the standard white on it's face.

Camp here? Don't mind if I do.

Benno grinned. It had been awhile since he had seen symbols like that one and decided that it was time to get off the bus. He nodded to the driver as she watched while shaking her head as he stepped out into the cool night air. He folded the gown around him and proceeded across the parking lot to the open mall. As he approached, the smell of barbecue caught his nose, but he decided to hunt later. Benno had more than enough sense to get his bearings and find out how hostile the area was.

No punk kids. No cops on the street. Barbecue joint right by. I might be home!

He caught himself from becoming too anxious before he realized the building complex was a public storage facility. 

The safe camp must be in the back.

As he walked toward the opposite end of the building he heard a faint panting and a subtle scratching on a door just as he passed it.

He stopped cold. Something scratched again. Rats?
Then a pleading whine.

With a grave sense of realization he looked at the lot number, entertaining the sickly humorous side of him that had developed and peddled its wares in the back of his conscience. The numbers stared back at him with calculated precision: 4386.

The dog from his dream stared at Benno, a matted mess of blood and fur, swelling and crisp. He held his breath as he inched closer to the animal. A feint green light shone in the dogs eyes and it was panting. Benno spied where the injury had occured, where a broken beam had fallen, dragging nails down into and across the dogs gut. There wasn't much time. Benno picked up the beam, threw it away, and prepared to cradle the dog in his arms.

But he couldn't seem to lift up, the dog weighed too much. No, something is holding it down. He tried to drag the cardboard box the animal was on, but the material had become too wet, too flimsy, and it tore almost instantly.

The End

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