The slope

Alsatian and his young companion Buck had slept brilliantly on a full stomach. Neither had been plagued with bad dreams or suffered a fitful night.

They woke up bright and early, ready to start another days scavenge and to hopefully meet up with Pasha.

 “Where is our puppy friend?” Alsatian yawned as he scanned their makeshift den.

The den was a large cardboard box that was backed away in the far corners of Buck’s territory. It was draped with an old curtain and was filled with sun dried cushions for added comfort. It contained enough room to hold all three dogs comfortably.

“Dunno, she’s meant to be back by now” Buck yapped. When the streetwise, headstrong pup didn’t return from a hunting trip, it was usually serious.

Buck flashed back to one of the first times Pasha had disappeared.

Alsatian had sent her off looking for a fresh water supply as their current water had run dry. She scouted the area for ages but was fruitless in her search. She went off on her own for some time, looking past their boundaries.

She didn’t return the whole day. Alsatian was becoming very worried, his mind becoming more crazed and confused by the minute. He had nearly fainted in one of his flashbacks when Buck had suggested they look for her.

Hours were spent scanning their territory for the youngster, but they failed.

“What about the Big Dogs Zone” Buck had suggested thoughtlessly. The Big Dogs Zone (BDZ) was known by other dogs as the rougher part of town. It was where all the tougher gangs of dogs lived. It was dangerous for a dog such as Alsatian to go their, let alone a pup no older than three months old.

Luckily, Pasha was found right on the boundaries of the BDZ. She had slipped down a very muddy bank and injured her hind legs, so was unable to climb back up again. Alsatian managed to lower Buck down the muddy slope with a piece of rope. Buck then tied his rope around her so she could be pulled up. He held onto the rope to be pulled up as well.

Buck was dragged back to reality by Alsatian pacing back and forth, his eyes distant, as if threatening to black out.

“The boundaries!” Buck shouted impatiently, before another of Alsatians horrid flashback fits could take him again.

“Of course” Alsatian bellowed, startling Buck “She ended up on the boundaries so many times. She could have fallen again”.

“Typical Pasha” Buck rolled his eyes at the thought of another rescue mission.

“We had better go. Bring some rope” Alsatian ordered, his mind now set on the goal of rescuing his little companion.

Buck scooped up the ageing rope in his small jaws and dragged it out of the den sight. He followed Alsatians brisk, impatient pace all the way to the slope down which Pasha usually found herself the damsel in distress.

Due to Alsatians quickened pace, the pair soon made it to the treacherously slippery slope.

The slope was positioned under a one ton water tank. Dirty water that the two legs didn’t use was sometimes thrown into the tank. The tank would overflow and the brown water would spill into the slope, making the slope slippery and dangerous most of the time. Also there was a long tunnel under the stray railway track.

As if this wasn’t horribly enough, but the slope was extremely steep, almost vertical, and once a dog had slid down there, there was an area of darkness behind them.

Pasha had boasted that she had explored the whole shadowy depths, finding a short cut to the BDZ. Buck did not believe this at all. Clever pup. Most of what Pasha said was made up. She was going through a stage in her life when her imagination ran wild. Buck was sort of experiencing the same thing.

“Pasha!” Alsatian called his voice still hoarse from sleep.

“Pasha!” yapped Buck. His high pitched voice echoed through the shadowy area beyond the slope, but no answer.

“You need to go down the slope because she might have been knocked out by the fall” Alsatian insisted urgently. He pulled Buck roughly towards him and started tying the best knot he could around Buck’s stomach.   

Of course a dog trying to tie a knot could end in disaster. A dog doesn’t have a thumb or flexible fingers; therefore it can’t tie a rope properly.

Once the rope was tied tightly around Buck’s flank, the task of lowering Buck down the slope began.

The pup edged his way towards the drop and peered over to inspect the job ahead.

The slope looked much more slippery today; the tank was spilling out lots of odd coloured liquids, and these were collecting at the bottom of the slope. The darkness beyond the fall seemed much darker and threatening than usual. As if this was bad enough, there was no sign of their wiry terrier friend.

“Ready?” Alsatian asked.

“Ready” Buck answered determination thick in his voice.

“Remember the drill. A tug of the rope and I’ll lift you up” Alsatian explained. He took the splintering rope in his large jaws and carefully nudged Buck over the edge. The pup slid downward, getting covered in mud.

A splash erupted from the bottom and Alsatian leant over to see the Beagle pup splashing ad spluttering in a pool of stagnant water.

The bedraggled pup climbed out of the puddle in a hurry, eager to find Pasha and get out of the stinking pit.

He scented the air, but found no smell except his own fear scent and when he scanned the shadowy area around him, he found nothing but darkness.

He padded silently into the cold grasp of the blackness and found the ground quite soft underfoot.

As he disappeared into the cold folds behind the slope, Bucks sensitive ears picked up a scraping noise at the further reaches of the tunnel. It sounded like sharp claws being dragged alone along a hard surface.

Buck instinctively felt the urge to call out, but stayed silent for fear of the thing at the end of the tunnel lashing out.   

He crept cautiously closer, the ground beneath his mud coated paws becoming more solid as he went on. Buck’s whole body was trembling wit nervousness, as if anticipating that something horrible was about to happen. The beagle glimpsed a speck of light near the end of the tunnel, but something strange and misshapen blocked the speck.

Once again he resisted the urge to shout out and hoped that Alsatian would stay quiet too. The young pup fell silently to the ground, his furry belly pressed firmly against the soggy mud, his muzzle fur just touching the oozing ground.

He heard sniffing; at first an uninterested sniff, which soon turned to a loud snorting. The animal must have picked up his scent.

Buck suddenly remembered what Alsatian had instructed him to do in any catastrophic situations; “a tug of the rope”. The youngster took the rope in his paws and tugged as hard as his young muscles would allow. Alsatian must have felt the tug as the rope began dragging backwards, pulling Buck with it.

Unfortunately, being dragged backwards through thick, muddy slop is not a quiet business and Buck soon alerted the monster of his presence.

The beast grunted as it turned to face the struggling pup. Its eyes were the most distinguishing feature of all that was visible of the creature. They were a glowing amber colour, with a small spark of intelligence in them, but this was dominated by animal savagery and pure bloodlust. For Buck, who had only seen the eyes of his friends and occasional the eyes of humans, it was like staring into the deepest pits of hell.

“Hurry!” Buck bellowed suddenly, scaring the animal that was stalking him. His voice echoed off the walls, sending his terrified yap up the tunnel and, hopefully, to Alsatians ears.

The rope became tighter around Buck’s stomach as he was pulled along further. The beast noticed the change in speed and advanced towards the pup, tail swishing menacingly.

The monster suddenly broke into a run, shrinking the distance between itself and its prey. Buck was suddenly yanked into daylight forcibly.

With great force, Alsatian managed to pull the frightened and dirty pup up the slope and too his side.

The monster did not follow its quarry out into the brightness, but instead slunk back inside its cave.

“What was it!?” Alsatian shouted, obviously worried.

“A monster…massive…hell eyes…no Pasha” Buck blurted.

“Calm down. It was probably a territorial gang dog” Alsatian explained.

“No. It was a huge, disfigured creature, it looked like a Werewolf” Buck disagreed angrily.

For a moment, just a moment, something that looked a lot like pain and grief flashed in Alsatian’s eyes, but as Buck looked again, the flash was gone.

 

 

 

Alsatian and his young companion Buck had slept brilliantly on a full stomach. Neither had been plagued with bad dreams or suffered a fitful night.

They woke up bright and early, ready to start another days scavenge and to hopefully meet up with Pasha.

 “Where is our puppy friend?” Alsatian yawned as he scanned their makeshift den.

The den was a large cardboard box that was backed away in the far corners of Buck’s territory. It was draped with an old curtain and was filled with sun dried cushions for added comfort. It contained enough room to hold all three dogs comfortably.

“Dunno, she’s meant to be back by now” Buck yapped. When the streetwise, headstrong pup didn’t return from a hunting trip, it was usually serious.

Buck flashed back to one of the first times Pasha had disappeared.

Alsatian had sent her off looking for a fresh water supply as their current water had run dry. She scouted the area for ages but was fruitless in her search. She went off on her own for some time, looking past their boundaries.

She didn’t return the whole day. Alsatian was becoming very worried, his mind becoming more crazed and confused by the minute. He had nearly fainted in one of his flashbacks when Buck had suggested they look for her.

Hours were spent scanning their territory for the youngster, but they failed.

“What about the Big Dogs Zone” Buck had suggested thoughtlessly. The Big Dogs Zone (BDZ) was known by other dogs as the rougher part of town. It was where all the tougher gangs of dogs lived. It was dangerous for a dog such as Alsatian to go their, let alone a pup no older than three months old.

Luckily, Pasha was found right on the boundaries of the BDZ. She had slipped down a very muddy bank and injured her hind legs, so was unable to climb back up again. Alsatian managed to lower Buck down the muddy slope with a piece of rope. Buck then tied his rope around her so she could be pulled up. He held onto the rope to be pulled up as well.

Buck was dragged back to reality by Alsatian pacing back and forth, his eyes distant, as if threatening to black out.

“The boundaries!” Buck shouted impatiently, before another of Alsatians horrid flashback fits could take him again.

“Of course” Alsatian bellowed, startling Buck “She ended up on the boundaries so many times. She could have fallen again”.

“Typical Pasha” Buck rolled his eyes at the thought of another rescue mission.

“We had better go. Bring some rope” Alsatian ordered, his mind now set on the goal of rescuing his little companion.

Buck scooped up the ageing rope in his small jaws and dragged it out of the den sight. He followed Alsatians brisk, impatient pace all the way to the slope down which Pasha usually found herself the damsel in distress.

Due to Alsatians quickened pace, the pair soon made it to the treacherously slippery slope.

The slope was positioned under a one ton water tank. Dirty water that the two legs didn’t use was sometimes thrown into the tank. The tank would overflow and the brown water would spill into the slope, making the slope slippery and dangerous most of the time. Also there was a long tunnel under the stray railway track.

As if this wasn’t horribly enough, but the slope was extremely steep, almost vertical, and once a dog had slid down there, there was an area of darkness behind them.

Pasha had boasted that she had explored the whole shadowy depths, finding a short cut to the BDZ. Buck did not believe this at all. Clever pup. Most of what Pasha said was made up. She was going through a stage in her life when her imagination ran wild. Buck was sort of experiencing the same thing.

“Pasha!” Alsatian called his voice still hoarse from sleep.

“Pasha!” yapped Buck. His high pitched voice echoed through the shadowy area beyond the slope, but no answer.

“You need to go down the slope because she might have been knocked out by the fall” Alsatian insisted urgently. He pulled Buck roughly towards him and started tying the best knot he could around Buck’s stomach.   

Of course a dog trying to tie a knot could end in disaster. A dog doesn’t have a thumb or flexible fingers; therefore it can’t tie a rope properly.

Once the rope was tied tightly around Buck’s flank, the task of lowering Buck down the slope began.

The pup edged his way towards the drop and peered over to inspect the job ahead.

The slope looked much more slippery today; the tank was spilling out lots of odd coloured liquids, and these were collecting at the bottom of the slope. The darkness beyond the fall seemed much darker and threatening than usual. As if this was bad enough, there was no sign of their wiry terrier friend.

“Ready?” Alsatian asked.

“Ready” Buck answered determination thick in his voice.

“Remember the drill. A tug of the rope and I’ll lift you up” Alsatian explained. He took the splintering rope in his large jaws and carefully nudged Buck over the edge. The pup slid downward, getting covered in mud.

A splash erupted from the bottom and Alsatian leant over to see the Beagle pup splashing ad spluttering in a pool of stagnant water.

The bedraggled pup climbed out of the puddle in a hurry, eager to find Pasha and get out of the stinking pit.

He scented the air, but found no smell except his own fear scent and when he scanned the shadowy area around him, he found nothing but darkness.

He padded silently into the cold grasp of the blackness and found the ground quite soft underfoot.

As he disappeared into the cold folds behind the slope, Bucks sensitive ears picked up a scraping noise at the further reaches of the tunnel. It sounded like sharp claws being dragged alone along a hard surface.

Buck instinctively felt the urge to call out, but stayed silent for fear of the thing at the end of the tunnel lashing out.   

He crept cautiously closer, the ground beneath his mud coated paws becoming more solid as he went on. Buck’s whole body was trembling wit nervousness, as if anticipating that something horrible was about to happen. The beagle glimpsed a speck of light near the end of the tunnel, but something strange and misshapen blocked the speck.

Once again he resisted the urge to shout out and hoped that Alsatian would stay quiet too. The young pup fell silently to the ground, his furry belly pressed firmly against the soggy mud, his muzzle fur just touching the oozing ground.

He heard sniffing; at first an uninterested sniff, which soon turned to a loud snorting. The animal must have picked up his scent.

Buck suddenly remembered what Alsatian had instructed him to do in any catastrophic situations; “a tug of the rope”. The youngster took the rope in his paws and tugged as hard as his young muscles would allow. Alsatian must have felt the tug as the rope began dragging backwards, pulling Buck with it.

Unfortunately, being dragged backwards through thick, muddy slop is not a quiet business and Buck soon alerted the monster of his presence.

The beast grunted as it turned to face the struggling pup. Its eyes were the most distinguishing feature of all that was visible of the creature. They were a glowing amber colour, with a small spark of intelligence in them, but this was dominated by animal savagery and pure bloodlust. For Buck, who had only seen the eyes of his friends and occasional the eyes of humans, it was like staring into the deepest pits of hell.

“Hurry!” Buck bellowed suddenly, scaring the animal that was stalking him. His voice echoed off the walls, sending his terrified yap up the tunnel and, hopefully, to Alsatians ears.

The rope became tighter around Buck’s stomach as he was pulled along further. The beast noticed the change in speed and advanced towards the pup, tail swishing menacingly.

The monster suddenly broke into a run, shrinking the distance between itself and its prey. Buck was suddenly yanked into daylight forcibly.

With great force, Alsatian managed to pull the frightened and dirty pup up the slope and too his side.

The monster did not follow its quarry out into the brightness, but instead slunk back inside its cave.

“What was it!?” Alsatian shouted, obviously worried.

“A monster…massive…hell eyes…no Pasha” Buck blurted.

“Calm down. It was probably a territorial gang dog” Alsatian explained.

“No. It was a huge, disfigured creature, it looked like a Werewolf” Buck disagreed angrily.

For a moment, just a moment, something that looked a lot like pain and grief flashed in Alsatian’s eyes, but as Buck looked again, the flash was gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The End

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