Chapter 10Mature

Crouching down, one paw against the dirt, he bent his legs and prepared to make the leap. There was a part of the fence he could grab to help himself over by just brute strength, but a leap would be better. Uncoiling his legs, he leapt towards the top like he was ollieing. Having only to redirect his legs like a balance beam gymnast, his paws cleared the top of the fence. On the way down however, he miscalculated the fall and ended up tumbling over, landing on his back with a painful thump against the ground.

The impact was softer than his bails against concrete but it still shocked his ribs and nerves. Getting back to his four limbs, Alex sniffed the yard to get a feel of the place. No standout scents, despite dozens more new ones he hadn’t noticed before, and the entire area was pretty much quiet. No one was walking around, and no cars were too close-by. It was just crickets chirping every so often.

Taking a few all fours steps in his new were form, seeing the world from the perspective of a canine was an eye opener. His eyes reflected light from the moon and a few light sources across the street, letting him see clearly. With his nose so close to the ground, he could track any scents by just walking near them. None of the close ones were too strong, encouraging him to stop and sniff at a few that caught his interest.

As he started to cross the driveway, keeping somewhat close to the house, he heard tires coming down the street. His ears perked a bit listening to the sounds, but behind it he was certain he could hear radio chatter. “No, no, no. Where can I…?”

Getting up close to the bushes near the front door Alex sunk down, collapsing his legs and watching from behind the shrubbery. Sure enough, it was another police cruiser coming down the street, with the officer now armed with a high intensity floodlight.

“Oh, crap. If he sees me…” Alex cowered behind the bush, shivering as he watched for the beam of light through the leaves. Why had even bothered to come out here? He knew the police were patrolling around here. “OK, calm down. Deep breaths.”

Seeing the beam come near the bush he was hiding next to made his heart rate rise sharply as his ears pulled back. When the cruiser started to turn onto the neighboring road, Alex dragged himself behind the other side of the bush. His body was held low to the porch and he sniffed at the air often to catch any extra scents that could help him.

The beam then aimed directly into the bushes, some of the leaves allowing the light to pass through and get into his eyes. Shielding them for a second, the vehicle pulled away with more chatter over the radio. Now shivering in fear, Alex started to rethink this idea. The police had to be looking for something, and if they noticed him in this form…

The End

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