Chapter 15Mature

While he still was not used to four legged locomotion, Alex could begin to feel the rhythm of those movements as he went on. As one of his rear legs went forward, the same front one moved forward and soon he was trotting along at a good pace. The feeling was odd, even though he had tried it before when playing with Bailey.

Although he was on all fours as he made his way across the yard, Alex couldn’t shake the feeling that the eyes of the world were on him at that moment. Watching and waiting for him to screw this up. There was no one really close-by from the scents in the air, but he was fully exposed. With barely anywhere to hide.

Going under the bay window and coming to the edge of the house, Alex snapped his head to his right. He saw four people down the street, one coming in his direction. Even though they were at least three house lengths away, his pulse jumped as he stepped back behind the bushes. The guy didn’t seem too interested in looking around.

Alex shook his head once. “It’s just one person. Who cares if he sees me for a bit?” Looking around the bushes again, although he didn’t hear any sounds of Bailey being let out or his mothers’ voice, staying here for too long would mean he would be discovered anyway.

Alex steeled himself to start a run. For a second, his limbs wouldn’t respond but then came his first step forward. And the next. He picked up speed quickly and trotted down the driveway, keeping his eyes ahead after a brief glance at the person he saw. His face didn’t show any strange emotions, even after he saw him lock eyes with him, which was a relief.

 Once in the grassy area just before the wooded one, Alex kept up his pace. Taking a final look back, to his horror, the person he saw had stopped moving and was staring in his direction. Cursing himself for the third time in less than two hours, he tried to downplay what he had seen. A few minutes of hiding would fix things. He made his way into the wooded area as deep as he could. Stopping only when he was certain he was well hidden away.

Turning around, he looked out to where the person was standing. His head was still looking in his direction and his arms were outside of his jacket pockets, his body seeming to lean forward a bit. Eventually he decided to move on, much to Alex’s relief.

However, looking out towards his house, he couldn’t bring himself to keep going. Going prone in the grass and dirt, his nose picking up a number of scents from the ground that he was disturbing, he decided to stay where he was. At least until the sun went down.

Up until the time that his father returned home, he stayed mostly still with his body lying on its side, trying to relax a bit. With all his fur, it still felt like he was wearing some kind of clothing and the dirt didn’t bug him too much. As a west-bound breeze blew in, he picked up some subtle scents of gunpowder and starch on his father’s uniform, making him think he’d fired his gun at some point earlier in the day. Hopefully at a firing range.

The End

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