Monday, June 20, 2011

Bad enough hiding under dumpsters to escape the feral dogs in town, but to fall IN had been even worse. Wet, sticky, and stinking of something extremely foul, Ron had managed to clamber his way out of the garbage and jump to the ground.

A sound startles him and he darts under the dumpster. He watches two strays pace down the alley, sniffing out hiding places. He presses back as far as possible, keeping himself out of their reach. Ron wraps his tail tight around himself, curling into a small ball. One of the dogs catches his scent and tries to follow the trail. Scrambling up over stacked crates and boxes, its greater weight brings the pile tumbling down. The loud crash startles the other dog and it leaps out of the way. A rat races out of the mess and the strays tear off after it.

Uncurling, Ron edges toward the now empty alleyway. The scrape of a shoe freezes him a whisker's length from freedom. His ears perk forward, swiveling to catch the slightest sound. Wrinkling his nose, Ron tries to pull the person's scent from the surrounding odors. He stifles a sneeze as the unmistakable aroma of sulfur and brimstone cuts through the stench of his fur.

Slowly easing back, Ron tucks his tail under his belly, hiding the brilliant white. He hunkers down, tucking his chin onto his black paws to hide any remaining white. His eyes and ears flick around the openings of his hiding place, freezing again when a dark snout forces its way under the dumpster. The nose wrinkles, suddenly snorting, spraying wetness. Biting back a yip, Ron buries his face under his black paws. The harsh smell disappears and Ron peeks from under a paw. The snout is gone as if it were never there.

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