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Junkyard Dog by James Eveleth

I crept along the wall in the shadows until I came to where the wall met the building. They both were made out of the same dusty brown brick. I glanced up at the barbed wire glisting on top of the wall in the moonlight and then down at the small tunnel I had dug under the wall earlier in the evening.

I took my tools and slithered under the wall. As I came out on the other side, I stood up behind some stacks of wood pallets. I edged my way between two pallet stacks and scampered across the yard to the warehouse door. I reached inside my bag for the lock cutters and then I grabbed again. They weren't there! They must have dropped out. I glanced back across the yard, perfectly lit by the full moon, but they weren't there. They must have fallen out going through the hole I thought to myself.

I ran back across the yard to the wood pallets. Quickly squirting between the two stacks, I reached the wall. The cutters still weren't in sight. I bellied into the hole and out the other side. There, lying to my right, were the cutters. I grabbed them firmly in one hand and turned back into the hole again. I came out on the otherside and stood up once again. I ran through the passageway between the two stacks scolding myself about my stupidity for losing the cutters in the first place as I went. As I was coming to the edge of the passageway a misaligned pallet caught my leg and plunged me into the greasy dirt.

Once again berating myself for not paying attention, I started to get back up. I suddenly froze as I heard a low growl above me. Looking up, I saw the snarling teeth of a very large dog. The teeth were dirty with meat and the mouth was dripping with the anticipatory saliva of a new meal. I spied a limply hanging ear and large cut above his left eyebrow in that frozen moment as well. I slowly started to edge my way back between the pallets in hopes of reaching the tunnel before the dog, his coat matted with dried blood and scabs, decided to do more than just growl.

Copyright 1999-2000 James Eveleth. All rights reserved.