The story so far:
"Good thing that **** mutt left me my trigger finger," he croaked under his breath.
The pain in his right hand was almost unbearable. The white t-shirt he had wrapped it in was steadily turning red. He looked for the most likely direction the dog would have taken. Left headed further into downtown, right headed back to the residential areas in which he and his friends lived, and directly across the street was a dark alley. Chris raised the shotgun to a ready position and crossed the street.
A cool, damp breeze flowed out of the dark corridor. Chris hesitated at the mouth of the alley, his fear clenching him a little tighter in its grasp. Out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of something on the ground. He stepped closer to the object and knelt to get a better look. There on the ground before him was his right ring finger with his class ring still on it. He picked the finger up and stuffed it into his pocket. The dog definitely came this way.
Chris slowly started into the alley. He psyched himself up as he moved, reassuring himself over and over that it was only a dog. Any living thing can be killed. The problem was, no matter how many times he told himself that, he didn't really believe that it was just a dog. A normal dog, rabid or not, would have stayed on the attack. It would not toy with its prey in such a manner. Animals go in for the kill and do not relent until they have subdued their prey. Period.
The alleyway seemed to get narrower the further it went. Chris started to feel claustrophobic. The alley was filled with several rotten odors that combined to form a putrid stench that was stifling. Chris covered his nose and mouth with his mangled hand and pushed on. Ahead of him he could see that the alley continued to get darker. He found himself wishing for the tiny little flashlight that he kept on his keychain.
Chris knew that encountering the dog in a place like this, dark and narrow, could end up being disasterous. It was going to be either him or the dog and he was counting on the shotgun to turn the odds in his favor. He tightened his grip on the buttstock and continued forward cautiously.
Chris had not gone far when he ran into a brick wall. He stumbled around in the pitch black feeling his way along the brick. His hand found a corner so he started feeling in the other direction until he hit another corner. Dead end. He turned around to retreat back the way he had come and ran into another wall. That wall could not have been there when he had come this way.
Chris' mind reeled with confusion. Maybe there was a doorway and he was perfectly centered when he had passed through it. That had to be it. He felt all along the wall expecting his hand to disappear into a void, but it never did. It was just a solid wall. He thought he must have gotten turned around in the dark after hitting the wall so he started feeling around again.
Chris slid down the wall and sat on the ground. Four walls. This was impossible. He obviously did not walk through a wall to get to where he was. There was no door. Just darkness. Darkness, the labored sound of his own breathing, and that stench. What the **** was that damned smell anyway? Where was it coming from?
The thoughts of insanity crept back into Chris' mind. He had to have totally lost it. All of this had to be in his mind because there was absolutely no way in hell that this was really happening. He had no idea how long he sat there in the dark trying to will himself to snap back to reality, but at some point he must have dozed off.
He opened his eyes to see faint sunlight breaking the horizon. He was no longer in an alley, but rather, he was lying in the middle of a parking lot. Chris stood up and brushed himself off. The shotgun was lying on the ground beside where he had lain just moments before.
Chris picked up the gun and started walking. He had to figure out where he was. To his amazement, the pain in his right hand was gone. He looked down at it and then stopped dead in his tracks, dropping the shotgun. The t-shirt that he had bandaged his hand with was gone, but his hand was fully intact, except for his class ring. He remembered finding the finger with the ring still on it and placing it into his pocket. He nervously slid his hand into his hip pocket and withdrew the ring. As well as the finger.
His eyes caught movement at the edge of the lot and he spun to look directly at the dog. The thing was definitely bigger, nearly the size of a Great Dane. The dog's head hung low to the ground and a sound emitted from it that resembled the low whine of a jet engine warming up. Chris dove to the ground where the shotgun lay, grabbed it, and came to a rest on his knees facing the dog again. The dog stood stark still, the shrill whine getting steadily louder.
He squeezed the trigger but the only sound the gun made was the firing pin snapping into place. He had forgotten to load it. He jammed his hand into his pocket and withdrew a few shells, loaded them into the gun, and raised it in the direction of the dog. It was gone once again. He caught movement out of the corner of his eye to the right and turned to see the dog disappear behind a parked car. Instantly, a snarl came from behind him. He turned slowly to see the beast on the hood of a small SUV directly behind him. He raised the shotgun methodically to his eye level and squeezed the trigger.