Chris was cornered. He had run out of options and now the dog was closing in on him. Why had he run down this alley? He knew it was a dead end. But, what the hell? When a huge, nasty dog is hot on your heels and snarling, your brain doesn't really function normally.
The dog slowed down to a stalk and continued to close in on him. His back was against a brick wall. His bare feet were covered with cuts and scratches. His legs ached from sprinting. His head throbbed and his heart felt like it was going to explode out of his chest. Why the hell did he storm out of the house tonight?
The dog was close enough now that Chris could clearly see its eyes. Something was definitely wrong with its eyes. There was no color. He couldn't see any white. The flood lights on the side of the building over his head lit the alley almost as bright as day. This dog was absolutely wrong. The whole goddamn night had been wrong.
If only he hadn't gone drinking he wouldn't have had the fight with Stasia. If they hadn't fought, he wouldn't have left the house with no shoes. If he hadn't have stormed out, he wouldn't be pinned in an alley by an obviously rabid dog. Now that it was close enough, he could tell that it was a Doberman mix. Mixed with what, he had no **** clue, but one thing was certain. This dog was damned ugly.
When the dog was just a few feet away from him, Chris noticed that it had a really bad case of mange. Most of the fur on its back was gone and its body was riddled with what appeared to be tumors. As Chris looked closer, he thought he could see the lumps moving under the dog's skin. The thing that disturbed him the most though were the thing's goddamn eyes.
Chris closed his eyes and sank to his knees with his arms covering his head, suurendering himself to the imminent attack. There was nothing. When Chris looked up again, the dog was gone. Chris sat in place for several minutes collecting himself and regaining his composure. He tried to rationalize to himself.
"Maybe someone slipped something into my drink and I hallucinated that damned thing. Yeah, that's got to be it. A hallucination."
Chris picked himself up off the ground and stumbled back out to the sidewalk. He looked up and down the street. All was quiet. There was not a single person around.
"That's wierd," he mumbled to himself."The bars aren't closed yet. The streets shouldn't be this dead."
No cars were on the streets. There was no movement at all, not even a breeze. Chris started toward home when he felt eyes on his back. He turned quickly, hoping to catch a glimpse of the person following him, but there was nobody there. No movement still. Chris' heart began to race. Suddenly he wanted to be back in his living room, even if it meant arguing with Stasia.
His sister, Cara, had told him many times that if he continued in his lifestyle of drugging and boozing he would eventually lose his mind. He was starting to believe that he may have hit that point. He was starting to believe that he was having a psychotic break. He quickened his step to a near jog and kept his eyes straight ahead.
Chris rounded the corner onto his block and broke into a sprint. Suddenly, a dark shadow emerged from an adjacent yard. Chris stopped in his tracks as the dog stepped out into the wash of the streetlights. The vile beast charged immediately forcing Chris to change direction. He bolted between two houses figuring that he could easily manuever the backyards until he came to his own. He'd be safe once he made it home.
He cleared the remaining yards btween home and himself in record time. He threw open the rear door to his house and shot inside. All the lights were off except a single lamp in the living room. It hadn't been that long since he'd stormed out and all the lights were burning. Stasia never turned off all the lights if Chris wasn't home. Even if she was mad at him.
Chris quickly searched the house. Stasia was gone, just simply gone. He looked out the window to the driveway. Her little Honda sat there like a sentinel. He wondered where she could have gone. A sickening thought occurred to him. Maybe she had gone in search of him. Out there. Out where the dog was roaming about. He threw on a pair of boots and headed for the door.