Visiting the Past
Silence reigned inside the Doberman’s room, save for the slight waves of sobs and sniffles. Professor Hubert had set Blitz’s journal to the side as the mourning cloud seemed to cover the Rovers and their master completely. The shock that Blitz had carried this crippling pain and heartache with him for so many years without anyone to confide in broke their spirit in half.
“Wha’ ‘ave I done…?” Colleen choked through her tears.
“I’d give anythin’ to tell ‘im I’m sorry…” Colleen said in her mind.
“It is being like we broke comrade into many pieces…” Exile replied drying his eyes with yet another tissue.
“Why did he never say anything…?” Hunter pondered aloud.
Hunter felt like his heart could explode. He was the leader… the one every one could go to for anything…
“There is no telling really…everyone deals with trauma differently…” Professor Hubert answered.
“But to keep all this in…?” Master said in astonishment.
Colleen wrapped her arms tighter around Hunter’s shoulders as she fought to keep her sobs silent. Although she had lost her mother to disease on the streets of London, there was no way Blitz deserved the treatment she dealt him.
Master Shepherd managed to regain his composure as he dabbed his eyes with his blue handkerchief. He looked where Professor Hubert had set the journal and turned to the next passage. He read it silently; unsure of how much more the others were ready to hear:
I roamed the streets for several days outside of town. I was starving, but too upset to think about food. I wandered down a small alley and heard a glorious sound coming from a small building near an apple orchard. It sounded like angels or what Mama had described angels to be like. I followed it till I saw a group of human women all dressed the same singing as they gathered vegetables from a small garden…
“A small convent maybe…?” Master whispered to himself.
One of them saw me and reached out to touch me. I panicked. I backed away till I fell into a fountain filled with ice cold water. I can’t swim. I thrashed around seeing streaks of blood washing out still left from my family. The lady that had seen me scooped me up and wrapped me in a warm blanket. I struggled as hard as I could, but I was too weak…
“No wonder he hated water training so much…” Master realized.
She held me close and gently rubbed my head. I froze. There was no pain. She wasn’t trying to hurt me… she was helping me. She took me to where the rest of the group was and they showered me with more warm blankets and gentle head scratches. They gave me a hot bath, ridding me of all the filth and muck that had gathered on me. The feeling of being clean was so overwhelming. For a moment, I forgot about my pain. I felt so peaceful. My appetite returned and I ate everything they gave me until I couldn’t move…
“Well, that explains why he stayed so meticulously clean…” Master understood.
The lady who had first seen me I came to know as Maria Genevieve. She had such kind eyes. She looked a little older than the rest but she cared for as if I had been her own child. I thought I had finally I found a home to mend my broken heart…
“So that’s why…” Master muttered loud enough for the others to hear.
“Why what…?” Colleen asked hearing Master’s comment.
The others gathered closer to him like children wanting to hear more of a bedtime story.
“Rovers, I think I might have an idea where Blitz might have gone…” Master stated.
“Where, Master…?” Colleen asked.
“Looking at the next passage, he describes a small convent that took him in after his family was gone,” Master said.
“You think that’s where he went…?” Hunter wondered.
“It is quite possible. According to him, he felt such peace there and in the note he left… that’s what he said he didn’t have here,” Master responded.
“Master, did you check the GPS coordinates on the transport tube?” Professor Hubert asked.
“No, I didn’t. That might give us our answer. Rovers, follow me,” Master instructed, carrying the journal with him.
Meanwhile, Blitz had abandoned the transport tube just outside the borders of the Chancellor’s property in the thicket of a cluster of boysenberry bushes the Madame Chancellor had planted. That was where he would go back and forth to Headquarters when he lived there.
The early morning hours were just beginning as the sun’s rays glistened over the dew covered lawn. Blitz silently looked over the property of his former home for a few moments. The beauty of the estate left him longing to still call this place home. He took in a deep breath of air and caught the intoxicating scent of boysenberry jam and fresh baked sourdough bread. Ever year around this time that smell permeated the house as the head cook prepared for the holidays. It made his heart long to be inside… warm by the fire in his former master’s den… enjoying his company before he went off to business for the day…
“If only he knew vhat he did to me…? Mornings like dhis vere the best…” Blitz thought.
Blitz set his duffel on the ground and pulled out his warm coat and a long black scarf. He knew enough not to walk around in the open as a Rover. At least the weather was cold enough to need the items so he wouldn’t seem conspicuous. He wrapped the scarf around his face and muzzle to conceal his canine identity.
Suddenly, Blitz had a realization as he took in his surroundings.
“Vhy am I back here? I vant to get avay from my pain not dive back into it…?” Blitz questioned.
“The key to moving on is letting go…” a cryptic voice echoed in his ears.
It sounded like his voice, but Blitz knew it didn’t originate in his line of thinking.
Blitz pinched the bridge of his nose between his eyes as a headache began forming over the seemingly never-ending battle he had going on inside his mind.
As the sky began to be painted in pale pinks and dim oranges, Blitz slipped through the bars of the iron fence that lead to a dusty gravel pathway. Apple trees and evergreens lined the road almost seeming to be perfectly placed. He took a deep breath as he headed towards the slums he once knew.
Unbeknownst to Blitz, someone was watching him. As Blitz’s silhouette disappeared from sight, the figure leaned back against the trunk of one of the trees. It was the Madame Chancellor, Heidi.
“Er kam zurück ... wir können ihn wieder nach Hause haben ...” (He came back… we can have him home again…) Heidi said hopefully.
Inside the ornate fortress of a home, the Chancellor of Germany sat in his cozy chair next to the fireplace in his private upstairs den. He was flipping through the morning paper until an outrageous headline caught his attention.
(CHANCELLOR DEEMED INCOMPETENT IN HAVOC INCIDENT)
“VHAT…? HOW COULD DHEY TINK I VAS INCOMPETENT WHEN DHAT HAPPENED?! Can you believe such an accusation, Blitz…?” the Chancellor ranted as he vented.
Expecting a reply, he turned the paper down to look at an empty spot on the floor. Suddenly, he fell silent. He stared at the empty black satin pillow that had the name ‘BLITZ’ embroidered in gold thread lying in front of the fireplace with the red and white swirled chew toy still delicately placed in the center.
The Chancellor felt his heart ache with sadness and guilt, fully expecting his closest confidant to be warming himself next to the fire as he had always done. Although it had been so long since Blitz left, the Chancellor had become accustomed to his presence at this time in the morning.
Even though he had been quite furious, he couldn’t bear to erase the presence of the best friend he ever had. Why did he become so angry at him? It was like the very mention of that horrible day brought the Doberman’s memory back into his mind.
“Blitz… vhy did I say dhat? Vhy did I do dhose tings?” The Chancellor thought.
Suddenly, he heard the door of the den click as small footsteps padded across the hardwood flooring. Turning to see who it was; he found the form of his five-year-old daughter, Eva. She was still in her purple flannel nightdress and fuzzy pink slippers dragging her stuffed white bunny by the ear.
“Eva, Was machst du so früh? “ (Eva, what are you doing up so early?) The Chancellor asked.
“Ich kann nicht schlafen gehen, Papa“ (I can’t go to sleep, Daddy) Eva replied, rubbing her eyes.
“Warum ist das so, mein süßes Kind?“ (Why is that, my sweet child?) The Chancellor asked as he picked her up to sit in his lap.
Eva sniffled as a few tears rolled down her cheeks. The Chancellor pulled out his handkerchief and dried her face.
"Du wirst nicht wütend werden ...?" (You won’t get mad?) Eva tentatively asked.
"Warum sollte ich wütend, Eva?" (Why would I get mad, Eva?) The Chancellor asked, wondering what she was thinking about.
Eva sniffled a few more times as her father wrapped a warm blanket around her small form.
“Ich vermisse Blitz. Warum hast du ihn weg, Papa?“ (I miss Blitz. Why did you make him go away, Daddy?) Eva asked in a cracking voice, hoping not to anger her father.
The Chancellor lost his breath. Through the tear-filled eyes of his little girl, he knew that he missed Blitz just as much as Eva did.
“Eva, war ich aufgeregt, dass Tag. Ich sollte nicht gewesen sein, aber das, was getan wurde, ist nun abgeschlossen. Verzeihen Sie mir, mein liebes Kind,“ (Eva, I was upset that day. I should not have been, but what has been done is done now. Forgive me, my precious child) The Chancellor said as he held her close to his heart.
“Hielt er immer die Monster weg. Können Sie ihn zurückbringen, Papa?” (He always kept the monsters away. Can you bring him back, Daddy?) Eva asked with hope in her eyes.
“*sigh* Eva, Ich weiß nicht. Ich weiß nicht, ob Blitz wird wieder kommen wollen,“ (*sigh* Eva, I don’t know. I don’t know if Blitz will want to come back.) The Chancellor answered.
“Warum, Papa…?” (Why, Daddy…?) Eva sniffled as she curled into her father’s chest.
“Ich verletzte Blitz Gefühle, Eva. Er ist wahrscheinlich immer noch sehr wütend,” (I hurt Blitz’s feelings, Eva. He is probably still very mad.) The Chancellor tried to explain as best as her could to his precious child.
“Kannst du nicht einfach sagen Sie ihm, es dir leid tut ...? Dann würde er nicht sauer sein, und er würde nach Hause kommen ...” (Can’t you just tell him you’re sorry…? Then he wouldn’t be mad and he would come home…) Eva reasoned.
“Ich fürchte, es ist nicht so einfach, mein Liebling. Ich wünschte, es wäre,” (I’m afraid it is not that easy, my darling. I wish it was.) The Chancellor said defeated.
Eva said nothing else. She buried her face into her stuffed bunny as she snuggled against her father’s embrace. The Chancellor could hear her sniffling. It broke his heart to see her so sad.
“I wish I could take it all back…” The Chancellor mourned inside his mind.
As he hugged Eva close, the Chancellor heard the soft clicking of a woman’s high heels along the floor behind him. He turned around to see his beautiful wife coming to be with him before the day began. He noticed she was wearing an unusually happy smile.
“Heidi, du siehst heute außerordentlich glücklich. Gibt es einen speziellen Grund, warum?” (Heidi, you look exceptionally happy today. Is there any special reason why?) The Chancellor asked curiously.
“Ja, Johann, gibt es etwas, das Sie wissen sollten,” (Yes, Johann, there is something you should know) Heidi said as she fished something out of her sleeve.
“Was ist das, Liebste?” (What is that, dearest?) Johann asked as he felt Eva falling asleep.
“Heute morgen habe ich gesehen, wie jemand hinter meinem Boysenbeeren,” (I saw someone behind my boysenberries this morning) Heidi said.
“Wer ...? War es ein Eindringling? Ich lasse Sicherheit wissen ...” (Who…? Was it a trespasser? I’ll let security know…) Johann began.
“Nein, Johann, war es nicht ein Eindringling. Es war ein Freund,” (No, Johann, it wasn’t an intruder. It was a friend) Heidi said as she placed something into her husband’s hand.
The Chancellor looked at the item that had been delicately placed in his palm and gasped. It was the silk collar he had torn from Blitz’s neck the day he found out he was a Rover.
“Heidi… du… du Blitz gesehen hat?” (Heidi… you… you saw Blitz…?) Johann asked.
“JA, er sieht aus wie, wie Sie beschrieben, wenn Sie mir von ihm an diesem Tag erzählt. Er wurde aus der Stadt geleitet,“ (Yes, he looks like how you described when you told me about him that day. He was headed out of town.) Heidi explained.
“Wir müssen ihn finden!” (We must go find him!) Johann exclaimed making Eva stir a bit.
“Bitte warten, Liebe ... er sieht sehr beunruhigt. Er muss wieder hier für einen Grund geben,“ (Wait, love… he looks very troubled. He must be back here for a reason.) Heidi warned
“Du hast recht, wie immer, meine liebe Frau. Hier, nimm Eva wieder ins Bett. Ich habe einen langen Tag vor mir. Wer weiß ... vielleicht wird er nach Hause kommen,” (You are right, as always, my dear wife. Here, take Eva back to bed. I have a long day ahead for me. Who knows… maybe he’ll come home) The Chancellor said in hopes he was right.
Heidi smiled as she carried her sleeping child back to her bedroom. On her way down the hall, she passed by the head of the household servants.
“Alaric, bitte achten Sie darauf, um die Hundehütte irgendwann heute neigen,” (Alaric, please be sure to tend to the doghouse sometime today) Heidi instructed.
“Madame ...? Die Hundehütte ...?” (Madame…? The doghouse…?) Alaric questioned with a confused look.
“Ja, Alaric ... die Hundehütte und ich möchte jeden Hundekissen gereinigt, jeden kauen Spielzeug gewaschen und jedes Stäubchen weg ...” (Yes, Alaric… the doghouse and I want every dog pillow cleaned, every chew toy washed, and every speck of dust gone…) Heidi clarified.
“Madame… ist Blitz…?” (Madame… is Blitz…?) Alaric began to realize as a smile formed.
“Halten Sie es zwischen uns für jetzt, Alaric ... aber ich habe das Gefühl, wir werden ihn bald zu sehen,” (Keep it between us for now, Alaric… but I have a feeling we will be seeing him soon) Heidi said as she continued down the hall.
“Ja, Madame Kanzler!” (Yes, Madame Chancellor!) Alaric said with enthusiasm.
“Blitz… bitten ach Hause kommen zu uns,” (Blitz… please come home to us…) Heidi thought.
Back at Headquarters, the Rovers had gathered in the transportation bay. It was simply enough to pull up recent entries to the GPS system, but something kept blocking the search history. Master Shepherd’s brow furrowed in frustration as he attempted every trick he knew to gain access to the information.
“This should not be this difficult,” Master said as yet another attempt failed.
“What’s the problem, Master?” Hunter asked kneeling beside him to see the issue.
“For some reason… I cannot get into the recent entries log… even with my override code…” Master said as the word ‘FAIL’ flashed red across the screen again.
“You think Blitz might have blocked it to keep us from following him…?” Hunter suggested.
“No offense intended, ‘untie, but Blitz doesn’t seem the type to know compu’ahs…” Colleen said.
“Well, actually, it doesn’t sound quite so improbable. I’m guessing all of you were not aware Blitz had been down here helping me with the main systems since he had nowhere to go after the Havoc incident in Germany,” Professor Hubert revealed.
“Comrade helping youski, Professor…?” Exile wondered.
“Yes, and he caught on very quickly. He’s actually the one who reprogrammed the transportation GPS systems to be more efficient,” Professor Hubert explained.
“So, along those lines of logic, sounds like he had the ability to reprogram any security code to not function,” Hunter said.
“It does seem that way, Professor. But there is one thing Blitz didn’t count on,” Master Shepherd said as he pulled out his universal tablet.
“What is being thatski, Master?” Exile said as he scratched his shoulder against the wall.
“I’ve been doing some updating of my own. Rovers, I’m relaying the path of this transport tube directly into the navigational systems of the Sonic Rover. It will take us on the same path it travelled. Hopefully, that will give us a good start on locating him …” Master explained as he tapped at the touch screen of the tablet.
“Whoa… too cool! Master, would you go with us?” Hunter said.
“Indeed… Professor, can you man the fort in the meantime?” Master agreed.
“No worries, Master…,” Professor Hubert said.
“Let’s go, Rovers!” Hunter rallied.
“Just a moment, ‘untie…” Colleen interrupted.
“What is it, Sweetheart?” Hunter asked, eager to get started.
“Comrade… I am thinking if we get out of nighttime clothes firstski…” Exile explained.
Hunter looked at his lack of a shirt and flannel sleeping pants with his blue robe wrapped around his shoulders and chuckled lightly.
“I guess you’re right. Meet at the Sonic Rover in thirty minutes…” Hunter said as he and Colleen rushed back to their room.
A change of clothes and a little packing later, the Rovers and Master Shepherd were seated in the Sonic Rover preparing for take-off. Hunter went through the usual pre-flight checklist as Colleen made sure the information from the transport tube linked correctly with the plane’s navigation. Exile ran through a final engine check so Hunter was clear to rev them. Upon giving the retriever the go-ahead signal, Hunter initiated the vertical take-off sequence.
Once clear of the vehicle hangar, Hunter kicked it into high gear causing everyone to sink into their chair cushions from the momentum. Master Shepherd’s eyes opened wide in shock as he clutched onto Muzzle beside him, not remembering how fast the Sonic Rover was able to actually travel.
After the equilibrium settled, Master shook his head to accustom to the new pressure. Hunter looked back to notice Master looking a little shocked. Shag handed him an aspirin and a bottle of water to help with the headache.
“Thank you, Shag,” Master said.
“Ra rarara…” Shag replied.
“You okay, Master?” Hunter asked turning his chair to face him.
“Yes, Hunter… I just don’t remember the Sonic Rover being able to travel so fast…” Master said as he loosened the grip of his seatbelt.
“Well, Mastah… tha’ is no surprise…” Colleen began.
“Da… I maybe have been being making little tuning-upskis to Sonic Rover engine…” Exile admitted.
“How many tune-ups?” Master asked.
Exile shrugged his shoulders with a grin, not remembering the exact number of modifications he had made. Everyone chuckled a little. Master just shook his head with a smile, but was rather impressed at the Husky’s talents. Master looked over and ran his hand back over the journal he had brought with him. He wanted to be able to give it to Blitz in person, but also curious as to what else was buried in the Doberman’s tragic past.
Hunter noticed the book in Master’s hands. He felt conflicted. He wanted to know more, but felt like he had already invaded Blitz’s secrets enough.
“Master, why did you bring the journal?” Hunter asked.
“I’m a little unsure myself, Hunter, but I believe there’s more we need to understand,” Master answered as he returned to where they had left off.
“I don’t know ‘ow much more I can bear to ‘ear…” Colleen said shuddering a bit.
“Ra rarara rarararararararara…” Shag said, still very upset about earlier.
“Comrades, Blitz’s past is much sadksi, Da… but he is being needing us to help for long time… we need to hearski…” Exile stated.
“You’re right, Exile…” Hunter agreed.
“What elseki is journal saying…?” Exile wondered.
“Are you all sure?” Master asked tentatively.
The rest of the canines nodded in unison as they waited to hear more of the Doberman’s back story. Master reread the section he had seen before then began where he had left off reading:
Later on as the sun began to go down, she played the piano as the others sang in a group. Obviously now I know it was a choir practice… Watching her play that instrument hypnotized me. It made me wish I could play it as good as she did. After becoming a Rover, I began practicing. No one else knows I play and I prefer it that way…
“Rarara Rararara rarara rararara…?” Shag pondered on the fact Blitz actually played an instrument.
Maria Genevieve named me Adel. It means peace. I guess she knew that’s what I had been searching for. Unfortunately… this peace would not last…
“No… there can’t be more bad things… can there?” Hunter stated in shock upon hearing the last line.
“Da, how much can one doggie be taking in one life…?” Exile added.
“I may ‘ave been a stray… but Blitz… oh… *sniff*…” Colleen said as her tears choked her.
Shag dug around and fished one last box of Kleenex out of his compartmented fur and handed it to the Collie. Colleen nodded in thanks as she buried her face in the soft tissue.
Hunter nodded for Master to continue. Master opened the book up to the next passage and noticed the writing form had changed. It had become erratic and blurred, like it was written through a veil of tears and anger. It was difficult to read, but more horror began to reveal itself.
One day, I was out in the small garden where the sisters had found me. That’s what they call one another. Maybe they are all related somehow..? It had been a few months since I lost my family, but I felt at home.
Anyway, I was lying in the grass as they planted flowers for their small stand. They would sell them to other humans for a little money, enough to care for their home and for me. I had everything I could ever need.
Maria Genevieve called for me and sent me to fetch the small cart that was kept in the edge of the alley. I gladly obeyed and began to push it towards the garden to be filled with flowers. What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t alone…
Master stopped suddenly. The words had blurred so badly from the apparent streams of tears that had flowed onto the paper while Blitz wrote it. He squint his eyes trying to distinguish the characters.
“Master, wha’ is it?” Colleen asked almost scared to know.
“I… I can’t make out the writing. The words are blurred horribly,” Master explained.
“Maybe I can be seeing them, Master?” Exile suggested.
Exile did have the best vision out of every one on the team. Plus, his enhanced vision abilities added even greater accuracy. Master handed the worn book to the Husky hoping he could make sense of the blurred garble.
Exile narrowed his eyes at the rough scribbling. The characters were difficult, but Exile’s eyes began to go wide as more of the story was revealed.
“Exile…?” Master prodded.
“Nyetski…” Exile whispered.
“What…?” Hunter asked.
“I… I will be reading it, Comrades… but it is not being goodski…” Exile said sadly.
“It’s alright, Exile…” Master soothed.
Before I knew it, hands grabbed me from behind and clamped over my muzzle. I couldn’t cry out for help. A man’s voice told me to stop struggling. Another man with him commented that I was going for a ride. They took me to the trunk of an old car and forced me inside. The lid was slammed on me and I cried as loud as I could. No one heard me. The car moved for a while then it suddenly stopped slinging me to the back of the trunk.
“No…” Colleen gasped.
Once the car stopped, the lid to the trunk popped open. Once again, I was grabbed and restrained. The men hurried me inside a small shed-like building and dropped me on the cold floor. I got a whiff of old garbage and cigar smoke up my nose. I knew I had to be near the city dump. My family and I would sneak in when we were short on food, but never very often.
So many questions flew through my mind as I heard the rattling of chains behind me. I wanted to run and get back to the sisters, but I was frozen with fear. I couldn’t force myself to move. Before I could think anything else, one of the men pinned me to my back on the floor. I looked up and saw a glint of something metal in the man’s hand. As it came closer to my face, I saw it was a rusted dagger.
“I… I don’t like where this is going…” Hunter thought.
I didn’t know what he was planning at that moment until he said that it was time to make me ‘look’ like a guard dog. He took my ear and held it straight up where it was stretched tight. He moved the dagger to the base and began to cut. I screamed, but only heard their laughter at my pain as an answer. The knife ran along both outer edges of both of my ears. I so hoped the torture was over… I was wrong.
The other man came and restrained my head while the man that had the dagger moved me to me side. Suddenly, I felt it cutting through my tail. My throat was so hoarse I couldn’t even make a sound. I saw my own blood coating the floor under me. I felt so weak and I passed out soon after.
“Those… those Monsters…!” Colleen cried.
“No, Blitz…” Master said as more tears began to flow.
“There is being more…” Exile said through his sobs.
When I woke up, I was laying outside on a cold metal bench inside the junkyard’s fence. On the fence, I saw a sign that said ‘BEWARE OF DOG’. I guess that was me. The pain in my body made me wish for death. I moved away from the shed where I had been mutilated to try and find somewhere decently comfortable to lay down. I was glad I didn’t have to look far. An old abandoned car sat in the middle of the garbage heaps and still had most of its interior intact. I crawled in and collapsed into the seat cushions.
I was so exhausted from the ordeal I was too tired to cry. All I felt was that although my body lived… I was already dead…”
“Evil… Cruel… BASTARDS!!!” Hunter screamed as a look of vengeance filled his eyes.
Shag was whimpering from Hunter’s furious outburst. Colleen reached out and grasped the back of Hunter’s neck and pulled the muscle tight. Hunter gradually began to relax as the wave of angry finally abated.
“Thanks, Love…” Hunter rasped as he caught his breath.
Colleen just nodded as she continued to grip and release his shoulders to keep him calm. Exile dried his eyes from reading the horrible story as he gave the book back to Master.
“All that pain… and no one cared…” Hunter said sadly.
“Well, when we find ‘im… we can change that…” Colleen encouraged looking her husband in the eye.
Hunter managed a small smile as the plane’s engines continued to roar through the sky.
As the sun began to brighten the sky behind layers of thick gray clouds, which was typical of the season, Blitz found himself about three miles down the gravel path. Acres of harvested wheat fields had emerged on one side of the path giving the Doberman a full view of the shadier side of Berlin. The clouds seemed to grow darker indicating an approaching storm, but he didn’t pay it any attention.
His mind was blank. It was like he was on auto-pilot, but didn’t care. The edges of the seedy streets grew closer. Memories began to flood into his subconscious as the gravel path turned into a cobblestone road. Upon feeling the change in the walking path, Blitz clenched his eyes shut as the feeling of the rounded stones under his feet made the fear of running for his life from Wouter’s pack rush through his body.
Blitz began running along the street until he found a place where the painful memories could stop. At a glance, he saw a glimmer of grass in a small alcove. His heart was pounding inside his chest as he dove into the respite of the dull brown sod. He sunk down to sit against the red brick wall as his breath billowed out into the cold morning air.
“Still running from your skeletons…?” the biting in his head voice spoke once again.
“Shut up… shut uuuuuppp…” Blitz hissed.
“Vhy is it so hard to forget...? Vhere am I anyvay?” Blitz said aloud.
Although the season had caused the colors to fade, he realized that he was in a small garden area. The small garden plot in the center of the fenced barrier with the utility shed close to the door of the house along with the rows of flower beds and the fountain he had fallen in made Blitz’s heart skip with joy.
“It’s… still here…” Blitz heaved in relief.
Suddenly, a rumble of thunder filled the Doberman’s ears. The storm he saw brewing earlier had finally arrived. Sprinkles of cold rain hit his exposed face as he looked for some decent shelter. His view panned around and noticed the shed door slightly ajar. As the rain began to come down in heavy sheets, he made a dash over to try and slip inside.
Unfortunately, he didn’t notice the large hole that had formed near the small garden, apparently from a gopher or some other type of burrowing animal. His weakened feet hit the sunken in muddy earth causing him to fall forward and face first into the muddy ground of the fallow garden. He let out a sharp cry as the discomfort of the mud oozed over him, running down his jacket and soaking through his jeans.
As he tried to rid himself of the mess, a door opened up bathing him in a warm light. He looked up and saw such a welcome sight. It was the sisters of the convent. Maria Genevieve did not hesitate to run into the pouring rain to help him to his feet. She looked into his eyes and thought she recognized them, but just continued to usher Blitz inside.
“Du armer Mann… bitte kommen innen und warm…” (You poor man… please come inside and get warm) Maria Genevieve soothed as they entered the dwelling place.
“Danke…” (Thank you) Blitz replied.
Once the door was closed, shutting the storm out, Blitz looked around and saw the familiar comforts of his former home. It was a simple boarding house with oak paneling on the walls and simple carpet. He even noticed the hand-woven rug he would sleep on still in front of the fireplace. The bare essential furnishings may not have seemed like much to anyone, but it was like going to Heaven in Blitz’s eyes. The smell of the oak logs on the fire coupled together with the intoxicating aroma of fresh apple butter in the making allowed Blitz to finally relax.
“Hier ... lassen Sie mich Ihren Schal. Ich werde es bereinigen für Sie,“ (Here… let me take your scarf…I’ll clean it up for you) another sister offered as she reached to help with the scarf.
Blitz stiffened in panic. He was a large intimidating dog-man, not the young Doberman pup they had cared for before. He didn’t want to frighten them. He couldn’t stand that thought.
“Nein, bitte ich… ich bin…” (No, please I… I’m …) Blitz stammered.
Before he could protest further, however, the scarf fell from his face. Slight gasps filled the room as the sister held the mud covered scarf in her hands. Blitz turned away, ashamed at being uncovered. Suddenly, he felt the gentle hand of Maria Genevieve touch his face. He flinched as worry filled his mind. Would she be scared of him in this form?
“Bitte ... bitte nicht Angst vor mir zu sein, Geni ...” (Please… please don’t be scared of me, Geni…) Blitz pled, sinking to his knees.
Maria Genevieve’s eyes lit up. Only her sisters and those that knew her closely called her by that name. It was not fear that caused everyone’s reactions though. It was more akin to unexpected shock and surprise. They were familiar with who the Road Rovers were, but had no idea their precious pup was part of the team. Maria Genevieve ran her soft hand over the Doberman’s face and tears began falling down her smiling face.
“Adel…” Maria squeaked as the joy built up in her heart.
His defenses finally fell. He was home. The rest of the sisters gathered around him embracing their long lost friend.
“Oh Adel ... wo bist du gewesen?” (Oh Adel…where have you been?) One sister asked.
“Wir waren so besorgt um dich,“ (We were so worried about you.) another added.
“Was ist passiert?” (What happened?) Yet another asked.
“Schwestern, bitte ... geben Adel etwas Platz. Lass uns dich in einigen warmen trockenen Kleider und wir können über ein gutes Frühstück zu sprechen,” (Sisters, please… give Adel some space. Let’s get you in some warm dry clothes and we can talk over a good breakfast) Maria Genevieve instructed.
Blitz nodded as another one of the women showed him into a spare room. It was common for them to take in the homeless that came across their way so the convent had a good supply of clothes for men, women, and children. She searched for what she could find that would fit Blitz’s frame and returned with an extremely cozy long-sleeved undershirt and cardigan sweater, jeans, wool socks, and insulated winter boots.
A quick change later, Blitz was nestled on the floor next to the fire with his former family slowly sipping a cup of strong coffee. The smell of sausages, eggs, and sourdough bread wafted from the kitchen as a few sisters gathered around him, so happy to see him again.
“Sie haben so sehr vermisst wurde, Adel,” (You have been missed so greatly, Adel.) Maria Genevieve said as she ran her hand over his head and ears as she always had done.
“Ich wollte nie, dich zu verlassen, Geni. Es war so schrecklich ...” (I never wanted to leave you, Geni. It was so horrible….) Blitz began.
The Doberman melted with comfort at her familiar touch until he felt her tender fingertips inspecting his pointed ears closer. She hummed in curious interest. Blitz tried not to flinch, but he couldn’t help it.
“Adel, komm näher zu mir ...“(Adel, come closer to me…) Maria Genevieve asked.
Blitz scooted over on the floor where he was seated right next to her rocking chair. She felt along the edges of his ears and felt the ridges of the scars on them… knowing that when he was with them before, he had adorable floppy ears.
“Adel, was mit den Ohren?” (Adel, what happened to your ears?) Maria Genevieve asked nudging the canine’s head to meet her gaze.
Blitz clenched his eyes as the pain of the memory tore at his heart. But something inside his mind wasn’t going to let him keep burying his pain…
A few tears ran out of Blitz’s eyes. Maria Genevieve noticed the pain he was trying to suppress. She gently wiped his eyes and coaxed his head onto her knee.
“Adel…?” Maria Genevieve nudged.
“Eine Menge schlechter Dinge passiert, Geni… Zwei… zwei Männer n-nahmen mich an diesem Tag. Sie brachten mich in den Schrottplatz der innenstadt,” (A lot of bad things happened, Geni. Two… two men t-took me away that day. They took me to the junkyard downtown) Blitz stammered out.
“Der Schrottplatz…? Warum…?” (The junkyard…? Why…?) Maria Genevieve asked stroking his head.
“Ich weiß nicht.Sie... sie tat so schreckliche Dinge zu mir, Geni. Sie folterten mich und schitt mir die Ohren und Schwanz... Einer von ihnen sagte etwas über mich wie ein Wachhund...“ (I don’t know. They… they did such horrible things to me, Geni. They tortured me and cut my ears and tail… one of them said something about me looking like a guard dog…) Blitz continued as tears of relief flowed freely.
“Einfach, mein Liebling ... bist du wieder hier bei uns jetzt. Es ist alles vorbei,“ (Easy, my darling… you are back here with us now. It is all over.) Maria Genevieve soothed as she dried the canine’s eyes.
“Es war so lange her, ich habe solchen Frieden fühlte, Geni. Genau wie wenn du mich gebracht ...” (It’s been so long since I have felt such peace, Geni. Just like when you brought me in…) Blitz said.
“Das war ein ganz besonderer Tag für mich ...” (That was a very special day for me…) Maria Genevieve said.
The other sisters began to set up places for breakfast as the conversation continued.
(I guess so… but it wasn’t home… just like before I found you…) Blitz said as they moved into the dining room.
(What do you mean?) Maria Genevieve asked.
(Well… the day you took me in… a street pack attacked and killed my mother, brothers, and sisters a few days prior. They had killed my father a few weeks before that. I was the only one to make it out alive. Then you showed me the love I no longer had.) Blitz explained, feeling a weight lift off his chest.
(Oh my… Adel, I don’t know what to say…) Maria Genevieve said grasping his paws in her hands.
(The fact you understand is more than enough… I haven’t felt like this in years) Blitz said with a genuine smile.
(I’m so glad for that. Now, I’m sure that skinny stomach of yours is hungry. Let’s eat!) Maria Genevieve said as everyone took their seats.
Blitz’s stomach growled loudly in agreement.
Inside the Doberman’s mind, ‘Orel’ noticed the chained door that kept him sealed away buckled as the large chains rattled with loud clangs outside. The walls began to show cracks. ‘Orel’ smiled broadly.
“At least it’s a step in dhe right direction, Blitzy…” “Orel” said.
‘Orel’ looked out his window and saw the monster he had contended with for years do something strange. The eyes were fading in and out and seemed diminished in size. It was like its power was being drained.
“This is only dhe beginning…” ‘Orel’ thought.