A Dogs Life
The sun was setting when she stumbled across the wild onions. She looked around and sniffed the air before cautiously putting her head down. She hungrily gobbled them up. Since the humans disappeared it’s been hard going. For a little while it was good. There was garbage and scraps everywhere. After about a week these were rotten. She soon started hunting cats after seeing one of them eating human remains. Now, they too were scarce, and things have gotten much more dangerous. Sometime ago, she saw what she thought was a human. She ran up to it, barking with joy, when it turned around. All she remembers from this encounter was the evil in its yellow eyes and pain. She has a constant reminder of that day in the form of three long scars on her side.
She suddenly came to alert, ears forward and nose twitching. The sound came again, foot steps. Her eyes strained against the darkness to see what it was. A long shadow came into view and she darted away from it. Panic hit her as she hit the tall grass looking for a place to hide. The steps grew closer and she was getting desperate. The dog stopped in her tracks as a house came into view. She ran at full speed towards it and away from the foot steps. The door was open, and the darkness inside seemed more welcoming then whatever it was walking down the road. Once inside she stood on her hind legs and looked through tattered blinds to get a peak of what was out there. Up the road came something she hadn’t seen in months. It was a human, a young woman. She had torn jeans, a hoodie, and a back pack. The human was familiar to her, the dog tried to remember, as she watched the humans slow sad shuffle. The dog was scared, there were to many times that she was nearly killed for thinking she found a friend. But there was something about this one....something she vaguely remembered. She watched the girl crest a hill and disappear from sight. As the sun set the dog began to pace about the house, not sure what to do. As the darkness overtook the light, she hopped up on a busted couch, and drifted off to sleep.
After a few hours of nightmare fueled sleep she jerked awake. She let her eyes adjust, and headed for the door. The moon shone bright, casting shadows along the road. Ships passed by, looking like shooting stars. The dog arrived at the top of the hill and sniffed the ground where she last saw the girl. Now that she had the sent, she set off after the girl. She held back a sense of excitement, could this be who she thinks it is? Recent experience told her no, but her instincts say yes. The dog had to change her focus, the nights were vary dangerous in the summer. It’s when the things hunted, using the shadows to their advantage. In the day, they didn’t hide, they just came right at you, but at least you knew they were there. In the winter though, that was a different story. The evil things were slow, almost comically. That’s when she was able to get her vengeance.
She followed the scent down a narrow country road that had grass growing tall through the cracks in the black top. Corn grew tall on both sides of the road, casting erie shadows. The night breeze created a constantly rustling sound. She didn’t want to go down there. But the girls sent was close, she could sense her. The dog let out a low wimper and headed down the road. She suddenly stopped and crouched low.
A taloned deep green hand reached out and parted the corn. Above that, a great lizard head peered out, tongue tasting the air. It looked side to side, tongue darting in and out, then stepped out into the road. This giant reptile had caught the sent of the human as well.
The dog was worried. This thing was after her human. She had to do something to save her. It had not noticed her yet as it was walking away from her, its massive tail snaking out of the corn. It stopped, when it heard the deep growl behind it. As it turned to face her, it drew a golden trident from its back. The dog dodged a thrust and ran off, leading the big lizard away from the human.
As the boxer ran, she thought of what to do. She had to think fast, as it was gaining. A close thrust again, that she just ducked. She then began to run in an irrational pattern, looking for anything that would help her. A forest was ahead and she ran towards it, hoping the trees would slow it down. At first she could hear snapping branches and the cracking of wood. Soon the footsteps began to fade and other noises could be heard. Birds began to gather in the forest, thousands of them. Voices whispered out of the dark, not quite human. Then silence, even the air stood still. A bestial roar of pain erupted out of the darkness, Then silence again. The dog crept back to where she last sensed the lizard man. She saw it, and she knew it wasn’t dead, not yet. She growled as she got closer, it’s uncaring eyes looked at her, it’s tongue darted from it’s mouth. The dog couldnt believer her luck, every limb was tangled in barbwire. It was harmless for the time being. Growling and snarling as she approached her enemy, ready to dart away at any threatening movement. There was a weak point to these nasty things, not covered in armor or scales, it’s throat.
A few moments later she emerged back on the road, black blood dripping from her jowls. She picked up the scent again and moved on with a trot, She was close. Up ahead she saw a barn, door was cracked open and was swaying a little in the breeze. She peaked her head in and sniffed. The human was here. She nervously walked in and found her in one of the stalls, sleeping in the hay. She tried to look at her face, covered by the hood. Instead she breathed in her scent, couldn’t believe it and sniffed again. It was her! How? She thought all her humans were dead, yet here is on of them. She thought about licking her awake. Or pouncing on her, maybe just snuggle up to her? Instead, she went to an adjoining stall and slept.
She followed the human at a distance for days. The sorrow the human felt oozed out into the world, she could taste it. The dog wanted to comfort her, to see if it was one of her humans. But she was not ready. The fear held her back.
She watched as the girl sat under a tree. The dog never saw her face, ever. It was always covered in a hood and she always looked at the ground when she walked. She knew, though, who it was. The way she walked, her height and build, and the scent; all triggered a distant memory. The dog laid down and watched the girl as the sun began to set. Being near her and the absence of those lizard things allowed her the time to think of her past. She fell asleep, dreaming of playing fetch and snuggling with the one called mom. Chasing dad around the yard, then being chased.
She woke up when she heard her name, first time she had heard it in months. It was dad calling her, in her dreams, he said. “I’m taking her to Pa’s. Make sure she gets there Bambi.”
Bambi was happy as she woke up, thinking the last few months was a dream. Unfortunately it became instantly obvious it wasn’t. The false dawn had come up, giving a slight sliver of light that began to bathe the forest. Bambi decided to take a chance and see if this human was who she thought she was. Bambi crept up slowly to the girl, now laying on her side, and peered in under her hood. Her nub of a tail wagged a little as she recognized the face she saw there. The girl began to stir and Bambi retreated into the woods.
A few days went by, and Bambi followed a little closer each passing day. The terrain also got rougher as they went, steeper hills, lots of loose rocks, and tall pines. The needles made the ground extra slippery after the rain that came thundering down out of no where one evening. Bambi thought she lost her a couple times, she climbed a steep hill that Bambi couldn’t climb. But Bambi caught up to her a few hours later. Another time the girl swam a creek at one point, Bambi tried but turned back and climbed a fallen tree to get to the other side. Took her sometime to find her then too.
Now they came to a clearing, a warm breeze came to her, past the girl. Bambi, of course, smelled the girl, but there was something else there too. The girl didn’t seem to notice, she just kept walking, head down, drowning in her own thoughts. Bambi had to think fast or she would walk right into them.
She circled around the clearing and came up on a barn, the scent was strong. Bambi poked her head into a gap in the wood and saw a couple smaller of those lizard things. She proceeded to the house and slowly backed away. There was a big one in there. Bambi headed back to the girl, she had to stop her.
The moment she realized she was to late, broke her heart. How could it be that the only human she had seen in months turned out to be one of her humans, only to have to watch her die. The two scouts she had seen in the barn headed towards the girl, who still walked with her head down. Bambi sprinted as fast as she could to get to her. The lead one reached over its shoulder and drew out its golden trident, took a few more steps and thrust it at her.
Bambi’s heart stopped as she expected the girl to fall over dead, but she didn’t. It took a few moments for her to realize everything had stopped. The two scouts were frozen in time and space. Neither moved an inch, they were like statues. Bambi had seen this before, she suddenly remembered. Her people could do this,her life and memories came flashing back to her... all of it.
There was her first family, the one that took her to their home when she was a puppy. There was a time when she fell asleep and woke up with a nub instead of a tail, and no dew claws. Then there was the constant shouting and yelling. She had been hit a lot too. Then, on a stormy summer night she was dumped at a church. She remembered hiding under a picnic table as the rain came down and the lightning flashed and the thunder made her jump. The next day smelled new as the sun came up. A few cars pulled up and people went inside, she stayed away from them. She didn’t trust people anymore. A little while later a white van pulled into the parking lot. A man got out, there was something different about him. She could sense he was kind, and he had a spring in his step. But what peaked her interest was that he glowed. She came out from under the table and approached him, he seemed happy to see her. He bent down to pet her and she flinched. This action seemed to make him sad, and the color of his light changed as he bent down to her level. She came up to him and wondered about the glow. He said “ Who do you belong to little girl?”
Bambi saw the girl glow. An angry red emanated from her body. For the first time she looked up, the hood fell from her face. Her features, once soft, were hardened by the events of the last few years. Her eyes were tired, baggy and bloodshot. There were tear tracks on her dirty face.
The girl walked up to the frozen figures and took the trident from the hands of the first one. She spun it around and stabbed the beast with a force that Bambi would have never guessed she had. It went right through it and appeared between its shoulders. She went to the next one and drew out a large knife from under her jacket, it had an eagles head on the hilt, and slid it along the other ones neck.
Her red glow went away and the two scouts fell to the ground while giving out their death cries. A noise came from the house, and Bambi started to bark to warn her human. The girl spun around and looked at her direction. There was a look of awe on the girls face, and then Bambi began to run toward the house. The girl looked at the house and saw a rather large lizard man come out. Suddenly Bambi couldn’t move. She was frozen mid stride. She could only see the girl from the corner of her eye. The girl was not afraid, she had a determined look on her face. This lizard thing was a sorcerer, it had its staff in hand and it began to have black energy surround the stone on the end. Bambi knew the girl was in danger, but all she could do is bark. The black energy started to concentrate at the end of the staff, when the sorcerers eyes went wide. Bambi saw the girl extend her right arm. There was a glowing bracelet on her wrist.
The bracelet was a gift, created by her father, he had given one to her, her sister, and her mother. It was designed to turn her target to ash. Bambi remembered when he made them, he didn’t use tools. He sat, in a room and focused his thoughts between his hands. These bracelets materialized from thin air, he wanted to make sure his family was safe after the fall of the spire.
This girl had become a legend with in the Saurian Empire, almost a myth. She modified her bracelet. Her father was to kind, no pain in the original design. Hers would slowly break down the molecular structure of her target. This is the thought the sorcerer had when he saw the bracelet, his concentration was broke, the energy dissolved from around the staff. The beam arched from the bracelet its pale blue light enveloped the sorcerer, The skin turned to dust and began to blow away in the breeze, exposing the muscle tissue beneath. The muscle began to turn from red to gray and it soon too began to blow away, revealing the guts and bones of her enemy. It roared in pain as these too began to turn to first stone and then sand. When the beam stopped it’s head fell to the ground, still intact. She slowly walked up to it and peered into its eyes, they blinked.
“Where is my family!!!” she screamed at it.
It blinked again, opened it’s mouth and died.
Bambi still couldn’t move, she gave out a little whimper. The girl looked at her and Bambi saw her glow change from red to white. As the light faded she was able to move. The boxer stood there with her head down and not sure what to do. The girl walked up to her, hood down, brown hair blowing in the wind. When she drew close she sat, cross legged, on the ground and peered into Bambi’s eyes. Bambi looked into the girls green searching eyes.
The girl, fighting back tears, said “Bambi ?”