The Night Walk

I liked walking my dog. I liked getting out and taking a walk. In the morning it was the only thing that could really wake me up. In the afternoon it was the best way to take a break, and at night is was the best kind of sleeping medicine. Our nightly walks were often the longest. It was then that I had the most time to spare. It allowed me to process all my thoughts and feelings of that day. It allowed me to clear my head.

I liked to take roads and streets where I hadn’t been before. Explore new grounds. I knew it wasn’t always safe to do so, especially not where I lived, but who would mug, harm or kidnap someone with a dog like mine accompanying their victim?

The rain softly kissed my skin, and I enjoyed the way it felt on my face. In the light of the lampposts that lit the streets the rain looked like falling and sparkling diamonds. Whenever the leash was pulled, I’d stop and wait patiently.

When I felt the clouds in my head had finally disappeared enough, I knew it was time to head back home. I looked around. The alley I was in seemed unfamiliar to me. I looked for a street sign, but couldn’t find one anywhere near. The alley was dark, and the buildings that rose up on both sides seemed old and abandoned. I decided to turn around and walk back the way I came.

Sooner than I expected I reached a crossing. I stared into the streets, but none of them rang a bell. I regretted not taking one of those courses where dogs learn how to use their nose properly. Still, she was quite a smart dog with a good nose. I commanded her to search, a command I often used when she had hidden her toys or bones. She looked at me confused. Apparently that didn’t work outside, but maybe the home command did. Whenever the road was familiar to her, she would find her way back instantly. This time the command seemed to work, because she lowered her head and started sniffing the floor.

I let her guide me and I quickly found myself sinking away my into own thoughts. It was only when I felt a stern tug from the leash that I awoke from them again. I looked over my shoulder. She had sat down and stared at me, her head tilted a little. I looked around again. We weren’t home. The alley we were in looked similar to the last one we had stopped in. Only this one was darker. Scarier. And had a dead end.

The wooden fence rose up high from the ground into the darkness. Now what? I tried my best not to start panicking and turned around again to walk back, but I had barely taken one step when I heard a low growl.

‘Pepper, quiet!’ I commanded her. But instead of shutting up, she suddenly started to bark loudly. I wanted to walk up to her and calm her, but the second I moved two arms grabbed me from behind. I screamed, but before I knew it, the darkness consumed me…



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