Heavily inspired by the composer Ludovico Einaudi. His music personifies the very concept of freedom. A link to the soundtrack of Good Dogs can be found on my profile. Rating subject to change.
Rating subject to change.
When I was nineteen, I almost died.
Car crash, as it always seems to be when you're that age. The only difference between myself and another unfortunate teenager was that I had almost died. Someone had been there to save me.
I've always been cautious with cars, but I suppose that's a huge part of why my caution traded in for something a little more along the lines of anxiety after the accident. For the past three years since the accident I've never weathered well in a vehicle; I'd either get car sick or lunge for the nearest exit. Add all that to the fact I just vomited up my lunch – well, I'd been sentenced to the back of the family van for the remainder of our commute from the glorious city to a small, bum-fuck nowhere town. I couldn't blame my family though; I wouldn't want to sit beside me either.
"You okay, Gray?" A small voice asked me. I looked up to see a pair of bright blue eyes peeking over the back of the seat at me. I grinned in response, although I imagine it looked more like a grimace.
"Don't bug her, Erica. You know how she gets in cars."
"Sorry, dad," Erica murmured, she gave me one last worried look before she turned around. She was adorable and sweet; the epitome of a perfect sister. I loved her.
We drove in silence a bit longer, the sounds of crayons scribbling against paper and a hand held video game telling me that Erica and Adam were keeping out of trouble. I knew that Adam liked to torture his sister more than anything, but thankfully the trepidation of moving kept him away from her.
Or maybe it had to do with the fact I had almost vomited on him an hour ago.
The sound of their complacency lulled me to sleep.
I reached for the ignition, my fingers useless as I tried to turn the key to start the engine.
I waved away the hands trying to grab at me. I pushed at the people trying to stop me. Why did they want me to stop? Didn't they understand that I had to go to work? Rent didn't pay for itself.
I was in shock.
The truck driver hadn't stopped.
The wolf was okay.
I was in shock, I was dying. I had a piece of wood sticking out of me nearly the size of my arm. My lungs were filling with blood. I reached up for the ignition one final time.
"Easy, darlin'," a gravelly voice said, pushing aside my hand. A hand cradled my neck, fingertips ran along my cheek. "Settle, there. Everything is going to be okay."
I sat up, the last dredges of my dream still clinging to me; the smell of gasoline, the heaviness I associated with dying. I shook my head and groaned. I hated this.
I hated cars.
The family stopped for lunch. I opted out, deciding to stay in the car. Excuse me; I was volun-told to stay in the car.
The moment everyone had unbuckled themselves and bolted out the door I tried to follow, but Adam gave me a look and pointed at the fishbowl that had been buckled up in my spot. A small fish floated lazily inside, glubbing its joy at having usurped my position of glory in the van.
"Watch Samuel and I'll bring you back a burrito."
Well, if you insist, I thought as he slammed the door and bolted for the fast food joint. I watched them until the entire family had disappeared inside, knowing they were safe I turned to regard the fish.
Adam had gotten the thing a few months ago for his birthday. The moment I saw the fish I knew it was trouble; all it did was shit and eat and float.
And now it was sitting in my spot.
When the family returned Adam snuck the promised burrito to me. I knew Sharon and Daniel – also known as Mom and Dad – would have had a fit if they saw me eating the greasy junk food, but Adam was a good kid; he always kept his promises.
I sighed in contentment and returned to my spot in the back of the van to sleep off the taste of grease.
This time, I didn't dream.
When I woke next it was to find that we were driving through a small town.
"Welcome to the town of Wolf Peak," Daniel said, his voice smug with pride. He had been the only one to see the house in person; even Sharon had seen only photos. Erica, Adam and I didn't even know what to expect.
As we drove through the town we began to get an idea – well, I did. Every street corner sported an outdoor equipment store, or some sort of hunting plaza. Everywhere you'd look there would be gift shops or diners boasting the best ribs or the best burgers or the best steaks in town. People were everywhere; tourists and locals mingling with such easy friendliness that I felt both excited and somewhat intimidated about.
Would we fit in? The family from the city?
I grimaced as we pulled off the main street and began to drive down a somewhat secluded road. The road was lined with frowning trees, the dark emerald giants glowering at us as we sped along. They were beautiful, but at the same time there was something in the manner of the trees that left me feeling uneasy.
A soft tickle began at the base of my spine.
I wanted to scream for joy and run.
The further we drove the more dense the forestry became. The winding road led us through the forest, along the base of a mountain. When we finally turned off the main road onto a smaller, winding trail everyone tensed in expectation.
"Are we there yet?" Erica asked.
"Yeah, are we there yet?" Adam demanded.
I would have laughed if Sharon hadn't glanced over her shoulder at the three of us – oh, and Samuel. "Almost," she smiled.
When we finally pulled up to the house, Daniel looked back from the drivers seat and handed Adam a leash. "Don't let Gray run off. There are suppose to be wolves around here."
The young boy clipped the leash to my collar and I was finally free of the car.
I hate cars, but that's understandable.
When I was nineteen, I almost died.
Fortunately, unlike most teenagers, someone had been there to save me.
A man; he'd sat with me until the ambulance arrived. He held my hand and told me everything would be okay.
I'd blacked out before the ambulance got there.
When I'd woken up a week later it was to find my world altered. The lights were brighter, sounds were louder, smells stronger. The doctors were concerned that I'd bee under for so long, but they couldn't deny the fact that my wounds were healing much faster than anticipated.
I had been released two days after I'd woken up.
Three weeks later I was on the ground, writhing in agony as the full moon looked in through my apartments window.
And that's when I decided werewolves could potentially exist.
I'd been let go for having taken time off to recover. My rent was overdue. I'd only just been in a car accident and with all of that on top of the fact that I woke the next day with four legs instead of two and a hankering for steak...
I ran as fast as I could.
And I didn't look back.
Until the day I ran into a little boy, his sister and their parents, and I knew that I couldn't go back.
All that happened three years ago.
"Come on, Gray. Lets go get us a room," the boy pulled me along, his excitement vibrating through me. I trotted beside him, knowing that wherever he went I would follow.
These people were the family I never had. The family I always wanted. And I was their dog.
- - -
Review please! Constructive criticism is always welcome :) I also do not have a beta, so any mistakes you see are completely and utterly my fault.