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The Stray

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It was a sunny summer afternoon when we had finally crammed the last box into our new house. This house was a lot closer to my mother’s work, so I guess it was just a lot more convenient. It was a very nice neighborhood with nice people, unlike the neighborhood we moved from. Our old neighbors would file noise complaints when there was nothing going on. That was because they just hated us. Even though the new neighborhood was nice, there was one thing about it that seemed... off. Everything was just a little... too nice. I don’t know how to put it into words, but everyone seemed a little more excited than they should have been getting new neighbors. I guessed that was because so many people were suddenly moving out. I asked the neighbors why they were moving out, and they said it was because one of the neighbors recently went missing, and there was no trace.

When winter was just starting to roll in, we noticed there was a male stray dog roaming around in the three-foot-deep snow. We did not think much of it, because we had seen stray dogs in the city. We thought if we just ignored it and did not feed it... maybe it would leave us alone. The day after we first saw the stray, it was on our porch. It was just lying there, panting. It was a rather thin dog; we think it was malnourished. We called the local pound to take the dog in, and nurse it back to health. Before they arrived, the dog ran away, leaving a trail of footprints through the snow. The dog catchers followed the dog’s footprints in the snow, but they just stopped in an open field.

The next day, we saw the dog again. This time, it had a bloodied squirrel in its mouth. He was quite proud of the catch, carrying it around everywhere he went. We once again called the dog catcher, but that dog was too smart to be caught. That is when we gave up trying to catch that dog. If those incompetent dog catchers could not catch a big, skinny dog… are they even qualified to catch any dog?

A few days later, we went on a vacation. It was only an over-night trip, but I don’t want to give any details. When we came back, a few things in the house were knocked over. We looked around, and nothing was missing. Someone broke into our house, and we were kind of worried. Someone knew we were gone, even though we had our car outside, and did everything we could to make it look like we were still there. We called the police. We told them everything we knew, while detectives dusted for prints. There were none.

We saw that dog again, but this time, he was a little bit thinner than last time. My parents went to work, and took me to school like normal. There was not anything else that was necessarily different about that day until we got home. There was a bloodied squirrel on our front porch. We knew it was that dog. However, we could not do anything about it for now. We disposed of the squirrel, and life went on.

It was a very cold morning, colder than most. We found that dog lying on our porch, but this time he was quite fat, and his teeth had a reddish tint. He was sitting there, licking his chops. There were some dog paw footprints in the snow behind him. We decided to follow the footprints to see where they were coming from. They led to a small cave. Inside of that cave, we saw a dead body lying face down with a hiking backpack nearby. We immediately called the police. The police followed us to the cave, and did an autopsy. The man died of a heart condition. The man was named Jeremy Jensen. We did not know him, but we still felt sorry for him. He appeared to have been dead for a while. He had a rather large hole in his stomach when he was found. I froze. It was then I realized why the dog was suddenly so fat.

We started keeping a rifle in the house in case the stray dog showed up. We did not want to be the next victims. We did not see the dog for the next week or two. We thought that the dog catchers finally caught him, or maybe animal control put him down, but we still kept the rifle just in case. Things were slowly going back to normal.

At this point, I had not seen the dog in a month. We all agreed to put the rifle in a closet; in case we invited someone over they would not feel threatened. More time passed, and we thought we were all safe. However, one cold night in January, colder than most, I was in bed, when I suddenly woke up. There, standing over me… was the stray. He knew we put the gun away. I shoved the dog out of the way and darted for the closet with the gun inside. I took it out, and aimed. I looked away, and pulled the trigger. Click. Nothing happened. I pulled the trigger again. Click. It wasn’t loaded. The dog was getting closer, so I grabbed the gun by the barrel, and swung with all my might. CRACK! The handle broke over the dog’s head. It fell to the floor unconscious. The crack woke up my parents who were absolutely shocked. We called the dog catcher to take away the dog (and dispose of its body).

We still don’t know how the dog possibly managed to break into our house… Twice for that matter, but now the stray is dead. We have not had a break in since then, and that was at least five years ago. One day, I saw a dog that looked rather similar roaming through the street. It reminded me of the stray. I asked my neighbors if they remember it, and they asked me what it looked like. I told them what it looked like, and they explained how they had always seen a dog like that a few years back in the graveyard, lying beside a tombstone, presumably of its owner. I asked who the owner was. They took me to an open field, and showed me the gravestone. It said Jeremy Jensen 1982-2009. The dog knew he was there.

So far this is what I have pieced together: Jeremy Jensen and the dog were on a hike, and then he died in the cave of a heart attack. The dog ran around looking for help, but to no avail. The dog became more and more thin, and eventually started stealing food from people’s houses. The dog eventually gave up, and got desperate for food. He then resorted to eating a large area around the owner’s stomach to survive. Nobody in my family will ever forget this disturbing story, as its memories still come back to haunt us on a day-to-day basis.



Written by FrankEeverest
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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