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Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It had been weeks since they captured Gabriel. If I mourned, it was silently. They would be watching. Listening. Eager for any way to discover me. My canine companion Maryll and I traveled by night, slept during the day in whatever concealed shelter we could find. We were quick and silent as we moved through the maze of suburban neighborhoods. We had been traveling for nearly a month trying to escape. At first it was just Gabriel and I. Somehow we managed to break free and run. At first we just hid for days, watched from narrow opening as They panicked and sent out fleets of watchers. They drove in cars. They always came in cars. But They lure like true hunters do. That's how they got Gabriel. It was right after Maryll had found us. A large, white long haired creature that resembled a mix between a great dane and a greyhound. She was quiet and wore the look on her face that she wanted to escape too. Since then she has been an irreplaceable companion. We three traveled by foot, quick and swift. Until one day we came upon an empty backyard with a red road bike propped against the outer fence. Gabriel wanted it. He insisted that we'd be able to travel faster, with him on bike and I riding Maryll. She was large enough to support my weight and riding her seemed not to hinder her in the least. Still, I knew it was a trap. The bike was bait, meant to lure us out. Yet it was dusk, and They had begun to shuffle back into their homes. This part of town was bare. He went for the bicycle while Maryll and I stayed behind under a collection of shrubbery from across the street. Wide eyed we waited and stared as he crept up to the bike, always looking to his surroundings. He touched the bike with a single hand when They ambushed him. At least five clothes-less figures emerging from corners, placing hands on him. They covered his mouth and eyes. Their faces were expressionless. I knew They were puppets, being controlled from a distance, probably from Them in a car. I gasped and thought about running out to him, but Maryll nudged her head against mine and licked my cheek. Canine or not, she was intelligent and knew the importance of what we were doing. She understood my words, emotions and actions.
I was filled with paranoia, fear and anger. Maryll and I could trust noone. We passed the methodically placed bowls of dog food or sweets near porches. Obvious lures they were. They would try anything.
I was close to capture once. Before Maryll came to us, Gabriel and I decided to split up one evening. He talked of a wild blackberry bush that he could find for our supper. I was to find a safe place to sleep that night. We had gone days without food. I was sloppy. Tired. I dragged my feet and crossed a street. Headlights blared behind me and a family wagon pulled up slowly next to me, driving as I walked. The windows rolled down and a middle aged man and his wife sat in the front seat. A blonde toddler in the back. They took up any disguise, usually the least intimidating ones. The man smiled, used kind words. But I wasn't listening. All I needed to see was the hungry look in his eyes when he stopped talking. The obscure stretched smile of his wife and the glisten in her eyes as she watched me walk. That's when Maryll came. She ran out from a yard barking at the car, providing distraction while I jolted and ran in opposite direction behind houses. I did not look back. It was the only time They saw me. I was extremely careful since then. Maryll appeared with Gabriel that night when we met up in the backyard of an abandoned house. She saved me, she wasn't one of Their tricks. She could be trusted. She was all I had now.

We travel by nightfall. I ride on her back and we dart through houses, jump over or dig under fences. We tunnel under busy streets or neighborhood intersections. We trust only wild growing food, sometimes with only handfuls of grass to swallow down. We drink rainwater when it comes. We keep our noses forward, for our will is strong.

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