Continued from: With Drawn: Part 34 — Reckless
Tommy Rogers was skateboarding home from the skate park, where he’d been hanging out with his friends. Tommy wasn’t the best skateboarder. In fact, he wasn’t that good at skateboarding at all. Tommy would hang out at the skate park, leaning casually on the half pipes and cheering on those riders that were good. He would do this for one reason: because it looked good. Tommy hung out at the skate park and he owned a skateboard, so thusly, he was a skateboarder, and that made him cool. Eventually, he’d grow up and show how cool he was by leaning against beer kegs and muscle cars.
It was now night as Tommy skateboarded home. He was supposed to be home before dark, but Tommy wasn’t too concerned with the fact that the sun was down. Sure, his mother might nag him about being late, but he’d just tell her to shut up and then walk away from her. That tended to be the best way for the Rogers men to stop nagging females in their house. Telling Trudy Rogers to shut up had about an eighty-five percent success rate. Staring at her and telling her to shut the fuck up tended to work a hundred percent of the time.
As Tommy skated, he thought he heard something over the gravelly whispering of his skateboard’s wheels on the asphalt. It sounded like something, or someone, might have been following behind him.
Tommy stopped the skateboard and he stood for a moment, listening. He heard nothing but distant traffic and a few crickets—the crickets’ chirping now sluggish in the cool, autumn air. The street and the sidewalk were empty. Tommy started skateboarding again.
And again, he thought he heard something over the whisper of his skateboard’s wheels. The sound again coming from behind him, sounding maybe like the clacking of a dog’s paws on pavement.
Tommy stopped the skateboard, looking over his shoulder. But, again, he saw only the empty street and sidewalk.
The hedge of bushes running along the sidewalk rustled.
The cadence of Tommy’s heartbeat quickened with his fight or flight instinct.
Tommy didn’t like dogs. Not since he was little and a dog had bitten him just because he’d shot the thing with a B.B. gun.
Tommy started skateboarding faster this time. And again, the bushes beside him rustled.
Tommy stopped skateboarding and kicked the skateboard up into his hands. He held the board as if about to strike something with it. He called toward the bushes, “Hello?” When this was met with only silence, he called, “Danny? That you?”
Tommy said this because he suspected that maybe his friend, Danny, had followed him and was playing a prank on him by trying to scare him.
Prank or not, Tommy thought, if Danny jumped out of those bushes, Danny was going to catch that skateboard in the face.
There was silence. No rustling, and no Danny jumping from the bushes.
Tommy began walking home, listening carefully.
He stopped again when he heard a low, guttural sound come from the bushes beside him. Tommy called to the bushes, “Who’s there?” There was no response. Tommy then added, “I know karate.”
Karate is a style of fighting from Japan that people use for self-defense. Tommy did not know anything about karate other than its name.
Tommy gasped. He gasped because he saw what looked like two glowing eyes peering out from the bushes.
A squeaking sound then came from Tommy, and he began trotting down the sidewalk, glancing over his shoulder and calling, “Nice doggy. Nice doggy.”
And that’s when something burst from the bushes. I say “something,” because Tommy wasn’t quite sure what it was. Frankly, I couldn’t tell you what it was either. It was canine-like, maybe some demented cross between a wolf and a cougar.
Tommy screamed and he sprinted for home.
The thing sprinted after him.
Tommy turned onto his street and could now see his house at the end of the block. He ran for the beacon that was his front porch light as the wolf-cougar nipped at his heels. Tommy threw his skateboard aside and somehow ran even faster. He was screaming as he ran down the street. This is what Tommy was screaming: “Help. Help. Mom, open the door. It’s going to eat me. Open the door.”
Thankfully for Tommy, Trudy Rogers opened the door.
Trudy Rogers was standing in the Rogers’ doorway. She had her scrawny hip tilted and her bony arm leaning against the doorjamb. She watched the faint shadow of her son sprinting toward her in the dark, and she heard his high-pitched screaming. Trudy called to her son, “Tommy? What are…?” But she didn’t get a chance to finish her question as her son ducked under her arm and whisked into the house.
Then Trudy saw what her son had been screaming about. It was a dog sprinting down the street toward the house. But it didn’t look like a dog. Trudy thought it looked like a demented mix of a bear and a wolverine, and it was coming right toward her. Trudy screamed and slammed the door shut.
Continued in: With Drawn: Part 36 — Meet The Rogers
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