Title :: Shadows
Progress :: 30/100
Word Count :: 830
Prompt :: #11 Night
Disclaimer :: I do not own these characters and no profit is being made from the use of them.
Low rise jeans hugged her hips and thighs as she made her way past the guard station positioned at the center of Arklay’s housing section. She silently thanked the sliver of sense that had forced her to wear sneakers rather than a pair of boots from the rows that sat in the back of her closet as she made her way deeper into the tree line and toward the compound’s ten foot chain link fence. Her movements were slow and deliberate as she paused, let the rotating light atop the station pass her and stayed pressed to a thick trunk.
The soft cotton of her boatneck tee snagged against the pine’s bark and she swore under her breath as she pulled gently at the purple cloth. She ignored the fact that sweat was starting to gather at the small of her back where jean met skin as she pushed herself another twenty feet though the knee high grass and silently debated just how filthy she’d be once she reached the road.
A muffled snap came from behind her and to the right, away from the tree line closest to the compound. She stiffened, muscles tensing and paused, waited. Focusing so that she could hear past the steady beat of her heart and the sound of her own breath slipping in and out of her lungs. After a moment of stillness the grass not even seven feet behind her shuffled and she spun, hands rising into fists to sit just beneath her chin.
Two heads rose with her movement and she stared silently at the Doberman watching her, ears turned forward and eyes narrowed on her slim frame outlined by moonlight. They didn’t bark, didn’t attempt to alert the people who she now knew were searching for her in the woods. Though closer to the path she took each day to burn energy, to free her mind from thoughts that told her she was a prisoner. Thoughts she had believed somewhat foolish until this moment.
The Doberman to her right inched closer, head lowering but his ears stayed erect, mouth opened in a canine grin. Her fists relaxed, loosened with the sudden and nagging sense of familiarity. She swallowed and lowered her hands to her sides, watched as the one to her let followed its partner forward.
“Chess?” The one of the left lifted its head with the name, “Shire?” the other’s head cocked and it gave a low woof. The pair moved forward in unison, pushing their way through the knee high grass that hit them at their shoulders and brushed against their narrow builds.
Chess reached her first and his head dropped, sniffing at her calves while Shire sat in front of her, staring up at her with a curious and far too intelligent gaze. There was a sharp whistle that brought Chess’s head up and swiveling toward the sound but the Doberman remained strangely silent as if unwilling to give away the trio’s location.
Tentatively she lifted a hand that had both dogs tensing. She saw the play of muscles as they corded in their necks, preparing to protect themselves or each other should she attempt something stupid. She turned her wrist, presenting them with her hand palm up and stilled, holding herself as motionless as possible.
Shire came forward first, a wet nose bumped the tips of her fingers as a hot breath expelled outward, damping her skin further. Another nose brushed her wrist and she slowly turned her hand over, rested it gently on Shire’s head. The fur beneath her fingers was short and coarse, and she shifted, pushing her hand forward, down the back of Shire’s neck and between the shoulder blades before her reach failed her and she offered a sharp scratch before stepping back.
Chess was at her side, nudging her hand and she lowered herself to one knee. Ignored the dampness of the dead leaves as her jeans absorbed the moisture and she gave Chess the same treatment. Shire came forward again, large paws sinking into the dead foliage beneath them and that cold, wet nose brushed her cheek, drew her attention away from Chess and she laughed, ran her hands along the side of Shire’s body. Quick movements that brushed off the few hitchhikers snagged on that coarse fur and she patted Shire’s sides before turning to Chess once more.
She forgot her sudden urge to flee the compound as she connected with someone—something she supposed—other than Angie. A few minutes of distraction turned quickly into twenty and the dogs tensed before she heard the steady approach of others. Their lights swept around the trio and she looked past the blinding brightness to see several surprised faces and Cain’s narrowed gaze. Chess and Shire took up positions to either side of her and slightly before as she rose and readied herself for the verbal tear down that was to come.
And she did with two shadows following.