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Running

by Ford Kidd 10 months ago in Short Story
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They found us in the middle of winter

Photo from https://pixabay.com/users/nile-598962/

THEY found us in the middle of winter. The snow grew into huge shaggy snowdrifts and covered the dark trees in terry fur coats.

We hid as best we could, finding shelter in the heart of the hospitable forest. We hoped to spend the winter and change the place again in the spring. But THEY came. And we left everything, our house, our friends in misfortune, and in the early frosty morning, we ran away, urged on by the dogs barking and fear.

"Run!" Father touched us as if blessing us. "I will distract their attention."

Little Milo shouted. Father and mother looked at each other as if saying goodbye. Mom knew there was no other way out and nodded almost imperceptibly.

"Daddy, no! Don't leave us!" The sister's big tears fell on the indifferently cold white snow. I clenched my teeth, trying not to cry. I was older and from now I was the head of the family.

"Run!" My father touched my forehead. "Run!"

And we ran. Drowning in snowdrifts, falling into it almost up to our neck. And the father ... He turned and rushed to the side, leading the pursuers with him.

"Mommy! Mommy!" Milo's voice rose to the bare trees, full of ringing fear.

"Hush, honey. Don't scream."

Our limbs were frozen, I almost did not feel my body, making my way through the sharp cold world. Hot tears of horror boiled in my eyes, but I stubbornly fled. Winter ... just yesterday Milo and I were admiring the bizarre patterns on the river and jumping into the snowdrifts. Today I hate that season - chains of our footprints remained on the snow-white cover.

"Milo, honey," Mom's voice trembled, barking echoing somewhere far away. "Hurry, baby, hurry up."

I raised my head. A brightening gray sky flashed between clawed black branches over me. The forest was seeing ... but could not do anything.

A sudden, long, victorious howl made me stop rooted to the spot. My blood froze in my veins: The Dogs have found our father! Without realizing what I was doing, I rushed back, driven by only one goal: to save him!

"Red!" Mom's voice was drowned in my pain and anger. It seems these feelings have warmed my blood again, making me gulped in rage.

"Dad! Dad!!"

A deafening shot rang out. It swept through the sleeping forest like cannon fire.

"Sonny!" It was mom. She looked at me with her warm brown eyes, full of fear, bitterness, and determination.

"Mom ... Dad is there ..."

"I know, honey. I know." She turned around to make sure we were still out of THEIR field of vision. "We have to keep running. Do you understand, Red?"

I was silent. Little Milo was crying nearby, softly, almost silently, just dropping her head into a tall snowdrift. I was too young to resist THEM.

"Son, get up. Get up."

"Daddy, daddy," Milo sobbed soundlessly. It was the hardest thing for her. She was too small for such a big cruel world. Mother sat down, about to take the little sister on her back. So it would be most convenient to wade through branches and snow.

"I can take her," I suggested, feeling that I could hardly move my tongue from the cold. Mother just shook her head. Milo was barely on her back when we ran again.

No more looking back.

But the tracks ... They led The Dogs to us. Their barking behind our backs grew louder and louder. Soon it began to seem that their ragged calls were surrounding us from all sides. I could almost feel their fetid, hellish breath. I barely ran, I didn’t have enough air, and only fear continued to drive me with its whips.

“Mom,” I croaked. THEY were very close. She turned around and I saw the despair in her eyes.

"Run," she whispered, releasing Milo to the ground.

"What..."

"Run! Now!"

We rushed to her.

"Mom, no! No!"

"Mommy!" Milo clung to her, trying to hold her back.

"I love you, children. I will always love you. Do you understand? Be together, always. Now run and don't look back!"

And we ran again. Clinging to bushes and branches. Knowing that only death was behind.

We stopped only on the bank of a river covered with a thick layer of ice. I looked at Milo. She no longer cried, fear drove her grief. The pain will come later. Later.

"It’s good!" The man kicked the dead fox with the toe of his boot. The snow around her turned the crimson color of death. The hunting dogs overdid it a little, gnawed through the throat of fiery red beauty. Its dull glass eyes gazed blindly into the cold gray sky.

"My wife will get a good collar," the hunter spat approvingly. Another man whistled for the hounds.

"There are still cubs left. For mittens."

And two hunters moved further into the forest, setting the dogs on the trail of two little orphans.

Short Story

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Ford Kidd

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