‘Chased By Dogs’

Joe stumbled and fell into the clearing, tired and exhausted. He lay on the frozen ground panting, his breath making mist clouds in the chill air. He knew he had to get up and keep moving he could hear the dogs once again; they were not far away. He had hoped that throwing his coat into that river might put the dogs of his scent for a while, give him a chance to get some distance between himself and the dogs so he could rest up somewhere.

Joe surveyed his surroundings, he was lying in a small clearing in the forest, frost and shallow snow drifts all around then the dark foreboding forest beyond that in all directions. He had a compass, he knew which direction he had to travel and he knew his goal. If he could reach that goal in the next twenty four hours he would be a free man. He looked up, staring at the trees, nothing stirred apart from the incessant barking of the dogs getting ever closer.

Joe stood up to his full and lean six foot frame, his matted dark brown hair falling into his grey eyes. Joe did not care; he checked his compass and started north-east once again. Twigs slashed at his pale skinned face and now bare arms leaving welt marks as he ran through the forest. Run Joe run, he thought.

After another twenty minutes Joe came out of the forest beside a river, his bare skin and face covered in welts. He did not remember this river from the map they showed him. Joe halted, head bowed, thinking hard; where was he?  Joe looked at the river, frozen but not frozen enough to cross without the ice breaking, which way? Joe checked his compass, he would have to travel almost due east along the river bank until he found somewhere to cross, he did not want to go west, he knew what lay in that direction if he travelled far enough, it had to be east. Until now Joe had not noticed the silence, even the dogs where quiet. Had they lost his scent?

To save much needed energy, Joe walked along the riverbank but without his coat and only a T-shirt and jeans for clothing, his sweat soon started to freeze to his body, he had to find some dry warmer clothes. Joe looked down the river and in the distance he could see buildings alongside the river. Joe started to jog to try to get some heat circulating in his body again but he was already shivering.

He reached what looked like an abandoned barn with an old watermill alongside. Both looked deserted as Joe scouted for signs of life. While at the back of the barn, Joe noticed that a window had been smashed. It also looked like the only way into the barn without smashing in doors as the only door to the barn was at the front and locked with a heavy brass padlock. Joe climbed in through the window into the almost total darkness of the barn.

The audience was going wild, placing bets with the interactive betting agents as they flashed their prices across the viewing screens. Joe had found something no other freedom chaser had found; this was something new to the viewers of the most watched TV show in modern history. Of course the audience did not know that the production company had built this new feature into the set after falling viewer and betting income figures had spurred them into new ideas. Everything now rested on Joe, would he find the items planted in the barn and watermill? Finding the right items would mean certain freedom, finding the wrong items; well that was why ‘Chased By Dogs’ was the most popular TV show in modern history.

©2010 Trevor Litchfield
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”Chased By Dogs” by Trevor Litchfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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  1. Loved it…the theme, the twist and the ‘reality’…all the more scary because of it!!

    • Thanks Pen, it’s been sitting around for a while on my PC so I did a final edit this morning and then put it up for all to read.

      I’m pleased you enjoyed it. I think my recent visit to your site motivated me to finish it off. Talking of which, I must have a proper look around your site.

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