Petrified he didn't want to open his eyes, tremulous and dangerous as the situation at hand was he wanted to forget that he was here with the looming presence chilling his blood. From the smell of it anger bubbled up and out like volcanic ash past the jaws right before him, a puddle of drool falling from canine lips, between razor sharp teeth to fall and trail down his forehead and ooze off of his nose.
He winced and cringed not daring to move more to bring himself closer to safety, further away from the rage and overwhelming hate steaming from the monster just inches from his face. It washed over him unavoidable and all consuming in scope and ferocity and he blanched meowing in a shaky voice.
"Death is a welcome friend, ending all misery and all strife. For you it bids me to kill you and your blood is as alluring to me as a sweet wine. What do ya think of that cat? Wouldn't you agree?"
Low and undulating, thick and filled with scorn the voice dripped with honey just like the thick saliva now falling clear of his face. He opened his eyes smiling nervously up at two big yellowish brown ones, the canine glowering at him and still only inches away. A large tongue flicked out licking under his chin in a sloppy caress that reminded him not so much of a friendly kiss that showed affection but almost like the dog was tasting, sampling flavor before eating.
"If at all possible I would respectfully decline your generous offer" he growled back his fur sticking up in tufts along his spine. "Besides, there are a lot more tasty things then me in the alley. Meat more rewarding then a scrawny gangly cat and sauce probably more enjoyable then my......my blood."
He could hear Venger off to his side.
"Run Denali! Run!"
Bernard was nowhere in sight, probably taking refuge in the dumpster.
Everything happened so fast he barely had time to register his place in it.
The dog snapped and he was able to turn away, avoid the bite to his face while teeth clamped down on his left ear drawing pain that spiked through his head. Just then Venger barreled into the monster and the two bit and snarled and rolled, each trying to gain the upper paw. Thankfully having the element of surprise Venger seemed to be faring well.
Denali yowled in pain, his wound throbbing and a thin trickle of blood weeping down to obscure his vision. He didn't have time to watch the fight or do much of anything unfortunately for a second dog was inching towards him baring its teeth and growling deep and loud. There was not a doubt in his mind that it wanted him dead just as the other had.
Let it try!
Without another thought he wheeled about and dashed off keeping his ears perked to pick up any sounds of the beasts progress behind him. Leaping and flying over the gravel he tore out past Little Italy and Joes heading back the way they had come when Venger had brought them into town.
Not many people were awake to visit and talk so his path was for the most part clear along the sidewalks although the multitude of cars on the roads jolted him with their loud bellows and sudden roars. They frazzled his already on fire nerves and made him wish that it he could be in a more peaceful place. Why had he allowed his two friends to bring him here!?
Daring a glance behind him Denali could make out his pursuer who seemed to actually be gaining ground only a few yards remaining between them. The dog was hulking and built, quite different from Vengers more elegant look. She was mostly white with pink here and there around her belly and jaws slavering with drool and foamed in her effort to gain on him.
Maybe some kind of bulldog?
He could hear her panting even with all of the other noise diverting his attention and blaring in his ear drums. Inwardly he cursed himself for not being more alert earlier. If he had been perhaps this whole incident could've been avoided. At any rate he hoped that Venger would come out on top and that there hadn't been anymore dogs around the alleyway. Bernard was hopefully safe and still hidden in the bowels of Little Italy food.
Ahead the streets ran in slight zigzagging patterns which he avoided for fear of damaging his nerves further, instead he headed towards what looked to be an old train yard, rusted boxcars just visible at the end of gap between two shops just ahead. As his paws brought him closer he realized that there was a chain link fence between him and his goal.
His heart sank, pounding in his chest.
There was no choice now. He had to jump the fence, he had to clear it and lose the dog behind him.
In a blind panic he leapt catching his claws sharply in the unforgiving twists of metal, his weight lightly rattling the barrier between him and freedom. Trying to gather himself from his place halfway up he leapt again his paws narrowly grazing the razor hard wire along the top. He fell back to the ground on his left side, the air rocketed from his lungs suddenly, leaving him panting and breathless eyes wide as he stared back the way he had come. Instantly his gaze locked on the hanging jaws swinging, spittle flying, teeth gnashing and paws thundering towards him, louder even then distant traffic and the clouds in the evening sky which were beginning to form as a spark of light penetrated the atmosphere in stark illumination. It only enhanced his fear, heightening his senses to the danger.
Finally a booming to follow the flash, another knife crashed overhead barely leaving any length of time between it and it's predecessor, a relentless beast in it's own right.
It wasn't a choice, he needed to collect himself, he had to get up and fight his body. If he wanted to save himself he couldn't lay here and wait, he couldn't give in to the stabbing pain in his lungs, his chest, his paws, his head, his limbs, every fiber of his conscious mind trying to hold together and fight things as they played out. Dying, being caught and torn apart by the dog was unthinkable, an outcome that he couldn't come to terms with or except it as what would happen.
Gathering up any strength that he had left he pushed up, his gaze focusing wildly around before coming to rest on a lonely trash can propped nearby wedged in between a wall and the fence itself. Glancing once more to the dog he yowled realizing she was mere inches away. He leapt up onto the lid just as he felt her teeth close shut where his tail had been a moment before
There wasn't any time to spare.
Bunching the muscles in his legs and back he set his goal on the fence, jumping for all he was worth his forepaws sailing over the meesh at the top, then his belly and lastly his hind paws which just slightly slide along the main cold mettle bar at the top. Just as another clash lit the sky he was over just as the bulldog lunged against the chain link, the barrier bouncing and rattling but holding fast against her onslaught.
Still, even with it there Denali knew that he wouldn't feel completely safe until he had put some distance between himself and her.
Staggering off he focused his attention on the train yard before him, the boxcars a patchwork of dull colors. Some shone clear and pristine far and few while most were a faded representation of former glory. Grime and dirt covered them, splotches evident on their flanks as he passed them, moving into their midst with the drive only to keep going.
However his paws were weary from the nights activities, his heart pounded hard in his ears like a resounding drum that wouldn't let up and his chest heaved as he panted casting his gaze about, sweeping his surroundings for any signs of trouble.
He doubted that he would be able to escape any should it arise.
He was beaten, sore, tired and well and truly lost in this new world he had woken to since the pier. It had all been a blur and it had worn him out more then he had thought possible after eating such a feast.
Another one and he'd dive in even though it had been only a short time ago that he had been stuffing himself with food.
Sighing he finally came to the end of the modge podge of tracks and cars, his eyes straining forward to look at what lay before him.
Was it another part of the same city? It looked dead, more laid back and placid and still, like a ghost of what lay behind him.
Above another crack of thunder and lightening announced rainfall right before it came cascading down to shower him, the water weighing down his pelt and his whiskers as he hung his head in defeat.
He couldn't go on tonight and come to think of it perhaps it was better not to.
More then anything else he needed shelter and rest to give his mind time to catch up with all that had happened. Besides, if he wanted to go looking for Bernard and Venger he'd need it so that he'd be refresh and ready to think on his toes.
Fortune smiled upon him then for he looked up and around and spotted another boxcar nearby with the side partially open and facing town. He padded over and sniffed at it before clambering up the wooden plank. It was dark and musty but it was warm, the floor inside covered in hay.
Not the softest bedding but it will do for now.
Flopping down much like a dog he rested just inside of the entrance, making sure to keep alert as long as he could. Fighting sleep however was a lost battle. He slipped into it, follow it like night followed day, reality to dreams and back again.
He had almost lost himself in it's warm and welcome embrace when all at once he stiffened his spine standing on end just as a female voice sounded through the night, loud enough to just be heard over the rain.
"Who's here? Why have you made yourself welcome in my home? Answer if you want to live........