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The Graveyard and the Creature That Came From It (Or From Near It, Anyway)

On a sunny, crisp October day my cousin, Sammy, her friend, Jenna, and I had a plan. Our respective sisters were moseying along in the graveyard adjacent to my grandparent’s house. Our scheme was simple: we’d hide behind the fence in the cover of the trees and scare them, or at least, attempt to.

We walked idly along, sipping cold Coca Cola’s, talking quietly to each other about school and teasing my cousin about her crush, when we reached the end of the gravel road, only needing to take a right to reach our destination.

However, something deterred us from carrying out our plan. A street intersecting with our own was having a bit of a situation. A huge mass of black fur and a rusting silver truck we’re battling over who got to use the road first. The dog wished to cross the dirt road and the truck wanted to travel down it.

“Hey, look, it’s the Grim!” I said, referencing the threatening creature from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It fit the description with its huge stature and shaggy fur. The thing was huge: its head at least up to the middle of my chest.

The dog sat for a moment and the truck decided to take it’s chance and accelerate. That’s, as luck would have it, when the dog decided to cross. The truck braked and the dog turned tail back to his original position. They repeated the drill again, the dog hesitating, then bolting, and the truck screeching to a halt. The furball went back to square one. We stood there and watched the amusing challenge with interest as the driver of the truck, sick of the monkey business, gunned the gas, raising dust in its getaway. The dog looked at us for a moment and then trotted over, directly at us.

We looked at each other as he neared closer.

“RUN!” I shouted, pumping my arms, sprinting harder than I ever had. In the back of my mind, I knew about every dog safety rule I’d ever learned had been broken. It would most likely catch up to me. Then again, I had the advantage of distance.

Jenna had the head start and sprinted about ten feet in front of me. I took second and looked back at Sammy, behind me by about thirteen feet, the dog galloping five feet behind her.

Past the crab apple trees we dashed, with me darting my head back every so often to see how close the dog was on my heels. I dropped my can of soda to lose extra weight and Sammy and Jenna seemed to like that idea because they mimicked my actions. We passed the mid point between the street and my grandparent’s house: the woodchip pile. Almost there, I thought, pumping my arms even harder.

Jenna and I made it to concrete driveway and jumped up the steps to the porch. She swung open the storm door into the house. Sammy was still outside and the dog had caught up to her now. She ran in circles in the front yard, trying to avoid the monster.

“Gramma!” I bellowed. My grandmother, hearing my call, walked over. Seeing my pointed finger aiming at the dog and Sammy was enough. She marched outside, told Sammy to come in, and grabbed the dog by its collar.

Sheesh. Our own grandmother had more guts than we did to confront pup.

Sammy caught her breath, looked up at us, and said, “You know, we should’ve just stood there.”

“I know,” I said, “but it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun.”

And without the running part, I wouldn’t have a story.





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