Fifteen year-old Dirk looked out the window in hope for the rain to stop. If he was really going to go through with running away, he didn’t want to be drenched. The institute was cold on the inside; it always was. He hated it here, and he just wanted to go. The rain began to slow down and drip, drip, drip on the window. It was 3:45, and time to finally leave. Dirk picks up his backpack and walks quietly over to the window. He takes his final look at his bunkmates.
“Good luck ole friends; it’s time to figure out what’s beyond quarters,” he says. He opens the window then slips out, into the gooey mud. It sticks to his shoes, so he quickly runs to the grass and wipes them off. The guards walk around the building that he slept in; he had to make sure that he wasn’t seen. If he was, he would be shot on sight. He moves up the road and dives into a nearby ditch. Two guards stood nearby.
“Did you hear that?” asks the first.
“Yeah, it sounded like a rustle in the bushes” answers the second.
“Should we check it out?” he says.
“No” Dirk says aloud as he pops out of the ditch. The soldiers react quickly, but Dirk grabs the first guard and yanks the gun out of his hand. The gun was an AR-15 rifle. He points the gun to the first guards head.
“Let go of him immediately!” yells the second guard, pointing his gun at Dirk.
“Move one more step towards me and he dies” Dirk says. Dirk notices the second guard reaching towards his alarm button so, dirk pops 3 bullets straight into the guard’s chest. When he does, the first guards rolls away from him, but Dirk fires and puts him down also. Chills go through the Dirk’s body while he stands in the middle of the road in the dark. The rain starts yet again. Dirk sees some guards walking toward him from about a quarter mile away. They wouldn't be able to see Dirk, but he could see them. He drug the bodies into the ditch and moved slowly towards the soldiers.
As he approached the soldiers, he had no intention of killing them. When they get close, he gets down in the weeds and waits for them to pass. As soon as they do, Dirk continues to move toward the “Quarter” walls. He is about a hundred yards away from where there stood tanks and soldiers, on duty. Dirk knows he needs to make a distraction, and even when he did, the dogs would be after him in very little time. He fires his gun to the left of him, and takes off. He sprints toward the gate using very sly movement. The dogs are let out. They all go running toward their soldiers being completely blind to Dirk, but wouldn’t be in a moment. When they are let out, Dirk looks towards the shed and they were held in. He walks over to it, peering into the back, a puppy. Dirk could tell by the look of it, that it was nothing else but the purest of breeds. A german shepherd in the ranks. Dirk, knowing he didn’t have much time, took a closer look at it. He walked closer to the cage at the back and peers at the puppy. Horrified, he sees scars all over the canine; they spread all the way across his body. The puppy moaned, then looked up at Dirk, almost if it was asking for hope. Dirk looks above the dog's cage, it read “Scrappy-Male”.
“Scrappy, huh?”, Dirk whispers. “Sometimes I’m too nice.” Dirk shoots the lock on the cage, knowing it will attract attention. As the door flies open, the puppy quickly runs to him. Dirk picks up the dog and puts him inside his backpack. He quickly notices guards hurrying towards him. He swiftly moves to the back of the shed. Dirk opens the door and closes it behind him. He sprints around a tank, straight to the gate. He hears the loud barks behind him and a very loud yell.
“There he is!” a guard says. Dirk knows that there is no way of getting the gate open now without causing a mess. Dirk begins to panic while sprinting, but this causes his gaze to lay upon a truck. He runs over to it and opens the door. As he hops inside, a bullet zooms past his nose. Startled, Dirk starts the vehicle with the keys already in the ignition. He slams on the gas, makes a quick turn, and heads toward the gate. The truck didn’t exactly go “Zero-to-a-hundred real quick”, but he knew it was big enough to blow right through the fence. The closer he got, the more he could hear the unreal sounds from behind him. Between bullets, barks, and yelling, his adrenaline was in the skylines. He was about 10 yards away from the gate when he heard a slight whimper. Dirk looks over to his bag where he sees Scrappy in a lot of pain. When Dirk looks away for the slightest second, he hears a yell out of the valley of noises.
“He’s going to hit!”, he hears. Just then, Dirk feels a big jerk, and slams into the fence. The fence falls onto the vehicle, screeching like a hawk. The barbwire manages to crack the front window of the truck. Continuing on, Dirk presses on the pedal. He drives up the gravel road, not knowing where he is going. Dirk realizes that the guards will be on him in no time. He continues to follow the road with Scrappy all the way through the night.
Dirk pulls over as the sun rises. He knows that he must run a long way to the west if he didn’t want to be found.
“C’mon Scrappy,” he says, “time to go.” He grabs his bag, and Scrappy comes up to the side of him. They start moving west. After walking for a good three hours, Scrappy gets tired, so Dirk puts him inside of his backpack. Dirk walks into some timber and climbs up a tree. He begins to take a nap.
Dirk was four again. His parents were being taken away, and he was being put into the same place that he spent the past 11 years as basically a slave. He still remembers. He remembers playing in the snow and building snowmen with his father and baking cookies and cakes with his mother. He remembers the day he heard the words “potential economic apocalypse” on the TV. He remembers. The gun fires that went into his sister Johnni; he remembers. His parents screaming for him, and the breaking glass. Being slammed against the wall and told what to do. Trying to stop the crying, trying to stop the pain. No more snowmen, no more baking, and certainly no more family.
Dirk is jerked awake by the pain of a bite. Scrappy had bit him. He looks over to his right to see guards walking into the timber. “No!” he whispers. Dirk quickly grabs Scrappy and begins climbing farther up into the tree. He climbs all the way to the top. Dirk watches nervously over the guards. They walk right by him.
“Where did he go?” said one of the guards.
“I don’t think it was west; we’ve gone too far now,” says the other as they walk back toward their vehicles. Dirk climbs back down the tree and continues moving west with Scrappy. The sun begins to go down, and Dirk knows this is the time to hunt, but after hours of traveling, he decides he would rather go to sleep. He lays down, in the middle of the meadow and wonders if he will ever know peace. Scrappy crawls up to him, and lays on his chest.
“Maybe this is it, Scrap,” he says “Maybe this is as good as it gets.” Scrappy licks Dirks face and lets out a sigh of relief.