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Hed heard wild stories about pit bulls or thought hed heard them and began to run. His toes ached as they slid into the frozen ends of his boots. "Staaay awaaay," he shouted, glancing over his shoulder, sure he saw something in the shadows.
Halfway down the hill he stumbled, an untied bootlace, and slid belly-first in the freezing slop. He heard running paws, heavy breathing, his own and something elses. Rolling over, he thought he saw a flickering red light moving toward him and the faint outline of a big dog closing the distance between them.
He made a dash, off the sidewalk, down an overgrown hill toward back porch lights of a house not far away. "My only chance," he thought. Tripping on the undergrowth, he went down again, this time wrapping his arms tightly around his head, resigned to the knowledge the dog would be on him in another second.
The brush rustled, he could feel the dogs hot breath. Cringing, waiting for the sharp bite, he waited. Nothing. Opening his eyes, removing his arms, he was face to face with the predator, a big, slobbery Lab. A Lab? A killer Lab?
"You ok, dude?" a voice from the sidewalk asked.
"Yeah," he mumbled weakly.
"Better be more careful, man."
"Lets go, Zippy. Happy Halloween, dude."
"Yeah, happy Halloween."