April 6, 2018 | Posted in WooFPAK Heroes

The Youghiogheny River Lake is beautiful.

Even Chase is able to admit that much. The water smells fresh and clean, in a way that the lake they were just recently at didn’t. He goes to the very end of his lead, forced to stop just a few feet shy of the actual body of water.

While the lake itself is beautiful, there’s also something unsettling about the area. The vibe that it gives off makes Chase’s fur stand on end. Every time he hears a sound, he glances over his shoulder, expecting some sort of monster to spring out of the shadows.

Zarro trots over to him, until they’re standing close enough that their shoulders are touching. He asks, “you’re still upset over this place?”

“I just don’t like it,” says Chase, the words followed by a low whine. He shakes his head, but it doesn’t chase away the foul thoughts. “It doesn’t feel right, Zarro. You can’t tell?”

“A lot of places the humans take us feel strange. It’s like…sometimes, they don’t understand the consequences of their actions. I think that the past is still alive, but they can’t feel it.”

“I can feel it,” says Chase. His tail droops down. The water distorts his reflection into something strange and foreign. “And it’s different from a lot of the places we’ve been recently. It’s not like…it’s not like when you came back with the deer. You told me that you could tell something was wrong from the start, right? It’s like that, only I don’t know what’s wrong. It’s not like I can tell that there’s someone who needs help. I can just tell that something isn’t right.”

Zarro nods, like he understands completely. The two dogs have always been very close to each other, in large part due to how much time they spend with each other while they travel. Countless hours are spent curled up with each other on the middle bench seat of the Jumbo Jet, discussing things in soft, low tones so no one else can hear.

They have a special sort of bond with each other, and it’s one that makes it easier for Chase to talk about his concerns. Chase continues, “ they said there’s a town under all that water. That sounds horrifying. I can’t imagine flooding a whole town.”

“I’m sure they moved all the people out of there before putting in the water,” says Zarro. He looks over his shoulder, towards the bundle of bushes that Princess and Jag have gathered around. “Come on, Chase. This worrying isn’t getting you anywhere. I don’t think WooFDriver is going to keep us here for very long. He wants to get to that other place, right? So this is just a stretch for our legs. We’ll be out of here in no time at all.”

Zarro trots over towards Jag and Princess.

Chase hesitates, lingering at the edge of the water for a little bit longer. He spends just enough time there to look at his reflection again; dark eyes meeting through the veil of water as he wonders, did they really take the time to get everyone out of Somerfield? Did they take the time to get all of the dogs out of Somerfield?

There’s no answer, of course.

Chase has little choice, in the end, but to listen to the tug on his lead and rejoin the rest of the group. Even as they start their walk around the area, Chase can’t help but think about the lake, and the town, and the awful possibilities such a fate might have brought.

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author