Flash Fiction, 301 words. Where canines rule the streets, another animal comes to aid.
|Marble eyes, peering through a furry white and black mask. Leonard’s kind did not belong among the concrete jungle, where he’d been scavenging.
Things used to be different.
Humanity’s place atop the food chain was toppled through the rise of canine aggression. Surviving families sealed away in their homes, forfeiting the streets to the hundreds of packs that stalked outside. Some ventured to find supplies. Most never returned.
Leonard was different.
He scurried on all fours along the alleyways, opening trash cans and delving for food. One of his paws clenched a small tanned bag that he used to collect the freshest finds.
Providing, to him was natural, but uncharacteristically, another species weighed on his mind.
Something else that needed protecting.
One day, he journeyed further than ever. Not realizing that the trip garnered more rapt attention from would-be predators.
The countless mongrels that lurked those darkened streets became wiser after each kill.
They approached Leonard in an alley, blocking both exit points.
Silently creeping, ready to pounce.
Leonard's ears pricked up at the sound of saliva dripping on the cold pale floor. A reflection in a tin-can showed the danger that towered behind him.
He gave a deafening screech, the sound echoing, causing the hounds to howl in pain.
With the distraction, Leonard ascended to higher ground, climbing the drainpipe. He stayed above the city heights until reaching an apartment, which was his home.
Climbing through an open window, he approached a frail malnourished lady who sat in an armchair. He jumped onto her lap and presented his bag of scraps.
She smiled at Leonard, her savior, and gave a loving embrace to that selfless raccoon. Named after her late husband.
Outside, the old lady heard muffled gunshots. “Did you hear that? Our luck may be finally changing my dear….”