I pointed behind him. He turned around and made eye contact with a wolf-dog. It was just sitting there, as if part of our conversation or something. It had white and grey fur.
“You think-” But before I could finish my sentence, Charlie was calling it over, with a normal voice as if it were a human.
“Come over here, buddy.”
I watched the wolf-dog creep towards Charlie. I backed up.
“The hell is that?” asked Will, waking up from his nap. He rubbed his eyes then scooted back up against the tree as soon as he got a good look at it. Holly was still asleep, sick.
Charlie was giving it a rub behind its ears. It didn’t mind Charlie’s rough touch. Actually, it seemed comfortable around us.
It was then I noticed its collar.
“Oh my god,” I said, under my breath.
“You say something?” asked Charlie, looking up from the wolf-dog.
“Oh my god, Charlie, Will, that thing is owned by somebody! Check its collar, oh my god, somebody’s here! Somebody owns this dog! We have a chance!” I was ecstatic. Charlie’s eyes widened. He checked the collar without wasting a moment.
“Peak. That’s it’s name,” Charlie then flipped it over, “He’s a goddamn rescue dog. Someone must’ve sent Peak over here. By god,” breathed Charlie. He was as ecstatic as I was. Well, as ecstatic as three starving people can get. Will was starstruck.
“You think it knows how to go get its owner? You think they’re coming?” Will asked, suddenly looking around him.
“Does it know any commands?” I asked, peering at Peak, who was now sniffing around our makeshift-camp.
Charlie looked up with a gleam in his eye. I knew that look from a mile away. He had an idea.
“He found us at the site, didn’t he?”
I knew what he was saying. I quickly sat up. So did Charlie. Will wanted to stay behind with Holly. My mind was racing. Who could be there. Charlie was running. I did well to keep up with him. We shoved the dead branches out of our faces as we ran. We lunged under old, hanging trees.
Thoughts stormed my mind. Is this it? Will we finally be rescued?
The dog, Peak, ran not only with us, but in front of us. It knew where it’s master was waiting for him.
We got to the site, heaving, our hands resting on our knees. We weren’t supposed to be that tired after such a short sprint, but with the state that our bodies were in we felt like we had run a marathon. After catching our breath, we stood up straight.
I locked eyes with Charlie as we looked to each other for a bit. We laughed one of those hysterical ones. Neither of us ran with such a mission in a while.
Then, we watched the dog sniff the site, as if looking for something. Neither of us moved. We watched it sniff the plane, then back away from it. It sniffed the rubble surrounding it. Its head jerked upwards.
Its sudden bark made us jump. Peak was calling for someone, and we knew it. Trees and leaves rustled.
“I’m coming!” somebody yelled.
Suddenly, my entire body shivered with excitement. I felt my skin crawl. We didn’t know this voice. It wasn’t one of Will or Holly. We were being rescued.
“We’re here!” I shouted, with whatever was left of my voice. The dog barked. Charlie looked out into the forest, with a loss of words.
I heard the sound of clothing rustling and trees and branches moving. Soon, two bright blue jackets came into view. Their eyes widened when they saw us: two men who looked wild. We were pale to boot, the cold making our lips cracked to the point where they were bleeding.
“Oh, well gosh! Ya’ll okay?” said a tall woman.
“How long you’ve been out here?” said another tall man. The way they were dressed gave us insight into how cold it actually was; we had just gotten used to it. They were wearing puffed blue jackets and gloves. They had more southern accents, which was weird for the north, and they looked to be family, with the same facial features and blond hair.
“I. . . don’t know. Our plane had crashed, and we’ve been out here for what seemed to be like weeks,” I said, looking at them in amazement. I barely got any words out.
“We need to get you out of here. Ya’ll got any friends?” said the woman, looking at us fearfully.
“I. uh,” before I could say anything, Holly and Will came barreling to the site.
“We’re here!” Will said, waving his arms. He stood next to us, out of breath. Holly was next to him, equally, if not more, tired.
“How many more you’ve got?” The man asked.
“That’s it,” we practically said in unison.
“We got to get you to a hospital or something, and fast. You guys are lucky you ain’t dead yet. Come on, follow us,” said the woman. We followed her.ns184.108.40.206da2