The Hammer and I took a long walk in the dark last night. It was only supposed to be a short walk, that is how most of the long walks we go on begin. Last night I let my dog take us wherever she wanted to go, where her nose wanted to go.
It was cold. A good night for a long walk. My dog took us down by the swamp, where the cops chased two men last winter. They caught one of the men. The other man disappeared into the wet, dark murk. The cops said he may have got away. But he could not have got away. I have been to that swamp during the dry months with my dogs. It is very difficult to walk through, even when it is dry as a Christian rock concert. The second man the cops were chasing is rotting in the swamp somewhere. The swamp rats may have already picked his bones clean.
There was a mist hanging over the swamp. I let the Hammer off her leash. She disappeared into the mist. In the air above her thousands of bats swooped and screamed.
Then from the far end of the swamp, a safe distance from where my hungry dog chased the swamp rats in the grass, a voice, a voice full of menace and freedom, made itself heard above the buzz of the insects and the bat song. A voice that caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end. "You'll never catch me you motherfucking pigs!"