We had heard everything this man, John Thorton, had warned. The ice is thin. The ice is rotten. The ice is dangerous. Still, even upon hearing this, Hal refused to listen. “Up!” He commanded us. “Up Buck! Hi! Get up there!”
None of us moved. We were drained, starving, near death. Still he beat us until we complied. I, Pike, began my painful struggle to rise soon after Joe. Three time I tried to rise. First try. Fail. Second try. Another fail. Third time. The Third time I managed to stand on my blistered, bruised, aching feet. The only one remaining on the ground…was Buck.
The whip continued to fall upon him. But he did not rise. We all knew, once Buck made up his mind, there was no changing it. Seeing as that is what Buck had done regarding this matter, there was no way Hal was going to get him up, instead, in his attempts to do so, he would kill him. We could all see in Buck’s eyes that he was ready to die, right then and there. My attention was then drawn to John Thorton. He seemed to be suffering along with Buck, like he could feel his pain.
Hal became angry. He grabbed his club. I winced, as I knew what would happen next. He lifted the club well above his head, thrusting it down upon Buck’s nearly lifeless body. He continued on mercilessly, but Buck did not move. He didn’t make a sound. He was a still and silent as death itself! Suddenly, without warning, John Thorton sprang upon the Hal throwing him back. Mercedes screamed, but did nothing. Charles also did nothing. John stood, shielding the almost dead dog. “It him again,” he hissed, clearly trying to keep his rage controlled. “I will kill you!”
“It’s my dog,” Hal replied, whipping the blood from the corner of his mouth. “Now, get out of my way, or I’ll fix you! I’m going to Dawson!”
Thorton did not move, and showed no intension of doing so. Knowing Hal, having being stuck with him for longer than I could count, he would not stand for this revolt. Ha pulled a hunting knife out of his pocket will full intent of harming John Thorton. Mercedes screamed. She cried. She laughed. She, was insane. Hal and Thorton fought. Twice did John knock the knife out of Hal big, rough hand. Upon doing this for the second time Thorton grabbed the knife and, with a swift movement cut Buck loose.
Hal, for the first time, showing a lick of intelligence, stopped, realizing Buck was not worth the fight, he was too weak to pull the sled. With one last glared at John Thorton we were off. I was in the lead, Sol-leks at the wheel, and Joe and Teek in between. As we made our way towards the ice a sense of impending doomed flooded every cell in my body, like it was the blood that was coursing through my vines. I looked at my partners, my acquaintances that I have been through everything with.
“Mush on! Mush!” Hal ordered.
Mercedes, as always, started complaining the moment the shield began to move, as her husband, Charles, staggered close behind. We could tell this ice was rotten and unsafe, but our master where to busy arguing to notice the ice. They are the worst master any of us have ever had, and if my feeling we not of paranoia, they would be our last.
“Mush! Mush, you lazy bag oh bones!” Hal yelled, cracking his whip.
These three had starved us to the point in which, we were, in fact, skeletons. As we began to reach the half a mile mark…the ice began to crack. Before anyone could even react to the sound, we fell.
I struggled, trying to swim to the surface, but the weight of the sled pushed me down. I continued to try to swim to the surface. As I continued to sink I realized that the chance of me-any of us-surviving were very slim. If I didn’t die from the lack of oxygen the hypothermia would. I was so weak, and in such agonizing pain I figured it would just be easier to die now rather than hang onto life. At that moment, as I felt myself slipping into grip of death, something inside my nearly lifeless body sparked, becoming a great burning fire. My body was rushed with the sudden, intense urge to survive, to endure the suffering of life, instead of letting death take me. My first order of business was to free myself of this harness. I chewed them off, I attacked them like they were a white rabbit that would serve as my dinner. Once freed from their grasp I swam with all my might, kicking my hind legs, determined to escape deaths evil grasp.
I had found something in that very moment. During my near-death experience. I found a fire inside myself that I did not know was there, but somehow seemed familiar, like it was with me since the day of my birth. I found my will to survive.
I had to do this for school. Hope you enjoy.