Ninety Days Later
Three months had passed since Frank Price and his loyal pit bull, Bullet, disappeared into the dense, uncharted wilderness behind Allan Price’s house.
As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, hope dwindled like a candle burning to its last flicker.
The search parties, tirelessly scouring the forest, faced countless challenges – treacherous hills, dangerous valleys, and unpredictable weather, all conspiring against them. Allan was nearly losing hope until Bullet showed up at his doorstep that evening.
The pit bull’s fur was marked with stark lines of scabs. He was dirty and skinny, a far cry from the massive beast he used to be three months prior.
Wagging his tail and whimpering, he lapped at Allan’s ear as the worried man reached down to hug him. Relief washed over him.
If Bullet was alive after all this time, then it could only mean one thing. Allan’s dad, Frank, might be alive too.
He’s Brought Something
The fire that had been fizzing out inside Allan erupted once more.
He called on the authorities and search parties, and despite the countless disappointments they’d faced before, they got ready to delve back into the wilderness again.
But their plans changed once they saw what Bullet was carrying when he came out of the forest. Allan fell to his knees, letting out a prolonged moan as the reality of things dawned on him.
Allan Price was forty-five years old when he and his loving wife Cosy decided to take in Allan’s father, Frank, to live with them.
A high school teacher living in a small, cozy town in the Midwest, Allan had only hoped to show his dad that he had his back.
He’d never wished for any of this to happen. But things took a turn once Frank came to live with him. It all started with his new best friend, Bullet.
Frank had long fought Alzheimer’s disease. At eighty years old, his body was strong and his spine capable.
But his mind had taken toll after toll through the years, resulting in the unfortunate reality he now lived in.
Due to his condition, and because Allan wanted his dad to know that he could always count on him, Allan insisted the man come live with him and his wife. He only wished to do right by him.
A Father And Son Bond
Frank and Allan’s relationship wasn’t always the best, especially in Allan’s younger years.
Allan felt like the man had been too strict and authoritarian, while Frank felt he needed to prepare his son for the harsh realities of this world.
But as Allan grew up, he realized his dad had been right on many accounts. He owed everything he was today, from his personal life to his social and professional life to his dad. Insisting Frank come to stay with him was the least he could do.
Frank moved in with his only son at the ripe old age of eighty. Allan and his wife Cosy were the best housemates anyone could ask for.
They constantly watched over him, always keeping him company and driving him all over the state to visit his old war buddies.
Since Frank was advanced in years, he needed special care. Allan and Cosy had a nurse come over every two days to check on him. It was also great that Cosy was a nurse practitioner. Life was good, and Allan hoped it would never change. But his wish was shattered when Frank brought home his new friend.
His Best Friend
The friend in question was a sizeable quadrupedal gentleman Frank had aptly named Bullet.
The dog was nothing if not terrifying, a black-furred pit bull with limbs made out of rippling muscle and a maw covered in thick drool and fangs.
Frank explained that while he and his nurse were out that day for his afternoon walk, they’d passed by the shelter, where the dog called to Frank. “Isn’t he adorable?” he asked, not knowing what kind of dog he’d brought home.
They’re Against It
Allan and Cosy were against Bullet staying at first. They knew the dark stories surrounding pit bulls.
It also didn’t help that the dog was a rescue. What if his last owner had tormented him to no end?
What if he was psychopathic as a result? Or if he decided to attack them in the deep of night? But Frank wouldn’t listen. “He’s a good boy,” he argued. “Bullet wouldn’t hurt any of us for any reason.”
Allan and Cosy ended up adopting Bullet. The dog was usually hostile to everyone apart from Frank.
He’d growl at Cosy whenever she tried to feed him and at Allan whenever he took him for a walk.
But this wasn’t the case when it came to Frank. The pit bull was always gentle with him, even curling under his feet whenever he watched his favorite World War II documentaries in the living room.
He’s Part Of The Family Now
Although living with Bullet was challenging for the Price family, Allan and Cosy agreed to let him stay.
Soon, Bullet became a member of the family, even though he was still hostile toward Allan and Cosy.
The two adored the dog because, among the few things that Frank usually remembered, Bullet was among that number. They truly were best friends. But that was about to change soon.
The day the nightmare started had been like any other in the Price home. Frank and Bullet had been in the backyard, spending some quality time under the afternoon sun while Allan and Cosy watched over them on the front porch.
It was a slow Saturday with nothing interesting going on. Allan got a call upstairs that had him dashing away.
While taking the call, he heard Cosy in the kitchen checking on a pot roast she’d been cooking since mid-morning. The two had no clue what was happening under their noses.
The Grocery Store
Allan came downstairs, hoping to find his dad, dog, and wife in the backyard. But all three of them were missing.
He thought Cosy had decided to take the two for a walk. The three of them usually did that from time to time.
An hour passed, and Cosy showed up alone with a grocery bag full of ingredients. “What?” she smiled at Allan as he stared at her, wondering how she’d managed to convince his dad and Bullet to go to the grocery store.
He Was In The Backyard When She Left
He asked her the question, and Cosy assured him she’d left Frank in the backyard. “I thought you were watching him,” she said.
“I thought you had taken him and Bullet out on a walk,” answered Allan.
His body heated as he realized his dad had left their home in his condition, with nothing but the clothes on his back and a loyal companion by his side.
They Can’t Find Him
Allan hurried outside and started combing the neighborhood, looking for his dad and pit bull. But he couldn’t find the two anywhere. His worry and anxiety started climbing as dark thoughts filled his mind.
His dad had barely stayed with him for a month. Given his condition, he’d have difficulties finding his way back home.
Panic washed over Allan as he broke into a sprint. But his nightmare was only beginning.
The authorities came immediately when Allan called them. Given how close-knit the town was, the story about his missing dad had already reached everyone.
People came out in droves, each of them eager to help. At first, the authorities divided themselves into several search groups, each taking a side of town to search.
The sun was already setting when they started returning. None of them had found Frank.
A Terrifying Evening
The sun hung low in the purple sky, blanketing the entire town in its dark orange embrace.
Yet there was no warmth tonight, only worry wrought of the fear that something terrible might happen to Frank.
Allan watched quietly as everything unfolded before him. Worry had paralyzed him. He watched Cosy handle everything, from informing everyone of Frank’s condition and that his life was in danger to telling them places he loved visiting in their walks together. Would they ever find him?
Calling In More Help
The search groups from earlier grew into search parties. By midnight, the authorities had brought in 90% of their station. Allan’s neighbors were also present.
Everyone fell into search parties and went out while others held vigils at Allan’s house and at different points of interest all over town.
They were confident they would find Frank, not knowing how wrong they were.
The True Search Begins
The true search began that same night. But by morning, no one had found Frank. But although the town’s residents had come up short, most of them had developed theories about where the old man might have gone.
You see, surrounding the town was a grand forest that stretched for miles.
The swath of woods was so large that parts of it had never been explored in recent times. Could Frank have wandered in there without a way to come out?
The Third Search
The authorities brought k-9 units and fell into a third search. This time, they were lucky enough to make a headway in the case. But what they found was more depressing than they thought.
The k-9 units had picked up Frank’s scent almost immediately.
They led the search parties into the forest, wending through the tall trees as they went deeper and deeper.
Into The Forest
At first, the k-9 units followed the beaten paths crisscrossing the edge of the forest.
It seemed like Frank had spent hours lost here, not knowing he only needed to follow one path and return to town.
The k-9 units lead the search parties away from the paths and into the dark forest. It didn’t help that the sky hung low with rain clouds. The reality of things was starting to dawn on Allan.
They Reach A Barrier
The search parties pressed on until a point where they couldn’t anymore. The k-9 units had lost Frank’s scent completely. His footsteps had also disappeared, seemingly washed away by the hefty downpour.
The week continued in the same vein, with the authorities scouring the last place Frank had stepped on.
The only conclusion was that he’d gone deeper into the forest, a disheartening reality. The other explanation was too heartbreaking to consider.
Everyone had two conclusions to go by. The first was that Frank was alive, somehow fighting for his life. The second was that he’d succumbed to the harsh conditions. Although many didn’t want to say it, the consensus favored the latter of the two conclusions.
Allan and Cozy were the only people who didn’t believe Frank was gone forever. But the days continued counting, with the people slowly giving up.
It took weeks of thorough scouring for the search to finally be called off as the authorities ruled Frank’s case as a cold one.
But despite the odds, Allan and Cosy pressed on, fuelled by the unwavering belief that their dad was still out there, somewhere in the unforgiving wilderness. And then, as if to answer their unspoken prayers, Bullet returned, his emaciated body and battered appearance telling a harrowing tale of survival.
The moment Allan opened his front door to find Bullet standing there, he knew the situation was grave.
Once filled with life and vitality, Bullet’s eyes were now weary and haunted. His ribs protruded, his coat was matted with dirt and scars, and he moved with a limp that spoke of the countless battles he had fought to survive.
Bullet Is Back!
Allan dropped to his knees and embraced the faithful dog, tears streaming down his face. He whispered words of comfort and gratitude, but his heart ached with the overwhelming question that hung in the air – Where was his father?
Cosy joined Allan at the front door, her expression a mix of relief and concern as she saw Bullet’s condition.
“Allan, what’s happened to him?” she asked, crouching down to inspect the wounded canine. “He’s been through it, Cosy,” Allan replied, his voice trembling. “But he’s here now, which means he’s come to tell us something. We need to call everyone.”
Lead The Way
Bullet, despite his physical condition, seemed determined. He led the way, his nose to the ground, following a scent that only he could perceive.
The search parties were immediately alerted, and they gathered around Allan and Cosy as they ventured into the depths of the wilderness, guided by the loyal pit bull.
The weather in the Midwest continued to be relentless, with rain pouring down in a ceaseless deluge. The forest, already a labyrinth of towering trees and hidden dangers, had become even more unforgiving. Mud sucked at their boots, making each step an arduous struggle. Mosquitoes and biting flies harassed them relentlessly, adding to their misery.
Don’t Stop Now
But Bullet didn’t relent. He’d presented Allan with one of his dad’s shoes. Allan had fallen on his knees, crying out as he registered the state of the shoe. Would he find his dad alive or gone? Bullet led him and the search parties deeper into the wilderness.
It was as though he was on a mission, driven by an unshakable determination to reunite with his beloved owner.
The search parties followed in silent reverence, facing numerous obstacles – from cliffs that needed to be scaled to fast-flowing rivers that needed to be forded. But they persevered, their determination fuelled by the memory of Frank’s infectious smile and the unwavering bond between a father and his son.
They Find Him
They followed Bullet for a whole two days until he came to a halt, his ears perked up and his nose quivering in the air.
He had led them to a small clearing deep in the heart of the forest, where a makeshift shelter stood constructed from branches and leaves. It was here that they found him.
Frank Price sat huddled inside the shelter, his frail form wrapped in his tattered coat. He looked up with vacant eyes, his face etched with weariness. Bullet rushed to his side, nuzzling him gently as if reassuring himself that his beloved owner was still alive.
Is That Really You?
Allan and Cosy rushed forward, tears of relief streaming down their faces. “Dad, it’s me, Allan,” Allan said. “We’ve been searching for you for months.”
Frank blinked as if trying to grasp the reality before him. “Allan?” he whispered, a glimmer of recognition in his eyes. “Is that really you?”
With gentle hands, Allan and Cosy helped Frank out of the makeshift shelter. He was weak and malnourished, but he was alive. The reunion was a wholesome moment, filled with tears, hugs, and the overwhelming sense of relief that their family was whole once more.
As they began the journey back home, Bullet walked alongside them, his head held high, his tail wagging with unbridled joy. The bond between man and dog, forged through hardship and adversity, had brought Frank Price back to the safety of his family’s embrace.
The story of Frank’s disappearance and his miraculous return spread throughout the community, a testament to the enduring power of love and loyalty. Once lost in the wilderness, the old man had been found, and his remarkable pit bull, Bullet, had led the way.
In the face of Alzheimer’s and the unforgiving wilderness, their love triumphed, reminding everyone that hope and perseverance could lead to miracles even in the darkest times.
This story was handcrafted with love by a creative novelist to thrill and entertain, mirroring real-life situations to awaken your imagination and evoke profound emotions. All events, places, and characters are products of the author’s imagination, and all images and videos are used for illustrative purposes only. We hope you enjoyed reading it just as much as we enjoyed writing it!