The pack of dogs wasn’t far behind. I could almost feel their teeth on my heels, and I knew if I fell down, I was kibble. Each faint growl crept up my legs and spread across my body like an electric shock. The Canadian border was only a mile or two away, but it felt like a light year.
It was cold, but each breath pumped fire into my lungs.
For reasons not worth recounting, I’m legally barred from leaving the United States. When I was declared an enemy of the state, ironically because of one of these cheeky columns insulting Supreme General Trump, I had no option but to flee.
My girlfriend stands 4 foot 11 inches tall and was easy to overnight to Toronto. I had to drive.
I trekked across Wyoming and into South Dakota and halfway across North Dakota before a Freedom Patrol blocked the road, and I had to flee into the plains. A kind old Sioux man picked me up on a dirt road and drove me to Big Falls, Minnesota. From there I hitchhiked to Birchdale and walked into the Franz Jevne State Park.
That’s where a private border patrol squad picked me up. Six guys dressed in fatigues with AR-15s. They had me.
“Let’s kill him,” a pimply-faced teenage boy growled.
“No, we’ll turn him over to the Department of Fatherland Security,” an older man I assumed was the commander said. “They’ll deal with him. You a writer, boy? You’re going to find out what your toes taste like.”
I had to think fast.
“Hey guys! Look, someone is putting up an American flag and it’s an inch lower than the Minnesota flag.”
“Where!” They screamed in unison.
I broke and ran into a thicket. Once they realized my subterfuge, they started firing. The bullets zipped past me.
I ran. I ran some more.
The icy waters of the Rainy River were my salvation. The fire in my lungs turned to ice. I swam in the dark. Just when I thought I was going to drown, I reached Canada. I pulled myself ashore and lay there sucking air.
“Hey, get out of my country you Ice Back,” someone said in the darkness.
A man’s form appeared out of the darkness.
“I’m sorry. Please help me,” I pleaded through panic breaths.
“I’m just messing with you,” the man said. He was young and good looking. “I probably shouldn’t say ‘Ice Back.’ It’s kind of mean. I’m Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I like to come down here and meet all the new folks. I presume you’re a journalist?”
“Yeah,” I replied. My breathing was slowing.
“Ah, I figured. Probably wrote something snarky. They hate that. Anyway, you’re welcome to stay here.”
“Thank you so much.”
“But I’ll have to warn you. I’m taking three pieces of Canadian bacon, which we call bacon. You only get two. We call that a Canadian hate crime, haha.”
“Oh, I’m just messing you. We can split the third piece. You seem like a nice fella.”