He let his body fell into the water. It felt like ice surrounding him but he didn't mind at all. He spend a whole minute below water, before he had to emerge again, a bit less dizzy.
The lake was almost pitch black at this time of night, only the moon casted some light over the water and the nearby trees.
The man pulled out of the water, on the other side of the lake, and stripped down, entering the water again, now naked. The water felt less chilly now but he shivered anyway, his teeth chattering also.
He swam a few meters away from the shore but came back after his buttocks and feet started to hurt from the cold. As he had no way of drying himself with a towel, he remained naked, sitting down on a big rock, waiting for the water to slide down his body.
As he stroke his skin to get the water off, he heard the barking of dogs, far away, on the other side of the lake. So he had run far faster than them but they were still looking for him. He kept drying himself with his hands, making a special effort to hear every single sound on the forest.
Again, he heard the dogs, nearer. He grabbed his clothes and hid among some trees and waited there. Sure enough, a group of five men, each with a german Shepard dog, scouted the area, walking fast all along the shore. The dogs seemed puzzled as his scent ended there, in the edge of the lake. They were there for almost an hour, even checking the water with a flashlight.
After the hour, they left, entering the forest on the other side. The man could finally breath at ease and came out of the trees again. He left his clothes on the floor and sat down. He began to think on all that had happened that night. It was unreal to him, it seemed like a really bad prank. But it wasn't. Somehow, all of it happened.
He gazed at the clothes and saw that they still had stains of blood all over. Even if he got rid of the stains, he knew the police was aware of his clothes when he escaped their custody, so he decided to dig a hole and put them there. As he covered it all with dirt, he watched the sky: the night was clear and beautiful. He could see all the stars above and the constellations. He finally found the North Star and stood up.
He pointed at the star and moved his hand down, to a point behind the trees he had been hiding on went the dogs and police came. He then washed his hands, stomped on the ground to make it seem natural and then penetrated the forest.
The man walked for several hours and when he finally got to the edge of the forest, he encountered a road. No car was visible. it must have been really early in the morning and he knew it wasn't wise to be a naked guy near a road as it would be very suspicious.
He decided to cross the land, away from all roads or paths. His skin got scratched and hurt several times by barb wire and other elements that separated every single lot on his path.
That night, he didn't sleep. He just couldn't and wouldn't either. He decided to keep walking and when he got tired, he just lay on the ground, preferably on grass or against a tree, were shadows protected him.
The next day, he passed by a house that appeared to be empty. He grabbed some sweatpants and a hoodie from their clothes line and then stood by the back door for several minutes. He doubted if he should go inside or maybe try some other site. He needed shoes and socks, if he could find them. His feet were in very bad shape.
He finally decided to go in, as he was desperate and waiting was not an option. He knocked on the door and shouted "Hello?". He preferred, if people were inside, to be believed a homeless man and not a crazy killer or something.
The first room was the kitchen and his stomach growled instantly. He looked on the cupboard and grabbed some bread and drank milk that he found in the refrigerator. When he was done, he walked to the next room, the dining room. Connected to a sitting room.
Everything was so well done, so well decorated. There were pictures too, of a happy family: Mom, Dad, an older son and two younger daughters.
- Who are you?
Scared by the voice of a young girl, the man dropped the picture and the glass shattered into a thousand pieces on the ground.
The girl was standing not too far from him. She was holding a knife. She looked 14, maybe older. She was wearing pijamas and slippers.
- What are you doing here?
- I'm calling the police.
- No! Please. No...
The girl did not move from her spot. She got closer as he walked back to the kitchen. There, the girl opened a drawer and pulled out a gun. She left the knife on the counter. Pointing at him, she talked again:
- Why did you took our clothes?
- I was... I don't have clothes. Just, let me go, please.
The man gave a few steps towards the back door but the girl charged the gun and yelled " Don't you move!". The man, too weak to argue, fell on his knees and begged her to let him go. He swore he wasn't a thief or a murderer. He only needed clothes as he was escaping.
- So you belong to the police. What innocent person escapes?
He gazed up and looked her, straight to her eyes.
- Someone who is desperate.
On that precise moment, the girl flinched. The guy took advantage of this and stood up fast, pushing the door hard and running as fast as he could. The girl stood on the door and fired three times but she seemed to have failed her target.
When her parents got home, she told them all about the intruder. Her dad called the police and officers scouted the area but no one was found. However, some blood did appear on some corn crops belonging to the family's neighbor.
No one ever saw that man again. Months after his intrusion into that house, they found the clothes he had taken in a bin inside a restaurant located 20 kilometers to the north. But they never stopped looking for him. He was believed to be the killer of, at least, six people in the most brutal way possible. but the truth was even more twisted and difficult to believe. It was easier to hunt him down.