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Balto the Hero

Balto Sematary (By Spirit of the North)

Note: The story itself is not mine. It is (c) Stephen King. This is Pet Sematary (by Stephen King), but with Balto characters.

Chapter 1
Deep in the forest lay a certain land... a sacred land. An evil land. The soil was cold and hard, difficult to break even with the hardest of picks and shovels. Not far from this evil, sacred place was another. Not so evil, but a place for the dead. “Pet Sematary”, it was called. It was spelled incorrectly, but that’s what the sign said. In the Pet Sematary lay dozens of bodies and corpses... all that belonged to the pets of their broken-hearted children. And not far from the Pet Sematary, but now far from the evil, was the place where people could live in their comfortable countryside homes. And the busiest road around.
Balto drove his car onto the gravelly driveway of his new house. Immediately after he turned the key to switch it off, his young daughter, Aleu, leapt out. She ran excitedly over to the tire-swing hanging from an old tree in the yard by the side of the house.
Balto chuckled. He stepped slowly out of the car, followed by his wife, Jenna. He tore his eyes from Aleu to face her.
“So, what d’you think?” He asked, grinning.
Jenna looked the house up and down. She trotted over to Balto. “It’s beautiful!” she answered, hugging him. Balto accepted the embrace and hugged back.
He went to the back of the car to start taking their belongings out. Up front with to other boxes or bags on it was the crate that held Aleu’s cat, Church.
Jenna looked in the back seat. Their young son, Dingo, was just opening his eyes. Jenna smiled warmly.
“Decided to wake up and see what home looks like?” She unbuckled the harness of his carseat and lifted him up and outside.
Aleu squinted into the woods. “Mommy, Daddy, I see a path!” she reported.
Just as Balto was about to reach for a box, they heard a scream coming from Aleu.

Chapter 2
Balto quickly forgot about the box and ran to go find his daughter. He was quickly followed by Jenna, who put Dingo down by the car.
Aleu was trying to sit up, the tire from the swing on top of her legs.
“It hurts!” she yelled. Tears streamed down her cheeks.
Balto and Jenna knelt down beside her. Balto took the tire off and shoved it aside. Then he took a look at Aleu’s leg.
“It’s ok, you just scraped your knee,” he told her, a comforting paw on her joint.
Back by the car, Dingo was watching them. He quickly got bored of just watching, as young minds tend to do. He waddled over to the open trunk and looked in.
“Church!” he giggled, staring through the mesh at the grey cat.
Way in the distance, he could hear a rumble. Quickly losing interest in Church, he looked around for what was rumbling. He saw it. A huge truck was roaring down the road, the sounds getting louder as in neared.
“Truck!” Dingo said as he began to approach the pavement. The truck didn’t slow down. Neither did Dingo. He was now several steps onto the road, right where the truck could hit him.
It was just then that Balto and Jenna noticed. Only it was too late for them to run out to save him. “Dingo!” Jenna screamed.

Chapter 3
Just as the careless driver of the truck was about to let the vehicle run into Dingo, a tall shape raced forward and scooped up the puppy. They both made it onto the lawn without a scratch.
“I corraled ‘im for ya, Mrs,” the dog said kindly, handing Dingo over to a relieved Jenna.
“Thank you, so, so much!” she said quickly, hugging her son tight.
“No problem,” the dog replied. “I’m Nava Wulf. I live just across the road from you. I take it you’re the Hybrids?” Nava extended a paw... hand... thing.
Balto took it and shook lightly. “Yeah, I’m Balto. This is my wife, Jenna.”
Nava nodded. He looked down to see young Aleu looking up at him. “And who might you be, little Miss?”
“I’m Aleu Hybrid,” Aleu answered proudly.
“I hear your father’s gonna be the new doctor up at the school.”
“Yes,” Balto confirmed.
“Well, Aleu, I think you’ll be as happy as a clam here!”
“Are clams really happy?”Aleu asked.
The adults laughed.
“Excuse me, Mr. Wulf,” Jenna said. “My daughter saw a path over there. Do you know where it goes?”
Nava frowned. “Uh.. That’s a good walk. Good story, too. I’ll take you up there some day. Tell you the story, too. Er.. After ya get settled in.”

Chapter 4
The next day, Balto and Jenna were busy unpacking. Their neighboor, Sylvie, came to help.
As Jenna was about to head in with some groceries, Sylvie was on her way out. Jenna held the screen door open for her. “Hi, Sylvie,” she said happily.
Sylvie didn’t smile. Her was was thin and pale and rather tired looking. “Hello.”
“How’re you?” Jenna asked, not noticing.
“Stomach pain.”
“My husband can take a look at that for you,” Jenna offered.
Sylvie shook her head. “It’ll pass. They allways do...” She hurried down the driveway and back towards her house without glancing back.
“Good-bye Sylvie,” Jenna muttered, staring after her.

That night, Aleu lay asleep in bed. Next to her, snuggled in the blankets, was Church. Jenna opened the door to the dark bedroom slowly. She smiled. She closed it again after seeing Aleu safe and sound. She did the same with Dingo in his room.
She saw Balto in the living room. “I’m off to bed,” she said quietly. Balto smiled and nodded.
“Be in soon,” he said.
After Jenna had left, he got up nad wandered near the window. His stared at the path. He hesitated, then grabbed his coat and went outside. Almost trance-like he was drawn to the path. He stopped himself right under the tree that held the tire-swing. He jumped a foot when he heard the blood curcling cry that came from it’s branches.

Chapter 5
Breathing hard, he made out two glowing green eyes. Church stepped out of the shadows, his normal self again.
“Jesus H. Christ, Church! You scared me,” Balto mutter and he picked the cat out of the tree. He stroked his head gentley then put him down on the ground.
Balto turned around, and saw that the light on Nava’s porch was on. If he tried, he could make out the old wolf’s light grey body sitting by a table.
Abandoning the path, Balto jogged to the edge of the road. He looked both ways to make sure no cars were coming. Then he crossed and started up Nava’s driveway.
Nava smiled when he saw Balto approach. He welcomed him up on the porch with him and offered him a beer.
“You need a glass?” he asked.
“Not at all,” Balto answered.
“Good for you.”
Balto drank some of the beer, then paused, his eyes fixed on the tiny path by the woods.
“So what’s down that path?”
Nava stopped smiling. He looked both ways, as if to make sure it was safe to talk. “Pet cematary.”
Balto laughed. “Pet cematary?”
“Well, there’s that damned road! Uses up a lot of animals,” Nava explained. “Dogs and cats, mostly.”
Balto looked down at his feet, then back to Nava. “My little girl’s got a cat. Winston Churchill. We just call him Church for short.”
“You oughta get him fixed. Fixed cats don’t tend to wander.”
“I’ll take that under advisement.”

Chapter 6
Aleu skipped across the lawn. “Come on!” she shouted to her mother, father, and Nava. Balto was carrying Dingo on his shoulders and Jenna had a pack slung across her back.
They walked faster to try and keep up with Aleu, although they never passed her for the whole trip.
When they reached a run-down sign, she stopped. “What’s it say, Mommy?” she asked, trying to read it herself.
“It says ‘Pet Sematary’. It’s mispelled, but that’s what it says...” she answered.
Aleu shot forward through the opening to the clearing. She was instantly hypnotized by all the gravestones and markers and crosses that filled the area.
“Aleu, wait!” Jenna cried after her. They all looked around curiously except for Nava, who seemed quite relaxed and uninterested in most of it.
“Daddy, look, this one’s a goldfishie!” Aleu laughed, pointing to a gravestone with a fishbowl in front of it.
Nava walked over to her.
“Aleu, do know what a cemetary really is?”
Aleu frowned, thinking. “No, I guess I don’t.”
“It’s a place where the dead speak.”
Aleu gasped and stepped back slowly into the arms of her mother.
Nava laughed. “No, not right out loud! Their stones speak, or their markers. It’s a place of rest.”

Chapter 7
Several days later, after the Hybrids had most of their things moved in and set up, Aleu sat at the breakfast table. She looked worried.
Suddenly a spoonful of goo landed on her plate. “Ew, gross!” she groaned. It had come from her laughing baby brother.
She pushed her plate away, and looked over her shoulder as her parents entered the kitchen. “What if school here isn’t like in Alaska?” she blurted. “I’m scared and I want to go home!”
Jenna put a paw on her shoulder. “It’s alright, Aleu.”
Aleu paused. She looked over to Balto, who placed Church in his crate on the counter. “Daddy, I don’t want Church to get his nuts cut!”
Jenna and Balto tried to supress their laughter. “Where did you here that?” Balto demanded.
“Sylvie. She says it’s an operation.”
“Well, he won’t get run over in the road. And that would be a lot worse than some old operation. He’ll be just the same. Or... almost the same.”
“You promise he’s gonna be alright?”
Balto looked to Jenna for help.
“Don’t shilly-shally, Balto, give the little girl her promise,” Jenna pushed him.
Balto glared. “Church’ll be fine. I promise.”
“Yay!” Aleu shouted as she grabbed her things for school. She ran out the door for the car. Balto picked up the crate and followed. He stopped at looked to Jenna. “If anything happens while he’s under the gas, (that’s a one-in-a-million shot it does), but if it does happen, you explain it to her.”
Jenna rolled her eyes but followed him out the door with Dingo in her arms.
Before Balto got into the car he leaned back to kiss Jenna. Dingo kissed his father on the cheek. “I kissed you!” he said. Balto laughed. “Yeah!” he got into the car and said good-bye before driving away to drop Aleu off, hand Church over to the vet, and go to work.

Chapter 8
Ambulance sirens wailed obnoxiously. A bloody wolf was being carried on a stretcher into a building, others crowding around him nervous and frightened. His eyes showed no emotion, just stared straight forward, and his mouth hung open.
He was brought to Balto.
Balto began ordering the others. He put an air thingy on the wolf’s face.
A crying she-wolf was trying to get closer to him, though the doctored tried to pull her away. “He can’t die, he can’t die!” she cried, her face sopping wet from tears.

As it was getting dark, Balto was sitting by the body of the wolf. Most of the bleeding from the gash on his head was dry, crusted and dark.
He stared at the lifeless body. It was useless to even try to save him, he was nearly dead when they brought him in. Even if he had a pulse, was breathing, it would be near impossible to fix the huge hole in his head.
Balto began to get sleepy. He let his eyes droop and his head hang. Just as he was about to drift off, a voice spoke sharply and snapped him awake.
He thought sure he was alone just a few seconds ago!
With wide eyes, Balto stared at the body in horror. Was it actually talking to him?

Chapter 9
It was! The wolf had lifted it’s head. It stared at him. Fresh blood pumped out of it’s mouth and down it’s chin.
“Balto!” it repeated. “The soil...” he began slowly.
Balto tried to back away, but the wolf held onto his arm.
“Of a man’s...”
By now Balto was shaking violently.
He was frozen in fear, lost for words.
“ stonier!”
Balto finally managed to stutter a sentence. “How did you know my name?” he demanded.
The wolf didn’t answer. He was breathing hard now.
“I’ll come for you....” he said raspily.
“How did you know my name?!” Balto said with more confidence.
It was too late. The wolf flopped back down, dead just as he had been only a minute before.

Chapter 10
Crickets chirped noisily outside, but all was silent in the house. Balto, Jenna, Aleu, and Dingo were all sound asleep in bed. Not for long.
Balto’s eyes shot open. He sensed something was near.
“Come on, Doc, we got places to go,” said a voice from the hallway.
Alarmed, Balto sat up. The door between the hall and his room was open, as it was before. But there was something else there that scared him.
There was a wolf. Leaning against the frame of the door casually, grinning at him. He’d look almost real if not for two things.
One was that he still had the gruesome hole in his head. Blood stained his once handsome looking white fur.
The second reason was that after a fews seconds he vanished.
Balto thought sure he was going mad. He blinked a few times. No, the wolf didn’t appear. In the door, at least.
This time it was right next to him.
“AHH!” Balto yelled as he jumped up.
“Come on, Balto, don’t make me tell you twice.”
The wolf got up and walked back out of the room. He didn’t vanish, not like a ghost, but he disappeared from view when he left the hallway.
Not wanting to anger the ghost, and hoping it was a dream, Balto followed.
He cleared his throat. “Why are you here?”
They were now in the kitchen.
“I’m here because...”
Balto looked around the dark room.
Balto followed the voice and stepped down the stairs to the cellar.
“... because you tried to help me.”
They took the door in the cellar outside.
It was chilly out, and Balto didn’t have time to grab a coat or even a pair of shoes.
Without another word, the wolf led Balto down the path that led to the pet cematary. He looked back now and then, making sure he was still following.
Soon they reached the cemetary.
The wolf looked around and smiled as if he had just gotten home. Balto had begun to shake.
“The barrier isn’t meant to be crossed,” the wolf siad, pointing to a mountain of brush and broken branches. “Do not,” he siad ‘not’ with a heavy stress, “go on to the place ...where the dead walk.”
“I don’t like this dream,” Balto whimpered. “I want to wake up!”
The owlf began to lift off the ground.
“It’s not my fault you died,” Balto went on as the wolf went up. “You were as good as dead when they brought you in! I want to wake up now!” He layed on the muddy ground, whimpering and shivering as the wolf was gone again.

Chapter 11
The next morning Balto had slept in late. By the time he woke up, Jenna and the kids were already awake.
He yawned widely as he sat up in bed.
He threw the covers off only to reveal his dusty, dirty, muddy feet. Last night hadn’t been a dream. He was really at the Pet Sematary with the ghost of that wolf...
Balto decided not to tell anyone. He washed his feet off, got changed, and tossed the dirty sheets into the laundry chute.
In the kitchen, Aleu had more complaints. “Daddy, I want you to come to Alaska with us!”
Balto shook his head no. He had refused to go back and spend time with Jenna’s parents. He and they had never gotten along too well.
He kissed them all good-bye as they headed out the door.
“We’ll be back in a few days,” Jenna told him.
Balto smiled and watched them leave.

A while later, in the late afternoon, he got a call from Nava. “Balto?”
“It’s Nava. I found a cat dead on my lawn. I think it’s Aleu’s. You’d better come see.”
“I’ll be right there,” Balto replied. He hung up quickly.
If it was, boy he’s have a hard time explaining it to her.
He grabbed his coat and a black plastic bag and headed outside for Nava’s.
When he got there, Nava was already waiting for him.
The two crouched down by the cat’s body.
“Yup... that’s Church, alright,” Balto said quietly.
“At least it dun look like he suffered much,” Nava said.
Balto glared at him. “Well my little girl’s gonna suffer a whole lot.”
He took out the bag and popped it open. He attempted to pick Church up and put him in, but the body was stuck.
“Here, let me see it,” Nava said, grabbing the bag, giving Balto two hands to use.
It wasn’t easy, but eventually he got it up. It made a sickening tearing sound as it left the ground.
Balto stared with disgust. The cat’s eyes were still wide open, just like the wolf’s were when he died. There was a gash on his shoulder where a truck must’ve hit him. Balto wondered whether Nava was right, that he died instantly. Maybe his death was slow and painful.
He placed Church at the bottom of the bag and wrapped it loosely.
“So...” Nava began, eyeing the bag. “What’re you gonna do with him?”
Balto shrugged. “Put him in the basement, I guess. I’ll bury him tomorrow morning.” He began to walk away when Nava stopped him.
“I have a better way.”

Chapter 12
Nava and Balto trudged through the woods on the path that took them to the Pet Sematary.
Balto looked at the way the graves were arranged. “Do I plant him in the inside of one of the circles, or start a new one?”
Nava shook his head. “Place we’re going,” he motioned to the mound of branches. “Is over the other side.”
Balto looked it over. “No,” he decided. “We can’t climb that.”
“Yes we can. I’ve done it a couple times. I know all the places to step. Just follow me.”
Balto sighed, but obeyed.
It was hard climbing it when he also had to hold onto the bag.
Nava was almost at the top, when suddenly, Balto lost his footing. He tumbled backward and landed hard on the ground with an “Oof!”
“You alright?” Nava called down.
“Yes.. I’m fine!” Balto answered through gritted teeth. He got back up and reclimbed it to join Nava.
They walked through the trees, on paths, around boulders, and it was all very tiring.
“How much farther?” Balto panted.
“We’re almost there,” Nava answered.
But they weren’t.
They hiked up a steep mountain trail. Balto shivered as he looked down. A fall now could prove fatal.
“How much farther?” he asked again.
“Not much, we’ll be there soon.”
“You said hat an hour ago!”
“Well this time I mean it.”
Balto was getting annoyed. His legs were tired, he was cold, and he had no idea why Nava dragged him out here.
“Here we are,” Nava said, interrupting his thoughts.
Balto’s mouth dropped open. What was this place?
It was a giant circle, for one thing. And it was made up of sections that where divided by stones and sticks. In some sections were mounded of rocks.
“What is it?” Balto wondered out loud.
“Ancient Indian burial ground,” Nava said as he handed him a shovel and pick.
Balto took them. He was about to use the pick when he noticed Nava sit down on a big rock. He took out a pack of cigarretes and lit one.
“Aren’t you gonna help?” Balto asked.
Nava spoke without taking the cigarrete out. “Sorry. Each man buries his own.”
Balto rolled his eyes. He lifted the pick up over his head and smashed it down into the ground.
“Oh-whoa!” He yelped. The soil was so hard, the steel pick hardly scratched it. He saw a few sparks come out of the end.
Balto turned his head to face Nava. The old man was just sitting there enjoying a smoke while he did all the work!
He didn’t say anything, just kept working.
By the time he had dug a hole the right size, it was dark out. Balto picked up the cat in the bag he had layed aside and put it in the hole.
Nava nodded, and he began to cover it up with the pile of soil next to it.

Chapter 13
Balto was relieved to be back home. He heard the phone, and jogged inside to grab it before it stopped rigning. He was too late, the dog on the other line had hung up. Nava hesitated before stepping in with him.
“Uh... Balto,” he began.
Balto turned around to show he had his attention.
“Not one word about what we’ve done tonight.”
Balto tilted his head to one side. “What’d we do tonight, Nava?” he asked lazily.

“What we did, Balto, was a... secret thing. Women are supposed to be the ones who can keep secrets. Any woman at all who knows this will tell you she’s never seen into a man’s heart. The soil of a man’s heart is stonier. ...Like the soil up in there in the burial ground.”
Balto’s eyes widened. He’d heard that before, and he knew exactly who said it.

Not long after Nava had left, Balto recieved another phone call. It was Aleu and Jenna, calling from Alaska.
“Hi Daddy,” Aleu said eagerly. “Grandma and Grandpa gave me all kinds of neat things! How’s Church? Does he miss me?”
Balto gritted his teeth. “ I uh... I haven’t seen him this evening.”
“Well, be sure to bring him inside before you go to bed. I don’t want him to get hit by a car.”
“I will.”
“Oh, and... kiss him good-night for me?”
Balto laughed nervously. “Yuck. Kiss your own cat.” As he hoped she would, Aleu took it as a joke and laughed too.
“Dingo is here. Do you want to talk to him?”
Balto nodded. “Yeah.”
Little Dingo held the phone in his paw-hand-thingy. “Hi, Daddy, I love you.”
Balto didn’t answer. “Hi, Daddy, I love you.”

Chapter 14
The next morning, Balto went outside to rake the leaves..
He was quite shocked at what he found while he was out.
“C’mere, Church... come on!” he coaxed, trying to get the cat to come closer. He layed down a bowl filled with cat food.
Church was cautious. He stepped slowly and never took his eyes off of Balto.
Finally, when he sat down to eat, Balto grabbed a hold of him.
There was still that gash on his shoulder, but it was almost fully healed. Upon closer examination, Balto discovered a piece of the black bag on one of Church’s teeth.
“Gosh, you must’ve chewed your way out of the bag...” he muttered.
Church didn’t like being handled much. Without warning, he leapt up, yowled vicously, and scratched Balto on the cheek. He ran away into the bushes.

That night Balto and Nava sat together with a few beers.
“He must’ve been just shocked or something...” Balto said.
Nava shook his head. “Did you hear the sound he made when you picked him up? Sounded like tape coming off of paper... No, live things don’t do that.”
Balto stared at Nava. He knew. “Why did you do it?”
“I think I did it because your daughter ain’t ready to lose her favorite pet. I remember when I buried my dog Spot there. He’d got caught in barbed wire, died of infection”
“I wasn’t alone when he came back. My mother was outside doing laundry.”
A she-wolf hummed to herself as she hung sheets and whatnot on a clothsline. She stopped abruptly when she saw a sillouhette of a dog on the other side. She jaw dropped open.
“He wasn’t quite the same dog.”
The dog emerged, bloody and dirty, but there he was. He walked slowly towards the she-wolf, growling ferouciously. “Nava, come and get your dog!” She screamed, racing up the porch and into the house.
A young wolf came outside. He was a yougner Nava.
Balto thought for a moment. “Has anyone ever buried a person up there?”
“Christ on His throne, no!” Nava shouted quickly. “And who ever would?!”

Chapter 15
Later that night, Balto was in the bathroom. He turned on the water for the bathtub and began to undress.
When the tub filled up, he turned the taps off and slid slowly into the tub. “Ahhh...” He grabbed a facecloth from the nearby shelf, soaked it in the hot water, and rung it out. He leaned back to relax as he placed it over his face.
Suddenly, there was a splash in the tub. Something landed right on Balto’s chest. He uncovered his face and looked to see what it was. “Shit!” he yelled. He leapt up and tossed the dead rat out of the water. He stepped out, put a towel on, and looked for Church.
The cat was sitting up high on a shelf. “How the hell did you get in here?!” Balto spat at him. He opened the door wide. “OUT!” he shouted, kicking the cat as he ran.

Balto stepped out of his car. He could see Jenna, Aleu, and Dingo coming off of the plane. Aleu came running towards him.
She hugged him tightly, then looked up at him. “Is Church ok?” she asked.
Balto frowned. “Well, when I left he was asleep on the porch.”
“Is he really ok? ‘Cause last night I had a dream! I had a dream you and Nava Wulf buried him in the pet cemetary!”
“Yes,” Balto insisted. “Church is fine.”
By now Jenna and Dingo had come over to them. Balto grinned and kissed them both on the cheek. He handed Jenna a bouquet of flowers.

“P.U., you smell bad!” Aleu told Church as she went into the living room to join her family.
“Do cats have shampoos?” she asked as she sat down next to her father.
“Yes, but you have to take them to someone who grooms animals,” Jenna answered. “And I think that’s very expensive.”
“I don’t care. I’ll save up my allowence. Church smells bad.”
“I’ll cough up the money,” Balto said with a smile. Aleu turned to him and smiled back. She leaned closer and lowered her voice. “I hate that smell,” she whispered.
“Yes. I hate it too.”

Site is (c) Spirit of the North
Balto is (c) Universal Studios