Jorge Patron was having problems with his life partner. Ever since he and Leon had rented a house together, he’d had an urge to run. And, run he did, he was the Mexican Forest Gump. If there was a marathon, a half a marathon or any race that ended in a K within 300 miles, Jorge went into training. Running was something you did alone.

He ran. He ran away from Leon and his obsession with his ex, from his disapproving parents, from his job as a corporate attorney, from his own ex and her shark lady attorney. Take an emotional, addictive personality and introduce him to running shoes and you create one efficient running machine. And this machine was about half way through his Saturday morning run when he cut behind the minimart, through the eucalyptus grove, towards the solitary path by the lake.

You have to understand, Charles was still new at being a bear. He hadn’t learned to sleep in a tree all that well yet. He didn’t mean to slip out of eucalyptus tree right in front of Jorge.

But he did. He landed next to the path and rolled right into the middle of it, the ground hurt. Just like when he was a human, he felt pain.

Jorge’s knee, in full stride, caught Charles fully in his big ole bear belly, knocking the wind out of him. The wind, on its way out, made a growling sound that surprised even Charles and caused Jorge to further wet his high tech moisture-absorbing running shorts. Jorge fell forward, his face brushing against Charles’s muzzle on the way over him, a tooth scratching his cheek and drawing blood.

They looked into each others eyes for a moment, both laying on the path.

Jorge was sure the bear wanted Mexican for lunch. Charles wanted nothing more than my advice, where should he go hide now that he’d been spotted?

They both headed for the mini mart’s back door.


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