Dogs VI

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I stumbled upon the house.

It stood alone in the depths of my land, a stretch of which I’d not visited in decades and one I should not have neglected.

The child and the dog greeted me with cordial nods, and there was a sense of otherness about them. Neither seemed particularly impressed with me nor were they taken aback by my sudden appearance.

I, on the other hand, was quite perturbed to see them nestled in the center of Blood lands.

As I opened my mouth to greet and question them, the dog – who was no more than a pup – cleared his throat. When he spoke, his voice was young and high, though the words he used belied his appearance.

“Master Blood, what brings you to this place?” The dog’s tone was polite but imperious, and while it rankled to be spoken to in such a way, I felt obliged to keep my hands from the Colts.

“I was roaming my lands,” I explained, making no effort to hide my annoyance at their presence.

The girl let out a small laugh, and the dog grinned, his tail thumping on the porch boards.

“These are not your lands, Master Blood,” the dog explained as though he were speaking to a fool. “They have never been your lands. Nor were they your father’s before you. The Bloods lease them from my mistress, and they have done so since your father first pitched his tent so near the Hollow.”

My eyes shifted from the dog to the girl, and then I saw it hidden in her eyes. That glint that only the divine have.

The little god leaned over and whispered into the dog’s ear.

He nodded. “My mistress is pleased with your wisdom, Master Blood. Drawing your Colts would have ended your tenure here. And not in a pleasant fashion, I might add.”

“How often do you come to this house?” I asked, nodding at the structure.

“Whenever my mistress wills it,” the dog replied. “It will not always be here, nor will it always be in this form. She does her best to keep the structure in line with the style of the day. She prefers to disturb as little as possible.”

“May I ask what brings you here?” I inquired.

“You,” the dog answered. The little god giggled at my confusion.

“She enjoys seeing you work,” the dog informed me. “And how you care for my kind.”

#dogs #horrorstories

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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