Thursday, March 21, 2013
An excerpt of my upcoming release...A Winter's Grave
Ceres is a brand new Reaper and she’s going to meet her Hellhound for the first time…
Goofy stuck his nose under the bed and his large paddle of a tail started to wag hard enough to cause wind shear. There was a startling vicious snarl from under the bed and the big dog yelped pulling his head back and dragging the bed askew in his hurry to get away. Once freed he turned and trotted full throttle for his mistress with his tail tucked firmly between his legs.
Judging from the look on Stacy’s face, her massive Hellhound was usually a little bolder than that. She grabbed his thick leather collar and they both started to back towards the door. “It won’t eat you.” She gave me a nudge forward and nodded reassuringly. Her words of encouragement might have had more effect if she wasn’t shaking like a leaf. “Call him.”
“Here doggy,” I squeaked out of my suddenly dry throat. I didn’t know what to expect – a two hundred pound pit-bull… a Velociraptor… I just didn’t know. Anything that could scare a Mastiff-looking Hellhound named Goofy had to be pretty bad stuff right?
The dirty dust ruffle on the bed shifted and the tip of a shiny black nose poked out and sniffed, and then the whole dog came out and stretched as if we had just woken him from a very nice nap, but…
“What the hell is that?” I spun and looked at Stacy who was trying her best to cover her startled expression.
“What is that? A puppy, right? It has to be a puppy. Right?” I repeated loudly.
He pranced towards me and Goofy dropped quickly onto his back exposing as much of his flabby underside as possible, he was submitting dominance to – well to whatever kind of Hellhound I was supposed to have.
“They don’t come as puppies. That’s as big as he’s going to get.” Stacy had switched out her shocked expression for one of abject confusion.
“The only thing big about that dog are his friggin’ ears.” They were enormous for the size of his head. If I walked him on a windy day they could double as wings. They stood straight up from his tiny black head and were slightly rounded at the tips. “He looks like a friggin’ fruit bat!”
“Aw, he’s cute.” Stacy smiled and cooed but seemed to know better than to touch him.
“Yeah, but he doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of the damned though, does he? I don’t know a whole lot about this Reaping thing but I’m guessing I’m not collecting Souls from nursing homes here.”
She finally failed at keeping her laughter silent and shook with the effort to gain enough composure to speak. “He’s got a heart on his hiney.” She pointed at the dog’s tiny rump and other than that quarter sized white heart; he was completely black; like some demonic Care Bear with glowing amber eyes.
“This isn’t funny. I’ll be ripped apart by the first machete wielding spirit I try to grab. I mean, no one wants to go to Hell when the Angel of Death comes for them, but I’m pretty sure they won’t be party at all to the idea of some lame chick and her pocket pooch being the ones to take them there.”
“I’ll… be… right… back.” She was back to laughing at me. She held up a hand in apology as she left the room with Goofy close on her heels.
I crossed my arms and looked at the twelve pound dog. “Hi, sorry, but there has been some kind of mistake apparently, so I think we’re going to have to return you.”
He sat down in front of me and put a tiny paw on my leg. He cocked his head to the side and looked up into my eyes, making his extra big and round.
I cleared my throat and looked at the ceiling. “Sorry buddy, we can’t get attached.” I looked down at him again. “Listen, unless you can cute some murderous fiend into the fiery pit of Hell, I think this is a no go.”