Balthazar limped into the kitchen, sniffing the floor for crumbs. His paw was still aching. He was still starving. And Willem hadn’t come home last night. After two rounds around the kitchen floor and one squeeze in between the chairs to check under the table, Balthazar went out the doggie door.
Nose to the ground, he began to sniff.
He raised his head, eyed the darkening sky, and lowered his head once more to find some breakfast.
* * *
Willem was cold. And sore. Groaning he rolled to his side, wrapping his arms around his body. Something wet touched his face.
“Get away, Balty,” he mumbled. Another lick. This one on his ankle. “Damn, dog. Stop it. I’ll feed you in a minute.”
* * *
Balthazar stilled, raised his nose. Sniff. Sniff. The scent in the air was familiar, though a bit off. Lightening flashed as he trotted toward the line of trees at the edge of the property.
* * *
Lick on his hand. Another on his cheek. Slurp on his stomach. “What the hell!” Willem’s eyes flashed open, ready to kick that damn dog out of his room no matter how much pain he was in. He stilled, gaze falling on the trees around him, the dirt on the ground, the cold air rustling the leaves on the trees, and the five or twelve weasels around him. He wasn’t at home. This wasn’t his bedroom.
His heart tripled in beat. “Nnnice, weasels. Nnnice weasels.” One of them crawled up his chest and stared at him with beady little eyes. It growled low. Willem stilled.
Until he felt teeth marks in his ankle.
* * *
Balthazar ambled along the path in the woods, nose to the ground . He didn’t know what Willem was doing all the way out here, but maybe he had some food with him.
His new master’s scent grew stronger. It was mixed with an unfamiliar coppery smell.
Fear raced through Balthazar at the same time salvia filled his mouth. Veering off the path, he stepped through the trees, keeping his head low to avoid the brush. He walked into a clearing and paused.
A human lay on the ground, not moving. Clothes were torn. Blood was everywhere. Animals a little bigger than the rats Balthazar caught in the barn surrounded the body.
“Woof! Woof!” Balthazar, forgetting his sore paw, ran forward. The animals froze for only a second then raced into the safety of the trees.
Balthazar eyed the human. It didn’t look like his master. Cautiously he lowered his head and gave a long sniff. But it smelled like him.
Crack. Flash. Flash.
Rain poured from the sky. In less than a minute, Balthazar was soaked.
With a long whine he lowered to the ground, near his master, starved in a storm.
* * *
Willem unfortunately didn’t feel the rain. He’d been half devoured by weasels.
Lord Slogar: -45
Professor Helena Slogar: 0
Melissa Slogar: -40
Grogar: -10 Elias E. Gorr: -5
The Old Dam: -25 Angel: -45 Cousin Mordecai: -10 Willem Stark: -5
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