Today is Gary's 50th birthday. We are all set to spoil him as much as he'll let us. I've begun by letting him sleep all morning. He wanted chili dogs and cheese cake topped with strawberries for supper. He got them. The boys have birthday presents for him. Such awesome kids.
They were surrounded, outnumbered, and out powered, but they fought on.
The Small Dog seemed to be everywhere all at once, weaving in and out of the horde of Creepers, teeth flashing in the moonlight, slashing, tearing, and gone again.
The Hound was deceptively fast—his cavernous mouth closing around every attacker, crushing them and moving to the next. He battled in the shadows, baying in fury and pain as he struck and was struck. His red-gold coat glowed in the dim light as though he was on fire.
And Old One . . . Nothing outlived his jaws.
But by sheer force of relentless odds, they were losing and this time the Old One was in no shape to cross the border and face down the Queen.
He took in the battle scene. Just ahead of him another battalion of Creepers emerged and seemed to focus on the Hound who had backed into a corner and was standing on his hind legs in an effort to rise over the mass. To his left the Small Dog, his jaws wide, foam flying, legs splayed and encircled. For a split second the three managed to make eye contact.
The message was telegraphed. We. Can. Not. Fail.
The Hound bellowed, lowered himself, and fought again.
The Old One dove between the Small Dog and his attackers, driving them back. They fought back to back from within the circle they’d created.
He was so intent on simply keeping the enemy before him that he did not see the descending blow from behind, fell without a sound, as though death took him before he even hit the ground.
From the bed, the Boy screamed.