TITLE: Terra Incognita
Like most of life’s extraordinary problems, I felt ill equipped to handle the beast hurtling toward me. The monster’s yellow eyes focused upon me. Its tongue, dripping saliva, lolled from its mouth. I flicked my eyes left and right, looking for cover. A door to slip through. Anything. But could find no escape. In a matter of seconds, it lunged for me. I hit the ground, the air forced from my lungs. And, before I could take a breath, my face was plastered with the dog’s kisses. Laughter bubbled up in my throat, and I tried to shove the more than one hundred pound wolf-hybrid away to no avail. So, arms shaking, I managed to hold the dog several inches from my body and draw my knees up, and rolled us both to the side. I made it to my feet, but the dog remained with his tummy in the air, smiling at me.
Bending down, I rubbed his belly, and tried to sound scolding. “You’re really too big to be doing that.” However, my laugh gave me away.
With the canine properly mollified, I continued on my trek to the house across the lawn. The farmhouse, and Lobo the happy monstrosity, had belonged to my aunt Bethany Wells until her recent death. Aunt Bethany had died under what local gossip was calling “mysterious circumstances.” But mysterious was putting it more than gently.