No-Name Lake – In Progress
The dog growls, a quiet rumble deep in her belly. She longs to bark, but the One silences her with a word more vibration than sound. The dog doesn’t like the Silencing Word, but she obeys as she’s been trained to do. She flattens her ears though, down and back so they nearly touch behind her head. The One will surely notice this protest, this sign of her deep displeasure at the silencing.
Crouched next to the One on the flat top of a large boulder, the dog’s legs quiver even as the warmth of the sun-time stone soaks sleepily into her underfur. She can smell the creek below. Wet grasses. Sticky pine and fir. The leavings of prey she will hunt once the danger passes.
But the dog can also smell the Others. Sweat. Blood. Fear. Two of them, they struggle upward along the creek, approaching where the dog lay next to the One on the sun-time boulder. They crush the smell of grass and pine beneath boots too big for the path they carve.
She heard their wrongness before she smelled it. Branches cracking. Scolding calls from the Bushy-Tail Prey. Rocks hitting water. Harsh words that the One never uses. More than enough time for her and the One to find their hiding place before the Others came into view.
The dog wants to growl as she had before the silencing, bark at these Others, these wrong ones. They must have missed her first warning, too distracted by their loud breathing, the stomping of their too-big boots. But the dog heeds the One. The One who saved her from the Dark Place where all those who were like her stopped moving and grew cold until it was just her and one other who was like her but also not like her.
No, the dog does not like the Silencing Word, but still she crouches obediently on the flat sun-time boulder next to the One who saved her from the Dark Place. She crouches with her ears nearly touching behind her head, watchful but silent. She crouches so long that she forgets her protest. Forgets to hold her ears.
The dog waits, ears cocked forward, waiting for the un-Silencing.
Waiting for the word she likes.