Dogs of the Never Never : Myths and Fritos

When Jon was woken again in the middle of the night, he was almost expecting it. What little normallity he had in his life seemed to vanish when the sun went down. He almost ignored the noise coming from the main room, because if he didn’t look maybe it would go away. Of course that idea lasted all of a nanosecond because there was always the possibility that it was something less ghostly and more solid and there had been way too many people shooting at him recently.

He carefully slipped out of bed, trying to make as little noise as possible. The dog who’d stayed with him was staring at the bedroom door with a look of shock. Or something akin to shock, she didn’t seem mad just startled. Then with a soundless bark she was running through the door and into the main room. He followed, much less enthusiastically, but without playing ninja. After all the dog would hardly lead him into danger, in theory.

He didn’t see anyhting other than the dogs at first when he stepped into the room. They were danging about in a mass of faint blue dog-dom and he didn’t see the new arrivals for a moment. Then he did see them, and he took a starled step back. In the middle of the pack of dogs was a shadow dog, an inky blackness in the shape of a dog, with only the faintest details visible. Behind him stood a human-shaped shadow, but it didn’t look threatening.

“Uh, hi?” Jon wasn’t sure what to do with the visitor.

It turned to look at him, and there was a flicker as it solidified slightly into a woman with shoulder length hair, bushed back from the face with some sort of cloth binding that reminded him of the fluffy 80’s headbands. The only thing perfectly in focus was the eyes. They didn’t look angry, just amsued and Jon relaxed slightly.

The shadow said something, but Jon only heard the barest echo of sound.

“What?”

It tried again, looking rather frustrated. Then, fell into a pantomime.

“You want, um, something?”

There was a nudge from one of his dogs aginst his knee and he looked down. The dog looked up with annoyance then pushed him towards the fridge. He started at it stupidly for a moment and the dog sighed, then scratched at the door. Jon opened it, suddenly remembering the myth of Persophene and the fact that she had to eat something to remain in Hell.

The fridge, sadly, was mostly empty and he ended up having to offer her fritos and bean dip. The ghost blinked a few times, said something to her dog and then took a chip from the bag, the rest of her body fading back into shadow as she focused on grasping the food.

There was a short pause while she ate. Unlike the dogs, which had solidified fully, she only darkened somewhat. But after she’d polished off a hanful of chips and some dip she turned and handed him the bag back with a smile.

“Thanks.”

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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