Dogs of the Never Never : Welcome to the Party

Note: This post has been included in one of the new Chapter drafts, please refer to the Index for the current draft of the story.

Please note, this is currently a very rough draft from NaNoWriMo 2007. There will be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, flat out contradictions, and uneven characterization and pacing. (Content is also subject to constant change as I take an editing chainsaw to the story.)

Writing set #3
Starting wordcount: 16,086
Ending wordcount: 16,891


The dogs all looked over the instant their hands met, Jon’s dogs falling into a flat out run an instant later and Hunter’s dog simply vanishing an reappearing beside her. Dark side dogs apparently weren’t too caught up in obeying the laws of physics.

All five of the dogs were upset, although all of them seemed upset with him and not Hunter and he didn’t think that was fair. Jon looked over at Hunter, but she was staring at her dog, which stared back and he could hear the faint whisper of clashing notes. It sounded like they were arguing.

His own dogs commandeered his attention, Tos roughly shouldering him away from Hunter and Akela looping a paw over her arm so she could sniff his hand. After a second she pulled away, sneezing and glaring up at him.

“What? What?” He threw up his hands, frustrated. “I thought we could use the help, it’s not like I have any clue what I’m doing!”

Athen looked over at Hunter (still arguing with her dog) and then back at Akela with a soundless whine. Tos grumbled, a rumbling snarl that never made it past his chest. Jenna seemed to be the only dog who had taken the blood gifting in stride. She pushed past the other three to look up at Jon, uncharacteristically bold.

“We need her help.” He looked down at her, trying to figure out a way to make them see reason.

She snuffed, then stood up, planting her forepaws on his chest and pushed him back against the tree. He opened his mouth to object and before he could close it she rubbed her head against him, leaving him with a mouthful of bloody fur. He pushed her off, spitting out dog fur and cursing the general strangeness off ghost dogs, she had jigged backwards and was looking at him with a big doggy grin, tail wagging.

He was about to complain to Hunter when suddenly the world went a bit sideways and he sat down with a thump. There was a sort of shimmer and suddenly the dogs that he’d finally gotten used to seeing (or at least as used as he was going to get) changed. No longer were they a ragtag group of mutts with no real thematic unity. Now they were a set of four almost identical dogs; long legged and large eared sight hounds with a soft blue glow to them.

He started, which in turns made them shy backwards a step. Hunter’s lurked in the background, completely uninterested (as normal), and he noticed that it hadn’t changed at all. It was still the same inky black dog-shaped void it had always been. It took a second for his vision to stop spinning and when it did he found Hunter looking down at him with a bemused look.

“Well that was unorthodox.” She offered him a hand up and he took it gratefully.

“What the hell was that about?” He spat out the last of the stay dogs fur and glared at Jenna in annoyance, she grinned back and he heard the faint whisperings of what he could have sworn was a guitar.

“You just got the other half of the blood gift,” Hunter to share Jenna’s amusement, although the rest of the dogs looked a little taken aback. “It wasn’t a proper gifting, of course, but that should means it’ll just take a little longer to settle in.”

“Oh,” he wiped his hand on his jeans and stared down at Jenna. “So, uh, I really don’t feel any different.”

“You won’t.” Hunter was gathering the last of their stuff up and seemed ready to head back towards the car.

“What, don’t I get super powers or something?” Jon started to help her gather the gear and stopped as soon as he realized his balance was still off. “I thought that was part of the deal.”

“Super power?” She raised an eyebrow.

“You know, like invisibility, or living forever, or running after than a speeding bullet, or some such.”

“Hmm, no.” She headed back towards the car and he followed. In the background the music was getting slightly louder, and it reminded him a bit of the muted howling the dogs had done earlier.

“So what does it do?”

“You live longer, but not forever. You heal faster, but not immediately. And,” she stepped carefully over a fallen tree, “You can hear the Singing.”

“Singing?” He took the long route around the tree and she waited for him to catch up. “You mean the music I keep hearing?”

She frowned, “Music? I don’t know. Everyone hears it differently. I hear the river when they Sing, bubbling and frothing over calm and rapids.”

“Oh.” Jon looked over at Akela, and he tried to sort her out of the melody. She looked over at him after a moment and he could hear the bell-like theme change tone and focus. “So that’s you, hey?”

She sniffed and the bells chimed in unimpressed agreement. There was an emotion to the sounds, although he wasn’t sure if he was projecting it or if it was really there. Either way, it seemed to match the visual cues so he figured he’d trust it for now.

“So now what?”

“Now I find out what this means.” She patted the bag slung over her shoulder. “You will continue with your life and pretend you know nothing.”

“That won’t be too hard.”

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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