Were you bitten?" he asks.I hesitate. "You won't believe this, but I had this apple...it bit back. Now I'm twice shy to give it a second bite!""
"Were you bitten?" he asks.I hesitate. I know the infection is already oozing its way through my body. In twelve hours, the prion infection would begin eating my brain cells. In twenty-four hours, I'll become violent, insane, and rabidly interested in eating everyone around me. I love this man, and we'd sworn to kill each other if infected. There is no hope for me or anyone bitten. Shooting me would save the lives of those around me... all these people huddling in the shelter, waiting for those infected to destroy themselves. If no one else is bitten, the infection will wipe out those bitten within a week. We could hold out a week... now that I'd brought back water."Were you bitten?" he asks again, searching my face.I love this man."No... it was close, but no," I say.I love myself more... besides... he looks sort of tasty.
"Were you bitten?" he asks.I hesitate. Does he think I'm too far gone to remember? His knocking had brought me to the door. His voice snaked the deadbolts free. I had been safe. Triple locked and provendered to the hilt. This attack was only predicted to last 28 hours. Damn his mottled hide. Trying to squeeze me for sympathy. I twist the railway spike deeper into his knee. He won't make it in the tunnels dragging a useless leg."Yeah, Dad. Somehow I got bitten. And p.s.? You suck."
nice stories, walt 'n wendy!
Oooh, great stories today, Walt, Wendy & B.!!I love Halloween time, don't you?
Any story containing the words "damn his mottled hide" is a good one in my opinion. :) I do love Halloween. It's my favorite holiday of the year.
“Were you bitten?” he asks.I hesitate. “You don’t remember?” After his passionate promises and lustful intensity during the throes of lupine madness this loss of memory is downright hurtful. Damn dog.He takes my hands and pulls me to him, then gently brushes my hair aside. I wince as his warm fingers touch the throbbing bruise just beneath my right ear.“Lucia, I’m so sorry,” he says, “Seeing you with that other guy…I just lost it.”“Yea, he did too.” I say.A spark of surprise lights up Jordan’s eyes, now returning to their usual gray. “Wha…?” He glances around quickly.“Head. Over there,” I point to the oak tree.
GREAT stuff, guys.Deb, nice turn.
Nice, Deb! That was awesome.
“Were you bitten?” he asks.I hesitate.“It’s important,” he says. His ears are flat and his tail stiff behind him. “Claws are one thing. Claws are for exploring. Testing. Cuffing pups. Pawing, digging, scraping; you can do many things with a paw. But to bite is to mean it. If they bit you, I will make them pay for it.”I know all of this. I’m not stupid. I’ve lived with dogs for years now. I know what it means, and I know what he will do, or try to do, if he finds out. He is very brave, and very loyal, but he is only one dog. They are seven. And it has been many months since he lived on the streets. He has lost his edge. Even now I can see a roundness in his haunches, a thickening in his chest. You can’t feel his ribs through the fur anymore. He is healthy. He is soft.“I was not bitten,” I say, “but I will not walk down their alley again.” He begins to growl, but I cut him off. “It’s about territory. You rule a different place, now, that’s all.” I kneel and hold out my hand. After a while, his ears come back up and he comes to lick my palm and have his belly rubbed.
Scattercat, that was wonderful! Brought tears to my eyes. I'm a HUGE dog person...lived and worked with them for years. Great!
I've never kept dogs, but I do live with cats. I will freely admit to being more than a little inspired by Kij Johnson's story with the long title. Well worth a read, if you're a pet lover.