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The Hours #17

When I woke, the sun on my face was nothing compared to the warmth of Samantha’s back pressed against my chest. I thought of the night before and found myself envious of Carl. He had known this woman, and all of her charms, and for a moment I was glad he was gone. I had indeed loved Mary, but it was without knowledge of the woman that Samantha was. Now that I knew, I vowed to make her the husband she deserved.

“Good Morning.”

I grinned and waited while she turned to face me. She smiled, and the whiteness of her teeth against her dark skin was dazzling. I smiled back as I pushed my head forward to place a gentle kiss on her lips.

“I was worried you might regret last night.”

“I regret nothing.”

She let out a tiny giggle. “Neither do I.”

“I cannot wait to get you home,” I said.


I lifted myself up on my elbow and looked at her with one raised eyebrow. “So I can make you my wife.”

“Why would you do that?” Samantha lowered her eyes. I was stunned for a moment and she took my silence as an opportunity. “With your title such a marriage would not be tolerated.”

“I do not care.”

She looked up at me with hope, and I kissed her again. This time, I had no intention of breaking this kiss. I ran my hand down her side, gripping her bottom and rolling her to her back as I moved my body above her.

Then I heard a growl.

We looked up to see one of the hairless rat bear things on the other side of the creek from us. It’s front feet were in the water, but it wasn’t looking at us.

I followed its gaze and gasped. Something, and I could not even relate it to a living animal that I had ever seen well enough to describe it with metaphor,  was walking towards us. It had what appeared to be more than one head and one of them focused on the rat while the others swept back and forth.

The rat hissed and there was a splash. I tore my eyes away from the nightmare and saw that there were actually half a dozen of the monster rat creatures. Had this thing not come upon us, Samantha and I would have been torn apart.

Samantha gasped and I turned back to see something that could have been a cross between a scorpion’s tail and an elephant’s trunk lifted up from the nightmare’s back and the rats shrieked. The appendage twitched and there was a flash as something flew out.

A rat died, squealing, as a four foot long quill pinned it to the ground in the same way that a scientist pins a moth to a cork board.

I don’t know if it wasn’t interested in us or if it just didn’t see us, but whatever the beast was, it stalked past us as it continued to shoot the pack of rats with those enormous quills. Once we were out of the thing’s line of site, Samantha and I scurried to grab our cloths and escape as quietly as possible.


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