Read the other chapters in the Terror Below tale here

Terror Below - Chapter 10: Friends!

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Food?

Shep sniffed the ground and wandered into a broken concrete cube. The building looked like it had been hit hard by the attack. Walls had crumbled and some rooms were filled with dust and destruction. It looked like it could’ve been a coffee shop. Shep ducked through an entryway and slipped into a room, searching for the source of the scent.

Chicken?

He picked his feet up and around shards of glass and protruding metal pipes throughout the damaged shop. In the corner of what looked like the remnants of a kitchen, Shep found a mound of dirt. This was where the scent was coming from. He paddled his feet against the ground, digging away the dirt to reveal a plastic sack full of large eggs. But these were not normal eggs. Not the kind that Shep was used to eating anyway. They were speckled in texture, some of the bumps were uniform, others didn’t make any recognizable pattern. Confused, he licked the eggs and tasted something familiar.

Evil. Monsters.

He recognized this flavor from when he bit down on the monster that tore his life apart and murdered his best friend. But instead of destroying the eggs, Shep decided to carry the sack in his mouth, dragging it lightly against the floor. Humans might know what to do with it. After all, they have thumbs. Gently scraping down the road, Shep followed the trail into town, lifting his paws over the wreckage the monsters had left.

The street continued down the flat land. It was getting cold and Shep needed to find shelter soon. He began thinking about heading back to the building where he found the eggs. He could sleep there and wait for the morning to come. It was a long day and this was the longest that Shep had ever been awake for. On most days, he would be sleeping by George’s feet, waiting for leftovers, and running around the backyard for exercise. Today, he found himself getting exhausted quicker than usual.

He turned his head back and realized that the road back was already too far. He sniffed the air, hoping to find humans. His eyes widened and he felt a bolt of new playful energy. There were people not too far away. Following the scent, he moved a little closer down the street and discovered a large rectangular building.

The Human Hospital.

He kicked his paws a little faster and trotted towards the Hospital, which was surprisingly still intact. He was immediately welcomed by the two sliding glass doors opening. This was something that Shep had always thought was human magic. Inside the Hospital, a blue light streamed down on the beige and white walls. There were chairs scattered all over—it looked like all the patients and employees had been evacuated in a rush. The computers at the reception desk were still humming in sleep mode. If Shep wasn’t a dog, this whole scene would be eerie, but luckily he was a dog and he knew better. Making a turn through an open door, his ears suddenly perked up to the sound of human voices.

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“What about shots?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never given anyone a shot before.”

“You can always try a flu shot on me. I don’t have health insurance and this stuff is expensive.”

“Once we’re out of here, we’ll have enough money to cover both of our health insurance for years to come.”

“Do we need morphine? I’ve only seen people take that stuff on TV.”

“It can’t hurt right? Just take all the painkillers.”

“What’s ace-ta-menophin?”

“That’s a painkiller. It’s for like, fevers and stuff. It’s like Advil.”

“Then why don’t they call it Advil?”

“Because that’s a brand, Sebastian.”

Two humans were rummaging the cabinets, scooping up bandages and pill bottles into their backpacks. They were both covered in dirt and one was bleeding a little bit, but it was covered up with a makeshift cloth bandage. The taller one was carrying a strange looking weapon that smelled like potatoes. They were making loud noises that sounded very authoritative to Shep.

They look like they know what they’re doing! Shep felt a wave of relief and dropped the plastic sack of eggs under his feet, plopped down his hind legs, and started panting loudly, in the hopes of catching their attention. He wanted to make a good first impression this way. It was also hot in the room, unlike the outside and it was nice to finally take a break from carrying the bag. The humans must have heard him panting, because they both stopped talking and turned around.

“Uh, Pat? Do you see a dog there too?”

“Yes. Yes, I do. Just. Stay very still and let me do the talking. Uh… Good puppy,” the Pat human cautiously extended a hand.

Friend!

- Banana Chan