Read the other chapters in the Terror Below tale here
Terror Below - Chapter 11: Not Alone
Shep excitedly ran up to the Pat human and licked her hand. It was so nice to finally meet an ally after all the devastation that Shep had been through for the day. The Sebastian human let go of his breath, “Oh thank god, he’s friendly.” The two humans petted Shep as he rolled onto his back for belly rubs. This was the happiest he had been since the last time Old George fed him bacon, which was yesterday. He let his tongue hang loose out of his mouth lazily and his tail wagged against the metal tile floor. There were times when George and Megan joked that Shep would have made a horrible guard dog, because he was friendly with just about anyone. Shep so desperately wished that they could see him now. His friendliness had finally gotten him some new friends. And possibly some shelter and food.
“Hey Sebastian,” the Pat human stopped and nudged the other human, just as he was playing with Shep. “Look.” She pointed at the bag full of eggs that Shep had been carrying, which was now laying on its side.
Oh, yeah! I found that! I didn’t know what it was and it smells like chicken, but it tasted like one of the monsters I bit into. Shep got up and barked once and wagged his tail harder. The two humans looked at one another, clearly not understanding what Shep was trying to say.
“If he found those… Maybe we should keep him with us?” the Pat human suggested.
“I don’t know the first thing about taking care of a dog. I’ve always been a cat person,” the Sebastian human responded. “Also, we’re facing the end of the world; this isn’t exactly the best time to be thinking about getting a new pet.”
“But he could be a valuable asset.”
“Wow, you sound like a proper salesperson.”
“If we get out of here, I’m applying to Sotheby’s.”
Shep cocked his head to one side. Whatever they were saying, it looked like they were discussing whether or not to bring Shep with them. Shep, being the most proactive one in his pack, got up and grabbed the bag full of eggs from the other side of the room and lightly lolloped back to the group. He sat there, curling his lips into a massive grin, which Shep has learned is a way to get what he wants (usually in the form of treats). He didn’t feel good about manipulating the humans, but he needed to survive and being adorable was what he was best at.
“Aww come on, look at him smiling at us,” the Pat human seemed to be showing signs of empathy. “How could you say no to that face? Besides, maybe he can sniff more of them out for us.”
“Ugh, fine. But if a Boomer or a Screamer gets to him, then don’t get all sad on me, because I said we could keep him,” the Sebastian human crossed his arms then looked down at Shep, “Good boy.”
Those two words Shep was familiar with and he panted back in response. I know I am.
“Come on, we should head out,” Pat lifted herself up and swung her backpack on, overflowing with packets of pills. Shep and Sebastian followed closely behind her, with Sebastian clutching the bag of eggs, making sure it was some distance away from his body. It made him look funny while he was walking and he obviously knew something about the eggs that Shep didn’t know about. But that didn’t matter right now, because Shep was excited to get fed soon.
The group stepped into the night and out of the Hospital, to head to their next destination. Greeted by a cool breeze and a scene of a large scorpion-sandworm being shot down by several government agents, the two humans froze in fright. The gunshots vibrated into the darkness, while the collapsing body of the monster shook the ground. These were all of the feelings Shep recognized as danger, and he could sense that more danger was coming. Just as one monstrosity was being shot down, another dug its way out of the ground. These things were bad, very bad, and Shep needed to protect his new family by barking at the grotesque creature. Shep let out a series of aggressive howls at the newcomer.