From Trajectories, coming 3/2012 from Turquoise Morning Press. Note: This excerpt is not the final edited copy and may vary slightly from the published version
A cold drop landed on Kit’s cheek, then another. Rain. Glancing up, she could see through the gaps in the early May canopy. The innocent little cloud that had skated across the sun earlier had morphed into a monster. Gray and angry, it covered everywhere she could see. Maddie growled again and Kit checked the dog. Normally Maddie would be all over something dead—nosing it, rolling in it—but the ghost of whatever made that print held her interest more than a good roll in the blood-stained leaves.
Kit moved toward the dog. Drips came faster now, and it was definitely darker. Outside the trees, it must be raining hard.
“Come on, you big bad thing.” She leaned over Maddie and rubbed her ears gently. “You scared it off alright. Let’s get on home.”
She knelt next to the dog, clucking and cooing. A twig snapped behind her, sharp against the hiss of rain off the new leaves.
Kit moved fast but Maddie moved faster. The retriever bolted into the dark shadows containing the carcass. Kit spun that direction too, heart pounding.
Don’t turn your back on it, her mind warned. Maddie wasn’t enough to hold off whatever had sliced up that deer in there.
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