Preview of...
An Afternoon At Number Twenty-One

Blazing red eyes glared above a sneering muzzle filled with fangs. The setting sunlight cast in silhouette a powerful figure sheathed in dull green scales. The creature filled his doorway, its head brushing the lintel even though it stood crouched. It took a deliberate step forward, the murderous talons on its feet scratching noisily upon the floor. Its nimble tail disentangled itself from Chris's legs and slithered to the door, which it quietly pushed shut behind the intruder.

Chris struggled to breathe and squirmed frantically backward. He tried to call for help but the blow had knocked the wind from him and all that he could muster was a croak. The effort alone seemed to enrage the creature and it bounded toward him. One of its massive feet stamped down on Chris's chest, driving what little breath remained out of his lungs. The cruel talons pressed downward as the beast curled its toes which Chris realized could spear clean through him with the barest twitch of a muscle.

"Sssilence," it rasped.

Chris stopped his struggling and stared upward in mute terror. The creature's leg towered over him like a building, and beyond it, the smoldering, slitted eyes peered down at him like scornful red lanterns. "D-don't hurt me," he squeaked.

The creature said nothing but its grin widened, and the foot on Chris's chest pressed down harder, the sharp talons pricking into his shoulders. He wheezed and grimaced, staring pleadingly up at his assailant. "What do you want?" he whimpered.


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