Pile of Dust

By: Cassie Jones

The moonlight shone through the cavern as the dog's ears pricked, looking around. His dark coat shimmered in the light as he stretched, cracking his leg bones. The moonlight told him that it was time to wake up and hunt for his family. He blinked, looking at his mate and pups as they slept soundlessly. He smiled a toothy smile as he leaped out of the cave, dashing out to catch some food for his pups.

They only have one meal a day. Normal dogs – house dogs – have three meals, maybe even more. He used to be a house dog before his owners kicked him out of his house. His mate was also a house pet until her owner grown up and went to where-ever they go when they grow up. Her owner had never come back for her and she was left depressed and angry at the house.

She ran away, having nothing else to do at the house. That's how they met – in the woods, all alone. With their similarities, they got along great.

The dog's eyes shimmered when he saw a deer roaming the woods, bending her head down to eat a piece of grass. The dog got into a crouch, than leaped, springing off his hind legs and landing on the deer. The deer shrieked, bucking, trying to get the dog off. The dog's claws dug deeper into the deer's skin, trying to stay on. Finally he bit into the deer's neck, tearing at it. The deer gave one final screech before falling to its side, groaning one final breath.

He bit into the deer, dragging it to the cavern he now called home. His mate's eyes sprang open smelling the meat, leaping to her feet and trotting over to him, licking his ear. "Wow. You caught this?" Her eyes shone with pride for her mate.

He nodded, smiling proudly. "It'll last us two days at the most." He informed her, licking her muzzle as he called out to the pups. "C'mon pups. Time to eat!" He called, flicking his tail.

His two pups perked up, racing over to the fresh kill and barking wildly. "Dad, you're the best!" The youngest shouted, taking a fierce bite out of the deer.

He laughed, licking his daughter's forehead. "Thank you Reef."

"Yeah dad! This is the biggest kill EVER!" His son barked proudly, lashing his tail as he took another bite after his sister, munching on it, savoring the taste.

His eyes saddened as he watched his pups eat. Never in his life had he seen them so happy. So full of energy. If he can see this everyday, he'd be happy enough to live off of food.

His mate noticed and trotted over to him, licking his ear. "They are proud." She murmured in his ear, putting her paw on top of his. "They want to be like you, Soran."

Soran laughed, leaning into his mate. "Yes. I would want nothing more." He smiled, watching his pups eat. "Reef reminds me of you everyday, Cora."

Cora smiled, laughing. "And so is Blaze. Blaze looks like you." She informed her mate, eyes shimmering with delight. "They are growing up quickly. Soon, they will need to learn to hunt." She informed her mate.

Soran sighed, nodding. "I know. I just wish I could wait a little later." He admitted, curling his puffy tail around Cora's.

Cora sighed. "I know how you feel." She murmured, leaning into Soran as they watched the pups eat.

Out of the corner of Soran's eyes he saw a shadow dash out of the cavern. Soran breathed out a heavy sigh, turning to look at Cora, "I have to go outside," He told his mate, licking her ear, "I'll be right back," He promised her before racing out of the den. Cora sighed, watching her mate run. She hoped that he wasn't getting himself into any trouble.

Soran looked around, gritting his teeth. "Who's out there?" He barked, a hint of a growl showing from his voice, "Show yourself!"

An evil, menacing laugh vibrated through his earlobes, making him flinch, "I'm here for you, Soran," The voice hissed into the dogs ears, "You have done a great deed. Now all I need is your body," The voice breathed, making Soran flinch.

"What have I done?" Soran bellowed, keeping a watch out for the creature, though he couldn't see it – he knew it was there, "All I have done is saved my mate and raised a family. What more could you want?" The dog growled.

The invisible being laughed, "Oh, you absurd piece of fur," The demon laughed a piercing laugh. "I need you to become stronger, for I am growing weak and cannot live for much longer. I need an extra body, human or not," The demon hissed, grasping the dogs throat. Soran groaned, trying to free himself, struggling against the demon's moldy hands. Soran growled, kicking at the creature. It laughed, chocking him, "Dog. You cannot free yourself from me. Once I have picked you, your mine," The demon hissed, and before Soran could utter a scream, the demon bit into his neck, taking his life.

Soran was nothing more than a pile of dust.

Cora was looking out of the cavern, a worried expression on her face as her pups played in the corner of the cave. It wasn't like Soran to come home late. Cora got up on her paws, about to leap out of the cave when her pups stopped her.

"Where you going, momma?" Reef asked her, blinking rapidly.

Cora smiled weakly at her daughter, not wanting to tell her what she feared the most, "I'm just going to hunt, darling. Don't worry yourself any. Stay in here pups and do not come out of the cavern," Cora demanded, glaring at her pups.

Blaze nodded his head, tilting it back and forth, "Yes momma, we promise!" He chimed, wagging his stubby tail.

Cora nodded her head, taking one more last glance inside the cavern before leaping out of it.

She sighed happily, letting her paws soak into the Earth. It has been a long time since she had set foot out of the Cavern. A long time since then, she realized again. If her assumption was right, than how was she to defeat what had killed her mate? She hadn't hunted for a while and she really didn't know how to fight like Soran. Female dogs are thought as weak. If they fought, then it was a sin to the dog heaven, if there was such a one. Where did dogs go when they die? They didn't know yet, but she was sure they went somewhere.

Shaking her head from her thoughts, she leaped forward, smelling the scent of her mate. It still lingered, which she was grateful. Maybe it would be easy to find him. Maybe.

Her ears perked up when she heard a rustle of bushes. She blinked, looking around, her ears flattening. Improvise… She told herself, grunting. She tensed, ready for any fight. "Well, well, well. Another visitor I see? Such a rare occurrence for there to be two visitors in one day," The voice mused in a menacing tone. A man in a black cloak appeared; at least that's what she thought it was. She couldn't see the human's face, but she was for sure it wasn't entirely human. Maybe it was the smell? It didn't matter. She knew that this… Thing had killed Soran, and she wasn't too happy with that.

"Where's Soran?" She spat, crouching into a hunters crouch. She couldn't fight, but she could use hunting moves as fighting. It was the same, wasn't it?

The demon laughed, "Soran? So you're that precious mate?" He asked with a smirk. "Well, well. I have hit a bargain. Interesting," The demon mused in a thinking like voice. "Well then, we'll have to send you off to your mate, now won't we?" The demon laughed, floating over to Cora.

"Touch me and I bite your head off!" Cora snarled, flexing her paws, trying to figure out a way to end the demon's life. Before she could think of a plan to kill him, the demon hosted her up in his moldy hands. She squirmed, but he just laughed, shaking his head with disappointment.

"Dogs have too much confidence," The demon smirked, raising Cora above his head, "Too bad I have to end you though, your such a pretty dog," The demon growled.

"Then don't," Cora snapped through quickened breath. The demon was going to kill her, she just knew. What about the pups? Cora shook her head. She didn't want to think about it.

The demon laughed once again, "I have to, you see. I am dying. Though, I have gotten a bit stronger by killing your mate off," The demon chuckled, lowering the she-dog.

Cora growled under her breath, "You're evil!" She barked without thinking. Of course he's evil, Cora. He kills things, She scolded herself.

The demon laughed, "Thank you for noticing," The demon smirked. Without warning, he sank his fangs into her neck and she shriveled into dust, the wind blowing it away. The demon laughed a shrilling laugh that echoed the forest, "I shall live!"