The Dream Snake
There was a quick little jolt rattling the loose items in the room and then a deep grating rumble that vibrated the house began to increase.
“What de hell ees dat?” Essie’s voice trailed off lost in the growing sound.
Larry’s voice came drifting in above the low grating sound. They could hear no words just a sharp cry of panic and pain.
Random and Emmylou jumped up headed for the front door. Rod, Essie and Maddie followed.
A black lowering sky made the late afternoon almost night. Larry came stumbling down the path from the hill cabin and tumbled, rolling and cursing. Random and Emmy ran to where he lay as the others followed more cautiously.
As they approached they could see one of his pant legs was torn at the bottom and blood oozed from an unseen wound.
“There’s some kinda wolves up the trail. Two of ‘em came at me. I almost made it, but one got a hold of my leg. I punched him a good one, but I don’t think he was trying for the kill.”
“We need to get you inside so we can look at that leg. If Jered and I help can you make it to the house?” Random asked rapidly with a nervous glance up the trail where the sound of the rumbling was now joined by thin moaning howl.
“Hell yeah! Let’s git the hell inside!”
They picked him up with his arms across their shoulders like human crutches. They all moved as a unit with a few individual nervous glances back into the increasing noise and gloom.
They struggle up the front steps and into the living room depositing Larry on the couch. Emmy was at his side in an instant with a first aid kit and some scissors with which she cut away the torn pant leg and examined the wounds four clean punctures two on each side of his calf.
“Their teeth seem real enough for creatures of the dream world,” she said shaking her head. “I wonder if dream creatures carry rabies.”
“I’m pretty sure that guy that got me was way too big to be any wolf that lives around here,” Larry added. “But, this don’t feel like no dream!”
“Lucille told me that the Talagi myths say that the creatures are manifestations in our world, but live in a place somewhere outside our world. They can have an effect in real ways, but do not understand the subtleties and sometimes do damage.”
“This could be just a warning to you to stay in the house, maybe even to protect you,” Random added.
“If this was a warning I’d hate to see the real thing.”
Just then there was a thunderous crashing, crunching, with sharp cracks like gunshots. The sound of trees being crushed aside and the rumble rasp became almost too loud to shout over.
Essie stood at the window eyes wide as a snake the size of a freight train approached the house plowing aside trees and finally flattening the Porsche under its tubular bulk. The awful sound of crunching glass and straining, grating metal came as the body of the snake crushed the car.
“Well eef thees aint the real ting than I hope there’s nothin’ beeger,” she said mostly to herself. It circled the house and stopped.
“I hope he doesn’t like human sized snacks,” Jered said finally, “Shit! That’s my dad’s car under there. I wonder how I’ll explain this one to him?”
“I have a feeling this is thing that did my car in too.” Random put his hand on Jered’s shoulder as he said this.
“It’s just the dream worlds way of saying it’s time to get a new car,” Jered said shaking his head. “That was a sweet piece of machine lying under you Mr. Monster Snake.”
“Maybe you should go tell him to move.”
“I teenk we had just better pray that eet ees one of the teengs sent to protect us,” said Essie, her eyes wide and worried.
“Well if it was here to harm us I don’t think the house would hold it back,” Emmylou sighed, a baffled resignation settling on her features as she finished dressing Larry’s bite wound.
“Maybe if we just sit tight and wait til morning, everything will be done and the dream horde can go back to wherever they came from, and I can get back to running my farm.” She almost sounded irritated.
“Oh, honey, everyteeng gonna be fine you jes’ wait,” Essie soothed and then noticed Maddie’s blank look of terror.
“I ain’t never seen nothin’ like this,” for the first time Essie heard an edge of fear in Maddie’s voice.
“I’m pretty sure nobody’s ever seen anything like this,” Larry said patting her arm.
“Well, I guess I’m not a liar about the car anymore,” she brightened a little. “It’s about as broke as it can be.”