In this fourth of ten 6 paragraph excerpts from Acceptance, become acquainted with Kissre's huge hound, an important secondary character.
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In the pre-dawn dark a hand shook him awake. Ulyss' voice told him to go to the infirmary immediately, reiterating the serious plea in his mind. Dovel's eyes snapped open with a sense of dread that ensnared his chest in a tight grip. His squad, long patient with his desire for privacy, lost their indulgence and followed him. Within the city gates his need became apparent.
The whole city buzzed in angry tumult. People screamed and shouted from opened windows. The sound of slamming window sashes and shutters reverberated in endless repetition. Along the street excited dogs barked and rattled the fence slats they jumped against, and from stables, agitated ponies neighed and stamped in counterpoint. Above all, in the damp night air, the prolonged, reverberating howl of a demented demon sang. Crescendo and decrescendo the solo continued. Dovel, stunned, began to run.
He arrived out of breath at the infirmary's side door. Where the healer had disappeared that afternoon carrying Kissre, a huge shaggy shadow sat with head thrown back in mournful disharmony. A crowd had formed around the dog, several with large sticks, but no one dared approach, not after rumors of his behavior on the day of 'The Attack.' Shushing and cajoling did no good. Stones lay around the animal showing more drastic failed measures.
Healer Bujyea also stood at the door, his uncombed gray hair standing on end. With arms akimbo and displeasure lining his tired, frowning face, he waved Dovel forward. Dovel walked up to the dog. Fudge rose to a squat and gave him a quick lick of greeting, his front feet tapping the ground and his tail swishing in rhythm. There was a communal and premature sigh of relief, both physical and mental, as the wail ended. Fudge, his greeting over, threw back his head in yet another long note of ear-piercing undulation.
"Out!" Dovel commanded as he unshackled the chain trailing from Fudge's collar. The discord stopped mid-note, and Fudge gave him a doleful look as applause started. Dovel wound the chain around the stake and extended it to Ulyss who was laughing, having just removing his hands from over his ears. Ulyss took the chain.
"Fudge, heel," he commanded and went to the door. The healer stepped aside with an abusive and indecent mutter to the dog, and opened the portal, "This is against regulation."
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