Doggie's Secret

By: David Ihnen

NOTESChronologically - on the trail, moving after Lord Jackson's attack.
Contributions to this story including my character are greatly welcomed.
Apologies if I represent other people's characters wrongly. I'm fairly new at this.
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Henry threw himself into helping the Tiyessa move. He had rigged a harness from an old shirt to pull with. He used his youthful strength to pull his share of the load on a makeshift but sturdy cart he patched together from the remants of Safe Haven.

This seemed fine to everybody at first, but as the day wore on, his load grew bigger. An additional waterskin, the pack of a wounded member of the group. He always volunteered to carry.

"I'm just glad to help. Now let me pull it." He insisted, and "Let me do this!" when they were reluctant.

At the end of the long day on the trail Henry seemed unusually full of energy. He was the first to gather stones for the fire pit, even trotting off and finding firewood for the evening.

"Thanks Henry. Take a load off! I couldn't burn all that if you gave me all night!" exclaimed the cook as Henry brought yet another large armload of wood to the cooking fire. Henry shook his head.

"Glad to help." He murmured, and looked about almost desperately for something else to do. A bowl of stew and a wooden spoon were thrust into his hands.

"EAT! Now that's an order!" growled Thomas. "What're you trying to do, kill yourself?"

Henry looked at the stew and back at Thomas anxiously. "I gotta help! There are wounded and..."

"Sit down and eat." interrupted Thomas, pushing the man down concernedly.

Henry meekly sat down and started eating his stew. As he was eating, he started to shiver. He gulped the rest of his stew and excused himself.

"I, uh, gotta go to the outhouse!" He ran into the woods, stumbling as he shivered. The cook frowned and muttered.

"Something isn't right with that boy. Isn't the trench the other way?"

Henry's flight came to a sudden halt as he collapsed to the forest floor. His body was shaking all over now. He was loosing control again. He hated this, but he'd been fighting it for days now and the demon would not be held back. Soon uncontrollable spasms wracked his frame. His form constantly shifted, first a dog's muzzle and a tail, then all dog, then all human. His mind was intact, but his body shook out of control. This went on for about five minutes before gradually fading away. He huddled there on the forest floor in the fetal position the siezure had left him in, crying in fright and fustration.

The man eventually sat up, and looked about with tear-sollen eyes.. He didn't see anybody. He knew they'd hate him if they knew of his demon. They had to like him. Without the Tiyessa he would have nobody. He stumbled back to town and curled up under his cart. He would work harder tomorrow. Then they'll have to like him.

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