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Bryon Smith

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· Ember Reign 2: Project Fallen Angel. Ember's Wings.

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Ember Reign 1 Segment
By Bryon Smith
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2006
Last edited: Sunday, October 20, 2013
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Bryon Smith
· Ember Reign - Prologue
· The Dream of Foggy Creek
· Kim of New Eden
· Bobby Gets A Boo Boo!
· Ember Reign Returns
· Ember Reign - Roughing It
· Ember Reign 2: Project Fallen Angel. Ember's Wings.
           >> View all 14
Megan gets shot!
This is an excerpt from the novel before the editing was completed.
PG-13) For violance and language.

When they got up the next morning they found a note on the kitchen table telling them Martha had gone to see Sidney before heading to the city to the bank to give them the money.  Once again as the girls went to get the eggs, they found Bud the snake in the chicken shed.  But this time they found him coiled around some high perches in the corner where he could see everything.  The girls stood there looking at the large rat snake.

   Megan shook her head.  “Something’s not right about this.  He’s not hungry.  He’s here for some other reason.” 

   “He misses your grandpa Fred,” May suggested.

 Megan glanced at May then at the snake.  “Is it possible?” she asked. “I’ve never known of a snake to care about anyone.  They’re reptiles after all and they don’t think like warm-blooded animals.”

 “And you know that because?” May asked.

 Megan frowned at May.

 “I don’t mean anything by it.  It’s just that inquiring minds want to know,” May said.

 Megan closed her eyes then sighed.  “Reptiles have very shallow minds.  They think very basic thoughts.  They eat, they sleep, they reproduce.  He’s not hungry but he keeps returning to this chicken shed every single day.  That’s not normal for any snake including Bud, not only that, even somewhat tame reptiles would prefer not to chance encounters with people.”

 “That doesn’t seem to apply to Bud, does it?” May said.

 “Apparently not,” Megan said.

 “Then perhaps it’s an omen, or a warning of some impending doom,” May suggested.  “I’ve read about it, seen it on a TV show once, how when animals behave strangely that something’s going to happen, like an earthquake.  Who knows?”

 As they watched, Bud crawled down from his perch and right up to Megan’s feet. He flicked his tongue at her.  May took a step back.

 “Where’s Jud this morning?” May asked.  “The deer are doing quite a bit better.  Shouldn’t he have come up for breakfast?”

 “He’s not going to leave the deer alone until they can fend for themselves back in the wild.”  Megan squatted down to get a closer look at the snake.  “What is it Bud?  I don’t understand.”

 May started gathering the eggs and now then she would look at Megan and the snake.  “The signals are not there, are they?” May asked.

 “There’s something there, but it’s not clear.”

 “Maybe snakes and reptiles take their extra senses from nature itself.  Maybe he’s acting the way he is because of nature or because of someone else’s thoughts,” May suggested.  “Then again, maybe you just can’t talk to snakes the way you can with other animals.”

 Megan picked Bud up then looked at May.  “I’ll just take him out to the fence.”

 “You do that,” May said.  As Megan left the building, May shook her head and looked at one of the hens still on her nest.  “I have the strange feeling that something bad is about to happen.”

 The girls headed for the kitchen door.  Megan noticed the two squirrels were perched in their favorite tree watching the house.  “Something’s not right,” Megan said.  “The squirrels are seated together watching the house instead of frolicking.”

 May looked toward the mail box near the tree at the road.  “There’s something really odd going on all right.” She pointed at the rusted out pickup truck parked in the driveway.

 Megan ran for the kitchen door.  May set the eggs on the ground.  “NO!” May yelled running after Megan.

 Megan opened the door and rushed into the kitchen.  May was only a few steps behind when she heard the gun shot.  Megan stopped in her tracks.  A strange man stood on the far side of the table.  The man held several envelopes in one hand and a small automatic pistol in the other. When he saw May, he pointed the gun and fired just as May ducked down then jumped back out the door.  The man ran toward the front door.  More shots were heard followed by crashing and sounds and a scuffle.  May peeked back into the kitchen to see Jud and the man fighting in the living room.

Megan turned and looked at May with a blank expression.  She lifted her hand from her stomach.  It was covered in blood.

   “That man shot me,” Megan said.

 May grabbed Megan as she slumped to the floor.  She leaned back against the refrigerator.  The sound of another gunshot cut through the air as the ceramic cookie jar exploded into fragments on the kitchen table.  May covered Megan with her body as the fragments fell around them.

 “What do I do?” May said.  “Think May, what do I do?  Megan’s shot.  Stomach wound.  Lay her on her back.  Keep her calm,” May said as she positioned Megan on the floor.  “Lie still.  I’ll call Doctor Crystal.”

 May rose slowly watching the two men fighting in the living room.  Jud held the attacker’s arms trying to keep him from aiming the gun.  Again the gun rang out firing upward at the ceiling.  May reached the phone, picked it up then realized she didn’t have the doctor’s number.  Something else crashed to the floor and broke in pieces in the living room.  May looked at Megan’s cell phone clipped to her pocket.  Quickly she moved toward it just as another shot fired, splitting the air right in front of May’s face and breaking the window over the sink.  May fell to the floor trembling.  She ran a hand across her face feeling then looking for blood.  She saw Megan looking toward her.  She crawled to Megan on the floor and pulled her cell phone from her pocket.

 “I felt that one pass right in front of my face!” May’s hands trembled as she fumbled with the cell phone.

 “Don’t worry about me.  Help Jud.” Megan’s voice was weak.

 May found Dr. Rivers’ number then pressed the dial button and handed the phone to Megan.  “What do I do?” May asked.

 “Shot gun…” Megan pointed toward the closet beside the kitchen door.

 “I couldn’t shoot anyone!” May exclaimed.

 “He doesn’t know that.” Megan pulled the phone to her ear with a bloody hand.

 May crawled to the closet door.  Another shot echoed through the house.  The men fell to the floor fighting and kicking.  Jud slammed Jordan’s hand against the floor several times.  The gun fired again just as it slipped from Jordan’s grasp.

 “That’s enough!” May yelled.

 The two men looked to see May pointing the twelve gauge shotgun in their general direction.  A tear dripped from her cheek, her hands trembled.

 “You bastard,” May said looking at the man Jud had pinned to the floor.  “I should blow you in half!”  She looked at Jud.  “Tie him up, Jud.”

 “You wouldn’t shoot me,” Jordan said.

 “Just try me!” May exclaimed.
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Reviewed by m j hollingshead
well said


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