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Finding Shelter

The cold night wind howled like a lone wolf around Brody’s head.

He shivered and stretched toward the orange glow of the campfire. He could almost feel its warmth, and he wanted nothing more than to break out of the darkness.

“We shouldn’t be here,” a harsh whisper growled in his ear.

Brody could feel his brother’s hot breath, but it made him even colder somehow.

“We could spend the night here, Cooper,” Brody said, nodding with his head toward the fire.

Cooper inched closer. “No! It’s not safe here.” He move his head forward, even with his brother’s. “He’s not safe.”

There in front of them, a grizzled old man shimmered in the heat of the fire like the surface of a lake in a gentle summer breeze.

“He looks nice to me,” Brody said.

“We have to leave — now!” Cooper barked.

Off in the distance, behind them, a real wolf howled.

The man turned to look in their direction, but Brody knew they were well-hidden in the inky night.

A worried expression creased the old man’s face, and he sat down on a log near the fire. Shivered. Looked back into the darkness.

“Let’s get out of here,” Cooper said.

“He’s afraid,” Brody answered, and pulled away from his brother.

“No!” Cooper snapped, but it was too late.

Brody scrambled into the ring of firelight, and the old man gasped in surprise.

After a moment, though, his eyes narrowed. A smiled splashed across his face.

“Well, now, you look like a friendly little guy!”

Brody wagged his tail and trotted to the man, pressing against his side.

The wolf howled again, and Cooper bounded out of the darkness, landing in their new friend’s lap.

“Guess it’s gonna be a two-dog night!” the old man cackled.

Published inFlash Fiction

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