Carter looked up from his discovery, the result of a broken-down tractor and a long walk through the forest as the shortest distance between today’s work and the farm house. He glanced around, thinking: Here’s a nest full of unusual critters, but no mother or father. And they were unusual, their shape and color unlike anything he’d ever seen in National Geographic or on the PBS shows he occasionally watched.
Slowly, one of the babies lifted its head and blinked at him, so Carter kneeled down and reached out a friendly hand, saying, “Hey there, little fella.”
The young creature sniffed at first, and then it snapped, shearing off his right pinkie at the second knuckle.
A cracking twig cut off Carter’s wailings, and he whirled around to the form of a giant, lizard-like animal crouched, ready to strike, its long tongue licking at more teeth than he’d ever seen in his life.
(Image courtesy of flickr.com)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story appears in the 30 Days, 30 Writes 2009 chapbook, released on October 30, 2009. The chapbook features more stories by Stephen Book, as well as stories by Jane Banning, Greta Igl and JC Towler. Please visit the 30 Days, 30 Writes blog for more details.