Brenda attempts to steal a hellhound puppy.
|The plaintive cries of the newborn puppies were eerie. They would have been enough to tell Brenda that the puppies had just ripped their way out of their mother's belly, even if she hadn't just seen it again. Only two of them had not begun to eat their mother's remains. They just sat staring at Brenda. Their brothers all turned from the bare bones of their mother to approach the two runts. Brenda had heard the puppies would cannibalize their siblings but she had yet to see the attempt.
Brenda tried to pick one of the two to rescue. It was like choosing between two starving children. Brenda quickly opened the kennel and scooped up both of the runts. She teleported the messy products of their birth back into the kennel, giving their brothers a snack to distract them. Brenda put one of the puppies in the kennel she had brought and the other in a sling she had also brought in case the puppy she rescued didn't handle the kennel well. Both kennel and sling had a nipple offering a mixture of cream and honey. Both puppies fell silent as they latched on to the nipples.
Brenda glanced down at the puppy in the sling. Its liquid eyes offering love and trust was enough to melt Brenda's heart. She left the whelping area and tiptoed out into the main kennel area. The ugly, scarred, hairless, and bloody hellhounds took notice. Their eyes fastened on her and the kennel she carried. The hellhounds strained to reach her pulling as far as they could held back by their chains.
This was nothing like her first encounter with them. The first time Brenda met up with hellhounds, she had been mauled. She had very nearly died from their wounds. She should have died. Only something akin to magic had saved her. She had eaten the fruit of the tree of life. It had restored her to health at the last moment. If something were to go wrong and this many hellhounds attacked, there is no way she could get to the fruit in time. Brenda managed to cross the kennel area safely. But the baying of the hellhounds was sure to attract the attention of their keepers. Brenda wasn't visible to the keepers, but if they let loose even one hellhound... Brenda rushed through the compound as quickly as she could. She still had some distance to go when the baying changed to a howled call to action. They had been loosed. Brenda ran she considered dropping the kennel, but the puppy would surely be eaten by the mature hellhounds, and her people needed the puppies. Raised properly their saliva cured hellhound wounds. Brenda counted down the steps until she could safely teleport away. She could hear the hellhounds getting closer. It would be a matter of steps one way or the other.
Brenda didn't dare look over her shoulder, but she knew they weren't far behind her. She ran as fast as her more than human legs could move. She regretted not bringing Puck. Puck could have kept her from being detected. Two more steps,Brenda could feel their saliva and their breath. One more step, the hellhound opened its jaws.