Finnian Burnett

Storyteller

Sometimes, you start a story in a workshop and you keep telling yourself you’ll go back to it and finish it, but you never get around to it. This is one of those pieces. It was based of the art and I just never finished it, though I like the beginning.

File:Henryk Weyssenhoff - Przeczucie 1893.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Premonition Henryk Weyssenhoff 1893

The dogs are baying again. I part the curtain with shaking fingers and peer into the gloaming. My husband’s hunting hounds flank a shadow in the courtyard, howling and shivering. There’s nothing there, but the skin on my neck crawls and something makes me reach for my husband’s shotgun. Frozen by conflicting needs to both open the door and call in the dogs and to bar the door against whatever might be coming, I stand still, my hands wrapped around Henry’s gun, the one he used time and again to bring us food for the coming winters. One of the hounds, maybe Butter, yelps, breaking my paralysis. I rush the door and yank it open, holding the shotgun level.

“Butter. Franklin. Get in here now.”

The dogs rush the door, and barrel past me, hair standing up on their ruffs. I slam the door the moment they’re in and fumble for the locks, clasping all of them, even the extra wide metal bar Henry installed last year after the O’Malley place across the valley got ransacked and Mrs. O’Malley raped and killed while the Mr. was out on a hunting trip. I have to put down the shotgun to wrestle it into place; it weighs almost as much as I do.

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