Status: Greetings, readers. The very first part of the very first short story venture. It is a thrilling short story. I hope you will enjoy the reading experience :)

Dog Raid

Dog Raid#2

The third day, the very next sunny day. Snow would disappear in a month. People will come out soon, to prepare for the next winter. But the children were out already. Running with their jolly faces competing with the freshness of the sun. Stubborn little brats.

So were the dew that had fogged the view of artistically glowing snow. Poor Okb had his eyes stuck to the window. Impatient to admire the view. He was lazy enough to walk nigher to peep out. He was not in a mood to leave his bed. But the frozen dew weren’t going to melt in a flash. He had to wait.

He was patient, lethargic and very much gloomy. The foggy view hadn’t done its part to motivate him. He wasn’t just ready to…(at once) a kid bumped around his window. A few more kids, of about five or six years old, tailed him. They looked very much cheerful. Jumping around the window. Okb pulled his cover, he was sure that kids were up to something devilish.

“It’s foggy.” A kid exclaimed. His chubby cheeks wobbled as he jumped. Being an eager beaver wasn’t wrong, but Okb had some serious concerns. More boys and girls were crowding near the window. Okb didn’t like intruders in his room.

But he had soft part for kids.

A fat boy, seemingly younger than the rest. Stepped up and put his hand on the lock. And clicked it open. A tall girl helped his intentions and pushed it open. And this is how shit went down.

“Ooooo…Aaaaaa…” the children exclaimed in unison. They stood mesmerized to the scenic beauty. (Unknown to the fact) Their curiosity had the cat killed. The sun outside was as bright as they expected and the environment soothing. Kids were there for a moment, letting the windows flutter as the cold breeze hit it. It was chilling, and the breeze had penetrated into his warm space. It wasn’t good for his delicate intellect.

But he couldn’t chase away the kids. They were the among the few whom he loved. At least he had tried care about them since the last year. They were looking outside with glittering eyes. Okb knew what their next step would be.

And the kid-herd ran wildly out to meet eyes with the other wilderness. They ran downstairs the big house, shouted as they dashed out the main door. They had run outside the house. He had foreseen it.

Troubles and smiles, they go hand in hand.

The window was still open, it was a trouble. He didn’t struggle much with himself. The captivating smile on their faces had motivated him enough. So, Okb stood up, stepped nigher to the window. He could see the old Ruksan sitting there on the bench, watching over the kids. Before shutting the window, he took a good look out at the wild sunny atmosphere. It was soothing.

Old things take time to slip away. He sighed, the motivation had died again, decided to stay in his bed.

The big house belonged to Okb, it was his possession. Actually, it was an ancestral home, abandoned after his mother left. Soon after whom, his father left. Eventually, he was left alone. They all had a broken childhood.

It was his struggle in the past seven years, along with the hunter duo, that had taught him to survive. For the last two years, he had given his house to Ruksan. Who transformed it into a shelter home. Inviting children from distant villages to stay. Their village was the only one, in the entire frozen state, which had begun providing a primary education. And families dispersed in the state, had grown consciousness about their studies.

Old man was responsible for everything related to the house. And the kids. But he didn’t give notice to anything related to Okb. That adolescent was able enough. He had his things put together.

Through the heavy quilt, he pushed out his hand out. Tapped down at the floor, it searched its way to a box residing under the bed. He pulled it out. He didn’t put much effort and picked out a handbook from it. It was his short note on necromancy and witchcraft. It had been years since he had been researching his father’s old notes. Father’s or grandfather’s…he wasn’t sure. He had found some hiding in between the bookshelf.

Being a skeptic, he never believed much in necromancy. However, that handbook was interesting.

The quilt had a small portion, of scarce wool. The light easily penetrated in, and it was bleakly bright. Enough light to read. He was scrubbing things with his fingers, scribbling his charcoal stick, overwriting some words. Updating it. Recently, He had found a lot of stuff regarding the localities; their belief and disbelief. Researching more and more about the practices of his ancestors, he had grown more skeptic.

There was a brief description regarding the Maksim. It didn’t contain anything important. Rather a negotiating dialogue. It said –

Maksim asks – ‘Yes or no’

Don’t say anything. I didn’t say anything. If you will answer, he will haunt your dreams. No, it is a little different. What…it means it will merge….

Anyway…don’t say, just hand him over the alive. Hand him over the being. Else…he will trick you into the oblivion. He will show his trick of eternal suffering…

I am saved. But she fell for his magic….

She couldn’t bear with that…suffering.

Okb was baffled every time he read it. He couldn’t come up with a satisfactory interpretation. It was a constant failure. However, he read it each day. Hoping to get the right interpretation. And wanted to know more. That was the reason, he had sent the duo to investigate the place. He knew the place was infamously haunted. But he believed the two could bear the risk.

He was skeptic. Nonetheless, mysteries of these sorts always thrilled him. Putting his friends as bait was his old trick. He was excited, nevertheless that didn’t hide the fact of him being a coward. He lacked the courage his friends had.

Currently, he was writing down the incident that occurred the day earlier. He was trying to find clues from their words. Putting asunder and then together their explanation. The dog pack was not joining any pieces with the puzzle. He hoped it fitted any of his interpretations. Was it the corpse they talked about? Could be.

He failed answering that.

He resumed his struggle with the facts and the beliefs. Soon, he put off the quilt. Letting it fall aside on the floor. Now, he could feel the heat. The sun was burning out in the sky. Surprisingly, it put a desire in him to visit the place himself. A new motivation perhaps.

“No, not alone. That is dangerous.” He said to himself. But it wasn’t that strong. So, he went to his bathroom. Anon, he would leave out for the den.

The icy layer had started to melt down the glass. So, was the sluggishness from the environment.

Meanwhile, in the den. Hunter duo had awakened their nature’s fury. With the sun out, they were back on their feet, roaring like a thunder cloud. Why? Only because it was morning (They had a weak logos). There was no one to complain, it was a routine.

They were sitting in the hall. Viktor was igniting up the fire pit. Bogdan, sitting in front, was preparing rabbits to roast. After a minute, the rabbits were up on the roasting stand.

Bogdan was enjoying the smell while his brother played his mouth-organ. He created intonations melodically. Soft and soothing melody. His brother was into the rhythm, tapping his feet softly. As the rabbit’s flesh started turning golden, the tone grew bolder. And the tapping stronger.

Soon, the flesh became reddish black, and louder became the music. The taps had grown into thumps. And they were standing up. Bogdan started singing with his trumpet voice. Loud and unclear. Viktor jumped on his feet.

They circled around the fire pit, singing and dancing. As they would say. If a stranger would notice, he wouldn’t say that, it was more like a scream and run fight. They went around the stand. With each one clapping, singing, and thumping their feet. They had been flipping the meat. But now, it had grown brisker with the music.

Just a day earlier, they nearly had lost their lives. That incident didn’t bother them. They were happy. Even if the world turned upside down, these two jolly stout hearts remained fun.

Viktor had a fresh dog bite. His muscles were suffering several fatigues. Not just him, Bogdan was injured too. His lower limbs had suffered multiple bites and scratches (not much serious). Yet, nothing bothered them. They were alive and happy. Singing with their trumpet voice and pushing down the earth with their heavy feet. Jumping recklessly in the name of dancing. They were cheerful, in the way they lived. And the way they danced.

Blood was sipping out of his wounds, yet he was dancing. The ecstasy stream inside the den was seemingly unstoppable. It was their space, and they knew how to keep it living. It was dull, only, when they were not there to make it lively. With their presence, nothing remained dead, until it was truly dead.

Their parents were peaceful villagers, just like others. They didn’t believe in hunting. But, never interrupted their ventures. However, they were not in favor of their loud lifestyle. No one ever did.

It wasn’t a surprise, they had stopped living with them. The family had loose bonds, on the verge of breaking apart. Yet, the duo didn’t care much. They hunted, sang, and danced. To their own tune of life.

People didn’t have a problem with that.

But Okb did. He had problems now. He was non-stop bashing the door of their snow-covered den. He was there to meet them. But they were not listening. He was forced to hear their loud singing. He couldn’t even guess which song it was.

The duo didn’t relax. They gathered firewood, hunted animals, and grunted all day. Okb knew this much. It was a surprise for him to hear them sing.

He knocked again, the song suppressed it. Knocked again, yet again it was rammed over by their voice. Okb was annoyed.

Third attempt…that’s a waste, Okb!

Fourteenth attempt.

No response. No one attended the door. It wasn’t bothering them. Rather a new beat for them to go berserk on. They kept dancing to their tune.

“Look, A fat tiger!!!” Okb screamed. And stepped aside the door. He observed the abrupt stop. They had ceased singing; no thumps could be heard. Just some whispers, and everything was silent. A few seconds, and wham!!! They bashed out of their gate. Viktor was outside, running wild, swinging his axe. Bogdan had his crossbow, aiming, searching for its target.

“DIE!!!” This is what they were screaming now. Okb could see the madmen. He peeped in at the rabbit and gazed back at them.

“Where’s that fat chubby piece of shit?” Viktor screamed. “Come on out!”

“It’s mine.” Bogdan was infuriated. Their screaming was not stopping for a moment. It was coming out from bottom of their throat. It meant the duo didn’t realize… there was no tiger.

“Fools!” Okb presented himself out of the sheath.

“OH!” Bogdan caught sight of him. “Oak, oak…Okb. Ye see a tiger.” Bogdan asked stupidly.

“What are you asking, Bogdan? Isn’t that wrong. Not just any tiger. Have you seen the fat tiger?” Viktor suggested.

“Yeah! Ye see a fat, chubby tiger Okb?”

Both of them were fooled. They hadn’t yet realized.

“You haven’t been to doctor yet. “ Okb deduced it by their loose wounds. Blood had dried was all over Viktor’s right forearm.

“Ye see the tiger?”

“Your wounds are suppurating. It will kill you both.”

“It will not. But the tiger will. Tell me, did you see the tiger?” Viktor shouted. He called it a friendly way to talk, shouting back and forth. If anyone else would see, it looked more like a verbal fight.

“The big fat one. Yeah. I want to kill it. Ye know, oak oak...Okb. I will put it as my rug. I will share…it with you. Just tell us…ye see the tiger?” Bogdan asked again.

But Okb knew there was not tiger. He had reached them for something else. They had bought the idea of fat tiger with grave belief. They were asking the same question.

“I just had doubts. Would you like coming to Maksim’s den?”

“is the tiger over there?” Bogdan asked furiously.

“No. It’s not.” Okb observed their wounds once more. They were bleeding rapidly.

“You should go to the doctor.”

“Why? Why go to shaman’s place? We are completely fine.” Viktor said.

“Is the tiger over there?” Bogdan asked again.

Okb was their friend and knew how to save their lives. He benefited himself out of the question.

“Yes!! Shaman…I mean doctor knows about the fat tiger. Won’t you ask him?” Okb tricked them again.

Viktor and Bogdan were suspicious. It was funny. They whispered a few words to each other. A few words later, Bogdan went inside the den. He came out carrying his crossbow and a shotgun. He also had the roasted meat, held in his hands. They ate the whole rabbit out there.

They didn’t share with uninterested people.

“Let us go.” Bogdan lead the way with his crossbow aimed. It was awkward walking through the snowy forest. But they had to. Okb didn’t oppose their idea of bringing in lethal weapons. He suspected their need.

In a minute, they reached doctor’s house. It was on a slight height. A few meters above the village. They climbed it with no problem. Viktor and Bogdan knocked on the door. Rapid knocks, they were impatient to discover more about the tiger. Doctor wasn’t a newbie. He knew much about the populace. Especially about their current clients.

They asked him about the tiger, he welcomed them in. They asked him about its size and strength, he disinfected their wounds. They asked him about their color, he gave them a pill of the same color.

“Now! I think the tiger will kill no one. “ The doctor said.

“What ye mean shaman? Brother, what he means. Where did the tiger go?” Bogdan was confused.

“Brother, I think we have been tricked.” Viktor said observing his changing condition. He had started to feel a bit better. A little stinging on the injuries, but it was much better to feel the improvement. The drug had started working. Seeing the smile on doctor’s face, they didn’t grow hard feelings for him. Neither for their friend.

Eventually, they could feel their condition getting better. They were not angry to get fooled into a healing trap. Nonetheless, it was for their own benefit.

Hearing the truth about the tiger, they were disappointed for a second. Just for a second. The next minutes went jolly well. Doctor was cleansing Viktor’s injuries. Weapons were lying at the center table, over his heavy fur jacket. Okb was sitting in the armchair, facing the large glass window. The door was open. Bogdan was not there. He had gone out for some reason.

Okb was watching the stillness congregating down the hill. It was emerging, and it vanished in an instant. Surprisingly, Bogdan came in running through the door. Hurriedly, he shut the door behind him. Heavy panting followed.

Before they could bomb him with questions. Loud barks became audible. Following a familiar chill through everyone’s spine. Viktor stood up from the bed. He turned his eyes around the windows, they were all around. ‘Why?’ This word was echoing all in his mind.

Doctor was taken aback to see such a large pack, surrounding the house.

“What is happening?” Doctor squeaked.

Okb’s rapid reflexes knocked him to the ground along with the chair. He could see dogs scratching the thick glass window. Their jagged nails tapping hard on it.

They had grown more furious. Viktor was standing near the bed, observing them from a distance. They had grown more outraged. He was fearing something. Stepped closer to the main window.

He tapped the glass.

“It’s thick. The door is locked. Hmm…” He examined.

“They cannot get in.” Okb said. He laughed for a moment. But it wasn’t easing the horror Bogdan was suffering from.

“Do you see, brother? It’s the curse. Ye see Okb. We are cursed. We all are going to die. Ye too doctor.” He quailed.

“Shut up!” Viktor shouted. “We will not!” He picked up his axe and threw it to the doctor. And wore his heavy fur jacket.

“We must save our lives.” Viktor said.

“Isn’t this too much? I don’t think this is required.” He questioned, loosing grip over Viktor’s axe.

“Those dogs…you see. Those bite, snatch, and tore flesh off the living. Those are rabid. You see this…this forearm. Those mad dogs did it. If it would have jumped a little higher…I wouldn’t had been here. Rather had been at my funeral. If you don’t want to die, keep it. Trust me, shaman. We have faced them.”

“They possible cannot get in….” Okb was about to complete his statement. Just then, he noticed a small tree like figure at the top of glass. It was stretching its roots slowly, branching out to all sides, down to the window base. A huge crack had stretched over the window glass. Was it conjured? His eyes kept following the directions of the various branching. Till it reached an end.

The others hadn’t noticed it.

“Make sure they don’t get in!” Viktor was ordering them. He had picked up his shotgun. Bogdan was holding his crossbow, aiming at the door.

“But, why are they following us? We didn’t kill any pups.”

“ I don’t know, brother.” They were trying to calm their hearts. The barks surrounding the house was getting intense with growing second. It was pinching deep into their ear.

“It’s irritating.” Doctor shut his ears forcefully.

Just then, Viktor noticed the crack in the window. He saw Okb getting closer to the window. He stepped closer and closer. He met eyes with a large Husky. It was large. Its round blue eyes were looking deep into his. Reflecting its blood-lust to his Being.

Anon, a dog jumped at the window. A crashing sound stunned everyone in the house. Window broke partially open. The splinters pierced deeply into its skin, as it fell inwards. Viktor ran, held Okb and dragged him along.

“RUN! Upstairs.” Doctor screamed. Okb rapidly jumped upstairs. Viktor was following him.

The next dog broke through the partially broken part of the glass. And glass pieces pierced in again. It yelped. At the same moment, Bogdan saw something terrifying.

The knob of the main door knob turned around slowly. Twisted in a full circle all by itself. The lock clicked, and the door opened. He knew what was coming after it. He ran blindly to the upper level.

Doctor had run into his room. Hiding inside with the door locked. The pack had now infiltrated the house. The barks were rumbling all around. Bogdan just had reached the upper level. He banged his door. He tried twisting the knob, but it was locked.

“Up here! Grab my hand.” Viktor said to him. He had his hand hanging down the attic front. Bogdan grabbed it. Till then, dogs had reached the upper level. They tried biting his legs again. But this time, they failed even to scratch it.

Viktor had successfully pulled him up the attic. He found Okb sitting in there. He was dazzled. He sat up near the small circular opening, which shared a view outside.

While the other two were looking at Doctor’s room. Dogs were barking, running, and scratching the door. He was noticing their behavior, he saw them biting each other in annoyance. But he couldn’t reach any conclusion.

“Shaman will not survive. The door will open.” Bogdan mumbled.

“What are you saying? It is locked.” Viktor replied. He was looking at the horrified expressionless face of his brother. And he heard the door knob twist. It clinked, the door screeched. Dogs rushed in. They heard a loud terrified scream from the room.

At once, the duo shut the attic panel. It was painful to hear him yell. He ran to the side of the attic, right where the room was located. He could hear the dogs running amok. Picked up his axe and started to break the wooden floor. He was still hearing his scream. Rapid strikes followed, he alone was hitting the floor.

Neither his friend nor his brother came to help. Viktor kept striking, harder and harder. It broke a little hole, through it he could see the room. Doctor was there on his bed, standing. Waving his axe around. There were dogs surrounding his bed. But they were not running anymore. The barking too had stopped. There was a mild growling.

A huge husky came up front, the pack moved aside, giving way for the beast. Two dogs from the pack jumped at the doctor. They were slashed by his axe. He swung it all around. Unluckily, it created an opening for the evil husky. It took a huge leap from its position, directly at the doctor. It jumped on him with his huge shadow. Taking him aback, it bit deep into his neck. Stabbing its canines into the muscular portion of the neck. It hadn’t pressured the larynx. It was enjoying his pain. Gave a violent jolt to his neck. That stopped his struggle, the spectators came to know that, as his axe fell off his hand. Yet, Doctor hadn’t died.

Spectator was left shocked. Husky left the man. Left it for his pack to feast on him. The three could hear his muffled scream. As they tore off muscles from his body, bit by bit. A painful demise.

Viktor stood up. He didn’t wish to see more. He looked around, noticed his brother holding up his crossbow and aiming at the Attic opening.

Okb was sitting still like a statue, he was not responding to his surroundings.

“Okb! Okb!” Screamed Bogdan. “Tell me. Was the curse about the dogs? Was it?”

But he didn’t answer.

Viktor dared to look back. The noise had lessened. Now, he could see the red paw marks all over the white bed sheet. There was no Doctor, neither dead nor alive. The dogs must have kept the bones. Inappropriately, the giant husky was still there. It was wandering alone. Others had left the upper level. Suddenly, it looked up at him.

That bloody face.

Looked deep into his blue eyes. Viktor could feel the daunting mania deep within it. He could see the maniac too. Grunting with thirst of blood. The blood spilled on his mane had dried up. It was a true predator. Then, it ran out of the room.

Viktor jumped towards the small circular opening, Bogdan still had his aim at the entrance.

Stuck his eye to it. Viktor was able see the pack.

“They are leaving.” He said. It drew his brother’s attention. He came to take a peep at the trail. They were heading in an unlikely direction. Now, they were much silent.

They turned to their friend.

“How can it be possible?” He stood up saying this. Not to his surprise, that was the same issue they were thinking about.

“How is it happening? Why are they mad?”

“Isn’t this about the curse?”

“That’s stupid. Of course, it is not related to that.”

“Yeah! It isn’t.”

“Then, tell me how did the door opened? How did the glass break?” Bogdan questioned furiously. His face was pale with fear. “The curse is real. And we are trapped by it. We all are going to die.” Bogdan quailed once again.

“Shut up!” Viktor scolded him. He was infuriated. Angered by the dogs. “I couldn’t save the shaman. It’s a shame. Worse than death. It is like dying a million times like a loser. Today, we are here standing like cowards, the next day we would give up on ourselves. And those bloody dogs will keep raiding all places we love. Now, they dared heading towards our home. And we are stuck here like cowards.”

He looked at Okb.

“That is what the curse is. I think…I have found the right interpretation.”

“What? Will that be helpful? Can I become Hercules?”

“It is slightly difficult to explain. But it might…” Okb was shocked. And much confused. His words prove that. “It said something like an eternal suffering. And something… something…I need my notebook.”

Viktor and Bogdan looked at each other.

“So, what should we do?”

“We need to get home the villagers don’t know anything about the dogs. We are the only hunter in that village. If those dogs believe them to be the curse, we two are no less than a crucifix. Bogdan, don’t you want a new rug.” Viktor said.

“Yes, I do.” He replied jollily.

“I can’t give a fat tiger. How about a fat husky? Would it do?”

“Of course.” They picked up their weapon and gulped in their strife. Okb still had doubts. He had refused to pick up his axe.

Bogdan picked it up. The hunters were ready to hunt.

“We have to stop this. Clue or no clue.”

“But how?” Okb questioned them.
“Slaughter them all. That’s the only way possible. Let the hunt begin.”
♠ ♠ ♠
What will happen next? I will let you know...soon. It will be a surprise upload. Please...recommend this to other readers.
The third and the last part would be lengthier that the rest. It will be a jaw-dropper.
Thank you for reading.