Carol W Hazelwood

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Coyoacan Hill

by Carol W. Hazelwood

Chapter 1

The raw, hot breath of the sun marks the arid land. Wild things adapt. Those living under human’s guardianship battle the elements less and themselves more.

Dawn melted the black sky, and the new sun caught the sheen of the red-gold fur of the sleeping golden retriever, Sunshine. The pending hot summer day began to explore the quiet shadows on Mercy Street and Coyoacan Hill. Sunshine’s steady, rhythmic breathing gave vent to soft snores whispering from her drooping jaw, exposing teeth, worn from digging and playing with rocks.

Dreams spun through her mind, too clear, too real. Long life has the disadvantage of memories. These are not always of joy. She tried to awaken, but the dream held her captive.

The air in the back room on the old house was heavy with the sweet smell of birth of her eight squirming, otter-shaped puppies.
Then the smell of cat pricked her nose. Soft paws patted across the linoleum floor; fur brushed against the doorjamb. A loud purring came from the hall. Sunshine’s lips curled back revealing her irregular white teeth, and her growl grew more menacing, but the audacious cat moved forward. A strand of moonlight filtered through the window spotlighting MacTabby, the calico house cat. Sunshine leaped from the birthing box. Deserted puppies’ soft whimpers were a background noise to the cry of the cat. It was too late for MacTabby to retreat, too late for Sunshine to stop. The silence was as deafening as the cat’s scream of terror.
With a start Sunshine awoke. For a moment, she was bewildered; her heart still raced from the dream. Now her vision blurred from the bright sun. The present was more pleasant than the past. Soon she would be able to retire from being the leader of Mercy Street. It was time for Duke, her one pup who remained at home to take over.

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