The shadow towered over them, a monster in the doorway at the end of the hall. It bore down on them, a steady and inexorable approach, the threat of harm thick in the air.

His friend, sword clutched tight and staring defiantly at the blackness that poured into the archway, was no match for this beast. He was brave but young, innocent to the ways of battle.

Heedless to the danger, he leapt between the young boy and the onrushing beast, baring his teeth and snarling a warning to the monster as it approached the door arch…


* * *


The letterbox rattled, mail dropping harmlessly to the floor.

“It’s okay, boy,” his owner whispered, bending down to softly stroke the puppy’s head. “It’s just the postman.”

Accepting the affection, the young dog watched the shadow recede from the doorway before turning to his young friend, the baby boy running to him, smiling wide and embracing him lovingly.