The Enlightened Dream ~ Part 2
A Doge Tale | Middle Grade Adventure Series
It’s been 6 months since I uploaded part 1, and for that I apologize. I was in the midst of writing my novel and got sidetracked with everything else going on. I have not forgotten about the Doge fans out there. Here is part 2! And I will make sure to upload part 3 far sooner. ~ WM
Doge was on a mission. Nothing could stop her from figuring out the mystery surrounding the moon spirit and why it called to her so strongly. Nothing except for the thousands of miles between the Earth and its pocked, vanilla-shaded beauty.
What’s more, Doge was descending in altitude the further she traveled. The vast desert stretched out as far as the eye could see. The shimmering, speckled lights on the distant mountainside still piqued her curiosity, but they weren’t in the direction of the moon, therefore they were not her priority.
Doge stopped, panting. She realized she was in some sort of valley, a shallow crater that wouldn’t end. It grew colder the more heat was expelled from her open mouth. She thought deserts were supposed to be hot, yet it was freezing!
“Hmmm, what is a Doge to do?” she asked aloud.
She needed a place to rest and get warm, otherwise she wouldn’t make it through the night. Circling in short hops, she scanned the desert in each direction. Nothing. Except, there was a dark, shadowy mound not too far off. Her mind raced as to what it could be. A shelter? A giant bowl of dog food? Probably not.
With no other options, Doge trotted toward the mound. The moon’s light bathed everything in a soft blue, just enough to be able to see the outlines of things, but not enough to visualize them clearly.
The mound suddenly moved. Doge stopped in her tracks, frozen and wide-eyed. It convulsed like a giant waking from its slumber, writhing out of a bad dream. The mound became two, then three. The shadows moved smoothly and effortlessly as they surrounded Doge, each with a pair of green eyes floating at their front.
“Is she real?” a slick voice said, cutting through the silence.
“She looks like us, but she isn’t. Not sure she’ll last long out here,” the shadow on the right said, heavy and baritone.
The shadow directly in front of Doge stepped closer, the frosty glow of the moon accentuating its features. It looked like her, but definitely wasn’t of the same breed. She’d heard about coyotes on TV, but had never seen one in real life.
“Answer me this miss: how have you come to be out here? Where is your master?”
Doge gulped. “My masters left me to fend for myself.”
The slick voice cackled in laughter. Doge was able to make out their grey fur which was patchy and matted. The leader in the middle only had a few teeth left in his mouth, his slack jaw hanging down as if too heavy to keep closed.
“Definitely not a threat, Jeff,” the heavy one said, laying down to lick his mangy leg.
The middle one named Jeff, analyzed her with squinted eyes. “Hush, Frank. I’ll determine what’s a threat and what isn’t. Come closer, little one.”
Doge wasn’t sure if she should trust the coyote. From what she’d heard of them, they were cunning and deceptive. For all she knew, they were planning on eating her.
“I’ll just stand right here, if that’s okay?” Doge said.
Jeff’s lip twitched. “Are you here to replace us, to take our hard-earned place in Death Valley?”
Doge looked at each of the coyotes and shook her head. “N–No. I’m just a Doge.”
“A Doge? You hearing this, Wash?” Frank yawned. “I’ll never understand this generation.”
“Me neither,” Wash said, his oily voice slipping into disgust. “Probably full of GMOs and preservatives. Yuck! Us coyotes only eat organic–”
“Hush!” Jeff howled. “I’m too tired for this nonsense. Get out of here, Doge. I don’t want to see you in my valley ever again. Go!”
Doge turned and sprinted away from the shadowy coyotes, their unblinking green eyes watching her as she moved further into the desert. The ground felt like ice on her padded feet. With each step she grew colder and colder. She shivered uncontrollably and instinctively curled up into a tiny ball.
Maybe if she just got some sleep this would all disappear and she’d wake up back in her comfy dog bed next to the warm fireplace. It was just a bad dream. That’s all it was. Her eyelids drooped and shut.
Doge woke to the sound of logs being sawed. It was surprisingly warm. There was a familiar scent of aged trash wafting through the night air. She lifted her head to discover an old, scraggly blanket draped over her. The bored ape had fallen asleep with his back facing her, loud snores echoing throughout the valley.
The moon shone brightest in that moment. Doge smiled and fell back asleep.
To be continued…in Part 3!