((The Monday Triple: page 1 of 3))
Emiliana took a step back unconsciously as she recalled where she had learned of “the Man-Eater of Melmoore.” It was her mother’s doing. From time to time, the woman had forced her to study the names and accounts of notorious servants around the world.
As the name implied, the Man-Eater was supposed to have devoured upwards of four hundred people over the last sixty years or so. He’d become something of a Melmoorian bogeyman, and Emiliana even remembered reading one story about a village that formed a cult around his legend and conducted human sacrifices in order to appease him.
Looking at him now, Emiliana wasn’t sure what to believe.
Koh puffed on his cigar and then swished it over to the other side of his mouth. He leveled his orange-eyed gaze her way.
“I think he wants you to pet him,” said Germal.
Emiliana didn’t think he wanted that at all.
“Go on. He will not hurt you. I give you my word.”
She frowned and began moving her non-clawed hand slowly toward Koh’s huge head.
For a time, Koh merely watched her hand approach, but then, apparently, he grew tired of waiting and met her halfway.
The top of his head was surprisingly fluffy. She scratched behind one of his ears, and the giant dog went abruptly limp and shut his eyes. He nestled up closer to her, and she brought her clawed hand up to use on the other ear. He seemed to appreciate that quite a lot.
After observing for a short while, Germal decided to interject. “Strange to think he used to be a grown man, eh?”
Emiliana’s mouth flattened. Somehow, that idea began to spoil her enjoyment, and she pulled away.
Koh’s eyes popped open, and he growled at the horned man again.