Inspirations: Part One

I recently posted a photo of the family dog, Lincoln, claiming he inspired all the bad evil creatures in Eve of Snows… but this is a fib. He wasn’t even a part of the family while EoS was written. However, another dog was an inspiration.

Hunter is a Golden Doodle, but he is black as night. Pure black, although he’s old enough now to sport a few silver hairs on his muzzle. Anyhow, I live on about 10 acres, and one moonless night I was walking back to the house from the shed, and it was just one of the darkest nights I’ve ever seen. If I didn’t know every fall and rise between the shed and house, as well as every bush and tree that might get in my way, it would’ve been unnerving.

There was barely a light on at the house, and my wife must’ve let Hunter out. So, I’m about halfway to the house and I sense there’s something coming. I stop and stare but I can see nothing at all, then I hear something moving fast. My brain says “Hunter” but hey, it could be a puma! Right? Except it circled me instead of killing me, so I said “Hunter?” and a piece of darkness a little bit darker than the rest of the night came at me and stuck a nose into my hand.

And still, I really couldn’t see him.

From there I started calling him my Shadow Hound, and a critter for the Sister Continents formed in my brain. Readers haven’t read of the Shadow Hounds yet, but here’s a photo of the dog who inspired them.

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Background Art by Jon Gibbons

© 2018 L. James Rice