The dogs at the perimeter fence barked; rough, ringing sounds reaching the house, a distant warning. Marc and Brendan shot out the door, time only pull on rubber boots, and grab lanterns, and their rifles.
Ahead of Marc, Brendan’s bathrobe flapped and snapped, his slender body a dart through the trees. Marc cursed, not slowing down but wishing he’d thought to pull on a shirt, as the twigs and branches and sharp leaves scratched his bare skin. Brendan wouldn’t even break a sweat by the time they reached there, while Marc’s ribs were already heaving from exertion.
At the fence, once pasted the gate, Marc lifted the the lantern up, casting the light outward from them and the three dogs going still going wild, a ring of yellow in the darkness. Brendan, leaving his on the ground, ventured further into the night, towards the long grass, rifle held forward but not at the ready. The hairs on Marc’s chest stirred in the hot night air, and even though he needed the air, he held his breath, and his rifle, tight.