knock knock knock
Tanner's low growl steadily built its crescendo erupted into a series of sharp barks. Kimmy jumped a little at he dog, and slowly patted his head. She almost felt like screaming herself. She swallowed and turned to Tanner.
"What'll we do, boy?" She whispered harshly.
"Hello? I-i-is anyone h-h-here?" The tiny voice from the patio said.
knock knock knock
The voice certainly didn't sound as threatening as Kimmy's mind was attempting to make it. She scooted off the couch with Tanner immediately at her heels. She tip-toed to the front door, cupped her hand, and pressed it and her ear to the wood.
"My n-n-n-name is Molly. I-I-I-I've been walking a really long time... with this pitchfork. I'm really tired and lost! Hello?"
She sounded to Kimmy like she was on the verge of tears. Kimmy sidled over to the curtain and slowly pulled it back just enough to see the porch. There, in denim overalls, without shoes, filthy and obviously exhausted, stood a little girl maybe twelve years old. And next to her on the concrete was, as she said, a huge pitchfork. The tines were tinted with what could have either been dirt or, possibly, blood.
Kimmy watched with a bit of sorrow as Molly plopped on the porch, hiked up her knees, and began to sob. She knew there was literally no way that Molly was any kind of threat. Kimmy turned to the door and saw Tanner jump u to his hind legs and begin to whimper. Somehow even the dog knew that this little girl was as innocent as could be.
"Okay boy, get down. We'll check it out. But we'd better be safe about it..."
Kimmy stepped to the table and grabbed the ax. She returned to the door, and slowly turned the handle. There, on the stoop, was the sad sight she'd seen from the window, curled into a shuddering ball before her.
"Hi. I'm Kimmy." She said lowering herself into a crouch.
Molly shot her head up and instinctively covered herself with her arm. This, in turn, threw her off balance and she basically spilled onto her back. Molly scurried to her feet and quickly snatched up the pitchfork that was obviously far too heavy for her to handle with one hand. Kimmy just stood silently with a side-long grin on her face.
Suddenly the door flew from Kimmy's hands and the large do that would no longer be corralled lunged forward, barked once without a hint of malice, and wagged itself up to Molly and began licking her hands and face.
"Whoa!" Molly gasped with a hint of a laugh and tried to swipe away the dog's fluttering tongue.
Kimmy giggled and called back her dog. "His name is Tanner and I think he's made a new friend!"
Molly let him finish licking until he leaped to Kimmy's side and obediently sat at her side.
"As I said, I'm Kimmy. I live here with my..." She choked a little as the word 'parents' caught in her throat. "I-I live here..."
"I'm Molly. I live... over that way." She pointed east toward the more rural section of the outskirts of town where the farms and acres of land stood spreading into the horizon. "I had to get out. I had to k-k-kill my daddy..."
Suddenly weeping again, Molly did the only natural thing a girl her age could do. She dropped her pitchfork and ran into Kimmy's waiting arms. They both stood on the patio in the setting sun and cried into one another's caresses. Molly, between hitching breaths, told of how she had to murder her father because of an evil coming from an amulet. Kimmy nodded in complete understanding and relayed her own tale of death and destruction and how she, too, had an amulet. Neither one understanding just how much worse the situation had gotten. Not yet.