(IP) Good Boy

“I’ll be right back, boy. Stay, okay?” The man’s voice seemed to grow and echo, taking on a life of its own in the vast space. The dog whined its discontent, adding to the sounds of bird song, hidden creatures creeping through the thick, lush undergrowth, and the emptiness that surrounded them. The canine companion didn’t know why, but he had a bad feeling about this place. He could feel something in the air, something that felt distinctly wrong. He whined again, gently butting his head against his owner’s hand, trying his best to dissuade him from walking inside. Since they’d come, he felt something powerful coming from inside the huge stone temple at his master’s back. He could sense nothing other than great age, and evil. He might have been a dog, but he wasn’t clueless.He’d been trained to listen. But some instinct, deep inside, told him that he’d regret it if he let his master go into that temple alone. The man turned and began to walk into the temple, its dark maw swallowing him so quickly that his faithful pet almost missed it. He waited for a few minutes and then ran inside, the cold stone floor of the entryway biting his paws cruelly. Never mind that his friend had left nearly all of their supplies outside; all that was on his mind was to protect his friend from whatever dark force he sensed resting in the shadows of this temple. He ran ahead of his master, barking sharply, wincing when the sound bounced back at him, as if there were a chorus of other dogs surrounding him.“Hey, didn’t I tell you to stay put?” His master asked, but with more humor than anger; the dog could hear laughter in his voice. “Come here, you crazy, disobedient mutt,” He added, holding out his arms. He stopped in the antechamber, the center of the temple’s entrance, looking through the cold, velvet black. “Look at this, boy,” He murmured, and the dog returned to his master’s side, nudging his head gently against his hand, whining quietly. “This temple must been hundreds of years old!” The excitement in his friend’s voice tempered his unease, somewhat, but there was something frightening lingering in the moist, humid blackness, something that was telling him to take his master and turn back, before it could catch them with cold, ancient claws.