Pointy ears. Long snout. Bushy black beard. Kind of like a bear. Charging up the stairs.
When it reached me, it got up on its hind legs, then set its paws on my stomach. A bright pink tongue plopped from its mouth. A Belgian Sheepdog.
So they had quite an intercontinental collection: a dog from Belgium, a bird from South America, an African Chameleon, a Dutch rabbit.
I whispered, “Down boy, down.” The dog got down, then wagged his tail.
A scream from downstairs. “Apple juice apple juice more apple juice.” It was the boy.
A bloinking noise down there. A yellow kickball bounced into view. Patter of feet.
The boy appeared at the bottom of the stairs. I twisted out of view, then leaned against the wall. Pain harpooned my hand. I’d set it on a poncho hanging on the wall. Felt like a cactus. Thank God its colors hid the blood.
The bloink again. The boy was still at the bottom of the stairs. I wiped more blood onto my shirt.
The dog snorted and put his paws on my stomach again. Then he returned to the stairs and barked.
The boy said, “Mac want to play horsey?”
There were a couple dark splotches on the carpet. Some of my blood had stuck to the dog’s paws. Then I heard the boy’s hand sliding up the handrail. He was coming up.