Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 19

Continuing with Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 19.

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Tag – Part III The Body – Chapter 19

Galos poked two opposing holes in his pile and watched thick, grey smoke rise. Two more holes, also opposite each other, and the smoke thinned and turned blue.

Galos nodded and smiled. He reached into a leather pouch on a woodpile, pulled out a thin strip of dried venison, and gnawed on until it softened enough to tear a piece off. Its juice glistened down his chin.

A bark came through the wood. The mice and chipmunks, their cheeping and squeaking serving as soprano accompaniment to his deep tenor as he worked, grew silent and burrowed deep in his wood stacks for protection. Galos reached for a solid piece of oak. It didn’t sound like a wolf but game had become as scarce as harvest and he didn’t want to be caught unawares.

A moment later Verduan’s dog, Buco, trotted up and sat beside him. Galos rubbed the big dog’s head. “Buco, does your master know where you are?”

He heard Verduan call from down the road. “Buco! Leave Galos be. He has no food for you.”

Galos winked. Half the venison remained in his hand. He took his axe and chopped off a thumb-wide piece.

The dog kept his eyes on the venison while Galos worked.


The dog whined. Galos tossed the venison. Buco caught it in midair and took it behind the woodpile.

Verduan walked up with Patreo by his side. “Galos, have you seen my dog?”

Galos stared at Patreo and frowned for a moment. He looked down and shook his head before smiling at his friend. “Verduan, a dog? When did you get a dog?”

Patreo looked to the ground and walked behind the woodpile. He leaned over, momentarily hidden, and returned with Buco trotting beside him. The dog’s flues globbed mucousy saliva as he walked.

Galos put a hand over his chest and pulled back, eyes wide with alarm. “By all the saints! A dog! I’ll bet he’s a good dog, isn’t he?”

Buco snuffled Galos’ hand holding the venison.

Verduan put his fists on his hips and glowered at Galos. “Is that your smoked venison? Did you give him your smoked venison? Do you know the smells that dog makes when he eats your smoked venison? He sleeps in the barn and we’re not safe in the house. Even the goats and cows leave their stalls when you give him your smoked venison.”

“Who’s your friend?”

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