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New serial fiction from Rodger Jacobs... Part I is here

A human voice, distinctly male, called out from behind a walnut tree. I was momentarily distracted by a salamander crossing the trail – they are not very tasty, though certainly reliable for a quick jolt of energy. I scrambled behind a grove of eucalyptus trees after the man’s voice startled me with its urgency and near proximity.

“Abigail! Abigail? Where the hell did you go?”

Abigail. That must be the name of the female human who turned to stone when I spoke to her. She was in the brush where she fainted, lying very still and breathing in small shallow gasps. She had to be in shock.

“Hey!” He was looking directly at me, an odd-looking human male with massive shoulders. His backpack, blue shorts, and white shirt exactly matched those of the female. They could have been twins. He had an ugly face with primitive features fixed in a grimace suggesting one who is on the verge of defecating.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you!” I warned him when he stooped to pick up a large gray rock. “I’m likely to bite your ass and send you home with a story no one will ever believe.”

His large head darted around on those powerful shoulders; he had no neck to speak of, only a chin that dissolved into his clavicle.

“Who said that?” He was holding the rock high above his head, poised to strike, his unpleasant face red with anger and primal fear, frantically looking about for the source of the voice.

I took a hesitant step toward him. “I said it. What do you think? A tree said it? Have you ever seen a talking tree? Good God, you humans can be dumb asses sometimes.”

He dropped the rock clutched in his beefy hand and extended one thick leg in mid-stride before he realized that he had forgotten exactly how to put one foot in front of another. He collapsed in the brush next to his Abigail. They looked rather sweet laying there together and I would have stayed and savored the moment – humans are, after all, awfully tender when they are quiet and not moving about – but I had my own female to find before she, too, was struck down by something unforeseeable.

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