The house, like Darnell, was all settled in for the night. Helen was in the kitchen finishing the dishes. Darnell was ready for his daily writing session. Two hours to work on the novel he’d been at for some time. The writing was going well. The monsters were gathering for the attack on the fort.

One of the dogs barked outside. Growl had a habit of doing most of the barking. The other two ignored his barks. They knew he was just showing off.

Helen brought Darnell a cup of tea. She sat it down next to his computer. Then she kissed him on the cheek. “Is it going well?”

Darnell returned from his imagination. He was a bit bothered. It was like he’d been woke from a deep sleep. He smiled, not wanting to let his emotions get the best of him. He looked up and said, “Yes. It’s going well.”

“Will you have some pages for me to read soon?”

“I think so,” he said, back in the waking world.

Growl made another bark. “That dog,” she said. “Will he ever stop?”

“When he stops,” Darnell said, “he’ll be done for.”

“Guess you’re right. Well, I’ll leave you to your story. Don’t let the monsters drag you away.”

“I won’t,” he said as she slipped away. Then he asked himself, “Just what did she mean by that?”

He began a new paragraph. The first sentence came, then a second, and soon the paragraph came to an end with the words: “The dog had stopped barking.”

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