This is a story I submmitted for a specifically themed anthology and it was declined for publication based on word length. No worries, it’s all part of the life as an author. So here are the first five lines of “The ‘Tates Have Eyes’.
The pantry door opened so slowly, it was almost imperceptible to the small dog that lay on the hearth, warming its old bones on this cold morning. With the cock of an ear and the raise of a single furry lid, Angus watched the subtle shift with intense interest. Wafting over his senses was the unmistakable scent of dampness and earth; reminiscent of many moments spent clawing and scraping in the huge backyard he owned.
With a quiet whimper he lifted his head, his intent to bark out a warning, but he was only a small dog and sometimes small dogs knew their place. He could have stood and run to wake the household, but that would put him in danger.
It’s something I will likely re-write because I have a better way to end it, but that’s the way this world works sometimes!