Jeff started forward but then froze. From off to his right came an earth-shaking thump and a deafening crash. The nearby trees swayed, and leaves rained down on his head. In the black spaces amid the nearby trees, a pair of huge silver orbs appeared. They moved toward him at frightening speed. He realized now he had only seconds to live!
The bright eyes blazed like molten metal as they approached. He could now make out a scaly head like a crocodile’s, and a long, snakelike neck weaving toward him through the trees. The thing was huge, all right, but it was nothing like the massive beast he had seen earlier. This had to be one of the young ones.
The head slid up close to him, and he could feel hot breath escaping from its spread jaws. The head was the size of his folks’ living room coffee table, its eyes as big as dinner plates. He wanted to clench his eyes shut, but he could not turn his gaze away. The creature glared at him as if sizing him up. So far, it didn’t seem interested in attacking him.
“Nice Pressie,” he whispered. “Good little Pressie. You can go away now. Okay?”
The creature huffed, and its hot breath swept over him. So hot, Jeff thought, he wondered if these creatures could breathe fire. The head rose high into the tree branches, but the eyes kept glaring down at him.
“If you’re the one I hit on my bike,” he said, “I’m very sorry about that. It was an accident.”
A low, grating growl vibrated from its throat.
“I’m sorry,” Jeff said. This had to be the end. It was going to kill him now. “I’m really sorry.”
The head lowered again, and the growling continued. The eyes remained locked on his. This time, the thing nudged him with its scaly snout. Not hard, but it nearly set him off balance. His heart was pounding so hard he could barely hear anything else.
Then he realized: the creature wasn’t actually growling.
It was more like purring.
Did that mean it didn’t intend to harm him?
Or was it just happy because it was about to eat him?
The novel is in copy-edit stage, and will be available from Crossroad Press within the next few months.
First excerpt from Michigan: The Dragon of Lake Superior
Second excerpt from Michigan: The Dragon of Lake Superior