The Guardian Cats of New York City: The Watcher On The Shore is still available for free download through Thursday! If you haven’t downloaded a copy yet, here’s a taste of what you’re missing:
Nar-Tali didn’t often envy the senses of the two-legs, nose-numb and half-deaf as they were. But tonight he would have accepted their night-blindness if it had brought with it the distance and clarity of their vision. The Thing that was coming, it was coming from the water. He could sense that now, feel it in his whiskers and fur and bones like the coming of the storm. But as much as he strained his senses toward the Great Salty Water, he could detect nothing. The roaring of the rain filled his hearing; the water and the wind washed away all smells.
Then the skyfire flashed again, and he caught a glimpse of…something. It was distant and unclear and it was only there for a moment, but it was…it was like a hill had suddenly risen up out of the water, then slid smoothly back in.
The sky rumbled in response to the skyfire, drowning out all sound. But as the last of the echoes of the sky-roar faded, Nar-Tali thought he heard the last echoes of another – a distant reptilian bellow.
There it was again. Much closer this time. And much, much louder.
Nar-Tali noticed that the ragged two-legs was standing beside him now, staring out at the Great Salty Water. For all the good it would do him. Even if the hill in the water surfaced again, all he would see was black on black. Not that he, Nar-Tali, was doing much better. With all this blinding rain coming down, he might as well be a two-legs himself.
Wait – there it was. The hill in the water. It was beside the long wooden sidewalk that went out onto the water now, and it was approaching shore.
On some instinct, Nar-Tali nudged the ragged two-legs, then pointed toward the shore.
The two-legs nodded. He saw it, too.
The hill was rising out of the water. Only it was longer now. More of a ridge.
The ridge kept rising. And rising. And then it broke the surface, and…
Oh. Great. Sekhmet.
It was huge.
Bast have mercy, it was a great serpent. As long as the sidewalk-over-the-water…no, longer, as long as one of the great metal serpents that carried two-legs in their bellies as they screamed along the rails. And at least as thick.
Its head was broad and flat and angular, with horns and razored spines sticking out in all directions. Its mouth, with its three rows of fangs, was easily capable of taking the ragged two-legs whole. Its scales gleamed black in the light of the boardwalk lamps, and its eyes glowed a poisonous green.