I've considered doing this several times in the past, and now I'm happy to finally go through with it. Each week (maybe more frequently) I will be posting a new chapter of this story as a "free read" for everyone. It won't be finely tuned and heavily edited liked my other books. However, as long as you can deal with that fact, I'll continue to churn it out. Without further delay, here is the first chapter of Kendell & Luis.
With a leash hanging from both sides of his mouth, Luis looked up at the garage door. The orange Chihuahua fixed his gaze on the knob, waiting for the protruding metal piece to turn. Kendell almost always arrived on time, and Luis never ceased to be excited. Their walks together highlighted the dog’s day.
Continuing to grip the harness with his teeth, Luis let out a light whimper. Other than Kendell being a little late, something that occurred every now and then, there was no real reason for concern. However, the dog’s intuition told him otherwise. More times than not, Luis’ gut proved to be right and – for whatever reason – he feared the worst this day.
The metal clasp of the leash knocked against the hardwood floor as Luis relinquished his grip, gently resting it beside the door. He darted out of the kitchen, making his way down the hallway foyer toward the front of the house. Kendell rarely used the main entrance, but the built-in dog door allowed Luis to come and go freely during the day. Putting his head through the flap, he searched the cul-de-sac for any sign of the boy.
A chilly, autumn breeze blasted Luis in the face and trickled through his mane. The Chihuahua possessed a medium coat, which provided warmth in the winter time and a higher tolerance for heat during the summer. Extreme temperatures seldom bothered Luis, though. In fact, the sight in front of him stirred more anxiety than any weather phenomena could.
Pushing through the door, Luis examined the street from the front steps. The sky was gray and the cul-de-sac empty. Several of the neighbors had kids the same age as Kendell, and they were typically out playing this time of the day, yet the neighborhood was unusually quiet.
Luis trotted down the steps and across the driveway to a small patch of grass. He often did his business here but was more interested in the sidewalk adjacent to it. The walkway descended a small hill, disappearing into a tunnel that went beneath the nearby road. It’s the path he and Kendell took each day during their walk. Luis didn’t know why, but he felt an urge to go in that direction.
Kendell loved the playground on the other side of the tunnel, so perhaps he had chosen to go on his own. Luis picked up the pace, the steep slope forcing his tiny legs to move furiously. When he arrived at the bottom of the hill, Luis hesitated. The tunnel, with cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and some of the overhead lights blown out, wasn’t as inviting without Kendell at his side.
“Luis,” a soft voice said, echoing in front of him.
Luis immediately recognized it. He could never mistake Kendell’s voice. Barking, the dog ran to the opposite end and exited the tunnel, but no one was there. The daylight around him began to fade. Luis looked back in the direction from which he came, the light appearing much brighter in the distance. Scared, Luis turned to head home, but something grabbed him before he could flee.
© Kevin Hopson 2015