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The Hounds

The Hounds

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When sentient, canine-like creatures suddenly begin appearing and attacking all over the world, humanity scrambles to discover the origins and intent of the Hounds.

349 readers have visited The Hounds since SorayahGodkin created it.

Introduction

Nobody knew where the Hounds came from. They were just there, one day.
There were theories of course. The nutballs on the corners held signs about aliens invading the Earth, and some of the more exuberant TV preachers screeched about devils among us as a sign to repent and be saved. My grandma used to talk about that. She liked all that spiritual hocus-pocus. Dad always just shook his head and laughed at her when she’d talk like that, so that’s what I did too. The first few efforts at capturing a live one failed miserably, causing a lot of ruckus when that California lab video hit the media. People were in hysterics at what that thing did to those poor scientists before the fire shorted the camera and it all disappeared in a fuzz of static. I was only nine then, but my dad let me watch it because it was news and all, educational stuff, and I had nightmares for months afterwards. After that they only studied the dead ones that turned up once in a while, here and there. The running scientific theory was that they could have been some sort of mutated or evolved canine species, and since it sounded scientific, most people thought it made sense, and that’s what we believed. They also said they might be smart… like humans, “sentient” … but not so many of us believed that. They weren’t human. They were monsters, the stuff of nightmares and campfire ghost stories come true in the 22nd century. They maybe could think, but all they thought about was killing.
The first sighting of them was down in Mexico City, I think. Apparently it was some political to-do, the President of Mexico’s—Diego San-Somethingorother’s Inauguration Ball, and it was an outdoor affair, with formal gowns and all. I know, because I remember seeing a picture on the newspapers my dad gave me to line my pet rat’s cage, and one of the ladies they were carrying off on a gurney in the background was in a beautiful purple dress with frills and thin straps. Only the gown was all dirty and splotched with red, and I couldn’t see all of it because they had her in some sort of dark bag. Anyway, the rumors were that these things, a whole troupe of them, had appeared out of nowhere—there were only fields and a river nearby—and attacked all the people in this fully-lighted courtyard. Something like ninety people died, and another few dozen later on from the injuries they had gotten, bites and claw-marks and such. Everything had happened so fast, they said, that nobody could really say for sure what the things had looked like. A few people worried about it, but dad said it was probably just an assassination attempt or trained animals or something, and sure enough, the talk radio shows and news started speculating about that, and we forgot about it for a while.
But then there was another attack, and now people were afraid. A little boy in Colorado had been found out in his backyard dead, his body all marked with weird claw marks that looked almost like designs or ritual symbols. Dad wouldn’t let me go out after sunset anymore after that, and my neighborhood friends and I saw a lot less of each other that summer. After that the attacks got more frequent. Some guy in a national newspaper made some quip about a Sherlock Holmes book, and after that the things were called Hounds.
They only seemed to attack at night, and as they spread, the amount of information on them grew with the amount of attacks. One lady actually got a picture of one of them from the inside of her car, and survived her injuries long enough to get to the hospital where the picture was immediately circulated on every webpage on the Internet. Then we saw why they only attacked at night. They had huge eyes, set in a small head, so that they almost looked cartoonish. Those eyes had slitted pupils like a cat’s, and some scientists told us—using information collected from their dissected carcasses—that those eyes were extremely sensitive to light. “They probably sleep during the day, and hunt nocturnally,” they said, and after that it became the big thing in our area to search the woods for the things. My cousin Chris went on a lot of those search parties, even though Dad told him not to, and he and his friends would take their shotguns and rifles and hunting bows and bowie knives and be gone all day. But they always came back well before sunset, and even though they never said anything about being scared, we all knew why. They never found anything but a few paw prints and a swatch of fur one boy found (Dad said it was from a bear), and a couple of deer that Dad cooked and we had venison burgers every Thursday night until October. They couldn’t find heads or tails of the things. It’s as if the Hounds weren’t even real, except that the increasing casualties everywhere from their attacks told us different.
Even though we called them Hounds, I never thought they looked like a dog. Dad had a retriever for a few years. It died when I was seven, but my memories of it didn’t remotely resemble the things I saw in the news pictures. Most of the pictures were very dim, taken at night by unfortunate victims. But occasionally one of the lab photos would be released and I would stare at those for hours, wondering that this was the creature that caused the country so much grief. It was only a few feet high. The largest were four at the shoulder, and they were gaunt and shaggy with nondescript coarse grayish-black fur. Their pointy face and big eyes and ears gave them a rodent-look, and their ears were pointed at the ends. They walked on all fours, carrying their head low, with a hunched, ruffed back that reminded me of the hyenas I’d seen in the Oakland Zoo the week we went to my great aunt’s funeral. Their most distinguishing feature was their great round eyes set on the front of their faces. Most of them were very light, pure blue or yellow, and even sort of pretty, except they were mean looking and the teeth below them that were always bared in a silent snarl gave them a hungry look. I liked to look at those pictures, and I even used to draw pictures of the Hounds… smiling and friendly ones because I liked that better. But one of my teachers caught me drawing once and told my father, and after that I didn’t draw them anymore. People don’t like to see what they’re afraid of.

Our story opens five years after the initial Hound attack in New Mexico. Very little information is known yet about the Hounds, aside from their sentience and their ruthlessness. The attacks have been coming gradually further and further north, striking at small towns and rural areas where lights are dim, until the recent disappearances of two local children has made it evident that Snake Creek is now on the frontlines of a war between humans and the mysterious Hounds.

Toggle Rules

1. At least one post per day, 3 sentences minimum. Preferably 2 paragraphs. Clear English only (no text- or gamer-speak).
2. Keep it PG-13, including romance, language, and gore. Use your best judgment.
3. Since this is a small town, characters are likely to already know each other or be related. Feel free to plan that into your characters with other players. Characters should also be somewhat “normal” (i.e. no superheroes, vampires, werewolves, gods, demons, etc.) If you have any questions about exceptions, PM me.
4. Give a reason why you are in Snake Creek (i.e. scientist studying the Hounds, journalist documenting the latest attacks, hitchiker who ended up here, moved after a recent divorce, family grew up here, etc.)
5. No metagaming, Stay in YOUR OWN character's head.
6. Have fun, and be imaginative. Hoping to get a really awesome group and story here.

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[OOC] The Hounds

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