“Borrrruuuungg!” the horns bellowed. “Borrrruuuungg!, Borrrruuuungg!”
The trembling air opens my eyes and steals me from the realm of dreamers. No, not the horns, something else, rough and wet against my forehead, then my nose. I cough. “Ack! Enough King Edward, enough!” I push the giant dog’s brown snout away from my face. King Edward barks urgently and nips on my shoulder. I try to sit up, but my back stiffens and I yell out in pain. King Edward barks and gives a high whine. “Shoot, this won’t work.”
“Alright, we get the point,” I say. “I guess the plane didn’t make it home.” I look around and see the evidence of the crash – some white metal twisted like tin, flaming cargo, but the cockpit is not in sight. I struggle to my knees. “Ouch, King, come here boy! Help me up before the angry townspeople get daddy.” King Edward barks three times and puts his neck under my arm.
The horns blare again, I know they’ll be on me any minute. King Edward helps me to my feet and I try a step. “Argh!” My ankle. It’s broken. “King, I don’t think I can make it.” I hop a few feet then fall to my elbows. “Go King, go boy! You didn’t do anything to these people. You need to get out of here or they’ll kill us both.” King Edward barks louder than ever and bounds powerfully to my side and clenches her jaw on my jacket collar and starts to pull.
We race across the open plain, heading full speed to the safety of the dense forest. King Edward pants and drools and shakes his head as he pulls. He is immense and determined.
“There he is!” I hear. The mob has reached the crash site and we are too far from the forest edge to avoid being seen.
“Dang it King! Get your butt out of here, these people are here for blood, save yourself!” With this, Kind Edward releases my collar and growls furiously. I put my head up and see the townsfolk – a dozen men armed with makeshift weapons. “Holy crap, they’re not kidding.”
“There he is!” The mob cried. “He took our money! He is a criminal!” The men spill into the field like an avalanche and I try to stand, try to get away, but my back is completely locked now. I grab Kind Edward by his thick leather collar and pull his face to mine. “You listen here King Edward. Only one man is dying today. Maybe they’ll even put me on trial.” King Edward stares me in the face with his chocolate eyes. He looks toward the forest, then back to me. “Go,” I say. “Go.”
And just like that Kind Edward left, galloping to freedom, and I let my head rest on the grass and I turn to watch the angry men converge on me.
But then King Edward is flying through the air, over my head and between me and the mob. King Edward growls his fiercest growl and gnashes his most terrible teeth and barks his most terrific bark. The men stopped immediately. They wavered, and chattered like scared birds, unsure of what to do. King Edward dispersed them with one final roar and a mighty half-charge that sent the mob running back to the hills and beyond to the village.