- Sleepy and annoyed, he turned a corridor corner that faced the kennel. The noise from within was louder now, much louder than he'd expected. He hurried toward the door. It sounded like tapes he'd heard of sled dogs attacking a bear.
- Confused, he fumbled tiredly with the door, slipping the latch. "Now what's got into—"
- Just as the door opened something hit him in the chest hard enough to send him staggering backward, his arms flailing for balance. He felt the same way he had one summer afternoon when Childs had accidentally blind-sided him during a game of touch iceball. The breath was knocked out of him as his diaphragm was compressed.
- The two dogs who'd struck him got to their feet slowly and dragged themselves back into the kennel whimpering. From within there came a roaring straight from hell, a grotesque symphony of barks and snarls, growls and frantic whining.
- And an unearthly screeching . . .
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