By Dean R. Koontz
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Hulann went to the rat, kicked the chunks of stone away and looked at the corpse. He prodded it with a tentative foot. The fleshy body quivered with a post mortem muscle spasm and was still again. He walked back to the boy and looked up at him where he sat just slightly above eye level. The boy looked back, his head tilted to one side. He was, Hulann supposed, a pretty specimen by human standards. His head seemed somewhat too large, but its features were well placed for his species. He had a thick mass of golden hair.
Leo, frightened. Leo, dead. Blood on the snow. And he could also recall the rat, hanging above him, ready to fall and tear with talons and teeth. The boy had called out. Hulann went to him, knelt and shook him gently. " The boy stirred, suddenly leaped up, wide awake, his eyes fully open, his hand clutched around a knife that Hulann had not even seen. He held the blade on the naoli for a moment, then relaxed and dropped it, put his cold-numbed fingers under his improvised blankets again. " "We have to go," Hulann said.
For the humans to have buried it this deep must mean that the tomes here contained were considered by them as most valuable. He advanced to a rack of spools and began to read the titles. He did, not recognize most of them. What ones he knew were fiction. This, of course, was quite a surprise. The humans he had met-that his race had met-in the stars some hundred and seventy years ago had not been the type to enjoy fiction. They had been cold, precise men with little time to smile and only a slight imagination.
Beastchild by Dean R. Koontz