By John Page

I had just finished unloading everything off the moving truck when I heard the sound of a loud dog barking. This might sound odd but I’m really afraid of dogs. I think it’s because back in my hometown there was this wizard that liked to mess with me by summoning a shadow dog to chase me around the street. I wanted to smack that wizard but was told I need to be nice to him.

So, of course, I nearly jump out of my skin when I heard that sound coming from right behind me. I turn around and am I’m ready to run. I see the dog. It’s a fairly big dog that’s bright red. It’s running at me at full speed.

I turn to run when I hear a woman’s voice say, “Wait, don’t run. I just want to say hi.”

I yell back, “Sure but first get your dog under control.”

“ Don’t be mean,” I hear the voice reply.

I turn around as I noticed the dog has stopped barking. I think I’ll see the owner of the voice but all I see is that dog.

The dog is wearing clothes…and is just standing there.

“ What?” I mutter.

The dog opens its mouth and it talks in the voice I heard before.

“What’s wrong? You never seen a beast woman before?” The dog tells me.

“Beast woman? I thought those were myths.” I say confused. Granted I’m talking to a dog wearing clothes so something is up.

“Would it be better if I change shape?” The dog asks.

“Sure,” I reply.

With that the dog seemed to morph and suddenly there was a woman standing there. She had hair the same shade as the dog and was wearing the same clothes.

I was confused but I had heard stories of shape shifters before. In fact I used to live down the street from a changeling.

“Is this better?”, the woman asks.

“O…”, is all I managed to say to her.

She frowned but then said, “Well, back to what I wanted to say. My name is Cani and I’m your neighbor. I live in the house to the right,”

I looked the house. It is exactly like mine in general shape but with a ton of stuff in the yard. I told her my name and she seems happy that I’m talking. I also tell her I’m sorry for my reaction and explain that I’m afraid of dogs.

She frowned and mumbled, “ So I guess you don’t want to play with me.”

I was a little thrown by that and I ask her what does play me.

She seems to jump up and almost shouted, “I like running, sports, camping, doing karate and basically I love being active. You looked fairly in shape and I was hoping you would want to join me. The rest of our neighbors are fairly sedate and don’t want to play. The frog man in the other house is now hiding from me after an incident at a pool.”

That’s a lot to take in but it does explain why Mr. Green looked super happy to see that a young human was moving in between him and Cani. He nearly ribbeted with joy.

I am not super fond of working out but Cani seems fairly earnest. Perhaps she is lonely and, plus, she is fairly cute in human shape. In fact she is probably the prettiest woman I have ever seen. Still I’m a little worried about her energy level.

I decided to tell her that I would love to hang out with her. She beamed at that and told me, “How about when you are done we can walk around the area and I’ll show you around.”

She was basically bouncing with excitement and I agreed to head out in two hours. I finished unpacking with the hour and rest for a few.

Exactly two hours later I heard the doorbell ring. I am ready and dressed comfortably. I opened the door and I see that she was dressed like she is ready to run.

How far was she planning on going?

~~~

Three hours later we have run around twenty miles and I want to die. Cani looked she is still warming up. Apparently the local area is far more wider than I expected.

I found out that she works as a fitness instructor, has three brothers and two sisters, and has lived here for four years. It seems everything she does is at max energy. At one point she saw someone she knew and she raced off go see them. She also shifted into her dog shape to run faster.

I eventually got home and may or may not have passed out from exhaustion.

This will be an interesting time for me.

~~~

The next day while I’m eating breakfast I hear a sound of knocking on my front door. I go to answer it and I see it’s Cani.

She is wearing a sundress and is holding a basket.

“Hi Luke (in case you are wondering that’s my first name) I was wondering if you would like some muffins? I wanted to thank you for playing with my yesterday.” She told me while holding them up.

I decided why not and asked her if she wanted to come in.

She nodded and we went to my dinning room table.

We sat down and she handed me one of the muffins. I took a bite and it tasted awful. I would have spat it out but Cani was looking at me with an eager grin on her face.

What’s going to happen now. I already feel exhausted.

2 thoughts on “New Neighbors

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