David was sitting on his front porch, his mind wandering as he gazed at the empty street. His beloved Afghan Hound, Samson, had been missing for several days, and he was beginning to lose hope that he would ever see him again. Just as he was about to give up, he heard a familiar sound - the soft patter of paws on the pavement. He sprang to his feet, his heart racing as he saw Samson approaching from down the street. Relief flooded through him, and he ran to meet his faithful companion. The hound bounded towards him, his tail wagging happily, and he licked David’s face in greeting.
David wasn’t alone when Samson returned. Two women, his girlfriend Sarah and her best friend Emily, were in the living room with him. Emily was ecstatic to see Samson and jumped up to get a bottle of wine from the kitchen to celebrate his return, while Sarah immediately reached for her phone to alert the authorities about Samson’s sudden return. But something was off. As David hugged Samson, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of unease. There was something in the hound’s eyes that he couldn’t quite put his finger on. As they made their way inside, Samson’s internal monologue revealed his true intentions, he was no longer their dog.
David brushed off the uneasy feeling, chalking it up to exhaustion and relief. As he sat down on the couch, Samson lay down at his feet, staring up at him with an intensity that made David uncomfortable. Emily rummaged through the cabinets for wine glasses and yanked the cork from the open bottle of cabernet on the kitchen table. But just as Sarah was explaining the bizarre details of Samson’s reappearance, a low growl emanated from the hound’s throat. Her voice trailed off into a nervous whisper as she described the situation to the emergency operator.
Suddenly, without warning, Samson lunged at David, biting him on his bald head before falling to the ground, writhing in pain. David recoiled in shock and horror, his heart pounding in his chest as he scrambled to his feet, swiping at the yellow, pus-like liquid now seeping from the bite, but as he looked down at Samson, he saw something that made his blood run cold. The hound’s fur was falling out, and leathery, blotchy skin was emerging from underneath. The skin was hot to the touch and seemed to bubble and heave with each breath the hound took.