The First Page

For a split second that stretches into eternity you sit there wide awake in the sudden silence. Ears ringing from the sound of the gunshot a moment before, your heart forgets to beat. Dread wells up in your chest.

Baxter, your loyal bloodhound with a hundred different human expressions he could give you from his wrinkled face and loving brown eyes, had bayed out a single clear bell-like call, which had without warning turned into a yelp of pain even the explosion of the bullet couldn't drown out. At the thundercrack sound you sat bolt upright in bed like lightning...but now what?

Your parents are out of town, and you are home alone. Your house sits by itself at the end of a country road. You'll have to handle this yourself. 

Then you hear it, an unmistakable whimper of a dog still alive and in pain.