My flesh rippled and crawled. “No, no! Stay back.” This couldn’t be happening. Not here. Not with him so close.
His eyebrows creased, and instead of listening to me, he took a step forward. “Are you okay?”
The bones in my throat shifted and closed around my vocal chords. Instead of an explanation, I squeaked. “Grawwar.”
Two more steps, and he stretched out his hands to touch me.
“Rawr.” I stepped away, my back hunched and both hands over my face. My vision went fuzzy, and blood rushed from my head.
The floor turned to water. I fell. He rushed forward and wrapped his arms around me. So gentle and kind.
He held me so tight, I couldn’t save him.
I don’t think he’d ever seen a giant hedgehog before, and when the light faded from his eyes, I knew he never would again.
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