There’s a reason Kirkus Review named The Dog Thief one of its Best Indie Books…it’s just that good.
We’ve chosen it as our first audiobook, and we’re happy to announce it’s gone into production with Wes Super, and will be available by late June.
In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from “The Dog Thief” novella.
The Dog Thief
How it All Started
Lucky, the three-legged pitbull, escaped from confinement in the tool shed by chewing his way through the rotten boards of the wall. He emerged, blinking in the sunlight, just as Donald opened his front door to toss some trash out into the yard. Donald gave a yell and charged down the steps. Lucky galloped across the yard and took off down the narrow dirt track that led through the woods to the paved road at the bottom of the hill.
Lucky ran like a dog having a fit. With only one front leg, he tended to throw to the left and stayed upright only because of his momentum.
At the bottom of the hill a Berlin Wall of moldy eight-by-four plywood sheets hid a collection of ramshackle homemade dwellings. Cats drifted between the cabins, cruising for mice or tidbits of garbage. An old pickup quietly disintegrated in the mud in front of the main dwelling. Only the community totem, a soggy MIA flag drooping on a pole, could be seen from the dirt road.
Three people stood by the open gate in the plywood wall and watched Lucky’s clumsy three-legged race down the hill. They said nothing as the dog arrived, panting and exhausted, to collapse at their feet.
They knew who the dog belonged to, so they waited expectantly, watching the road. A few moments later a fat pale man in overalls arrived at a trot and halted, sweaty and breathless, at the property line.
“That’s…my…sister’s…dog,” he gasped. He had a large shapeless head from which ears sprouted like pink mushrooms. His loose wet mouth betrayed weakness, but his tiny eyes had the strength of pigheaded stupidity. He took up a stance like a gunslinger and attempted belligerence. “Give him here.”
“No,” said Blacksnake. “Fuck off.”
Blacksnake was wearing combat clothes. Judging by the smell, it was the same uniform he’d brought back from Vietnam. He had a sizable pot belly, a gray ponytail, and a cynical gaze. His two friends, a scrappy one-eyed woman and a tank-shaped Native American, also wore hodgepodges of military garb. All three were old, but looked like they might have been pretty tough back in the day.
The fat man had never been tough. He blinked, sputtered, and started a rant, waving one pink finger in the air. “My mother gave that dog to my sister. He was stolen by these dope dealers. There’s a gang of dope dealers hanging around my house…”
“Your sister is dead,” Blacksnake rarely made eye contact, but now he directed a glare straight at the fat man. “I said fuck off, Donny.”
Stand-off. The dog sprawled in the dirt, worried brown eyes tracking the conversation. The three people didn’t move, and their bodies melded into a wall as dirty and mean-looking as their plywood barricade. Muttering threats, the fat man backed away. The three watched silently, not bothering to jeer, as he turned and shuffled up the track toward his home.
And that’s how Lucky, the three-legged pitbull, was rescued by Blacksnake and his crew. It was an impulse born of a marriage between spite and kindness. No one realized at the time that this simple act would set off a cascade of events including a series of miracles and a felony.
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