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Honest, the Martian Ate Your Dog
This is the story of Normal Kint, who is on the run from his wife's wrath after selling her dog, Ringo, to a Martian. The Martians love dogs – as a delicacy. Normal hopes to lie low till his wife's anger has cooled down. But there is no escape for him. Apparently, Ringo is not just another dog, he's a synthetic clone with a priceless artifact hidden inside him. Now, everybody (and their dog) wants Ringo – and Normal. Will Normal's wife forgive him? Who are the people after Ringo? What do they want? And what length's will they go to get what they want?
If you want to find out, you can buy the e-book (or even the print version) from Lulu.com. If you're not sure, here's a preview of the book to whet your appetite ...
Excerpt - Honest, the Martian Ate Your Dog
"You should say, 'Stand and deliver!'," said Normal, shifting from foot to foot. He was already tired of holding his hands up. Apparently, being held up was tiring work - for the person being held up.
"Huh?" responded Dick Turpentine, a bemused look on his face.
"When you hold up people, like you're doing with me, instead of saying 'Give me your credits!', you should say 'Stand and deliver!' or 'Your credits or your life!' That's much more highwayman-like," replied Normal, schoolmarminess dripping from his every pore, switching from foot to foot again on the cracked macadam of the old highway. The crevices on the road mirrored the larger fissures in the landscape surrounding them - the devastation caused by bygone wars.
"You're telling me how to be a highwayman?" Beneath all the scraggly hair, the mask covering his face, and the facial hair which struggled out from underneath the mask like Medusa standing on her head, Dick's eyebrows reached for the sky.
"Well, somebody's gotta. You're not doing too good a job of it. I've heard so many stories about how dashing you are ..." Normal's voice trailed off as Dick scowled at him.
"Oh, I dash alright. When the Cheese appears, I dash away like the dashingest of dashers," said Dick in an injured tone, cut to the quick at the impugning of his dashing abilities.
Normal waved his hand dismissively. "That's not exactly what I meant," and then tensed as Dick brought the gun up sharply. While somewhat scared, he'd also been rather exhilarated to be held up by the great Dick Turpentine on this lonely stretch of highway. It had been rather disappointing to learn that the outlaw lacked a dash of the dashing.
Normal considered his options and tried again, "They also say that you steal from the rich and give to the poor. You do give to the poor, don't you?"
"Umm ... yeah." Dick looked around like a hunted rabbit, struggling to think of a name, any name, that would qualify. "Yeah. Yeah, I do. There's poor Mrs. Robinson. I give her some credits every once in a while. I stay at her place, but still, she's poor and I give her money. That counts, right?" Dick paused, he'd found himself at the bottom of his mental list much sooner than he'd expected.
There was silence for a moment. Normal wondered how you made small talk with the person robbing you. Did you compliment him on his technique? Strike that, he told himself wryly. He'd already nuked that bridge.
He was saved from further rumination by Dick, who beamed a beatific smile and continued, "Then there's Suzy over at the Young Men's Recreational Centre ... Poor thing, sometimes she stays out in the cold all night waiting for somebody to come along. That's just not right." Sympathy for poor Suzy's plight and outrage at the cruelty of society fought a full-blown campaign across the landscape of Dick's face.
"You mean she's a woman of the night?" Normal could feel the flush spreading over his face like an army of red ants across a sandwich. He'd always been a country boy, even though he'd lived his whole life in the city.
"Nah, she does business by day as well," replied Dick, obviously relishing Normal's discomfort. Normal could almost see Dick, smiling evilly like a maniacal imp, within the cramped confines of the cell that was Dick's mind. "It's just that folks are a tad skittish about approaching her during the day. Guess you could say those who do business with her are the real folk of the night."
Each time Dick said "business", Normal felt his face turn a deeper shade of crimson. Normal wondered if the highwayman was going to keep saying "business" just to see how many different shades of red he could get out of Normal. Perhaps Dick took pity on him. Instead of pressing his attack, Dick switched gears.
"Say, what's your name?" he asked.
"Normal, Normal Kint." Normal started to put his hand out, ready to shake hands. Dick tensed, his finger tightening on the firing stud. Normal realized his mistake and withdrew his hand in double-quick time. He shuffled his feet and tried to look everywhere but at the blaster while Dick watched him intently.
 They'd wanted to call it the Young Men's Center of Activities, but somebody had pointed out that young men generally had only one center of activity and that it was the sort of thing one just didn't discuss in polite circles - or even polite squares.