Ditch Dogs: Part Two

The Cave is not an Allegory

Tampico would’ve liked to be known for its architecture. Their cast iron balconies could’ve been right out of any European city a century ago. No matter how desperate your search for god, there was a church in Tampico grand enough to handle it. Its people would gladly sit you down and, in the Catholic hospitality as immortal as their god, share the region’s bounty with you. A tortilla of pounded corn stuffed with roasted iguana meat. Or perhaps armadillo. That was without even considering the bounty of seafood. All you had to do was stay close enough to the buildings, and to the food, to smell them. Straying might mean getting a whiff of the oil in the air. Continue reading

Ditch Dogs: Part One

(blurb)

This novella is dedicated to the animals used in human warfare all throughout history.  None of them knew what they were doing, but some of them surely wanted to help.  I take you now to the dawn of the first world war, and the birth of a very special litter of puppies who will eventually have to journey into Mexico as part of the manhunt for Pancho Villa, encountering a rogue German scientist and his hypnotized bats along the way.

Ditch Dogs

by

Blaine Arcade

 

Birth

Gal rested on her bed of dry straw and whimpered. One of her ears flopped over her eye; she didn’t bother to move it. The freshly-washed hands hovering over her thought this odd, so they moved in and pushed the ear back. Gal loved the light, loved chasing the setting sun to the marshy edge of the island, so there was no reason for her to not see the light in her litter’s eyes. They were due any minute now. One of the hands rested on her swollen belly, both petting and feeling for the position of the puppies. She couldn’t tell the difference. Continue reading

Fortune Underfoot: Part Five

E-denta

It took three separate sessions across two days, but E-denta finally succeeded in painting all of Maggie’s toe nails. The idea came to her when Jones asked for everyone to search the surrounding area for plants. The Riches around them were getting so thick that Maggie couldn’t find enough to eat without their help. Oddly enough, Braxton had the most talent for rooting around the money and bringing up the flattened bodies of mostly dead bushes. The elephant didn’t care for them, so Jones had to chuck the limp plants into her mouth and order the beast to chew. Occasionally she would chew three or four times and spray the pulpy mess back out, staining his shirt a rotten green. Continue reading

Fortune Underfoot: Part Three

Jones and Heart

In an almost frightening way, Jones had lightened up. They had traveled for close to two weeks now with a vague destination in mind, stopping here and there when they crossed lush money-free pastures of tall grass and scrub for Maggie to gorge on. After the initial moment of horror and the attempt at forced separation, things had cooled down between the man and robot. The benefits of the connection almost always washed away Jones’s bouts of feeling manipulated. Continue reading

Fortune Underfoot: Part Two

Jones

After roaming haphazardly for an hour, Jones directed Maggie towards the area where they had found the food store; he still wondered about that glint of robot skin. With no home and no job, the small mystery turned his curiosity into a ravenous school of piranha. It was a ridiculous riddle to waste time on, as if someone died in the middle of a joke and left him no punch line. It was better to investigate that though than pick up where he left off before settling in Brightside. Continue reading

Fortune Underfoot: Part One

(blurb)

Behold the United States after an economic apocalypse; inflation has run wild.  Life is nearly choked out by mountains of coins and dollars in the breeze.  Crazed robots, rogues with coin-shooting guns, and many other strange things roam.  One man,  a rare surviving specimen of optimism, journeys across the wasteland of wealth in search of a place good enough to be his home.

fortuneunderfoot

An average of thirty six thousand dollars was crushed under his feet with each step. Technically they weren’t feet, just metal imitations which carried him across wastelands of currency with a speed no real feet could. The patented feet were attached to large square pads that acted like snowshoes, preventing their owner from sinking into stacks of money or getting caught in credit card landslides. His imitation heart ran at full capacity, so sincerely that a real heart would be put to shame. Continue reading

Collapse of Colduvai: Part Six

One Queen to Another

The harvesters seemed to have necks made of leather. Day after day they went out into the blazing sun and picked cherries, counting on nothing but the leaves to shade them. Only the elders ever wore hats, and that was more so they could see than be protected from the burning heat. This meant that Keikogile had no way to conceal the glowing cracks on the side of her neck without drawing stares. Continue reading

Collapse of Colduvai: Part Five

Desperate Splash

The deep crocodile pen was drained and abandoned. Mister Koulsy walked around on the bottom of it, his boots squishing the water plants into the shallow puddles of water and mud left behind. He lifted their stalks with one foot, checking under them for any stragglers. The animals had ranged in size from only fifteen centimeters long to just over nine meters, yet none had been left behind in their exodus. Continue reading