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Stray Ally

Stray Ally by Troy Lambert - high res

Available now from Tirgearr Publishing: Stray Ally. Find it here: Amazon US Amazon UK Smashwords

A strange accident on the freeway, accusations of murder, and an encounter in the Idaho wilderness all propel Todd Clarke into a new friendship with a dog named Sparky. But Sparky is no ordinary dog, and there is more going on than Clarke could have imagined.

A military commander he investigated for Aryan activity and links to domestic terrorism is after him, and he’s not sure why until another chance encounter provides the answer.

With Sparky and the help of his canine friends, will he be able to figure out the Colonel’s plan and stop him in time? All Clarke knows for sure is none of it would be possible without the help of his Stray Ally.

Excerpt: The skateboard collided with my windshield, and I braked with both feet, screeching forward. The body hit the glass next, spider-webbing it as the skater’s helmet-clad head struck the glass in the center of my vision. The rear view mirror separated from the window and hit the center of the seat with a thud as the car skidded to a stop.

Marsha is gonna be pissed, came the unbidden thought. We just replaced this windshield.

Where did he come from? Creedence still blared from the stereo speakers and I turned the ignition key to the rear. Silence descended, broken a moment later by distant sirens.

I lifted my hand and felt wetness on my forehead, cut by—something. Glass? Must have been.

I opened the door, dazed. Under the helmet, a young face offered a blank stare. Nothing but blackness in the eyes: no color. Not good.

“You okay, kid?” I felt stupid asking. Stupider for expecting a response. “What were you doing on the freeway?”

I heard distant voices. Looked up. Kids, on the overpass above. Did he fall?

They pointed. One slugged the other one. A scuffle brokeout and they ran. All of them.

The sirens came closer. Another car pulled up, tires squealing as it stopped, rocking on its springs.

“What happened? Is everyone okay?” the driver asked.

Struck dumb, I just pointed. The skateboard rested half on the roof, half on the shattered windshield. The skater lay below it, unmoving, his left foot against the hood ornament, the Mercedes star cocked sideways.

“Is he..?”

He didn’t finish, but rushed over, feeling for a pulse, checking for breath. All things I should have done, but couldn’t.

He shook his head, glanced over at me. “What was he doing here?”

I shrugged.

“Did you see him?”

Head wag, substituted for speech.

“Are you okay?”

Another head wag. I couldn’t articulate what was wrong.

You’re bleeding.”

I managed a nod, and then my legs gave out. I dropped to the pavement and grimaced as my tailbone impacted the hard surface. I heard a whimper. It must have been me, because the other driver rushed over.

I stared ahead, seeing and not seeing the scene.

The sirens got closer, red and blue light illuminated Marsha’s car, the body, the skateboard, the chrome of her wheels, even making the brake lights appear to flash.

Help arrived, even though the boy was clearly beyond help. So was I, but no one knew it yet.