* * *
The light of the cab drew nearer. He raised his satchel to gain the driver’s attention. But he jerked his hand back down as a woman screamed in terror from a nearby alley. Immediately, the street village was plunged into silence.
Phousita grabbed the doctor’s elbow and drew him backward until they were pressed against the door of the warehouse. “What is it?” he hissed. She shook her head, uncertain. The street was dark. Gas fires, stars, a few scattered flashlights: in the diffuse light she could make out the thoroughfare and the village that crowded the wayside, but she saw nothing that would—
She caught her breath as two great beasts trotted into view from the alley. They paused for a moment in the center of the thoroughfare, their armored heads swinging slowly back and forth as their nostrils tested the air. She could hear them snuffling. “Police dogs,” Zeke Choy muttered. He said it like a curse.
Phousita stood very still, wondering whom the dogs sought tonight. They were the servants of the Commonwealth Police. Their massive heads reached as high as a man’s shoulder. Phousita had seen one crush a woman’s skull in a single bite.
The dogs trotted slowly down the street, pausing now and then at a rickety shelter to lower their heads and examine visually the cowering inhabitants. In the harsh headlights of the approaching cab, their armored skulls glinted purest silver.
“…phenomenal….This one is a winner–grab it when you see it…”
Fred Cleaver, The Denver Post:
“…excellent….bursting with ideas and adventure…”