Shepherd’s Derelict: A Novel

Short Stories

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Little Bunny Foo Foo hops through the forest, scooping up the field mice, and bopping them on the head. The squeak of outrage, the writhing body, the inevitable bop, the limp figure tossed away after, like the skin of a popped grape. He wipes tears and snot from his nose with a bloody paw. He wonders where he is on the count: does it go by mice, or by the number of times that SHE has noticed?

The first time was an accident. Heading out to work at dusk, alert for foxes and that damn owl, relieved to be out of the warren, he mistakes his buddy Mike for a shrew. Sharp-toothed murderous little bastards, the shrews, and more than happy to gnaw on a nest of pinklings. Do a lot more than bop ‘em on the head, given half a chance. Foo Foo, seeing what he thinks to be a serial killer climbing out of Mike’s home tunnel turns around and wallops him a good one. A hard hit, with the back legs. Foo Foo could have been a contender once. But, well, that was before the missus and all the little Foo Foos.

The field mouse reels, falls over like a rotten mushroom in the rain and Foo Foo, realizing his mistake, runs to his friend and calls for help.

Down comes the Good Fairy—a cascade of stardust, a burst of fresh dandelion shoots, a fog of fairy pheromones—and she says, “Little Bunny Foo Foo…” The tone is reproving, but a velvety tease he hasn’t heard from a female in years. His own name, uttered by those succulent crocus-petal lips. His nose twitches, his ears flop. He has been cradling Mike’s head but drops it back in the gravel with a thump, eyes only for the Good Fairy. “Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don’t want to see you hopping through the forest, scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head.” A delicate hand, a caress between the ears, and Foo Foo’s heart beats in time with the fairy’s pulse, visible on the elegant neck.

He is hooked.

Parlor Tricks

Parlor Tricks

Miss Altangerel’s costume gives me pause. She wears the body of a hawk as a headdress, its wings sweeping back along the side of her ears, her own eyes and nose hidden behind the predator’s sharpened gaze and yellow beak. A curtain of rawhide strands hangs from the...

Chapter Three: Dinner  Party

Chapter Three: Dinner Party

I gave up on work for the afternoon—the deadline was blown so badly now that one day couldn’t make a difference—and took a shower, hoping to scrub away some of the anxieties about Pops. I dressed, pulling an old sweatshirt over my head, then swiped steam away from the...

Chapter Two: An Officer in the Dark

Chapter Two: An Officer in the Dark

Her mother, the officer said, was dead. The seven-year-old with dark braids tucked her chin against the sharp edge of her collarbone and cowered in the shadows of the darkened hallway behind Aunt Louise. She watched the man’s mouth moving, his pale skin lit by the...

Chapter One:  Frost

Chapter One: Frost

The wind had blown hard and empty out of the Arctic for too long. But when the marine radio crackled to life with a forecast of better weather, I switched it off. No point in getting hopeful.

Acorns

Acorns

A young man, cast adrift after a tour of duty in Afghanistan, finds himself in in possession of a strange power and the responsibility that comes with it.

Fireflies

Fireflies

The house with mismatched roof tiles sits back from the road and is indistinct from its neighbors. Illinois Street is a busy one, and I doubt that many of the drivers take time to notice this one house in a row of similar Sears mail-order kit homes from an earlier age.  But I do. I notice it every day.

About the Author

A.G. Bennett has been plucked from the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Wisconsin with her wife and family of four-footeds. She works as an illustrator and web designer. She is learning to ice fish, and sometimes wears a Packers cap as camouflage. If you can explain the purpose of a supperclub, please leave a comment, because she is still confused.

Her first novel, Shepherd's Derelict, is wandering the Earth, in search of a home.

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