The Street is Lava | Dogboy Chronicles Short Tail


“This is Sally Pine reporting live for WAG News. I’m here with the driver of the car that’s been dangling over the edge of Wackmore Bridge for nearly six hours.”

Danny turned his head towards the driver’s side window so that his Omni-Cuff camera could record what he saw. The driver, a college-age male with a baseball cap and Van Dyke mustache, waved. Danny returned his view to Sally.

“Mr. Brinks,” said Sally.

“Call me ‘John.’ Mister is my father.”

“John, you’ve been hanging here for almost six hours…”

“Five hours, forty-nine minutes, and sixteen seconds, but who’s counting.”

“…what has been going through your mind?” Sally finished.

“Hmm…” John tapped his chin a couple times. “Not much. It’s kind of boring actually.”

Sally wanted to make sure she was hearing things correctly. “Boring?”

“Sure, the first hour or two, I was terrified, but after some time the adrenaline wears off. Afterwards, I read some books, watched a movie, and beat some Russian at Chess: Battle Royale.”

Danny switched the view back to Sally so she could ask her next question. “Any idea why it has taken rescue workers so long?

John yawned then shook his head like he was fighting off sleep. “Probably has something to do with the lava.”

The video zoomed in on Sally; she raised an eyebrow. “Lava?”

John pointed over the bridge–the best he could without causing the car to rock more. Sally and Danny peeked over the edge. Orange-red lava bubbled and popped below.

Danny kept his eyes on the lava so his camera could continue recording the street full of lava. “What do you know?” he said. “There is lava.”

“But why is there lava?” asked Sally.

John leaned back in his seat and turned his eyes to the sky. “The police said a semi carrying lava for Vulcan Labs overturned.”

“Why would someone be shipping lava?” asked Sally.

Danny didn’t break eye contact with the driver but did answer Sally. “I think Vulcan Labs is owned by Hephaestus.” 

“Oh,” said Sally feeling foolish for not knowing. “Never mind then.”

Hephaestus, the Olympian smithing god, was used to working inside a volcano. Made sense he’d want some lava in order to feel at home.

Sally was about to ask another question, but the sounds of the crowd breaking into cheers interrupted her. Danny and Sally turned towards the sound. The Dogcar, a white and purple vehicle that looks like a dog in car form, rolled to a stop. The gull-wing doors opened; I stepped out. The crowd cheered with whoops and wows followed by chants of “Dogboy! Dogboy!”

I approached Sally and Danny. The claws on my feet, which stick out from my black boots, clicked on the bridge’s concreate.

“What kept you?” asked Sally.

“I had to stop Blackfeather from stealing mail,” I said.

“Why on Earth would he steal mail?” asked Sally.

“He didn’t want to pay for the Cheese of the Month Club.”

Danny chose a groan from his Omni-Cuff digital sound board. 

I walked over to the car’s bumper.

“What’s up, dawg?” said the driver.

I knelt to pick up the car.

“Remember to lift with your legs,” said Danny.

I grabbed the bumper and let the telekinetic energy flow into the car. Golden lightning traveled down my arms and into the vehicle. The lightning was barely visible as it surrounded the car. I lifted the vehicle. It wasn’t heavy, but it wasn’t light either. It was like lifting a bed mattress.

The phantasmic/psychic energy kept the car from falling apart under its own weight or from gravity.

I sat the car down. The cheering and applauding of the crowd drowned out the creaking and groaning of the car as the telekinetic energy faded from it and “normal” physics took hold.

“Thanks, Dogboy,” said the driver as medical workers assisted him.

“Yes, good job, Dogboy,” said Sally trying to stay professional but also wanting to cheer. “Now, what are you going to do about the lava?”

I glanced towards the edge of the bridge. “Does anyone have an ice pack?”

Copyright Joe Rover 2021. All rights reserved.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


The latest DOGBOY CHRONICLES book “The Lost Files: Episode 1” releases April 27.

Check out my links page for where you can order a copy!

Sky Hog

A couple days ago, Buddy (aka Copycat) told me how he ran into some trouble when he was out for a flight over the city. He was enjoying the feel of the air and listening to the soft wiping of his black cape as it moved through the air. For a few moments he could forget all his troubles.

And then something speed by him nearly knocking into him. He hit a pocket of turbulence as he tried to right himself. Finally, he regained his footing as it were. 

“Sky hog!” he shouted at the offender.

The offender slowed and faced Copycat. It was a pig with wings. Copycat gasped in surprise before it snorted a piggy grunt and flew off towards the skyscrapers.

Once Buddy finished his tale, I rested my hand on his shoulder in a show of support. “Yeah…Those atmos pigs think they’re so grand just because they’ve got an adynaton. But, it’s Heck’s Oinkers you’ve really got to watch out for.” 

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Copyright 2020 Joe Rover. All rights reserved.


Good news! The Smashwords Authors Give Back Sale has been extended to May 31! 

You have another chance to buy The Beast of Camp TimberWolf, Gift of the Minion, and now Who Pranked JR for 60% off!

Lights Out|Side Quest

Zzzttt-wah-MMMmmm…

One by one the lights went off. Within minutes the city went dark. Everything started to shut down from the holo-boards advertising the new diet soda to the residential holo-screens playing the sixtieth season of The North Wilbertons. The VirtNet and Internet went down in seconds. A few moments later, vehicles started to shut down…except for one ion-mag lev commuter train…that one was just running out of control.

I needed to take care of the runaway quick—not just because there was a group of citizens aboard or that the train would soon derail and destroy a couple city blocks but because I needed to get to the power station and put a stop to the one behind this power out.

Luckily, my Dog Toys (aka gadgets) operate on a different system, so the Dogfighter was still operational. I positioned the advanced fighter jet ahead of the runaway.

“Dogboy,” Brain said via the Dog Whistle communication system. “SPOT just scanned the train; it was hacked. This is a distraction.”

“Well, it’s a pretty good one,” I said. I flipped a switch. The Dogfighter sprayed a foam-like substance along the tracks. It would slow the train while also keeping it from derailing.

A second after I finished coating the tracks, the train ran over the foam. The train itself, thanks to magnetic levitation, hovers over the tracks. The foam is designed to lessen that connection so that the train slows but not cause it fall to the ground. The train jerked and moaned like someone who’d been at the gym too long. It slowed some, but I could tell it wouldn’t be enough.

I flew the jet ahead of the oncoming train and jumped out. I landed with a heroic thud. I braced for impact with the train while holding my paw-like hands out in front of me.

WHAM!

The claws on my paw-like feet dug into the rails. Sparks jumped around me as the claws tried to find purchase in the rails. My purple cape folded around me like a cocoon as I pushed against the train. Two handprints began to form in the train’s front. I pushed against the train, pouring on my telekinetic power. I could feel the phantasmic energy flowing out of me and down through the train. I groaned.

Finally, the train began to slow.

Thanks to the foam and my push, the train finally came to rest. I panted, my tongue almost reaching the ground. The passengers and workers shouted out thanks as the Dogfighter angled to pick me up. With a leap, I soon was back in the cockpit.

“Now for Terabyte,” I said.

***

When I arrived, Terabyte was having a fun time blasting transformers. Machine bits sprayed everywhere and plumes of fire reached high into the sky. I jumped down behind the cybernetic villain.

Without turning, the villain in yellow, said, “Well, well, well. Look who’s here. Next time I’ll sabotage two trains.”

“End this now, Terabyte, before someone gets hurt,” I demanded with a swipe of my arm.

He turned slowly towards me. His body crackled and glowed with energy. “But, Dogboy…that’s the whole point. Humanity’s time is over. It is time for the Digitrons to rule. It is only natural: the son always replaces the father. Humanity created us; now we will rule.” Terabyte spread his fingers. Arcs of electricity danced between his fingers. “Besides, it serves them right for imprisoning me.”

“Then I’ll stop you.” I thrust out my hand, launching a blast of telekinetic power at him.

Nothing happened.

“Uh-oh,” said Terabyte with a sneer. “Someone’s running on empty.” Terabyte moved his hand before him like some Tai Chi student. A lightning ball began to form in his hand. “Fortunately…I just ate.” He lobbed the ball at me.

ZZZzzttt…BOOOM!

I spiraled through the air like a toy shot out of a cannon. I crash landed into the side of a transformer with my back. I left a small dent. As I tried to stand, electrical wires wrapped around me.

I fruitlessly struggled against the wires. Terabyte laughed mercilessly as he hovered into the air. Electricity shot all around us.

“With you out of the way,” Terabyte monologued, “this city will be helpless against my army.”

“What makes you think I’ll be ‘out of the way’?”

“Because you have no power to stop me.”

“Really?” I relaxed my arms and chest. Earlier as the wires wrapped around me, I puffed up my chest and arms in order to be larger than I was. By relaxing, the wires loosened enough for me to use my claws to cut myself free.

Terabyte yelled in frustration before firing a lightning bolt at me. I managed to dodge and summon one of my Dog Toy gadgets. It looked like a tennis ball but was really an explosive.

I tossed the ball at Terabyte. He, of course, blasted it in order to make it explode early. He was momentarily blinded by the flash and by the resulting smoke. In that moment, I summoned another tennis bomb from my belt and tossed it. This one did connect and Terabyte fell to the earth. While he was recovering, I ordered my belt to print up a superpower suppression dog collar. Just as Terabyte was standing, I jumped at his chest, knocking us to the ground. After a brief struggle, I snapped the collar around his neck and his powers faded.

With Terabyte under control, the workers were able to move on the scene and began repair work. Within a matter of minutes, power was restored to the city. Not long after that the authorities arrived for Terabyte.

“You can’t stop us!” shouted Terabyte. “One day this world will belong to us!”

I rolled my eyes. “Super-villains.”

________________

Joe Rover eBooks are available at most online retailers.