100 Blog Followers Special!

I noticed a few days ago that I reached 100 followers for my blog. To celebrate, I made an illustration of Joe/Dogboy’s online avatar, Warrior Fang, and his dog’s online avatar (it’s the future; intelligent animals can get online too), Silent Paw, battling a swarm of coding bugs.

Enjoy, and as always…thanks for reading.

Salesman | Dogboy Reborn Side Quests

The villainous Glue laughed wildly within his hidden lair. “Ah-hahahah!! That fool Dogboy has taken the bait!” Glue twisted and squeezed his hands in excitement. “Soon he’ll be in my clutches. Now, what deathtrap should I use?”

Glue gazed over his wide collection of deadly machines. There was the giant mousetrap. There was the classic tank of sharks. “Maybe the Spinning Blades of Doom!” said Glue.

Bzzzzt!…Bzzztt!

“Oh, now what?” huffed the villain.

Glue stormed through his lair as the doorbell continued to buzz. Glue grumbled, “I’m coming. I’m coming.” He passed by gold statues of himself and walked under the 15 foot portraits of himself. He kidnapped the famous artist, Art with Sam, in order to commission them.

Glue flung the door open. “WHAT?!”

“Good evening, malicious sir,” said the man wearing a tweed overcoat and brimmed hat, which he tipped in greeting. “My name is Salesman. I am a lair-to-lair salesperson for the Omega Institute. Would you be interested in–”

“NO!”

SLAM!!

Glue followed his door slam with a door lock. He grumbled some more then turned. “GAH!” he yelped with a jump that made it look like he’d just seen a spider in his shower.

Salesman tipped his hat again.

“How’d you get in?” asked Glue.

The man held up a small black circle. “With the handy-dandy Portable Hole. You just stick this little beaut on any surface and voilà instant hole.” The man sat down his sale’s bag. With a click of the lock, he opened it and began riffling through it. “I’ve got boxing gloves on springs, acid spraying squirt flowers, gasses of all varieties; and of course, the ever popular freeze ray,” the man said, pulling the items out one by one.

Glue folded his arms. “Not interested.”

Salesman would not be deterred–his commission rested on getting a sale. “For the more modernist villain: I have swords that can slice an atom. I have bombs with misleading timers. I’ve got drones, spy cameras, and backdoor codes to various government databases.”

Glue let out an annoyed and warning sigh. Salesman either ignored him or didn’t hear him. Instead, he put a hand on Glue’s shoulder. “But, I can tell you are a…” He surveyed Glue’s black and orange containment suit. He could hear the sloshing of glue within. Without the suit, Glue would be a large glob of dried glue. “…uh, man of tradition. I’ve got cartoon bombs and sticks of dynamite…two for one.”

Glue groaned.

“How about some exploding pies?”

“What flavor?”

“Coconut creme.”

“Ew-yuck! I hate coconut creme. How about an ejector trap made to look like floor tiles?”

Salesman lifted his hat enough to scratch his head. He glanced down at his sale’s bag. “Gee, I don’t think so.”

Glue grunted a quick, dry laugh. “I do.” He tapped a button on his wrist computer panel.

SPOING!!

The spring loaded ejection title under Salesman launched him into the air and out through the hole in the roof–Glue had opened the roof; he didn’t want to clean up the mess.

“You’ll regret thiiiiiisss…” said the trailing voice of Salesman.

Glue closed the roof hatch then clasped his hands together. “Now…where was I?”


If you’d like more adventures starring Dogboy, check out the Joe Rover eBooks–available at many online retailers.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Copyright © 2019 Joe Rover

Dogboy and related characters Copyright © 2016-Present by Joe Rover

All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews or as a repost/share with link to the original post.

All characters, organizations, and locations in this post have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

Cowards? | Scooby Doo and the Gourmet Ghost

May contain spoilers.

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I was watching Scooby Doo and the Gourmet Ghost when about 50-60 minutes in Shaggy said something interesting. He was talking to Scooby and said (I’m paraphrasing) that once again, pretending to be cowards landed them the easy assignments. What?! I rewound the video and listened again. I even put on subtitles. Shaggy indeed said “pretending to be cowards.” My mind was blown.

What’s next? You guys don’t really like Scooby Snacks? But me thinking about them not liking Scooby Snacks led me down a dark rabbit hole.

Suddenly, the whole series made more sense. Shaggy and Scooby pretend to be cowards and they get Scooby Snacks; what a hustle. Also, the ghost always coming after Scooby and Shaggy made sense; it’s karma for all their ploys. I also began to wonder if Fred (maybe one of the others) suspects or knows, and this is why Fred always has Scooby and Shaggy be the bait for the ghost traps.

Earlier in the movie, the gang have to cook their own meals. Shaggy and Scooby say they have to leave so that they can help another chef with their class (which in true comical fashion is the truth). Fred, I think, says to them (again paraphrasing), “You two will say anything to get out of work.” Again, makes me think one of them at least suspects that Scooby and Shaggy aren’t cowards.

Although, I don’t know if Scooby is pretending. I don’t remember him agreeing with Shaggy–I was too stunned by Shaggy’s line and the ghost floating by the window. Maybe Scooby isn’t pretending.

At first, I thought Shaggy was just referring to that instance and all the other times they were really scared, but why did he say, “once again.” Logic says they (or at least Shaggy) has done it before. This could mean he’s done it before but only in this movie. He doesn’t say, “like always.”

Now that’s out of the way, let me take off my tinfoil hat.

I really enjoyed the movie. It was a classic Scooby adventure full of humor and fun. But, it made me feel sorry for the gang if they ever do a family tree. They always seem to have some uncle or cousin that invites them somewhere. Just how big are Fred, Daphne, Shaggy, and Velma’s families?

Ugh, I’m doing it again.

Anyway, the movie was great. I highly recommended it to any Scooby-Doo fan.


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Please leave a review at your favorite retailer or on my Facebook page.

First Contact

Part 1

Dogboy (aka Joe Rover)

    While I was thankful for the assist, I could tell not everyone was as grateful.

    “Who is he?” someone asked.

    “Where did he come from?”

    “How did he stop that thing?”

    “Are the Xacians back?”

    Sally helped me up. The burn mark from when the sphere hit me was already healing. My costume was also repairing itself. “You better say something,” she whispered, “before there is a riot.”

    “What do I say?”

    “You’ll think of something.”

    I approached the young man. “Hi.” I could hear Sally’s facepalm from behind me.

Jackson “Jack” Riggs

    “Uh, hi,” I said. Wow, I was meeting Dogboy.

    I started to reach out for his hand, uh, paw, but then I started feeling this pain behind my eyes. They felt like they were on fire. I groaned and shook my head. But suddenly a burst of light erupted from them. The beam of light passed over Dogboy and then vanished. I then got sick. Things were uneven. The world was tilting. Then as sudden as it began, everything was normal. Except for how everyone was looking at me. The crowd had taken a step back and even Dogboy looked frighten for a moment.

    “What?” I said. “What’s wrong?” I looked at my hands and could see that they had transformed into paw-like hands, much like Dogboy’s. I also had fur. I felt panic welling up in me as everyone whispered about how I’d stolen Dogboy’s powers. The fur and claws then retracted and I was back to normal.

    “He’s a mimic,” the woman reporter whispered.

    Dogboy glanced at the crowd. “I think we need to take this conversation to somewhere more private.”

***

    “Welcome to the International League of Super-Transbeings HQ,” Dogboy said. “Or ILOST for short.”

    “Wow,” was all I could say. The place was amazing. There was tech here that people could only dream of. The place was all nice and shiny too like it’d just been cleaned. While it had a very military-like look to it, it also had a homey feel. You could tell this was a place of business, but also a place where members could hang out and relax. “Wow,” I said again just before I bumped into something.

    It was Brood, the team’s reformed vampire. He looked just like his pictures: black duster jacket, black pants and boots with a red trim, black shirt with a red collar, and red gloves.

    He glared at me for a moment and then turned to Dogboy. “You brought him here?”

Dogboy

    I sighed. Brood and I rarely saw eye-to-eye on things. It probably had something to do with that long ago vampires were allies with the Xacians. That pitted them against the Sirians, or werewolves. Even though Brood was beyond the whole blood-drinking thing, there was still some resentment. Blood feuds are hard things to get over in one generation. And his attitude doesn’t help.

    “And where else would I take him?” I asked.

    “PAWS for starters.” PAWS: Paranormal and Weirdness Specialists.

    “Why?”

    “That machine, that he clearly could control, was trying to transform the planet. I’d call that a pretty good reason.”

    “He stopped the machine.”

    “After he probably started it. That’s the problem with you dogs; you’ll be friends with anyone who gives you a belly rub.”

    My claws started to grow. “Do you want to do this right now?”

    His fangs started to grow. “Anytime, Rover.”

    He hissed. I growled.

    A wall then dropped down between us.

    “Is that anyway to welcome a guest?” said a voice.

Jack Riggs

    The woman in the flowing white robe stood with her hand raised as Dogboy, Brood, and I turned. It was Daphne Spelling, the witch. There was something familiar about the woman with the short cut brown hair, beyond the fact that she was a famous superhero. A black cat sat at her feet cleaning its paws.

    “Let us hear what he has to say.”

***

Dogboy

    “That’s quite the story,” I said after Jack finished his tale. He’d told us how he always thought he’d been from Earth but the Sphere had reawaken his memory and his powers. It had also told him that he was the last surviving member of the royal family of Tetrix. 

    “Yes, ‘story’ being the keyword,” said Brood. “Now he’s telling us that there are more like him.” He faced Jack. “How many more?” Jack said he didn’t know. Brood faced me. “What more evidence do you need? They have already tried to terraform the Earth and now there is an army of them, somewhere.”

    “He is quite right.” Agent Zee stepped out of the shadows. “They are the ultimate sleeper cell. No memories of their goals until they are activated. I have also searched the star charts; there is no mention of a planet Tetrix.”

    “Big universe,” I said. “Wait, he just told us what planet he’s from. How did you know?”

    “I have my ways,” Zee said letting his Russian accent slip in even more to add effect. “I had many contacts before Xacians turned me into a zombie.” Agent Zee had volunteered for a project that would supposedly make him a better spy. What happened is the test subjects turned into zombies. Any more than this is classified, according to Zee. And since he’s a zombie, we don’t know his age, but he has accidentally made Cold War references. “We know nothing of this, мальчик [mal’chik].” Even though our interpreter technology allows us to understand each other in our native tongues, some…attitudes/feelings stay the same. The technology interprets what is said in a way that we can understand what is said, even if that is in another language.

    I sighed. “That’s why I brought him here. To find out more about him.”

    “Well, that was stupid,” said Brood.

    “Do you really think he’d try to attack a base full of superheroes?” I asked.

   “Not unless that was his plan.”

Part 1

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The Sphere

Jackson “Jack” Riggs

    People were panicking. The strange sphere came out of nowhere and was now floating over the city. Beams shot from the object and what they hit became cocooned in a strange wood-bone material. Though everyone around me was freaking out, I found it…mesmerizing. It seemed familiar. It felt like when your parents call you home for supper…that home feeling.

    The sea of people rushed around me…but I stepped towards it.

Dogboy (aka Joe Rover)

    I piloted the Dogmobile in a mad rush towards the unknown sphere. Brain, via the dog whistle comm-link in my sunglasses, told me that the strange wood material was terraforming the planet. Woof, the team’s artificial intelligence, confirmed this suspicion.

    “Not the first time some aliens tried to terraform the planet.” I then had to shake my head to resist the flashback of when I fought the Xacians. 

    The Xacians. A evil empire that had ruled most of our galaxy. They had come to Earth eons ago and began messing with, not just human life, but all. They transformed plant, animal, mineral in an ongoing attempt to rule all life. They came to our “backwater” planet because Earth life is surprisingly adaptable. They wanted to make the ultimate invader. Their mistakes became the stuff of legend and story. That’s right, every myth, urban legend, and story is true.

    But they weren’t the only aliens to visit. Many good aliens arrived to help, such as advancing our technology and knowledge of the universe. Many of the great inventors and creators in history were either these friendly aliens, descendants of them, or just friends with them. The world’s governments kept the secret by telling everyone: in the form of stories, movies, comics, video games, and so on. Which is why I’m even allowed to tell you this; you’ll believe it’s fiction. Also, in my time (2027), it doesn’t matter because everyone knows aliens, monsters, and superheroes exist.

    I’m telling you this so you’ll understand when I say that this plays a part in my origins. One such Friends of Earth (or FOEs, horrible name by the way) were the Sirians, from Sirius (the dog star not the radio). These aliens inspired the legend of the werewolf. They came to Earth to stop the Xacians (they’ve been at war with the Xacians for a long time). A couple Sirians fell in love with Earth people and over countless generations genetics mixed to make me–a half human half Sirian…mutt.

    “Joe!” Brain shouted. “Are you daydreaming again?”

    “Nope, just thinking of the exposition I’d need to give the readers for my next story.”

    Though I couldn’t see him, I knew Brain was tapping his desk at the Doghouse in frustration. “Could you please keep your mind in the present.”

    “You try being part dog. Everything is so…fascinating. All. The. Time.”

    “You’re coming up on the sphere now.”

    I parked the Dogmobile and the gull-wing doors opened to let me out. My purple cape blew in the breeze created by the object. I crouched down, focused my telekinesis, and readied to jump. The ground began to break around my black boots as pieces of dirt started to float. I pounced into the air. Using my telekinesis, I could keep myself on track. At least until the sphere hit me right in the Dogboy emblem on my chest (a picture of a dog howling at the moon).

Jack Riggs

    “Dogboy is down,” the woman reporter said. I think her name is Sally Pine, but I didn’t care much. I had to get closer to sphere. I needed to get closer.

    The closer I got, the more I understood it. It was a part of me. I could feel it…awakening something in me. I could feel power in me. 

“Tetrix,” it whispered to me. I saw images of another world. My world. Trees. Animals. A blue sky. It was like Earth but different. There was more of that strange material. I was not from Earth. I’d lived on Earth for 16 years but this Sphere told me I had come to Earth from another world. 

    My world had been invaded by the Xacians. There was no way we could win, so we fled. My parents gave me to the couple I thought had been my parents. Others escaped on ships like ours. They sent a Sphere to a young planet, easily transformable, so that Tetrix could live again.

“Jackson,” said my father, “you will be the only surviving member of the royal family. Lead our people in a new age.”

    Our memories had been wiped so that we could fit in on Earth until it was time. Now the Sphere’s energy was reawakening us. All of us.

    The Sphere seemed to command me to stand down, to let it convert this planet. But I had memories of Earth. I could also see the fear in the Earthlings. Maybe they would survive; our planet was much like Earth. But no, this was wrong.

    I held out my hand. “I am Jackson of the royal family of Tetrix. I command you to stop.”

    The whirling noise and energy beams began to slow. The Sphere was shutting down. 

    The woman reporter went to help Dogboy. A crowd began to form around me. Whispers started.

    “Is he an Xacian?”

    “Another alien invasion.”

    “Where did he come from?”

    “What does he want?”

    “Is that thing dead?”

    The people seemed more afraid now than when the Sphere was on.

To be continued…

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Damsel Not in Distress

I was running for my life.

 I’d been working on a case with the police. A serial killer was on the loose.

 I was getting close. Too close. One final message to police. Sally was in danger.

 When I could I would teleport. It must have looked weird to see someone running down the streets poofing in and out. But I didn’t care, I had to get to Sally’s.

***

 Sally sat down to have some popcorn. She’d just gotten it the way she liked and had a movie ready to stream. She plopped on the couch and took a sip of her soda. She was about to start the movie when the phone rang. She sighed and tapped her Omni-Cuff. “Hello,” she said, but all she got in response was heavy breathing. “Not funny, Danny.” She hung up.

 She turned back to the holographic projection, the title screen still selected. She was about to give the command to start the movie, but the phone rang again. Once again she answered and could only hear the heavy breathing. “I swear if you’re playing a prank…”

 “Having a nice night, Miss Pine?” said a voice that could freeze water. He then began breathing heavily again.

 “Who is this?”

 “You’re…protector is ruining my fun. I had such fun before the police brought him aboard. Superheroes have a way of ruining everyone’s fun. Now, I’m going to have fun with you.”

 Sally hung up. “Omni-Cuff, trace that call.”

 “Tracing,” said the AI voice. “Call came from inside your home.”

 Sally jumped from the couch and went on alert. She rushed for the drawer that held her weapon. It was gone. The phone rang again but this time it was broadcasted throughout the house. “Ah, ah, ah,” said the voice. “Did you really think I wouldn’t find it?” The line then went dead.

 Then the lights.

 When they came back on the serial killer stood a few feet away from Sally. He wore a poncho and hood. He looked like some kind of twisted modern version of the Grim Reaper. She reached for the dog whistle comm-link to contact me. He waved a disapproving finger at her. “We can’t have any of that. I’ve jammed all signals.”

 The man approached her, slowly. He wanted her to feel every moment of panic and helplessness. He had her turn around so that he could smell her hair. He took a long whiff. “Ahhh…” 

 This is when Sally head-butted him. The blow dazed him. She elbowed him and then took out his legs. He fell, hitting his head. Sally put her foot on his chest. “Guys like you have been coming after me ever since I met Dogboy. Did you really think I was helpless?”

 “Kind of,” he wheezed.

 Sally pushed harder with her foot. “Men.”

 I then came through the door. “Sally!” I stopped. “Never mind.”

 “I told you I could take care of myself.” She pushed down again with her foot causing the killer to cry out again.

 “Apparently,” I said.

The End

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Haunted House

Hungry, cold,
Seeking shelter
We entered here.
No harm meant,
Just food and warmth.
Abandoned home.
Dust, layers upon layers.
How were we to know?
Someone watching, lurking.
Red eyes always following.
Cobwebs in the face,
A creepy feeling in this place.
Bats and rats and roaches the size of candy bars.
Aleya shivered.
Ryack gagged at the rotting food left out.
Finally, a fireplace.
Under its warm, heavenly glow,
We dined on food through running low.
We laughed and joked not knowing, not knowing
Something moved behind these walls.
A creature of fright,
Of eternal night,
Hands made of ectoplasm.
Hungry for souls, it waited.
I wished to rest.
Aleya wanted to read.
Ryack left for parts his own,
Pretending stoicism.
One by one we fell to the traps
Placed by our spectral host.
Now we wait,
In dungeon cold,
As the phantom cook
Prepares his meal of old.

The phantasm stopped and stared at me for a moment as I finished my poem. Aleya and Ryack had big smiles across their faces.

The phantom floated over to us. “What was that?” he asked in an echoing voice. “Why do you smile?”

“Because our wizard friend,” Aleya nodded towards me, “just finished his spell.”

Suddenly the room seemed to darken. The shadows began to stretch and drip. They began to form into unknown creatures of a mist-like substance.

“No!” the phantom screamed as the shadows took hold of him. “NO!” he continued to scream as the shadows pulled him into the wall.

The room then brightened and the sudden silence was unsettling. With the spook gone, the dungeon cell opened.

“Let’s go before anyone else shows up,” Aleya said.

“Good plan,” I said.

The End

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The Deep Lonely Woods Pt 3

Part 1 Part 2

The woman and man struggled. She was surprisingly fit. Finally, it looked as if she was outclassed. She scooped up the girl and ran. The axe man followed soon after.

I opened my eyes. The scents were fresher, so I quickened my pace. I ran deeper and deeper into the woods; trying to avoid roots, branches, and anything else that might slow me down. The little girl’s scent got stronger with each passing step. I was getting closer.

I then slowed. The girl was here. As was the axe murderer. I scanned the area looking for any kind of clue. All I could see were trees and darkness. I then heard a scrapping noise: metal being dragged across a dirt ground. The sound began to circle me. I could smell sweat and the fear fo the girl and babysitter. I then could hear a heartbeat. I ducked and rolled just as the axe flew by and hit a tree.

“Get off my land!” a voice said. It sounded suspiciously like Old Man Williams though that might have just been my imagination. “Every year you punks tramp through my home! No more!” The axe hit another tree as I dove clear. He raised his axe once more. “Is it that hard to throw things in a trash can!”

He swung, but this time I caught the axe’s handle. We struggled over it. I finally managed to head butt him. He stumbled back. I blew a blast of nasty dog breath his way. He coughed and choked.

“Run!” I said to the babysitter and girl.

The babysitter grabbed the girl by the hand and ran with her. I followed. We weren’t far before I heard the yell of the axe murderer followed by him slashing at everything in his path.

He was getting closer.

“Go!” I summoned in another Frizz disc for them to follow. “I’ll hold him off!”

The two vanished into the woods. I stood with my back to the attacker. He slowed when he saw me standing there. Not yet, I thought. I could feel him sneaking up on me. I thought back to those times with Old Man Williams, and that last night.

He was coming up behind me. I knew the rumors. They said he chopped up kids and fed them to his beast hound. They said he dabbled in the Dark Arts. They said he killed his wife and children.

Not yet, I would think. Danny remembers it as a fun and harmless prank, but what it was…was a challenge. The bullies just wanted yet another thing to tease me about. They knew they could out last pathetic Joe Rover. I had to show them I was the Alpha.

Every year, even though I won, I chickened out and was mocked for it. Not this year.

The man with the axe crept closer and closer just as Old Man Williams did. Each footfall as loud as a jet engine. My heart pounding because I feared I’d be the hound’s next meal or victim to whatever terror Old Man Williams could cook up.

I felt the shift in the air as he raised his axe. Not yet.

Old Man Williams was right on top of me. I could feel his rotting breath on my neck. I’d be a goner if I didn’t move, but I had to prove myself to the bullies…and to myself.

I then smelled something coming from Old Man Williams I didn’t expect. Not anger or evil…but sadness and loneliness…and a hint of pumpkin cookies. I slowly turned to face him.

“You aren’t running?” he asked.

“No.”

“Everyone runs.” He looked down at the ground. “I know the stories kids tell. But I’m not some vampire.”

“I know,” I said.

The axe man breathed heavily as he prepared to swing. I let out a breath. It was now or never. In one quick move, I turned and slashed the axe with my claws. The blade fell harmlessly to the ground. The man was in shock for a moment.

“Let’s go,” I said holding out my hand. Like with Old Man Williams, my fear had conjured the rotting smell, but I finally understood. He had the same smell of sadness and loneliness Williams had.

“I just wanted kids to stop messing up my home,” he said.

“I know.”

***

It wasn’t long and the police had the babysitter and the axe man in custody. The parents of the 8-year-old as well as the parents of the lost teenager arrived and embraced their respective children.

I gave Sally a quick wave as she and her cameraman sat up to report the story.

“Now what are you going to do?” Brain asked.

“I think I’ll visit an old friend and have some pumpkin cookies.”

The End

Part 1 Part 2