Thursday, April 1, 2010

Space Vixens To Be Published

I am pleased to announce that "Space Vixens" has been accepted for publication. A new twist on man and his dog, Space Vixens pokes its nose into new and exciting places. When private eye Lance Tripod runs into a hot dame in distress named Floozie, the fur begins to fly. A prized artifact has gone missing, and a vivacious syndicate of vixens will stop at nothing to keep Lance from sticking things where they don't belong.


    I hate furries. Combining gene splicing and bad anime - what the hell were they thinking?
    I took a long drag off my smoke and blew rings into the llama’s face across the counter. The guy was new. Obviously. “Mail. Did I get any mail?”
    The trouble with furries was that you never knew which direction the boutique boys started from. Except with chumps like this. Figuring a knuckle sandwich would just get drool on my fist, I turned and carded my way into the office building’s interior. It stank of mildew, and I probably smelled worse from the booze.
    Lance Tripod, Private Dick. That’s what is says on the sign. Says nothing about not having a good case in months. Fishing an ident out of a trench coat that had seen one too many refabricators, I stuck the tab into the door’s rusty slot and pushed my way into the dingy office. Tossing my lid on a pile of bills, I sagged back into the desk chair, not bothering with the lights. Electricity wasn’t cheap on the wheel. Neither was the looker who detached herself from the shadows.
    “Don’t trouble yourself, Mr Tripod,” she murmured in a throaty voice, gesturing with a wicked looking gat.
    I pulled my hand away from the shoulder holster and straightened my tie. Long gams, copper-and-black hair, and breasts you could get lost in. A classy dame with no business here. “What’s your name, doll face?”
    “Floozie…and don’t ask. I ever find the bastard that named me and…” She stopped, as if realizing her lips had started flapping. She sat down on the old chair across from the desk, slipping her piece back into a hip holster. “One can’t be too careful. There’s whiskey in your left drawer. I’ve a nose for such things.”
    “Bet you do, lady,” I replied, rubbing at the black mess that was my hair. She could’ve aired me out. I was getting careless. I wasn’t, however, putting up with pushy broads. “Take a hike.”
    “Excuse me?’
    “Blow, before I give you a good spanking with that piece of yours.”
    Her big puppy dog eyes narrowed. “As much as I might like that, Mr Tripod, lets get down to business. I need your services, and your ship.”
    I pointed the way out.
    “Fine, Mr Tripod. Have it your way.” She stood up and turned with a quick twist of hip.
    “Nice tail,” I murmured.
    “I can hear good too,” she answered before slamming the door after her.
    Burying my smoke in a tray of last night’s sushi, I pulled open the left drawer and hauled out tonight’s liquid feast.
    I woke with a bunch of apes playing “slap the monkey” on my brain, and my mouth tasted like they’d been doing something else too. Groaning, I sat up.
    I opened my eyes to the same chimp wrecking crew doing something unattractive to a chipmunk in my head. They left a nice goose egg on my noggin for my troubles. I stared up at the low hanging air duct plastered with a Betty Crocker pinup…and a fresh dent. This was the captain’s cabin in my ship – the Maltese Tongue. What the hell was I doing here? A steady vibration below the stained carpet told me we were underway.
    This time I rolled out of bed before standing up. Something stank, and it wasn’t just my sweat-soaked shirt. The first place I headed for was the cabin’s bathroom.
    The second lump on my head came from hitting the floor. Hard. My trousers had been yanked down to my ankles. No monkey had done that. Least I hoped not. Pulling up my britches, I lurched into the bathroom and reached behind the toilet for the gun kept there for special occasions like this. Nothing. Pulling open the medicine cabinet, I drank a few ounces of Doctor Daniel’s all-purpose cure and started playing “find the gat”. It wasn’t a big cabin, but then the Maltese Tongue wasn’t a big ship. Used to belong to a high-rolling hooker until she lost a bet. I pulled the choke collar on that memory fast, having bigger fish to fry right now. Empty bottles clinked like a beer blast down at the AA, but no heater. Somebody had done a good job. I glanced at the bottom of my cabin door. That somebody was casting a shadow just outside. The brass knucks in my pants pocket slipped onto my fist with all the familiarity of a dog in heat. I wrenched open the door.
    “Lights out, llama,” I grated, connecting my reinforced haymaker with its snout. The furry hit the back wall, leaving a grease streak as it slid to the floor with its tongue lolling to one side. Should’ve told him that llamas and pinstripe suits don’t mix. I checked the furry for a gun, but only came up with a wad of cocoa leaves. I headed down the hall to the bridge, trying to keep my size ten’s from making any racket on the plasti-steel tiles. It was time to take them for a nice drive up somebody’s caboose.
    And what a caboose it was. She was hunkered over the navigator display, showing me her best assets. It was Floozie. A moment later she was showing me that gat of hers. “Hello, Mr. Tripod. Awake, I see?”
    I edged around the pilot’s chair, watching the dame with one eye while taking a quick look at the screens with another. The wheel was still there, spinning against purple star fields like my head. Floozie hadn’t got very far. “Anything to say before I bust you in the chops, lady?”
    “You can say thank you for the opportunity to make five hundred large ones,” she replied with a toothy grin. “Five hundred grand, Mr. Tripod. Use that brain of yours for a change and think about it.”
    I rubbed the stubble on my jaw. Cabbage like that could shake a lot of things loose in the hock shop. Including this ship. “So how did you get the Tongue out?”
    “Very slowly,” Floozie replied, licking those gorgeous lips of hers in emphasis.