Site contents © 2007 Mike Doogan
Excerpt from
Gambling on Death
in Wild Crimes: 

      Speedy Dave hated mornings. He hated opening his eyes. He saw things. Not just the fake wood walls of his room in the barracks trailer. Not just the empty jug of Canadian Club, a new one every morning, that sat next to his little traveling alarm clock on the built-in night stand. Things. Creepy things. People, mostly. Sometimes it was the doughboys he’d seen when he was one himself, 17 years old and scared shitless. They’d frozen overnight after being blown up by kraut artillery in their dugout. Sometimes it was an operator named Terry Grady who had his head torn off when a crane cable snapped and came striking back into the cab like a huge, hungry snake. Sometimes it was somebody who was still alive, really, somebody from the shower room or the mess hall dead in some God-awful way. Speedy Dave lay in bed listening to the noises of the camp coming awake and getting up his nerve. He had to open his eyes. He needed to keep this job for just three more months and he’d get his pension. He raised himself up on an elbow and forced his eyelids apart.
      It was one of the still-alive ones this time, a desk jockey Speedy Dave had seen around. The desk jockey had the handle of a knife sticking out of his chest and old blood that stained his shirt and the blanket on the bunk where he lay. Speedy Dave shut his eyes again, squeezing the lids tight, and counted to 10. That made them go away sometimes. But when he opened his eyes again, the desk jockey was still there. It was going to be one of those mornings.  

Excerpt from
War Can Be Murder
in The Mysterious North: 

      Two men got out of the Jeep and walked toward the building. Their fleece-lined leather boots squeaked on the snow. One of the men was young, stocky and black. The other was old, thin and white. Both men wore olive drab wool pants, duffel coats and knit wool caps. The black man rolled forward onto his toes with each step, like he was about to leap into space. The white man’s gait was something between a saunter and a stagger. Their breath escaped in white puffs. Their heads were burrowed down into their collars and their hands were jammed into the pockets of their coats. 
      “Kee-rist it’s cold,” the black man said.
      Their Jeep ticked loudly as it cooled. The building they approached was part log cabin and part Quonset hut with a shacky plywood porch tacked onto the front. Yellow light leaked from three small windows. Smoke plumed from a metal pipe punched through its tin roof. A sign beside the door showed a black cat sitting on a white crescent, the words “Carolina Moon” lettered beneath.
      “You sure we want to go in here?” the black man asked.
“Have to,” the white man said. “I’ve got an investment to protect.” 

Excerpt from
The Death of Clickclickwhistle
in Powers of Detection:

      “Is it dead?”
      Probationary Intern to the Second Assistance Undersecretary Oscar Gordon looked around for the speaker, but the hallway outside the delegates’ quarters was empty.
      “Up here, mudfoot,” the voice said.
      Gordon looked up. A pale, thin young human was standing on what was, to Gordon, the ceiling, his left hand wrapped around a gripfast to keep himself from floating away. To Gordon, who was short, broad and dark, the young man barely seemed to be of the same species.
      “Been hanging around long, starspawn?” he asked.            “Long enough to wonder what a mudfoot was looking at,” the other human replied. He flipped himself off the ceiling and sailed to another gripfast on the left wall, where he hung parallel to the floor.
      “Is it dead?” he asked again.
      Gordon blew air through his lips and, being careful to keep the magnetics on a hand or foot in contact with the metal deck at all times, slowly got to his feet. He turned until he was facing the young man.
      “How can I tell if it’s dead if I don’t know what it is?” he asked.