Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Good Shepherd 1

Today, December 18, is release day for Jardonn's WWII ebook story, The Good Shepherd, and this is the cover created by its publisher, MLR Press.

As promised, here is the third excerpt. Harold and Frank exit the latrine and walk the yard inside their POW camp, trying to figure reasons for a particular guard dog's unusual behavior.

* * * * *

We didn't talk inside. I peed a little, and the only reason I stayed with Harold was in case other guys started asking him questions about us being singled out. The Nazis frequently put plants amongst us prisoners. Germans acting like Americans hoping to hear useful information, and I didn't want Harold to go it alone if he was accused by the prisoners of being such. Fortunately, nobody said a word to either of us.

"What do you think about that dog?" I pondered as we exited the building. "What confused him?"

We drifted about the yard walking slowly to nowhere in particular. "I don't think he was confused." Harold seemed to have limbered up from his soreness, moved with more ease. "The dog's eyes told me he wants out of here. Like he knows the Nazis's days are numbered."

"His eyes?"

"Sure. Animals have expressions same as we do."

"Hmm. Guess I've never noticed."

"Well, I have. Growing up on a farm, you get to know what animals are thinking. Or at least tell whether they're happy or sad. Or angry, which comes in handy when you're dealing with a thousand pounds of Hereford bull."

"I'll be damned. So, you think this dog's ready to abandon ship?"

"Yes, I do."

"Then, why did he approach us? Any ideas on that?"

"Don't know. Maybe he felt sorry for us. Knew they'd take us into a well-heated room for a search and we could warm up."

I laughed at that one. First time in many a week. "If that's the case, I hope he stops by to see us every day."

"Me, too."

We came to a spot where down a corridor between buildings we could see the kennels. The dogs, all males, had their own fenced yard and wooden houses for shelter. Harold stopped, grabbed my arm. "Do you see what I think I see?"

The Germans had a dog on a leash attacking a man protected by a helmet and face mask, plus padded coverings roped to his limbs and torso. "Looks like a training session."

"Or retraining," Harold knudged me with his elbow. "Can we get closer without getting shot at?"

"Sure, but let's not go between buildings. Follow me." I circled back to an open area where we could view the fenced pen without drawing attention, caddy-corner and about twenty feet away. "Think it's him?"

"I'd put money on it. The Nazis are afraid he's lost his nerve. No longer aggressive."

"Guess they're wrong. He'd eat that man alive if he could get at him."

"If I could get a better look at his tail, I'd know for sure."

I took a few baby steps closer. "His tail?"

"Yep," Harold craned his neck. "His black turns gold on top before ending at the tip. Usually it's black all the way." He inched a bit closer, a few steps ahead of me. "That's him. I guarantee it."

"Good. He's proving himself so he can stay." I grabbed Harold's sleeve, tugged him back. "We better go. Don't want to get him in trouble. I'd hate to lose the only Nazi who's ever been friendly to me."

"Ex-Nazi, Frank."

* * * * *

The Good Shepherd is now available in ebook formats at MLR PRESS.COM

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