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Michael Mancha

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Three Dog Fright
by Michael Mancha   

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Category: 

Young Adult/Teen

Publisher:  Xlibris ISBN-10:  0907295363 Type: 
Pages: 

288

Copyright:  March 12, 2010 ISBN-13:  9781462890545
Fiction

Barnes & Noble.com
Three Dog Fright

This three-book series will chronicle the adventures of three ordinary pooches who come to discover their extraordinary potential while battling dark spiritual forces in Savannah, Georgia.

“Now, listen very, very closely. You are living in a time and place when the foe of man, Daray and his Usurpers, have blinded the minds of the Stewards so that they do not understand what is true and what is a lie. It is a time when fear is gripping the hearts of the humans . . . so deep a fright that it will take not one of you, nor two, but all three of you to defeat it!”

So are the commissioning words of the Saluki angel, Sabrina, to three ordinary suburbanite Miniature Schnauzer terriers, Toby, Lily, and William. Chosen by the Masters and given the title of Three Dog Fright, these spoiled and pampered hounds embark on adventures during which they will battle the unseen forces of the Dark, their own self-doubts, and learn the benefits of trusting in a power beyond themselves.

In this first offering of the Three Dog Fright series, you’re invited to set foot, or paw, into The Most Haunted City in America . . . Savannah, Georgia, an eclectic blend of southern history, natural beauty, and attitude. But just beyond the sweet scent of magnolia blossoms and chicken-fried steak, is an odorous underbelly where slave traders, marauding pirates, local ‘bluebloods’, and even darker entities have thrived.

Come spend a harrowing weekend with our canine fighters in Black Birch Mansion, known to locals as ‘The House that will not Die’. There, you’ll learn the secret that Black Birch has hidden for almost three centuries, a secret that has led generations of mankind to destruction, and now threatens both human and hound, alike!

         
Excerpt
Chapter 1: The Eternity of Canines

It was predawn in the Eternity of Canines as the bearded, robed Greyhound sleepily entered the chamber and sat down at a heavy wooden table. He stared through the crystal wall at the small distant sphere that hung in the vast dark sky, deep in thought. His tail was not wagging.

There was a scratch on the door.

“Come in, Sabrina,” the bearded hound beckoned.

A shiny snow-white Saluki tiptoed into the chamber. She was reverently silent as the elder hound unfurled the Scroll and spread it out on the coarse tabletop. “This just came down from the Masters,” he informed her.

Pointing at the world below, he whispered, “There’s a little place called Savannah where Daray has gained quite a foothold. It seems the Stewards haven’t been able to mount
much resistance. Been led about as if on leashes.”

Nodding toward the Scroll, he added, “The plan is a little different this time. Many lives hang in the balance. You must leave at once!”




Chapter Three: The Savannah Suck

It was about three months earlier that Elizabeth sat in one of the parklike squares of Savannah’s historic district, sipping iced tea and basking in the noonday sun. The imposing memorial to the Polish expatriate and Revolutionary War hero, Kazimierz Pulaski, rose twenty-five feet from its
stone pedestal set in the heart of the square. A jazz trio, tucked beneath a cluster of thriving oaks, offered its rendition of the moody Johnny Mercer tune “Fools Rush In". The melody rode
the balmy midday air and settled on Elizabeth, who, with eyes closed, was deep in thought.

“Now, look at yew. I do believe that yaw not from these parts dec’rated like that. Your simpleh beautiful!”

Elizabeth—a tall, slender redhead and a kind of mobile billboard for the latest fashions of the West Coast—opened her eyes. Standing before her were two middle-aged women, one black the other white, grinning ear to ear. If not for the one obvious difference, the ladies could have been thought as
sisters as they were both short and chubby and wore similar brightly hued, flower-print dresses. The crowning touch was their broad-brimmed straw hats, decorated with lace, ribbon,
and white silk roses, straight out of Gone with the Wind. The pair made the perfect welcoming committee for Savannah.

“Oh, hi! You’re right . . . I mean about not being from here. We just relocated from LA a couple of weeks ago. Funny thing, I was just thinking about the move,” offered Elizabeth.

“I assume you mean Lahz Angeles and not Looziana,” returned the stout black woman with a chuckle. “Yew don’t
have any misgivins’, now do yew, honey?” she asked, gauging Elizabeth’s pensive tone.

“No, not really. We love it here. Our family really needed to make a change. Of course, we’re still adjusting to some things, but it’s definitely all for the good.”

“Ah’ fair S’vannah suhtainly has huh charms. Now, where’s ma mannas? Ma name is Trudy, and this is ma best friend in the world, Caroline.”

“And I’m Elizabeth. Glad to meet you. Yeah, the rat race in LA just became too much for us. The pace here is so different. Rush hour is no more than two or three cars waiting at a stop
sign. In LA, you’re lucky to survive the day. I always felt like there was a target painted on my butt when I was driving the freeways!”

The southern belles laughed heartily.

“It’s true, things do move lack molasses in Jo’gia. And what do yew and yaw husband do heya, Lizabeth?” queried Caroline.

“That’s something we’re figuring out. Michael and I still have a business in California. Actually, we’re private
investigators. We’ll have to go back every month or two and oversee things, but we moved here to refresh and maybe pursue some other interests.”

“Realeh? Detectives. Like Mickey Spillane? Sounds so intrigin’! And what made y-all chews S’vannah?” asked
Trudy.

“The Savannah Suck,” Elizabeth replied.

“I beg your pardon, Lizabeth,” said Trudy with a perplexed expression.

“Oh, I’m sorry. That’s what Michael and I call it. The Savannah Suck. It’s kind of crazy. We came for a visit back
in March. Always wanted to see what it was like ever since the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. We
were immediately smitten. Loved the people, the history, all the things to do, music, art, great food. We went back to California, told our family and friends we were moving, and
three months later, we were here."

“Amazin’! And is it jist yew and Mahcle?”

“No. We have a son, Kyson . . . he’s eleven . . . and three very demanding dogs. Kyson’s been our main concern. He’s having a really tough time leaving his friends back in California.”

“Well, he has most the summa to make some new ones, and let me say that S’vannah sure has her share of the crop of children.” Caroline smiled.

“That’s what we’re hoping for. He’d been with the same group of friends since he was a little guy. They went to the same school, would surf all summer together, did everything
together. It’s been so hard for him to have to let go,” lamented Elizabeth.

Trudy sat down next to Elizabeth. She clasped Elizabeth’s free hand with both of hers.

“Believe me, honey, ahm not making light of what yaw saying. You keep trustin’ that there’s a purpose for you bein’ here. But let me tell you one thing about ah little town, S’vannah. She likes to meddle. The tourists that come and go only hear a faint tap at their front door. But when someone chooses to stay, she likes to stroll raht in and rearrange the furniture to her likin’. People come here thinking they’ll change S’vannah, bring her cuhrent.”

Caroline chuckled.

“Look around yew, Lizabeth. What do yew see?” Trudy continued.

“A lovely park . . . some people . . . some houses,” replied Elizabeth.

“Yes, people. Theya ah the history of this little gah-den by the sea. S’vannah is a kind of an enduring mosaic of all who have gone befowa. And the houses, they’re maw than brick
and mortar. Theya too ah livin’beings. Theya breathe. Theya have minds. Theya endued with the very souls of the people that they’ve sheltahed ovah time. Like the marsh waters,S’vannah’s past and present is verah murky.”

“I’m not sure what you’re saying, Trudy.” Elizabeth’s knit brows underscored her confusion.

“Well, Lizabeth, let’s jist say that her veneer is verah lovely, but you’ll quicklah find that not evathing that’s gone on here is preteh. Sometimes it seems the dead are maw alive than the
livin’. So tread softly, Lizabeth. You can’t stay here and just be an onlooka. S’vannah will find her way in.”

The three women quickly lifted and unfurled their umbrellas as a gray billowy raincloud emptied itself on the
square.

Elizabeth was silent, still unsure of what to make of the belle’s words.

“We’ll, we best git goin’, honey. We have to open our li’l boutique. It’s called Beguiled. We’re ova on Broughton Street. Come visit us enatahm. We got maw to tahk about,” said Trudy.

“Bye, Lizabeth!” chimed in Caroline.

“Uh, bye . . . and thanks. I’ll bring Michael and Kyson by to meet you.”
With that, the pair strolled away.

Elizabeth stood and turned in the direction of her car. As she walked from the square, the words of the song echoed in her mind:

“Fools rush in, where wise men never go . . .”


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