Dogwalker by Arthur Bradford

By Arthur Bradford

Gentle and satiric, hilarious and humane, Dogwalker plunks readers down in a land of misfits and the circumstantially strange—where one younger guy buys medications from a broker who locks his clients in a closet, whereas one other lands a cat-faced circus freak for a roommate, and yet one more needs to make a choice from his pregnant spouse and the ten-pound slug he's confident will deliver him a fortune. And all through those tales strikes a divinely encouraged choice of canines: Three-legged, no-legged, canines that sing, that speak, and that supply delivery to people. impressive, difficult, and relocating, it is a bold debut that strolls alongside society's fringes and finds unusual good looks between its misfits.

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He glanced briefly at me, and back to Gretel. ’ ‘Then go in peace,’ he said, and bowed again before returning to his people. I waited until he was out of earshot. ’ I demanded. She shrugged. ‘He’s a trader, remember. ’ ‘Yes, but what was he talking about? ’ She hesitated, and then nodded, like someone relenting under pressure. ‘I’ve agreed to attend the tinker women if I’m needed. ’ ‘Because I don’t want it generally known. It could harm my standing in the community. Also, I don’t want you involved.

Of course it didn’t. As I released my hold and stepped free, I barely had time to think: I’m doing it! Flying! I will see the faerie light, I will!  until, mercifully as they say, I lost consciousness. The generously spreading branches of the old tree saved my life, for I was still more or less intact when I reached the ground and lay spreadeagled amongst the tendrils of bindweed that had once been the setting of my fantasies. I wish I could say I dreamed of Robin Goodfellow during the hour or more that I lay there unattended – his glowing face stooping over mine, his wings brushing my lips with faerie-like concern – but I had no such vision.

With a brief nod of apology, I reached for the latch. Straightaway he grabbed me by the hair and forced me roughly to my knees. ’ I shook my head, too scared to speak. ‘Then answer me this. When you visited us last, how exactly did you come to see past our dimming?  a crack in the front door,’ I stuttered out. ’ He didn’t wait for me to finish. ‘Which eye was it that betrayed us? ’ It came to me then – in the midst of my terror – the truth about Gretel. ’ I blurted out. ‘But why? She’d already seen you!

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