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Spanky And Delilah Are In Love

by Roger Johns

About the Author: Roger Johns is the author of the Wallace Hartman Mysteries, Dark River Rising and River of Secrets, from St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books. He is the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year (Detective·Mystery Category), a two-time Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Finalist, and runner-up for the 2019 Frank Yerby Fiction Award. His articles and interviews about writing and career management for new authors have appeared in Criminal Element, Career Authors, Southern Literary Review, Writer Unboxed.


Alex felt the dew soaking through the knees of his thin surgical scrubs, as Tito shuddered and gasped on the ground in front of him. Spanky whined and licked Tito’s face, his front paws jittering, his tail twitching.

“Call 9-1-1,” Alex commanded, yanking on Donny’s coat sleeve. “Do it now,” he said, as he pulled an epi pen from his pack. He held it with the blue safety cap pointed upward and the orange injector end aimed toward the ground.

“He’s got his own epi,” Donny said.

“Which pocket?”

“I don’t know.”

“Then, just make the call,” Alex said, waving the man away. “Blue to the sky, orange to the thigh,” he mumbled, reciting the universal mnemonic that kept people from wasting time trying to figure out which end was which when fractions of a second could have life or death consequences. He bit off the safety cap and stabbed the orange injector end against Tito’s leg, holding it firmly in place. As the wheezing became more labored, Spanky’s nervous eyes darted between Tito and Alex.

“Are you a doctor?” Donny asked, glancing toward Alex, his thumbs dancing over the screen of his phone. Donny was one of Tito’s bodyguards. He looked scared, and who could blame him. If the boss didn’t make it, things could get very unpleasant.

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