Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sneak peek: an excerpt from "Clowning Around"

Pogo kept his ears open while he strolled, listening for the sound of any feet but his own echoing from the sidewalk behind him.

"One missed throw" he muttered. "One simple mistake and they stick me with guard duty for the week. Lucky I don't plan a car bomb on them myself, they are." Blast, he was in a foul mood. He kept moving. A little exercise would clear his mind.

His ears perked up as the characteristic slap of a rubber shoe sounded on the walk, less than a block behind. Pogo didn't break his stride. Keep it cool, he reflected, reaching into his shirt pocket for a banana. Don't change pace; if you bolt, he'll pounce.

The banana was just what he needed. He finished downing the sweet fruit, barely overripe, as a van rounded the corner at full speed. Glancing askance at the mirror of a parked car, he double-checked his aim and casually tossed the banana peel over his left shoulder. Perfect.

His pursuer didn't have time to react. The peel landed just as his shoe came down, sending his foot skidding out from under him. He lurched sideways into the street an instant before the van reached the same location; there was a screeching of tires followed by a dull thump, and a mop of curly orange hair flew up onto the hood.

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