Saturday, May 19, 2007

Dead as a Dog by Doug Allyn

Doug Allyn's stories have long been reader favorites, and Mr. Allyn has won his fair share of nominations and awards for them. This story is a prime example of why this is so. The story, found in the latest EQMM, is about a college professor whose wife happens to be dying. That there is a strong emotion going on here is an understatement. The way the husband talks about his wife, dying a painful cancer death after a too-short life of activity and purpose, nearly made me cry...twice.

On top of being in the middle of the painful process of losing the love of his life, the professor faces raising two small boys on his own. If this weren't bad enough (it isn't) he comes home one day to find that someone has murdered his dog - shot it through with an arrow and left it to die.

Well, what happens when this professor complains to the police and they turn something of a deaf ear. In fact, they even know who did it, but the prime suspect is wealthy and a town institution so he's far above the law. Well, what should the professor do? What lessons should he impart to his boys? What would you do?

I'm not sure about how the story ends. No knock intended here, there were a lot of potential paths to take - I'm not sure the one Mr. Allyn took was the one I would have. Still, the journey to the final destination was a prize on its own. Well worth the read.

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