Read Queen of Junkyard Dogs in Hardboiled: Dames and Sin

Stoked to have one of my short stories, Queen of Junkyard Dogs, included in Hardboiled: Dames and Sin.

Published today, Dames and Sin is the third and, sadly, the last anthology to be released by Dead Guns Press. It’s out now in print and on Kindle. You can buy it here.

As well as my story (excerpt below) it features another fourteen pieces of top-notch pulp action.

Queen of Junkyard Dogs

Clem hadn’t thought about the junkyard in years. Not since Bobby phoned her up long-distance to tell her Paw was dead. She wasn’t surprised; nobody was. He’d been turning yellow with tobacco and whisky twenty years ago when she first packed up and moved to the desert. And now, five years after they put him in the fallow ground, Bobby was on the phone again to tell her they were selling up.

“That’s good, Bobby,” she said. “I mean, I think it’s a good thing.” She could hear Bobby breathing over the line.

“Right, sure,” said Bobby. “We won’t get much but you’re entitled to your share.”

“No, that’s all right. It wouldn’t be fair.”

“No, I guess it wouldn’t, but Tilly wanted me to call anyway.”

That’s right, Tilly was Bobby’s wife. Clem could never remember who belonged to who and how many kids they all had, who was getting hitched and who was in school. “How is she?” She asked.

“Doing fine.”

Bobby and Clem had been the eldest of ten kids. Twins. Clem split for Nevada not long after their twenty-first birthday. She had already waited too long. Bobby stayed and inherited the Astor family business.

“Right. Is there anything you need me to do, or sign, or…”

“No. Paperwork is all in my name.”

Clem’s place was never quiet. The dogs made sure of that. But over the phone there was a silence, empty and still. It was the quiet of the junkyard on a spring evening, just before the rain started pattering on the steel roofs of a thousand scrap metal cars. “How are the kids?” she asked.

“…I’ll let you know when it’s gone through. Bye.”

“Bye.”

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