#CoverReveal #NewRelease: “The Alternative” by S.Burke @pursoot My new #Thriller #Anthology. #RRBC #premium_indie #IARTG Now Available for PRE-ORDER.

 Hello, and welcome to the Cover Reveal of my New Thriller Anthology

“The Alternative”

The ALTERNATIVE BANNER HEADLINE FOR COVER REVEAL BEST

The Alternative

The Alternative
by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW.
Release Date:  Monday June 18th 2018
Mystery> Thriller & Suspense > Anthology.

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “The Alternative”

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “The Alternative” my latest Thriller Anthology.   “The Alternative ” is due for release on June 18th.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to everyone participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement.   Here’s my new baby . . .

With much gratitude to Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi for the cover creation.

Cover Created by Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khalessi

Presenting “The Alternative” A Thriller Anthology.

“The Alternative”

THE ALTERNATIVE COVER IN HIGH RESOLUTION BEST

BLURB:

The Alternative.

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

An excerpt from Chapter 1. Picasso.

February 1990.

The tall man stretched his arms and flexed his long artistic fingers. He stood back to gain a different perspective of his latest work of art. He’d spent a great deal of time sketching his outline and was well satisfied with the outcome. Perhaps this one would be the perfection he craved above all else.

His other efforts were upstairs in the gallery, and while they were far from his lofty imaginings, they each represented another step forward toward his ultimate goal. He knew this exhibition would prompt worldwide interest, that was a given. His reputation was on the line. That at least was something he valued.

He grunted and moved the newest piece into the workroom. The more difficult application of his talent needed to begin.

***

 NEW YORK JULY 2015

Meredith keyed in her code, shouldered the door open and dropped her briefcase onto the polished boards of the entry. Working on autopilot, she flicked on the light and bent to collect the mail from the floor; throwing it onto the small bureau without bothering to check the sender. She shrugged off her coat and draped it over the arm of the sofa. Too damned weary to be bothered with any external interruptions tonight, she removed the home phone from its cradle and headed to the kitchen to fix enough coffee to sustain the long evening ahead, deliberately ignoring the well-stocked bar. She was well aware that she’d need every bit of concentration she could muster. She removed the Glock from her handbag, and out of habit, she placed it on the coffee table next to the perpetually full ashtray.

Her head was already pounding and she rubbed at her tense neck muscles until her fingers ached. Relief from the unresolved tension still hovered … just out of reach. She held her breath for a moment, stilling her impatience. If all went to plan, this thing would be finally ended. If justice existed at all, it would go well. All the years she’d worked to bring what was the only course left open to herself and the others to completion was coming. ‘Soon now’, was her daily mantra. But the darker visions still danced vividly in her mind’s eye and tormented her rare sleeping hours … it had been that way for almost twenty-five years.

The memory haunted her, dark and unforgivingly brutal. It replayed in clear and explicit detail every time she was forced to reflect on it … and its aftermath.

***

THE ALTERNATIVE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

“The Alternative” on AMAZON.COM

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

Thank you so much for joining me here today. Your support is very much appreciated.

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and comments below.

Christmas on the streets. The truest meaning of Christmas. Christmas morning 1966: 2:00 A.M. #RRBC #IARTG #IAN1

BEAUTIFUL BABY DOLL FOR BLOG CHRISTMAS 2017

Thank you for joining me. Whenever the darkness of our crazy old world threatens to overwhelm me I remember the times when the wonderful spirits of good people who saught only to give joy with no expectation of return enriched my life. I share this precious miracle with you each year that I am able. My Christmas gift to all those that may despair or have lost faith in the belief that most human beings are intrinsically good.

CHRISTMAS MORNING 1966: 2:00 AM.

The Christmas season is the harshest of all when you live on the streets.

On ANY streets … In ANY town.

A miracle happened in our small dark world that hot and steamy Christmas morning all those long years ago.

It was not a ‘miracle’ of biblical proportions, yet for us, it was a miracle that we would hold in our memories forever, to be taken out and looked at whenever life grew harsher.

I have taken the chapter from my memoir, and I am sharing it with you here.

I hope that it makes you nod in understanding.

I am smiling through my tears as I remember…..

 “Faint Echoes of Laughter” Book 2 of the “Standing Tall & Fighting Back.” Series. Non-Fiction. Memoir.

Chapter 7

Christmas was barely a week or so away, and the mood wasn’t good.

Christmas out here meant different things to each of us I guess.

My memories of Christmas’s past were all bad. Even last year when I’d been on the streets alone for barely a month had bad stuff attached to it, yet it hadn’t been nearly as bad as the ones I had lived with back in the home I called ‘hell central’.

I asked Baby Jenny to come for a walk with me down to see Big Mike. I wanted to ask him if he could scrounge up some leftover decorations to put up in the ‘palace’ to lighten the mood up a little.

He gave me a thoughtful nod, and said he’d “see what he could do.”

He spoke to Jenny…”I swear you get prettier every day, Jenny. Don’t let Sassy here teach you any bad habits.”

Jenny grinned at him too shy to respond.

I kept my mouth shut except for a “Gee thanks … Big Mike”

He smiled and wandered off, and we headed back up to the palace. We spent a lot of time outdoors during the heat of the summer. The cooler breezes from the water were good. The heat inside our metal home was dreadful.

When a week had passed and we hadn’t seen Big Mike we figured that he had forgotten. It was disappointing, but he didn’t owe us anything; and after all, he had helped us out with Momma and other stuff like wood for the fire in winter, so we didn’t really expect the decorations, we just hoped for them.

Jenny was extra quiet. I wondered if she would ever be able to talk about why she was here. I didn’t ask her. I hadn’t discussed my background with any of them, even Jamie. So I understood that it was not open for general discussion.

Christmas Eve dawned fiery red. It was going to be a very, very, hot day according to the radio forecasts, with a cool southerly change expected later in the evening.

We all headed up to Hyde Park very early and took a Christmas bath in our favorite fountain. At least the palace wouldn’t stink quite so badly for Christmas day.

It was tempting to just jump in the ocean so close to the Palace, but Big Mike had warned us all about the sharks, so we didn’t dare.

Sydney Harbor wasn’t the safest place to swim. We planned on heading down to the Botanical Gardens for a swim in the lake that evening. We figured there wouldn’t be many people around because it was Christmas Eve.

The sky began to look dark and threatening early in the afternoon. The southerly buster was heading up the coast rapidly. We were all unusually quiet and sitting around outside in the shade of the container when we heard the sound of vehicles heading toward the Palace.

We headed around the front to see who had arrived and watched in stunned amazement as Big Mike and two of the other guys whose names I can’t recall, began unloading boxes of stuff from their cars and placing it in the shaded opening of our tin home.

Big Mike looked uncomfortable; if possible, he was even gruffer than usual. “You lot need feeding up, so we brought you some stuff.”

We were all too stunned to say much at all, these hard men were all smiling and a little red-faced. I swear if they could have, that they would have scuffed their shoes in the dirt like little kids with embarrassment.

Big Mike shook Jamie’s hand and accepted the ‘thank you’ from him.

I was speechless which wasn’t a common occurrence, I just grinned like mad and gave the guys a hurried “Thanks.”

They were the unlikeliest Angels you would ever see, sweaty and dirty after a long hot day’s work, the sight of them unloading the Christmas goodies and punching one another in the arm in a gesture common amongst males remains etched starkly in my memory.

Big Mike reached into the front seat of his car and pulled out a parcel that was wrapped up in Christmas paper, with bright ribbons attached. He walked over and handed it to Baby Jenny.

She looked confused and wasn’t sure what to do with it.

“The women picked this out for ya, little one.” Big Mike said.

Jenny still wasn’t sure what to do.

“Go ahead and open it, Jenny,” Jamie said.

“Um, later. Later. Okay?” she replied looking very unsure of herself.

She looked at the men, and gave them one of her sweet smiles, “Don’t matter what it is. I never had a present before, so…Um…Yeah, thanks, thanks a lot.”

The men seemed to understand that she needed to be alone when she opened it.

As for the rest of us, we tore into those presents and boxes like there was no tomorrow…squealing in delighted surprise with everything we found.

There was more food than any of us had ever seen.

Tinned Hams, fresh pineapples, cherries, and plums. Cooked Turkey and Cranberry sauce …with all the trimmings. Fifteen red t-shirts all large sizes. Paper plates, and plastic knives and forks, a can-opener. A Cooler packed with ice, a radio, and spare batteries. A big crate of beer and bottles of Coke.

That night, we all huddled around the new radio; it was bigger and put out a better sound than the small transistor we had been using, we sat drinking the beer and singing our version of Christmas carols, none of them repeatable. Trust me.

Jenny sat on her sleeping place; she was a little tipsy as well having been allowed one-half of a small bottle of beer. We glanced at her as she picked up her present and watched the look on her face as she unwrapped it.

It was a baby doll, all soft and dressed in bonnet and booties with a pretty pink knitted dress. “Just what we needed, another fuckin’ mouth to feed,” she said…but the smile on her face could have lit up the entire city.

We were fed, content, and a little overwhelmed and unsure at the kindness of these people.

Typically, we questioned the motive behind it. We all wanted to believe that maybe, just maybe, they had done it for no motive other than the wish to make this Christmas a good place for us to be. It was an alien experience but a welcome one.

We had only sampled a little of the huge amount of food, deciding to save the rest for Christmas Day

That night we were all tipsy. Strangely quiet as we bedded down for the night. I think we were all a little overwhelmed by the generosity of these men.

It was around 2.00 am Christmas morning I guess when I felt something was wrong. Whatever the something was, it wouldn’t let me sleep. I couldn’t place it immediately. It was a strange sense of something missing, and it troubled me.

Jamie was on watch; I climbed over the others and hunkered down next to him. Jamie smiled at me and said, “You too hey, Sassy?”

“Yeah, I guess–what is it? Something’s different.”

We sat a while just listening. Then Jamie said, “Oh shit! It’s Jenny, she’s not crying!”

My heart was in my mouth. Jamie grabbed the torch and we played it across the others, several of them were already awake, and wondering what the hell was happening. Jenny had cried herself to sleep every night since she’d come to this place. It was a sound we all tried not to hear. She couldn’t be comforted, we weren’t permitted that close. She’d been here for two years now. Jenny was around eight-years-old.

Jenny lay on her side, sound asleep with both arms wrapped around that doll so tight there was no space between them.

That was the first time I had cried in a very, very, long time. I glanced at the others, without exception we were all affected the same way. No one wanted to look at anyone else, shit we were supposed to be the toughest kids on the block! Hell, we were the only kids on the block. That Christmas was the first real day of Jenny’s childhood. From then on, Christmas became Jenny’s birthday.

I’d like to tell you that a miraculous change came over her. That she was instantly transformed. In a make-believe world, she’d be outside singing all the hits from ‘The Sound of Music’ and wearing a pretty new dress and shoes.  But this is the real world, and the changes took place over time.

Jenny named her doll, Francine.

The greatest change of all; was that, from that night, for all the years that Baby Jenny remained in our world, she never cried herself to sleep again.

***

Many years have passed since that long ago Christmas Eve. My darling Jenny has gone.

So many of my Christmas Eves’ over time have been special ones. But the one I recall with tears of happiness on my face, and a smile in my heart … is this one.

Jenny lost her battle with life in September of 2008.

The doll Francine was buried with her.

Thank you for being here. I wish each and every one of you a peaceful, serene and joyous Christmas, no matter where on this planet you’re from.

Faint Echoes of Laughter here on Amazon.com

KOALA CHRISTMAS

 

‘Uh-oh! an interview with a cross-dressing, Al Pacino loving Crocodile named Cyril. Just for the hell of it.

CYRIL FOR BLOG ON WELCOME TO THE WORLD

For the bold and the brave and the uninitiated … This is the sort of stuff I write when I need a break from the real world …

Good Luck!

Smiley face large

For those of you that haven’t had the  …” Novel ” experience of meeting Cyril, please allow me to introduce you.

Perhaps it would be best if in my capacity as Cyril’s, um … Creator {No offense, God} I have decided to interview Cyril… (well … you’ll see) and you can get to know him a little, more or less.

Morning, Cyril! Welcome to your interview my friend.

Morning?  It’s morning? Why wasn’t I told? I’m simply not prepared; where’s my breakfast?

 Now Cyril, watch your blood pressure.

 Blood pressure, can I die from that? Am I dying. How odd. What does one wear when one dies?

 Cyril, settle down, buddy, your face is turning red, in a greenish sort of way.

 Red…eeek! No, that will never do, I never wear red. Does dreadful things for my complexion. Red indeed. Sooo last season. Not about to happen.

 Oh, I don’t know mate, it kinda matches your eyes.

 Very droll, imbecile. YOU shouldn’t have allowed me to drink that entire bottle of J.D. What were you thinking?

 It’s hard to resist a drunken 28ft long crocodile, especially when he is sitting on your chest at the time.

Oh, give me a break. You know I like company. Reality check, you don’t seriously call that a chest,  Now, that lovely girl type person … oh, you know the one on ‘Modern Family’, you know the one? The dark haired stunner…Now she has a chest.

 Careful, green buddy, we wouldn’t like to misplace all those wonderful Al Pacino downloads would we?

Eeeeek, Soooz, no! Is that even legal? You wouldn’t. You couldn’t! Yes ,you would. Noooo! I’ll behave … I’ll even wear non-designer. What? Wait, no, cancel that remark. I’ll…promise not to fart in mixed company.

 You do enjoy Mr Pacino … and of course we then have Mr. Brando. Tell me did you enjoy the movie last night?

Enjoy? Tsk, I hate understatement. The Godfather … sigh! So romantic. And of course they are BOTH in it…I dressed for the occasion. Do you have any idea just how difficult it is for me to wear TAILS? Seriously?… Ah, but nothing less would do. Tell me, what happened to what was left of the horse?

That was make believe Cyril.

Make believe what? ‘A horse is a horse of course of course.’

That’s from ‘Mr Ed’, Cyril, be original, can’t you?

You want original? Soooz, you are talking to a 28ft long crocodile … who is wearing a pink sun hat, Gucci sunglasses, and a Givenchy designed T-shirt, not to mention drinking VB beer from a stein. And, you want Original?

Point taken.

Taken where?

No … it’s an expression.

“I got 46 expressions …soft as soap and tough as leather and that’s 46 more than all those Barrymore’s put together!”

That’s Streisand, from ‘Funny Girl’.

I love Babs.

Perfectly understandable. I have another Brando movie up for you to watch tonight.

Ooooh, I must dress, is it another romance, like the Godfather?

Not … exactly. It’s called “Last Tango in Paris.”

A musical! How stunning … Brando in another musical. Oh I am soooo excited. What does one wear to a musical?… The Carmen Miranda,perhaps. I simply can’t wait!

Neither can I.

Soooz! You’re smirking … why are you smirking? Weird things happen when you smirk like that! SOOOZ!

***

 

Preview my Non-Fiction books “Empty Chairs” & “Faint Echoes of Laughter” @pursoot #RRBC #IARTG #IAN1

Please be advised, the contents of my non-fiction memoir books are disturbing. Child abuse is not a pretty topic. If my books helps you understand the long term repercussions  of abuse, it will have been worth the pain of writing them.

.”Empty Chairs” BOOK 1 (Standing Tall & Fighting Back) By Suzanne Burke writing as Stacey Danson.

empty-chairs-cover-kindle-showing-series-details

 

Newly Edited May 2017.
Stacey Danson, lived through and beyond horrific child abuse. This book tells of her brutal beginnings, the streets of Sydney at the age of eleven were preferable to the hell she endured at home. She ran, and those streets became her home for five years. She was alone, ill, and afraid. Stacey also had an unshakeable belief that she would do more than just survive her life. She would not allow her future to be determined by the horrors of her childhood. She reached out for something different; there had to be more to life; if she could only find it. She had a dream of a life where pain and humiliation had no place. She was determined to find that life. Empty Chairs is the beginning of the journey. Now she is living the dream.

Just one of the 390 outstanding reviews of Empty Chairs.

on March 13, 2017
This was a profoundly painful read. The author writes from her experience, from her terror, from her strength. She uses the language of this experience to powerfully capture the depraved situations that she ultimately survived. Everyone should read this book – everyone. Why? Nothing will change in terms of child abuse until we are all aware of its horror. Perpetrators, whether doctors or priests or parents or neighbors, need to be incarcerated where they will learn what it means to be terrorized and used. Therein rests the hope for our children. No one who tortures the most precious among us (little children) has a right to walk our streets freely.

“Faint Echoes of Laughter” Book 2 (Standing Tall & Fighting Back.) By Suzanne Burke writing as Stacey Danson.

Faint echoes kindle with series details. (2) copy

The shocking and spirited sequel to the much-praised ‘Empty Chairs’. Life on the streets of Sydney was preferable to the nightmare Stacey Danson had survived in the hell that was home.

She hit the streets running at the age of eleven, and armed with a flick-knife and a fierce determination to live a different life, she began the journey from the 1960s to today. For those that came to know ‘Sassy girl’ in ‘Empty Chairs’, and for those caring people that asked how her life worked out from there, ‘Faint Echoes of Laughter’ continues the story.

For those that haven’t met her yet, this book stands alone as a tribute to the kindness of strangers, the loyalty of true friendships and the way things really are on the streets of any town …. anytime.

JUST ONE OF THE 189 Outstanding Reviews.

on April 26, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read Stacey’s first book ‘Empty Chairs’ and was eager to read the sequel and find out what happened to this brave and courageous little girl, who ended up living on the streets of Sydney at the age of eleven. ‘Faint Echoes of Laughter’ continues her story. As you read you are pulled into Stacey’s world, her struggles, her thoughts and despite it all, her dreams for a better life for herself. Tough decisions are made and with a reference written by the local librarian and friend Eunice, Stacey lands herself a job after many knock backs. A page turner in every sense of the word you read how are slowly her life changes for the better. Heartbreak and pain follow as the scars from the past are impossible to erase, despite being married to a loving husband. The roll of honour at the end of this most emotional and inspiring memoir brought me to tears as Stacey recounts what happened to her friends from her past life on the streets. An absolute must read.

BOOK 3 of my memoir “Still Sassy at Sixty” Available early 2018.Still sassy at sixty 1st promo SEPTEMBER 2017

‘Glimpses Across The Barricades’ Poetry in progress. “Value it.”

I thought my muse would never awaken. I’ve been bereft and lost for a time. How happy I am that it has rejoined the living. Thanks for being here to help me celebrate.

Poetry written along my journey through life.

AUGUST 23RD 2017.

Time

Value It.

By Suzanne Burke

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you look away from your desk in the citadel to glance at the sky?

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you stop on your six-day-a-week journey, long enough to kiss your wife goodbye?

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you pause by the kid rooms and tuck them more firmly, long hours after they had fallen to sleep.

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you watch your wife sleeping, and value the journey?

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you look in a mirror and still see a young man, grateful for all the days still to come?

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you witness time passing and try to ignore it, in the forlorn hope that it somehow would stop?

Did you steal a moment today?

Did you recall and believe that life had been good, or swear an oath to change the outcome the moment you could?

Did you make a moment today?

Did you discover that stealing the moment left somebody poorer?

But making a moment could only enrich.

Did you make a moment today?

Celebrating the newly edited edition of “Empty Chairs: (Standing Tall & Fighting Back Book 1) #Memoir On sale now at $0.99.

The following trailer and the contents of my memoir are very confronting. Because they absolutely must be. Child abuse will never cease if we continue to turn away, seeing nothing … doing nothing.

HERE IS THE TRAILER Created by my dear friend Sessha Batto.

PREVIEW EMPTY CHAIRS BELOW.

Contact me Contact me on TWITTER!

Find me on FACEBOOK

My BLOG

Soooz Says Stuff: Comedic Short. “Meet Tiger Woodski!” For anyone ever owned by a cat.

Princes pefect Tiger woodski

Am  I Unhappy?

 Unhappy! Oh you clever observant human! Well done. You are a true master of understatement…Hmmm?
Do you think I am even remotely content?  Hmmm?  Does this face bear even a vague resemblance to your visions of feline delight? Ask yourself three important questions.

 1] Should I pick up, and attempt to comfort this cat?
2] Is my medical insurance paid up?
3] Do I have masochistic tendencies?
If you responded in the affirmative to more than one of these, I recommend that you take a valium, exit immediately, and seek professional guidance.
Someone is going to pay dearly, for this…this atrocity.
You are probably under the impression that I have partaken in the luxury of a bubbly, scented, lovingly engineered bath.
You are wrong!  W.R.O.N.G!
I am an educated creature, endowed with more than a normal amount of catty versus human tolerance.
Therefore; had I merely been bathed, I would perhaps still be a tad wet, a smidgen disgruntled, a little perturbed.
But no! I am so completely devastated, so overwhelmingly shattered, that I uttered, dare I say it, a cuss word! I uttered it in French of course, such a useful language.
I will repeat it, ‘Merde’! N’est pas?
I am in this state of extreme agitation, because of a Dog.
Yes, I did say dog, D.O.G!
Allow me to enlighten you.
I will in the recounting of this horror, attempt to maintain some vestige of dignity and restraint. On completion of my discourse into the cruel behavior I have been subjected to, I will allow you fair-minded humans, to reach your own conclusions as to whether or not I have been mistreated. I have no further choice of action open to me. I will be leaving my home at the completion of this sad story.
Please, be seated.
Attempt to overcome the need to comfort me.
And journey with me, into to the realms of dismal disarray.
I was sunning myself as was my habit on these warm winter afternoons. I was lying alongside the pool.
I find the sparkle on the water most refreshing, and the fact that the small troll-sized humans cannot gain access to the area is of course a prime consideration. Dreadful, sticky, smelly, little gremlins that they are.
Can you imagine my horror, my shock, my fear, when into the open terrain outside the pool area came this …this, thing?
My dears it was enormous, ugly, grotesque…!

The dog it had with it was also less than attractive.
Having regained my breath sufficiently to cast a disinterested eye on the more attractive of the two visitors hereinafter referred to as ‘The Dog.’ I was a little surprised to note that it was not a bastard breed.
Although I am almost positive its’ owner was.
No, ‘The Dog’ was a Boxer; a pedigreed Boxer, if I was correct, which of course I was.
Now, I come from Royal stock myself, and am of course familiar with the best of everything. I grudgingly admit therefore that a Boxer is a noble breed.
Did I also mention it was on a leash? I did of course check to ensure that the gate was fastened.
As it was a troll-proof locking device I was certain that the gross excuse for manhood, accompanying ‘The Dog’ would be unable to fathom the intricacies of opening it. Hence, I would remain undisturbed.
Life was as it should be. Tranquil and quiet.
‘The Dog’s’ companion, I hesitate to refer to it as human. ‘It’ spoke, not well, but vaguely comprehensible.”
‘It’ said, “Geez, mate, will ya look at that, a bloody great pool for ya to cool off in.”

BOXER
Mate … The Dog.

To which ‘The dog’ with the unfortunate name of ‘Mate,’ responded,
“Woof” — tres originale?
“Bloody hell, mate, take a look at the pussy!” ‘It’ said.
“As for the reference to the pussy, I cast my eyes around, and sadly could only assume that, it, was referring to me!
“Pussy indeed.” I glared at the offensive male. Sadly, it had no effect.
‘The Dog’ hereinafter referred to as ‘Mate’ however, had heard, and understood exactly what I had muttered.”
“Well now Miss-Fancy-Pants, aren’t you the fine lady?” Mate said.
“I do beg your pardon, my name is not, never has been, never will be Miss Fancy Pants!” I uttered with as much dignity as I could muster.
“So babe, what is your name?”
“Did you call me, babe?”
“Nothin’ wrong with your hearin’, babe.” He was smiling.
“Have you seen a Boxer dog when it smiles, eeewww? And please do not ask me to describe what it does when it drools. I get quite faint even thinking about it.”
“My name, is Lady Tabitha, do not ever refer to me as Tabby, as I will refuse to acknowledge you have spoken! Are we clear on that point?”
“Sure thing, Lady T, happy to oblige.”
“You are an arrogant, ignorant boxer.”
“No shit Sherlock!”
“I refused to acknowledge his annoying presence any further, and rolled back over to my side, pointedly rude and hopefully effective.
“The calming effect of the secure Troll-fence allowed me to settle down and doze. I dreamed as always of ‘Yule. B. Siamese’ who resided next door, a delightful male and a fitting escort for a lady of my refined taste. He had recently begun chatting to me animatedly, a delightful conversationalist. I had hopes of furthering our relationship.

It had begun to rain, the feel of moisture on my face awoke me with a start, I lay there and opened my eyes to find myself nose to snout with the dribbling drooling DOG.”
“AAArrHHHHhgg!” I screamed in terrified surprise. “My God, how did you get through the gate?”

The fool was actually laughing. At me!
When he regained control he said,”I jumped the fence.”
“I was aghast as this was my safe-haven. Is nothing sacred?”
“So Lady T babe, ya wanna play?”
“What would you like for me to play DOG…? Bach?
“Woof.”
“Yeees …  I rather thought you’d respond that way.”
“Huh?”
“Hmm, my point exactly. Do go away, you cretinous canine.”
“Lady T, I do luvs the way you talk, but if I knew what you was sayin’ I don’t think I’d like it quite so much.”
“Well then why don’t you ask that … that, dare I say it… human, to translate for you dear boy.”
“Say what?”
“Just how long do you and your h… do you and he intend remaining in my residence?”
“Huh?”
“Read my lips, how—long—are—you—going—to—be—here?”
“Hey, why didn’t ya say that in the first place? I’m gonna be living here, all the time. Isn’t that good? I’ll just bet we end up great pals.”
“Dear boy, you are obviously suffering from some form of delusion. Firstly, you cannot be going to live here. I, live here. Secondly, the chance of us becoming great friends is, at best impossible.”
“Say what?”
“You—are—wrong!”
“Nope, not about the livin’ here part anyways. Your humans is goin’ someplace called America, for one of those family emergency thingy’s, they is gonna be gone for a spell. Seems their young’ns about to have her first litter. So my human and me is gonna be lookin’ after the place. That means you too, Miss-Fancy-pants.”
“Any moment now I shall awaken and discover that you are but a nightmare, a figment of my imagination, you will vanish, never to return.”
“Duh! Am I still here?”
“UNFORTUNATELY!”
“Geez, you got yourself one sweet temper, aint ya?”
“You have not even begun to see that side of my personality DOG.”
“What personality?”
“AAARRRGGGHH! ENOUGH! I am left with no option. My dear cousin is stopping by this very afternoon; he of course will offer me his unhesitating assistance. You have no idea what you are in store for.  He will undoubtedly set you straight about just who is in charge of whom here.”
“Say what?”
“My cousin is stopping by for a chat; he will be delighted to meet you.”
“Why is you smirking?”
“I—do—not—smirk.”
“Then you must be in terrible pain, you might need more fiber.”
“Do not speak. Not one more obnoxious, ridiculous, nerve-shattering word.

Ah, at last, my dear dear cousin has arrived.”

Tiger Woodski
Grigori-Ivanovich-Tiger-Woodski.

“Holy shit!  What the hell sort of cat is that?  He’s as big as a damn horse!”
“Grigori-Ivanovich-Tiger-Woodski is a feline, dear boy, a Siberian Tiger.”
“What the hell did you say his name is?”
“T’is an honorable name, Grigori-Ivanovich-Tiger-Woodski. He is newly arrived in this country.”
“Somethin’s ringin’ my bells about that name, ain’t he famous for somethin’?  Man, I ain’t never seen a cat that big! Where the hell’s he from?”
“He’s Russian!”
“Why?”
“Why what?”
“Why’s he rushin’?”
“Because he was born Russian.”
“Why?”
“Why what?”
“Why was he born rushin’? How did his poor momma cope with that?”
“Oh dear heaven, why would his mother have a problem with him being born Russian?”
“I’ve heard that can be real tricky.”
“What pray tell can be really tricky?”
“Bein’ born rushin’. Damnit!  It’s bad for the blood presha.”
“Oh merde!”
“Say what?”
“It means, sh…never you mind!”
“I will attempt to explain this in words of small syllables. Grigori—was—born—in—Russia.”
“So what did rush hour have to do with his poor momma’s suffering?”
“WHAT SUFFERING? YOU CRETIN!”
“Havin him born Godamned rushin’ you, you,–furball!”
“Spare me!”
“Not a chance, sweet pea!”
“AAARRRGGGHHH! Grigori, I beg of you, I plead with you, talk to the cretinous canine, before your beloved cousin has a total breakdown!”
“Pri-vyet doggski.”
“Say what?”
“Hello, puppy doggski.”
“Say hi, your enormous self, Greg-baby.”
“Please to translate, what iski, Greg-baby?”
“Means you is cool, my man!”
“Nyet, is not coolski, is hotski. Siberia is coolski.”
“You want I should call ya sigh-beer-iya?”
“Nyet.”
“Whatever toots-ya-horn, Greg-baby!”
“Say whatski?”
“Hey Greg-baby you is getting the hang of speachyfyin’ real quick.”
“No sweatski, puppy dogski. We be comrades da?”
“Duh! So, Greg-baby, my main man, you wanna beer?”
“Nyet! Drink vodka. Then beer. Da?”
“Duh! Is that vodka good stuff?”
“Da, is strong. You strong, you drink. You not strong, you call me Grigori Ivanovich Tiger-Woodski. You strong, we be comrades, da?”
“Duh! Lead me to the vodka my very large, er, um…cat?”

****
Sometime later.
home, home on the raaange, hic, where the dear an the antelope plaaaay, hic, never is heard a diishcouragin’ word, hic, and we eats the little varmints each daaaa-yski, hic, heheheheh.”
“Oh My God! You are both drunk!”
“No shitski sherlockski”
“Grigori, no! No! No! Grigori, my dear, dear cousin, this just will not do!
“Is Greg-baby,”
“I beg your pardon.”
“You call me Greg-baby…all rightski.”
“What?”
“You—call—me—Greg—baby—all—rightski!”
“Never!”
“Say whatski?”
“Never, not now, not later, not ever!”
Was—not—requestski—cousin—pussy—catski!
“Oh, no, no, no, no, how can this have eventuated? What have you done to my beloved cousin? You monster.  You reproachable oath, you, you, peasant! You DOG!”
“Say what? What are you gettin’ your knickers in a twist about this time Lady T. You wanted old Greg-baby and me to be friend’s dinya? Hmmm? Hee hee hee!”
“Why, you unconscionable, despicable, conniving, treacherous…”
“You getting a little hot under the collar there Lady T?”
“Who could blame me, of course I am; in fact, I feel quite faint! I may swoon!”
“We can’t have that now can we, Greg-baby? Howz about we test our little theory about now? Bein’ as she’s so hot an all.”
“Good ideaski, Puppy comradski. We take care of little promblemski for cousin catski… Da?”
“Duh! Now that is my kinda thinkin’. On three?”
“Oneski–twoski–threeski!  Pushski!”
Splashski!
“Well I’ll be damned…! Can you still hears her under water?”
“Nyet?”
“Me neither, heh heh, there goes that theory. You sure she kin swim?”
“Da.”
“Duh! Oh lookit, there she is…Paws! Mwha ha ha ha!”
“Not pauseki yetski dogski.”
“Say what?”
“Not—Pauseski—Yetski—Doggski.”
“Duh, whatever! Hey Greg-baby, does she look grateful to you?”
“Nyet!”
“We might be best doin’ a little of that rushin’ you is so good at?”
“Da.”
“Duh! What does ya feel like playin’ now Greg-baby?”
“Tchaikovsky, 1812 Overture. Da?”
“Duh! Was that a good year for vodka?”
“All year’s good years for Vodka, Da.”
“Duh already! Hey, I has been meanin’ to ask ya Greg Tiger-Woodsky-baby, does you play golf?
“Gulf? Nyet, not from gulf, am Russian!”
“Where?”
“Where whatsky?”
“Where are ya rushin’?”
“All of me am Russian!”
“Meoooooowwwwooohhhhahhhhh!”
“What the hellski was thatski?
“Sounds like ‘Siam’ just got invaded by ‘Persia!’
“Say whatsky”
“Your little cousin has moved in next door.”
“Dah-svee-dah-nyah, cousin pussy-catski!”
“Say what”
“Goodbyeski. Da?”
“Duh!  Ya think we should help ‘Siam’ negotiate for ‘Persian’ surrender?”
“They gotski—poolski? Hehe.”
“Greg-baby, you is my kinda cat!”
The End—ski!