Scavengers Excerpt: Hatchet Attack

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Slated for official release on September 2, Mike’s latest book, The Scavengers, can be pre-ordered from indie bookstores and other vendors right here, right now (Books ordered direct from will be signed by Mike). Below is an excerpt in which Maggie (who has re-named herself Ford Falcon) faces her arch-nemesis (and indispensable secret weapon), the rooster named Hatchet.

 I detect the scent of pork chops and deep-fried tilapia. I am hungry, hungry.

And then—flap-flap-WHACK!—I get hit upside the head with a feather bomb.

The vicious little cluck monster has been waiting for me, and distracted by the smell of those pork chops, I let my guard down. He came at me talons first and is now tangled in my hair. Cackling madly, the dang bird flaps and twists until he is snarled right up to my scalp. I grab him by both wings, yank him loose, and fling him as far as I can, but he comes right back, like a demented feather duster strapped to one of Daniel Beard’s killer boomerangs.

I keep ducking and flailing but Hatchet is all over me. He is not a chicken, he is a sewing machine with wings.

“FETCH ’IM!” hollers Toad, grabbing a broom from the porch and tossing it my way.

“And how in boogety-blazes,” I holler, in between ducking and dancing and grabbing for the broom, “am I supposed to fetch a rooster with a broom?”

“No!” says Toad, snatching up the broom as I drop it. “Don’t fetch ’im, FETCH ’im!” And cranking the broom back so far it looks like he’s trying to itch his heel bone, he unleashes a splitting-ax swing and pops that rooster a shot that fetches him—yes, FETCHES ’im—clear across the yard and splat against the trunk of a big pine tree. The bird biffs the bark with a squawk and a burst of feathers and falls to the ground like a rock. Then he shakes his head and scuttles off around behind the machine shed, tut-tut-tutting to himself all the while. He looks like an ugly ball of frayed lint. But Hatchet never stays humble for long. Ten minutes and he’ll be right back to skulking and darting.

You have to understand how embarrassing this rooster business is for me. I am Ford Falcon. I have just pepper-bombed a solar bear. But this blankety-blank rooster gets the better of me. And no matter how hard I fling him or Toad “fetches” him, he always comes cackling back. Somewhere in me I admire him. But most of all I would like to admire him on a big plate surrounded by boiled potatoes and cooked carrots.

For more excerpts including the Introduction and Chapter One, please click here.

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