Our protagonist Johnny Wolf is a loser. Aging, obese, smoking, divorced, a failed salesman--but his saving grace is his love for Dogs, especially Sindra, his childhood companion, who lived 20 years before her disappearance (or death), at the time all the dogs went away (or were killed by the police). In fact, Johnny Wolf has internalized his dog: he injects a little bit of Sindra's heart or liver, every day.
Johnny is/was a salesman. He knows all the sales lessons by heart; and somewhat self-analytical (intermittently) he recognizes where he falls short.
Johnny may be an anti-hero, held in contempt by ex-wife and colleagues; but in the End, Johnny Wolf proves his mettle.
Johnny Wolfe carried his dog Sindra in a vial that he kept in his pocket. A bit of her liver, a piece of her heart.Whatever he could scrounge. Dogs die hard for a man.
The vial was a tubular glass vacuum with a rubber stopper up top, the pieces of her perfectly preserved inside. He clenched her in a tight fist thrust deep inside his raincoat pocket. His other hand he flexed to shake off the cold November morning.
Johnny stood on a side street, in an unlit doorway of a shutdown five and dime, on a Monday that ran thick with rain,in the abandoned sprawl of a northern New Jersey city, in a time that would soon be over and forgotten.
He stared at the BMW across the street with the woman inside it. The BMW sat at Johnny’s end of the street, its nose faced away from him and its rear glass tinted and speckled with frozen raindrops. The woman inside was his ex-wife, Lieutenant Kita Hasker. The car, his ex-BMW.
Johnny was a security salesman, versed in selling little bitty cameras and surveillance gear and protection against the night. Sales seemed an okay profession. But sales run in spurts, up and down. And when they were down too long, a salesman loses a bit of himself.
He can try gathering it back, but nothing comes back the same.
The city around him smelled like wet clothing. It hadrained for a week. Rain tore little holes in the guttered snow mounds and banged against the abandoned cars lodged between, behind, beneath those snow mounds. Johnny tightened his belly, trying to keep it from flabbing over his beltline out into the rain. His eyes puffed with warm fat. He felt a sneeze tickle inside him.
Had he stood over at the Thom McAn’s or theLaundrorama across the street, he might have better seen Kita― her exposed neck, freckled and brown this time of year, undulating with each sip of coffee, her eyelids fluttering, her throat soft and pliable as she drank.
But from the Woolworth’s where he stood, Johnny couldn’t see any of that, so he just watched.
From the distance, a shadowy scarecrow of a stranger advanced toward him, bowlegging his way through the puddles. Johnny fingered Sindra’s vial and stepped deeper into the doorway. Sindra had been a stealth young dog. She taught Johnny the art of slinking undetected. Together they’d sneak out on nocturnal rambles through boyhood neighborhoods, attacking the night and all the mysteries hidden inside it.and into the doorway, smelling of sweat and saturated wool.
The stranger approached wearing a rain-stained fedora with water running from its brim. The rain dribbled down the man’s pea coat, pulling it heavy across his bent shoulders. Hecame straight for Johnny with a determined gait. Arriving at the storefront, he stepped up out of the rain
He stood tall, towering over Johnny, jostling him aside.They did not look at one another. They stood together, with Johnny slightly squeezed, thinking, Wait, don’t say anything,let the stranger speak first. It was a sales trick. Never looking needy. Never giving yourself away.
The man murmured, "Did you bring it?"
Wolf by Jim Ringel
Genre: Literary Horror
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication: May 13th, 2014
Wolf on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18332734-wolf)
Johnny Wolfe carries his dog Sindra in a vial that he keeps in his pocket. He carries her out of loyalty. He carries her out of guilt. He carries her because there are no more dogs in this world. And he carries her to connect to her feral nature, so that he might take her inside himself and feel her animal wildness.
Johnny’s life is in shambles. His sales career at Bulldog Enterprises is on the blink. On his way to work one day he comes across a colleague who is killed by a dog. But with dogs now extinct, how is this possible? Going through his colleague’s dead body, Johnny discovers the colleague is carrying a rather sizeable sales order. Figuring “he’s dead, I’m not”, Johnny decides to place the order as his own.
Except he can’t figure out what product the colleague is selling. As he gets closer to understanding the product, Johnny starts to realize it has more and more to do with why the dogs might be returning, and why they’re so angry.
Then he starts to wonder if maybe the dogs know more about him and Sindra, and if maybe they’re angry with him.
Wolf Purchase Links:
Amazon US: Amazon US
Amazon UK: Amazon UK
Barnes &; Noble: B&N
About the Author:
Jim Ringel lives in Boulder. When not writing fiction, he can be found hiking, biking, and skiing in the Colorado mountains, or sitting still and meditating at home. He also does a lot of reading, and is a long-standing member of Denver’s Lighthouse Literary Workshop.