MAGIC.After many years of secret genetic bioengineering and painful experimentation by the Iranians with a mind to develop the perfect spy, an inconspicuous dog was selected for advanced research after primates proved to be unpredictable and hardly unnoticeable. One of the prime specimens, a big golden retriever, managed to escape and made his way to war-torn Iraq, where he befriended a United States Marine. After the dog saved the Marine's life, he brought him back to the United States and named him Magic. The novel Magic was the first in the Magic dog story series. Magic's Charm was the second, and Wizard the dog that knewMagic is the third in the series. Magic's Memory is the fourth in the series.
Read the first chapter of Magic below for free:
"The disposition of noble dogs is to be gentle with people they know and the opposite with those they don't know… How, then, can the dog be anything other than a lover of learning since it defines what's its own and what's alien." ~Plato
Location: National Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology facility located near the Iranian city of Bahtaran.
A noise wakes the animal from its fitful dream. It is the sound of the card reader as it energizes the solenoid that retracts the harden steel bolt from the metal door marked Xi7. The animal sniffs once, and its highly sensitive olfactory nerves send a signal racing to its brain. Dr. Abdul Ali Emadi stands with the door open. There is another human nearby, female. The animal's acute hearing picks up the human's conversation, and its highly developed brain understands the words spoken in Farsi.
The female says, "Good evening Dr. Emadi."
The animal hears the female footfalls as she walks down the hallway. After a short pause, Dr. Abdul Ali Emadi says, "Do you have a minute, Yara? There is something I would like to show you."
The animal hears her stop and say, "Yes, Doctor?"
"It's in here. Inside the laboratory."
The animal hates Dr. Emadi; the purveyor of more pain than any animal should have to endure. Hatred is not an emotion inbred in the animal. It is foreign to him. He has learned it from the humans. Experience has taught the animal to accept the painful experiments without attacking with its long sharp teeth. It was not an easy lesson, but the animal is highly intelligent. He will wait, not for revenge, but to escape.
The animal opens its large, deep brown eyes and follows the two scientists as they walk between the double rows of identical cages, stopping occasionally as Dr. Abdul Ali Emadi explains the various experiments. He stops in front of cage 21, and unlatches the cage door. He reaches in and shines a small light into the animal's large eyes. The animal quivers slightly, but holds its ground.
The female asks, "Is he dangerous?"
Dr. Abdul Ali Emadi shrugs and says, "Perhaps but I do not frighten easily. The female laughs coyly and says, "I do not think you would be frightened of anything, Doctor."
The animal senses Dr. Abdul Ali Emadi emotions. The man is aroused by the female and mumbles, "There are some specimens I would like to show you. This way."
The animal watches him lead the female to the specimen locker at the rear of the lab. They both go in and close the door.
The animal listens and sniffs the air. His cage has been left unlocked. He presses his nose on the cage door and it opens. He waits a moment before jumping to the white tile floor. He looks around and nudges his cage door closed and then quickly hides behind a large box of supplies near the entrance. Ten minutes later, Dr. Abdul Ali Emadi and the female come out of the specimen locker, both red faced and short of breath. The female hurries to the entrance and pushes through the door. Dr. Abdul Ali Emadi rushes after her. He stops with the door open and calls to her, "Yara, you must come back."
When she doesn't reply and keeps walking away, he hurries after her and doesn't see the big, but stealthy animal slip through the door behind him and move silently down the hall away from Dr. Abdul Ali Emadi and to freedom.
I first saw First Lieutenant Ryan Quinn on a desolate stretch of open desert not far from the city of Al Kufah, Iraq. I didn't know his name then. He was leaning against a marine vehicle called a Humvee. There were five other Humvees and a big tank spread out over a 50 meter perimeter. The marine crew moved around slowly outside their vehicles, drinking water, eating, cleaning their weapons and grumbling about the taste of the water, their food, the powder like sand in their weapons, and the incessant sun. The same sun that burned down and sucked the moisture from my tongue, which hung down from my mouth like a worn out red tie. Ryan had taken off his helmet and utility jacket and was drinking from a large, gallon water bottle. He finished drinking and poured some of that precious water over his head. I was fifty meters away but could smell the delicious water. My mouth began to water and my vision blurred. The desert does that to dogs. It's the heat, and I believe humans were affected as well. I watched the waves of heat reflect off the top of the tank. The marines and their Humvees began to shimmer as heat escaped from the baked sand. I slowly rose and started to walk closer to the marines, watching for signs of aggression. A week ago, I was kicked by a policeman in Al Kufah, and I am still leery of humans. My ribs were sore, maybe broken, but the smell of water was strong. Stronger than my fear. By nature, I am a trusting dog, one who likes humans. Actually, I like about everything, except maybe the laboratory back in Iran and the heat of the desert.
The marines didn't seem to notice me at first, then I heard one say, "What's that?" and point my way. Another marine looked toward me and said, "It's a short camel." I think he was joking, but I kept walking slowly to the source of the water, the back of a Humvee with crates of bottled water stacked on the tailgate. When I got near, Lieutenant Ryan looked my way and said to another marine, "Sergeant, watch that dog. It might be rabid."
I wasn't rabid, but I knew I didn't look good. My long golden coat was matted and dirty, and I had a slight limp because my ribs were sore and the pads of my feet were tender. I had been walking for two months, with only short breaks to forage for food and find water.
Now more marines were watching me. They stopped their talking and it became quiet except for the wind and a radio squawking from one of the Humvees. Some of the marines brought their rifles around, not aimed at me directly, but I could see their eyes. If I acted like I was going to bite, my short life would be over in a heart beat.
I stopped behind the Humvee with the bottled water and looked up. A marine standing nearby said, "Lieutenant, the dog looks like he needs a drink."
Lieutenant Ryan slipped his utility jacket back on as he slowly walked up to me. He showed no fear. I can sense fear, smell it if given time. He did look me over carefully and then took out a combat knife from a sheath on his belt. The hair on my back stiffen, but I remained still and watched him closely. He reached up and pulled one of the big plastic bottles out of a crate, and with one slash of his knife, cut the top off. Some of the water splashed out and I almost jumped for it, but caught myself in time. He squatted down, looked into my eyes and sat the water bottle down in front of me. He stood up and said, "Go ahead fella. Drink."
Drink I did. I understood why he cut the top off of the bottle; the neck would have been too small for me to drink from. He cut it down far enough so that my snout would fit in and my tongue could lap up the life saving elixir.
The marines left me another bottle of water, also opened and fed me from their rations. When they left, I knew I would see them again. I sense these things.
A month later, south of the city of Mosul, Iraq, I watched Lieutenant Ryan from behind the wheels of a Humvee. Taller than the other men, he stood out. His scent was familiar: friendly, compassionate, American, I remembered it. He was in charge, and the others followed his lead. I heard one marine say, “Lieutenant, we need ammo for the Ma duce.”I think that was the big machinegun mounted on top of the truck. When he finally walked off from the others, I trotted up behind him and nudged him with my nose.
“Hey!” He spun around and said, “What the hell are you doing mutt?”
It’s what dogs do, Lieutenant. Like a handshake. Of course I can't speak, so I put my head down and looked at his feet. After a few seconds, I felt him pat my head. I knew he would. He couldn't help himself. I can sense such things. I also know when a human is going to kick me or run, maybe even eat me. Children are much harder to figure out. Some want to pet me, others grab my ears and some run screaming to their mommies.
When he stopped petting me, I sat and begged with one paw.
He opened a MRE (Meal Ready to Eat), and after a few minutes, threw me a beef patty, which I caught with my mouth and gulped it down. Delicious. I wagged my tail and begged again. He gave me a knowing look and said, “Didn’t I see you before. Near the—" an explosion sent sand and dirt into the sky and ended our little chat.
The explosion sent a column of dirt into the air, but it was too far from the convoy of Humvees to do any damage. First Lieutenant Ryan Quinn yelled to his men, “Move out.”
The marines quickly climbed back into their vehicles as Sergeant Ramirez ran up to Lieutenant Quinn and asked, “What do you think, Lieutenant,IED?”
“No, sounded more like a mortar round. I think I heard it leave the tube. My guess is it came from behind those trees,” he pointed to a stand of eucalyptus trees about three-hundred meters off the road.
“We don’t have the time or firepower to hunt them down. I’ll switch vehicles with you and take the lead. You bring up the rear. ”
Lieutenant Quinn started toward the lead Humvee as Sergeant Ramirez called out, “You gonna call in some heat on those assholes?”
“Plan on it. I want to get to Mosul before nightfall. Now move before they adjust and put one down our throats.”
The large golden retriever that Lieutenant Quinn had been feeding stood with his front paws against the door of the Humvee. His large brown eyes stared into Lieutenant Quinn's eyes without blinking.
After a moment Quinn said, “Sorry pal, no room. Now go home. Get.”
The big dog obeyed and ran off toward the rear of the convoy but not before stopping once and looking back at Lieutenant Quinn.His ears perked up as if listening for Quinn to call him, but Ryan Quinn had a job to do, and it didn’t include caring for a stray.
Ryan Quinn had been in Iraq for five months on his current deployment and fourteen months on the one before that, plus three months in Afghanistan. He knew the single mortar round might be a trap. Marines, by training and disposition, were aggressive. It took a strong hand to keep them from rushing into a fight. Ryan’s convoy was a small one, six Humvees and one seven-ton truck. He didn’t have the firepower to engage a large enemy force or one well emplaced. His orders from the company commander were simple, “I want you to haul ass up to Mosul and get there before dark.”
As soon as Ryan was in the right front seat of the lead Humvee, he did a quick radio check with the other vehicles and motioned for the driver to move out. He then contacted his commanding officer on the battalion radio communications net and gave him a situation report and the coordinates of the suspected insurgents.
Now they were someone else’s problem. Ryan had been a new second lieutenant in an infantry company on his first tour in Iraq. Called to active duty from his marine reserve unit, Ryan had to put his plans to finish college on hold.
The driver, PFC Richard Horton, seemed nervous and watched Lieutenant Ryan out of the corner of his eye. Ryan noticed and said, “Relax. If I tell you to stop, you don’t even think about asking. Just hit the brakes.”
“Do you mind if I ask a question, sir?”
Lieutenant Ryan kept his eyes moving, scanning the narrow concrete road. There was little traffic and only an occasional building near the road. Battalion S-3 said there was no activity in the area, but that didn’t ease the tension. He had heard screwed up intelligence reports many times.
“Sir, I heard you were here before with a line company.”
“Yeah. Now I got it made.”
“Got it made?” the young marine asked.
“Last time I was humping seventy pounds of gear, not including my weapon, ammo, water, and sleeping in a hole. Now I ride most of the time.”
“I think I would rather walk.”
Ryan had to smile to himself. The young marine knew that most of the current casualties had come from IEDs—Improvised Explosive Devices.
“Where you from, Horton?”
“San Francisco, sir.”
“Been there a couple times. Cold and damp, but I would trade it for this heat.”
“I’ve got water and ice in a cooler in the back, sir.”
"I’m fine now. The a/c seems to be working okay. The troops in the back of the seven-ton might need it before long.”
They rode in silence for another hour, and it was sunset when PFC Horton asked, “Sir, you ever been in a firefight?”
Ryan nodded. “Too many. Pick up the pace. It’s getting dark.”
PFC Horton pushed down on the accelerator, and the big Humvee barreled along the pot-holed road. The men in the back of the stiff riding, seven-ton truck would be cursing the driver and Lieutenant Quinn.
“Where you from?” PFC Horton asked, and then added, “Sir.”
“Florida. Near Daytona Beach. A little town called New Smyrna Beach.”
The lights of a small pickup truck came toward them and Ryan reached for his radio and spoke to his convoy. “Road runners, road runner six. Increase intervals. Heads up. Vehicle approaching.”
A few seconds later, the small pickup truck passed by. The turret gunner followed it with the fifty-caliber machinegun on top of the Humvee.
“You were saying you lived in a little town near the beach, sir. Do any surfing?”
“Some, whenever I could find time. Stop—. "
The explosion blew the Humvee into the air and across the road, where it rolled twice before coming to a stop in a shallow irrigation ditch.
Sergeant Ramirez, riding in the rear Humvee, hadn’t been under fire before, but his training took over. He organized the convoy into a defensive position and then rushed forward to see the damage first-hand. From the rear of the convoy, he hadn’t seen the fireball that lifted the lead Humvee. He did hear the thunder clap and felt the concussion seconds later.
The Humvee lay burning in a ditch near the road. There had been four men in the Humvee with Lieutenant Quinn, now only one man lay in the road, his clothes smoldering. Two men from the closest Humvee were already bending over the man in the road.Lieutenant Quinn and the other marines were nowhere to be seen.
When Sergeant Ramirez approached, one marine turned and said, “It’s Horton, Sarge.”
PFC Horton began to moan and Sergeant Ramirez said, “Get some water on him. Anyone else?”
A lance corporal shook his head and motioned to the burning Humvee. “Couldn’t get in.”
Heat from the burning Humvee radiated off Sergeant Ramirez’s face. He shielded it with his forearm and walked closer to the inferno. He stopped thirty feet from the Humvee and then came back to PFC Horton. The lance corporal had removed most of Horton’s outer clothing.
“Sergeant Ramirez looked down at PFC Horton and said, “If anybody is still in there they’re ...” He was going to say toast, but thought better of it.
“I’m going back to call in a medivac for Horton. How’s he doing?”
“I’m no corpsman,” the lance corporal said, “but he’s breathing and I can’t find any big wounds. Should we move him?”
“Not yet. He might have some broken bones or some other shit wrong with him. I’ll be right back.”
I had been riding in the back of a big truck with the marines. I jumped up there after the lieutenant told me to go home. I didn’t have a home, not then, and it was terrible. Americans are great. Lots of petting and more MREs to eat, but as I was getting comfortable on a marine’s bedroll, bang! No, it was more like a lightning strike real close. The driver must have hit the brakes hard, because I flew all the way to the front of the truck and landed on a marine. Sorry.
I knew what caused the noise. I had heard it before. It was one of those homemade bombs they call an IED, of course they come in all different sizes. I watched one being made one night in a town not far away. Anyway, the marines grabbed their weapons and looked for targets, but I jumped out onto the road to see what happened. It was almost dark, but I can see fairly well at night, better than humans. There was a fire up ahead. I trotted up there and started sniffing. It was obvious where the bomb had been planted. A big hole on the side of the road was easy to see and the smell was distinctive. I sniffed further and could tell there were two men, not Americans, who had been there recently. Probably Iranians. There was a man in the road who looked hurt. I could smell his burnt hair and flesh. Two marines were with him, one gave him water. He was talking and I could smell his breath. He was scared and I don’t blame him. There was a truck, called a Humvee, burning next to the road. The wind brought me a whiff of more flesh burning. Hate that smell. Then I caught the scent of the marine who was the leader. The one they called Lieutenant. I didn’t want to get too close to the fire as my coat isn’t fireproof, but the scent of the lieutenant was strong now. I followed it off the road and picked up his scent again after circling the burning Humvee.
We dogs have a great sense of smell. I heard we have a hundred thousand times better sense of smell than humans. We can also hear about four times better than humans can, but I didn’t hear him walking, although he had walked, maybe staggered, away from the Humvee and into the desert. Maybe he was thrown out, or blown out.
I finally found him laying face down in the sand about two hundred meters from the burning Humvee. His clothes smelled of the smoke and his leg was bleeding, but not badly. I nudged his face, and he groaned but didn’t move. I dug some of the sand away from his face and smelled his breath. He was alive and not seriously hurt, as far as I could tell. People who are hurt seriously have a smell I can recognize. I nudged him again but he didn’t move, so I barked in his ear. That usually gets humans moving, but he just moaned. I dug a little more sand away from his face. Didn’t want him breathing sand. I looked around but no marines were coming from the road to help him. I started barking. Not once but about twenty times. Maybe they didn't hear me because of the helicopter that was landing on the road. After a few minutes, the helicopter flew away and I started barking again, but nobody came out. I would have to bring them to the lieutenant. I licked the lieutenant’s face a couple of times and ran back to the road. The Humvee wasn’t burning now, just smoking, and the marines were trying to look inside. I ran up and started barking and jumping around. I wanted them to follow me, but no one seemed to understand.
“Shut up mutt,” a big marine yelled. Another one said, “Get way. Y’all get burned.”
I wasn’t going to give up. That lieutenant was a good human, I can tell these things. I had seen him before, and I have been with a lot of humans who were not good and many who were somewhere in between. I have also been with some who were bad, evil, cruel and not even human. I didn’t want one of the good ones to die out there. I started barking even harder and running toward the desert and then back, hoping a marine would follow, but no luck.Finally, I ran back to the open truck thinking, maybe one of those marines would understand. I jumped up into the back of the truck and started barking.
“It’s okay fella. Calm down. We’ll take care of you,” said one marine.
That was nice, but I kept barking and jumped down thinking, maybe they would follow, but no. They kept telling me to stop barking. It didn’t it occur to them that I wasn’t barking to hear my own voice. I thought, maybe I should howl; however, they might have thought I was nuts and put me out of my misery.
I jumped up in the truck again, which is a big jump, and licked the hand of one marine. He petted me and I grabbed his wrist, not too hard and tried pulling him off the truck.
After a few tugs he said, “What you want? You want me to go with you?”
I put my tail into full high-speed wag and barked at him. I jumped off the truck and he climbed down. This marine had dark skin, and they called him Corporal Lewis. He started to follow me, but I had to keep running back to him. He didn’t want to leave the road, and then I remembered, humans can't see so well in the dark, and they can’t smell worth a darn. Maybe that explains their little noses. I would have to go back and tug on his arm or pants.
“Hey, Lewis, get back on the truck," a sergeant ordered, "We're moving out. A reaction platoon is coming out. Sergeant Ramirez is staying here with two squads. You and three Humvees are supposed to haul ass to Mosul." He then added "Hey, why don’t you take that dog with you before he gets hurt out here?”
Oh, no. He was going to pick me up and put me in their truck.
Magic's Charm, sequel to the bestselling novel Magic. Charm, a ten month old female golden retriever, is stolen from the back yard of Ryan Quinn, the newly minted special agent of the FBI. Magic, the genetically altered golden retriever, wants to find her. Fred Winton,"An action filled adventure novel that will keep you turning the pages." Magic's search eventually involves the very highest levels of the government.
Action genre enthusiast who enjoyed Magic the genetically altered dog, will love Magic's Charm.
The questions were,”Does memory define one’s existence?” He thought not, but If he couldn’t remember who he was, what he’d done in life, who he loved, who he hated, where he lived, where he came from, does he have an identity? If someone or thing robs him of his memory, do they steal his identity? These are the questions, Magic, the gifted Golden Retriever asked himself.
A Young Adult novels with Magic.
Strange Magic: a YA action/adventure novel. A Marine brings home a strange dog who befriends his teenage daughter. It abilities are magical. Strange Magic is not one of the Magic adventure series novels, and is written for young adult readers.
Cinnamon Rose: Women's literary fiction. Mary struggles to overcome adversity in a post war world. Her long journey takes her from the evils of Las Vegas gangsters to the hallowed halls of government.
Golden Years?: Humor/action. A band of nursing home misfits break out of a nursing home for one more fling.
Fitzgerald Chronicles: Historical fiction. Early flight and WW1 adventure.
Golden Goose: an action/adventure novel based on a true story involving gold bullion shipped to the United States by England during WW2.
The is a new movie out with a very similar plot. I woulder where they got the idea?