Author ~ Science Fiction ~ Sci-Fi ~ Young Adult ~ Childrens' ~ Literary Works by Nancy Reil Riojas ~ Sci-Fi ~ U.S. Copyright Office, Washington, D.C.

Novelettes ©

Novelettes are shorter than novellas yet much longer than short stories.
Hannibal has sold more and earned more reviews than any other narrative I have written as of yet.  Not surprisingly, reviews are diverse as some readers cannot read the story objectively.  Those that can read Hannibal uninfluenced by personal feelings or prejudice leave good ratings.  Hannibal has been downloaded thousands of times and shifts in and out of first place in ITunes / Ibooks "Theatre" category in several countries throughout the world, but not in the U.S.  Am not quite sure what that means.

His real name was Hannibal, a huge canine that for all intents and purposes looked like a Dalmatian but was the size of a Great Dane. Every character in the narrative whether human or animal was real, the neighborhood remains active, and Continental Bank was half built then but since has been sold and a bank by another name occupies that entire block, 1300 Hildebrand Avenue. May your perception expand in all that you read. 

Synopsis:    A man craves revenge against a young woman but indirectly uses his enormous canine that ultimately wants to kill her. Which one survives?

EXCERPT:  "Dale and I slam backward onto the wood floor. I’m at the bottom of the heap, feeling everyone’s weight. They all topple off. Dale stands and pulls me up. He does the unthinkable: takes a breath and leans toward my mouth ―not his nasty kiss! I slap hard across his face. Hannibal instantly reacts, leaping toward me to defend his master once again. Dale seems to sober up in a snap and in midair catches and twists Hannibal's collar, nearly breaking his neck. Dale coils the collar tighter, forcing the animal to bow while he maintains the stronghold. Rose and I glance at each other ... what can we do? Hannibal cannot breathe as he whimpers and gurgles."

EXCERPT: "Feeling safe because Hannibal’s tied with what seems like large-scale dungeon chain, I gently set the bowl down a distance away. In my downward view, he has grown exorbitantly since last year. And even though he exhibits definitive markings of a Dalmatian, he's much too large, has to be a mixed breed, possibly with a Great Dane? I stare at his muscular upper torso and enormous upper legs ―his neck equals the size of some peoples’ waists. While he slowly raises his head to meet mine, his aura emits distrust with wide open eyes that immediately minimize to a slit which he maintains. Speaking sweetly to him, I see something piercingly intimidating . . . something malicious . . . something sinister lurks in that hideous stare. My face conveys not-to-be-mistaken fear while my body stands motionless.  With prey drive excited, he gently rises on all fours, takes his time as if I'll be an easy seize.  He blows out a deep, stern growl then ―his lunge!

Petting him ceases as an option.  Opening his jaws to bite, trips my instinct to sprint.  I run like never before!  I break my own record while trying to stay out of his reach.  No time to scream.  The cement lends my new tennis shoes some much needed traction. Hannibal’s clamoring chain appears bold enough to restrain an infuriated bull. But the chain’s thickness and weight are of no consequence as his motivating force manipulates it like rope. Hearing the horrific growl behind me, I can only visualize mammoth teeth! His stride has to be at least seven feet; mine stretches only five. He’s gaining on me! I listen to the clank, clank, clank of the nearing, massive chain. That eerie sound thrusts me into a higher gear I did not know I had! Head steady, elbows in, and palms open, I apply the greatest amount of force to the ground, yet I feel hot breath on my backside. A snip to my thigh! ―No!!"

Seconds later, I hear a snap and a grunt behind me, as though Hannibal’s choking. Abruptly jerking my head to look back, I see a giant canine sailing six feet into the air, flipping and plunging down into dirt, creating a cloud of dust. I am instantly relieved, slowing to a stop, as though I made it to the finish line and won. Bending over and placing my hands on my knees, I see blood trickle down my leg. I try to catch my breath as well as my drained adrenaline. Calm comes to me.

Sampson, however, heightens to an energized state, running the length of his fence, back and forth. Done trying to tear through the fence with his teeth and claws, he steps backward and attempts to propel himself over it.

Moments pass.  Like a corpse coming out of its grave, Hannibal steps out of the cloud! The force of the snap must have broken the solid, long chain that once confined him. He’s loose with a section of chain still attached to the collar. He'll catch up to me on the stairs if I run to the front porch. So, in a millisecond snap decision, I choose to race once again . . . out into the street, down the street, gaining traction. At first, Hannibal darts hot on my heels but trips on the chain several times which slows him down. Until this moment, with the chain sound further away, my screaming that befalls no one’s ears finally begins."

EXCERPT:  "From the darkness we suddenly hear an assertive, bellowing bark. At once, Hannibal releases my ravaged shoe. Like a distracted human, his angry expression switches to astonishment: his bottom jaw drops as if he recognizes the bark. He promptly peers down from the Caterpillar roof, forcing his thick chain to flop over the edge . . . and dangles in front of Sampson's face. Sampson attempts to climb but his large size topples him back down to the ground. Before long he realizes the chain attaches to Hannibal. In a snap, a battle of strength and will power begins when Sampson clenches, between his teeth, the chain from Hannibal's collar. Sampson trenches like a plow, anchors big front paws into soft earth, and yanks and yanks while hostile eyes glare straight up to watch Hannibal’s whopping head jerk again and again. Hannibal resists, claws the metal roof, incessantly tries to heave Sampson’s weight until the groaning body loses balance at the edge, drags off the Caterpillar, and lands with an emphatic thud into the dirt below." 

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