Fifth news item

"You've Got to Sleep With Your Mum and Dad" is now available on Amazon. Childhood angst, marathon swimming, international exploitation and the threat of impending pinniped intimacy. on 2014-08-13
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Fourth news item

Have a look at my page on Amazon. Still plenty of summer left for challenging literature. on 2014-08-13
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Third news item

Check out my Amazon Kindle page. 'The Baby Who Killed People for Money' is now available. An utterly charming child with a unique and lucrative skill. A father with no defence against his daughter's impulses. Would you take your little girl around Europe for a spot of murder tourism? Of course you would. on 2014-06-30
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Second news item

My story on the Tate gallery website on 2013-11-11
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First news item

A Thousand Natural Shocks An anthology that includes two of my stories. Available now at Amazon. on 2013-11-11
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January 2021
« Jul    

My brother came over from Australia when I was living in Istanbul. We had grown up together so we tended to revert to our childhoods on the rare times that we were together. He worked in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and it was usual for Australians to spend a bit of time in the Gallipoli battlefields.

Arı Burnu

Arı Burnu

We saw the cemeteries and the beach at Anzac Cove. We saw Atatürk’s message to the mothers of the fallen (‘your sons… become our sons as well’). It was amazing to see that the trenches at Lone Pine were still clearly defined. Then we saw a hole. It was a sap – an underground supply tunnel from the rear to the front line.

Trenches near Lone Pine

Trenches near Lone Pine

Tunnel entrance, Lone Pine

Tunnel entrance, Lone Pine

In we went. We had a torch and a lot of curiosity. Friends from a school in Istanbul had come here earlier in the year and found uniform buttons, bullets and a skull with a hole through it. We didn’t find any of these but we did see a spectacular black and yellow millipede. Further into the substantial tunnel, there was a white pile with crystals of uric acid sticking straight out at odd angles. Tiny beetles scuttered around the pile. Above hung two bats.

Alarmed at our presence, they were shifting about, furling and unfurling themselves. They had spawned a plant-free ecosystem. On their pile of guano, fungi grew. Beetles and millipedes fed on this. I think I went past the bats first. They still didn’t detach from their roost although they were agitated by now. When my brother tried to pass, one bat took flight and headed towards me.

Hearing its fluttering near my head, I made a panicked squeak. The bat flew back the other way. My brother shouted. The bat turned again. As long as we kept up the squeaking, the bat would oscillate between us. Eventually, it flew past me. I was losing 0 – 15.

The other bat plucked up courage and took wing. Now we knew the rules. A high squeak worked best to propel the bat back in the direction of one’s opponent. We grew better and better at timing and frequency. The bat stayed in play a long time. It also began to get better at the game. It would delay and time its rush towards us so that it would take us by surprise.

My final move was to edge up behind the bat as it flew towards my brother and catch it unawares as it turned from him, only to find me screeching madly. It shot backwards, past my brother, who responded with a belated squawk as the bat flapped off to the daylight. 15-15. That’s how the score has remained for about twenty years. We really should go and finish the game.

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