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    

I ran over the poor creature at night. I saw it just as it went under the car. I stopped and stared at it. Everyone asks whether I got a puncture. No. I don’t think those spines are up to punching through a steel radial.

So there I was, staring at a roadkill monotreme and feeling guilty. It didn’t even look injured. Just dead. I picked it up and put it into the car, not having any idea what to do with it. Into the freezer it went.

Here's a living echidna in Kangaroo Island.

Here's a living echidna in Kangaroo Island.

By the end of work the next day, I had decided that I might as well stuff it. It looked straightforward. Any mistakes I made with the skin would be covered up by the spines.

When it was thawed, I ran the scalpel down the centre line if its belly and made the cuts along its legs. So far, so good. At this point with a normal mammal, the skin comes off the body like taking off a glove. The difficult areas are the feet and the head.

Not with the echidna. I slid my hand between the skin and the membrane, expecting them to come apart easily. They didn’t. Each of the spines had a root that went deep into the animal. Each one had to be dug out individually. There were hundreds of them.

After an hour of digging, I stood back and had a look at my progress. It was a horrible mess. I had torn the skin in places. It would need sewing and, on a skin like this, I wasn’t looking forward to it. It occurred to me that it might not be worth going on. I thought of how I had ended the life of the poor, innocent echidna and kept going. At least I could make some kind of memorial to it.

When I finished, it was late at night. I salted the skin, rolled it and packed it in plastic. Then I went home. The skin stayed in the freezer at work for over a year. My last act on leaving that job was to take it out and place it, as gently as I could, into the skip.

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