Extract from White and Other Tales of Ruin

October 13th, 2000 • Posted in Extracts |

An extract from “Mannequin Man and the Plastic Bitch”

A clock struck one o’clock somewhere unseen, and he realised suddenly that he had somewhere else to be.

He walked around the shaded park twice before he saw the sign for Ashley Street. It was a lane rather than a street, and an alley more than a lane, home to a few squat fast-food shops, a couple of porn palaces and a chop shop that stank of blood and desperation. A couple of its regular clients hung around outside, bad advertising if ever Tom had seen it: the woman had no nose or eyelids, but bled profusely out of open veins above her eye sockets; the man displayed his mutilated genitalia, balls the size of footballs and a dick like a joint of uncooked pork. Read the rest of this entry »

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Extract from Face

October 13th, 2000 • Posted in Extracts |

An extract from Face, Chapter One

Later, they would all wonder how they had not guessed the truth. He was waiting in the snow, but after climbing into the car he did not seem cold, his breath did not condense, he appeared calm and composed. He did not act like a man that needed help. Read the rest of this entry »

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Extract from Until She Sleeps

October 13th, 2000 • Posted in Extracts |

Nightmare

He ran, because it was all there was for him to do. He had a target in mind — somewhere in mind, somewhere buried beneath the panic and agony, and the disbelief that his Wednesday could possibly have turned into this — but for now he could only run, and if his flight took him anywhere near his target, his plan, so be it. He could not slow down enough to think, nor lessen his pace to allow his brain time to plan his route. All sense of where and when had vanished when the fire-dogs chased him from the field. Read the rest of this entry »

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Extract from The Nature of Balance

October 13th, 2000 • Posted in Extracts |

The dead girl holds her mother’s hand.

She does not seem dead. In fact, she is the very image of a pretty, lively child, all sun-tanned limbs, glinting eyes and knees grazed by adventure. Even her hair appears drunk on her life force, swaying where there is no breeze and bouncing with each step.

But the girl is dead, existing only in this strange place, unmissed and forgotten elsewhere. And although her mother clasps her hand tightly, and their palms are fused by sweat, there is no real connection. Read the rest of this entry »

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Extract from As The Sun Goes Down

October 13th, 2000 • Posted in Extracts |

An extract from “The Beach”: A short story:

“Sunday,” Ray said.

I nodded. “Sunday. Day of rest.” From behind us, the regular crack of rifles.

He sighed. “I’m dead beat. Stiff as a bugger. Do you think there’s any hope?”

Without looking at him, I uttered something between a giggle and a sob. I’d been feeling pretty weird lately. “There’s always hope. So long as we have bullets, there’s always hope.” I drew a shape in the dew-speckled grass, but did not know what it was meant to be.

“Cliché King strikes again.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Extract from Hush

October 13th, 2000 • Posted in Extracts |

He cannot tear his gaze from the dead man.

Even though terror is bearing down inexorably upon them, still the body grips his attention. The corpse has fallen to the crawling ground, and has started to disintegrate. Darting shapes – ant-like things, big as scorpions, made of blood – nip at the exposed flesh. They burrow into the wound at the back of the cadaver’s neck and bear away gory morsels. The body’s cells seem possessed of a sudden repulsive energy, their binding properties reversed by this perverse domain until their very molecules rip apart in a cloudy red haze. In a matter of seconds the dead man has ceased to be an individual. Now, he is a swarm. Read the rest of this entry »

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Extract from Naming of Parts

October 13th, 2000 • Posted in Extracts |

In the morning Jack went to fetch the milk, but the milkman hadn’t been. His father appeared behind him in the doorway, scowling out at the sunlight and the dew steaming slowly from the ground, hands resting lightly on his son’s shoulders.

Something had been playing on Jack’s mind all night, ever since it happened. An image had seeded there, grown and expanded and, in the silence of his parent’s bedroom where none of them had slept, it had blossomed into an all-too-plausible truth. Now, with morning providing an air of normality – though it remained quieter than usual, and stiller – he was certain of what he would find. He did not want to find it, that was for sure, yet he had to see. Read the rest of this entry »

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Extract from Faith in the Flesh

October 13th, 2000 • Posted in Extracts |

(From the novella “Bad Flesh”)

There is a good chance that I will never return from this trip. The lumps on my chest have opened up and are weeping foul-smelling fluid; the first sign of the end. I wear two T-shirts beneath my shirt to soak up the mess.

And if my disease does not kill me, Malakki is always there in the background to complete the job. Read the rest of this entry »

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Extract from Dead Man’s Hand

October 13th, 2000 • Posted in Extracts |

Death rode out of the desert on a pale horse. He came on the fifth day of the rains, and although his mount was caked in mud and his clothes were sodden, I could still smell the sweet stench of death. It takes more than water to wash all that away. Read the rest of this entry »

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