She stalks them, device in hand, in a modern bloodless hunt. They hide near buildings, the cute light beings, and she captures them with her e-net. The one she desired most appeared; half hedgehog and half platypus.

‘Great!’ she said. She had been searching just for him. He was king of all the cute light creatures. She lined up the e-net with the furry ball, with his fringe of pink spikes.

The hedgepus pounced, all claws and teeth. He skinned and ate her, with the efficiency that only practice brings. They stalk humans, the light things, and no nets are necessary. Their hunt is not bloodless.

His cuteness returned, with only a few stains on the fur near his mouth. People would assume that he had eaten too many berries. The hedgepus is said to relish the raspberry.

A kidney marked the spot, flung out like confetti.

PS Cottier


This micro story  was highly commended in the Microfiction category of the Fellowship of Australian Writers National Awards for 2016, just announced.  (I’ve edited it a little since then.)  I also won another category, called the ‘How-Tweet-It-Is Poetry Award’.  I won’t post that one, though, as I have submitted it for publication Elsewhere.  That second award allowed me to try out a poem short enough for Twitter, without joining that foul and parasitic ‘conversation’.

I also enjoy writing the occasional wee story, like the one above, safe from the constraints of character.  And often plot… Prose poetry morphs into story quicker than seagulls wolf chips.

Very happy to be highly commended for a tiny horror story, too.

Next week, I promise fewer internal organs, and even a different image.

That’s where you’ll find me, from time to time. One exciting development in the horrible world that lies on the wrong side of THE THIN BEIGE LINE OF COMPARATIVE NORMALITY ©* is Midnight Echo, the official magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association. Kaaron Warren is editing the next issue, and I have a poem in it, along with a column about poetry.

Press this link for the fully horrible Table of Contents. I can’t wait to be sickened, in a good way, by the issue.

who left the drawbridge down?

who left the drawbridge down?

I also have a poem coming up in the 200th issue of Antipodean SF, which explicitly addresses the merits, or otherwise, of flash fiction. And I believe a story of mine from THE VAULTS, otherwise known as 2008, may also be appearing.

There are other publications looming too, like the mutant pterodactyls of Moscow in a novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, but these are enough for today.

*no, not copyright at all. If you like dreadful writing, please help yourself to the phrase.

Here’s my suggestion for a new power source.  I’ll be registering a patent soon.

must speak to my accountant...

Beating OPEC

Harnessing the energy of horror fans at cinemas

as dread zombies excavate warm bodies for dinners,

or vampires provide certain proof

that red and black fit neck in tooth;

this was my brilliant idea for a new power source.

Tingling fear explodes as the thick crimson sauce

splatters, or green mutant rats emerge from sewers.

Darker than oil, those cries of shivering viewers,

tinged with the delicious free energy of fear.

The true beauty was that they had no idea

that they generated watts with loud gusts of ‘No!’

and their howling winds of scream. I watched them grow,

my bank accounts, fed on those quivering masses

whose renewable angst was cheaper than gases.

Alas! Times changed, and romantic comedy smirks

where once deep slash movies bled. It certainly irks

to see the dark side fade out and my cash-flow cease,

and our total reliance on imported dear grease.

P.S. Cottier