Story excerpts …

Excerpt from Perpetual Boy

He’d run to his room and returned with a book on native birds, his eyes bright with determination and anticipation. His sandy brown hair flopped with each dancing step.

‘These ones!’ He pointed to pictures of a royal spoonbill and an azure kingfisher.

Chris had looked disbelieving. He was not the nature loving type. Footy, cricket, possibly soccer, were his idea of a good time outdoors. His stocky, stodgy presence was a marked contrast to the boy’s fine frame and easy grace. Old freckles and too much sitting about by the barbeque, stubby to hand, had a roughening effect.

‘Not likely you’ll see them around here,’ he’d said. ‘Anyway we can do that another time. We’ll play footy this morning.’

‘No!’ Leslie was determined, his eyes hard in his almost-child face. ‘The birds will be there. They’re waiting for me.’

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Excerpt from The Fox

The fox’s body flew upwards into the twilight as a sharp crack echoed through the deepening shadows. The pain was momentary, but as his wide-eyed vision faded, he saw around and below him the familiar undergrowth; the dew forming on the tips of grasses leaning against chilling air. He seemed to soar, free of earthly fears, leaving a body that fell awry onto damp ground.

Brett lowered the rifle. He had worked his way up the overgrown paddock from downwind of the fox. He was infinitely patient when it came to catching quarry. ‘Yes! Got you at last,’ he whispered to himself. ‘Took me three years, but this time … This time I got you, you bastard.’ He thought to collect the carcass and string it on his boundary fence along with the degrading bodies of other vermin he’d hunted down last summer. But he hesitated. Then an unwelcome thought washed others from his mind. The old fox had been pretty slowed up in recent weeks. Perhaps he’d been on his last legs. Dying. In that case it had been no contest.

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