In the not-so-dark corner sat the crumpled youth. Frogs croaked loudly from where they’d never be found, post-rain. The streetlights looked on, completely unaffected by the bass notes fracturing wafts of smoke escaping youthful lungs in the nearby house. A blue sedan pulled up and the driver, a second youth, stepped out to inquire after the crumpled one.
‘You got a good eye, miss, you don’t mind me saying so. That’s a fine piece. The Oriole M4: classic design. Rosewood grip, clean bore. Small enough to hide in your underthings, excuse my crudeness, powerful enough to drop a horse. Anybody looks down the barrel o’ that girl, they won’t see nothin’ else ’til Judgement Day.’
New Grub Street – Part II, Chapter 8'To the Winning Side'
Of the acquaintances Yule had retained from his earlier years several were in the well-defined category of men with unpresentable wives. There was Hinks, for instance, whom, though in anger he spoke of him as a bore, Alfred held in some genuine regard. Hinks made perhaps a hundred a year out of a kind of writing which only certain publishers can get rid of and of this income he spent about a third on books.
Oh yes, you’re having a great time. You’re drunk again. You’re lying very still in the dark in a rented apartment in downtown New York City and suffering from all sorts of decadent ills. Summer in this romantic, filthy city is oppressive and congested but you endure it oddly, madly, feverishly even.
New Grub Street – Part I, Chapter 7'Marian's Home'
Three weeks after her return from the country – which took place a week later than that of Jasper Milvain – Marian Yule was working one afternoon at her usual place in the Museum Reading-room. It was three o’clock, and with the interval of half an hour at midday, when she went away for a cup of tea and a sandwich, she had been closely occupied since half-past nine.
After one thousand years of sleep Brutus wakes in furs under a blood red moon in his high castle. His servant Halford carries the Count’s mahogany coffin to the high-vaulted antechamber and prepares a feast of pigeon gizzards and sour goat’s milk sauté with chilled owl’s blood to wash it down.
I’m sorry Dora, I was asleep. I never would have done it to you if I was awake. This is what I told her. When she sleeps she isn’t there. I don’t feel a warm presence next to me. She doesn’t dream. She barely breathes. I remember pulling her into me when she wasn’t so cold to touch.
We’re excited to announce our program of Late Night Library events for City of Sydney. Join us at Haymarket Library for a lot of fun, creativity, and a spot of ranting, at the following free events:
Wednesday 3 September, 8–9pm Got something to get off your chest? Then get up on that soapbox! Join professional ranters, writers and comedians as they tell us what they really think. Hosted by David Henley, who may have a few grievances of his own to share, and featuring Benjamin Law, Lauren Beukes, Alice Fraser and David Hunt. Book here.