‘Twas the night before the 1st of February (It was the 31st of January)
And all through the house (I’m currently sitting in Perth airport)
Not a creature was stirring (It’s as busy as all buggery)
Not even a… (All right, this really isn’t working, is it?)
It’s the 31st of January. That means there’s just over 12 hours left until the first batch of Patreon rewards drops into the inboxes of those fabulous people who have become my patrons.
What will they receive? Here’s a taste.
What a way to start a journey together. At this time of writing, I’m sitting in an empty house, about to close the laptop, zip up the backpack, and make the journey to join my family 1600 kilometres away in the red, sandy, wilds of Karratha. I’ve lived in my hometown, Rockingham, for almost 40 years. Even when I’ve moved away, I’ve stayed within the boundaries of Perth, the capital city of my home state. To say this is an adventure is an understatement—the last time I perched on the edge of a desert I was 6 years old, having spent 2 years in Kambalda at the behest of my parents, England’s three-day working week, and Western Mining Corporation’s (now BHP’s) ravenous needs for innocent foreigners to feed the maw of the nickel industry.
We Work the Red Seam Together. The first monthly journal entry available to all patrons at the $1 level and above.
The doctor looked at his watch as a lone vulture descended slowly to the lawn.
“Eight minutes, forty seconds.”
He made a mark in his notebook, then placed his pen on the small table beside his chair and examined the page as the vulture pecked at the corpse on the grass.
“Which proves what?”
Behind the doctor, a woman waited. She was tall, over six feet in height. Although she resembled the doctor—the same long nose, the same broad forehead and deep, blue eyes—she was significantly younger, no more than twenty. Despite her height, she did not bend down to view the book. She knew what was written there. She studied the bird with practiced indifference. The doctor glanced up at her, and smiled.
“The effects of the elixir are getting quicker. Watch.”
Resurrection. The first patron-exclusive 500 word short story available to patrons at the $2 level and above.
Somewhere outside, there came the thump of a heavy footfall. Paul and Aoife stared at each other. Another footfall. In the silence, they could hear breathing: a long, rasping grunt, like a bear with broken ribs.
“Of course,” Paul said. “Of course there’s actually a monster.”
“Don’t bother being all wry and cynical.” Aoife was crawling across the floor, scrabbling at the floorboards. “We need to get out of here.”
Ghost Tracks. The first monthly extract from a work in progress, available to patrons at the $10 level and above.
Summer in this new place was vicious. It had been eight weeks since the first boat landed and already the nameless colony struggled against the sun’s constant anger. The noise of industry should have filled the air: the rise and fall of hammers; the sawing of wood; the myriad cries and halloos of working convicts and administrators. Instead, the omnipresent heat beat sound out of the world, layering everything with sweat and torpor. Even the flies lay still, as if even those hyperactive insects could not muster the energy to buzz and thrum. The English pioneers, unused to the weather even after months of tropical sailing, collapsed in whatever scraps of shade they could annex.
Counterweight Colony. The first of twelve chapters of a patron-exclusive novel, available to patrons at the $20 level and above.
Plus, patrons will receive exclusive cartoons, the ability to choose future Five for Friday posts, monthly Q&A vlogs, manuscript assessments, writing exercises, and more.