© S.J. Carver
Originally published as ‘1888’ in VETO III (2009).
This is another relatively old piece that kicked around quite a while before someone published it, supposedly because of the colourful language. (I remember one editor telling me it was her policy never to publish anything she wouldn’t want her grandmother to read.) I’m pretty sure it was originally written sometime in 1999. It’s interesting to me as an ancestor of Shark Alley, because it was my first attempt at writing a ‘Victorian’ scene, while you can also already see the preoccupation with nested narration and ghoulish storytelling, the profession of Jack Vincent, the ‘Death Hunter’ hero of the novel.
The nights were drawing in now, and dead leaves were mingling with the shit and the sludge on the streets. The year drew towards a merciful end, marred only by the certain knowledge that 1889 would just be…
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