Death is the beginning of something

Brentor Church Sign

The Ferocious Night: In January of 2011, I was walking on the beach at Marazion in West Cornwall and came across the body of a decapitated seal pup. After I’d got over the initial gruesomeness of the find, I was interested to see how, in death, the body appeared to be transforming into something else entirely. It was a strange time: two friends were diagnosed with cancer. Death seemed to be hovering nearby. I listened to Coil’s Horse Rotorvator album and paid particular attention to the track The Golden Section. How would a person approach Death? And how would Death approach a person? A local procession band – the Montol or Turkey Rhubarb Band – would appear at Penzance’s Winter Solstice celebration, dressed in black rags and masks, playing a dirge of a tune. They were perfect for the story and so were included (although, sadly, their musicianship has improved since I first saw them – it takes the edge off their performance). The story was originally called The Moth And The Flame, but The Ferocious Night seemed more suitable. After all, I don’t believe that Death is a passive Nothingness. And we don’t all die quietly.

The two stories published in Storylandia both begin with a question. These are (probably) the only stories I’ve ever begun in this way, and as far as I’m aware it’s purely coincidental (if such a thing exists) that this has occurred; the JT issue due for publication next year should have four or five new stories/novellas in it and none of them begin in this way. Perhaps I should edit them so that they do!


The Ferocious Night is dedicated to the memory of my mother, Molly Marie Haynes (1940 – 2013).

6 thoughts on “Death is the beginning of something

    • Echoes indeed. I saw the death/state of the seal pup as part of the life/death cycle but also as something more. Suspension of the rational is often necessary!

      I shall miss The Haunted Shoreline. Good luck in your new ventures.

  1. It’s amazing how life serendipitously brings us these experiences – most especially when we are open to them. Congratulations on publication of The Ferocious Night (you always have the best titles)! What a wonderful way to honor the memory of your mother. Best wishes to you!

    • Thanks for your kind comments. It’s a real shame that my mother didn’t get to read the full story, but she’d be glad it’s in print, as she was always hugely supportive of my writing. I spend a lot of time getting a story title right; it has to reflect the text as much as possible, but also be an entity in itself.

  2. Just wanted to let you know I’m really enjoying your story (I may take forever to pick up the book, but my intentions are there from the beginning!). I so appreciate how you explore more deeply the meaning of death, and the powerful, complex emotions around it – beyond the more surface/stylistic aspects that draw me to this type of writing.

    • Thank you! Feedback has been very positive so far – which I’m a bit surprised at. The subject matter is something many people just don’t wish to explore, so I was quite expecting the story to be ignored.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.