All being well, my book-Dead/Ends shall be receiving it's premier release on April 30th, and so in the intervening weeks, I shall be posting exclusive excerpts from it. Please note that the following is as yet unedited and may differ slightly in it's final incarnation.
"We moved three times when I was young.
The first time, was to a Victorian Terrace in Toxteth, Liverpool.
It had an outside toilet, a coal-bunker and rooms you could still refer to as a parlor and vestibule. Of course it was pretty dilapidated, and as more of the neighborhood tenants moved out, leaving the adjacent houses vacant, the rodents moved in.
My hysterical, irrational fear of rats began there.
I would have been five when upon investigating a tapping noise in the electric meter cupboard, a large brown rat fell as unceremoniously, as only a rat can, into my lap.
Its pink worm like tail twitched, as a bubble of spittle and blood formed on its greasy, gray lips, from the poison it had ingested.
In that moment I felt an epiphany, as all of my understanding of what it meant to die, seemed crystalline in the revulsion and horror I felt from that point, because in those black beaded eyes that rolled to yellow white, I realized that death had a face."