a taste of ‘Wild: a collection’

by  Gill Hoffs

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17 pieces feature in Wild … some previously published, some new … and below is a taste … hunt them down and tame them!

We don’t eat those, nor the pets or the bodies, but the fresh corpses, the new dead, we do. We have to. We must. Firework sand

More touchingly, he wrote: “whilst the hammers still rang their loudest, old gentlemen reverted to the habits of boyhood, and clambered across poles, and up ladders, balanced themselves on timbers, hung on by coping-stones, and showed all the glee imaginable at the lively character of the event.” Prospects

“I like the language; the culture is … interesting. The food’s delicious. And it’s great for my CV-” Yellow

Glad of the breather, I smiled to myself. I sniffed, and wiped my nose on my hand, then my hand on my jeans. Snow Go

I ate a breakfast of lumpy porridge as I read, the paper full of the new Queen’s Coronation. The Rabbit and the Dam

A person could walk the moors every day of their life, live to be a hundred, and still find themselves lost amongst a russet patch of bracken, or a hundred feet beneath grass … Acceptance

… flicking me with droplets before drying them vigorously in the skirts around my rump. Slut’s Pennies

A train to Glasgow then several connections and a taxi – and I’d be in sniffing distance. Creating a Stink

Acid burnt the depths of her throat, she could smell vomit approaching the back of her nose, and sniffed back the rising panic. The Rescue

Well, once he had found that dead lady’s purse, but the driver gave him a dollar for it and he let it go. The Creature in the Coal

The beak was yellow, dirty, and half open in silent squawk. Its eye was dull and dusty. The bird was unquestionably dead. Protein

My father kept it carefully, repairing what he could, securing the records and sacred silver in a great black trunk in its cellar. The premature ending of Annie MacLeod

No creams, no ointments, and a steady diet of all the things that made it worse. Tomatoes. Cloves. Honey. Imago

She must have used up the last of the ‘Happy Hoi Sin’ mix, I can only find a new tin, unopened, with a stupid red circle on the front shouting ‘New Recipe!!!’ at me as if one exclamation mark wasn’t enough. Miss

And I remember a summer, after the Copia, with pink skies and short nights, and jellyfish stinking on the shore. Mooching round the harbour, watching the boils of anemones in the rockpools by the lighthouse flowering then feasting. Black Fish

He had lanced it in the Life, the small area behind the jaw that renders the mammoth beast vulnerable to human predators, the swarm of blood vessels nestled under its wrinkled skin inviting his iron. An Unusual Darkness

It had rained the night his parents died, cars sliding and spinning, his grandparents coming to the hospital … Luck is in the Leftovers

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