Books, The Living One, Australia, Road Trip, Gospel of Thomas, Stuart France

Who Scared You?…


I saw the snout first and thought it was a snake.

But snakes move swift and smooth and this fella was
cautious, shy even… timid, as he nervously tested the air.

Jed who had been repeatedly twanging his ruler on the top of a bedside
cabinet as he talked, paused mid sentence… and held the ruler… airborne.

‘Lizard!’ He whispered, somewhat redundantly, as the little fella
carefully zig-zagged out from the ceiling panel, his legs moving
akimbo like synchronised swastikas, first one way then the next…

He was a beauty alright.

Perfectly white,
with bright-black,
marble eyes and a
delicately pin-pricked snout.

Just as I thought he was going to edge
all the way out and stay for awhile,
the fridge motor shuddered into life.

A whip-lash curl of his tail: he was gone…



…It is night and I cannot sleep.

Jed cannot sleep either.

I can hear him turning in his bed but I do not speak.

Steve is asleep.

It must be about three in the morning.

There are strange voices outside my window and a knock at the back door.
I wait for Jed to get it, which he does, eventually.

I listen to the conversation – two guys in search of some ‘American chick’-

Jed eventually convinces them that she is not inside.

I wish she was and play with that thought for awhile.

Jed climbs back into his bed.

There are strange voices on the other side of the apartment
and then… a knock at the front door.

I start to laugh.

Jed sighs and goes to the door.

They go through the whole rigmarole
again practically word for word as I resort
to suppressing my laughter in the pillow.

Jed eventually convinces them for the
second time that she is not in our apartment.

“Didn’t they recognise you?”

“Maouri – albinos – both of them,” says Jed by way of explanation.

“Twin albino Maouri – are you having me on?”

A glint in Jed’s eye.

“I was tormenting that lizard, this afternoon, the white one.”…

“I knew it was for you.”

Extract fromThe Living One

6 thoughts on “Who Scared You?…”


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