Andrew Hook Residue

ISBN 13: 9780954953515

Residue

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Residue is the third short story anthology from Andrew Hook

Following on from the novel Moon Beaver and the acclaimed collections The
Virtual Menagerie & Beyond Each Blue Horizon, Residue brings together 19
further stories from the award-winning author.

Whether tracing a new father's regret in Tight or revealing a young boy's
guilty secret in Double Cross, Hook never shies from examining the
unflinching emotional close-ups affecting daily life.

These are snapshots of moments destined to linger in the reader's mind long
after the story finishes; situations that tap into the parts of the psyche
responsible for processing guilt, loss, rebirth and redemption.

Residue collects stories first published in Open Wide Magazine, The Rue
Bella & Aesthetica amongst others, as well as many which have never
appeared in print until now.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Excerpt from Dirt:

The birds are calling to me. I never sleep with the curtains drawn or the
window closed, and so here, on a glaringly obvious Spring morning, I can
see and hear the sparrows and the starlings perched on the annexe roof of
my neighbour's house.

Soft tiny-boned bodies of sparrows, oily-blue streaked wings of starlings.
It is past six o'clock and their whistle-pitched awakening insists on
rising me from my bed. Still I remain here. I am between jobs at the moment
and, despite the birds, there is really not a lot to get up for.

The sun seeps through recalcitrant clouds like yellow dye penetrating white
cotton. When I worked at the designers I regularly arrived home with a
mixture of colours under my nails. At my lunch break I would eat my
wholemeal sandwiches carefully, consider my hands with their jaundiced skin
and soft tips. The clouds return this memory almost as if they are
air-brushed away.

Now holding up my hands there remain only dark-dirt blemishes under
creamy-white cuticles. I use my left lower incisor to manoeuvre the dirt,
edge it towards the sides of each fingertip then I spit it out onto the
bed. It disappears from sight as I move my body under the blankets. Despite
the sun magnified by the window it is cool enough for an excuse not to get
out of bed.

The house is quiet. Although it is terraced I have the luxury of elderly
neighbours. The only noise they make is when they are purring for their
cats.

Karen should be with me. One of her spindly arms should be lying across my
chest, her long brown hair patterning the skin on my shoulder whilst I try
to remain still despite the itching. I should be able to sense familiar
exhalations as she sleeps, her warm breath slightly fetid but acceptable in
the way that the intimate feel almost heroic in disregarding.

She should be here of course, her body preparing itself to awaken and smile
at me. But for the past five months she has performed this ritual with
another.

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Andrew Hook
Published by Halfcut Publications (2006)
ISBN 10: 0954953517 ISBN 13: 9780954953515
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