Hey you! This week’s episode of Death Of 1000 Cuts has me and Joe Dunthorne talking about another first page.

The show needs first pages to be submitted if we’re to have stuff to discuss – so hey, don’t rely on other people. Get critiqued! Read our submission guidelines then send me your work. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Soundcloud and iTunes so you get it as soon as I upload it.

Please share this podcast with anyone who you think might enjoy it or benefit from it. And that’s it. Housekeeping over. Here’s the extract we looked at:

Untitled (by Anya)

“God damn it, Sarah, where are you?” I yell at the top of my lungs, striding towards the empty trapeze. “Sarah, why the hell isn’t your ass practicing right now?” I say. This is ridiculous. Sarah, of all people, missing tonight, of all nights? I can’t believe it.

Something soft hits my foot, and I stop. The gravel paths are supposed to be completely cleared for opening night. I look down, and see a bloodless, severed head.

No, I don’t.

I see a headshot: Sarah’s. It’s black and white and the wind must have lifted it off my desk and out the window and on the ground and now I’m touching it and it feels like flesh and so I scream.

I scream. Then I breath. Then I scream again. Then I scramble backwards. I bump into another piece of flesh, but this one’s warm, and chest shaped.

It says, “Sorry, boss. Is everything okay? I heard you scream.” It’s Zachary, the fire juggler.

I turn around to face him. I’m panting, and I can’t answer. I start patting my pockets for a cellphone. Of course, there are no pockets in this damn ringmaster gettup.

“Phone,” I say, reaching out my hand to Zachary. I’m shaking.

He fishes one out of the pockets of his shorts. It comes away covered in ash. Some dissonant part of me is glad that he, at least, was practicing. I dial the phone. An operator with a maddening smooth voice says, “911, what’s your emergency?”

1 thought on “Death Of 1000 Cuts – Podcast Episode 10”

  1. Regarding the head, I read iy (albeit on the 2nd or 3rd pass) that it actually is a severed head. He finds the head but in the shock his brain tries to normalise it and offers up an alternative explanation that it’s just a headshot, but then he touches it and realises it is flesh, hence the screaming and dialling of 911. Although that doesn’t explain the total lack of reaction from Zachary to the severed head on the ground…

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