Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Deb Loves Robbie

I'm pleased to say that "Easter Eggs & Bunny Boilers", the anthology edited by Matt Shaw, was published as an ebook exclusive on Easter Sunday.  It's my first time working with Matt, I'm part of a terrific ToC and the book features my story "Deb Loves Robbie", a tale of bad families, love and resurrection.
Matt Shaw invites you to learn the true meaning of Easter. Yes. That's right. Easter. Learn the true meaning of Easter in this anthology featuring some of the biggest names in horror right now with authors from across the globe. 

Come, take his hand, and experience demented rabbits, chocolate obsessed children drowning in their own greed, serial killers, resurrection and more in this collection guaranteed to kill the cravings of your sweet tooth. 


Introduction from Jim Mcleod

Desserts, by Matt Shaw

Bastard Bunny, by David Owain Hughes

He Is Risen, by Duncan Ralston

The Chickens And The Three Gods, by Kit Power

Wicker Baskets, by Kindra Sowder

My Last Easter, by Jack Rollins

Lepus, by Stuart Keane

Little Bunny, by Glenn Rolfe

Run Rabbit, Run, by Michael Bray

When A Bunny Snaps, by Jim Goforth

Help Me, by Neil Buchanan

Educating Horace, by Matt Hickman

Deb Loves Robbie, by Mark West

Tradition, by Kyle M. Scott

Hey-Zeus, by Duncan P. Bradshaw

Feldman’s Rabbit, by Rich Hawkins

On The Third Day, by Graeme Reynolds

Easter Eggs, by Chantal Noordeloos

Easter Hunt, by J R Park

The Jesus Loophole, by Luke Smitherd



The ebook is available from 



Having 'almost' met Matt at FantasyCon in Nottingham last year (we saw each other but didn't get a chance to speak), I friended him on Facebook and he wrote back that same day, inviting me me into this anthology.  I liked the concept, I liked the style (Matt works towards the more extreme end of the horror spectrum and whilst I don't so much these days, it was interesting to head back over there briefly) and so I signed up immediately.

The story had to be about Easter and I got the opening line 'The Easter Bunny killed Deb Swales' straight away, with the opening of the story coming out during that evenings walk.  More ideas slotted into place as the week (and evening walk miles) went by and watching "Psycho" on TV added the finishing touch.  I enjoyed writing this - though some of the research was a bit unpleasant - and I'm pleased to have written a tale that's honest, loving and very grim.

This time he hit my ear and the thud deafened me.  I went down, my right temple hitting the slick concrete.  I watched three pairs of trainers come towards me, felt someone grab the collar of my jacket and pull me up.  A kick landed in my ribs and I felt something crack.  Another kick caught my right shoulder, jarring my arm in the socket.  Gary punched my forehead and I closed my eyes, tried to bring my hands up to protect my face.  More blows rained on my arms and chest, more kicks hit my thighs and shins.  Someone kicked me in the groin and blackened lightbulbs flashed across my field of vision, slowly turning red.  Something ran into my eyes, blinding me.  Another punch, another kick, another horrible cracking sound.

More black lightbulbs and then nothing.

I woke up in hospital.  The first thing Deb said, after telling me she loved me, was that she’d lied to the doctors and said I’d been mugged.  Her brothers beat me until I looked like a rag doll, then threatened her that if she told or was seen with me again, they’d fix her.  She rang an ambulance from the pub and said everyone in there knew who she was but none of them offered to help.

The sovereign rings had done some damage but the pretty nurse who stitched me up did a good job and my broken ribs were taped.  What nobody could fix was the damage done inside my head.

The doctors said I’d suffered a TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury.  I wanted to crack that old joke, the “what brain?” one, but I couldn’t find all the right words and they said that was to be expected.  TBI damage can be wide-ranging, they said and vary a lot.  They told me I could have physical effects, like balance problems and headaches and dizziness, or my thinking and behaviour could be badly affected.

Was I sure, they asked, that I didn’t know who’d done it?  I took one look at Deb and the panic on her face - for me, for her, for us - and said no.

When I was released, Deb and I moved into the flat and neither of us spoke to our families.  We laid low, to avoid the world for a while and lived our lives as I slowly built my strength back up - though I found it harder and harder to remember how to fix even the most simple of things at work.

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