The Boy who Cried Woof!

By Col Hellmuth

sfgenre“How's about that young-un, Gertrude?”

I munched thoughtfully awhile, before answering: “What young-un 's that then, Daisy?”

“Young Billy, the Farmer's boy.”

“Oh, that one. How's about what with 'im?”

“Bruiser reckons 'e's learnt 'is self to talk, sort of.”

I continued to chew whole-heartedly. I was famished.

“Reckons the boy said ‘Woof,’ to 'im!”

“Go on! Pull the other tit!”

“Serious, like,” contended Daisy.

“Well I nev'r. Well. I. Nev'r,” I expostulated.

“I know!

I leaned my head in, conspiratorially close to Daisy's, “I reckon Bruiser might be a Nazi,” I slobbered. “Or one of them Klan members, maybe.”

“Don't be daft!” she scolded. “Honestly, y' think you're so bleedin' clever nowadays—like Miss-bloody-Marple—since you found those books o' young Billy's, 'e left lying around.”

“I can't help that I've a healthy appetite for books, Daisy. We can't all go through life being ignore-ants.”

“You certainly did devour them,” conceded Daisy. “Master Billy weren't too impressed about it though. Heard 'im complaining to 'is father that the library wouldn't take them back all chewed. 

—What's an Ignore ant, then?”

Daisy has an obsession with ants. I don't think it's healthy. “It's another name for a sheep,” I explained.

“I didn't know sheep was related to ants, Gertie—what with them bein' woolly an' havin' a different number of legs an' all,” Daisy stared off into the distance, dreamily.

“— Anyhow, I heard Bruiser boastin' about how his parents were pure-bloods, or some such like! And he is blond too like those Aryan lot!”

“That's pure-breads you unliterary heifer. Means they're special like the Queen, or Elvis Presley or that Bee Bee feller. Like butter is more pure than marg'e. Hence the bread reference.”

“Don't be calling me ‘un-thingummy-airy’ — you skinny cow,” I snorted back. “Everyone who isn't dumb knows margarine isn't less pure than butter, it just comes out of veg'ables instead. Pureed veg'ables — Sister!”

“And where d' you figure butter comes from, dumb-bum?”

I had to admit I didn't know.

Pfffpht!” said Nellie.

Nellie has been a bit highly strung — an', dare I say it, hoity-toity — ever since she started frequenting ‘The Races.’ Time was she got over herself. I'll wager the la-de-dah Ladies at Flemington still fart just like everyone else.

Bruiser could hear every word we murmured, from where he was reclining lazily in the dirt on the far side of the barn, of course. As always, he chose not to respond out of a genuine disinterest. 

***

A click pricked Bruiser's ears and triggered a genteel wag of his tail. Then a squeak, then a slam — that none of us could miss — signalled a boy-shaped projectile; catapulted from homestead entrance, flung across verandah and thrown down stairs.

“'Ere comes the young-un, Billy, now!”

Billy came running down the dusty path to the barn, milk-pail in hand, kicking at the chickens as he went. He strode up to Nellie first. Like he owned the place. Put his face right up to hers.

 “Neigh!” he shouted.

Young Nellie took a step back in fright and ungraciously shat herself. Poor dear, she wasn't used to being spoken to like that—and by the likes of 'im, no less!

Daisy was outraged. I could tell by 'er countenance. She does that to let off steam. I don't believe she really can do ‘The Mathematics.’ Whenever you ask 'er how many ants she counted, she always answers: “Lots.”

Young Billy sauntered over to her then, with a ludicrously exaggerated gait and proceeded to stare, unblinkingly, into her big brown cow-eyes. Daisy blew a perfect snot-bubble out of her left nostril. It got to be almost the size of one of Clucky's eggs, before it silently popped. Not that Clucky would likely be in the mood to lay 'er egg today—not after bein' kicked at. Stubborn old chook. Probably keep the rest of us up all night now, cluckin' about an ache in 'er cloaca. 

Moo!” Billy yelled, at the top of his lungs.

SOD OFF —YOU SNOOTY LITTLE GIT!” bellowed Daisy back, at the top o' hers.

Billy fell over backwards, dropping his empty bucket; scrabbled frantically back to his feet like a dung-beetle, then ran off—squealing like a stuck pig—in search of his mother.

We all 'ad a good laugh about that. Even old Bruiser took time off from licking his bollocks, to 'ave a bit of a snigger.

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About the Author

Col Hellmuth

col hellmuthCol Hellmuth lives a quiet, uncomplicated life, off-grid in the Daintree rainforest of Far North Queensland.

He has scratched out a living in a variety of different jobs (and locations) over the years; these days he scratches out words in various sequences, and dreams of a day when he might be able to convert some of these ramblings into food.

When he is not writing or enslaved at work he is usually found bumming around his local beach dodging crocs in his kayak or jamming on the blues-harp.

He doesn't have any fancy letters after his name, or a pet cat, but does read a lot.

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AntiSF's Production Crew

nuke conflux 2017 200Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia’s longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998, and conceived back around November 2007. He has been a zealous reader and occasional writer of SF since his childhood in the 1960s, and even sold a few stories here and there back in the '90s.

“Nuke”, who it turns out loves editing more than writing, lives in the New South Wales North Coast holiday destination of Nambucca Heads, where he is self-employed in IT training, computer support, desktop publishing, editing, writing, and website implementation. He is also the resident tech-head, skeptic, and board member of community radio station 2NVR, where he produces a number of shows including The AntipodeanSF Radio Show.

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mark web 200Mark Webb's midlife crisis came in the form of attempting to write speculative fiction at a very slow pace. His wife maintains this is a good outcome considering the more expensive and cliched alternatives. Evidence of Mark's attempts to procrastinate in his writing, including general musings and reviews of books he has been reading, can be found at www.markwebb.name.

One of Mark’s very best forms of writing procrastination is to produce the eBook series for AntipodeanSF, which he has been doing since issue 175.

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In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 275

Big Yellow Taxi
By Ishmael A. Soledad

Heart of Lightness
By Gary Griffith

Hunting in the Dark
By Marcelo Medone

Hydra
By R. E. Diaz

Lunch
By Jenny England

On the Brink
By Ed Errington

The Gods in Their Galleries (Part Two)
By Rick Kennett

Shadows of Icarus
By Stephen R. Brandt

The Letter
By Robin Hillard

The Story of the Match Between Areseth the Magnificent and Noj the Invincible
By William Kitcher

This Time, For Sure
By Rex Caleval

AntipodeanSF July 2021

ISSUE 274

Speculative Fiction
Downside-Up
ISSN 1442-0686

Online Since Feb 1998

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AntiSF's Narration Team

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Carolyn's work spans devising, performance, theatre-in-education and a collaborative visual art practice.

She tours children's works to schools nationally with School Performance Tours, is a member of the Bathurst physical theatre ensemble Lingua Franca and one half of darkroom — a visual arts practice with videographer Sean O'Keeffe.

(Photo by Jeremy Belinfante) 

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sarah pratt 200Sarah Pratt is an avid fiction writer and a Marketing Consultant.

She is currently working on her first novel but loves diving into short stories to bring a little lightness, intrigue or humour to the day.

Her work has appeared in Sponge Magazine and The Commuting Book.

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alistair lloyd 200Alistair Lloyd is a Melbourne based writer and narrator who has been consuming good quality science fiction and fantasy most of his life.

You may find him on Twitter as <@mr_al> and online at <alistairlloyd.com>.

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tim borellaTim Borella has never lost his childhood passion for SF and writing in general and has been lucky enough to have worked most of his life as a pilot — in other words, he’s never properly grown up.

He lives in country Far North Queensland, has won awards for songwriting, and has had various other writing achievements, the most recent being an honourable mention in the 2018 international Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition.

He also has bachelor degrees in science and teaching, and has completed a couple of as-yet unpublished SF novels. He’d dearly love to spend more time writing, but will have to continue juggling for another couple of years until the kids have fully left the nest.

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lauriebell 2 200Laurie Bell lives in Melbourne, Australia. She was that girl you found with her nose always buried in a book. She has been writing ever since she was a little girl and first picked up a pen. From books to short stories, radio plays to snippets of ideas and reading them aloud to anyone who will listen.

She is the author of The Butterfly Stone and The Tiger's Eye (YA/Fantasy) White Fire (Sci-Fi) and The Good, the Bad and the Undecided (a unique collection of short stories set during the events of White Fire/Sci-Fi). 

You can read more of her work on her blog <www.solothefirst.wordpress.com> Look for her on Facebook <www.facebook.com/WriterLaurieBell/> or Twitter: <@LaurienotLori>

Rambles, writing and amusing musings

Smile! laugh out loud! enjoy the following

<www.solothefirst.wordpress.com>

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ed erringtonAlthough a writer of the baby boom persuasion, Ed has not boomed for quite a while.

He lives with his wife plus a menagerie of non-domesticated — native Australian animals intropical North Queensland.

His writing within the ‘real’ science fiction context of COVID-19 is intermingled by long night sky vigils — searching for pesky aliens intent on maintaining their social distance to the nth degree.

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marg essex 200Margaret lives the good life on a small piece of rural New South Wales Australia, with an amazing man, a couple of pets, and several rambunctious wombats.

She feels so lucky to be a part of the AntiSF team.

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mark english 100Mark is an astrophysicist and space scientist who worked on the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn. Following this he worked in computer consultancy, engineering, and high energy research (with a stint at the JET Fusion Torus).

All this science hasn't damped his love of fantasy and science fiction. It has, however, ruined his enjoyment of rainbows, colourful flames on romantic log fires, and rings around the moon. He has previously been published in Stupefying Stories Showcase, Everyday Fiction, Escape Pod, Perihelion and also on AntipodeanSF where he is part of the narration team.

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geraldine borella 200Geraldine Borella writes adult short stories and stories for children and has been published in anthologies for both. In 2018, one of her children’s short stories placed second in The Buzz Words Short Story Prize and she won an ASA Emerging Writer’s Mentorship. She currently works part-time as a hospital pharmacist and as an online creative writing tutor.

She’s fascinated by stories that expand upon today’s technology, addressing the moral and ethical issues that might arise. Equally, she enjoys the creative freedom that writing for children allows. Right now, she’s writing a young adult novel, reworking a middle grade novel and writing adult short stories when inspiration strikes. She lives with her husband, Tim, in Yungaburra, Far North Queensland and dreams of one day taking a European gap year.

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garry dean narratorGarry Dean lives on the Mid Coast of New South Wales Australia, and has been a fan of SF for most of his natural life. Being vision impaired, he makes good use of voice recognition and text to speech in order to write. Many of his stories have appeared in AntipodeanSF over the years, and his love of all things audio led him to join the narration team in 2017.

You can read examples of Garry's fiction on his website <https://garrydean.wordpress.com>

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The AntipodeanSF Radio Show

AntiSF Radio Show

antipod-show-50The AntipodeanSF Radio Show delivers audio from the pages of this magazine.

The weekly program features the stories from recently published issues, usually narrated by the authors themselves.

Listen to the latest episode now:

The AntipodeanSF Radio Show is also broadcast on community radio, 2NVR, 105.9FM every Saturday evening at 8:30pm.

You can find every broadcast episode online here: http://antisf.libsyn.com 

SF Quote

We should grant power over affairs only to those who are reluctant to hold it and then only under conditions that increase the reluctance.

Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune

The Contributors

Dan McNeilDan McNeil's short fiction and reviews have appeared in a plethora of publications, including Alienist Manifesto, Antipodean SF, Bewildering Stories, Fantastic Metropolis, Fugitives & Futurists, Ink Magazine, Laura Hird’s Showcase, Mad Hatter’s Review, Outsider Ink, Redsine, Sein und Werden, The Short Review, Whispers of Wickedness and Word Riot.

Dan's website is at <www.dan-mcneil.com>; he can also be found on Twitter as @TheMcVariations, and Instagram as <@thedanmcneil>.

pv andrews 200P.V. Andrews lives in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs with her husband, children, and cat.

Past jobs have included karaoke hostess, English teaching in Tokyo and assessing ethics applications for research projects.

She has a master’s degree in bioethics, loves travel and is currently fascinated by CRISPR.

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chris karageorge 200Chris Karageorge is a lover, brother, son, neighbour and a keen observer of all things in sight. 

He reads, writes and cooks in his spare time and dreams of coffee darker than a moonless night. 

He is from Melbourne, Victoria and can be found walking his pug Monty during the weekends.

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Len BaglowDreams of worlds that might be, and the clash that brings them into existence.

In past lives he was a policy advocate in Canberra and an environmental activist in Queensland.

In awe of such great Australian SF authors as Glenda Larke, Garth Nix, Trudi Canarvan and Kate Forsythe, he dares to dabble in the arcane art.

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kyosuke higuchi 200Kyosuke Higuchi writes science fiction, speculative fiction, and literary essays. His debut novel, Kōzōsōshi [Structure Elements], won the fifth Hayakawa SF Contest in 2017. 

His short fiction has appeared in Syosetsu Subaru, S-F Magazine, and Bungei, among others. 

His latest book is a collection of essays entitled Subete namonaki mirai (2020). 

Kyosuke lives with his wife and young daughter in Nagoya, Japan. Find him on Twitter at <https://twitter.com/rrr_kgknk>.

william kerr 200William Kerr is a self-professed science fiction enthusiast. He was born and raised in Tasmania but now calls Canberra home.

His personal preference is hard science fiction and dystopian-style stories which definitely influenced his first published piece ‘The Burning’.

He is looking forward to publishing more flash fiction and is hoping to become a regular contributor.

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Toshiya Kamei holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas.

His translations have appeared in venues such as Clarkesworld, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and World Literature Today.

col hellmuthCol Hellmuth lives a quiet, uncomplicated life, off-grid in the Daintree rainforest of Far North Queensland.

He has scratched out a living in a variety of different jobs (and locations) over the years; these days he scratches out words in various sequences, and dreams of a day when he might be able to convert some of these ramblings into food.

When he is not writing or enslaved at work he is usually found bumming around his local beach dodging crocs in his kayak or jamming on the blues-harp.

He doesn't have any fancy letters after his name, or a pet cat, but does read a lot.

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kim rose profile pic 200Kim Rose has been a professional ghost writer for five years, specialising in paranormal and sci fi romance. She has her own self-published romance series which is her answer to the restrictions of the current market, pushing the idea of what happily ever after really means.

Kim is also an accomplished photographer and model, creating a wide variety of digital art. 

She lives in Central NSW on a large property where she runs Crescent Moon Lodge Animal Refuge, supporting the animal rescue effort. 

You can follow Kimrg666 on these pages: 

The New Recruit (Tales from the MadHouse Book 1) eBook: Rose, Kim: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store

<https://www.deviantart.com/kalikapsychosis>

Kim Rose (@kimrg6_6_6) • Instagram photos and videos

Crescent Moon Lodge Animal Refuge - Home | Facebook

<https://www.facebook.com/Kimrg666-Artist-112433517156278>

<https://www.patreon.com/kimrg666>

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ProfilePic 2Natalie has tried everything from Air Traffic Control to Zoology, but writing has been the one constant across all the years.

She had her first publication in Antipodean SF and can still remember the heady excitement of that first acceptance.

She is eternally grateful for that first flush of encouragement, and is proud to be one of the regular contributors.

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kevinjphyland 200Old enough to just remember the first manned Moon landing, Kevin was so impressed he made science his life.

Retired now from teaching he amuses himself by reading, writing, following his love of weather and correcting people on the internet.

He’s been writing since his teens and hopes he will one day get it right.

He can be found on twitter @KevinPhyland where he goes by the handle of CaptainZero and his work is around the place if you search using google or use the antisf.com.au archive.

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rick kennett 200I'm a life-long resident of Melbourne, Australia, where I work in the transport industry. I like to explore graveyards, an odd hobby I call necrotourism, although I believe the correct word is taphophile.

I've been writing since 1979 and have had SF and ghost stories in many magazines, anthologies and podcasts. In 2008 my story "The Dark and What It Said" won a Ditmar, and in 2013 my podcast stories "Now Cydonia" and "The Road to Utopia Plain" won two Parsec Awards. I'm presently the podcast reporter for the M.R. James journal Ghosts & Scholars.

"The Gods in their Galleries" is a sequel to my novel "Presumed Dead", available on Amazon.

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