I am a fraud, and a coward. 

Let’s get that out of the way right at the start . Having made my bold declaration of intent to grab a spade and start digging up my past, I have failed utterly to do so. I could make excuses; in fact, I shall make excuses:

  • I was dreadfully tired after I recorded this episode. That’s not unusual – pretty typical, actually – only this time I fought the demon Morpheus, because I wanted to read more Saki. I’d never really dug into him before, because my prison library only includes this one story, Sredni Vashtar, as part of a collection. Now I’ve found the whole lot available online, and I gorged myself until the darkness claimed me. Then, of course, I was utterly useless for days and days, and had a pretty nasty crick in my neck from passing out in an armchair.
  • My diary smells odd. It's a musty, ashy sort of smell, and I don’t like it. Petty? Obviously. All the same, I don’t like touching it, don’t even like being near it. And yes, I’m well aware that it’s all Psychology 101 stuff, bad associations with traumatic experiences and so forth. I’m sure it’s very weak and contemptible of me to have shut the thing up in the Kingwood, but that’s a compromise we’ll both just have to live with for the moment. I can look at it through the glass; it can look at me, if it likes. We’ll be ready for each other one day. Or not. I am not a prophet.  

Anyhow, if I can’t bring myself to read my own diary I can at least read that of Maupassant’s distinguished spade-wielding assassin. I do hope you enjoy it. And, as an added bonus, I’ve stuck Sredni Vashtar into this episode as well! All praise be to the hutch god, and may we never forget the power of positive thinking. 


Care to read them for yourself? Here's The Diary of a Madman, by Guy de Maupassant. And here's a link for Sredni Vashtar, by Saki - while you're there, you may as well read the whole book. It's got an introduction by A.A. Milne, who must have had rather a different perspective on the relationship between imaginative small boys and the animals they love.
 


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