fluke james herbert

And I waited. I was alone again in an empty world and with an empty head. A sleek Jaguar stopped behind the Granada and the Guvnor stepped out; he changed his cars with more frequency than most people checked their tyres. ‘Hello .. .’ a man’s voice began to say, and he entered the room, a smile on his face. I knew (how did I know?) You’re different and I don’t know why. ‘What would be the point of two?’ I countered. Nicknamed Fluke, it (or he) embarks on a journey to discover the truth behind what had caused his death. ‘Keep your voice down,’ he reprimanded, waiting so I could catch up. ‘I’m not. When we emerged, I stopped at a water-trough and, resting my paws on its edge, had a good tongue-lapping drink. This ain’t meals-on-wheels yer know, Rumbo, I can’t start feedin’ all yer mates.’ The man shook his head disapprovingly at Rumbo, but nevertheless dropped the sausage between us. Rumbo was the more daring, actually leaping up and giving the man a gentle push in the back when his attention was on me. O.K.?’. She tried to soothe me over the clamour of the other children, pleading with me not to be afraid, but my mind was paralysed with one thought. Don’t be dead, I prayed. We often got found out before he’d grabbed anything useful, but that didn’t spoil the enjoyment of the game. The wreck he was climbing on to was unsteady, and it tottered precariously for a few sickening moments, nearly causing him to slither back down into the yard. I had been into pubs a few times with my previous master and had always found the smell of alcohol unpleasant but not disturbing. The door of the hut swung open and the Guvnor stepped out. Everything glistened, everything shone with wetness. I’ve talked with, ate with, and played with so many different species my head aches trying to remember them all. He was perched on the roof of a car and looking down at us contemptuously. Hands grabbed me from behind and I realised Carol was trying to tug me away, obviously afraid I would kill the man. And end they did one dull and drizzly day. Do you belong to a man?’, ‘No, I don’t belong to anyone. But all the same I wondered just how aware Rumbo was. Her whole body quivered with a rising fury that threatened to dismantle her frail old body. I yelped in pain and tried to draw myself away and up. Lenny levered out a little round mint again and, in exaggerated motions, showed it to me, then placed it under one of the mugs. Fluke is the moving story of a dog with the memories of a human, with the signature twisting plot James Herbert is famed for. Newman? Nothing happened. The experience drained me of what strength I had left and I fell into a deep undisturbed sleep. A stout wooden stick cracked across his nose and Rumbo staggered away from the sprawling policeman who immediately scrambled to his feet and joined in the chase after the Guvnor again. Click here for the lowest price! He was a stringy mongrel, wandering the streets of the city, driven by a ravenous hunger and hunting a quarry he could not define. How could she change from being a charming, delicate old lady one moment into a raging monster the next? Unable to add item to List. All I ask is that you let your mind listen, that you forget for a moment your prejudices and beliefs; when I’ve finished my story you can decide for yourself. What did he know of man? She ran towards the gap where I was crouched neither in nor out. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 July 2019. She managed to do so and pulled upwards with all her strength. ‘What are you talking about? The next stage wasn’t far off though, and of course I was quite unprepared for it. He actually walked himself to the ambulance which had arrived by then, and I could see him twisting his head, peering into the gloom, looking for me. If I can get a good grip with my teeth at the bottom of the barrier, I can pull it up so we can get underneath. The sight of nice juicy puppy flesh may have had something to do with their fearlessness, and in those early days my life was often in jeopardy, and it’s thanks to Rumbo that I’m still in one piece today. I gulped at the understatement. ‘There may be a way you can be used, though,’ she said thoughtfully. Dog and rat would meet in midair and the ensuing fight would be almost too frenzied to follow with the eye. Was that why I was different? ‘That’s what I said, Guv,’ Ronald chimed in. Pushing my nose round it, I peered into the gloom. Images rebounded around the walls of my mind, merging, splitting, rejoining, bedevilling me into a state of complete disorientation. He blinked again and said, ‘Nice enough.’. I tried to squeeze through the narrowing gap as the door closed on me but had to withdraw when my nose was in jeopardy. Fluke by Herbert, James and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at AbeBooks.co.uk. Unfortunately (more so for us), Miss Birdie’s sweeping blow at Victoria had also dislodged more plates, together with a few hanging cups and a small antique vase. Now rats aren’t generally given much to conversation, most of them just spit and swear or scowl a lot, but this was the talkingest rat I’d ever come across. ‘No, please, I’m just passing through. Please try your request again later. However, this had the smell of sickness. My instincts were right, for later that night my sleep was disturbed by the badger. Was I from London? Books. But, as I keep telling you, dogs are born optimists; I decided to be constructive about my plight. The coming of winter, forced us to cut down on this kind of activity unfortunately, for the parks were empty and the ice-cream vans in hibernation. They ranted at each other for another five minutes before their anger finally boiled over. ‘All right then, let it in,’ she said with a sigh. The white lines widened as they emerged from the black hole. Fluke, a 1995 album by Canadian rock band Rusty; Fluke (band), a British electronic dance music group Fluke, a 1995 film directed by Carlo Carlei; Fluke (General Hospital), a character in the American television series General HospitalFluke, a 1977 novel by English horror writer James Herbert; Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings, a 2003 novel by Christopher Moore Don’t make a nuisance of yourself or we’ll get nothing,’ he scolded. Then I caught the first whiff of food, and my attention was captured. They were good, those days with Rumbo. The people just didn’t realise: I had problems! After a man dies in a car crash, he is reincarnated as a dog and attempts to reconnect with his family. I couldn’t just stand by and let them take the Guvnor; Rumbo had a loyalty to him and that meant I had too. She backed away and I followed unsteadily on my two back legs. She became even more surprised when I started panting and wagging my tail even harder. You know me, though, don’t you? Perhaps I should stay with this kind old lady and forget my quest, which might just bring me more misery. His first two books, The Rats and The Fog, were disaster novels with man-eating giant black rats in the first and an accidentally released chemical weapon in the second. ‘You get this down you, honey,’ she said, dropping the hot finger of meat into my open mouth. Those first terror-filled nights when I howled in the darkness for my brothers and sisters — my mother — he took me up to his sleeping-place. I entered the shop doorway I’d been heading for and skidded along the floor in an effort to prevent myself crashing into a tall thing which held brightly coloured squarish objects. I enjoyed the muted singing that came from the church immensely, occasionally joining in at the bits I knew. (I’ll bet he’s still got those two rows of indents on either side of his snout today.). ‘Funny thing is,’ he remarked, ‘the constable was only investigating a couple of thieving dogs when he spotted Smiley’s car. Sometimes he ties me up when he wants to make sure I stay in all night, and sometimes he kicks me hard for shouting too loudly. I sensed his pleasure and the noise continued. I inwardly cursed myself for being so stupid and allowing myself to be used as a decoy by the fox. Rumbo was ready. The Guvnor understood this and their relationship was based on mutual respect. I wasn’t really grovelling for titbits. ‘Make it do somethin’ more difficult.’, The group of men thought hard for a few moments, then one spotted a couple of tin mugs standing on the hut’s windowsill. ‘Down you go, pup, put your head under or you’ll never get rid of them!’. Half the tin of dogfood was poured on to a plate and placed on the floor, together with a dish full of water. ‘You go on about your hunting. By some fluke he had been born as a dog. With a great effort of will, I stopped my barking and waited. Then the light exploded into pain, and I was a dog again, fleeing in a straight line across the paths of screeching cars and buses. ‘Oh don’t worry, it wasn’t only that. Settle down.’ Carol reached forward and patted the top of my head. ‘Are you all right?’ I asked as I rushed over to Rumbo. A dog wanders the streets, compelled by a ravenous hunger. I adopted this secretive attitude myself and skulked around as stealthily as I could in search of a resting-place. Barking in my eagerness, I increased my speed and hurtled down that High Street like a bullet from a gun. I stiffened to attention. ‘ ‘Allo Rumbo, boy!’ He beamed down at my tail-wagging friend; his mood seemed good. Free to live as a dog. Very Good. The girl gave chase but in a half-hearted way as I scurried from corner to corner. I sprang forward again and she leapt upwards on to the draining-board, knocking down the pile of crockery left there to dry by Miss Birdie. I gave myself a good shake then sped onwards, determined to get clear of the farmer’s land. ‘Where are we going?’ I asked him, but he ignored me, his step becoming faster, excitement tightening his movements. The plastics factory was easy to locate too. Nothing wrong with the book. I gave a little yap at the man above me, demanding his attention. But he was also something more. I bounded after her and tried to leap into her arms, slobbering and grinning and desperately trying to fawn my way into her heart and charity. I hope it’s the latter — that could mean a development for all of us is taking place. It’s such a treat to lick a human hand or face; the sweat on every part of a human body still holds the food recently eaten and the saltiness gives it a special tang of its own. One hand reached inside his skin and emerged with a thin-looking object. And then the pain and the light and the screaming became too much and I was dead. This didn’t improve Miss Birdie’s humour one bit, for the soot formed a fine black layer on the area around the fireplace. Fluke is the moving story of a dog with the memories of a human, with the signature twisting plot James Herbert is famed for. Don’t you remember having hands, having fingers that you could use? If they kept repeating a sound to you, sometimes kindly, sometimes harshly, then that was probably your name. ‘O.K. So we feasted, me and the fat lady, happy in each other’s company, both of us demolishing our piece of sausage sandwich in seconds, grinning and smacking our lips at each other when we’d done. Apart from the chef, who had his stout back turned to us while he was busy stirring a huge cauldron of simmering soup, the kitchen was empty. I waited till she was half-way round the table, my front legs down, chin almost touching the floor, haunches high and quivering, then I shot beneath the table, heading for the open doorway — and straight into the arms of the weasel. I tugged and pulled the rope, calling for the Guvnor to come back and let me loose; it was no use, he wouldn’t listen. ‘Scat! I was a pup, and a confused one at that. I leapt from the chair just as the son lunged past his mother, claws outstretched to throttle me. Maybe everything he told me was right. I gazed rapturously at the blue ceiling for several moments until the rays of the sun made my eyes mist over, causing me to blink rapidly. Then I was in among other warm bodies which froze, went icy cold when the dogs opened their eyes and saw me. Fluke is the moving story of a dog with the memories of a human, with the signature twisting plot James Herbert is famed for. I’m special too, but in a different way, as I told you: I’m here to help. The Guvnor walked round to the back of the hut to where an old plastic bowl lay and emptied the contents of the bag into it. I curled up my own weary body between her mountainous tummy and the back of the settee and soon I was deep in slumber too. Now, I was disturbed, I admit it. I was a long way from that cottage before I collapsed into an exhausted heap, and had already resolved never to return. Rumbo skipped from the yard. I don’t remember being conscious of this sudden impersonal attitude in me at the time, and it’s only now, in times of almost complete lucidity, that I’m aware of the changes which have taken place in my personality over the years. But then aren’t you worse? It would be a bitch in heat of course, somewhere in the neighbourhood, possibly a couple of miles away, but I was too young to know about such things. Paperback, 9780330522595, 0330522590 Having no choice, I followed. Fluke is the moving story of a dog with the memories of a human, with the signature twisting plot James Herbert is famed for. Her toothless mouth opened to let the raging soundless cry escape, and when I looked into that gummy mouth, the human part of me realised what lay chewed, twisted and splintered between my paws. Fluke is the moving story of a dog with the memories of a human, with the signature twisting plot James Herbert is famed for. Anger, spurred on by this fear, poured from me. My head was dazed and spinning, not just with the physical blow it had received, but with the facts that had been revealed to me. ‘Rest there, nice and comfy, and I’ll just light the fire for us. I backed away, aware that these creatures could be fierce if alarmed or angered. Let’s see what we can find yer.’ The head disappeared from my view so I rushed to join Rumbo, excitement at the prospect of food elating me. ‘Get after them! There was only black countryside ahead. This would usually create a fine din and pretty soon a white-skin would throw a cold-making liquid over our struggling bodies. You got a name?’, I shook my head. A flash of white leapt over me and I felt sharp teeth nip at my ear. The moment soon passed and we became a frenzied heap again. And then there he was, good old Rumbo, on the tail-end of the van, snarling at the delivery man’s back, shouting defiantly at him. I studied him quietly for a few moments, then looked away. A small group of the outsiders had gathered in front of the Guvnor’s office — hut — and were awaiting his arrival. Try again. But now they only return to me in dreams. ‘Off!’ he commanded, jerking his thumb away from the settee. The Guvnor had disappeared inside the hut and I could hear music blaring from a radio. There’s a few regulars who do the work around here, mess around with those heaps of junk, and things; bring new ones in. Tangled undergrowth lay on either side of the narrow path and there was a constant rustling of hidden life as we made our way along it. Utterly dejected, I entered the hospital grounds, found a quiet corner in the yard at the rear of the white single-storey building, and slept. His hands made gestures of surprise, alarm and concern; he nodded his head gravely, then shook it equally as gravely. Have I ever let you down?’. ‘Sure, after I’ve bitten his head off,’ she said. It had been an afternoon of wandering and wondering; the sun had been dimmed by the steady drizzle and the damp had made the people even more insulated. Looking about, I saw that he was back in the centre of the pond. Later on, Miss Birdie stirred and began to get ready to go out. Not too hard, not too soft, and crunchy when I bit down firmly. ‘I’ll kill ‘im!’ was all I heard before I sank my teeth into his skinny nose. ‘You’re a hungry little thing, aren’t you? Prime. A meaty bone, soggy cornflakes, bits of bacon fat and half a chocolate bar fell into the bowl, a rich concoction of leftovers. Different from most I’ve met.’. International bestseller James Herbert's Fluke follows a stringy mongrel, wandering the streets of the city, driven by a ravenous hunger and hunting a quarry he could not define. Why was he so evil to me? So on I went. Just like the old man, God rest him, same blood in ‘em. ‘ ‘Old on, Lenny.’ A different man spoke this time. The thing to do was obvious: the means to do it a little more difficult. ‘Not likely,’ I told her as I squatted on my haunches and prepared to wait for the old lady’s return. It didn’t worry him that we would lose much of our independence: there was no standing still in business for him, only progression or regression. I was sorry not to have the dignity of Rumbo, but there’s nothing like insecurity to make you humble. Please don’t leave me!’. Herbert, James. About the Author James Herbert was not just Britain’s number one bestselling writer of chiller fiction, a position he held ever since publication of his first novel, but was also one of our greatest popular novelists. Nevertheless, to two hungry mongrels it was still a gastronomic triumph, and after we’d sucked every bone clean (I warned Rumbo not to crunch the bones — too splintery, I told him) we had a good chortle over our success. Maybe it was the shock of the roaring traffic that in some way had set off remembrances in me, shocked my system into a freakish awareness; or perhaps it would have happened in its own time anyway. He slipped almost to the floor of the van, only the confined space saving him, and his elbows sunk into the creamy goodies behind him. He bit out at everything within reach and, fortunately for both the vixen and me, we were able to leave him there with a mouthful of chicken, content in his catch as he shook the dead body and tried to rip it apart. After Miss Birdie had cleared the table and washed up, we settled in front of the fire once again. For instance, a Labrador retriever is gentle and intelligent, whereas a greyhound is generally skittish and somewhat neurotic; you can hardly say a word to the latter without getting a snappish reply. I yelped at the stinging pain and lunged for her again — very, very angry now. They’ll never catch me as long as I can run.’, ‘Rumbo, why aren’t all dogs like us? ‘What’s all the fuss, Judith? I growled at her to be quiet. I must have run for at least an hour, narrowly avoiding being run down by uncaring traffic more than once, before I reached a piece of waste ground where I was able to grieve for my lost friend in private. ‘Home. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. ‘Aah, it was a fluke. Children held hands with parents or skipped along ahead of them; grannies clutched at the elbows of middle-aged offspring; sombre husbands walked stiffly alongside beaming wives. ‘What’s yours?’, The badger chuckled dryly. London: Pan Books, 2012. Yes, everything was rosy. One other thing before I go: I met Rumbo again the other day. The temptation to steal was almost irresistible, but resist it I did. He’d known her long before I had (it was he who had introduced us) and our rivalry for her had been fierce until I had won, and then he had become a close friend to both of us. Rumbo came in snarling and snapping, and the struggling policeman was forced to call on his companion for help. And why? In another life. My vision was still excellent, still vivid, unusually lucid. My stomach heaved as I drew in short, sharp panting breaths. I marked my own trail from time to time, more as a ‘Fluke was here’ sign than a means of finding my way back. He stopped for a moment and regarded me curiously, the poor worm frantically trying to work his body back out of the frog’s mouth. He’s after the babies!’. ‘I just wondered.’, ‘You’re a strange pup. You’ve seen dogs mugging kids for their ice-creams and sweets, though, and I’m sure you’ve caught your own dog stealing at some time or other. I had been a man, there was no doubt about that. I shied away as a strange hand reached down for me and patted my head. Is it because we appear foolish? To my dismay, the man had his arms around both Carol’s and Polly’s shoulders. There were even some cold baked beans among the scraps. I made towards him. I had been right! She hissed disgustedly at me. My wife, my daughter — to let them know I’m not dead!’, He was silent for a moment, then he said, ‘But you are dead.’, The shock almost stopped my racing heart. Still, Rumbo was always pretty easy to live with for the next few days. Still misses him, of course, even after all this time, but then we all do. But of course I only barked. It was dark when my companion decided to return. The taste of warm blood sickened me, but I clung to the creature with all my strength. The vixen’s head swung back to me. The other dog was going mad now trying to get at me and I saw it was a very healthy looking mastiff. If all this sounds as though I had a miserable time as a pup then it’s not quite accurate. He would advance slowly, his eyes never leaving theirs, and the rats would back away, bunch up their hindquarters, their bodies tensed for the leap forward. He looked lifeless. How, and when (Polly seemed so much older than I remembered) I had yet to find out; but I was even more convinced my death was connected with the mysterious man who floated into view so often, yet eluded me before recognition. Some kind of sympathy would have been welcome too. Two startled wrens screeched and froze as I brushed by their small huddled forms. I wasn’t shocked, for my new brain was still functioning mainly as it should and memories were still lying dormant within it. They all ran around like lunatics and the only competition was who could fly the highest. Fluke: Herbert, James: Amazon.com.au: Books. Acceptance of circumstances comes more easily to an animal, you see, and it was that animal part of me which turned away maddening thoughts. Looking around, I saw we were in a vast yard filled with old broken-up and broken-down cars, all piled in precarious-looking heaps. ‘Fluke,’ she said. I was pathetic. The car was gone from the drive and no noises came from the house. Somewhere in the depths of his consciousness was a memory clawing its way to the surface, tormenting him, refusing to let him rest. ‘How do you explain ghosts, then? Miss Birdie always left a small lamp burning in the hallway (because she was nervous living on her own, I suppose) and had no trouble finding the kitchen door. On we stalked, silently and breathlessly, and before long we’d reached the chicken-coop and its surrounding wire-mesh fence. As the car crunched its way out of the yard, the big blue van following, I realised that for the first time I’d seen the Guvnor without a cigar sticking out of the corner of his mouth. I kept a safe distance between us after that and watched her warily when she placed a bowl of chopped liver before me. But have you ever seen a dog suddenly become alert, for no apparent reason, his ears cocked, his hair bristling? I’d been there for about a week, quite happy with my new friends, although a few were a bit rough. But now it looked as though everyone was equal. The door opened slightly and a solitary eye peered through the two-inch crack. ‘Chickens. I wondered how she had coped without me, how Polly had accepted my death. Rumbo advanced towards the car, his coat bristling with rage. A dog wanders the streets, compelled by a ravenous hunger. The men greeted him with a friendliness born out of respect more than liking. I’m thankful I was allowed to adapt to my new shell before the shattering knowledge burst through. His trail was easy to follow but my progression from lamppost to lamppost was much more fun than just making straight for the park. He wore a heavy sheepskin coat and, of course, a fat cigar jutted comfortably from his mouth. Why wouldn’t you send even a dog out on a cold night? He began to climb again. Is that the level we’re reaching for? But curiosity soon overcame my wariness of the wet, shiny pools. ‘You hungry, fellah?’ she chuckled, and I wagged my tail in anticipation. Was it because I’d been born again yet still retained vague memories? We don’t want to make him any angrier.’. Fluke by Herbert, James. I crept forward cautiously, very uncertain of this man, for he was a strange mixture of kindness and cruelty. Below this, two more words were carved out in the stone, and these made my eyes mist up. ‘You were lucky to get away from the dogs’ home, pup. If he crossed this pile of junk, it would take him close to the surrounding fence and he would be able to jump into the street below. There was an excited haste about them now — gone was the sullen nervousness of the morning — and this too was infecting us. I remember my breath coming out in short panting gasps and I think I urinated a little, just a trickle. I remember being shouted at, my nose being rubbed in foul-smelling puddles — and worse, nasty, sticky stuff, the smell of which clung to my nostrils for hours afterwards. Even the poor old lobster is boiled alive. She didn’t understand, of course, and gruffly told me to hush my barking. ‘I suppose yer want something for the pup now, do yer?’ the man asked. He’s all I’ve known.’ Rumbo became deep in thought. When my nose had been satiated I began to sniff my way along the pavement, oblivious to the passers-by, lost in the pursuit of intriguing trails. All these things I remember vaguely, but with nostalgic fondness. I don’t quite know why I went there; perhaps in some strange way it was to pay my last respects to myself. They keep chickens here too.’. ‘Why do you want to go to this town — this Edenbridge?’ he asked before I could question him. We still made our daily trips to the fruit-market, but our pickings in the shopping-zones had become increasingly more hazardous. But still he ignored me, and I became a little cross. I tried to leap on to the draining-board myself and almost succeeded, but the sight of Victoria diving head-first through a pane in the closed window amazed me so much I lost my concentration and slipped back on to the floor. Then will you be ready for the next level.’, ‘Wait a minute,’ I said, taking on a new tact out of desperation. It was then that I realised we hadn’t actually been communicating with words: it had been our minds speaking to each other. Another voice spoke on the other side of me and I was thrust forward into another pair of arms. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. Miss Birdie paused for a few seconds, tidied up her clothing, rearranged her personality, and went to the door. We can’t take chances.’, ‘Please,’ I wailed, giving them my most beseeching look. ‘I’ve got some unfinished business first,’ I said huffily, and slunk off further into the bushes. James Herbert. I did manage to swallow a chunk but it scorched my throat painfully. On one very successful twist he had gone at least five yards beyond me, so I stopped for a breather. We faced each other, and she felt sorry for me and I felt sorry for her. Figures around me. ), scrambled through a door opened slightly a... 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Eager to get it out, ‘ it ’ s a dog has to sort things out,!, communication by body secretions, the mental pictures slid away jacket, and costs! Delicacy before he jumped down after me. ) we wouldn ’ t be afraid, he... Was filled with different scents in perfect character with Miss Birdie herself vile in their reaching!

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