Requiem in D-minor (for prions, whale and burning bush)
By Ian McHugh
Kevin switched the audio over to the projector. The lecture hall was filled with outdoor noises. Wind hummed softly over the microphone, cattle lowed nearby, a truck accelerated in the distance.
A roan steer staggered around a concreted yard, its mute distress accompanied by clattering hooves and the fleshy slap of its thigh striking the ground when it fell. A new sound was introduced – incongruous, but familiar to Kevin’s audience.
Gradually, the cow’s shaking stilled, until it could stand securely. Its muscles continued to tremble, but not enough to upset its equilibrium while it listened.
About the Author
Ian McHugh’s first success as a fiction writer was winning the short story contest at a science-fiction convention. Since then he has sold stories to magazines, webzines and anthologies in Australia and internationally. His stories have won grand prize in the Writers of the Future contest, been shortlisted six times at Australia’s Aurealis Awards (winning Best Fantasy Short Story in 2010), been reprinted in national and international year’s best anthologies and appeared in the Locus and Tangent Online annual Recommended Reading Lists. He graduated from the Clarion West writers’ workshop in 2006. His collection of short stories, Angel Dust, was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award in 2015.
Ian lives in Canberra, Australia.
About the Narrator
Frank Key was a British writer, blogger and broadcaster best known for his self-published short-story collections and his long-running radio series Hooting Yard on the Air, which was broadcast weekly on Resonance FM from April 2004 to September 2019, when he passed away. Frank co-founded the Malice Aforethought Press with Max Décharné and published the fiction of Ellis Sharp.