Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2002.10.02 : Little Expressionless Animals
"He knows every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are His."
        - Psalm 50
     11:12 AM

<splashy, splashy, splashy>
Michael: OH MY GOD!

Michael: Do you happen to have, like, a number for neighborhood pool maintenance?
Alex: Hmm, you'll have to ask Jennifer. Something wrong?
M: . . . There's a freaking CREATURE in the pool.
A: What – like swimming around?
M: No. No, it's . . . inside one of the little water intake duct thingies in the side of the pool. That's how I came face-to-face with it. I was right at the end of lap seventeen. Nosing up to the edge of the pool.
A: What is it?
M: . . . I'd already done sixteen laps, finishing each one like inches from this thing.
A: . . .
M: I guess I can say with a very modest degree of confidence that it's either . . . a very large, mature mouse. Or else it's a very small, youthful rabbit. It's kind of got these laid back ears.
A: Sounds like a rabbit.
M: My initial take was to try to decide whether it was a rat, or a rabbit. Which was going to make a real big difference on how I felt about the whole episode. All of this water was going in and out of my mouth, for like 20 minutes already, with this like creature in the water.
A: I wouldn't worry about it. There's a lot of chlorine in there.
M: I hit on the mouse idea while walking back.
A: Is it alive?
M: I was actually just getting to this. This is the incredibly creepy part. . . . I can't tell. It's just sitting there, totally unmoving. But after I levitated out of the pool, I sat on the edge and splashed some water at it. I'm pretty sure it blinked a couple of times. But then I tried to rescue it, with the like pool scooper device they have. And it didn't move at all. Not a twitch.
A: . . .
M: I'm thinking "half-drowned" is the best most likely description. And but then it turned out it wouldn't fit.
A: Jesus! How big is it?
M: No, I mean the scooper. The scooper wouldn't fit in the little intake duct.
A: Oh. I thought you meant the creature wouldn't fit in the scooper.
M: No. And so then I was on the verge of using the other pool implement, the one like a hook, to sort of pull the creature out into the scooper. And that's when I finally concluded I just really didn't want to be in that business at all. Call in the pros. I want to, like, have the water changed in the pool.
A: Hang on. <digs out monstrous barbecue tongs from drawer> Let's go.
M: What? You're just going to pull it out with those? And, what, like throw it on the grill?

A: Oh, you poor thing. It's a bunny, dude. And it's totally freezing. Hang on; I'm going to go get some gloves.
M: Do I have time to grab my camera?

M: You're just going to take it back home?
A: Sure.
M: Do you have, like, some kind of long-term plan for this thing?
A: Get it dried out, give it some food. Then let it go.

M: Did you see our new friend?
Jennifer: Yes. Isn't she cute?
M: Yeah, well, now she is.

M: I've got to think our number one priority is keeping the dogs away from her – or this'll be a short-lived rescue operation.
A: Seriously – out of the frying pan and into the fire.
M: What are you actually going to feed her?
A: Lettuce, carrots – like I said, she came to the right place.
M: True – we are all about rabbit food here.

M: Man – you're a real saint.
A: Not really.
M: An angel of compassion.
A: Let's let her get some sleep.

  david foster wallace     alex  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
ARISEN : Odyssey
ARISEN : Last Stand
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 1 - The Collapse
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 2 - Tribes
Black Squadron
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 3 - Dead Men Walking
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid
ARISEN : Fickisms ][ – This Time, It's Personal
ARISEN : Operators, Volume I - The Fall of the Third Temple
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