IMG_9693 baker


I remember my old man bursting through the front door, all nervous energy and fear, shouting “There’s a bloody Straw Golem in the pig pen!’ in that booming voice of his.

My younger siblings hit a pretty high note with their co-ordinated squeals and my mum quickly ushered them towards the storm shelter as calm as you like.

I remember my eldest brother Nate, standing to attention as my dad bustled past him before grabbing the phone and dialling Jed at the next farm over. As my dad yawped instructions down the phone he wrestled with the old dresser in the kitchen, his questing hand eventually locating and retrieving his old shotgun. More instructions were loudly blurted out as Dad thumbed the shells clumsily into the barrel.

Call concluded; Dad tossed the shotgun to Nate, before hurriedly disappearing upstairs. The racket of his work boots hitting the old wooden stairs filled the room with dull thuds and more than a fair share of dislodged dust.

Moments later, Dad descended the stairs. This time much more carefully. At the bottom, he methodically adjusted his shoulder straps and heaved the nozzle of the Paisley and Ghast MkIV tactical flamethrower complete with Hellspit feed attachment into position over his midriff. He looked at my brother and said assuredly “Come on!” And they disappeared out onto the farm.

I remember the silence. I remember standing in the middle of the kitchen, fists clenched. I remember looking at the pile of dirty pots which made up my chores for the evening and I remember thinking “Screw this!” Before heading out after my old man.