To celebrate the release of Little Jiang, I present to you extra content! I had a colleague at work called Rodney. He asked if he could be in one of my novels. I made him into a chihuahua in Little Jiang. Unfortunately he didn’t make the final cut, but you can relieve all the dubious glory here in these four outtakes that were left on the editing room floor!
Dr Heckyll screwed his nose up at what was presented in front of him. Was it a dead rat?
“Rodney!” wailed Taylor Sweet. “My dearest Rodney! My poor poochie!”
Oh, it was a dog. Dr Heckyll peered down at the little Chihuahua in front of him, lying on its side inside Katie’s pink dog carrier. Its eyes were closed, but its mouth was wide open, the little pink tongue inside lolling out. Dr Heckyll tried not to appear too repulsed.
Taylor stopped crying to blow loudly into her tissue.
“Rodney was about to turn 15 as well the following week. That’s a big age for a dog you know, he would have been 70 in human years.”
Dr Heckyll looked at his watch and then at the open front door. He really had better things to do and he didn’t really know why this woman had brought her dead dog in for a show and tell: he wasn’t the town vet. And he really didn’t like the look of either of her children: the little girl inching way too close to the bookshelf beside his Secret Door or her pudgy, sticky-fingered boy who was staring at him with his mouth wide open.
“That’s why I’m here, Dennis. I want the most lavish, most extravagant funeral that you have ever put on for a dog. I want all my friends to come dressed in Rodney’s favourite colour – pink – and I want balloons! Fireworks! I want cupcake towers that reach up to the ceiling! I will pay you whatever price you ask!”
Dr Heckyll was about to say that he didn’t bury animals, that all his burial plots were reserved exclusively for humans when Taylor’s last sentence made him stop and take note. Whatever price you ask. If there’s one thing Dr Heckyll liked more than Death, that was cold hard cash.
Suddenly all he could see were dollar signs in his eyes. Ideas started to whirl in his mind. That little plot of land that The Augusta Moon was currently perched on – that would make a perfect pet cemetery! Animals were so small – imagine how many he could fit on there! Dogs, cats, rabbit, mice, goldfish – whatever the public wanted. Imagine how much money he could charge. It would be like taking candy from a baby (and that’s something that Dr Heckyll would do without any qualms).
“Come this way.” The Doctor ushered Taylor from the hallway and to his formal reception area which contained the Casket Selection Room. Sure, the human caskets would be too big for tiny Rodney, but he could get his coffin constructor to make one the same, but a tenth the size. And he would charge Taylor the same price. After all, she insisted on whatever price.
Dr Heckyll was pleased to see that Taylor was gravitating towards the more expensive coffins, made from exclusive rare woods and trimmed with real golds and silvers. He rubbed his hands and inched himself closer to Taylor in case she needed a shoulder to cry on. Dr Heckyll hated the thought of someone smearing snot and tears all over his best black suit, but oh well, if he pretended to have a little sympathy… He was due to send that suit to the drycleaners later today, anyway.
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