Opening passage from GOD ON A BICYCLE…
In the darkness, the man picked his way along the riverbank. He stopped, turned his head sideways and listened. Then he heard again a low, breathy whinnying ahead of him. The moonlight glinted for a moment off the water and he shook himself against the cold.
As he moved forward to the iron fence, he sensed the mare on the other side easing towards him. He reached through the fence and felt her twist her head up against him, felt her strength as she rubbed and wet his hand with her lips and nose. He opened his hand and offered her pieces of chopped-up apple.
He gazed for a moment up into the dark waste of Memorial Gardens above him. He felt the mare’s hot eager breath on his face and he looked back into the vivid, black orb of her eye so close in front of him now.
The man took hold of the mare’s head collar. There was a cheek-piece on either side down to the muzzle around her nose. Using a clip at one end, he attached a length of rope to the brass ring on the head collar under her chin. He tied the other end of the rope to the fence. Talking to her soothingly, he climbed over the fence.
He felt under the muzzle for the jugular groove on the right side where her carotid artery lay. He rubbed the artery up and down softly with his fingers getting her used to the sensation.
Breathing calmly, he drew a long Stanley knife from his belt, gently pressing it against her neck and holding it there as he whispered to her. He closed his eyes and heard her sturdy breathing, felt that physical closeness and connection to another life.
With a swift stabbing action, he drove the knife deep and downwards…