My novel ‘No Crisis for Hut Man’ is now on Amazon Kindle.

It is a totally ridiculous story.

Unworldly Hut Man, nineteen and a half years old, lives alone in the woods and talks to his Ikea furniture. He thinks hard about life, but invariably fails to understand what is actually going on in his encounters with the outside world. Yet, employing his own unique reasoning, he manages to survive and is always happy and confident.

When he finds an inscription in red ink in a book on hamsters at a jumble sale saying ‘Please return to Helen Jacobs, 31 Riverside Close, Budleigh Salterton’ he has to obey, and heads off on his bike to find her with Ken the plastic iguana on the handlebars.

He has puzzling and funny encounters buying a mobile phone and camping equipment, ordering an Indian takeaway, working in a lay by as a Picasso-like abstract artist, being tattooed, and getting arrested for being in possession of a firearm.

When he finally tracks Helen down at a care home he finds her to be very different from the girl he expected.

Below is a short extract:

“The camping store wasn’t in the High Street at all. It took me an hour to find. It was miles out of town near a garden centre and a scrap yard. It was like a metal hut, but much bigger than mine which is made of wood.

Inside there were tents all over the floor, like a camp site without grass and trees and campers.

Where to start? How should I know?

A man came over and said How can I help you, sir? I told him I was going camping to visit my aunt in Cornwall.

We’ve a range of tents second to none, sir, he said. You’re camping alone?

I think so, I said.

What else? But I made out I was thinking about it, otherwise it’s rude.

Well, sir, he said, you never know when you’re going to get lucky, do you, and winked.

I don’t really know what winking means. I think it means You know what I mean.

I didn’t, but I winked back to be polite.

He said Then you may not be wanting a one-man tent, sir, and winked again. It was too late to stop him because he was already showing me some tents.

This one’s just the job, he said. Easy pitch, cross pole for extra strength, with no way in for unwanted draughts, moisture or bugs. Room for a very cosy two, I’d say. And he winked again.

I looked inside and winked back and said it was very roomy – Open Plan on Steroids, in fact, and he laughed. I like sharing jokes, you don’t need to keep thinking up new ones. I don’t think Jeremy the stylist would mind.

Right, sleeping bags, he said. They come in mummy shape, square, pod, down, or synthetic. This Eventer 450’s ideal. Durable fabric, multi-fibre insulation, drawcord, internal zip baffle, deep pocket for those essentials. We’ll look at doubles, shall we, he said, and winked again. Before I could wink back he’d walked off saying, Wait here, sir.

I sat in the tent planning how I’d fit Billy, Nils and Nita in it even though they’re not coming with me, while he went round and round the store three times. He came back with a trolley full of camping stuff.

Right, sir. Two-man tent, pod sleeping bag, mallet, gas stove, cool box, water container, plates, cutlery, lantern, everything you need. And to you, sir, an exclusive one-day only price for the package. A very special £225 with your one-off unique discount and prestige club membership. Cash or card, sir?

I told him all I wanted to buy were some tent pegs and a plastic knife and fork. He looked cross.

Well, we won’t be going far on that, will we, chummy? Anyway, we’re closing, vacate the premises.

And he walked off. Not a nice man, especially after we’d shared winks and jokes. You can never tell, can you?”

About Terence Sackett

I am a writer and designer. I live in Nether Stowey, which is on the borders of the Quantock hills. I am a committee member of the Friends of Coleridge, and wrote and designed the booklet/visitor guide for the National Trust’s Coleridge Cottage. I look after the website for the Friends (www.friendsofcoleridge.com). My novel about Siamese twins titled ‘Riven is now on Kindle. It can be read with a free downloaded Kindle app for an iPad, smartphone, tablet, or computer. The book is available from Amazon. What’s it about? Brief blurb below: It is the story of the Victorian painter Thomas Tait Genoa and his desperate flight through the West Country to save his conjoined twin daughters from the surgeon’s knife. This was before the era of anaesthetics. A 5-start bAmazon review: 'A masterpiece, truly deserving of the five star rating I have given it. The very human experience described so eloquently could not fail to tug at the heart of any parent who has ever gazed on a poorly child in the dark hours of the night and anguished over what to do for the best. This novel might be set in a very particular time and space but the heartfelt emotions of the protagonists are timeless, I have no hesitation in recommending this wonderful work to anyone who has a heart.
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