The Writing Dog

He is ever alert to the sounds of her. Footsteps upstairs might mean she is coming. She may yet share the couch with him. He will lay his nose on her leg and sigh, tail thumping the upholstery in a contented rhythm. On frost-laden mornings she greets him and lets him out. He hears the … More The Writing Dog

A Gift

Tania wasn’t sure why she’d kept it. A round mirror with a gold bevelled edge, the glass curved. Her touch was hesitant as she removed the wrapping, half expecting him to materialise, or be reflected in the surface like a messenger from the past. He had given it to her near the end, when they … More A Gift

The Luminary

Bessie crouched in the bushes at the top of the paddock. Kangaroos grazed nearby, a joey peeked out of his mother’s pouch as she nosed the grass. The sky was a pale blaze, grey blue with the menace of heat. The house was below, its slate roof dotted with patches of moss, like countries on … More The Luminary

An Awakening

It was the first holiday Rahda had taken since the funeral one year before. Numbed and hollowed out, she had buried herself in work. She was on an island in the Whitsundays. Her hut on the beach was thin-walled but cosy, with rattan furniture and a lazily-spinning fan. There was a sunlounge on a small … More An Awakening

Something lost

It was a black one-piece, low-cut with a drawstring, criss-crossed almost to the waist. The woman in the picture simmered. Lorena ran her finger down her paper silhouette. She felt a fierce need, her bathers with the sailor’s anchor and twee red belt seemed childish. She begged her Mum who frowned at the picture. ‘You … More Something lost

The Bridge

I had one clear memory of my brother, Seamus. He was hunched over the kitchen table, drawing in a visual diary with a fineliner. Tawny tendrils of hair hung over his face, his lips clamped in concentration. One morning he went for a walk and never came back. My parents glued missing posters on trees … More The Bridge

A Willing Victim

Three months living out of a 1979 Datsun almost killed Ruby. Of course, there was the consolation of iridescent sunsets at Ricketts Point, the absence of house cleaning and the company of her grey Persian, Nala. Her bones ached in the frigid night air, even though the cat burrowed close. In those early hours, the … More A Willing Victim

Remembrance

I drive past his office. I don’t stop, but imagine him at his desk, the phone cradled between ear and shoulder. I pull over, fight the urge to go inside. Last time he pinned me to the carpet under the desk and my heart was one continuous beat, my legs wrapped around his waist. His … More Remembrance

Strumpen Haus

  Bart Strumpen glowed with pride the day he was voted chair of the PTA. He crowed to his wife, Tania, about the bottom feeders he’d defeated. ‘Corrupt! Every single one of them. They should be locked up. Not a true American amongst them, yet they think they can run a school. Sad!’ Tania nodded … More Strumpen Haus

Infamy

The microphone crackled and whined as Taylor sang the last verse of ‘Haven’t Met You Yet.’ He inhaled the waft of stale beer and attempted to make eye contact with the oblivious audience. Smoke hung in a stagnant strip beneath fluorescent lights. The stressed pings and melodies of pokie machines came from the next room. … More Infamy