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

The Neighbour

Orange chrysanthemums drooped over the edge of the metal holder in the blazing sun. Larry sat on his knees, bit his lip and stroked the grass. ‘Where are you now, Mum?’ he whispered. He knew part of her was beneath him in an urn. The part he’d found flat on her back in front of … More The Neighbour

The Two Healers

Johann Bock had a gift. From the time he was a tow-headed boy with spindly legs he had spread love like a crop duster, lifting the spirits of everyone he met. Sometimes all it took was a gentle glance and some well-placed words. Other times a tight hug and motivational speech. It all depended on … More The Two Healers

Unwanted

He’s a freak. There are places we could send him. I’ve had enough. Her husband’s words circled her mind as she guided Ben away from the wall. His knuckles were bloodied and he made a whistling sound from the back of his throat. Jacinta hadn’t strapped him to the bed as she couldn’t bear his … More Unwanted

Howard’s Mission

Everything in Howard’s life was slow. His dial-up internet connection, his data entry job in an accountancy practice, his attempts at a love life. Even his dachshund Doris, with her lame leg and bad breath from a rotten tooth. There was a feeling of torpor, as if he were slipping into a sinkhole of mud … More Howard’s Mission