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

Darkness and Light

It wasn’t the first time. Yet on this occasion, Briony was determined to get it right. She obtained the pills gradually, so as not to arouse suspicion. One bottle every couple of weeks until she had an impressive arsenal—it made her smile through streaming eyes. She researched the exact quantity needed to arrest the beat … More Darkness and Light

Reptilian

Horatio was almost too big for the tank she’d purchased. His scaly bulk pressed against the glass, his golden eyes flashed as he undulated. His scales were green with flecks of metallic blue. Tara sat on her bed, watching him. The flat was silent, save for the loud tick of the kitchen clock. Her ex … More Reptilian

The Letters

In the lounge room of his parents’ house, embers glowed in the fireplace. Adam balled up some newspaper and dropped it into the grate, along with some twigs. A log sat at the back, a charcoal crescent in its centre. He watched the fire take hold, flames blue at their heart, the yellow edges licked … More The Letters

The Line

Nasra shuffled forwards in the line. The linoleum squeaked under her rubber soles. On her hip, the weight of her somnolent daughter. In her hand, her passport. The sour smell of body odour mingled with disinfectant. A disembodied voice blared from a speaker. She caught snatches of words she knew.    Her dress was damp between … More The Line