fiction

fiction December 19, 2020

A saltwater to watch

A new work of short fiction from the Miles Franklin award-winning author of Too Much Lip.

fiction December 12, 2020

Home is a rectangle

“I can see the war in her eyes,” Samia tells Idriis one day, after getting a lashing from their mother Sagal. “Maybe the old anthem possessed her,” says Idriis. “Or maybe the war sliced her heart into smaller pieces of fleshy string?” Idriis...

fiction November 28, 2020

The call

The president wanted to make the call herself, but as a committee we felt this was risky. She saw her place in history, the first human to make direct contact with an alien civilisation; we saw a diplomatic catastrophe. Even if she managed the...

fiction November 21, 2020

Brazen stats of empire

I am a dressmaker who does alterations to make a living. You might call me a tailor, but what would you know? How long would you spend down here in the heat, working 12-hour shifts? And this is better than when I worked in the shop with 30 others...

fiction November 7, 2020

Perfect as a shell

for Olga Masters When I was younger, I would look at my body in the mirror when I got up in the morning, between taking off my pyjamas and getting in the shower. I would drop the flannel pants and then my undies, letting my smell fill my nostrils...

fiction October 31, 2020

For the perishable body

Look, a dead great-uncle. He is staring straight ahead through a black-and-white film as his boat carves through the waves. He is standing on a beach all scratched up and flickering. He is wearing war medals stored in a box I can’t find in the shed...

fiction October 16, 2020

Jacaranda

The woman’s head is at an odd angle, one side of her neck stretched tight like the rawhide of a drum. Carolyn’s skin turns clammy and her breathing shallows as she scans the woman’s body: the cracked, swollen feet; toenails like thick squares of...

fiction October 10, 2020

Three anecdotes

Beggar A Beggar who had only recently and reluctantly taken up begging after losing his job as an administration officer for a small insurance firm was one day noticed on the street by a, thankfully, employed company director on his way home from...

fiction September 26, 2020

Leaving

Sitting out the front of their small fibro house, Albert heard his wife open the door and walk towards him. The old man was engrossed in reattaching a spearhead to a long, narrow piece of wood that held the memory of his hands. He could sense that...

fiction September 19, 2020

Breath

He wasn’t certain when the slow-growing bacillus had entered his body, but Mycobacterium tuberculosis had stealthily spread through his system – a silent invasion as he coughed up great wads of red-stained sputum. He imagined the army of bacteria...

September 5, 2020

Solomon Grundy XVI

There are dozens of them, miserable buggers, all over town. Widows and widowers, all under 30, all Grundys by name or by marriage. They never marry again. They’re no good to anyone. It was a rotten business. I never spoke up – it wasn’t my place to...