fiction April 17, 2021

Hard rubbish

We were grateful for a place to stay, and the house-sitting duties were few and easy (water the plants, feed the fish). The house belonged to a friend of my partner’s younger sister, May, so we regarded it as older siblings might, giving certain...

fiction April 3, 2021

All that matters

It’s so exciting you’re here to stay. I remember when I was the new one. A lifetime ago. You’re going to love it here. Our friend is so amazing. All friends are… Well, almost all. But ours is the best. When I was new there was an old one already...

fiction March 20, 2021

Two stories

The bad dog She was a bad dog. She couldn’t be told. She ate nothing but touched everything with her mouth, her snout – chewing, sniffing, licking, breathing. She had no respect for objects of value or concepts of hygiene or punctuality or personal...

fiction March 13, 2021

How to wait

My father walked a lot. He had learnt to drive but after a minor accident decided it wasn’t for him, and instead chose to walk everywhere in this pedestrian-unfriendly city. “Getting a lift” from him meant going on an accompanied walk. When I was a...

fiction February 27, 2021


Three years earlier, when his wife asked him why he had married and had a child with her, he answered by listing her virtues. They both knew this was dishonest. She had not asked what first attracted him – she was asking why he had bothered, when he...

fiction February 13, 2021

Two begging stories

The mountain When he made his first billion, Samir bought the top half of the mountain. Once his grandparents had lived at its foot but now he had a view to the sea and the mountains beyond. His first point of business was the road. Bulldozers,...

fiction February 6, 2021


Dear friend, You ask about the ceremony. It was last week. I wore a pretty white cotton dress – my sister’s Lavinia’s. (You understand how the mind dawdles on the path of time, how I must run to catch up with “now”.) I woke before dawn – lazy girl,...

fiction January 23, 2021

The jacket

It wasn’t a jacket I would buy in my normal life, but we’d all been told to stay at home so things weren’t normal anyway. I usually stayed home of my own volition, but this time a man in rectangular glasses, standing in front of a cardboard sheet,...

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...