fiction

fiction December 4, 2021

Flight

Opaque smudge, a Dickinson sh-sh-shift of light and I know better than to try to catch the exact moment the Sydney Tower lights turn off and anyway, eyes on the road. Tell the truth but tell it slant, Emily said, and that’s what I’ve done my whole...

fiction November 27, 2021

Boys who dance

James stares at Max and Max stares at James. Each wears a white singlet tucked into sun-starched football shorts. The drawstrings of the shorts are pulled tight and the singlets cling to the protruding rib cages of their slender frames. “Now...

fiction November 20, 2021

Desert Motel

On the night desk of the Desert Motel I spend far too much time looking up from Moby-Dick to check if the moth on the ceiling has moved. The interruptions? Trucks, at this hour. Their headlights blaze the front windows, then turn out onto the...

fiction November 13, 2021

Game plan

It’s not that you hate picnics. Hate’s too robust a word. It’s really more an absence of any strong feeling: you’ve just never seen the point. What you’re supposed to do. You sit. Occasionally you scuttle sideways to follow the shade, but that’s the...

fiction October 30, 2021

Double morning day

I am not supposed to leave the facility alone, but on the night of the funeral I am shuffling out the door after curfew, right up the middle of the unlit road, ink-pad sky punctured with dead scattered stars, and I feel a sort of nothing. Today is...

fiction October 23, 2021

The quickest way home

Patrick Hagan sits watching an old woman, someone’s gran or nan, loading a boy into a car. BMW i3, as per his salary package, long gone. He studies her dents and guesses she can’t drive, but what’s that matter, she has a BMW and he has a Mazda. The...

fiction October 16, 2021

Passing bells

Selwyn Atchison rumpled over the old coach bridge to come see my Uncle Ferny, who was always first in line when local groups wanted money. The Atchison dray announced itself as the bridge planks paradiddled in the sunlight. The woody music of timber...

fiction October 9, 2021

Mitzy

Five-year-old female Japanese spitz, “Mitzy”. Free to a good home with no children or other pets. It wasn’t until she’d brought the dog home that Jill noticed it. She’d poured herself a glass of pinot grigio. Mitzy had jumped up next to her on the...

fiction October 2, 2021

279

Did they look like cows? I guess so, Con. Shrunken sky cows with wings and blazed chests. And beaks. What’s a beak? It’s a dreamy sort of a question. A question for off times, shovel leaning, inside from too much rain. A beak, Con, is what a bird...

fiction September 25, 2021

Ready and Lucky

Ready Brooke studied the trio of women clustered around the next table at the pub. Two of them were pregnant – just like her, except not. The third woman was clutching a white zinfandel or something, which seemed surprisingly demure given the...

fiction September 18, 2021

About this object

Paintbox, belonging to Isaac Smith, who carried it on the voyage of the Endeavour (1768-1771) and the later voyages of the Resolution (1772-1775 and 1776-1779). Smith was the midshipman cousin of the wife of the captain, the famous Captain Cook...