fiction

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...

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...

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...

August 29, 2020

Hazel

Hazel lowers herself into the armchair by the window. A slight ache burns down the front of her thighs, as if she’s been on a long bicycle ride. She looks about the room. Single bed, three framed photos atop a sideboard and a small television she no...

August 22, 2020

Remember airports?

Remember airports? Oh my god, don’t. Airports. Yeah, I don’t miss those places at all. Really? I love them. Once you’re there. You’ve done everything you need. And there’s nothing left but to sit back and let the time pass. Just, wash over you...

August 15, 2020

The Guaia

The Guaia is three-and-a-half feet tall, with arms as long as she is high. The pads of her fingers are as dark and shiny as wet wood, and splayed like a tree frog’s. Her face is forever young yet strafed, all hollow and crag, sexless. She sleeps...

August 8, 2020

Capricorn Highway

Bill watches Joyce gather the kids for a photo. He’s seated on the front lawn, next to the overgrown bougainvillea, an oxygen tank by his side, tubes to his nose. He watches Joyce arrange the children – their adult daughters who both turned up in...

fiction August 1, 2020

Riding trains with Thelma Plum

Penrith Station was as broken as the shattered heart I carried. The few of us waiting on the train to central Sydney provided each other with more than the required distance. Some of us were sad, others miserable. The coronavirus had beaten us into...