A flower grew through my TV on the first day of summer. It appeared overnight, smashing a hole in the screen and unfurling a ring of ten-inch petals.Read More
On Monday gravity ceased to work . . .Read More
The flotilla did not move. It carpeted the still river like an emerald lawn. But underneath festered a stagnant water.Read More
Even though he had never liked the smoking . . .Read More
We’re just a small country town – nothing ever happens here. Although there was that one time a shark showed up in our public swimming pool. We called him Bruce, fed him BBQ chickens from the IGA up the road.Read More
Even the yams came sealed in cling film. Walking home from the supermarket, we weren’t sure if we could toss our banana peel into the pedicured shrubs adjacent to the footpath. So we stowed it back in our bag.Read More
I work in the Room of Spare Parts. On delivery days you can hear the heads from the loading dock. They moan at the approach of our footsteps. They moan when their boxes are unloaded and opened, rolling their faces to the corners. They don’t normally scream; most are blunt-nosed and blindfolded, with soft-lipped mouths like unbroken horses.Read More
‘We need a shared hobby,’ I say. Jeff’s curled up on the couch with his iPad, scrolling fast. ‘Are you listening?’Read More
The first thing to hit me was the stench. It rose up through the mangroves like a living thing, ripe with ammonia and pungent decay. I covered my mouth and bit down on my tongue to keep from gagging. It didn’t work.
‘I don’t suppose you’ve heard of Garkain.’ Ty peered down at the flat, saucer-shaped body that lay before us in the mud. Hollow eyes, a grinning mouth stretched between putrid yellow wings, and a whip-like tail gave the creature the appearance of an enormous bat. ‘They say it lurks in the trees, waiting for its prey in the mangroves after dark.’
I shuddered and adjusted a strap on my perspiration soaked dress. ‘It could’ve washed up,’ I said, trying my best to sound convincing.
‘Garkain always comes down to feed,’ said Ty, turning towards me with his tanned, muscular arms outstretched. ‘Haven’t you heard? It envelopes its prey and suffocates them with its stench!’
‘In your case, I believe it,’ I said, ducking to avoid Ty’s sweaty embrace.
Ty gathered himself then reached up and broke off a long, thin branch from an overhanging tree.
I raised an eyebrow. ‘What are you going to do?’
Ty grinned and brought the stick down against the body with a resounding whack. A ripple passed back and forth through the pale, decomposing flesh. ‘I think it’s still breathing.’
‘Stop it, Ty.’
Ty laughed and hit it again with greater force. This time I thought I saw a dark red protrusion, almost like a claw, emerge from one of the gill-like slits on its body.
I wiped the sweat from my eyes. ‘Stop it! I’m not kidding.’
‘What’s the matter, Mel?’ Ty snickered.
I wanted to slap him hard across the face, to replace that smirk with a glowing red mark in the shape of a hand. Instead I stormed back down the path. ‘Just leave me alone!’
I followed our footprints for several minutes before losing them in the undergrowth. The last orange streaks of the setting sun filtered through the thick mangroves.
I turned back towards the voice. Although I loathed Ty’s taunts, getting lost in the dark appealed to me even less, and he knew it.
I was almost at the clearing when the sound of ripping and tearing reached my ears. I hesitated then took a deep breath and steeled myself. ‘Ty, if you’re trying to—’
But the words caught in my throat.
Both Ty and the carcass were gone. There was nothing except for the beating of leathery wings as a dark shadow passed overhead.
I adjusted the ventilator so you could breathe easier. You’d been watching the news all day and were excited about the meteor shower.Read More
Young Woman Dies in Freak Donkey Accident. When childhood friends find my name in the first sentence, few will be surprised.Read More
I was born with my ears on backwards. That is to say the conventional disposition of ears, in my case, was reversed. Namely, the left ear is on the right side of my head and the right ear has ended up correspondingly on the left. As a consequence my ears face backwards. Otherwise my head is quite symmetrical.Read More
The birds hinted to you first, with their cluelessness. A simple enough scene: the peripatetic school, a circuit. Locus: an abstract sculpture that looks like a Christmas tree, if it were a bonsai, between the museum and exhibition centre – a distance of 100 metres.Read More
The first visitor arrived on a Wednesday afternoon. She coughed it up onto a crisp white tablecloth, leaving a small brown mark where it landed. The worm itself was completely unremarkable; no different from any you would find at the bottom of the garden.Read More
Tarik frees pins from her hair with one hand while the other kneads her shoulder. He watches the tendons in her neck tighten.Read More
The helicopter makes its roundabout journey, engine pitter-pattering in and out of our audible range, its motor-hum blending with the Chromium Nebulae playing out before us and my baked brain breaking into small fits of paranoid thinking: they are looking for us...Read More
There is a window in my attic. I tried to open it three years ago when I moved here to write, but it was painted shut. Since then it has been a necessary source of light, filtered by the powdered texture of frosted glass, an opaque white glow to illuminate the scribbled papers on my desk.Read More
There is not a single pair of eyes in her apartment, save her own, and she is having second thoughts about the mirrors. There were eyes once – but she felt watched. Over months, years, she plucked every pair from every face.Read More
In the cooler months in the city, Zia and I caught the free tram to borrow books from the library. We sat in the winter sun and whispered the same generalities about the piqued warmth of it, coming as it did across the skyscrapers and into a pool on the library lawn.Read More
The noise came from the darkness outside. I’d heard it before, off in the night, in among the choir of the rivertrees.Read More