Eighty-eight days of sunflowers. That's what this was supposed to be. Eighty-eight days of endless fields, and gold dust petals, and clear skies overhead—a frosty beverage at the end of a hard day's yakka. That's what I pictured when Gary suggested this gig and, as I look across the sea of headless flowers before me now, scorched and brown and so far from the white sand beaches of the Gold Coast, I can't help but feel duped.
If walls could talk, they might tell you she learned to bake in her mother's Lord's kitchen – long before the rats plagued, and her toes turned black, and the beaked doctors came with their poking sticks and futile remedies – but those old stone baileys never uttered a word so that's not where this story begins.
- First Place in the Improbable Paradise Challenge
Carousel DanceFirst Place in the Improbable Paradise Challenge
They're razing the old carousel today so I figured you'd come home. Still, it shocks me to see you after all this time. Your face is weathered now, your once supple skin sagged and sun-creased into frown lines that retreat behind your greying beard, and there's a middle-aged paunch that wasn't there before. But you're standing with those same slouched shoulders and your hands in your pockets, smiling that same gapped-tooth grin, and I recognise you in an instant.
Have You Seen Frankie?
Sebastian is the number one support technician at Sinjin-Smythe Finance. It's a title he takes seriously, and the reason he's taking calls at 6:30 on a Friday night while his coworkers are sipping margaritas from salt-laced glasses and shouting karaoke Kate Bush into shared microphones.
- Runner-Up in The Mystery Box Challenge
DioramaRunner-Up in The Mystery Box Challenge
Arthur Splack was convinced his neighbour was a witch. He knew it wasn't something he should say out loud – not at his age, and certainly not to that loose-lipped Judy who delivered his meds every other Friday (usually half an hour late) – but he thought it, just the same.
Volume was important to Judas. In a glam rock world it could make or break you, and lately he’d been more than a little flat. Discounted tix at the door, pissed off punters demanding refunds, empty barstools in the last set–and he knew it wasn’t the music. His riffs were tighter than the faux-leather pants he still managed to twist up his varicosed legs—one at a time so as not to rip the seams—and certainly better than anything Painted Mullet had released lately.
- Runner-Up in the Improbable Paradise Challenge