Australian fiction writer and reader, always on the lookout for good writing.
The Ash Man
The long plaintive wail of a train horn startles me awake. I blink rapidly then close my eyes and sit still while my mind tries to catch up to my body. I take deep slow breaths, in through my nose, out through my mouth, as Dr Hughes taught me. The breaths coming in are silky and smooth, the ones going out jagged and rough, matching the beat of my pounding heart.
There weren't always dragons in the Valley. But, like everyone else, Hale didn’t remember a time when there were none. She was thinking about dragons as she stepped carefully over the trickle of icy water that in spring would become a fast-flowing stream. Instinctively, she glanced up. Raindrop icicles clung desperately to the leafy canopy determined not to let go, much like this year’s winter. Oppressive grey clouds skimmed the tops of the trees, visible where some of the dry yellowing leaves had given up and released their grip.
- Runner-Up in Mother's Day Confessions Challenge
BowerbirdRunner-Up in Mother's Day Confessions Challenge
Dear Mum I hope you don’t mind me calling you that. I’m not sure what to call you. It feels like a betrayal to the Mum who actually raised me, but I don’t think she’d mind now. Mum always said you must have had a good reason to give me up. She made sure I never blamed myself or you.
“You know that never happened, right?” Paul is always like this, whenever we get together. It irks me every time. His job brings him back to town every three months or so, give or take. Over dinner and some beers, we fill each other in on what we’ve been doing since the last time we met up.
- Second Place in The Scarlet Macaw Challenge
Saving the Scarlet MacawSecond Place in The Scarlet Macaw Challenge
Dan hid in the shadows. It was almost dinner time. A door banged and a man stepped out into the alley. He tossed four large black plastic bags into the dumpster before rubbing his hands on his thighs. He pulled a cigarette from his shirt pocket, lit it, and stood smoking it, savouring it, in the quiet dark of the night. He then aggressively ground the remains into the dirt with his heel and headed back inside, slamming the door behind him.