A Dilemma of Wives
It was eight years since Kabul fell to the Taliban. Back then his name was Alistair. He’d been in Afghanistan almost twenty years, working on construction projects. He’d thought about catching one of the evac planes back to Australia, but really, why bother? What was there back ‘home’ for him? Just a failed marriage and a daughter’s grave. Besides, Afghanistan had gotten under his skin; a hard country with hard people, but who found joy in small, transient pleasures.
Memories of Kilmarnock Station
I can’t hold them back any longer. I just can’t. The pond is frozen over and I can feel the chill of their presence advancing. God help us.
The Path of a Man
The annoying red light on the dash board wouldn’t stop blinking. Carser tapped it hopefully a couple of times, then banged the dash with his fist; Lex had said the ship was old and some of the wiring needed replacing. The red light kept flashing, now accompanied by an unpleasant whine.
Jake eased his bedroom door open carefully and listened; his father’s deep steady breathing came from the couch, no doubt he’d passed out there cuddling the whiskey bottle. He was usually still asleep this early, but Jake knew it paid to be cautious. He crept around the kitchen in the morning gloom collecting some bread and jam for breakfast and school, careful to hide the jam jar at the back of the cupboard again and to lick the knife clean. His father snorted and Jake froze briefly, holding his breath, but the deep snores resumed. In less than five minutes he was out the back door, and safe, for now. The gravel road stretched ahead, and neighbours’ houses dotted the landscape of small farms and subdivisions.
The Bitter Taste of Company
I met her in the little café hidden away down Serle’s Walk. She came in for a coffee and I was sitting there, at the table nearest the door, staring at the menu. I was going to order the apple pie, at least I thought I was, I mean it was a bit pricey maybe, but how could you go past it?
Worth of a Man
Darkness. When Carser woke, it was into the darkness of a singularity; impenetrable, unyielding. Still silence bound his ears just as the darkness cloaked his eyes. He sat up, groping in the space around him, feeling for the familiarity of the solid world. His outstretched hand brushed a smooth wall to his right. Keeping one hand on the wall he clambered to his feet, only to hit his head on the ceiling.
What to do with the body. This was not a problem He’d had to deal with before, but He knew he’d figure it out. He had to, for Her.
The Well of Dry Days
“The vendor says you should bull-doze the barn immediately,” the real estate agent said, “it’s not safe and houses vermin. They were going to but had to leave quickly.”