A countdown of years

Seven

When I was seven I started a new school. My fourth in three years. My third in Australia. I’d learned from the mistakes of the first two schools and was well on the way to camouflage. I had set down the heavy Malayalee-Malay accent I’d arrived with a little over a year previously. I’d flattened and nasalised my vowels, and let my final consonants fall surreptitiously by the wayside. Continue reading “A countdown of years”

The Path to Paradise

On the corner of the block, at the meeting of two streets, at the end of the lane lived Veronica and Dorothy. Non and Dor, as they were known to everyone in the neighbourhood, were two delightful older women who shared a home. They’d been friends for most of their lives, and when Non’s husband died, Dor moved into her house for company.

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On 17th birthdays and glimpses of the adult

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Image by Ed Schipul/Flickr

So, here I am very early on Godzilla’s 17th birthday, resting on the corner of Testosterone Lane and Horsepower Road. Having two teen boys in the house means a lot of muscle flexing, boundary pushing, and territory marking. They wake with teasing exchanges that rapidly morph into the rat-tat-tat of suddenly flared tempers. And before long, like two elephant seals, they’re bumping and jostling each other over the most trivial of things. Left to their own devices, I’m sure they’d find a way to argue over two flies climbing up the wall.

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Night Shift

The sun peeked over the horizon, ensuring everything was as he’d left it.  The earth, clearly pleased to see his return, snaked long wispy tendrils of steam upwards, celebratory streamers heralding the return of her luminous lover.

Fred yawned and stretched, reaching his fingers high into the early dawn sky.  Night shifts were starting to take their toll on him.  He ran a hand over the soft furry down that now covered the bulk of his body.  He’d need to shave soon.

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The Great Beyond

“One night the moon came galloping by

On a big horse right across the night sky

One night the moon came galloping by

Called all the dreamers to come for a ride”*

Blackness.  Silence.  Robbie scrunches further under his blankets, shores up the external pillow walls, and slaps his hands over his ears.  He feels his stomach coiling in anxiety, sharp pains stretching out from its twisted centre.  His ears, hot and sore from their fleshy earmuffs, still ring from the battle.  Behind the door, an inferno of alcohol-fuelled rage and discontent contort his parents into vitriol spewing demons that pitch and claw at each other, shrieking their hatred, their unhappiness.  Outside the window lies the Great Beyond.

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Redemption Missed

The old woman smacks her now toothless gums. It is her anniversary today. Forty years have elapsed since that fateful day when she left her family, left all she had known, for the man she loved. He had been kind to her, and loved her in his way. He had been patient with her, holding her as she burst into wailing, keening tears, her whole body quaking, as they made love.

Was it only ten years ago that he thoughtlessly died, leaving her childless and alone?

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