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The Very Bad Thing and the Chasm-Exoskeleton

When I was eight, A Very Bad Thing happened.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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First Kiss

“Close your eyes,” he says, all bravado and fifth-grade-boy machismo. “What? Don’t be dumb,” I say. “Just close your eyes. I’ve got a present for you.”

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On 17th birthdays and glimpses of the adult

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 […]

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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 […]

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Who’s The Boss: On being a mother in the house when your mother is visiting

It’s summer holidays, and my mother recently flew from Australia to spend two months with us.  It’s disconcerting to be the adult child in my house when my parent comes to stay.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Running Behind Elephants

When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it’s best to let him run. ~ Abraham Lincoln A strange thing happens between mothers and sons in the teen years. The chubby fingers of childhood loose their grip, the adoring eyes fall less often on you, the […]

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