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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Unbroken Cycle

His long slender fingers rake through his dirty blonde locks, and Randy wonders briefly why his hair always has that slightly greasy look about it, even when freshly washed.  The first glimmers of daylight peek tentatively over the horizon.  Clipped moments strobe in his mind, snippets of events.  Bodies shimmering with a patina of glitter, breasts and buttocks, full, and on display.

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Rekindling

Scented candles ignite into life, filling the air with wisps of an ambiguous flower aroma as she holds the lit match to the wick.  The label proclaims “Rose”, but it’s enigmatic enough to be mistaken for any flower.  Red rose petals scatter across the white linened bed, and march neatly, crocodile-file into the bathroom.  Malika rises from the corner of the bed, feels the pinch of her new $150 lace bra and knickers as they nip at her body, and shrugs on her thin looks-like-silk-but-isn’t robe.  She strides, out of practice, in her black stiletto heels, dug up from a forgotten corner of her closet, part of her armour from a past life, well worn and permanently misshapen, to turn off the bath.  He’s clearly not coming.

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Jane and Jen

We are Janus.  We came into the world together, two faces one mind.  I am she, and she is me.  Our parents call us Jane and Jen, but they never know who they’re talking to.  Jane and Jen born in June.  We toy with them.  We have played this game for as long as we can remember.  We tried it first when we realised that they could not tell which of us was Jane and which Jen.  Now, even they call us Janus.

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Durga Puja

Om Ayim Hreem Shreem…

Eyes closed, palms together, I give in to the murmurings of the meditative mantra.  Wisps of sandalwood incense invade my nostrils, transporting me to the innumerable other times that I have sat like this, blanketed in the bhajans and bell tolls of a temple celebration.  Aromas of soap, talcum powder, hair oil, and human bodies band together with the usual temple smells, seeping into every pore until they become a part of my own odour.

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