Jack set off for the deli and his paper. It was always the same at this time of year; the air, pregnant with moisture, waiting for her waters to break, ankles swollen, and lumbering with each day.
Everywhere he went, Jack ran into yet another pressure-cooked person, red-faced, puffing, sweating like they’d just come out of a sauna. Jack had lived in this small town all his life, and the build up, just before the wet season, always led to foolishness.
Continue reading “Gone Troppo”
She sat at the laminate table, head in her hands, completely spent. She had cried a lifetime’s quota of tears and there was no moisture left in her. She had become a desert of emotions, devoid of even the ability to smile wanly at her friends’ efforts to amuse her.
The trajectory of her life, this yawning chasm of mediocrity, each day of drudgery more laboured than the next, had drained the colour from her personality and her complexion.
Continue reading “Thin Blue Line”
The key turns smoothly in the lock. She listens for the familiar click as the bolt draws back.
Her hand reaches for the knob. A gentle turn and push. The door opens on the quiet dark beyond.
Continue reading “First Day Blues”
Tara massaged her craniofacial hinge with two feathers from her left wing in small circular movements. It was already daylight, she was tired and this was turning into a long and sleepless day.
“So … you’re an owl?” The Twenty-eight was confused.
Continue reading “Birds of a feather”
I can see the world wobbling and waving in front of me as I lie flat and still on my stomach. It’s so hot that even the tar from the road is losing water.
My head feels light and my breath comes in short bursts.
Continue reading “Sniper”
“Oh god. Ohgod-ohgod-ohgod-ohgod.”
A thick ooze of rich scarlet stained her knickers. Sunita sat on the toilet with her head in her hands, knickers around her knees, nose dripping, tears streaming down her cheeks, not knowing what to do, and terrified of telling Mummy. She winced and clenched her fists as another cramp ripped through her.
Continue reading “Welcome to the club”
Mix stretched his arms skyward, extending each vertebra. He opened his lips into a round flat O, scrunched up his eyes, and yawned the yawn of the bone-weary. It had been a very long night.
He looked around pleased with himself. The world was elegant, blanketed in her new downy white coat, wearing her finest crystals, ready for the grand Winter ball.
Continue reading “Winter Wonderland”
The air rolled its warm fat fingers lovingly over Sophia’s lean, supple body, caressing every inch, as she lay on her side on top of the breakfast table. Making herself as flat as possible, she stretched each limb in turn, reaching out until her muscles squealed and shuddered with the ache of effort. She felt as if her very being was melting into the wood beneath her, merging with the table, oozing into one solitary being.
Continue reading “The Unbearable Hotness of being (with apologies to Milan Kundera)”
Mathaiamma shuffled away with a troubled mind, one foot dragging sluggishly behind her, her sari pulled across her nose and mouth to stop the choking dust she was kicking up, wisps of white hair escaping the confines of material. Her every movement was laboured now, her body weakened and battered and broken by the grinding civil war.
Continue reading “Indelible”