Archive for March, 2015

This story first appeared on Literally Stories.

Bush paddock

Toothpick balanced on his lip, just so. Hair slicked down with practiced precision. But despite the evil eye and air of menace he fancied he gave off, Rachel Duccini couldn’t help but smile. Gerard Marron, for all his sneering attempts at brooding ominousness, reminded her a hell of a lot of the Lollipop Guild Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz. The way he squinted, the pant legs too short to cover his ankles, and the way he had his hands in his pockets, thumbs out pointing at each other across his groin. (more…)

The Great Unknown - cover

The Great Unknown is a collection of 19 short stories by Australian writers. According to Angela Meyer, the editor, “it was while watching the original series of The Twilight Zone that the book… was born.” “The strange, the absurd, the macabre, the speculative and the fantastical” nature of these stories, saw them chosen and compiled as examples of the kind of influence American television programmes like The Twilight Zone has had on contemporary Australian writers. (more…)

Every morning she manhandles him from his bed, arranges him in his chair and takes him to the bathroom. Waits for him to use the toilet, and then sloshes cold water over his malformed body, helps him to wash. He flinches when the water hits him, sometimes letting out a little gasp, and goosebumps come up over his bony biceps and skinny chest, but always he says nothing.
Most times this chore, followed by the chore of dressing, the chore of breakfast, is performed in silence. This has been routine now for twelve years and there is no joy in its repetition. Only the numbing weight of obligation and the toxic pall of stale regret that hangs above their heads.
On Saturday, like every Saturday, she pushes him in his chair along the side of the road as the impatient morning traffic hustles by. Motorcycles and cars and buses and trucks sound their horns and jostle for space, and she wonders why all these people should be so tetchy and agitated when she is the one who just had to scrape her brother’s shit from under her fingernails.