Tree

I got to help Dad pick the tree this year. The one I chose took up the whole backseat. I didn’t mind. It meant I got to sit in the front with Dad. Still, we drove home slowly, ‘cos the trunk was sticking out the window. We’re lucky there weren’t any cops around to give Dad a fine. When we got home, my brother helped Dad carry the tree inside and put it in a bucket. I held it up while he and Dad filled the bucket with dirt from the garden. Continue reading

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Gifted

You close your eyes and take a deep, shuddering breath. Your ears strain as you try to convince yourself that the house is empty. A low moan sounds from beneath the tree, causing your breath to hitch. Slowly, softly, you caress the brightly wrapped gift as you gently remove the paper an inch at a time. Continue reading

Planet X Sneak Peak

I have been so busy concentrating on NaNoWriMo this week, that I completely forgot to write something for today’s Fiction Friday. Instead I have decided to give you a sneak peek at one of the earlier scenes from Planet X, the novel I am currently working on.

If you decide to read it, please bear in mind that, besides a basic spell-check, this is completely unedited, un-revised, un-refined and un-beta’d. You read this at your own risk. Continue reading

Living

The worst part about the apocalypse isn’t the zombies. Continue reading

Memoriae

The room is cluttered with memories of a well-spent life. The wall-to-wall bookcase is filled with leather-bound books. An urn, brimming with scrolls, stands in the corner. On the walls is a portrait of a beautiful, dark-haired woman, holding a child. The large mahogany desk holds an intricately carved cigar case, a small globe and a glass box containing a lock of blonde hair and a tooth. The spirit of the former occupant pervades the room.

3453-illustration-of-berries-on-a-vine-pv

This is another creative writing assignment from 2005. We were given the sentence “The room contained a desk and a shelf full of books” and told to add atmosphere.

 

 

X53Za Update

I just want to take this opportunity to apologise to those people who were looking forward to part 2 of X53Za. There is not going to be a part 2 to this short story. Before you all mob me, let me explain. Continue reading

X53Za Part 1

The footpath was teeming with commuters, pressed so tightly that Sam was carried along with the crowd. He sighed. This would add at least an hour to his travel time and he was already exhausted. By the time he finally manoeuvred his way out of the crowd, his feet ached and his head throbbed with each step he took.

As he turned back the way he had come, he noticed a large booth he had never seen before. Inside was an average looking woman, dark hair framing her smiling face. She was well-dressed, though not in a ‘flaunting her wealth’ kind of way. In fact, she looked like one of those government flunkies you always see surrounding the politicians on the television.

What really caught Sam’s eye. though, was the posters plastered all over the woman’s booth. ‘Explore the frontier’, the brightly coloured letters proclaimed above pictures of pilgrims and cowboys and wagon trains, ‘Your ancestors did it, Why not you?’. He paused for a moment, undecided. Today’s air was particularly thin and his lungs felt tight and unresponsive. Couple that with his headache, and he wanted nothing more than to go home to his oxygenated apartment, swallow a tablet and relax in a steaming shower. Continue reading

The Reckoning

Through the trees, the sun broke in a dappled pattern on the ground. The smell of the rich soil and vegetation swamped my senses. Birds, sounding their calls, echoed through the valley. Lizards scurried through the undergrowth. It was morning already.

I held my breath, listening intently to the sounds of the forest. It was sheer luck that alerted me to his presence. A sixth sense, really. I had almost missed the signs — an extra rustle in the wind, the random snap of a twig, a flash of grey that should not have been seen in this place. So, now I waited, my cloak pulled tight, my nerves stretched almost to breaking. Continue reading

Wrong Number

“Hello?” Sandra said into the phone.

“G’day. I’m calling to speak to Mike.” Said the voice on the other end.

“Sorry, mate. Wrong number. There’s no Mike here.”  She answered before hanging up the phone.

Thirty seconds later, the phone rang again. It was the same bloke, still looking for Mike.

“Look, I already told you, there isn’t anybody here by that name. He obviously gave you the wrong number.” She hung up again.

Almost as soon she replaced the receiver, it was ringing again. “Look mate,” she snapped. “I already told you, I don’t know this Mike of yours. Now don’t call again!”

“Actually,” a soft voice spoke. “This is Mike. I just called to give you a heads up that I gave this number to a particularly persistent guy at the club last night. I take it he’s called you already?”

Sandra was annoyed and told him so. Mike was apologetic and told her so. He’d made up a number on the spot, and only later did it occur to him that it might actually be a real number. While still annoyed, Sandra was impressed that Mike was willing to own up to his mistake. She commiserated with him about overly persistent suitors, as well.

Mike and Sandra chatted for nearly an hour. They had a lot in common and never seemed to run out of things to say. Before ending their conversation, they had agreed to meet for coffee the next day. As she hung up the phone, Sandra mused that maybe wrong numbers weren’t all bad.

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OK, this week’s story is very short and not very good. I apologise. I ran out of time before leaving for my holiday and figured something was better than nothing, so there you go. The prompt for this story was “It all started with a wrong number…”. I can’t remember where I got it from.

Gone

The first time I disappeared, I was six. One moment, I was sitting at the table eating spaghetti with my family, the next moment I was gone. Just like that; now you see me, now you don’t. Continue reading

Imaginary Friends

The first time I saw my friends was right after we moved into our new house. I didn’t like the house my parents bought. It was old and dirty, with grime on the windows and doors that creaked and redbacks under the stairs. The yard was practically a jungle with overgrown gardens and grass up to my knees. I just knew I would be stuck cleaning that mess up even though there was bound to be mice and snakes and who knows what else living there.

The kitchen was old. It had one of those orange laminate bench-tops that were popular when my mum was a kid. The wallpaper was faded and peeling and there was only one sink. There was a little square table and two uncomfortable looking chairs in the corner that the previous owners had left behind. Continue reading

Sleigh Bells in the Snow

Snow. It means so many things to so many different people. It speaks of magic and Christmas and the sound of children’s laughter; it speaks of cold and darkness and death. Continue reading

The Sound of Falling Snow

Trigger Warning: Suicide

I never knew snow had a sound. Oh, I knew about the crunch it makes as you walk over it and the irritating nails on chalkboard sound of skis passing over the top. I have even heard the dull thud of snowballs hitting my brother once when we visited Charlotte Pass. Nothing in my life, though, prepared me for the near silent whisper of snowflakes floating gently to the ground, a sound so quiet it is almost felt rather than heard. Continue reading

Better

I knew this would happen. Granted I hadn’t expected it to be quite so soon, but I had expected it. And I told them. Repeatedly. I tried to warn them; tried to prepare them for this moment, but they refused to listen; refused to believe. I’m not so crazy now, though, am I?

I’m no longer the strange woman parents warn their children about; no more crossing the street to avoid me now. No. Now it’s “I always knew there was something to your theories, Mrs Kelly”, and “I never believed what they said about you, Mrs Kelly”. Oh no. The shit’s hit the fan and suddenly I’m the bees’ knees; queen of the hill; everyone’s best mate. Continue reading

Marked

I was marked at the moment of my birth. My mother lay screaming on her birthing blanket, tears leaking from her eyes, her forehead beaded with sweat, my slimy head dangling from her body while the priests placed the tattoos on my cheeks. She wanted to keep me, my mother, wanted to take me and run, but the elders caught her as they almost always do, and they took me from her.

The moment I was pulled from her body, my mother was killed. She had birthed a fatherless babe. She was unclean and could not be allowed to corrupt the other girls. Her body was burned with cleansing fire and her ashes scattered in the Valley of Shame. There was no grave, no place for me to visit in remembrance. I don’t even know her name.

I think of her sometimes, when I am alone. I wonder what she was like. Was she pretty? Was she kind? Do I look like her? Would she have loved me? I do not discuss these thoughts in our daily cleansings. They are my secret shame. Continue reading

Spirit

When the photo was developed, he was shocked to find her face staring out at him sadly. He had been unaware that she was at the party and had not noticed her hovering nearby when the snapshot was taken. Continue reading

30 Day Book Challenge Day 7:

Guilty Pleasures book cover

A Guilty Pleasure Book This is an extremely difficult question for me, because I really don’t have a guilty pleasure book. Having a guilty pleasure book implies that you are ashamed or embarrassed in some way about the book you … Continue reading

Thirty Day Book Challenge Day 1:

The Changeover: A Supernatural Romance cover by margaret Mahy

A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just end already Warning: Contains Spoilers! This is a difficult one for me because I am generally fairly happy with the length of series’ that … Continue reading

Kathy Lette in ‘How to Kill Your Husband (and other handy household hints)’

“It’s a mystery of parenthood that your son can give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to stray, worm-riddled dogs, share a piece of re-chewed gum from a kid with bronchitis and pick his nose and eat it on a regular basis, yet won’t sit next to his sister because of ‘Girl Germs’.

~Kathy Lette in ‘How to Kill Your Husband (and other handy household hints)’

Black Juice by Margo Lanagan

Black Juice

Opening Sentence:We all went down to the tar-pit, with mats to spread our weight. Synopsis:‘And through the silence comes something immense and leisurely, that sheds the filth of heavens from it’s dusty wings…Whatever it is, it comes for all of … Continue reading

Splinter by Adam Roberts

Splinter by Adam Roberts

Opening Sentence:Hector flew in. Synopsis:When Hector discovers his estranged father has channeled the family fortune into a bizarre survivalist sect who await the imminent destruction of the Earth, he is wracked by feelings of betrayal and doubt. Things change, however, … Continue reading