Infestation: noun — the presence of an unusually large number of insects or animals in a place, typically so as to cause damage or disease.¹
I slam the dictionary closed. The word certainly describes my life at the moment. Infestation. The only question now is what to do about it. I’ve tried traps, but they only catch one at a time, barely making a dent in the population. Continue reading →
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 →
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 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 →
‘’Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.’
I wish. It sure as hell isn’t that quiet in our house, let me tell you. There’s no popping off to bed early, dreaming of sugar plums (whatever the hell they are) and waiting for good old St Nick here. No, here it’s all noise and bickering and chaos. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Opening Sentence:Crabs is very neat in everything he does. Synopsis:A landmark in contemporary Australian literature, The Fat Man in History brought early acclaim to Peter Carey for his brilliant and ingenious fiction. These twelve stories introduce visionary landscapes of intense … Continue reading →
Opening Sentence:It was a dazzling four-sun afternoon. Synopsis:For the people of Kalgash, complete darkness is a terrifying and impossible unknown: their six suns constantly illuminate all corners of the known world. But new and shattering ideas have come to light. … Continue reading →
English: Image from Best Russian Short Stories. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“The boy was waiting at the end of the jetty, the boat held steady against the stumps. I took his hand; it was cold and moist to the touch and when I felt that chill I hesitated for a moment…”
In this spine-chilling collection of weird and spooky stories, nothing is as it first appears.
What could possibly be dangerous about the smiling boy rowing his boat across a country lake? A pretty picture in a suburban sitting room? An old-fashioned child playing a never-ending game of cards in a derelict house? Genre: Teen Thriller Rating: @@@@@ Pages: 142 BCID:xxx-5508845 ISBN:o- Year: Format:Paperback Comments:I finally got around to reading this. This is a book of short stories. Very creepy short stories. This book was written for teens but adults will enjoy it just as much. I really enjoyed reading this and I got a few chills along the way.