Short stories

 

One of our short fiction pieces might whisk you away to another place or another time. It might put you in the shoes of someone you've never dreamt of being. And the whole journey takes place in a single sitting. Come on an adventure with us. Compelling Australian short fiction is what we're all about.

 

 

S-M-S!

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I start the day of my death like every other: barely alive.

Sleepless and cruising mindlessly through the shopping centre that some town planner has sketched out next to my regional train station, and probably the train station after that. I imagine a carbon copy of me in the next town over, scurrying to pick up the exact same shrink-wrapped and canned goods that will help me subsist during the workday. Tuna. Sweetcorn. More tuna. A limp and vaguely chemical-tasting salad if it’s Monday (which it is) and you’re detoxing, (which I am).

Can Kirby Come Out and Play?

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There’s something to be said of the fact that I’d decided to return to a specific place, to the creek in Prospect, to remember Kirby. Walking down the gentle slope of my old street I thought that, even though I had no desire to ever go back to the “Westie” suburb of my childhood, as I tried to write about Kirby on the narrow front balcony of my rented terrace in Surry Hills the words on the page sounded forced, fictive, like I was being dishonest. 

“Come on, Kirby!” my brother and his mates used to say.  

We're friends

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So, here we are at Lou’s birthday. All the boys have taken over the fire, fighting with each other about who can best build up the flames, drinking and smoking, and talking a whole lot of shit. I was over there about 20 minutes ago, and guess what they were talking about? Premier League fantasy football. No shit, they really were. They were all sitting there with their phones lighting up their faces, comparing teams, players, and some other stuff that I got bored of super quickly.

Time

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I got drunk one night and hit someone outside a pub. I broke his jaw and he fell and smashed his teeth on the concrete curb, knocked him out. CCTV footage got it. Police rustled me up around 3am. I did some time. When I got out I called Sharon but she didn’t want to know me. I called Pete but he was too busy and we’d catch up. Yeah.

Always a Fight

Profile picture for user lincoln.lally91

Last Friday night, Andy, Clay and l met at the park on Old Maryborough Rd. We had organised the finer details of when and what to bring on the stifling bus home after school. Andy would bring the booze, Clay, the weed and I would bring the bong. Clay had even floated the idea of inviting Kim and Tracy but I wasn’t so keen on it. Girls always seemed to bring about trouble; sirens that somehow convince us to sell our souls and loyalty for a furtive hand job behind the toilets at the skate park. 

I thought you'd be different

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In the dim light of the stairwell Olivia couldn’t make out just where she was. There was an amber gloom as the afternoon sunlight seeped through the orange glass side panels around the front door. Robert groped for one of those push-button light switches that leaves the bulb on for a couple of minutes. He said that his place was on the first floor. He grabbed her hand and cried, “Come on!” This was the first time that Olivia had been to his place, though he’d stayed over at hers a few times since they’d started going out. The rather musty air of the stairs persisted on the landing.

The Visitor

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    He was attempting to collect his thoughts, to remember why he’d ventured down this way, when he found her standing by the river. She stood with her back to him, staring out at the snake-brown water. Jake didn’t know where the woman was from, or where she was going. He’d never seen her before; yet there she was, lingering on his land as if doing so were the most natural thing in the world.

Office Quota

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One of the things I hate about work is you don’t get to choose who else you work with. It’s a mixed bag of random arseholes that you’re stuck with day after day. Just like boarding a train: you might hook up with some hottie with a long ponytail and curves like the back end of a classic Corvette, or you might get greeted by a bunch of sheltered workshop commuters in football beanies all wanting to say hello...

The Storm

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Wind chimes beat a frantic fractured metal sound, the music lost, against the noise of strained and flapping sun sails. Views to the south had been reduced to 10 meters from the usual 6 Nautical Miles. With a sudden darkening of rain clouds and a drop in temperature from 40 to 22 o C the southerly had arrived. It was early. It was always early. She had told him it would be early. Now all she could do was shut her fear at the thrashing palm trees and the bent branches of the Lilly Pilly as it actively invaded the much older avocado tree.

Fog

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“This is fucked!” Damian said from the front seat. His hands gripped the wheel tightly and his muscles flexed. He had tattoos all the way up his arms with symbols from New Zealand. Out the front window of the car the headlights reflected off a thick wall of fog. You could only see the road for a car length then it disappeared and there was condensation all over the windows. “Remind me again, what’s so special about the Otways?” Mum didn’t answer; it must have been a rhetorical question. I poked the condensation on the window with my finger. It felt cold and wet.