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.

 

 

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.

Swallowing Oceans

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When the Great Crabs come frothing from the ocean- angry and spitting - it’s Meeko who leaps upon them, shoving them into the rusted tin bucket.

He’s young though. Unpractised.

Undercurrent

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It hasn’t helped, her being ill. That’s to say it hasn’t altered in any way the strange mood that earlier began hanging around. Exactly how long the mood has been with her she doesn’t remember. Everything about it is vague...

Saint Luc de la Chemise

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I

In the year of Our Lord, 1539, or thereabouts, in a small town in the centre of France, or thereabouts, three middle-aged men sat together in the corner of a tavern, in silence. They were Piers L'Hernault (more secular than religious), Onfroi Parsley (more religious than secular), and Gosse Barnard (majoritarian) – three of the twelve town councillors. When their council meeting began that morning, their town was Champs des Navets (Turnip Fields); controversially, when it ended, Saint Luc de la Chemise.

Sunday

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Bea, where are you? Your mum rang me a few months ago, out of the blue. It was great to hear from her. She told you me you’ve found yourself a new lover (your boss?!) and you’re no longer at your old address. She said you call sometimes when you have the money and you can find a phone. I hope next time you call she remembers to tell you I said hello. She said you’ve been living in your van for a while now, driving around the hills outside Barcelona and working the markets. So all those letters I sent you are sitting on the floorboards in the hall of someone else’s newly rented flat.

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A Short-Lived Marriage

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On entering his apartment Rob could hear the sound of the television. Coming down the hall he noticed cardboard boxes sealed in duck tape with “Arthur’s clothes and books” written across them in scribbled black text. Arthur sat in the living room, despondent. The light coming from the television broke the darkness at intervals with iridescent flashes. Rob passed into the kitchen. 

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.