Fiction

 

Skin and Scale

Skin and Scale

Michelle See-Tho
It  starts on my back, next to my bra strap. It’s red and itchy first, a rash. It feels strange to touch, numb, like it’s not my skin. I call Mum. Is it happening? I ask. Mm, maybe, she says ...
The Visible Heart

The Visible Heart

Karen Wyld
He heard the muffled giggles before he came across the huddle of boys. Emerging from the side door of the bluestone building, Father Benilde Reeson frowned as he strode towards the wayward students. His footsteps were distinctive because of the thick ...
Zu, or Part Thereof

Zu, or Part Thereof

Ouyang Yu
On this Greek island of white walls and sky-blue houses, they lay in bed, facing the sea through a window large enough to contain the sea from end to end. ‘Do you still remember the saying?’ said she. ‘What saying?’ said ...
The Cameleer

The Cameleer

Christopher Raja
Khidr stepped out onto the deck, tied his camels to ropes with harnesses and ensured they were well restrained to avoid injury. He soothed them with grain, as sahibs on the bridge relinquished control to the port authority. A pageant ...
The Funeral

The Funeral

Jennifer Mills
He kept boots dry all day, but in the late afternoon, still an hour and a half from the small ship and its pop-up campsite, one of Morrow’s feet slipped sideways in the mud and sank on its edge, just ...
The Man Who Loved The Persimmon Tree

The Man Who Loved The Persimmon Tree

Arnold Zable
I first saw him in the port of Chongqing, in a navy-blue overcoat, hurrying on the wharf towards the Yangtze River ferry. He held a valise in one hand and clutched a book to his chest with the other. I ...
The White Waratah

The White Waratah

Carol Lefevre
They had been driving in silence for almost an hour, the muted gold of stubble fields in the car windows cut by sudden slashes of green. Wellington was far behind, yet Stella still had the urge to plead with Alex ...
A Quiet World

A Quiet World

Anneliz Erese
I begin this story the same way I always do: ‘There is a restlessness in me that I could not extinguish.’ And then one of my mates, eyes misty with smoke, would say, as always, ‘You’re fucked.’ Or, sometimes, when ...
Interested in Custard

Interested in Custard

Ashley Goldberg
 A lean stretch of highway connects the inner-southern suburbs of Canberra to the Tuggeranong Valley. There are no reflectors or street lights, so that in the peak of winter—when the sun’s dipping beneath the Brindabellas at five o’clock—high beams are ...
Zucchini

Zucchini

Monikka Eliah
'La makrebetlah!’ my mama shouted through the rolled-down window of her speed-striped red Toyota Camry. She had just dropped me off at Ato Shipneh’s. Ato Shipneh lived in a brown-brick house in Smithfield with a giant sculpture of the Virgin ...
Hiatus

Hiatus

Kristian Radford
Jason was good at his job but he knew that wouldn’t mean anything today. There are times when a man is called to complete an impossible task, not necessarily because of any malice on the part of the one doing ...
Earth House

Earth House

Hollen Singleton
Building a house from the earth, that was the real thing. My first wife was a palaeontologist, and she knew everything about everything. She was a landowner when we met, in that she owned tracts of semi-cultivated scrubland. Her parents ...
The Bear on the Beach

The Bear on the Beach

Rose Allan
I keep seeing her setting out along the beach. The air is bright and light; a bit of wind lifting her fur but nothing to worry about. Her huge paws coming down squashing sand-crabs and pulverising the washed-up pumice. If ...
Wasta

Wasta

Mohammed Massoud Morsi
My last day in Lebanon was spent eating a French breakfast on the rooftop of my squalid Hamra-district rental. Backdropped was a picturesque and snow-capped Mount Lebanon: a symbol of the country’s historical heritage; thousands of years of wars carved ...
Meeting Points

Meeting Points

Jo Langdon
The sun on the other side of the glass was a bright, hot peach—luminous, white and pink through the grey. I was sure—in a concrete, immediate sense—that the world was ending. But the midwives drew a dark blind across the ...