After your world ended for the third time, you walked. The gold ring on your right hand heavy and the blue band around your left wrist even heavier. ‘Rip-off fitbits’ was how Intisar had described them three years ago, as the two of you sat on the couch in the living room of your then new apartment, staring down at your clasped black hands. You had made a joke about fashionable shackles then, because that’s what you both did, joked and laughed when the reality became just a bit too much. Ten years ago you were both in your final year of high school, and the nation had voted on the humanity of people who loved like you—but these shackles came without a plebiscite.
All your life, no matter which continent you were living on, you have never lived far from a great river. Something is comforting about being near a source of water. You were born an ocean away from here, next to Al-Neel, the river of kings: a force of nature rises and falls with the seasons and is still unbending to the whims of the world in which you exist.
You find yourself alone on a bridge nestled in the bushland dotting the suburb where your parents live. The creek it bisects flows from a tributary of the Derbarl Yerrigan, the Swan River, and you cannot help the flash of memory it triggers—stories from childhood, about Al-Neel and the bodies it hid. Those disposed of by soldiers. Civilians who chose a watery grave rather than a life in chains. A mother who drowned her child rather than have him taken away. Those who risked crossing the torrents for a chance at a safe haven on distant shores. It’s a wonder the river had not turned red with the bloodshed. But then, the rivers on this continent still run blue, despite the nation being built on the blood and bones of millions of people.
Al-Neel did not change for the world around it; it rushed and shaped the space to accommodate itself. Your clearest memory of then, of the home that could no longer be home, is of ibises flying over water and men fishing on small wooden boats. Of glaring blue skies, open doors and dusty roads that were never empty nor quiet. Now, you stand on the bridge and hum a tune to yourself while removing the ring and turning it over in your hands. It’s a familiar melody, probably the same wordless tune that your great-grandmother would have hummed back in the days when they harvested by moonlight and planted by starlight on the fertile soil of Al-Neel Al-Asraq. Her country had been hers, yet occupied. Had your great-grandmother also felt the disconnect that comes from not knowing where her next step will land? You are made of patchwork pieces of self always falling apart and attempting to mend into some semblance of a person.
Your history is full of gaps in the shapes of words and worlds, places and people—but it is because of what her daughter, your great-aunt, taught you that you stand here now. She learned the stories at her own haboba’s side and spoke them as seeds so they may take root wherever they are dispersed. And dispersed you are—the generation born into war, whose families fled to foreign soil and built houses on grief, memories and longing. Still, those seeds that have burrowed into the depth of your consciousness take root and flourish, and why shouldn’t they? Even if you are on hostile ground. Even the Sahara is full of life waiting until rain comes. You, however, are tired of waiting for change to come to you.
She is standing in the middle of the bridge by the time you arrive, and you are shocked by how beautiful she is. This world had taught you that nothing beautiful could be monstrous; and that those who look like you could never be beautiful. Her dark brown eyes meet yours and something within you screams at you to run. You freeze instead and she regards you with something you hope is tolerant amusement.
‘You called me here, Binti Adam, to this place that is not our own.’ She turns to watch the water, though the feeling of that ageless gaze still weighs on you. ‘Few Banu Adam remember how to do so. Fewer still would dare.’
She is not speaking English, but the Arabic of your birth, though with an accent you cannot place. She stands on the bridge looking as though she had all the time in the world. And that, more than anything else, fills you with a sense of urgency. She was not known to be patient, not in any of the stories you were told. Her people were capricious, as volatile as the smokeless fire from which they were born: one wrong step and you would be worse than dead.
Prayers you had not thought of in years race through your mind. It’s funny; you were never particularly pious, but like a child running into a mother’s embrace, you now turn to what had been the bedrock of your education and selfhood for comfort. Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim Allahu la illaha illa hu wal hayyul qayyum …
‘I want to make a deal.’
‘Do you now?’ She does not look away from the water, but she sounds amused. Good. You might have a chance to get out of this alive.
‘I need your help,’ you begin, taking a measured breath as you look at her. It all feels too big. ‘Someone I love is missing, and I need your help to get them back.’ You feel a shift, and a deadly silence settles over the two of you.
‘You disturbed me, brought me here to this place not our own.’ She is quiet and still, the way winds are before a storm, the way the bullet that took your older brother had been before it pierced his side and shattered into shrapnel. You have long learned that some silences can be terrifying. ‘For something so insignificant?’
‘Insignificant?’ The word scrapes your throat as you force it out. You cannot hide the indignation in your voice.
‘All of you Banu Adam—’ she makes the epithet a curse, ‘going through life, forgetting the old ways, only remembering when you need something for yourselves. Uncaring of consequences.’ The sound she makes could have resembled a laugh in a different world. ‘Whatever stories you have heard ya Binti Adam, my kin cannot fix your problems, nor do we have any wish to.’
‘I am not asking you to part an ocean or turn back time, I just want you to help me save one person!’ Your anger has always made you reckless.
‘As I said, selfish.’ She pins you in place, an insect frozen in amber under the force of her ancient gaze. ‘Only one person. How many others do you think pray, bargain and plead for the same all around this world? How many children, parents, siblings, partners? What makes you think you are special? That your loved ones, out of millions, deserve saving?’
Yours is anger that comes from desperation. It rises and roils, magma beneath the surface of the earth before an imminent eruption. Who was she to judge? This mercurial creature outside time—who was she to tell you that your loss did not matter?
‘It was my call you answered. I may be selfish, but I remember my stories. I know what that means.’
‘Do you? Your stories are twisted, changed and buried with each wave of invasion, what makes you think anything you know is true?’ She smirks. ‘You don’t even know your own language enough to complete a prayer.’
You don’t question how she knows that. You already know the answer. Instead, you meet her gaze head-on. ‘I know enough to have called you. I know enough for you to have answered.’ Your mother always told you your mouth would get you killed one day. The Djinniya laughs, baring rows of too-sharp teeth. The fear you had almost forgotten in your rage threatens to rise again and take hold. ‘The audacity of you! It’s what makes you Banu Adam so interesting.’ She lets out another chuckle. ‘I haven’t laughed like that in centuries—perhaps I won’t kill you after all.’ Like smoke in bright sunlight, she disperses and disappears between one moment and the next.
It takes an eternal instant for the noise of the world around you to come surging back. You close your eyes and hear the blood rushing in your ears and the urgent beating of your foolish heart. You reach into your pocket and feel the weight of an old ring there. In the light, it looks different. The untarnished gold piece you first saw on your great-aunt’s hand, an ocean ago when she had sung lullabies and told stories older than the language she spoke in that magical hour after dinner, when all the children in your family gathered in the courtyard to hear her. When you and Intisar married, you shoved it into a box of old memories between faded photographs of your family and half-forgotten notes. You looked ahead towards a new beginning. You believed in fairytales and happy endings back then.
You blink away tears, speak words from a story you heard long ago, and drop the ring into the water. The blue band on your wrist feels heavy, the wedding band even heavier. You cannot back down now. Besides, in this world, what difference would one more monster make?
• • •
The dream had come again, part memory, possibly prophecy. She is walking through the dirt roads of a long-lost home, to the edge of wide-open doors as the wind carries the scent of meat sizzling over a fire and bakhoor, a comforting familiar smoke. A hint of purple-black in the distant skies signals the encroaching night, and the adhan reverberates through the street, calling all to the Maghrib prayer. The air is getting cooler and children are dashing about, racing the dying sunlight home. They run through her and she phases out of existence for what could have been a moment or years. It’s dawn when the smouldering ashes of the houses greet her, smoke still rising, like a tribute to long-silent gods. The adhan still sounds. She looks around trying to find a semblance of her old home, an exit from this dream turned nightmare, but the rising river behind her is burning red and around her there are no streets left.
Intisar woke long before sunrise and for a moment just breathed, the distant adhan still ringing in her ears. Quietly she pushed off the covers and walked to the bathroom, hissing as her bare feet touched the cold wooden floor. On the bed, she heard Zainab making a noise of sleepy disgruntlement while shifting into the warmth Intisar had left behind. She couldn’t help but smile—her wife did not sleep easy, neither of them could these days, but when she did, the end of the world could not wake her up.
It was half an hour before she needed to pray Fajr, so she went about her morning routine making chai, the way her Baba used to make it for her in the mornings when she was young. Strong black tea with cloves, cardamom, a dash of milk and a heap of sugar or honey, whatever was available to them back then. Early mornings had been their time. She had started drinking it again two years ago, getting reaccustomed to the taste. For a long time after his death everything had tasted bitter; food and drink, thoughts and words. But now the memories brought her comfort, even if they were tinged with a grief that was at once old and so very new. With breakfast done, she wrapped her black braids back into a bun and made her ablution. The wudu was a familiar ritual, and the routine calmed her. Then, her sajadah facing west towards Mecca, she began salat al-fajr.
The prayer did not comfort her as it usually did. Instead, her feet dragged as she prepared for the day and walked outside, careful not to wake the still-sleeping Zainab. Maybe it was the weather, the dream or the thoughts of her father, whose absence was a chasm torn in the fabric of the universe. Perhaps a combination of all three. That was the thing with grief, no-one grows up from it. A worm to the earth, grief burrows deep into a person, until there is no choice but to grow around the empty spaces. Time did not diminish it but merely expanded the capacity to survive it with each passing year. The world is forever separated into before and after. The day they left Khartoum, the day Baba had been taken, had not been a remarkable day.
When she had woken up that morning to drink chai with him, she had not realised that in only a few hours their lives would be changed forever. It had happened quickly but she always remembers it with agonising slowness. They had been eating lunch with Khalo Tilal’s family, her mother’s only brother, when the noise outside, the cacophony of everyday life, abruptly became a deafening silence. The adults had all looked at each other and then, without hesitation, her Mama had moved. She pushed baby Haydur into Intisar’s arms, carried Aziza, who was barely able to walk then, and herded them all into the back of the house. She pushed them behind the building that held the bathroom.
‘Stay here and stay quiet,’ Mama had hissed. Haydur had begun to cry and Mama snatched him up from Intisar’s arms to calm him. Intisar hadn’t felt it was real when her baby brother was put back into her arms. Mama kissed both Intisar and her sister before hurrying back outside. As suddenly as it began, the silence of the street was replaced by screams, and what sounded like fireworks. To this day Intisar still thinks that the only reason the soldiers did not hear Haydur crying was due to her Mama’s howls and the shouting in the streets. It might have been minutes or hours, but Mama came to find them, shaking as she took the baby from Intisar. Aziza had cried herself to silence by then. She pushed them through the back of the house, down empty streets. Where was Baba? Where was Khalo Tilal? Intisar had wanted to ask but could not make herself say the words. She couldn’t say anything.
She does not remember what happened next, how they got from their town to a backstreet in Khartoum and then on a bus heading towards Aswan in Egypt. But that day was the last time she had seen her father and uncle. She had no memory of their faces. Once, after they arrived in Australia, her brother had found a faded photograph and asked Mama who the strange man was. Intisar heard her mother cry later that night, the sound of sobs carried easily in the cramped, two-bedroom apartment they now called home. That was nearly two decades ago.
Now she called her mother on her way to work, wanting to hear her voice, needing something to ground her. Her mother answered cheerfully, already awake despite the early hour, and Intisar felt warm despite the chill of the street as their conversation flowed, familiar and comfortable. The past was always there, hovering at the edge of her vision but right now, right here, she had everything she needed. ‘Mama, don’t worry—we’re fine. No, you don’t need to send over food. Yes, we’re making sure to check all the doors are closed at night.’ Intisar laughed. ‘How are you, Mama?’ she asks once again. Her mother had dodged the query earlier and instead bombarded her with questions about her health, her diet, her work and whatever else could be used as a distraction. Over the phone, she heard her mother sigh.
‘What can I say, habibti, except for Alhamdulillah we have our health and each other. Though do you have to live so far away?’
‘I’m only two suburbs away, Mama, this apartment is close to work and university, Zainab and I chose it because of that.’
‘How is Zainab?’ Her mother asked, ‘Is she going well with studies? This is her last semester, yes? I was just telling my neighbour the other day about my daughter-in-law the lawyer!’
Intisar smiles. ‘She has to pass a few more classes before she can be a lawyer, Mama.’
Her mother makes a dismissive sound ‘She will be fine! Now you, when am I going to watch you walk across the stage with a PhD in your hand? It’s better to start now before things get harder,’ voice grave as she continues. ‘Your sister wants to leave school. Can you talk some sense into her?’
‘Why does Aziza want to leave?’
‘I don’t know what goes on in that child’s head! We scrape together what we can to provide her with the best and what does she do? Throws it away. Hides in her room and does not get out of bed for days.’
‘She’s depressed, Mama.’
‘Depression is for those who have too much time on their hands. She can’t be depressed—there is no time! You have to be twice, three times as good to get half as much here.’ She pauses and adds quietly, ‘Especially now.’
‘She can’t help it, Mama, you know that,’ Intisar interjected.
Her Mama was quiet for a long while. ‘I brought you all here to get you away from things like this, so you never have to be afraid again, but now with everything that’s happening in this country, I don’t know if it would have been better if we had stayed at home.’
‘We wouldn’t be having this conversation if we had stayed,’ Intisar replied, her heart twisting at the defeat tinging the edges of her mother’s voice. ‘You made the right choice, and we’ll get through this, we always have.’ She forced herself to laugh. ‘It’s the khawajat who’ve never been in a war we should worry about, they have no clue how to handle this new world.’
Her mother gave a tired chuckle. ‘Don’t be like that Sarsora, this would be terrifying for anyone.’
Intisar makes a dismissive noise, looking at the blue band encircling her wrist, knowing one similar was a weight on her mother’s fragile wrist. ‘They brought these laws into effect and now can’t handle the consequences, what did they expect, that the government will stop once they were given that kind of power? White folk never learn, Mama.’
‘Hush now, I don’t want you talking like that, especially in public. You know what can happen.’ Her Mama warned, ‘Don’t cause waves, habibti, I need you to be okay.’
Intisar had the lies to comfort her mother ready on the tip of her tongue—of course she will stay under the radar and just go about her everyday life. Neither she nor Zainab will attend that protest in the city tomorrow. She felt guilty as her Mama’s relief was palpable, even over the phone.
She continued the conversation, walking the nearly empty street until she reached her destination, a seemingly innocuous house with two cars parked out front.
‘I’ve just got to work, Mama, we’ll see you for dinner later this week, I love you.’
‘Amish be al salama ya habibti, I can’t wait to see you.’
Intisar ended the call and knocked the agreed-upon sequence on the door. The woman who opened it was white, with brown hair tied in a bun and blue eyes hidden by thick-framed glasses. She smiled and looked years younger for it.
‘Intisar!’ She hugged her. ‘It’s so good to see you!’ her voice carried across the quiet street. Intisar smiled widely when she stepped back from the hug and adjusted her bright yellow hijab, looking for all the world like someone who was excited to visit a friend. ‘How are you, Sarah? Sorry to drop by so early!’
‘Not at all! Come in, come in,’ she said, ushering Intisar inside the house and in an undertone that Intisar could barely hear muttered, ‘the others are already here.’
A motley collection of people were gathered in the dining room. There was Ahmed and his cheeky grin chatting with the red-headed Thomas. Sarah’s partner David, stocky and pale, was bringing a tray of biscuits to the table and smiled as he saw them walk in. Aya, Lamisa and Kat, whom Intisar had never seen apart in all the time she had known them, were talking quietly in one corner. The chatter stopped when everyone was seated, and the atmosphere of friendly camaraderie shifted to something more serious.
Kat began, confident. ‘So this is just a meeting to check in and see how everything is coming along for tomorrow’s protest. Does anyone have any questions or concerns we should address now?’
‘What if the turnout is less than we expect?’
‘We won’t know that until we get there,’ Lamisa said. ‘We’ve all advertised the protest in our circles and beyond, and there is enough outrage about the latest bill passed in parliament that even white folks will turn up.’
‘Because it finally affects them,’ Kat not-so-quietly muttered, glaring at the white band around her wrist. Louder she said, ‘You best believe that whitefellas will show up if only to protect their own self-interest.’
‘What will we do about the police presence?’ Thomas asked, eyes scanning the room anxiously. ‘They’re likely to come out in full force.’
‘It’s a peaceful protest; so long as no-one does anything to provoke them or be provoked, hopefully, we’ll get out of this fine,’ Aya replied.
‘And everyone who comes out will understand the risks,’ Intisar interjected. ‘No-one ever said resistance would be safe or easy. But the curfew affects everyone, and people will show up, hopefully enough of them to make a statement.’
Work was tedious, and Intisar felt the tension buzzing under her skin as she sat quietly in the office she shared with two other faculty members. She pretended to look through the final assessments for one of the units she was tutoring. Everyone was going through the motions of everyday life, and yet also on edge. Dictatorships came in increments, and in Australia there were still many people who believed that nothing of the sort was happening. But the new bill that had been passed, which declared a new national curfew in addition to the existing one for First Nations and foreign-born Australians, who could now be easily identified by the white or blue bands around their wrists, had made white folk who until now were hardly affected and therefore uninterested in the changes, jittery. Enough to actually speak out, even if it was just a smattering here and there of ‘this is not my Australia’ or ‘What we’re doing to those people is unfair.’
Maybe this would be a wake-up call, and they would join the movement rather than watch from the sidelines. Tomorrow they would see. For now, Intisar just wanted to focus on making it through the day and getting to spend some time with Zainab.
Dinner at home with Zainab was a balm for the harshness of the day. Intisar felt grounded in their one-bedroom home, with its small dining table and the comfortable sofa they had picked up second-hand. Zainab was talking about her studies, her warm brown eyes alight as she recounted her progress. Intisar let the words wash over her and smiled as her wife’s voice shifted from Arabic to English and back again without stopping for a breath.
‘What?’ Zainab suddenly asked. She’d been in the middle of describing an article she had found fascinating.
‘Hmm?’ Intisar snapped out of her reverie.
‘You’re staring off into the distance, have I bored you with my ramblings?’
‘Well now that you’ve said it,’ Intisar jokes, smiling at Zainab’s mock-offended expression. She reached across the table to grasp her hand. ‘I was just thinking about how lucky I am to have you in my life.’
Zainab’s smile was incandescent in its brilliance.
It was a late August morning, and the rain did nothing to break the tension that had settled over the city like sediment after a flood, devastating and heavy. The protesters stood huddled together in Yegan Square, spilling out to stop traffic on both sides. In front of them was a wall of blue. Police officers stood impassive, watching and waiting. Intisar was gripping Zainab’s hand tightly to the point where her wedding ring started to leave an indentation, but that was the only outward sign of fear she showed. In fact, she had been marching at the front with Kat, Lamisa and Aya through the CBD as they led the ever-growing group to Yegan Square.
Now, more than anything, she wished she could fade into the crowd. Behind the police was a group of people wearing and carrying Australian flags, hurling obscenities at the protesters. She couldn’t let them get to her. She was here for a reason. Across the country, people were turning out into the streets, taking space to show dissent. Dictatorships thrived on silence, they fed on fear, and she refused ever again to be in the position of the eight-year-old girl, holding her baby brother while hiding behind half-fallen walls. For a moment, dusty streets and gunfire superimposed themselves over the scene before her, apparitions of sight, sound and scent, but she was pulled back to the present by Zainab squeezing her hand.
Her wife was looking at her with compassion. She understood—she had been there too, had her own ghosts and demons. But now was not the time to focus on the past. This present was a step to building the future they deserved. ‘Inti hayti ya Sarsora,’ Zainab spoke in soft Arabic. Intisar was beyond words, but her grip tightened, and she stood straighter.
Hours later, the protest ended and people disbanded. They intentionally lost themselves in the crowd of commuters and made a convoluted journey that meant it was two hours before they reached home. Intisar began to shake as soon as the front door was closed. She was soaked through, her hair damp despite her burnt orange hijab, and she could not make herself take another step. Zainab said nothing, just held her and lowered them both gently to the floor. They stayed that way late into the night.
• • •
The day Intisar went missing was insolently unremarkable. It was one of those sunny days that fools you into thinking winter is over, a contrast to the rain that had filled the last week. Things had been calm since the protest. You had woken up to your alarm’s incessant ringing to find Intisar’s side of the bed cold—she had to be at work early that day, and you did not have to be in class until midday, which meant an opportunity to sleep in. You had rolled over and checked your phone, your left wrist twinged with a familiar ache. The band sat deceptively light, a blue reminder that you were once again living in a facade of democracy. In a week you would go to a building in the CBD and sit in a guarded room with others as the bands were removed and inspected, and for that one hour, without the weight on your wrist, you could imagine freedom again.
You would dream of running. But it wouldn’t be long before you were released into the world again with this digital tether that tracked your movements, data access and usage and who knows what else. Several alerts had covered the phone screen while you slept, including a reminder that your water bill had been due four days ago, and the headline that had been dominating the news about the arrest of several journalists. The story was vague, but you had gotten used to the insubstantial news. You respond to a text from a friend and confirm a time to meet, though you are still rattled by the previous week’s events. It had scared you to see Intisar marching fearlessly at the front, paying no mind to men wearing Australian flags and shouting obscenities on the other side of the street. Not that she could have reacted—she was not the type of woman with the luxury to show her hurt publicly, lest she be judged as nothing but the sum of her wounds in a world that reviles and reveres tragedy. You had both learned early on, long before these extremes, that you would be dehumanised for showing hurt and demonised for revealing any other emotion.
You catch up with Layla and Jason for a quick coffee before class, teasing Jay about his new and unfortunate haircut and comparing notes with Layla on last week’s seminar. You cannot help but feel as though someone is watching throughout the day, but you chalk it up to residual anxiety. Still, it is a blessing to come home and share a quiet evening with Intisar. After dinner, Intisar had settled down with a book on your old couch while you worked on your readings for class. In such an uncertain climate, you wanted this final semester to pass as quickly as possible because there might be no second chance. ‘I don’t know how you can stand to read these books, they’re so unrealistic,’ you comment, growing bored with the silence. Intisar sighs. Her love for all things science fiction and your virulent distaste for anything fiction is an ongoing debate between the two of you.
‘Who are we to judge what’s unrealistic? We’re prime examples of speculative fiction that is no longer speculation. Two black Muslim women living under a dictatorship for the second time in their lives and still alive, still here, still able to love.’ She looks down at the cover of her novel, a post-apocalyptic fantasy that seems almost escapist compared to reality, and then looks at you again, her warm brown eyes dancing. You can’t help but kiss her then, and she smiles as your lips meet.
That’s when it happens. You are both distracted and jump apart as the front door breaks open. People in dark uniforms march in, and of the next few hours you only remember fragments, uneven pieces like the shattered glass that littered your living room in the aftermath. The shouting. The cold metal of a gun at the back of your head. Reaching for Intisar’s hand. Watching as those people overturn bookshelf and chairs, not even searching any more, just adding to the chaos. You hear noises from the direction of your bedroom and know they are ransacking it, which for some reason feels a more significant violation than the weapon pointed at you.
You must have blacked out or been knocked out if the pain in your jaw is any indication, because the next thing you remember is waking up and seeing your living room in a shambles. Bullet holes dot the wall in front of you. You run, search the small flat, trying to find any trace of Intisar. Your frantic phone calls do not provide the answers you’d hoped for. Intisar has been taken. You know this, you knew precisely what those uniforms meant, and should be grateful that you are both alive, but you hoped that she might have escaped, might somehow have run and hid. You cannot even search for her past a particular hour—the blue band tracks your location, and you dare not risk the security patrols finding you after you break curfew. You would be no help to her detained or incapacitated.
In a daze you find your way to your parents’ home. As a compromise to the loud protests of both your families when you had moved, you and Intisar had found a place that was just a few suburbs away from where both your families had tried to build a new life, only 15 minute drive but, you discover, almost an hour running distance.
The day after your world ends for the third time you walk from your parents’ home to the bridge. You hold your great-aunt’s ring and toss it into the water. Sometimes, when all seems lost, it’s easy to fall back on old, almost forgotten stories.
You return to the bridge every day for a week until finally, on Friday morning, a familiar eerie silence descends and once again it feels like you have stepped sideways out of the world. You ruthlessly shove down a spike of panic as the ancient presence moves around you.
‘Will you help me?’
‘Throwing gold in water and singing that song … you heard a lot of folk tales when you were young, didn’t you? Well, you are not the first to call up something from the old world to deal with the new one, Binti Adam.’ She pauses. ‘I cannot snap my fingers and bring her back to you, though you hold a great deal of hope that she is still alive.’
‘But will you help me? Now. While she is still alive.’ It isn’t a question. Intisar still lives; you have to believe that. You will die before burying a loved one again.
‘I will, but it will not be free, or easy.’
You feel the briefest flicker of relief, and a painful twist of hope begins to blossom. You want to howl. To rage. Outwardly, you shrug and look to the moving waters. ‘Change never is.’ •
Rafeif Ismail is a multilingual writer and the winner of the 2017 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing. Her work has been published by Margaret River Press, Black Inc., Fremantle Press, Mascara Literary Review, Kill Your Darlings and Djed Press.