ISSUE #03 Fault Lines
The third issue of The Quarry examines the FAULT LINES that run through our bones and minds, that wrenches apart families, or divides the ground beneath our feet. These stories, poems, short scripts and creative nonfiction essays explore what it means to live with a fault line within yourself, in your family, or culture. These pieces travel — to the Anzac War Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park, to imaginary dystopias where cracks in the wall loom large, or people drown in their dreams, to Belfast and a stone thrown through a stained glass window, to the Belanglo State Forest infamous for the ‘Backpacker Murders’, to Nigeria, and to a girl on a greyhound bus willing herself to Canada.
The theme of Fault Lines was chosen by the students through a process of voting; groups pitched other possible themes to the class, including Six Degrees of Separation, Bones, Schadenfreude, Unwanted Gifts, Out of the Dark, and Kaleidoscope. A few quick rounds of voting led us to the almost unanimous decision of Fault Lines. From there we were quick to start brainstorming and workshopping the possibilities suggested by the phrase. The rich variety of interpretations showcased in this issue of The Quarry demonstrates the versatility of our chosen theme. Our pieces range from fantasy to drama, from romance and comedy to horror. Our fictitious characters and non-fiction subjects are complex and diverse – they are kind, cruel, in denial, psychologically damaged, frightened, disturbed, heart-broken, sick, high and euphoric. They will draw you in and hug you close or slap you hard across the face.
Take a look, but tread carefully — watch out for the fault lines.
Thanks go to the students of ENGL390, 2013 for their hard work and good writing, and to this issue’s editors and contributing writers: Nicola Moriarty, Hannah McNicholas, Jacob Harrison, Jessica Sheridan and Eva Lo. We’re also extremely grateful to Jane Messer for all of her support and guidance throughout the writing process.
The cover image for this issue is drawn from the Macquarie University Art Gallery recent exhibition of works by Kate Downhill.
It’s just after 10am when I’m standing at the head of the road. Behind me and to the left are golden paddocks with fat cows and dams sparkling with reflected sunlight. In front and to the right is the forest. The pine trees stand like soldiers in their state assigned grids. Tall, regimented, plain. Yet […]Read More »
1. INT. CLASSROOM – AFTERNOON An American HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM occupies rows of small, vacant desks. A groomed TEACHER with a striped tie enters with two teenagers and a magazine under his arm. SIMON, a teenage lanky thing with large round glasses, heads to a desk at the back of the room. He sits, […]Read More »
There is a documentary series called History Cold Case; a team of forensic anthropologists adapt techniques used for identifying murder victims to examine the bones of the long dead – Celtic bog sacrifices, Elizabethan pikemen, that sort of thing. They determine the cause of death and offer a glimpse into how these ordinary people lived […]Read More »
I could hear every beat, every laugh every foul, drunken, slurred word through the paper thin walls of the bedroom. All I wanted was sleep and to be any where but here, my head was pounding and the feeling of nausea was overwhelming. I was stuck in a dank horrible caravan park for the annual […]Read More »
It’s been almost eleven years since Ruth Tulloch was treated at the Royal Adelaide Hospital following a suicide attempt. Earlier in the year, Ruth had experienced a nervous breakdown and was treated at her local hospital for depression and chronic fatigue. She was discharged after two weeks in hospital, and started seeing a psychologist who […]Read More »
Fault Lines Among the clouds lie A collection of Titans Waiting watching… us - Shifting and Changing Dictating the creation Separating all - Imperfection mars Such is a beautiful face Mother Nature’s work - Cracks on a rock face Revealing the ages past Take note for present - Innocence stands still Disaster lies from beneath […]Read More »
Like many women in the Western world obsession with body image is part of my life. It began with puberty and will probably follow me, in some way, for the rest of my life. I am young, healthy and exercise regularly. I am an Australian size 8-10 and understand on a rational level that I […]Read More »
Hey, this is Oliver. I’m not here right now but leave a message and I’ll get back to you. BEEP Guess what? The product launch went really well last night. Vivian was really happy with it. Isn’t that great? Love you. Jazz gripped her earpiece, making sure that those connected could hear her voice. […]Read More »
It started with a crack in the wall. Avril noticed it when she moved in, a fine, hairline fissure in the plasterwork. It started high in the corner of the room, above the bookshelves she’d spent the past two hours assembling. The crack crept down from the ceiling and split into infinitesimal threads like tiny […]Read More »
19th May 2007 This isn’t what I thought I’d be doing for my 21st birthday. But then I guess there were no plans to fuck up anyway. I don’t have friends. But that’s okay, I’ll wear that, I know that’s my deal. Still though, a visit to the hospital? Fuck. I’ve never liked hospitals. It’s […]Read More »
Anthony was awake before the alarm. The volume was set to maximum, or so his grandson told him. But he could never quite catch the sound; just a muted buzz like a mosquito above his head. Sometimes it was louder when he forgot to take his hearing-aid out before bed. That had happened more and […]Read More »
I’ve grown up around mental illness. My mum worked as a teacher’s aide in a class of severely mentally disabled children when I was a kid, and my sister and I would often spend Take-Your-Daughter-To-Work days there. To us, the kids were funny and harmless, often pretending to be tigers or elephants and playing silly […]Read More »
From certain books in the cathedral, came the idea of the boy. The old man walked to and from each of the bookcases that circled the room and withdrew books, flicked through the pages, thought through the words, and then returned them to their place. He then sat at his table, took his pen and […]Read More »
The photograph sat in a wooden frame on the foyer table. It showed my family, standing in a park by the beach. Even then Alice appeared fragile, like she could blow away in the wind. Mum smiles, content and relaxed in loose white linen pants and a kaftan. I’m wearing a short white dress, squinting […]Read More »
The ward was quiet as shards of light shone between the blinds. They cast rectangles of brightness against the grey linoleum floor. A continuous, methodical beeping sounded from the only occupied bed in the room. It was accompanied by the soft puff and whirr of a respirator. Wires and tubes ran from the patient to […]Read More »
Joshua static - The difference between a man with religion and a man without is that the man with religion spends his life fulfilling a purpose whilst the other spends his life searching for one. follow this road: rugged and rude/ joshua and adem rattle along. dawn brightening to azure day/ falling ochre/ settling […]Read More »
I have a black and white photo of Nicki. Not some digital wish wash but the actual thing, one that I can hold in my hands and rip up if I want to. He’s hunched over the kitchen table scribbling into his notepad smoking a cigarette. He didn’t know I was taking the picture. He […]Read More »
Lorne shifted into fourth and below him the gears gnashed angrily. He stamped on the unresponsive clutch again, shoving the gearstick down. With a crunch the cogs found each other in the greasy darkness of the gearbox, and the whine of the engine moved down a key. ‘Piece of shit,’ he muttered, and Sally grinned […]Read More »
DAMON HILTON Constable Derrin was standing behind me whilst I was on the phone. In high school we used to call him Herc the Lurk. ‘I love you baby. Please! I won’t do anything like this again. Please baby. Don’t hang up! Don’t hang up!’ But she hung up. I turned around in defeat. I […]Read More »
The silver dog streaks through the day and through the night. Traversing hundreds of miles of interstate highways, moving the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. A symbol of the ideals of meritocracy that modern America was built on; the maligned who ride these buses bring with them a ragged sense of hope. The […]Read More »
As I sit in Doctor Malone’s office I start to laugh. She doesn’t really appreciate my jokes but silence always has a way of making me really tense. It’s all textbook to her; I make jokes in order to avoid confrontation. To be fair I’m only half kidding. I do genuinely feel bad for Malone, […]Read More »
The screen door rattled in its frame as Chris’s footsteps ground along the gravel path past the kitchen window. ‘Geez he can disappear quick,’ Angela muttered to the empty bowl and the newspaper, spread like a drop-sheet round her place-mat. She finished her coffee dregs and shuffled the paper into some random order, put the […]Read More »
The events of my childhood in Broken Hill shine like a beacon, yet events that happened only yesterday fade and blur. I am aging. The past seems haphazard, a passing haze of scratchy moving pictures. But the memories of my early childhood are as vivid as a Van Gogh. One day in particular stands out. […]Read More »
The room was drowning in the scent of wild flowers. The double bed in the corner was buried in ball gowns and shoes. The balcony door was open to let fresh air in. ‘Will you stop fidgeting?’ Jolie clasped her hands together. Sweat built around the top of her lip. Jolie was standing in front […]Read More »
‘You useless woman.’ The voice resounded through the café and rang through her brain, opening up the doors to the memories she had long ago tried to forget. The small ornate tables and the talking customers disappeared as the café was overtaken by grass, leaving Samantha standing confused and bewildered in a field. Hearing the […]Read More »
‘LUCINDA ELIZABETH MARGARET O’CONNOR!’ Her mother burst into the room, Baby Mary in one hand and a bowl of ‘Special K’ in the other. ‘What, in God’s name, do you think you are doing? Mass starts in five minutes and you’re not dressed.’ In one swift motion, the cereal bowl was on the desk and […]Read More »