The Showman, Scott Monk

Applause and confetti rained down on the Showman. Thousands and thousands of fans rose to their feet and stood, spellbound, for another five minutes, as he walked to each corner of the stage serving out kisses. Camera phones pop-pop-popped, each reflecting blue light and freezing their owner’s whimsical faces, double chins and yawns. Fathers ushered […]

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Decontaminate, Natasya Currie

There are bodies on the sidewalk. Quinn’s eyes dart to them briefly. The closest of them, a man dressed in a tailored black suit, lies half-curled in the foetal position near the bus-stop. Another woman has collapsed two metres away from him, a half-eaten muffin fallen from her outstretched hand. A speckled finch cocks its […]

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No Longer Human, Jacob Morris

Kaitlyn Lynch could never quite work out what the deal was with men and their t-shirt wearing display of macho bravado during the coldest days. ‘Are you sure you don’t want to grab a jacket?’ she asked her fiancé as he emerged out of the front door. ‘Nah, I’ll be alright,’ said James Steele with […]

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Thursday’s Alice, Glenn Kershaw

Fuck me dead! I watched as the arse end of my bus lumbered into the rain like some fat elephant from a Disney movie. I’d been running hard and came to a stop on the edge of the cracked and lumpy pavement just in time to miss it. I shouldn’t have hung at Alice’s place […]

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Lost Things, Izabel Smythe

Kathy heard Ted’s voice on the loud speaker as he drove past their front yard. He sounded proud to be a crier, reminding the residents of Asquith to switch on the TV at 11 o’clock for the yearly announcement of the winners under the Resettlement Scheme by the Interim Prime Minister. Kathy sunk into the […]

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Mal Bligh’s Dream, Jamie Derkenne

Knowing I had nowhere to isolate, a grazier I sheared for offered a small hut on 2000 acres down Albury way, near a place called Burrumbuttock. He told me Larry and I could stay as long as required, in return for keeping an eye on the Murray Greys and the fences. We settled in well. […]

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Another Man’s Child, Elizabeth White

NOW It is a clear evening in late July. Light leaks into the old house from the moon and the street lamps, through the louvers of the enclosed verandah. Outside the Queenslander, a mother and baby possum are crawling along a power line running from Kathleen’s roof down towards the street. They are the only […]

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All Good Things, Catherine Panich

You probably know the feeling. Boarding lounge, ten minutes to go. Bottle of water drained and tossed, carry-on at your feet, pass and passport in hand, one last message then switch to flight mode. No, off. I wonder who’s going to be sitting next to me? This flight out of Arctic Kirkenes would land in […]

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Miss Phillipa, Melanie Ifield

The doctors all agree that for me to feel entirely myself again (such an admirable ambition) I am to make my way to the seaside for a week.  I emerge from a six-hour bus ride at a foreign bus stop in a foreign town. It is late and I am hungry. I am not supposed to feel […]

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Hikikomori, Alice Maher

Haibun The title Hikikomori refers to a Japanese social phenomenon whereby adolescents (and some adults) withdraw from the outside world to seek extreme isolation and self-confinement. A Haibun is a Japanese form combining short prose with poetry; in this case, a haiku.  I am not clover. My roots, if I have roots, run long and […]

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