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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Persecution, Swarna Pinto

The solitary diner at table 13 was Rosa’s last customer. He was a regular who wore Armani suits and left generous tips. As she placed his bill on the table, she noticed the red onion rings from the salad and the skin of the grilled salmon on the edge of his plate. His napkin was […]

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Week, Jodie Ramodien

Monday This week I took a total of eighty-nine steps. My apartment, the first I ever owned, sat on the outskirts of the city and was surrounded by grungy streets, pubs, and gay bars. After the government ramped up social distancing rules, things took an atypical turn. The bars closed, the lights dimmed, the laughter […]

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Yellow, Aylish Dowsett

You’re nervous. You’ve wiped the sweat from your palms three times now. Yet your hands still shake. A little tremor. Nothing too violent. You choose the powder blue shirt over the others, matched with silver cufflinks. They’re scratched, but they do just fine. They’re your lucky pair. You readjust your shirt as it sticks to […]

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