salt of the earth, Mykayla Castle

i. i look, and i cannot see the mountains.i drive by an unfamiliar patch of world,the bridge of a song i know by heartand cannot find the hawkesbury under it.the sky is a shrivelling orange rind,white smoke like mould— wherefrom comes my help? Here, it is coming in a distant squall of opens old […]

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Luggage, Ann-Maree Irvine

There’s the bag by her side Tan leather,Two straps,The simplest design she could find.Bursting at the seamsWith miscellaneous papers and files,The importance of which is duly debatable.Though her determined gripWould have you believe they hold the meaning ofLife. I suppose for herThey do.They represent theConstant refrain she strives to attain.Through theForty hour weeksSchool lunches andSleepless […]

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Wonder Boy, James Melham

Tom waited impatiently at the metal doors for the countdown to reach zero. The lights had all been turned down in anticipation, as if for fireworks, or for a comet to pass, and the numbers above the doors glowed red. From here, Tom and his roommate had listened to the riots on the streets below. […]

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Tightrope Walking 2020, Jacqui Greig

Michelle’s grandson has told her he’s too old to need band-aids. So now, leaping from stone to stone of the dragonfly shimmering creek, Samuel knows a fall means he will have to grit his teeth and wish away the hurt. It’s their favourite walk; eucalypt scented, dotted with yellow boronia and the jewel-red of mountain […]

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Cherries, Verity Oswin

The trees had been spatchcocked (a violent act) against the trellis.A wind broken with salt set the orchard a-hum.The cherries fell plump, desultorily.The baskets were lashed to our waists. You were a treble clef— arms curled round the stave.I was afraid of heights, men— the withered endsof everything — I found you under a tree […]

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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 […]


my grandmother’s charm bracelet, Ceilidh Newbury

my grandmother’s charm bracelet was awarded highly commended in The Quarry – Future Leaders Creative Writing Prize 2020 my inheritance part onethe fourth time we meet it isn’t in personit’s in my inheritancea chain that threads little silver pieces of youi run them cold through my fingers and tryto hold your hand the hedgehogthe hedgehog […]

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Swan Lake, Swarna Pinto

If you keep walking west along the Woodend Road, passing newly built double story houses with double garages and flower pots at the front, you will come to Blue Gum Tree Lake Reserve without noticing my house. It is the last house on the street and is hidden behind large weeping willows. Overgrown apple, plum […]

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Night Market, Ry Feder

Circle The markets glimmer in the dark like firelight. It’s the fairy lights draped over each booth, Jamie thinks, and the lanterns that criss-cross the paths between them. Individually, each bulb is small. They don’t produce much light. But together… massed together, they’re breathtaking. It’s a nice metaphor. Jamie mentally notes it down to use […]

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Until the Light, Thomas Dennis

A bleak morning shadow loomed over the city; countless sleepless lights lost within silence. Once, every candle and streetlight would dance in a warm blaze; twirling to a jumbled, disruptive symphony… But that was a long time ago. ‘That time again?’ Darren snapped up from his boots, smiling slightly at the young woman standing over […]

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