The King’s Curse

King Horace Goodman thought he was going to die.

Bound in his own chariot with an enemy pointing a rifle at him – was this how it was going to end?

The book he had snuck with him dug into his tailbone, making him yelp. He shuffled in his hard seat. Continue reading

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Miss Perfect

“Your nails are probably too long anyway,” Neave says, taking the creased Rizla from me and reclining back, her hair spreading into a halo on the pillow. Two neat folds form on her forehead as she rolls. I tell her that it looks like she has an equals sign above her eyebrows. She tells me I’m a c**t. Continue reading

Listen to the Bones in the Hills

I grew up in pink suburbia but my mother is from the countryside. Not the countryside that is on tourism brochures, with yodelling and smiling cows. Her countryside lies on prehistoric, run-down mountains, on a soil that burps up granite rocks and breaks tractors. It’s always the coldest part of the country. People don’t move there because they want to, but because they’ve tried everything else. There’s a church on every tenth hill. Continue reading

The Moon Just Winked at Me

“We only get to see one side of the moon,” I tell my daughter, pressing her fingers into two tiny fists and circling one around the other. We are sitting cross-legged together in the front garden, sky still dark, where Sheila would normally drive up and take her to school. We watch the moon’s last minutes above the tree line as the dampness of the grass begins to seep through my jeans.

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Interruption

A mosaic made up of shards of sunlight lay on the beaten track created by the last rays that glinted through the canopy above.  They seemed to make a pattern on the forest floor, stretching across the clearing, as if trying to linger there as long as possible.  Nothing disturbed it, not until footsteps could be heard, pounding the hard ground as if attempting to cause their own earthquake. Continue reading

Breathe

The doors ease open as he tries to calm his nerves. His mind is churning with thoughts of backing out, of going home and forgetting all about this ridiculous plan. It would be so easy, no one would ever need to know.

One foot after another, it’s almost midnight, dark, he’s the only one standing beneath the harsh glare of the halogen streetlamp, the only passenger waiting by the curb for the last bus. Continue reading