Spotting the hit

July 9, 2016 at 8:15 am | Posted in Short Story | Leave a comment
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Click pic to make big and bigger.

Click pic to make big and bigger.

The dribble of doom …

This little tree did it hard.

Drought killed it outside while critters gnawed within.

Curling bark and chomp trails tell the story.

Now a nice council person has sprayed the tree with the yellow spot of death.

Soon, a woodsperson will be along to cut it down.

Its replacement already incubates at bottom left.

To the right, what might have been.

Life’s tough.

Live it while you can.

Brought to you by Imagine Day the book.

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Only in red

July 8, 2016 at 8:54 am | Posted in Short Story | 2 Comments
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Only in red

Click pic to make big and bigger.

‘OK, so they didn’t have it in yellow!

‘What was I supposed to do: not turn up for work?

‘I don’t know why you blokes have to make such a big thing of it.

‘I honestly think the red provides an interesting contrast …

… ‘Fellas?’

 

Brought to you by Imagine Day the book.

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Girl power

July 6, 2016 at 7:38 am | Posted in Short Story | 4 Comments
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Girl Power Med Empire

Click pic to make big and bigger.

Girl meets boy.

Girl starts BBQ fire.

Girl wins see-saw game.

Girl wins swimming competition.

What a fun, successful and totally empowering day!

Brought to you by Imagine Day the book.

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Temerity prayer

May 4, 2016 at 9:35 am | Posted in Poem | Leave a comment
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Target audience.

God grant me

the serenity

to forgive people

I can change;

courage

to take out those

I cannot

and wisdom

to know the difference

at 1200 metres

in fading light

with a 10 km crosswind.

Brought to you by Imagine Day the book.

Bitter brew

March 28, 2016 at 10:53 am | Posted in Poem | 6 Comments
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We’re all out.

Glug, glug, glug, go the dregs

of my dad’s last

home brew.

Not down my throat,

but in the sink.

Testament to

30 years

of continuous

unimprovement.

It began as a fine recipe.

With fresh ingredients from a ‘way-out’ 70s

health-food shop

that smelt like nothing else (before or since).

But as people caught on,

prices went up.

So dad started shopping around.

First the hops.

Then the malt.

The sugar.

Yeast.

Bulk buying.

Damaged goods.

All ingredients meticulously re-sourced to shave costs.

The result?

A total price of just six cents a bottle.

Dad’s beer used to be so good, I’d take it to parties.

Fellow teens would gather to marvel at my cooler bag and try a sip.

But as time passed, the beer got leaner and meaner.

Bereft of zest and flavour.

Until I couldn’t drink it any more.

Yet my parents’ thrift paid their home off in just

nine years.

My shop beer costs $6.95 a bottle.

And after 17 years,

my home loan is bigger

than when I began.

Not so smart after all.

Pic by Kristopher Volkman.

Seeing red

February 23, 2016 at 5:19 am | Posted in Short Story | 6 Comments
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Spin to win.

Spin out.

Guy and Jock were catching up over coffee.

It wasn’t real coffee, because they were 58 million kilometres from Melbourne.

And it wasn’t a real catch up, because they’d spent four years in training, 252 days on a dummy Mars run in a dummy spaceship and 126 days on a real Mars run in a real spaceship.

To say they knew each other well was a gross understatement. They weren’t merely used to living cheek by jowl, they were virtually in each other’s DNA.

Despite the best efforts of mission psychologists to match personalities, such extended intimate proximity can make a person twitchy. So double macchiatos halfway to the Red Planet were a no-no.

Jock looked down at Guy over his nano-wafer sippy cup. ‘So, how’re they hangin’, Man?’

‘Oh, you know,’ replied Guy with a shrug. ‘Same same.’

‘No shit?’

‘No shit.’

A single sphere of brown fluid escaped the straw. Jock trapped it in his meaty hand and mashed it into his mouth.

Guy watched him, noting that this was the seventy-seventh time he’d seen his crewmate do this. They really needed to upsize that cup for Jock’s big, coarse face. He took off his glasses and cleaned them on a napkin floating beside him. ‘How’s that video game coming?’

‘Finished.’

‘Already?’

‘Yep.’

‘That was quick.’

‘I’m getting better.’

‘How many’s that, then?’

Jock looked listlessly around the tiny dining quarters and sighed heavily. ‘All of ’em. And some of ’em twice.’

The geoscientist registered mild surprise. ‘You have come a long way.’

‘Yeah. But what am I supposed to do now?’

‘Shall I ask Control to send you a new game?’

‘You told me yourself; we’re too far gone. The files are too big. We can only receive text now – remember?’

Guy brightened. ‘Ah, yes. But that’s OK Jock; I’ll get them to send us more books!’

The flight engineer glowered. ‘You know damn well I hate books.’

‘Yes, but under the circumstances … ‘

‘Forget it. Always have and always will. Hated ’em.’

‘But what about that moon murder mystery? You seemed to like that.’

‘You read that to me in training. When I was sick.’

‘And?’

‘The drone of your voice sent me to sleep.’

‘Ah yes,’ said the smaller man. ‘How could I forget?’

The pair lapsed into silence. Guy began to look thoughtful. After a while, Jock noticed. He crushed the sippy cup to the size of pea and flicked it expertly into the reconstitution unit. ‘What’re you thinking about?’

Guy looked up quickly. ‘I was wondering if there’s any book you’d read.’

‘You mean apart from equipment manuals?’

‘Yes.’

‘You mean, read a book … for fun.’

‘Yes.’

‘No way.’

‘No?’

‘Never.’

Guy rotated pensively. ‘But what if there were one book.’

‘What sort of book?’

‘A murder mystery, set in space.’

Jock stretched his broad arms, which no amount of weightlessness had been able to atrophy. ‘Did we not just have a conversation about such a book?’

The cleaned glasses glinted. ‘Yes, we did. But what if this book were set in our spaceship?’

‘This one we’re flying in right now?’

‘Yes. Would that interest you?’

The broad arms folded. ‘A murder mystery.’

‘Yes.’

‘On our ship.’

‘Yes.’

‘Who gets murdered?’

‘Me.’

‘By whom?’

‘You.’

‘Why?’

‘Because I set you off.’

‘How?’

‘By bugging you about a murder mystery.’

Jock frowned as his brain caught up. ‘Not much of a f*cking mystery, is it?’

‘That depends’ said Guy.

‘On what?’

‘Whether you’ve noticed.’

‘Noticed what?’

‘The fact that I’ve been writing.’

‘You’re always bloody writing. You send the damn emails.’

‘Do you know what’s in those emails?’ Guy’s eyebrows arched.

‘No. Nor do I give a shit. I do every bloody thing around here and you send reports about it.’

‘So, you wouldn’t know if I’d been writing a book on the side.’

‘Have you?’

‘Maybe.’

‘And why exactly would you do that?’

‘That’s the mystery!’

Jock propelled himself to the snack machine. Not because he was hungry, but to break the annoying patter. He grabbed a tendy sandwich at random. Curried egg. Not his favourite. But he munched into it just the same. He glared at Guy through big bites. ‘Are you trying to tell me that Control have been happy for you to write a damn book instead of doing your work?’

‘Maybe they don’t know. Maybe I’ve done it during your sleep cycles.’

‘But they log every keystroke. What’re you writing it on – toilet paper?’

Guy paused, as if contemplating whether to proceed. ‘What if Control were in on it?’

‘In on what?!’

‘The novel.’

Jock laughed shortly. ‘Bloody hell, Man; have you been sniffing the coolant again?’

‘What if Control said it was OK for me to write a novel to entertain you when you ran out of computer games?’

‘Entertain me?!’

‘Yes.’

‘But why?’

‘To stop you thinking murderous thoughts.’

Jock stuffed the last of the sandwich down this throat. ‘Mate, if you keep this shit up, I’ll have more than murderous thoughts.’

Guy smiled. ‘Maybe that’s the idea.’

‘Oh for f*ck’s sake; are you deliberately trying to wind me up or what?’

‘Easy, Tiger; we don’t want to reach the climax too soon.’

Jock screwed up his face. ‘I really wish you wouldn’t use that word.’

‘It’s a literary term.’

‘Yeah, well keep it up and you may just climax on your own pancreas.’

Guy laughed heartily. ‘That’s very good, Jock. Do you mind if I use it?’

Jock pushed himself from the table towards the VacuJohn. ‘I’ll give you something better than that, Guy.’

‘What?’

‘The murder weapon.’

‘Really? What’s that?’

‘This dunny.’

‘How so?’

The flight engineer opened the cubicle door. ‘I estimate that, with a good seal and enough pressure, I can get your eyeballs out of your skull, down this chute and into the hydroponic radishes in time for dinner.’

Guy’s smile wavered. ‘That’s very … specific, Jock.’

‘It is.’ Jock gazed at his hands – opening and closing. ‘But I’ve been thinking about it.’

Gif by Lookang.

The very bad detective

February 13, 2016 at 7:59 am | Posted in Short Story, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Nokia

Episode 2. Phone tap.

The dame composed herself and drew up her long legs.

The detective glanced at the scene.

‘Like what you see?’ she purred.

‘I’m not really into pastels.’

‘You think I’ll turn to water?’

‘I’d stick to acrylic for now.’

‘You make me sound so … fake.’

The detective put down his telescope and looked at her squarely, ‘Ms Sutherland, may I inquire again what you’re here for?’

She bridled and tossed her red mane. ‘You received my SMS, I assume?’

‘When did you send it?’

‘This morning.’

He pulled out his Nokia. ‘I got something this morning, but it didn’t display.’

‘That’s odd … ‘

‘Not really; it’s a very old phone. Did you happen to send an attachment?’

‘Yes. A photograph.’

‘Ah, there’s the rub.’

‘It wasn’t very big … ‘

‘Doesn’t matter; I can’t display any kind of file.’

‘And you call yourself … a detective?!’

He stood and pointed. ‘I’ll ask the questions here. OK?’

The dame snorted. ‘Do you even know what network you’re on?’

The detective coloured. ‘I’m not sure: something “G”.’

‘2G or not 2G?’

He threw down the bumper fun book. ‘That is a question!’

‘Someone’s gotta ask the tough ones.’

‘Well, I didn’t get your damn message.’

The dame fished in her handbag and caught up a rhinestone-encrusted tablet. ‘Here, take this!’

It slipped through the detective’s fingers and flopped onto his desk.

‘And what am I supposed to do with this?’

‘Oh, for God’s sake!’ The dame grabbed the tablet and flicked it on. ‘There!’

The detective peered cautiously at the image which had miraculously appeared on the hitherto blank screen. ‘Extraordinary!’

She rolled her eyes and counted to seven. ‘Believe me; you’ll get used to it.’

Gingerly drawing closer to the magical device, the detective examined the photograph it displayed. ‘Who’s the suit?’

The dame adjusted her tresses and drew a long bow. ‘The Chief Ommissioner.’

‘What?’

‘The Chief Ommissioner.’

‘I heard you the first time.’

‘Then why did you say “what”?’

‘I was expressing surprise.’

‘At what?’

‘What?’

‘At what?!’

‘What what?’

Her eyes fell to a paper spike and stayed there. ‘At. What. Were. You. Expressing. Surprise?!’

The detective fumbled for his telescope and rounded on her. ‘His title.’

‘Chief Ommissioner?’

‘Yes. Chiefly the “Ommissioner” bit.’

The dame snatched the telescope. ‘I see.’ She looked to the window and spied a bar. Next to it, two more. Beyond these, a tavern. ‘Let’s get outta here; it’s not safe.’

‘What do you mean?’

She regarded him narrowly over the paper spike. ‘Come with me and I’ll explain everything.’

‘But, I hardly know you! … And I’m really bad at maths.’

Stay tuned for Episode 3.

 

 

 

 

 

The very bad detective

February 12, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Posted in Short Story, Uncategorized | 4 Comments
Tags: , , ,

The Very Bad Detective

Episode 1.  Nothing like a dame.

This is a story about one of those detectives with the hat and the fan and the venetian blinds.

Except this detective had wooden blinds from Freedom Furniture. The string had snapped and the slats slid about like ice floes on a warming sea.

He’d been meaning to get them fixed, but it wasn’t worth the candle for Victory Blinds to come out. Nor did he feel he could repair them himself. Freedom Furniture, of course, had laughed in his face. He should never have Skyped them.

As he pondered his inadequacies, a dame entered his office unannounced. By this device, he divined she wasn’t a real dame, like Joan Sutherland. Also, this one was alive. A dead giveaway.

‘The name’s Sutherland’, said the dame.

The detective winced. ‘That sounds like trouble.’

‘How do you mean?’ she inquired archly, flashing her soles.

The spittoon rang: the detective let it. ‘I mean, people will think your name’s Joan.’

‘It is Joan! How did you know?!’

‘Listen, lady; it was bound to happen eventually. I get a lot of dames in here.’

She withdrew an e-cigarette and inhaled deeply. ‘Notwithstanding that, I think it’s a remarkable coincidence.’

‘You’re right; you wouldn’t read about it.’

She exhaled noisily. ‘I suppose you think I’m vapid.’

‘I didn’t before, but I do now.’

The dame began to bristle. The detective replaced the tack he’d been toying with and took another.

‘So, what brings you here, Ms … Sutherland?’

She pouted. ‘It’s what brought me here that’s more to the point.’

‘Has anyone ever told you you’re living in the past?’

The dame glared. ‘All the time. So what? I’m not into this being present crap.’

‘You sound tense.’

She crossed the room. ‘I may be about to be.’

‘Well, none of us are perfect.’

‘Is.’

‘Pardon?’

‘”None” is singular.’

‘Remarkable!’

‘That too.’

‘I think I’ve heard enough, Ms Sutherland.’

The spittoon rang.

‘Aren’t you gonna get that?’

He picked up the offending item. ‘This belonged to my mother.’

‘It’s so shiny. I can see my face in it.’

‘You have her eyes.’

The dame laughed coarsely. ‘Yeah, well, she signed the form and I got lucky. I get a ton of compliments on these peepers. Pretty much every day. You could say I’m in the midst of an eyes epidemic.’

The tack drew blood. ‘I don’t like your tone, Ms Sutherland.’

‘I’m quavering.’

‘Very funny. So, what brought you here?’

‘Mind if I take a seat?’

‘It’s a rental.’

‘I won’t be here long.’

‘I get that feeling too, sometimes … especially at night.’

The spittoon rang out.

Episode 2. Phone tap.

 

 

 

 

 

Paedophile blues

January 29, 2016 at 10:44 am | Posted in Poem | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hey

there,

mis-

ter

scout-

mas-

ter;

sittin’

in

the

dock.

Bet

you

did-

n’t

bank

on

this,

when

you

grabbed

my

attention.

 

 

Anxiety

January 27, 2016 at 10:09 am | Posted in Poem | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A crushing victory.

Got the irrits and the shits.

Can’t abide nongs or nitwits.

Think I’ll shake myself to bits.

Anxiety.

Put away the jolly pills.

Out of bed to pay the bills.

Hi! to Life! and all its ills.

Anxiety.

Kick away my trusty props.

Down the slip and brave the chops.

Time to see if this plan flops.

Anxiety.

Bell is ringing like a brain.

Fingers numb yet bruises pain.

Crazy not to be insane.

Anxiety.

Cue the voices in my head.

Self esteem for them to shred.

With no dogs I’d long be dead.

Anxiety.

Ditch the pies and hold the sauce.

Cut the crap and stay the course.

Cry and scream until you’re hoarse.

Anxiety.

Had two coffees and a tea.

Diet tonic; plenty wee.

Think this Coke is bad for me …

Anxiety.

Stick it in a bodgy poem.

Cast it as a bad genome.

Stuff the edit; almost home.

Anxiety.

Fret us not the broken egg.

Life’s a deal; we can’t renege.

Up and go: don’t make me beg.

Anxiety.

 

 

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