Gardens of War & Wasteland

the king & his shadow

The Crown Prince of Holania slipped through the gardens, an ashen figure in a sea of scarlet, azure and lilac. His surcoat, breeches and tunic were all mourning shades of grey, his cloak a wave of obsidian velvet. The sun bled warmth across the spread of his shoulders and a chill breeze kissed colour into his cheeks. It was a perfect spring day, and Kiokharen hated every minute of it.

Kio crossed the courtyard, swatting aside the bees and dragonflies that flapped about with the ubiquitous buzz of spring. For weeks the castle had been alive in preparation for the change of season, excitement pulsing in anticipation of new life. Now all the floral garlands and silken streamers had been leached of their colour, replaced with the monochrome veil of grief.

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Short Stories

the dreambound tree

Memories define our sense of place.  Friends and family do too.
And sometimes, perhaps, a bit of magic

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By the time I was thirteen, I knew I was too old to be sleeping in Mum’s bed. But that didn’t stop me crawling in beside her on that two-inch thick fold-out mattress every second night when I woke slick with sweat from a nightmare.

‘Try to go back to sleep, Maddie,’ Mum’d coo and kiss my hair even though we both knew we’d lie there awake until the alarm chimed at three-thirty and it was time for her to get up for work.

 I never lived in a normal house. Well, I did—once. But I hadn’t since I was seven and we didn’t talk about it or actively remember anything of the life before we left. Since then it’s been caravans or share houses; granny flats in someone’s backyard; or a refurbished old shearer’s shed like the place where we lived now. Mum always told me to be grateful because it was the kindness of strangers and her hard work that kept me clothed and sheltered.

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Short Stories

the carpet cleaner

Robert liked his job. Well, most of the time. He didn’t like going to uni student share houses to leech booze and dried vomit off every plush surface the day before a rental inspection; and he didn’t like going to Ms McTavish’s place because she had ten cats and let them pee on the carpet until it was sodden and the house smelt like piss long after he’d shampooed and shampooed it again. He also didn’t like nursing homes, because it was too hard seeing people not that much older than he with defeated expressions on their sunken faces, confined to beds, stuck full of tubes and left to stare at the empty visitors’ chairs in their room all day. No, he didn’t like that at all. As with anything, there were good clients and bad, and the one client Robert loved, more than anything, was Mrs Lavingston. 

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