Archive for August, 2011

Burred Land

by Varia Karipoff

The sole road to Bungarby was stark with its drought-barren fields and thin, closely shaved sheep. Tamara would walk along the still road near the monastery. She always wondered about the houses, hunched down on hills with ugly faces. One day, curiosity overcame her and she began breaking into them. Some of these houses were abandoned, not all like she suspected. Sometimes there’d be bullet holes pock-marking a roughly hung sheet of plaster and lurid words scrawled with what looked like shit. Probably a bored shearer leaving a job for the last time, she’d muse and turn on a tap to watch rusty water stammer out.

She’d sit at strangers’ kitchen tables. She’d imagine pouring tea for a dark haired, reticent husband who’d sit with his elbows on the table, his sleeves rolled up. She would open up tins of Danish biscuits and find children’s drawings or spare keys to sheds.

On the road again, there were old dance halls that once echoed with feet and pre-war teen romances but now stood like weathered carapaces, shelters for CFA meetings. The air would be sharp with cold and she loved how it felt in her lungs. The hem of her skirt would be crowned with burrs, her shoe colour long forgotten under dust. Out here, time was notched by cups of tea and gatherings of the Country Women’s Association. But really the Monaro knew no time; the land had always been steppe-like. And it kept drawing her back.


Varia is an arts writer and poet. She dreams that one day she could have the life of a migratory bird and divide her time between Siberia and the Victorian coast.

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The Falling Man

by Autumn Royal

It wasn’t until he fell off the roof that she saw him for what he really was.

The ladder refused to hold him and gravity pulled his strings to the ground. She understood how this felt, over and over and more and more, until he raised his head and accused her of delaying the ambulance.

She watched as his secret vulnerabilities, trapped too long, too deep in the bone, leaked from the shattered shoulder blade. So, fathers do bleed after all, just as she did for the first time last Thursday afternoon.

She was now a woman and her father, a falling man.


Autumn Royal writes poetry and short stories. She lives in Torquay, but prefers to call it Fishtown.

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by Rachael Blackwood

She presses the blade against her lover’s skin, deep into the meeting place of his penis and his balls.

“You’re alien to me.”

“That’s technically not correct.”

“I don’t mean…” She bites her lip. “I really hate you.”

“I’m sorry.” His skin shimmers, blue and green.

“I was sane before you.”

“I became male for you.”

“You couldn’t have created something thicker?” She flicks it with her little finger – floppy.

“I can’t grant wishes.”

“I love you.”

His mouth disappears from his face, like so many times before.

“You gave me this but you never gave me you.” Swift and sharp, she makes two deep cuts and his penis is in her hand. “I’m taking what belongs to me.”

Grey-skinned and bleeding, he reaches down to hold himself. His skin shimmers and he shifts shape.

He looks like her now.  His bleeding wound has shifted into a normal functioning gash.

She rolls her eyes, her fingers wrapped around her lover’s severed shaft.  “You’re not so cocky anymore.”

She puts his member in her pocket, twirls the knife in her hand, and she leaves.


Rachael Blackwood writes, reads, loves, and laughs. Her current internet home is here; her Twitter lives here.

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