The day rose fast and hot. We walked down to the river and Jemima showed me how to catch a yabby in a stocking. Digby came with us to the market at the edge of town and we bought grapefruits the size of our heads, and Jemima hacked them open with a tiny silver knife and sprinkled them with sugar from her pocket. The road burned. Digby pulled on his rope and Jemima yanked him back, but he pulled free and disappeared down the lane and around the corner.
By Luke Carman
My fire boy’s face is shaped by clumped clay in the 3D prints his mother hung on the feature wall above the television. He’s a three-year-old boy and heavy enough to hurt when he leaps up onto my lap and squeals in his whistle-high voice, ‘Daddy Pirate! There’s a booger in my nose!’
It looks like any other article. What it really is will blow you away.
By Jessica Yu
Mr Bishop’s face was the colour of raw meat and his hair, which he tried to comb across his head, resembled the fluff of newborn chickens. Not a prepossessing face. But he was tall. And broad. He was thirty when I met him but even then he carried a precocious middle-aged paunch around his waist. He wore the same suit to class every day in the colder months and in the warmer months he wore a hat which made whole classrooms of students hum the Indiana Jones tune when they heard his footsteps at the door.
She looked strangely similar to me – she’d the same dark kind of hair that fluffed into the air, the same bony knees and thick thighs. Long before we met people would ask if I had a twin. (She the same, I later learnt.) And then we met and got on so well: ‘peas in a pod’.
By Hazel Smith
A decision had to be made, and because he was very old she felt she had to make it for him. There was a diagnosis that was irrefutable. There were pressures for and against: if he did not have the operation it was certain death, but that death would probably be slow, he might live for many more months, even years. If he had the operation he might recover and live a great deal longer, but it was a risk because of his age.
By Su Reid
‘Seven, eight, nine,’ he mouthed silently. From the first time he laid his hand to it, he had been counting himself off. ‘Forty-one. Forty-two.’ It wasn’t a race. It wasn’t a competition. It wasn’t even obsessive compulsive; it was just what he did – like having a storyline that accompanied the act.