Captured

I hear the shutter click from behind me and flinch. It’s a reflex, I can’t help it. Every time I hear that tell tale sound my muscles contract and my jaw clenches. It’s like a survival response, telling me I’m under threat. Fifty, sixty, seventy times a day it happens. Click. Flinch. Click. Flinch. MyContinue reading “Captured”

Raspberry delight

A pelting rain slated Mickey as he waited for the bus and watched the worm. Big droplets splashed and plopped against his raincoat, seeping into it, dampening his shirt underneath. Mickey shivered, folded his arms and bowed into the wind. He angrily wished there was a proper bus shelter to wait in.  The worm, totallyContinue reading “Raspberry delight”

The in-between

The cancer ward was on the ground floor and that was a problem. I was about to be checked-in for six weeks of treatment, placing my life in suspension, while I attempted to fight the tumour growing inside me. It was a brief adjournment between this life and the next, but the jury was stillContinue reading “The in-between”

Operation two-step

It was Friday at five when the familiar knock on the front door made Sarah smile to herself. Four short raps followed by two strong taps: Her father had arrived.  Quickly wiping her hands on a tea towel, she made her way down the hall and opened the door with a wide sweep.  ‘Dad! You’reContinue reading “Operation two-step”

The locked door

Gemma arrived home just as the red sky marked the end of another winter’s day. Juggling her purse, gym gear and phone in one hand, she stood at her doorstep and plunged her free hand in the gaping stomach of her backpack. After a moment of rummaging, her fingers grazed against the cold, pointed metalContinue reading “The locked door”

Baggage claim

I stared at the pre-flight health check questionnaire and tried to swallow the lump in my throat. It was my first time flying since the airline had introduced their emotional baggage policy and I hadn’t prepared for it.  Holding a standard-issue red pencil between my fingers, I slowly filled out my name and date ofContinue reading “Baggage claim”

Close call on Kōwhai Crescent

When the listing for the cosy home on Kōwhai Crescent popped up in my newsfeed last week, I knew it was the perfect place for us.  Like a picture from a storybook, Number twelve was nestled in a quiet suburb under a dappling blossom tree. Rose bushes lined its white picket fence and a stoneContinue reading “Close call on Kōwhai Crescent”

Eclipsed by the Moon

I had to move to the country to make friends with the Moon.  For months, I’d been getting only a glimpse of her, peering shyly through the crowd of tall shadowing buildings that made up my concrete neighbourhood, and it was driving me crazy.  Each night I would stand at my window, peeking out fromContinue reading “Eclipsed by the Moon”

Taking the lead

The phone rings at twenty minutes past eight in the morning. It’s a call I’ve been expecting but one I didn’t want to get. With a trembling hand, I pick up the receiver and hold it to my ear. My brother’s voice, strained and subdued, crackles down the line.  “It’s Dad,” he says, “I knowContinue reading “Taking the lead”