Best Australian Short Stories 2015
The Who, the What and the When
White Knuckle Ride
Sunscreen and Lipstick
The Kid on the Karaoke Stage & Other Stories
Windy City Queer: LGBTQ Dispatches from the Third Coast
Prairie Schooner (Fall 2014)
Meanjin Vol 73, No. 4
Bellevue Literary Review, Vol 15, Number 2
Hunger Mountain, The Body Issue
What She Saw in the Crystal Ball (Flash Fiction)
Word Riot, November 15, 2013
In the seventh month of her ninth pregnancy, she feels a pain—as if someone has flicked an elastic band at her cervix, and within moments, a deeper, more desperate dragging comes and goes, familiar yet unloved, a rusty plough through the fertile dirt of her guts. Instead of calling the midwife, she walks downstairs and pours herself a large coffee, waiting to see if the contractions stop, but they continue to harry her. She calls her married daughter, says she feels unwell; could arrangements be made to pick up the carpool? Then she calls her husband.
“I’m having a miscarriage,” she says, and hears his deep indrawn breath. She decides not to tell him any more.
“Should I get the midwife?” he asks, and everything she hasn’t said rises up and leers at her.
“No,” she says. He breathes again.
She knows that she must, soon, get up and use the toilet. A watermelon has grown from a seed tossed carelessly into a waiting field and now it presses on her bowels, rolls perilously downhill; fast. As she stands, she strains and feels the twist, the flail, softer, more muffled than with the others, and reaches down to catch not one but two children.
They are born seconds apart, both perfect, their cauls still intact. Their hair glitters and dances like falling snow inside iridescent, filmy globes that bulge as they move. She lays them on her warm belly, watches as late afternoon sun is refracted through their identical crystal balls, forming rainbows on the wall beside her. She can see they are tired, they are swimming the longest distance now and as their sacs collapse, she hears a faint cry, a dying note played by a bow not perfectly aligned with the violin.
The Road to Katherine
published by STORYQUARTERLY
Every year, tourists die on this road. They’d be found a couple of miles from their cars, legs swollen from the lack of water, their pelts hanging in tattered red strips and they’d be eyeless. Parrots love eyes. We always carried extra gerry cans of water and petrol because the distance between roadhouses was just a bit more than one tank of juice could take you. There weren’t any signs warning you about this all important fact. The locals barely cracked a smile when foreigners in Range Rovers said to fill ’er up. Later, they’d mention that another one of those slack Pommies had carked it on up the road to Katherine, silly buggers, and no one would be surprised. No one would laugh, but they’d want to. By God, they’d want to.
The Telephone of the Dead
From Prairie Schooner, Vol. 84, No. 3 (Fall 2010)
Marnie Gottfried’s husband, Steve, had been dead for two weeks when he called her for the first time. She had just returned from Israel, hadn’t even unpacked, was as unhinged and raw as she would ever be, and the telephone call sent her windmilling to a therapist. When she mentioned the telephone call to the polite little man, he prescribed something, but even after she was regularly swallowing antihallucinogenic chemicals, the calls continued. In fact, she got a three-thousand-dollar telephone bill, collect charges from an 800 service distressingly called The Telephone of the Dead. She didn’t share this with the therapist, surmising— quite correctly—that he would think she was hooked up with some necrophiliac outfit. Continue Reading…
an excerpt from the novel “The Paperbark Shoe”