One morning he set off on his walk, but when he reached the point where he usually turns back and heads for home, he kept on going. For hours and hours, on he went, and all the while behind him the city was diminishing. Days later, when he remembered to glance back, the skyline had disappeared completely. Each day the road stretched ahead to an unknown horizon, and each day he came upon quiet places to drink and eat. People in these places were thoughtful and generous, taking nothing, talking little, asking no questions. Refreshed, he’d smile and gather himself … Continue reading Gone
Look at him working. The way he smiles at every customer. He’s impeccable. But when he goes to his room at the back, at the side of the kitchen, the smile is gone. He sips clear liquor from a teacup, mutters under his breath, and watches everything through the round glass in the top of the door. When he sees a new customer, he’s out to greet them, bounding over, showing them to a table. Then, as he bows slightly, backing away, he gestures to a waiter to bring menus, water. He returns to his room, sits down, stares through … Continue reading Front of the House
Yesterday I got chatting with an older man in a pub. I’m not sure why I was drawn to him. Something in his eyes, perhaps. I did very little of the talking. You know me. But I listened, as I like to, as tends to be my way. The Summer 2020 issue of Roomers magazine is available now, and includes my short story ‘Love Always, Adrian’. The publication will be available online in the new year from the Roomers website. In the meantime copies can be picked up from various locations across Melbourne, including St Kilda Library. Continue reading Roomers #67 Summer 2020
My short story The Birthday will be read by Mike Cannon on Vision Australia Radio’s Cover To Cover literary program tomorrow evening at 8 o’clock, repeated at 1:30 on the Sunday afternoon edition. You can tune into the program on the radio in Australia, or hear it online from anywhere in the world. Details here. Happy listening, wherever you are. Cover To Cover is produced in the studios of Vision Australia Radio in Melbourne. Continue reading Cover To Cover, 7 and 9 June 2019
They’d been playing for most of the afternoon, despite the cold, but as soon as the light began to fade, their mothers began summoning them inside. Time for dinner. See you tomorrows were called with cheer as one by one they left the square, until eventually it was just Martin remaining. He watched the sky swell grand and purple, felt the cold turn piercing, and then made his way out of the square, back to the street, urban branches closing and tugging at his coat on the way. He emerged on the wrong side. The layout was strange and entrancing at this hour, and all roads lead home eventually, he’d been told, by someone at some time. And so he walked, passing long terraces of quiet houses, then he turned right because that felt right, then left because that felt right too.
Continue reading “Just Martin”