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06/01 Direct Link
I gave you all the loving I could muster.
No return.

Sometimes when we fought you’d disappear for days on end without even saying where you were going.
No return.

We had little money, but you loved those pokies. We frequently had no milk or bread.
No return.

Often the words you used at me were more painful than if you’d physically hit me. You never apologised.
No return.

You took things of mine without even letting me know. Gone forever.
No return.

Regularly, you’d tell me it was over and I should leave. One day I did.
No return.
06/02 Direct Link
The itchiness from the ants crawling over him was unbearable. Still, he was exhausted, so he couldn’t even bother trying to swipe them away.

Three days ago, when he wanted to go hiking for the long weekend, none of his friends could do it at such short notice. All of them tried to dissuade him from going alone.

Day one was great, until evening. Trying to get to camp in the failing light, he plummeted down an old mine shaft, preceding rocks falling in behind him. On top of him.

Broken leg. Shoulder agony. Ants.

Maybe this was the end.

06/03 Direct Link
Automatic. The lies were always automatic.

Jasmine wasn’t a compulsive liar, but her lifelong training of finding some way of keeping the onus well and truly away from her meant that sometimes they came out so automatically that she didn’t even realise she was fabricating an alternative truth.

Her skills in the area were so sharp that often she truly believed what she was saying, even if, when challenged, there was no way of proving it. Those closest to her had often discussed whether even a lie detector test could beat her.

Jasmine overheard once, and queried, “Lie? Who, me?”
06/04 Direct Link
DON’T EVER GO TO THE HAUNTED HOUSE ALONE!

The sign, stark black and white, cried out not only as a warning, but also a challenge to the attendees at Cusp’s Amusement Park. Many had, of course, and because it was a nationally-acclaimed attraction, there would probably be many more. Some laughed it off, others came out with beads of sweat attached to their hairline, but still nobody knew what happened to young Amy Mifsud two years ago when she went on the ride alone. People still speak of the girl who began the ride smiling and simply never came out.
06/05 Direct Link
$20 was never going to be enough for what Simon had planned for his first date with Melissa. He’d begged his mother for some more money, pleading that he’d been asking Melissa out for months. His mum was unmoving in her stance that he got weekly pocket money and always spent it quickly on things that were just for his entertainment, regardless of how many times he was told he should save some. When she asked what he had planned, and he told her dinner and a movie, she simply remarked, “Maybe she’d like a Big Mac and playing Nintendo…”
06/06 Direct Link
OUCH!

“Are you okay?” The doctor didn’t sound the least bit concerned.

“You know when you vaccinate me it hurts! The needle is so big!”

“It’s all in the mind, Fran. The size of the needle doesn’t increase the pain. And if you want to go to Indonesia you need to complete the cycle of vaccinations…”

I’ll jab you with it and see what you think. I didn’t say it, only thinking harshly towards him. “I know, and I appreciate that. I just want it done.”

Oh, I need to tell you: from next week there’ll be five injections daily.”

06/07 Direct Link
“Wattup.”

“Excuse me?”

“Wattup.”

“Mate, I don’t know what language you are talking, so don’t think I’m rude for not answering, but I don’t understand what you said…”

“I’m. Spea. King. Eng. Lish. I. Said. What’s. Up. Like. A. Gree. Ting.”

“No need to be like that. It didn’t sound like, ‘What’s up,’ at all, otherwise I would’ve answered you.”

“It’s like slang. Everybody says it these days.”

“Well you’re the first I’ve heard, so not everybody…and it sounds idiotic anyway.”

“Not idiotic, it’s cool.”

“Cool, eh? Yeah right. Anyway, I’m fine, thanks very much. How are you today?”
06/08 Direct Link
Painting her name on the wall in the lane would be the best way to show her how he felt about her. Trudy walked home from school along this lane every day, and when she saw her name with the heart next to it, she’d surely have to be swept off her feet by his public acknowledgement. And friends who saw it would be talking about it too. Then there would be no doubt.

Lost in his task of love, he didn’t realise the presence of someone behind him until he heard the deep voice, “Graffiti’s illegal you know, son.”
06/09 Direct Link
Simone and Charles had been friends since the first class of the year. Charles’ heart had vacated that day.

Simone had red hair with a little frizz in it, and freckles sparsely spread across her cheeks. Not obese, she had fat in the right places, and Charles thought she bounced with happiness. Her laugh could make a statue smile, and whenever they physically touched…fireworks inside him.

She asked him to a party last Saturday. Everything was perfect.

When he arrived she was across the room with Chloe. Then, like slow motion, his dream shattered. In her hand: a cigarette.
06/10 Direct Link
“The impact of road rage is difficult to quantify,” said Fred as we sat in Melbourne’s Friday night peak hour traffic. It’s more like peak three hours on a Friday night…

The topic arose because, in half an hour since hitting the road we’d already counted six instances of aggressive horn blows, and two profane screams from windows, one of which was followed by the perpetrator momentarily exiting their vehicle.

“I mean, what driver has not ever thought road-rage-ish type thoughts at some time, even if they’ve never act --- AARGH WHY DON”T YOU F%@!# LOOK BEFORE YOU PULL OUT, DICKHEAD!”
06/11 Direct Link
It was the most beautiful orange he’d ever seen. It was understandable that it was just a painting, none were this good. Oranges were his favourite of all fruits, even passing on candy or cake if there was an orange on offer. As he walked around the gallery his mind simply refused to let go of that orange.

He rung his wife and told her about it, and asked her to get some oranges from the grocer. She knew of his fixation.

Arriving home, with the painting under one arm, he shrugged and said, “I just had to have it...”
06/12 Direct Link
The evening sky was heavy, heavier than she’d seen it in a long time. The clouds, thick and dark, had a threatening look, as if, if they could speak, they’d be insulting you and swearing at you with a neverending barrage of profanity.

Tiph liked nights like this, nights where it got dark well before it was supposed to, where you were a little apprehensive about what was coming, even though you knew it would be good.

Chrrrkoocechrrrkerker. The first thunder.

Tiph locked the house, exiting through the back door, laid on the grass, and waited excitedly for the deluge…
06/13 Direct Link
Credibility. Not that easy a word to spell. Not easy to explain. Somewhat challenging to understand. And gaining credibility: probably as easy as any - provided you are willing to put in the work.

Because having credibility takes work; it isn't something you can just walk into the Credibility Shop and swipe your credit card and buy.

Another interesting thing about it is that, while some people seek credibility, many gather it accidentally, maybe even unconciously. Their credibility on any given topic or issue is often attained via them simply living their life the way they choose.

Am I credible? Perhaps.
06/14 Direct Link
“Air-oh-playn. Kai-yack. Oh-shun. Can-air-ee. Choy-ur.”
“I’m sorry, Brendan, but that one’s wrong.”

Ugh. These reading and pronunciation tests are usually easy. Every two weeks a different list of words, and each kid goes up the front individually to read until they get one wrong. You get three turns each day, and usually I’m finished the list by the second turn at the latest. I’ve never seen this word ‘choir’ before, and I’ve tried ‘choy-ur’ and ‘choy-ah’ so far.

Oh, it’s Jenny’s turn. She’s smart, I’ll listen in.

She said ‘kwai-ah’? She got it right. But there’s not even a q…
06/15 Direct Link
Dear Jones,

I so loved spending time with you yesterday. I loved that it wasn’t organised, and that we were both open to anything. I loved having dinner at that Afghani restaurant I’ve walked past 100 times without ever having entered. I loved the art we looked at in the afternoon before dinner. The movie, Scent of a Woman, I really loved that too, and especially seeing it with you. And I love the flower you bought me.

Can’t wait to see you Thursday,

Lexi. xo

p.s. oh, and I love that your first name is usually only a surname!
06/16 Direct Link
It wasn't the first time a mother hadn't liked her son's choice of a girlfriend. It also wasn't the first time a son couldn't understand why his mother didn't like this girl he loved dearly.

Felicia was different to most girls, by both of their standards, which is what attracted Andrew to her. It was definitely what turned his mother off.

One could eventually get used to the flourescent green hair, and her piercings and tattoos also, but if she had to have a nickname for Andrew, there were hundreds more acceptable to his mother than, "My darling dog boy."
06/17 Direct Link
Three hours with wet socks and my feet are freezing. I've promised myself time and again that this wouldn't happen, but no matter what efforts I go to it seems that I'm destined to fail.

With a bit of teamwork, the wet socks could be avoided. The worst part about it is that it only happens when I am working with my dad. How does one bitch to their dad?

Hopefully this will be the last time. Surely if mum sees the wet socks after her shopping run, she'll somehow make dad check my socks when he changes my nappies!
06/18 Direct Link
Desperation.

The desperation I've felt at other times in my life, the desperation to ensure I meet a task I've set myself, is becoming evident in this challenge for the first time. The aching niggle to write 100 words isn't that difficult in reality, but my need to write 100 quality words creates an obstacle that is a little more testing to overcome.

There is no logic as to why it's unreachable this day, but still I clamber for strings of letters that fit together interestingly enough for me to be moderately satisfied with what I produce.

Now I'm done.
06/19 Direct Link
14. Nothing special about that number. Somehow it's become a tradition. Maybe it's because it's two complete weeks, but whatever the reason, it just is.

Quite some time ago, when they were just courting, Ken, a lover of poetry, started writing a poem a day for Sandra for the fourteen days leading up to her birthday. As all couples do, they've had their ups and downs during the life of their relationship, and experienced many changes, but the fourteen-day poetry practice always remained.

No matter what, Ken always took great pride in his fourteen odes.

They still make Sandra tingle.
06/20 Direct Link
Watching him eat as his mother fed him teaspoon after teaspoon of sludgy mush, was watching the beauty of hunger meeting satisfaction, eyes wide with pleasure, rivalling the size of his mouth as he devoured the contents of the spoon.

As we watched, even before his meal was finished, we witnessed his eyelids growing significantly heavier, as his satisfaction lead him to a state ready for a mini-hibernation.

Within minutes of being passed to the man, the child was asleep, as soundly and comfortably as if he were on a king-sized bed.

Snoozing peacefully, he dreamt of luscious, succulent breasts...
06/21 Direct Link
11:05 am. Driving. You realise you have time. Quick turn. Park. You approach the door and knock. You hear movement. After a couple of minutes the door opens. Gavin, sleepy-eyed and wearing a gown over his pyjamas, smiles and asks you to come in.

You enter, stepping over a shirt and shoe, and something that looks like a broken biscuit. Gavin asks if you’d like a coffee. White with two, you tell him. He opens a cupboard and it’s empty. He chooses a dirty mug from the sink and rinses it, then makes you a coffee.

Welcome to Gavin’s house.
06/22 Direct Link
“Good evening Ladies and Gentlem-“

“You’re not funny!"

“Thanks for your opinion sir, I haven’t started yet. A funny thing happ-“

“You stink like my socks!”

“Phew, thanks, I’m glad I don’t stink like your attitude. Now, where were we…yes, on the way here toni-“

“You’re mother is a sex-mad slut!”

“Alright, that’s enough. Ralph, please turn the spot onto the bar so we can give this guy the attention he’s yearning?”

[ spotlight turns ]

“I thought so…dad, this is too much. Don’t come and see me play when you’ve been drinking and you’ve had a fight with mum!”
06/23 Direct Link
It all looked so foreign, so sparse, more like a moonscape than the heavily-foliaged National Park he had grown to adore with a love that was brimming with an unexplainable passion. The trees were anorexic fingers, no flesh, just bone. Where once you could see perhaps twenty metres through the dense growth, now you could view the entire surrounding countryside through the matchstick landscape. He couldn’t understand how some trees had untouched leaves atop black bases that were once proud trunks. He felt like he was in a graveyard. He was mourning. He wished a violent ending on the arsonist.
06/24 Direct Link
The picture of the tree, a silhouette against the blue-orange sky of the sunset, remains on my notice board after what seems like forever. I’m pretty sure I remember who gave it to me, and I think I know where it was taken, but even these two items of identification needed thinking about.

I revere trees as a magnificence of nature, and there have been numerous times my breath has been taken away momentarily by the discovery of one I hadn’t seen before, or noticing one in a different light.

Regardless of the source, I think the photo can stay.
06/25 Direct Link
The table had stood there, in that same spot, for all the forty-seven years of my life that I could remember. For the better part of the last thirty years, whenever I visited nanna Pearl, she was usually sitting at it, drinking coffee, playing patience, or listening to talkback radio. We usually sat and talked there too.

Yesterday, at 1:34 pm, a Mack semi-trailer lost control and came straight through the kitchen, demolishing everything in its path. The only thing left standing was the table, right where it always was.

Nanna Pearl was cleaning the lunch dishes, at the sink.
06/26 Direct Link
The extravagance of the gala event was bewitching to all those fortunate enough to receive an invitation to attend. The women attendees had stolen the show, of course, as they should do, adorned in every conceivable type of fabric known to man, which was manipulated in some of the most individually essential ways ever performed by man. The ballroom floor was polished beyond the understanding of all there, shining with reflections of the attendees like a pane of glass, even though it was purely wood.

Out of nowhere, a pretty young woman wearing rags crossed the floor carrying a pumpkin...
06/27 Direct Link
Things to talk about when hiking with a stranger:

•Locations you live at the current time, and perhaps other places you’ve lived in your lives.
•Married or no? Children or no? Extra details?
•Favourite foods and drinks, and / or places to go out to eat.
•Places each of you has hiked, and places you’d each like to hike someday.
•Music interests (bands, artists, styles and genres), and special musical experiences in your lives.
•Interests in flora or fauna.
•Interests in the arts, like acting, painting, sculpture, writing, music, etc.
•Strange and titillating hypotheticals regarding your individual actions in certain situations.
06/28 Direct Link
I’d heard how beautiful it was but I couldn’t believe my eyes on seeing it. A lagoon with lush greenery all around and a peacefulness over the whole area that one couldn’t believe could exist with so many people around. The late afternoon light filtered through the trees like thousands of fingers of God, all reaching out and caressing me as I swam relaxingly in the tepid water.

Treading water and looking around, just being thankful for this fantastic opportunity, I could’ve sworn I saw a leprechaun or pixie, or elf, dressed in green, flitting their way between the trees...
06/29 Direct Link
Onetwothreefourfivesixseveneigh...arggh!

Laying on his back practicing to accomplish his goal, he couldn’t believe he was silly enough to make this bet. While sitting in the Bull’s Head public bar having a cold one, Fred remarked that the overhead fans spun pretty fast. He wondered now, absolutely astonished, what made him say it wasn’t that fast, and he could count the revolutions!

Fred offered a bet, he (stupidly) took him up on it, and Fred set it up with the barman for next Friday at that bar.

Now, back to practice: onetwothreefourfive ~ click ~ chhk ~ what the??? Aaargghh...

No bet now.
06/30 Direct Link
“No, round,” Mr Benadoza emphasised. “Round and voluptuous, with meat on the bones and none of this, how you say, trim svelte look!”

When Mr Benadoza commissioned me to paint a picture of a ‘big, buxom, beautiful woman’, I had no idea our impressions of what those terms meant would differ so drastically. The painting I delivered was beautiful. In fact, I didn’t want to part with it, I loved it so much. And when he saw it he looked at it like he’d sucked a lemon.

Her whole body would be buxom.

And now I’d keep the beautiful one.