His decline is gradual, but a mother knows. Giant teddy bear hugs become limp, and the child turns his head, leaving a parent’s kiss floundering fishlike in the air. Bedtimes lose the clingy desperation. He merely removes himself from your presence, slides under the covers and turns his head to the wall. He’s nearly seven,…

The TV quiz show audience waited. In the final round, the established champion, the homely Jessie (nurse and voluntary phone crisis counsellor) would surely beat the new challenger, the gorgeous Edwina (businessman’s wife and stunning fashion plate). For the deciding question, the studio audience was hushed. The quiz host built the tension with his annoyingly…

He sniffs the water, gulps at the air. No others make a move amid the red glow. A good sign, all things considered. He smooths his whiskers, saunters over to the wheel. It’s his turn. He’s feeling lucky. * ‘All righty!’ The man with the high voice and white coat flicks the fluoros to high…

Ever wanted to give a loved one a dose of reality or shall we say a “a reality hit”? Well, now you can. You see my parents decided to name me, their first and only child, ‘Reality,’ during a time of their life when they themselves were far from it. But, rather than letting it…

“I can absolutely cope with two humans against a Converted crew.” I watch the numbers stagnate on the ship’s monitor, after days of rapid falling (HUMAN LIFE-FORMS, 0002) and climbing (NON-HUMAN, 0148) since Seig and I sealed ourselves in the control room. “I just don’t want to be the last one.” Seig and I are…

You have to understand the structure of a house. Each one is different, has its idiosyncrasies. When you find a builder willing to take on such a house you sit through long discussions with him. He takes you to the front first and points out the trouble caused by the closed in verandah. He explains…

I force the protective glasses over Sunday’s eyes. She’s being ridiculous. It’s a given that Sunday doesn’t care about the solar eclipse, because the more people express interest in something, the more my friend makes a point of expressing her singular disinterest. We’re surrounded by interest: the crowd is thrumming and clicking with it. They…

“It rained that day.” “Rubbish.” “It did. I remember. I remember my-” “Driest August we’d had for years.” “I doubt your memory is too good anymore.” “Nothing wrong with my memory. Sharper than ever. I can remember things from my childhood.” “Yes, they say long distant events are sharper than recent events when -” “They?…

Sonja Albright had deliberately set fire to her practice, but she did not admit this to the police officer. They stood behind the cordon watching as fire fighters sifted through smouldering wreckage. ‘What happened? I was only gone for twenty minutes!’ she uttered with prescribed bewilderment instead. It had been a quick dash out, between…

I’d like to begin by expressing my deepest condolences for your recent death. I imagine this is quite unexpected, to find yourself here. They say that moving house, having children, and dealing with a loved one’s death are life’s three most stressful experiences, and given that the transition into the afterlife rolls two of those…

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