Keeping up with the Joneses

No one could keep up with the Joneses… They started Christmas promptly at midnight on the first of December with a blaze of lights, light show, music accompaniment, and each year was designed for a different theme… They got solar panels when people grumbled about the electricity grid, and a battery when the year was grey. They put up a

Read More »

Three Corners – It Lived in the Shed

For sweet William. It was dark blue, cobalt, the colour was called something fancy but essentially it was blue… A deep stormy night sky blue that held the promise if years and decades of fun to come… It had sat discarded, almost forgotten hidden under a tarp out the back of the old apple shed. And as the man grew

Read More »

Three Corners – Marshmallows

You could hear the giggles all the way up the valley. They snuck under doors, around verandahs, they floated up the small ridges and through the canopied forest. They drifted under the pecans to the farmstead and through the gaps in the Liquid Ambers and Agapanthus. The giggles that came with pure fun and joy. The laughter of the innocent,

Read More »

Three Corners – The Flower Thief

The offender sat quietly in her cell. She wasn’t a flight risk, the door, in deference to the lack of heating was open, however it didn’t stop the severe disappointment of the police officer who brought her in, nor the sigh of resignation that came from the duty officer in charge of the processing. She had been here before. On

Read More »

Three Corners – Scorch Marks

The kids got the blame for the scorch mark on the desk. It sat near the edge, within their reach, if they were kneeling on the seat and playing on the computer, which they were not meant to do. That’s why when they claimed innocence, no one in the household believed them. Thirsting to sate their desire for the latest

Read More »

Three Corners – The Real Estate Market

When the car slowly motored up the main street, all of Three Corners’ held their breath. It was… Beautiful. Magnificent. A complete package of perfection; in symmetry, colour and trend. The young gentleman who drove, steered with a knowing smile, aware of the attention and basked in the warmth of a collective stare. He slowly reversed into the angled space

Read More »

Three Corners – Council Clean up Day

Council Clean-Up Day at Three Corners was a Street Shopper’s delight; and Morrie, who lived on the outer rim of the town looked forward to it more than Christmas every year. His house, a 1930’s concrete bungalow, was always immaculate; the lawn neatly clipped, the bromeliads flowering, the lavender trim, even the ivy kept to its frame, not daring to

Read More »

Three Corners – Burning Secrets

He snuck over to the old shack by the river. Cleared the aluminium cans and chip wrappers from the fireplace grate and started to slowly burn the ream of paper he’d brought with him.
 The air filled suddenly with the snap of a match and the sulphuric acrid after smell of phosphorus and glass. A bright and sudden flare, but

Read More »

Three Corners – Writer’s Block

At first he thought it was an apparition…. Then a late night hallucination, brought on by too much work, stress and lack of sleep… but after the third night he realised that what was happening outside was as real as the deadline he was pushing. As real as the domestic wrangling, as real as his twelve year old’s sullenness, replacing

Read More »

Three Corners – The Street Library

The installation of a street library started a small war in Three Corners.Quite unintentionally.Declarations were made, lines drawn, friendships that had spent a lifetime in solidarity split asunder, and one marriage ended in divorce.A little cream box, with a blue metal roof that perched precariously on top of a stone garden pillar near the crossroads that gave Three Corners its

Read More »

Three Corners – Flying

Sneaking past the blue bike in the laundry was the hardest. Everything was crammed in so tight it was hard to manoeuvre. Or so he thought. But squeezing in between the two cars in the garage was harder, trying to minimise space taken, not to touch either of the cars: A silver Falcon sedan on one side, an old, baby

Read More »

Three Corners – His Dirty Little Secret

She is his dirty little secret. A voice, a memory, a yearning from the past. He loves his wife. Adores his children. Which was why his memory of her felt so wrong at the beginning. Something he would never share, something he couldn’t. Everyone else dismissed her out of mind years ago, when she’d gone. Forever. And because she was gone forever, holding on

Read More »

Three Corners – Staying

The sounds of summer drifted languidly down the valley. A game of backyard cricket, shouts from children and encouragement from adults that eventually turned into shouts from adults and encouragement by children. Someone was mowing their lawn. A whipper snipper also in action. The faint waft of a BBQ starting up with a tinge of cold fat and promises of

Read More »

Three Corners – The Bowlo

Times certainly had changed, he thought, looking out across the floor. The Bowling Club had undergone a rather posh revamp. The bowlers had a uniform now, the green was meticulously cared for. The rules were to be followed and gatherings had lost that casual come-and-go feel. Inside, the old kaleidoscope of vomit coloured carpet had been replaced with bamboo flooring.

Read More »

Three Corners – The Flying Fox

When summer hits Three Corners, there’s no doubt about it. Time slows as the humidity rolls each year across the mountains and down into the valley. It’s not a lethargy that affects the villagers at this time, but rather than expend unnecessary energy wading through the thick damp air, people simply slowed. The cicadas were plentiful most years, loud carolling

Read More »

Three Corners – Her First Appearance

Her first appearance in Three Corners was less than elegant. Remarkable, memorable even, but far from elegant. In years to come it would be deemed farcical. The old barflies at the pub would quietly reminisce, whispering in hushed tones of the cacophony that the old Volkswagen Bug made as it spluttered and choked up the main street. The same rusty

Read More »

Three Corners – The New Neighbour

As she left she peered in, a little too close. ‘If I don’t remember you, just remind me. I think you’ve already lived an interesting life and I would very much like to hear how you have gone… So far’ She left at a hobble. Snatching the Bluetooth component of her hearing aid from the dining table as she was

Read More »

Three Corners – The Equaliser

Swimming gave him the most incredible sense of freedom. He ploughed through the water, spinning, turning, loving, laughing. The sheer enjoyment of movement. It was a place of second chances, a chance to feel whole, to feel as though it was worth it all. The noises and chattering in his head ceased and he could hear the world though a

Read More »

Three Corners – A New Dress

For Ms Kat. Not your average shop. Not crammed with stacks and racks and shelves of clothes at bargain prices. Not spaced and gentle and beige, with ticketed items the equivalent of a holiday. It was colourful. Playful. With a mermaid mannequin in turquoise and pink, lounging on a red vinyl couch in the centre. A pleasant smell, faintly citrus

Read More »

Three Corners – Predictable Success

He accounts for every cent. His desk is meticulously tidy, and he accounts for every cent. He needs every cent. His life is mapped out in miles stones and the milestone rely on his pecuniary interests. When he gets to a certain amount he can start to afford to date with an eye to long term relationship. The ring, the

Read More »

Three Corners – Sweets

Sugar! It dances on the air and sweetens the mood. Every one smiles and you know that nothing bad could happen here. The walls are painted in rainbow coloured offerings and she clutches tightly a small gold coin that will offer up some of those treasures behind the counter. There are so many choices that she is almost giddy with

Read More »

Three Corners – Adult Dilemma

He sat still. Completely still. Bathed in the yellow light that passed through the honeysuckle over the window and streamed in. invading the dark corners and sending the cockroaches scurrying back under the stove. He sat still by the phone. Cream, cracked. It came from the old house with him to this tiny apartment. He’d insisted. He wanted his own

Read More »

Three Corners – Two Cups

It was a Queen Anne. A small tea cup with delicate violets painted on the bone china, with a gold rim on the handle and lip. It was part of her wedding set. With saucers, bread and butter plates, a teapot, sugar owl and cream jug. There were two sizes of tea cups. The smaller delicate ones for the ladies,

Read More »

Three Corners – Strangers and Silence

The car crept up the driveway and, seeing her at the top, dead potoroo hanging by its feet in her left hand, her rifle with the safety on in her right, stopped. It reversed back a bit to where the caravan sat at the bottom of the hill and waited. After five minutes it turned its lights off. It was

Read More »

Three Corners – Mad

Oh no! The dread builds and spills over to awareness. He could feel it happening again. He promised himself he would let it happen, he wouldn’t lose control and then he was gone. Twirling, turning, confusing. Laughing, crying, spinning. Black and light. Sparks. Colour. Voices. Far away voices. Bass beat, thumping, unceasingly. Turning, twirling, spinning. Black whirling, colour sparks. ‘Mad’

Read More »

Three Corners – Old Man

Stooped on the verandah he tried to remember how you came to attention. His back wouldn’t allow it, he himself wouldn’t allow it. Why should he salute a society that has forgotten him? A society that has forgotten his service, his efforts, his triumphs. His medals sit dusty in an old box. He hid for them for years, then he

Read More »

Three Corners – Trolls under the Bridge

It was just a little wooden footbridge. Rickety, made from old fence posts. Wide enough for the quad bike, but definitely not the tractor. Dad said the tractor would snap it and then they’d be stuck, so he dropped her off and went the long way round. She crossed the bridge a thousand times before. It was wedged in on

Read More »

Three Corners – Fairy Godmother

She had the dream. The dream they all did. The difference was, that she had the means to make that dream come true. She could just pack up and leave. She could buy a place in the country and swan about a chi-chi farmhouse talking about organic chicken raising, boasting of her garden and baking. But she was too scared

Read More »

Three Corners – Mannerless Music

They lined up single file, in the food court. The metal uncomfortable chairs and the wonky silver tables. No more than one person sat at each table, this early. Most faced the large four TV screens showing breakfast TV chat shows and the news. All on mute. There was a rumour that there had been remotes to them once, but

Read More »

Three Corners – The Secret Language of Butchers

No one told him that working in a butcher’s would constitute learning another language. He’d been in many before, and caught the occasion conversation where he didn’t understand what was being said, bet he didn’t realise it was language of its own. There wasn’t a dictionary, a text book, a phrase book to help. He just had a notebook and

Read More »

Three Corners – New Rage

The problem was; she read that book. And deep down it tapped in to her emotions and opened up a rage she hadn’t felt in decades. It started slowly, simmering from chapter one through to chapter ten and by chapter twenty three it had boiled over to polite fury. It didn’t occur to her that the book may in fact

Read More »

Three Corners – The Backyard Bard

He liked to think of himself as the Bard of the Backyard. The Shakespeare of the streets, the voice to the voiceless and the antidote to the dope of the wires. In truth he listened to too much Nick Cave, still lived with his mother and couldn’t find a job. He was a poet. An artist. An artist alright, a

Read More »

Three Corners – A Secret Indulgence

Soft. Smooth. A secret. Sensible. That’s how they see her. Practical. No one would ever imagine. The trips to Sydney to see her brother, always included a visit. Here. A salacious secret. Would it ruin her if they all found out? She didn’t know. Right now, she doesn’t care. She never cares while she’s here. She inhales the air, laden

Read More »

Three Corners – 33 Kinds of Laughter

She can tell you about the thirty three different laughs that come from next door. The high pitched squeal of the children in delight and joy through to the sardonic laughter of the man who comes in late and fights with the woman. The woman’s hurt laughter as she braves the man. His hurt laughter at her revelations. She doesn’t

Read More »

Three Corners – Enforced courtesy

For six months he caught the bus in to work. In those six months only two people returned his greeting. Two. Apart from the bus drivers, who always said hello, shared a joke, commiserated on a sporting team’s loss. One morning the ticket machine wasn’t working, everyone got a free ride into the city and not one of those horrid

Read More »

Three Corners – Naked Rooftops

Rooftops. That was the best part of this job. He could spend his entire lunch break just gazing out across the roofs. Occasionally he see Miss Maison from the Gelateria up on her balcony. Hanging out the washing. You’d always see the delivery trucks backing carefully up the alley behind the shops. It was quite interesting the day The Cake

Read More »

Three Corners – Dust and Kindness

A longing. A longing for sea breezes and misty rain. For green, green grass all year round, for trees that stood tall and grew straight. No more red rust dust. The smell of the smelter, it’s acrid taste so constantly depriving his senses of real aromas, of real flavours. No more coal dust; to coat every car, every building every

Read More »

Three Corners – Happy

Happy. There was such laughter in the eyes. In a face that would normally be described as small and pinched, with such expressive and delighted eyes it became ‘pixie like’ instead. People took themselves too seriously she thought. They took on too much of the world’s troubles and sorrows, immersed themselves too much in the drama of others. Care she

Read More »

Three Corners – Doubting Tartan

The little tartan shopping trolley was brand new. It had been brand new for four years. Sitting in the corner, collecting dust and detritus while adjusting to its new role. It was a coat rack, an umbrella stand, a plastic bag receptacle, a home for daddy long legs. The cat had once tried to climb it, but it toppled with

Read More »

Three Corners – Memory Attic

It smelt of dust, stale air and old memories. The sun light filtered through the window as the motes flew around the room in the wake of his footsteps. Once it was empty, a room of promises; a study, a nursery, a sewing room, guestroom and now storage. Initially it was organised, but over the years things got moved around,

Read More »

Three Corners – Cooking Books

Yesterday he counted two hundred and thirty two cook books, but it’s not an obsession. Of those two hundred and thirty two he has only actually cooked out of fifty two – leaving one hundred and eighty unused cook books on the shelf… But it’s not an obsession. Of those one hundred and eighty, he’s bookmarked sixty three, make that

Read More »

Three Corners – Guerrilla Gardening

It started as a single flower in the barrenness, no one noticed how it got there, no one knew anything when the landlord went a little crazy about it. But it grew. The flower grew, and it was joined by another. A small hydrangea bush, a patch of violets. Every time the landlord removed them, they’d return larger, brighter, bigger.

Read More »

Three Corners – Night Walkers

At night she owned this road. During the day no one noticed her, she made sure people didn’t. Unobtrusive. Comments, no opinions. Greys, black, beige clothes, no decoration. No bright glasses. No hooting laughter. No cheeky grin or wry sense of humour. Nothing, because at night she owned this road. The street lights, an occasional porch light, no one else

Read More »

Three Corners – The Garbo

His pride and joy was this garbage truck. Small and compact, he washed her every day after the job, cleaning and scouring just like the manual recommended. Oh yes, he’d read the manual. Cover to cover during the strikes, when she sat idle and waiting. She cornered tightly, and handled like a dream. The left hand drive was a little

Read More »

Three Corners – Not a Minute Too Soon

She sat, at first calm. He was in the best of hands. She went through the motions, called the children let them know, they’d meet her as soon as they could. He said he felt a bit off colour and went to sit outside under the jacaranda tree. Her favourite. The only one he’d let her plant in the garden,

Read More »

Three Corners – Fish for Shoes

As he stepped into the river, he could feel the cooler waters from off the mountain creeks whirl and mix with the lower valley water. Both crystal clear, untouched by man, except for a few swimmers upriver and the occasional animal passing. Over the rapids the water burbled encouragement as he balanced the riffle square with the net rigged up,

Read More »

Three Corners – An Awkward Customer

She was there to pick up a book she’d had on hold for the last week: 4Play – Meals to Excite. She made her way down the ramp in the bookshop and circumnavigated the tree, a previous business’s folly, to arrive at the counter. She had reserved the book by phone, and wanted to have a quick look before she

Read More »

Three Corners – Coffee Thief

For Rach. The hum of the massive silver espresso machine gave the chocolatey room a warmth that belied the sleekness of the chrome. Booth seats lined the walls, the only light coming from the folded glass doors pulled back to let in the air and customers in, and a few well-placed lamps. Outside the sun baked the pavement in a

Read More »

Three Corners – The Raw Prawn

There is a choice of seventeen different culprits. Seventeen flats, seventeen collections of people or persons. Twelve women and eleven men live here. One dog, two cats, one baby. He can rule out the cats, dog, baby and men. Its a woman who does it. A woman who aggravates him and makes his blood boil. A woman who makes him

Read More »

Three Corners – In Death

There is no beauty in death, he fussed around the open casket, a tuck here, a smoothing there. No beauty in death, only absence. He’d read that once, in one of his English novels and it captured the business elegantly. He never liked the notion of open caskets. Symbolic to be sure, for some a reassurance that their loved one

Read More »

Three Corners – Gone Not Lost

The electricity cut out without warning. No! No! Nonononononono! The scream left his mouth involuntarily as he raced to find the card for the meter. Nononono please no, as he wrenched off the beanie holding his greasy hair back, slipping on a shirt with no holes and running out of the room. Bugger bugger bugger shit shit shit! A painful

Read More »

Three Corners – Time to Move

Every time he climbs the stairs, she sees that he looks in. Is it a reflex? Is it curiosity? Is it a little more sinister? The stairs run along her loungeroom windows, so many people walking up to the top flats do peep in, then realise what they’re doing and look away quickly. Embarrassed. She used to freeze every time

Read More »

Three Corners – A Garden Tryst

It was a very small patch of sunlight that lingered in the cool of the evening. But it had been there a while; the stones flat surface was warm to the touch and just wide enough for her to settle comfortably on it. Curling her small and delicate feet underneath, absorbing the small amount of heat. The garden was awash

Read More »

Three Corners – Not Quite Broken

It was a weary, bone tiredness. The one that leeches the light and colour from everything. She took a deep breath and willed her eyes open, trying to hold back the tears at the thought of another day. The mantra started. just get through today, take one step then the next. Just get through this day Shed been saying it

Read More »

Three Corners – The Busker

He liked busking as people made their way to work. It seemed to hold more purpose. A melody or tune to make the morning less daunting. Most were wrapped up in their own world, their own music. Marching to the beat of business drum. He enjoyed the surprise that occasionally graced a face. They didn’t expect him at that time.

Read More »

Three Corners – Romeo

He smiled as he came in to the room after the guests had left. Some people make the bed, some people don’t and he felt you could always tell from that what sort of person they were. Last nights guests were a young couple, obviously smitten with each other, so he gave them the Juliet Suite for the price of

Read More »

Three Corners – Country Style

When she was twelve her father brought home one of the posh magazines from work. Thick and glossy. With pages and pages of big beautiful homes in creams with hints of colours. Their flat above the newsagents was all browns and greens; it smelt of paper, old and new, forgotten meals and the acridity of tomato sauce. Maybe it all

Read More »

Three Corners – The IGA

She lay still. Completely stiff. Staring at the harsh fluorescent lighting… There was a crack near the metal vent, directly above. It was cool though, blissfully cool, blissfully quiet. Someone else’s child was screaming in the distance. Someone else’s partner was quibbling about the necessity of quinoa. She wiggled slightly, her hair making a comforting crunching noise and she folded

Read More »

Three Corners – At dawn

There were two shared Hills Hoist washing lines out the back of the apartment block. Barren trees in the middle of a neat green lawn. Perpetually green, even in drought. With two concrete paths leading from the shared brick laundry. Today, as he took the shortcut he noted that one of the lines was being used. It was right on

Read More »

Three Corners – Froggy and Toad

Froggy and Toad flew down the highway on their bikes. After several weeks of getting exactly where they wanted when they wanted, they decided to take the backroads, in the hope of variety, adventure, and surprise. They came across Three Corners this way. Stopped at The Cake Hole for coffee and locally baked croissants, and then saw a shakily written

Read More »

Three Corners #1

Three Corners is, on the surface, your average small town. It stands on the banks of a flood prone river, with a large Queensland style pub anchoring the village at a once famous three way intersection. Throughout the valley that the town services, you can see the faded remnants of the landed gentry. It once held just twenty families, parcelled

Read More »