Alex is watching his wife as she stands at the pale stone bench and raises her canister of Chinese herbal tonic to her shoulder to give it a quick shake. She gives him a game, faintly ironic smile, like someone pretending to be a cocktail waitress. What's in there tastes nothing like a cocktail, Alex knows, because she made him try it the first day. More like lint from the vacuum cleaner, he thou ... (read more)
Cate Kennedy is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She won a Queensland Literary Award for her short story collection Like a House on Fire (Scribe, 2012) and a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for her poetry collection, The Taste of River Water (Scribe, 2011). Her work has been published widely both in Australia and internationally. The short story is, and probably always will be, her favourite form.
September 2014, no. 364 • 01 September 2014
He was a man with a pinboard, and that boosted him a hundred points in her nervy evaluation, the first night she saw his room. On the pinboard were tickets, a laminated backstage pass, a wrapper from a Swiss chocolate, all those things that could wait for drowsy burbling nocturnal stories in the dark, the recounting of Times Before Her recited off like threaded beads. All thrillingly making up the ... (read more)
Ray was stuck in traffic, an unusual feeling in a town the size of his, inching forward through a detour round the railway crossing. He watched the orange text changing on the roadside electronic billboard in the kind of trance he had recently found himself lapsing into more and more. TRACK UPGRADE he read absently. DELAYS EXPECTED. DETOUR AHEAD. He’d forgotten – they all had. Barrelled ... (read more)