Jolley Prize story

1. You are going to die

Malcolm has every reason to believe that he’ll be fine. The word ‘fine’ laps gently in his mind like the outgoing tide in a sheltered bay. From resting heartbeat to penile erecti ...

In 1979 in the town of Paradise Lake, women of fifty favour blue knitwear and Peter Jackson cigarettes. They cook sponges without a recipe, don’t mind a brandy and dry, and love their grandchildren with an intensity that takes some of them by surprise. They’re most readily distinguished, one from another, according to their golf handicaps and the generosity of t ...

My sister watched the river drink me, and offered not a finger to pull me free. She was a colder creature than the water on my skin, and I should have known there was no turning her once her words were thinned, and her eyes dusk-rimmed. She watched me bob and nod to the river, her skirts clotted in her fists, and I don’t think she cared if I became wood or stone, ...

The first time she came was remarkably with someone else. He had been doing more or less the same thing for about a week when it happened and she was glad but as is the nature of such thresholds it became a due before she could remember it being any different. Few things blow you away. Though it was mysterious at first she soon had it in her own power. Once years la ...

In the weeks and months after his Moira died he’d whittled off the callers, one by one, until even gentle Dave O’Donnell, his oldest friend, felt like a stranger when he came by to drop off a family-size pie. This was an unlikely turn of behaviour. In the resolute stare he gave Dave at the side door of the house, there was a grief that could brook no niceties, d ...

Jolley Prize 2011: 'Before He Left the Family' by Carrie Tiffany

Carrie Tiffany
Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Before he left the family, my father worked as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company. He travelled from chemist to chemist with samples of pills and lotions and pastes in the back of his Valiant station wagon. The best sales representatives visited modern chemists in the city and suburbs. My father had to drive long distances to country chemists who ha ...

Jolley Prize 2011 (Shortlist): 'Milk Tray' by Claire Aman

Claire Aman
Tuesday, 27 September 2011

This is to say I didn’t take the old lady’s things for myself, I was only looking after them. I wanted to leave the chocolate box in her garden so when she lifted the lid she’d find her ruby rings and diamonds and pearls each tucked in their own dark nest. It was nearly ready, only two more to go – Turkish Delight and Peppermint Crème. She would have unders ...

In the middle of their love-making, he said, suddenly – ‘Wait.’ He reached over to his wallet beside the bed and took out what was obviously a condom. He opened the packet, held up the condom and said, ‘Put it on.’

...

A Roānkin philosophy of poetry

by Maria Takolander

I worked for a while with the second cousin of an acquaintance of the notorious Minean nationalist poet, Honoré Tutkanen, whose book The Overall Underling had done little, my colleague and I agreed, to advance sympathy for the pig breeder. This colleague, a lecturer in the faculty of b ...

Jolley Prize 2010: 'Sleepers' by Cate Kennedy

Cate Kennedy
Tuesday, 30 November 2010

 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. DETOU ...

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