Short Story

'Kindly Death' a new story by John Bryson

John Bryson
28 November 2012

A visitation of Kindly Death is recorded by the Law List in a glass cabinet beside the sandstone doorway of Court Four in the City Courthouse, the sole item for the day’s business, and for many days:

Trial: R v Ali Bashir. (1) Murder (2) Assist Suicide.

The second count, rather than the first, is the reason f ... More

Jolley Prize 2012 (Winner): 'Patterns in Nature' by Sue Hurley

Sue Hurley
30 August 2012

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 ... More

Jolley Prize 2012 (Shortlist): 'Tended by Foxes' by Ngiare Elliot

Ngiare Elliot
30 August 2012

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, ... More

Jolley Prize 2012 (Shortlist): 'Gorgeous Perambulator' by Jack Cox

Jack Cox
30 August 2012

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 ... More

'A Body of Water' a new story by Else Fitzgerald

Else Fitzgerald
09 August 2012

Behind the houses the river slides away all night. Buttery and resinous, the air hangs heavy with the river murk, the wet stink of the mudbank. Across the water, the railway sidings with their abandoned boxcars lie quiet, generations of graffiti hiding whatever colour they may have been. Beyond, the ibises stalk the salt flats, reeking brackish plains filled with se ... More

'Three sisters' a new story by Maria Takolander

Maria Takolander
27 February 2012

Let us take a look at this place. Marshlands. All the way to the horizon. The land drained, but nevertheless sinking. Sinking into nothing, nothing but itself. Frogs volleying noise in the grass unseen. The hazy movement of mosquitoes low to the ground. On a blade of swamp grass a sleek cricket. Blacker than night and – look closely – its antennae twitching. Jus ... More

'Russell Drysdale’s Trousers' a new story by Catherine Moffat

Catherine Moffat
25 November 2011

They were large, stained, rust-coloured. You’d found them in an op shop somewhere. Old men’s trousers. I laughed and wouldn’t believe you when you said they once belonged to Russell Drysdale. So you took them off, right there on the Town Hall steps, and waved them in front of my face, flourishing the tag with the neat red stitching and Russell Drysdale’s nam ... More

'Nitrogen' a new story by Meg Mundell

Meg Mundell
25 October 2011

We fell into the ocean backwards, making the OK signal for the camera. Later I replayed that footage several times, but it never seemed accurate: all flailing flippers and ungainly limbs, smiles stretched around the mouthpiece, that messy shattering of the surface. Nothing like the slow, deadly grace of being underwater.

... More

Jolley Prize 2011 (Winner): 'The Neighbour’s Beans' by Gregory Day

Gregory Day
27 September 2011

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 ... More

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

Carrie Tiffany
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 ... More

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