THE INSIDER: Danielle Berryman

Mavis wrapped her cable knit mustard yellow scarf twice around her scrawny neck, attempting to close the gaps where a chilling wind penetrated. Loose thinning curls covered by an Alaskan-rated beanie, she wished balaclavas weren’t associated with crime. Her cheeks ached with cold and she hadn’t left her house. With power bills so high, she rarely switched on her electric heater so it wasn’t much warmer inside unless she was in bed and under the covers. Sheepskin gloves and an enormous wool coat covering shabby trousers and sweater completed her ensemble. Petey was already dressed in a striking rainbow dog … Continue reading THE INSIDER: Danielle Berryman

HELENA’S HOUSE: Danielle Berryman

Like its owner the house had endured a difficult life, fraught with violence amongst the normal wear and tear of age. While sometimes a screw would work its way out, or paint would peel, other places carried the scars of kicks, punches and lost tempers. Helena loved her damaged little home, even more now she was alone under its roof. But she was getting older and the home’s needs were beyond her income and abilities. Saucepans caught rainwater in the spare room all winter and required emptying at least once a week. In the kitchen one of the plug sockets … Continue reading HELENA’S HOUSE: Danielle Berryman

CAMEL IN THE DAM: Roger Garwood

“Hey, Boss, quick, we got camel in the dam!” “Tiger, don’t call me Boss.” “No, Boss.” It was difficult. I was a ‘whitefella’ managing a ‘blackfella’ community in the mid ‘90s. Reversing a 200 year old programme of brainwashing was an uphill battle. I was working for these people, they were my boss – spinifex people removed from Maralinga where atomic weapons were detonated between 1952 and 1963.  The community of Coonana is 200km east of the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie. Driving dangerously fast on the dusty track the trip takes a little over two hours, most of the time … Continue reading CAMEL IN THE DAM: Roger Garwood

THE TRIP: Danielle Berryman

Images of the crows persisted in Selena’s mind that long first day. Darting through her thoughts at odd moments, they gave her an air of distraction, which lingered to haunt her sleep in the stuffy motel. Black crows, feathers glistening in the haze rising from the bitumen, dined alfresco – their meal did not fight back. Cleaved in two, the ‘roo lay dead and bloody. Stark images bordered on one side by the endless grey road, on the other by the red earth.  Contrasting the carnage, sparse roadside bushes sheltered abundant bird life. Selena watched as the tiny creatures flew … Continue reading THE TRIP: Danielle Berryman

COMMUNING WITH THE MUSE: Alison Hurst

Here we are, our consummation drawing closer at this precipice of our appointed time and I am frightened as this bus takes me to our secluded cabin to bring our dalliance to fruition. Exhilaration pulsing a quick second to each fearful tremor. You made yourself known to me only a few months ago and now my whole world feels driven to be all about you. You are wonderful, you are forbidding and maybe you are conspiring to have your moment with me. But I cannot lay this entirely at your feet, for as soon as our first true conversation was … Continue reading COMMUNING WITH THE MUSE: Alison Hurst