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

COCKROACH: Priscilla Shorne

Jerry had gone. She had not been an easy guest and I was relieved as I walked to the car. It was hot and had been hot for days and the carpark simmered with radiated heat and the sky was a dry blue. You expected there to be dust even when there wasn’t. Jerry had given up, given in and gone home. She was not about to live a life free of constraint after all. Personally I did not care what she was going to do so long as she was not going to do it with me.  I had … Continue reading COCKROACH: Priscilla Shorne


“Nah, like I said mate, you would never, ever catch me riding any sort of bike without a helmet; too bloody dangerous, I value my health and safety a lot more than that.  Do you know, seven out of every ten pushbike riders have experienced some sort of serious accident, usually head-related?  Nah, always look after your body, Jerry, and it’ll look after you.  Anyway, I’ll just finish this and we’ll get cracking, eh?” He took a final, deep drag on his cigarette, flicked it into the garden and walked to the back of the ute.  As he was slipping … Continue reading BLUE DUST DAY: Gary McHugh