The Bachelor

You waited for Friday night to come around. There were some weeks when it arrived in nothing flat and the other weeks when you’d nearly give up on it arriving at all.  You’d have the cows milked a bit early, shave, dress and when your father looked up from staring into the coals in the fireplace he’d say, “Are you goin’ out then?” Rather than risk argument, you’d remain silent, just nodding and holding your hand out for the ten-bob note that he eventually had agreed to give you.  A grunt would serve as acknowledgement, then off with you into the fading light for the two mile walk to the village chewing on a pig’s cheek by way of dinner. Within a mile the collar stud might be biting into your throat and you’d curse yourself for not leaving it out until you reached your destination. The old fella’s greatcoat from the war kept the mist off your brown pinstripe suit. The cloth cap you bought on your first and last trip to Dublin nine years ago kept your head dry.

The walk was distinguishable by its sameness. Continue reading

Fairy tale update

Little Red Riding Hood grew up and moved to the city. She met some more wolves who got her hooked on crack so she turned to prostitution to feed her habit. When Prince (the artist formerly known as Charming) was in town for a concert at the MCG, he booked her for a quickie and was so impressed that he paid for her rehab then set her up in her own brothel. Continue reading

Blight

He surveyed his domain from the hillock behind his family’s one-room, thatched cottage. The landlord’s domain to be precise, but for the four generations preceding this year of Our Lord, 1845, his forefathers had paid the rent that made it theirs to call home. All three acres and only half of it rock and stone.

He pulled his knit cap down to shelter his immaturely balding pate against the mountain wind and focused his steady grey eyes on the troop of Redcoats on the shore road far below. He released his breath when he realised they would not bother the family today.

He set off to the potato patch, his smock flapping noisily in the wind, his legs kept dry from the mist by coarse leggings. His bare feet found purchase on clod and stone with a dexterity that told of familiarity with the exercise. He moved neither quickly nor slowly, just with the efficiency required by the task in relation to the sinking sun. Continue reading

Vacant vacation

As she settled into the Autobús Argentinias coach at Mendoza’s prosaically named Terminal del Sol for the 7 hour journey across the Andes to Chile, Britney mentally reviewed how she would pass the time. First she had oodles of photos to upload to Facebook, then her tweets and finally an update to Britney’s Backpacking Blog.

Having enjoyed the climb into the foothills, she switched on her iPhone, congratulating her forethought on fully charging its battery. The signal metre was at…what!  Minimum and fading? Britney stared incredulously. How could this be happening on a high-altitude public highway? Then the signal died. Fuck! Continue reading