The Man in the Rain by David Christopher Johnston

They sat in the tiny bus shelter, hoods up, huddled together to ward off the bitter wind. The whole structure shuddered and creaked like it could collapse at any moment. Nathan tore through his burger like a starved cayote devouring a fresh kill. Cassie ate hers slowly, taking small bites and savouring the taste, enjoying the warmth in her stomach. She watched Nathan shovelling food into his mouth and laughed. Continue reading The Man in the Rain by David Christopher Johnston

Quemperi by Camila Torres

Two white men arrived in Quemperi in the morning. They were two white blemishes in the perfect brown and green of the rainforest. They were no children of Mama Sacha, and their mere presence disturbed her eternal peace. To the white men, it seemed as if the grass and bushes were becoming taller and thicker; as if mosquitos’ bloodthirst was growing, biting their eyes, ears and necks; and as if the mist was becoming warmer and wetter only to suffocate their airways. Continue reading Quemperi by Camila Torres

Butterfly Stitches by Jeremiah K. Balko

Dad’s still only twenty minutes away, which is why he can still see us all the time. He’s not like these dads you hear about who don’t want their kids. Mum made it seem like she got us during the school week because she was the mum and he got us on the weekend, like it was the law. Mum doesn’t make us do chores, so we like that, and Rita would’ve picked her anyway. She hates Dad. She has no taste in things. Continue reading Butterfly Stitches by Jeremiah K. Balko

Oh Baby by Sam Burt

To stave off hunger, he does another line. He pulls a chair to the table and delights in the newfound compliance of physical objects. He wants music, so gets up and puts it on and there it is! It wanted to be heard. He sits down again but suddenly knows there should be different music and a different drink, something fruity to take the edge off, and the curtains drawn, and then enough time will have passed to check his messages again. Continue reading Oh Baby by Sam Burt

Leaving Orua (The Last of the Estuary’s Sun) by Gregory Dally

It could be called piquant, the tangleft by a haystack once it’s dried.The rain has dispersed. You breathe in.It’s an indulgence that has you imagining tussock fire. These vapours can only keep moving your atomsin a quest for the ultimate condition.You assay the tide’s fleet of shiversaround your legs and your mind. It’s soothing to take in the coolness on light raysturned in jade over … Continue reading Leaving Orua (The Last of the Estuary’s Sun) by Gregory Dally

My Name is Abbas Abdullah by Wayne McCray

He did it so easily. No one looking like him had done that in a while. Most boys don’t play girlish street games. Except for one, but he didn’t stay around here. That was for sure. But the more Abbas saw of him, the more recognisable he became. It dawned on him: “damn, that’s my son!” He hadn’t seen him in years, but knew it was him by his swagger, and the occasional stoppage of children and neighbours, all clamouring to talk to him. His son would arrive shortly. Now Abbas wished he had left earlier, but it was too late now.  Continue reading My Name is Abbas Abdullah by Wayne McCray