28 October, 2011


A middle
a muddle
and the little puddles.

The room was full of puddles. Some big, some small, but all larger than the size of a child's plastic chair. They had been irregularly spaced in such a way that they seemed to be a jigsaw of puddles. Each puddle shone a different colour, depending on the light reflected in them from the stained glass roof.

I had no idea where I was or what this place was for. How did I get here? Through a maze of doors I was not sure I wanted to negotiate again. It had been like trying to find a way out of a mirror maze.

24 October, 2011

city chick

Sweltering hot car.
Early summer days that cook a body before they've even put a key in the ignition.
Burning, stinking days where you want to live in a cold shower - if the rain water tank held an infinite supply of cold water.

And you know what?
I've run out of water.

There's only that old, yellowed bottle of water that has been rolling around on the car floor. And nobody's going to want to drink that. I mean, there's no way in the world I would want to drink that...

But I'm stuck in the middle of the Outback with no phone (battery's dead - anyway, the sun had baked the screen before I realised that it had been sitting in the open sun for hours. Smart phone. Huh.) No one coming. It's cooler outside the car than in and even then, the only shade is one scraggly shrub that don't even reach my knee.

I'm as red as a lobster, will have peeling skin for days, as well as freckles for months to come and I'm sure I'm going to catch cancer from drinking old water steeped in carcinogens that have leached out from the plastic into the near boiling water. Which is worse? Being roasted like a lizard on the baking red sand now or slowly dying while being attacked from within by my own body?

I really can't decide.

Dave had better notice I'm missing and come find me soon before all that is left of me is either charred flesh or a cancerous mass. I've been out here for 3 minutes already. I can see the gate from where I am, so it should only take him about 10 minutes to come rescue me - if he walks. If he drives, it won't take a moment and I don't want to spend 10 minutes out here in the sun if he can come and pick me up in his dad's air-conditioned ute.

I daren't leave my car. What if a snake attacks me? What if I run out of water before I reach the house? Anyway, my authentic Dolce Garbana sandals would never survive the 500m distance on this stupid red cracked road. How can they call this rutted stretch of dust a road anyway?

Better to wait here for him.

Five minutes now and I'm dying. That bottle of water is starting to look good.

21 October, 2011

the heights

Round the craggy corner, she turned. Shuffling feet, cautiously kicking off loose stones that might make her foot slip. A centimetre at a time. Don't look down. Don't look around. Don't even look up to see how far there is to go.

Shuffle, step.
Shuffle, step.
Wind whistling by ear, pulling at clothes.

Defy gravity a bit longer, she told her muscles. Just a bit more.

Muscles were screaming. Aching with that sour feeling, as if lemon juice had gotten into her muscles and was sapping all her strength.

Just a bit more.

Eyes examined rocks. Cracks, depth, finger holds, foot holds.

Shuffle, shuffle, step.

Finally. A ledge.

With bated breath, she reached out a foot to test the ledge, holding onto the rock at shoulder height with shaking, white finger tips. It held. Carefully, she edged more weight onto the slab of rock until her tired, shaking legs bore all her weight. Once before, she had made the mistake of not testing a ledge and almost fallen back down the mountain cliff. It had been a good thing she'd managed to quickly find foot holds and that the cracks in which her fingers had been wedged had not crumbled beneath her weight.

On the ledge, she collapsed and took a few deep breaths of cold air.

Looking around at the breath-taking sight of mountains upon mountains as far the eye could see, purpling into the horizon, she wondered for the millionth time what she was doing here.

07 October, 2011

in the time of things

I haven't been to the Tunnels of the Guard, I've lived there almost all my life. Anonymous. The Guards know me and just think I'm another one of them. I'm even on the rosters for the various duties and do everything they do. What they don't know is that there is no record of me ever joining the Guard. There are no files on my history or family - not even I know anything about my history. No one knows how old I am; and just because I've always been around, I just happened to slip onto the rosters. It was a natural progression.

At first, I was an exceptionally stupid probie. I could do drill, tie knots, keep up all day and night, but things like the Line Creed, the Oath and the Stance were things that some of my 'comrades' had to drum into me so that I did not get everyone else into trouble. Especially during inspection time. During those times, when everyone's files were scrutinised with a white microscope, I 'disappeared'. I had the reputation of being part of the Secret Services without needing to have said anything.

In the dark, I walk sure. Like the 'tunnel rats' that the Guard try to eradicate, I am sly. The 'tunnel rats' are my friends though. We always have been, because I was one of them before I managed to integrate myself into the Tunnels. Nobody likes the 'rats'. We were the thieves in the dark, the vicious packs that took down supply vehicles at night and set fires to the creeping Lines. The Lines didn't think we knew. They thought we, like the rest of the brainwashed citizens Above, were stupid. But we knew what the Lines were really up to and what the Lines true goal was and we weren't going to let our city turn itself over to them so easily.

We are the unsung heroes. The secret fighters of a rebellion nobody knows about. Everyone tries to squish us, but we fight to protect and survive. Nobody wants to live in a slowly shrinking cage. Most people don't notice a thing. They're too busy listening to the Lines, going to work, eating and sleeping. Our first rule is survival. The second is to prevent the Lines from taking over and enslaving the people Above. Hence I joined the Guard.

Yes, we are proud brats. Yes, we are an ignorant little peoples. But who was it who banned children from the cities? Who was it who sent us away to be beaten into submissive broken spirits in strict white institutions? Who was it who condemned the rest of the citizens Above to a slow death from age? Why shouldn't we have escaped en masse?

They say that with the Lines, all will be ageless. There will no longer be a need for children. We disagree. We have been watching and the 'ageless' are aging still. Soon, they will be so old that it will be a mercy to take their breath and lay them in the earth. Their minds are corroding.

Time cannot be stopped. Age cannot be forced to remain within a chosen decade. They may continue to look young, but their forgetfulness and useless, endless sticky notes are telling. All the time, their laws become more and more stupid.

People may only emerge from their houses at night if they have Night Duties.
People may only own 1 pair of glasses.
People must always carry remiders with them.
A male and female may not touch each other.
Marriage has been abolished.

What sort of world is this?

And what of the Lines?

The Lines know what they are doing. The Lines are the Enemy and if only the people Above would look into the history of the Lines more carefully, they will know that the very people they have been fighting all their lives are now the people they welcome with open arms.

Time cannot be stopped. And now only the 'tunnel rats' are the ones with real functioning brains. This is why we must emerge from our banishment and whether danger or safety, fight for our dying families that never loved us. If the Lines complete their mission, they will flush the tunnels. All that we are, all we have left will be lost and forgotten and the Enemy will have won.

Time cannot be stopped.
And children only grow wiser with time.

04 October, 2011


So we got going all ready and gung-ho to get some work down, but when we sat down. Nada. Nothing came to us. We couldn't stand that we had to sit and do work. And so we stood up again.

Ok. Yes, I am trying to torture you with some awful generic prose. It's amazing how easily difficult it is to write badly. You know what I mean. There are those days where you write something awesome and those days where you write so badly, you cringe and never want it to see the light of day. Although sometimes bits of genius shine through, just requiring that bit more of polish and care.

Let me torture you some more. You make some amusing faces and it just makes me laugh. There's not much to laugh at these days. So I laugh at you... and well... me. The mistakes, the puddles of muddles we make and the nonsense that get extruded and by no fault of its own gets thrown out to be trodden on, kicked and scuffed.

And so you know, I have almost no idea of what I am writing. This is just an exercise and I don't know what I'm going to write next, because my brain isn't exactly tuned into the world's frequency at present. A lot of things are not registering, but I suppose that's going to have to do for now. Until the next time I manage to get myself to write.

Up the balls of hot wispy air
Hungry tongues lick thoughtfully
and confused winds billow hair
so that clothes tug on end doubtfully.

Just realised how the poem above could be taken wrongly, by certain people. Thank you for your thoughts. This is to clarify that I was thinking of hot air balloons. Not anything else. Not even remotely.