Babble Part Four

SHE NEEDS TO pay her train fine in the next three days otherwise it will jump another forty euros. She’s cross-legged on the living-room couch, a German/English dictionary in one hand, struggling to work out how to actually pay the fine; the two slips of paper that the beefy inspectors left her are full of […]

Cargo Bike in the Dark

“BIKE THE BLUES away,” read a random post somewhere online. When an anonymous cancer charity gifted us with a cargo bike, I did just that, crushing crankiness away with a slow ride around the inner western suburbs of Melbourne. But only during the daytime. With two young children, my husband Chris and I rarely had […]

Acts of Desperation

CIARAN’S FATHER WAS 29 and travelling through Italy when he hurt his first woman. It was late August and unbearably hot in Naples, the air heavy with the stink of a garbage strike. After what happened, he stuck around for two more months as though shocked into inertia. He had assumed he would feel more […]

Maternal Lines

They’d shared friends from the beginning. They met three times without meaning to. First at the Gasometer, in the draughty space by the bandroom, for Yusra’s birthday. Audrey was a sleepy drunk sloping out of her chair and under Nick’s arm. The second time they escaped a party and ran out into the night. They […]