Little wonder we stumble in life.

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Brisbane and Back

I stayed up late last night, so it was with a rude awakening that I was greeted this morning when mum called me to get up and get ready to go. Go where? I called out, asking, but got no reply. So grumpily, I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Some time later, I was woken up again. This time I was rather more awake, so I was actually able to get up out of bed. Mum was saying we had to leave soon, but I was still confused, so I asked again. I woke myself more readily when she said something that amounted to today being Christmas shopping day, but it wasn’t. Still, I brought my bag with my wallet, just in case.

I had to rush to get ready, so it was lucky I already wore my clothes to sleep. I just had to put on my shoes and socks, and I grabbed my sunnies, and put on my iPod. Mum told me to eat breakfast, but it was already 18 minutes past ten, when we were supposed to leave, so I grabbed two muesli bars. Luckily they were well enough to last me until lunch.

First place we went was down to Brisbane to meet my sister. I accidentally caught sight of my Christmas present (a TARDIS cookie jar!) and mum and I had leftover smoothie. The three of us then left and looked at a place at North Lakes (we’re looking to move somewhere cheaper). It was the first place that was big enough for our stuff, and it was a nice area, although there were a few strange features of the house. For example, the garage converted into a hair salon, or the wraparound sun room, which had also been converted from the backyard. Still, it was a nice enough place, in a convenient location both for my Uni and mum’s for next year. And it’ll be closer to sis, when we do move.

After that, we went to the shops for lunch. We ate at an Asian food place, since essentially everything else was fast food or Subway (and its been ages since we went there). I had a taster dish, and mum and sis both had Tokyo Beef, though it was too much for both of them. Mine was just big enough, though I didn’t finish the pork bun completely (it got stuck to the paper).

Then we had to go pick dad up. He’s been staying in Brisbane for a Sea Org Detox thing. Apparently, one day of the week he’s still eating fast food. No matter what, dad never does seem to be able to resist. It’s like it’s his nature: indulgent. There was quite a bit of complaining from mum that this errand ruined the day, but there was no one else to pick him up, as brother-in-law lost his license recently.

We dropped both sis and dad off at sis’ place and I went with mum to have dinner at her Italian friend’s house. We had delicious meatballs and mash potatoes. The mash was so tasty, full of curious flavours. Mum also brought ice cream made of protein, which was actually quite good, although I was the only one who ate all of mine. Mum said it was fine if you had to eat it on a diet, but it wasn’t great.

In the end, I felt I was waiting too long waiting for her friend to do something for her, so I looked on the bookshelf. He had a few cookbooks, what looked like the Italian version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus and… Mein Kampf, the Hitler propaganda book. I was quite surprised at that and got rather fixated on it. For one thing, what was he doing with the Nazi book? For another, was it in German? Could it really be possible he somehow knew German?

I started to think of reasons why he might have it. I wondered if he was merely curious, from a historical point of view, why the Nazis thought the way they did. That was the top reason I came up with. Why else would you have it, unless you were a Neo-Nazi? He’s far too nice and accepting to be that, but it still seemed strange, and mind-blowing that he would have it. I didn’t even think the book would be available if you wanted it. It’s a pretty terrible thing, being from such an evil movement.

I was too afraid to look inside. Too afraid even to mention to mum I saw it. So I’m saying it here.

Anyhow, we left, and stopped off at a gas station before going home. I got an orange juice and an issue of Empire, that nerd magazine. I’m gonna go read it once I’m finished here.

So finally, we got home. That was a relief. Still rather hot though, even at night.


Friday Fictioneers – Starting Over

Copyright -Douglas M. MacIlroy

I woke to the worst disaster in history.

My heart jolted as my eyes opened to the inside of a tent.

“I think she’s awake,” said someone just outside. Dad? He poked his head in, smiling. “You awake? It’s almost one.”

“You dragged me camping?”

“A storm hit early this morning. You wouldn’t wake up, so we had to carry you. The cyclone destroyed half the coast; we had to move inland.”

“Where are we?”

“Come out and see.”

I poked my head outside. Fields all around; there was a horse behind a rabbit proof fence.


Flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers.


Friday Fictioneers – Self-Made

Copyright - Beth Carter

“I rebuilt this mostly from scratch. I didn’t have money for a lot of the parts, but hey,” he said, taking one last long drag from his cigarette and stamping it into the ground, “she still runs. At least she’s got a decent engine!”

“I don’t know,” Zach said. “It looks kind of dodgy. I really need a decent car to get me there.” He watched this guy carefully, nerves trembling through his heartbeat.

“It’ll get you there and back without breaking a sweat!” He pulled the sign out of the car vigorously. “It’s my everyday car. Just bring her back to the shop.”

He was desperate. “I’ll take it.”


Trifecta – Exhaust

Her parents on the phone had pushed her to exhaust every explanation, every platitude she had to give them. Putting the phone back on the receiver, she breathed a sigh of relief. She was glad they were there for her, but speaking to her overprotective parents always sucked her energy.

She asked when the man who rescued her would be here. She needed someone else to talk to, someone who would ask nothing of her. And she had been wanting to talk to him for a while; that’s why she had expressed her feelings to this interpreter, who looked so like him.

“This afternoon,” said the interpreter.

Good. She also had some questions to ask him.

When he arrived, he peeked his head in at her before a smile broke out and he approached her. Her interpreter was still there.

They exchanged translated greetings.

“There’s something I’ve been dying to ask…” she said as he settled down beside her. He looked up at her in innocent surprise.

“Yes?” he asked in Japanese.

“What were you doing there that day… that you rescued me?”

There was a long, uncomfortable silence, and his friendly smile turned into a downcast frown. As though the answer was depressing, as if the question was somehow too personal.

“I… was captured by the mobsters. They pulled me in to question me. Something went wrong when they captured you. They paid me handsomely to…”


He took a breath, then another one. “I’m the pilot that brought you here. I was supposed to fly you to Osaka, but –”


She was in tears now. She glared at him, hurt, as he looked helplessly back at her. “How dare you…” she choked. “How dare you keep coming back here.” She felt her exhaustion heavier than ever now. “Go. Just get out of here…”

“But –”


Uncomfortably, he stood up. He watched her intensely, frightened, and then turned to leave.

He disappeared in the days following on.

Good riddance. He deserved it.

Prompt from Trifecta.

Parts onetwothree and four from the series so far.


Trifecta – Helping Hand

She couldn’t speak any Japanese, so it was a relief when they brought in an interpreter to help her interact with the doctors and her one loyal visitor, as well as fill out all the necessary forms.

“Who have you come to Japan with?” the doctor asked in Japanese, translated a moment later by the interpreter.

“No one.”

“What is your purpose here?”

“I was kidnapped.”

Silence broke in the air like a gunshot, reverberating around the air into the people around her. She could feel it herself, but she felt like an outsider watching the shock spread on their faces as if they’d just witnessed a murder.

She tried for a moment to explain, desperate to make them stop, hating them for continuing to stare and needing to know why. None of it made a difference.

Eventually, the silence settled upon them like the end of a ripple in the water, and the doctor spoke again. She’d been too shocked to listen, but then the interpreter repeated it a moment later.

“Do you have any friends and family you’d like to call?”

She didn’t know why, but she hadn’t expected this path, she hadn’t expected to be rescued even as she rode to the hospital in the man’s car. She expected to have to make her own way back.

Without hesitation, she cried, “Yes!”

The doctor jumped slightly. Then he told her that a phone would be brought in. He left, and several minutes later it arrived on a rolling table.

The interpreter busied himself by the window as she brought the phone closer.

She studied him for a moment, distracted. He had smooth, rosy cheeks and shiny black hair, parted to the side. His eyes were dark, almost black, and the edges of skin that framed them were the smoothest part of him, curved inward to those eyes.

He looked just like the man. She pushed the phone to the side.

“Later,” she said.

Prompt from Trifecta, and the third continuation from my image prompt.

Parts one and two.

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The Ivan Project, #67

“Well, that escalated quickly…”

She stood frozen, consumed by the sight of blood spattered under the truck. He was dead.

“No kidding,” she muttered back, still in a haze.

He was dead. And she was alive.

She didn’t awake from her haze until the morning after, rising from bed like a zombie from the grave.

She felt like one. Stiff and aching, and not just from the heart.

He was dead. How could she ever live with herself?

“Ooh! She’s awakened from the dead!” her father joked as she trudged from her room. She checked the clock. 11:30. She must’ve slept in.

“Not funny,” she grumbled.