Confusion on your face;
A fragrant message,
passing storm.
Two riders in the night.

Petals falling on my eyes;
window pane too bright.
We breathe…
We breathe.
Who are you again,
and who am I?
Lonely morning calls,
bitter pill cast on the portière.
This is our memory play.


She was younger than Michael by 4 minutes. Usually it’s the older one giving orders, but Laura had ‘milking it’ down to a T. She played up most around dad. After he left, she stopped.

At least that’s what Michael thought. Mum and Sally didn’t seem to notice, and anyway, it was 20 years ago, so get over it already.

Sally could get over anything, Mum said. Like when that big kid pushed her into the drink fountains. She waited till his back was turned, then dacked him in front of all the Year 7s. Michael heard his big sister, clear as a bell: “When you’re done being a dickhead, can I have my five bucks back?”

Sally was tough. Michael always wondered how they were related. But with Laura, he could tell. They had dad’s features. Mum’s smile, but Dad’s laugh, how he remembered it anyway.

Michael looked across the table at his dad’s eyes. Dad’s nose. Dad’s cheekbones.

“What you looking at, shithead?” Dad’s colourful vernacular.

Laura’s voice snapped him back to their greasy table, lingering taste of Whopper in his throat.

“So, what you gonna do?” he asked, pinching her last fry. He shrugged. No big deal, you know?

“Bit old to be asking that, don’t you think?” Laura sounded resolved, but her jiggling foot gave it away. “I’ll have it, but Jarrod can get fucked.”

“Does he know?” She didn’t have to answer. Secretly, Michael was pleased this would be a reason for them to break up. Better no dad than Jarrod.

“Let’s put this in perspective,” Sally had said, after the last family Christmas. “He showed up hungover, hadn’t showered, spews on Mum’s kalanchoe, and yells at poor old Michael for bumping into him. Never mind he still owes me money. He’s gotta go, Laur.”

Whatever happened to finally convince Laura now, in spite of the baby, must have been big. Michael suddenly felt guilty for being happy. He stood up.

“Hey, let’s go pub, play pool. I’ll get you a Virgin Mary.”

“Haha – dickhead!” But it was Laura’s first smile since they arrived.

Experimenting with style – integrating backstory with narrative.



One more week! He’ll miss New Year’s by a couple days, but we’ll get to see each other again. It’s been so long. I wonder if he grew his hair. I wonder if he still hates beans. MY LITTLE BOY!!!



His dad says he likes space now. Should I return the dinosaur sheets? If I leave in 10, I should make it before closing. Did they even have space sheets? Surely they have glow-in-the-dark planet stickers. I should ring first.



New Year’s Eve party tomorrow. Got the champers today. Wonder what I can do for food. Will called again. He just doesn’t get the message. I told him it’s just the girls, so I hope he doesn’t show. I’m glad they offered to stay the night. I was worried I’d be cleaning up by myself. So much to do before Benny arrives.



Happy new year, Benny! Tomorrow, anyway! So, Tracy’s cancelled and Meg has a virus. Beth will be here in soon, but won’t stay the night. It’s fine, I guess. Won’t be much mess with the two of us. Just pizza and movies. And lovely champers! Fuck it, Will’s on the phone. Again.






This isn’t so bad. Everything hurts, but they said I can get out tomorrow. Police came round this morning. I always knew Will wasn’t quite right. Oh well, he’s their problem now. Benny’s going to have a lot of questions. I’ll tell him I saved the world from an arch-villain, like in that comicbook we used to read.





In response to a Daily Post writing prompt.