Nana Veronica Moon. Ronnie took great delight in signing her full name on the lease. There were 11 Moons in the family. She was the first to cement a handshake deal with a signature. She was going places. Legally.

Two days later she sat in a holding cell, wringing her hands in an anxious rhythm, over and under, over and under.  In tune with her hands, her mouth chanted, over and under, over and under. The words swam around the cell, over and under, over and under.

“Cut that out!”

Ronnie ceased all movement, her lips suddenly zipped. Shut. Tight.

But the cell kept on chanting, over and under, over and under.

A whirlpool of noise, twisting round and round.

“Damnit!” said the Gaoler as he unlocked the cell door.

“Over and under” said the Gaoler.  “Put your hands over and under!”

“Over and under” Ronnie said as she placed her hands in the cuffs. “Over and under and OUT!”

Roberto throws his laptop across the room. “How will Nana escape now??”

He had 500 words to get her in and out of the cell. Look how many he’d wasted. No exit strategy. No entry strategy. Why was she in gaol?? He groaned. Ate an apple. Picked up his laptop. Checked to see it was still running and then cut and pasted a story from last year. That would do. Nana could stay in her cell.

Elvira searched the Cloud for Stories in Need of an Ending. She was paid one dollar a word and loved Roberto. He had a habit of leaving his characters in the lurch, plots hanging by a cobweb thread. She opened his latest unfinished tale.

“Over and under and OUT!”

The world inverted. Nana found herself outside with handcuffs on her ears and the gaoler, clothes inside out, hanging from the top branch of a swaying ghost gum.

“Hello” said Anna, sitting under the gum tree, eating an apple. “You took a long time to escape. I’ve been waiting for you for ages” She waved the half-eaten apple in the air, “Sorry, I’ve eaten your apple too. BUT I know where there’s more!!”

Nana looked at Anna. Anna looked just like Nana.

“Do you know Roberto?” she asked.

“Of course,” said Anna, “I’m in his stories.”

“Always locked up like me??”


“Could be worse!” yelled a voice from up the tree “You could be up here!”

“That was me, putting you up the tree, “said Elvira as she wrote herself into the scene.

“You’re the Finisher!” chorused Nana and Anna at the same time.

“That I am. I tell you what ladies, I’m dying for an apple. I’ve got heaps of money so let’s go and buy some.”

“Okay”, said Nana and Anna “but we don’t need your 210 dollars, I know where Roberto keeps the apples. Let’s go and steal some!”

They walked off, leaving the Gaoler shouting obscenities from the tree. Holding hands, Elvira, Nana and Anna.



Copyright November 2019























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