The Christmas Post

It didn’t take long for word to get around. The residents of Lingonberry Lane felt that Mrs Richards of number 7 had finally lost her marbles.  Early on Christmas Eve she had set a table, a chair and a big beach umbrella in vivid shades of purple at the end of her driveway, right next to her letterbox.  A tablecloth in bright red and yellow spots draped across the table, a jug of iced water and a plate of homemade fruit mince pies sat upon it, and an esky, by her side, was full of ice. When Darrell Simpson of number 8 cheekily asked her where she would go to the loo she answered “Never you mind. I’ve got it sorted!” But no one could see how it could be done with dignity.

Around ten o’clock, Mrs. Simpson said to Mr. Simpson, “I’m going to see Muriel and find out what she’s up to. I’ll take a pot of tea and some of your mum’s fruitcake. “

With that, she marched across the road, straw hat on her head, laden tray in her hands. Behind her came Darrell carrying a folding chair as if it was a complicated bomb. Gingerly he set it down and went back home before Mrs Richards told his mum about the toilet remark.

“Now what are you up to Muriel?” asked Fionnula Simpson as she poured two cups of tea, before settling down in the chair. “Everyone thinks you’ve gone doolally!”

“I’m waiting for the post, Fee,” she answered sipping her tea and helping herself to a piece of fruitcake, “Here, have a mince pie. I made them myself.”

Fionnula helped herself to a pie and the two ladies relaxed under the purple umbrella, happy in the comforting silence.

Later, Ms Dodemaide, from number 11, banged her folding chair down with a bump.  “What are you doing out here??” she asked, fanning herself with her hat.

“Waiting for the post!”

“I’ll wait with you” said Melissa Dodemaide as she sat down and reached for the water.

“You’ll need more ice in that” said Muriel. She grabbed ice from her esky and the three of them sat back, safe from the sizzling sun, in the shade of the purple beach umbrella waiting for the post to arrive.

When the Postie arrived, she gave her bell a little jingle as she drove on by. “Merry Christmas Ladies!” she called, “No post for you today Mrs. Richardson.”

They watched as she drove up the lane, brakes clicking on and off as she went.

“I suppose my lot will be wanting their lunch” said Fee. She collected her stuff and crossed the road.

“I’d better go too” said Melissa, “Mum said she’d call.”

Muriel sat for a moment before taking her things inside.

The phone was ringing as she walked in the front door.

“Hello Mum. I didn’t post your parcel in time. How would you like a visit?”

“That’d be lovely!”



Copyright December 2019




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























Questions of Senicide 



Senicide seemed a bit drastic at the time, but when I saw the happy faces of children with full bellies, I was all for it. Old men sucking up food like oxygen. Never enough left for the children. Things needed to change.

After the special poisoned dinner, the bodies were hidden at the very back of the sacred cave. It took us old women many hours to bury them there but we knew there was less chance of them being found. Sacred monster area and no foot traffic.

Life is good now. We told the tribe the old men have gone on a sacred journey, to walk in the steps of the ancestors. They left us after the good luck dinner.  No one has questioned us. They all accept and are grateful for more food and no old men to feed.

I am happy. No more moaning husband. No more watching my husband’s jowls wobble as he moves within me. Back and forth, back and forth, wobble, wobble, wobbling. I sleep when I want.

This morning our peace was broken. A loud buzzing sound like a thousand bees erupted from the sky. We rushed out of our homes as a large creature landed nearby. The creature opened and smaller creatures walked out, each carrying a long thin tube.

They spoke our language. We have come to examine you they said, smiling in what we thought was an evil manner.  We backed away as they talked about rectal examinations and life back on Mars. They advanced on us as we backed further away, chanting rhythmically…

Do not be afraid of the sigmoidoscope.



Copyright October 2019







The Good, the Bad and the Library


It has been a quiet morning in our local library. Eager for my lunch I watch the hands of the clock move slowly around to twelve. Only three minutes before I can dive into that large piece of coffee cake. Salivating at the prospect, with one eye still on the clock, I wait for Sally to return and relieve me. She is always late. I sigh. I hate my job sometimes. Excitement, I crave excitement.

At last, the door opens, but it is not Sally. It’s a Mechanical Cowboy, a CowBot. Human size. Hat, chaps and boots. Wonder where his horse is, I think. As he nears the counter, I see that one arm is broken and I hear the faint aftermath of music with every stuttering step he takes.

Excuse me ma’am do you have a book on Robot Repairs??

I’ll… um… just look…. I say, not nearly as cool as I’d like to be.

What is wrong with me, I berate myself as I type in the request. Only a moment ago I had been yearning for excitement! Now, with a CowBot needing my help, I’m wavering.

I type mechanical repairs + robot into the search engine. One entry pops up. In the stacks. At the very bottom. In books waiting for repair.

Downstairs, I say to the CowBot. I’ll have to go down into the basement and see what condition it’s in. It’s down there for repair.

As I speak, he turns to the front door as if listening for something. I look over but can’t see a thing besides the door.

Can you hear it?? He says cocking his head to one side like an adorable German Shepherd pup.

No, I say, but that’s not quite the truth. As the words leave my lips, I can hear a faint sound of shooting. Pop. Pop. In the distance.

Is that…. Gunfire?? I say.

Yes, the CowBot answers, they are getting closer.

He gestures with his good arm. We’d better go find this book. I need my arm repaired, pronto.

He follows me down the stairs. With each step I hear the faint sound of a famous tune, but can’t quite place it.

The book sits in the middle of the repair table.  The air hums with the same tune as the CowBot emits. I find myself humming along as he thumbs through the repair book.

Aha!!!! He rips out the page. Asks if we have a back door.

I show him the fire exit.

As he leaves, he says, I’m in your debt ma’am and doffs his hat.

Behind us, I hear the library door blown off its frame.

Take me with you!

He doesn’t say no. He doesn’t say yes either. He merely looks me in the eye.

Please. I say.

He turns and walks off.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

I hear the tune.

Follow me, he says.

And I do.









Copyright october 2019