Short stories, features and poems from our writing community.
Me, FD and The Baby-sitters Club
Disabled People of Colour are Erased from the Narrative
The year is 2018:
<Jumble of words; sounds of mumbling>
Me, replying from across the large oak table, ‘Yes, at Digital Writers Festival.’
<laughter erupting> ‘We just said that!’ they answered back and gave me a what’s-wrong-with-you look.
‘Sorry, I can’t hear well,’ I replied in a sheepish tone, and pointed to one of my ears.
My eyes panned the cavernous lobby with high ceiling.
High ceiling, lots of echoing, I could barely hear.
It's God's Will
Whenever a catastrophe happens, we all try to find ways to explain its occurrence to ease our mind and help us accept drastic consequences. My sudden loss of vision during my trip to Vietnam shocked people and inevitably I became a target for many quirky comments and advice.
My sister and brother showed their concern by bombarding me with their wisdom. “You always do too much. You never rest, so your body just collapsed.”
“I went to the gym three times a week. I was very fit before this happened.”
Erasing the Scar
“Why do you have a scar?”
She leaned forward, prodding my stomach.
It wasn’t the first time my daughter had asked about my shape or the myriad ridges etched upon the skin by the surgeon’s scalpel. She would repeatedly insist on answers, needing to know her mother. There was a presumptuousness to her questioning and touch that I loved.
Like before, I told her the story of my birth, the deformities across my digestive system and the ongoing impact.
Staying Positive While Staying at Home
My name is Anat Bigos. I had a traumatic car accident while driving in 2004, resulting in an Acquired Brain Injury. Prior to this, I finished my double degree studies at Monash Uni in Arts/Business (marketing) and I was looking forward to my future plans. I’d spent a year as an exchange student in Chile and I really enjoyed travelling around the world.
I still speak a few languages and luckily, this part of my brain was not overly affected.
“I feel sad… like the trees,” my 2-year-old says to me, looking mournfully out the window into another gusty cold winter’s day, clouds looming overhead, threatening rain.
“Why do the trees feel sad, honey?” I ask. “Don't know. They just sad” she replies.
“Maybe they need us to go out there and give them a hug, hey? People don't hug trees enough. Let’s put our jumpers on and go give one a quick cuddle before the rain. Come on, quick, quick, they are waiting!”
Author Tobias McCorkell spent the first 25 years of his life in Coburg, Melbourne. He has taught creative writing at the University of Melbourne and has authored works of non-fiction. In 2018 he appeared at the Melbourne Emerging Writer’s Festival. He is the recipient of a 2019 Varuna Residency Fellowship. ‘Everything in its Right Place’ is his first novel.
Chris Flynn is the author of ‘The Glass Kingdom’ and ‘A Tiger in Eden’, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The Age, The Australian, Griffith Review, Meanjin, Australian Book Review, The Saturday Paper, Smith Journal, The Big Issue, Monster Children, McSweeney’s and many other publications. He has conducted interviews for The Paris Review and is a regular presenter at literary festivals across Australia.
Jacinta Parsons is a broadcaster, radio maker, writer, and public speaker. She currently hosts Afternoons on ABC Melbourne delivering a popular mix of art, culture and ideas. She began her radio-life in community radio over a decade ago but her peak Melbourne moment came earlier, when she worked as a tram conductor (proudly wearing one of the last of the Connie’s green uniforms). Jacinta has lived with Crohn’s disease for over 20 years and is an ambassador for the Crohn’s and Colitis Association.