The Clean-Up Guy – Furious Fiction September 2021

It’s the last Wednesday of the month, with means the September Furious Fiction contest results are out. Sadly, I didn’t make the long list, but the winning story was incredibly good and topical. My entry, The Clean-Up Guy, is below. This month’s prompt: include a basement or an attic; include some kind of insect; include the words earth, wind, fire, and water.

CONTENT WARNING: Contains gruesome imagery and swearing.

The Clean-Up Guy

Maggots. Always maggots. The job would be a damn sight better if they stopped sprouting near worksites. Leo descended into the dark basement, jaw clenching a little more with each wriggler that popped underfoot. He could’ve used spotlights, but the boss said he was better working blind. A familiar stench explained why – ruptured bowels. Great.

Winter’s Legion – Poem

This poem was first published in my newsletter 1st September 2021. I write a poem for each issue. Be amongst the first to read them by signing up to my newsletter, The Thellian Herald.

Winter’s Legion

Summer wanes and the nights close in,

Dragons fly south to sandy Nim,

To lose their fiery reverence,

Invites snow griffins’ insolence,

In autumn time they do rehearse,

To drumming of their wingbeats’ verse,

Then as winter our way glances,

Griffins start their lethal dances,

They summon frigid wind that blows,

Through ev’ry home to dim hearths’ glows,

But dragons come, lured back by spring,

Their roars about this land do ring,

On wing the griffins flee to Nor,

Winter’s legion does rule no more.

The Crisp That Opened a Door

Just yesterday, I ate a crisp for the first time in a long time. The taste and texture were just like those my nana served when I was young, throwing me into memories of time spent on the family farm. I wrote the piece below while lost in these unlocked moments. I hope you enjoy my fond recollections.

The Unlocking of Memories

The crisp crunches in my mouth, transporting me to a Sunday afternoon twenty years ago. At the family farm, Nana has laid out the weekly feast. Soft, buttered bread, platters of meat, sliced egg, salad, crisps, and so much more at the savoury end. And the sweet end? Chocolate buns, Victoria sponge cake, rock cakes, and, if I’m lucky, a trifle. No one frowns when I heap up my plate, nor when I go back for more. It’s always savoury then cakes, and perhaps a slice of bread after that.

Furious Fiction August 2021 Entry

Each month, I join thousands of other writers in entering the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Furious Fiction contest. Unfortunately, I failed to reach the long list again, but I shall continue with that aim. I have, however, decided to publish my entries here on my blog once the results are up. Find the prompt rules after the story.


Her Hope

Wind tousled her hair. She wrapped her arms about herself, wishing she’d taken a blanket as she fled. In only her shift, she risked succumbing to the autumn chill before meeting Sir Logan. The gods were already painting the sky with a wash of black, but she dared not continue until darkness reigned.

Huddled against the Owl Oak, she wandered through childhood memories of that place. Logan had called her Sophie then, not Lady Sophia, and she missed life before rank divided them. Before she’d married a man wearing a mask of kindness.