Tag: Childhood

Digging It by Diana Devlin

My dad told me when I was, like, seven or eight that if I dug long enough I’d eventually reach Australia. And I believed him. I mean, why wouldn’t I? He’d worked on building sites all his life, knew about that kinda stuff. Ryan, he’d say, you dig hard, son and I tell you, you’ll strike gold one day but you gotta put the effort in. He was big on effort, my old man. Work ethic, he called it. Refused to accept that jobs weren’t as easy to come by nowadays, especially for people who came from shitholes like Dilly.

Last week of the summer holidays and the sun was still splitting the sky. Amos and I didn’t know what to do with ourselves it was so damn hot. None of the girls wanted to hang out – probably worried their make-up would melt or their hair would go frizzy – so we decided to head for the beach. May as well make the most of it before the big exams. We’d soon be locked in our rooms for the best years of our lives, extracted by our parents for dentist appointments or lectures on fuckin personal hygiene.

A Spaceman Came Travelling by Matthew J. Richardson

Jude Parker’s head is poking out from beneath the fly sheet. Grass rustles around his jug ears but through the noise he can hear muttering. The two brothers in the tent do not like him. They have mocked him for the way he speaks, for taking his tea onto the sofa rather than into the dining room, and for the dogeared sleeping bag he has brought. None of this concerns Jude now, though. Where he has grown up a person doesn’t see the night sky, not like this.

If Jude knew what the word ‘festoon’ meant he would use it, because stars and planets and space dust festoon the sky above the suburban garden. Jude does not, so he simply stares. His foster parents have arranged this sleepover so that he can make friends at his new school (and – whispered for some reason – so that they can get a break). Their reasoning doesn’t bother Jude, just as the reasoning of his next foster parents won’t either. What will bother him is if he falls asleep out here and gives the lads another reason to rip the piss out of him. It is time to retreat inside and get some sleep.

The Wedding Invitation by D S Powell

The invitation came from Mortimer. We’d been close at school and for a bit after university. Now we only kept in touch via Facebook. He’d gone into venture capital, I’d gone into the services.

Traditional church service (very nice) then, after photographs, on to the reception at this big country place and more photos by the lake with champagne served in plastic glasses (a bit tacky, I thought). After an hour of this we were called in to lunch (which was just as well as I had reached, and then surpassed my optimum booze intake and could hear myself becoming over-friendly and loud).

EXCLUSIVE FEATURE: My Grandfather’s an Immigrant, and So Is Yours by Michael Chin

The following excerpt is taken from My Grandfather’s an Immigrant, and So is Yours”, a novel by Michael Chin (Cowboy Jamboree Press)

Take my middle school American History teacher, Mrs. Flannery. As we approached our study of internment camps during World War II, she asked if my grandfather would be willing to visit and speak to the class regarding his experience.

What We Left in the Caf by Katharine Coldiron

Not until a month later does your mother ask about Hannah, and even then you are able to deflect her easily. She’s been out of school a lot, you say, and it isn’t really a lie. Hannah has missed some school. That isn’t the reason you haven’t talked about her to your mother, nor is it the reason you haven’t gone to her house for a sleepover since the one in February. And it certainly isn’t the reason you’ve been looking away from Hannah eating alone in the school cafeteria.

You have thought about how much better it would be if you could go to a different middle school. Just so you wouldn’t have to see her there, eating alone, most days. Your lunch periods are still the same, you and Hannah and the girls who shut you out of the clique last year and the white-trash boys who smoke cigarettes and hunt squirrels on the weekends. Travis Putnam got killed doing that on New Year’s Day. Didn’t come back to school after winter break. Shot in the head.