Young Writers Echapters

Genes for Life

Broken letterboxes mended by the light of a pale moon
Nicholas Antoniak

“Your sister tried to call today. Twice. You didn’t notice, you were like that. Distracted. Your mind always wandering, refusing to come to rest, instead glossing over everything as a whole, equating commitment with missing out. A wine glass gripped in your right hand, fists clenched in the left, you stared out onto the street …”

Demons in the words
Azlin Auckburally

And tongues of red flames leapt into the night sky, licking at the stars and charring them black, such was the brilliance of the fire.
The words fell from my lips like a curtain, concealing me, though they did little to drown out the voices echoing up from the floor below. Now they inhabit this page …”

Illusory refuge
Emma Calley

“The moment Vincent stepped across the threshold of 49 Windsor Court, it was no longer. The sturdy foundations cracked and shattered under the weight of his presence. The glass of each window fractured, spewing shards across the carpet. The roof caved in and sent fragments of terracotta flying like missiles …”

My grandmother, my Kami
Annie Chen

“‘Tjitji,’ Kami calls, ‘Come, we must go now, leave her to rest. Her Kurunpa spirit is weak. Aunty will take care of her.’ I shoo away the dirty flies that feed on her sticky, sweaty skin. My legs tingle from having crouched for too long. The dusty wind carries the far-off scent of the eucalyptus tree and clears my head …”

Juni Desireé

“When I introduced my sister to a friend, my friend laughed and said, ‘No.‘
My sister nodded, and my friend looked from me to my sister to me again. Her eyes narrowed as a half-smile pulled the left side of her lips up at the corner. She looked at us as if we were playing a prank on her …”

The question concerning technology
John Henry

“When it comes to technology, it seems like you can draw up a definite schema of progress across history as a whole, and no-one will disagree with you. On the other hand you might argue that the world gets better in some other way, but you’re bound to come up against some contrarian …”

Those left behind
Rachel Kirk

“On his first walk around the island that morning, Pieter picked up three pieces of wood, sixteen plastic bottles, twelve tin cans and, miraculously, a single book, swollen up with water like a ripe fruit. The wood would go on the fire, and he could pull the nails out: nails were always useful …”

Rebellious silence
Elena Mitchell

“There was something about art galleries that had always fascinated her. Maybe it was the stark white walls or the iridescent glow of the perfectly angled light. Or perhaps it was the thousands of paintings, each with their own story to tell, waiting patiently to be read …”

The poems
Ashleigh Mounser

“The day Saddam tries to die, Will has already written a hundred poems about his origami palms clenched into a fist, about that fist clenched around his own throat. There’s nothing poetic about the hole in the noose, but it’s everything around it that makes her feel like she’s drowning …”

Always greener
James Palmer

“Rural highways tended to be quiet, especially around this time of afternoon, but they hadn’t seen anyone in ages. It was as if the nothing existed but the pair of them, making their way through the country, down the ocean path …”

Kristin Robertson

“I’ve been catching birds for nearly twenty years now. Twenty years of feathers in my face, of wriggling grey creatures frightened out of their simple minds. Some birds come easily, faithful like children, but others will fight like a cornered bear; all claws and flapping arms …”

Changing tide
Campbell Williamson

“Slap. I wipe the bloody remains down my leg and turn to grab the Aerogard, suddenly caught in the glow of the afternoon sun dressing the foreshore in a cloak of gold. Bewitching shafts of light stream down through the overhanging gum trees, dancing on my watch face before rushing into my eyes …”

Emily Wilson

“There was only one road out and back from the blowholes. High on the grey saltbush hills to your left were the glaring rows of designer housing surrounded by barbed fences. By the last uphill section, if you listened close enough, you could hear the groan of the holes as the ocean thundered beneath them …”