I am very pleased to announce that my short story, “Prank Me”, was shortlisted for the Allen & Unwin Undergraduate Writers Prize. It’s a story about a couple of friends who almost bump into each other after one of them has been overseas for a long time. I wrote it many moons ago, and back then it was broadcast on Cath Kenneally’s breakfast radio show in Adelaide. The shortlisting has inspired me to get onto the task of shopping it around to magazines, because it still hasn’t been published in print yet. Here’s a sample from the opening:
Here they are on the streets of old suburbia on the wrong side of town, alone. The streetlights are weak, as though the council doesn’t expect people out this way this late. These are capillaries clogged with darkness and stillness, thick with silence except for the sound of the nearby main road, a constant whoosh, but no discernible engine sound, just displaced air and rolling rubber.
She’s a silhouette he can identify by the way her ponytail still seems ready to spring a leak. She stands in front of her mother’s house, anxiety patterning her hunched back, her fingers fiddling with an envelope.
Beyond her, the procession on the main road is an awkward dance, choreographed by people used to fumbling with the sun in their eyes between work and home, whose children, due to there not being much to look at, develop wonky imaginations about wonders like the old one-block factory, out of action since these two can remember sneaking out of church, the other main attraction.