By Jason Geary
THUD!! The weight of the phonebook hitting shook the desk. It scared the shit out of Roy.
“Open it, Roy.” Craig spat the words.
“What?” asked Roy.
“Open the fuckin’ phonebook, page 2439.”
“Didn’t the ad go in?”
“Oh, it’s in there…”
Roy shuffled the pages tentatively, finally landing on 2439. He found the ad under ‘Plumbers Commercial’.
It read: “AAAARDVARK PLUMBING: Compare our prices. We’ll beat any quote…”
Roy looked up. “It’s all there.”
Craig lifted his finger and let it fall onto the phonebook. Roy looked again. His shoulders rolled forward as his stomach sank. Craig lifted his finger. Just above the ad was another.
It read: “AAAAAARDVARK PLUMBING: Supplies and service, commercial and general quotes on request…”
Craig walked away, pausing at the door. “I gave you one simple task… You’re fired.” Craig left Roy staring at the two A’s that had cost him his job.
By Jason Geary
Leanne knew the sleep over would backfire. She didn’t really want to invite half of the girls anyway. The popular set had gotten wind of the event and basically invited themselves. Leanne was powerless to stop it, just as she was powerless to stop the momentum of enthusiastic “yeses” to the suggestion of ‘Truth or Dare’. Jane, with a calculated tone from underneath her popular girl grin, said; “Leanne should go first. It’s her party…” Leanne just smiled not wanting to back down.
“Truth of Dare?” sneered Jane.
Leanne struggled to keep the smile on her face. She had a secret that, should it ever come to light, would fuel ridicule for the rest of her days. “Dare.” She said not wanting to risk the truth. Jane smirked. “I dare you to let Francine touch your bellybutton.”
They all did. Leanne’s smile disappeared; ”No! It’s too dangerous.”
“You said ‘Dare’. Do you want me to think of a punishment?” Reluctantly Leanne pulled up her top. Everybody in the room gasped. Her bellybutton had no bottom; it just fell away into infinite blackness. Francine reached out and touched the rim. As she did she let out a scream, which echoed inside Leanne for the next fifteen minutes.
By Jason Geary
“Come out Danny, you can’t sit here all night.”
“She’s not coming back.”
“She might. She came back last time.”
“Not this time, Danny”
“How do you know?”
“Do I really have to say?”
“Come out, it’ll be fun.”
“Nah. Footy’s on.”
“Jenny’s friend will be there. The one that got the hots for you…”
“I said Footy’s on.”
“Have it your way, I’ll be home late.”
“I’ll be up.”
By Jason Geary
I was yet to be swayed. “I don’t know about this Beefy. Why would Mr. Rangles have treasure map? He’s our history teacher.” I said.
Noodles spoke up. “Mr. Langles is a Pi-ar-late, Jwason. A Pi-ar-late.”
Tommy corrected Noodles without skipping a beat. “He means Pirate not pi-a-late.” He rolled his eyes flicked out his comb and ran it through his greased hair.
“Yeah I got that.” I said.
Beefy approached me, map in hand. “Don’t you see Jase? Look at all of these landmarks. It’s a map of the tunnels under the town. Here’s where the school is, there’s the old library, there’s the old oak tree next to the doughnut store. Mmmmm doughnuts. Come to think of it, I could go for a snack.”
All of us yelled. “Beeeefffy… YOU JUST ATE!”
Brains reached into his backpack and pulled out a torch. “By my estimation we are almost at the tunnel entrance.”
I took a step backward. “I dunno about this guys. My mum says I have to be home by four. I’ll get grounded”
Tommy stepped forward and snatched the map and pressed down on the back of my neck with his other hand. “Don’t worry about it Jason. When we find this gold you can buy your way outta trouble. That’s what I’m gonna do, that’ll show my old man. Let’s just go and get it done. Which way Brains?”
“If my calculations are correct. It should be… Just… down… here.”
He shone his light along the storm drain wall it came to a stop illuminating a big white ‘X’.
“It’s crowsed. Wrot now?” Asked Noodles.
“We break it open.” Said Brains.
“How?” I asked
“Leave that to me.” Said Tommy stepping to Beefy’s side.
Beefy looked him in the eye and desperately pleaded, “No Tommy, not the beast. Don’t unleash the beast.”
“Sorry Beefy, it’s the only way through.” Tommy began to whisper in his ear. “Doughnuts. Chocolate. Chips. Lollies. All behind that wall?”
Beefy began to shuffle on the spot and breathe heavy through his nose. “What else is behind there Tom?”
“Pizza. Popcorn. Behind that wall.”
“Behind that wall.” Yelled Tommy, “You’re not going to let a concrete wall stop you from eating are you? Jelly cups and triple choc crunch. All… behind… the… Wall.”
Beefy screamed at the top of his lungs and ran at the wall. He broke through the old concrete in one go. Tommy pulled a doughnut from his back and threw it to Beefy who gobbled it up. “Good Job.”
We all stepped through the newly opened doorway and saw a skull and crossbones flag, draped across a skeleton, staked with a sign that read, ‘Turn back’.
Noddles spoke up defiantly. “See… I twold you… Pi-a-lates.”
By Jason Geary
Oblivious to their mistake the registrar asked again. “Mr and Mrs Thresden, are you certain this is what you want to name your child?”
The mother just beamed, still not clicking. “Yes, we’re certain. There our grandfathers names.”
The father chimed in; “…and my mothers maiden name.”
The registrar grinned not wanting to over step his boundaries. “Alright then.” He slipped the certificate over to them to sign. With due ceremony they did. Tentatively the registrar continued…
“Well, Mr and Mrs Thresden, I’d officially like to welcome ‘Christopher Umberto Norrington Thresden’ to the world.”
By Jason Geary
“So I’ll see you later.” His Father said offering an open hand.
“Yep, I’ll see you soon.” The Son grabbed the open hand and pulled it to his chest tipping the Father into a hug.
The hug was genuine. Warm. Whole.
The moment was now, but it passed quickly.
Nobody said ‘I love you’.
The traits of the awkward man hug became apparent; heavy pats on the back, a tighter squeeze of the hand. As if it did something to keep the intimacy inside. They broke apart; their hands last to release.
A brief lock of eye’s, then a polite smile.
“See you at your Uncle Ray’s B.B.Q.” said the father.
“I’ll call soon.”
“Great talk then”
His Father left, in his place an opportunity lost. Somebody should have said “I love you.”
It would have made it all worthwhile.
By David Stewart
By David Stewart
God this is awful. I can’t believe none of them laughed. That’s my second best joke. That’s the highlight of my routine and it didn’t get a response at all. Maybe the didn’t hear it correctly. But I said it so clearly and I’m known for having excellent diction. “He lacked A sense of porpoise” That’s hilarious. Surely they’re capable of making the mental leap: Purpose to porpoise to dolphin to dauphin. It’s not that hard. I mean I knew some of them might take longer than others but – Oh God is it possible they don’t actually know that the heir to the 15th Century heir to the French throne was known as the dauphin? No – everyone knows that surely? Lord help me if they don’t know that then my five minutes of material on the marriage of Louis the XI to Charlotte of Savoy isn’t going to get nearly the reaction it deserves. I don’t understand, I absolutely stormed it at my historical society club dinner last week but everyone in this pub is looking at me like I’m from another planet. Oh God I’m being heckled. That large rough-looking man in the work shirt is actually shouting rude things at me. Quick I need a witty reply – There take that! Ha! Not a massive reaction from the crowd which is disappointing, maybe they need another second or two to translate the latin. God this is terrible, now everyone is shouting at me to get off. How dare they! Don’t they know who my father is? Okay this is going badly and the only thing that’s going to save me is a quick cut to my best material. Oh no they’re making too much noise now. They need to be quiet for three minutes while I set up the punchline or my impression of Jacques Derrida won’t have nearly the impact it – did that man just throw something at me? I believe he just hurled a drink receptacle on purpose. I need another witty put down. Take that! Oh god now they’re upset. No I didn’t say he was from the Taliban, that makes no sense, there’s no character called Taliban in The Tempest. Right that is it! That’s just it! Tomorrow I’m buying this pub and I’m going to ban the lot of you. See who you think is a wanker then!
By Jason Geary
What was his word worth? That’s what Hugo had to decide. He’d promised John not to touch it but his curiosity was assaulting him. It was relentless and wearing down his resolve. John would never have to know. Hugo was sure that he could open it without disturbing it in any significant way.
He blocked a sudden impulse to go for it and broke out in a sweat.
Hugo tried to find something else to do until John got home, but knew the futility of his objective. Hugo slumped. He knew he’d lost the battle as soon as the thought entered his head. Like a doomed man walking the plank he strode back to the box.
A last-ditch effort from somewhere behind his eyes. “No. Don’t do it, you’re betraying his trust.” Hugo silenced the thought with the creak of hinges as the box opened.
Inside was the gift. The perfect gift. The most thoughtful gift anyone had ever offered him.
He closed the box. A tear falling onto its top. Hugo heard the door and wiped the tear off the box. John entered buoyant, full of life, ready to give his boyfriend the greatest gift he would ever receive.
By Jason Geary
The lunar module nestled softly into the dust of the moon’s surface. Inside Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong prepared their suits, ready to walk on the surface. Aldrin would be the first down, they had decided months ago, back at the training centre in Houston. Neil drew the short straw; Buzz Aldrin would be the first man on the moon.
Neil turned his back to Buzz and so he could perform the final checks. Buzz tugged at fittings and secured hoses. He checked Neil’s fail-safes were intact. A tug here, a tap there, and the process was complete. They turned in unison. It was Neil’s turn to run through the checklist for Buzz. He gripped the oxygen hose and yanked it clear out of the back of the helmet. Buzz’s face turned blue. His eyes were suddenly bulbous with the instant decompression. His face distorted in pain. The backup supply kicked in, sealing the hole and gradually re pressurising his suit. It was a minute before he could speak.
“What happened?” Gasped Buzz.
“Faulty seal…” Replied Neil.
A heavy pause.
“You can’t go out there on your back up supply. You’ll have to stay here.”
“We’ve only got a three minute window. The world is watching. You know we can’t keep miss the window.”
Neil placed a hand on Buzz’s shoulder.
“I’ll have to go.”
“But, I can attach the back up oxygen…”
“Buzz. No time. I’ll have to go,” Neil said proudly. “Plus, I got a killer line.” And with that he opened the door and stepped down the ladder.
By Jason Geary
Casually, she pushed the door closed behind her. The latch failed and the door swung open a fraction. She continued her conversation with him as she changed. She moved backwards and forwards past the door in search of the perfect outfit. Robert looked in fascination. Surprised by the rush of sensations. Answering her questions with yeses and no’s. He waited with anticipation for each crossing. Each time she was in a more complete state of undress. Robert knew he was wrong to look. He’d never harboured any sexual attraction toward her at all. But for all this logic he found he still couldn’t look away.
By Jason Geary.
He signed off on the day.
5 glasses of water. 14 times to the fridge. 16kms in the car. 37 doorways passes through. 2 bowel movements. 1 ½ bowls of pasta. 1 chocolate bar. 6 hours at the computer. 5 hours in front of the telly. 8738 steps. 11 itches. 2 ATM visits. 1 gas bill payed. 13 conversations. 2 hugs. 7 hours sleep. 5 cups of coffee. 1 supermarket visit. 3 sprays of deodorant, 2 teeth brushings. 5 nose picks. 1 stubbed toe. 3 hours of sunshine. 1 orgasm. 2 incidents of road rage. 1 wish to be elsewhere.
Thus ended Thursday the 14th April in this Almanac of the ordinary man.
By Amy Bishop
I was having an ambivalent day – I couldn’t work out what was happening with it and I certainly couldn’t work out if I was enjoying it or not, frankly I don’t think I could even tell you what had happened that morning I didn’t care about it at all – or at least I was until he walked in.
I won’t say it was love at first sight (I’d known him for a long time and really, it wasn’t love at all) and I won’t tell you I suddenly realised he was amazing and I needed him in my life forever (because that wasn’t true either).
What I can tell you is that he had obviously had a bad day. More so, he’d had a bad day and he’d come to see me and when we made eye contact it was like a little weight had been lifted off his shoulders and he smiled ever so slightly.
Suddenly my day wasn’t ambivalent – it had decided what it wanted to do, what it wanted to be and that was a good day.
The fact I had made someone’s day a little bit better made that day amazing. Oh, and that tiny flutter in my stomach when I realised I was the one he went to after a bad day? That was just a bonus.
By Jason Geary
Louise drew a slow breath. As she exhaled she tried to let the butterflies escape. This was her first date through the agency. She’d looked through countless photos and ticked hundreds of boxes. Of the three matches offered to her she settled on Shaun. He had an honest face and they shared similar interests. He’d picked the restaurant, he said it was cosy and the food was good. She walked in scanning the restaurant for Shaun. The restaurant was empty.
An enthusiastic waiter approached. “Can I help you?”
“Yes, I’m with a booking for two. It should be under Shaun.”
The waiter didn’t even look at the book. “Ah yes! Welcome. This way please.” The waiter led the way, weaving through empty tables.
“Am I the first one here?” Asked Louise.
“Oh, no, no, no. Mr Shaun arrived ten minute ago.”
Louise looked again. There was nobody else here. The waiter stopped and pulled a chair out for her. “Madam.” He pushed her chair in, “I’ll be right back to take your drink orders.”
The waiter swerved away. She sat in silence. Was Shaun in the toilet?
Then a little voice came from across the table, “I hope you look as good as you smell.”
Louise raised herself up slowly. In the chair opposite was Shaun, a boneless mass of flesh wobbling with anticipation. As their eyes met Shaun cocked an eyebrow, ”You do look as good as you smell.” He winked. “Hi, I’m Shaun.” He tried to offer her a hand but instead slid off of the chair, like an egg yolk from its shell. “I’m okay.” Said Shaun desperately.
Louise sat down, wondering how long she’d have to stay so as not to be rude. How had it gone so horribly wrong? Then, in a flash it hit her. On the preferences page of her survey she’d ticked the ‘Amorphous’ box instead of the ‘Amorous’ box.
By David Stewart
“Your manuscript is what we in the publishing industry call a Conditional Novel.”
“What does that mean?”
“Well an Unconditional Novel is one written by an established author or even better a big celebrity. Novels by models and former politicians are very big right now.”
“And so a Conditional novel is…”
“Basically it’s one that needs an angle in order to sell.”
“Couldn’t the angle be that it’s a really good read?”
“In a word- no. We need a sales angle. That’s the condition on which we’re prepared to publish your manuscript.”
“Okay… well it’s got a really strong female character, is that a good-”
“No you misunderstand me. The angle has nothing to do with the book and everything to do with you. You’re not a poverty-struck single parent are you?”
“Pity. Too young to be a Holocaust survivor. Criminal record?”
“No it needs to be jail time. Reformed criminal who writes novel in Jail is a great angle. What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a teacher. Is that a good angle?”
“No it’s positively spherical as far as angles go. English is your first language I take it?”
“Pity. Are you a former stripper, gang member or orphan?”
“How can you be a former orphan?”
“Good point. Oh well it looks like all the traditional angles are out of the question which means we have to resort to more drastic measures. Have a peppermint by the way.”
“What kind of drastic measures?”
“Posthumous publication. Novels by dead authors are very angular. The great masterpiece by a formidable new talent sadly taken from us just as the world noticed his genius.”
“That sounds good… but how does it work?”
“Well lately I’ve found the best way is to keep a handy supply of poisoned peppermints.”
By Jason Geary
Lester closed the door on the porter who was waiting at the threshold for a tip. He couldn’t afford a tip; the aged pension didn’t offer him such luxuries. He’d eaten nothing but noodles with veggies for four weeks just so he could afford to be here tonight.
In its day The Plaza Hotel was unsurpassed, that’s why he’d chosen it for their wedding night. However, Lester and the Plaza had aged horribly, time had not been kind to either of them. The hotel extension had turned this once grand room into a standard room, though the fixtures were in the same place. When he closed his eyes he could see the room as it once was. Grand.
Lester placed his bag on the floor, opened it and removed a woman’s sweater. It was knitted with the softest wool, aqua blue and was unmistakably made in the 1950’s. The only thing that mattered to Lester that it still smelled like Emily. He placed it to his face and drew a deep breath. Right away he swept back through time to holding her in his arms, on this very spot, his chin resting on her shoulder his nose nestled into the nape of her neck. Not a care in the world, resting perfectly together.
That ruined the moment.
He cursed himself. He was back in the hotel room again. Alone. He should’ve known better than to be taken away so quickly. She was becoming harder and harder to recall, even more difficult to hang onto for any length of time.
Lester fell onto the bed and looked at the roof. The cornices and ceiling rose were still the same, albeit chipped and mouldy. He focused on them and sniffed his wife’s sweater again. They seemed to colour themselves with gold leaf, just how he remembered them. He let his head roll to the side and saw the beautiful wife lying by his side. “Happy anniversary, Les.” She said.
“It will be.” Lester smiled.
By Tim Redmond
He sits in drama class and waits. The bickering has crescendoed – so loud, he’s quite certain it has been forgotten who dropped the little insight bomb that started it all. He resists the need to smile. A well placed clearing of throat turns the desired heads. He does not speak for three seconds, counting them in his head. Then he raises both hands, forms a vague sphere and counts to three again. A few students shuffle. A few jaws harden. He leans forward in his chair and regards each in turn. His chest tingles. It is not unpleasant. He may be hard, but he’ll deal with that later.
By Jason Geary
The radar operator broke the relative quite of the bridge. “CONTACT! We have contact. North – North East of our position.”
The Captain snapped upright in his chair, “On screen.” Every screen on the bridge flicked to display the radar. Five circles with a sweeping line moving around from its centre it at what seemed to be a deliberately ominous pace. In the top right of the screen sat a purple octagon. Its hue refreshed every time the line passed over it.
“What is it?” Asked the Captain.
“A purple octagon, Sir.”
The Captain’s head snapped and he glared at the operator, “What. Is. It?”
“I don’t know sir. We’ve never had a purple octagon on the radar before.”
“What does it represent?”
The captain looked around the bridge and saw thirty pairs of eyes staring blankly back at him.
“Does anybody know what a purple octagon represents?!”
Total stillness, not even a blink in reply, just an awful silence punctuated by the ping of the radar.
By David Stewart
“Aaaaand your listening to 3FG the home of classic rock from yesterday and today. This is Dirty Dick Richardson with you until the morning shift get off their arses and come in at 6am which means we’ve got another 3 hours together. I’m still waiting for your calls on tonight’s topic which is Farting and Sex- I know it’s all we seem to talk about on this show but we’ve never done both topics at the same time before. Have you or the person you’ve been with ever let rip while on the job? If so give us a call on 9618 2222… aaaaand I’ve just been handed a piece of paper by my producer…apparently… is this true? This isn’t a joke? Okay according to this note there are what appears to be alien ships in the sky… and weird bug monsters on the ground all over the country… there’s something about lasers… fire breaking out… pandemonium and death… the army being hopeless overwhelmed by superior numbers and firepower… lock yourself inside and don’t come out… well that’s… that’s very… just looking at my producer for further developments but I’m afraid she’s on her phone and in tears so I’m pretty much on my own now. Presumably there’ll be more details at 6am in the first news bulletin of the day and I imagine Rhonda our eye-in-the-sky traffic reporter will have something to say about it as well, especially if it affects city bound traffic. Well I’m not sure how the alien invaders reproduce or if they have gastro-intestinal systems but if any of them have ever farted during sex and can speak English then give me a call on 9618 2222 that’s 9618 2222. Later in this hour JoJo is coming in to give her celebrity gossip report, assuming she’s still alive, and I’ve got Dirty Dick’s Dirty Joke of the week, stay tuned for that it’s an absolute ripper. But first here’s some Nickleback.”
By Jason Geary.
The waiter left and the opportunity to set things right went with him. Greg’s stomach churned. The smell from the kitchen was like a sirens song. He grew hungrier by the second. His wife had thought it a novel idea to order the Turkish bread with home-made dip trio before the main course.
“Something special for a special occasion.” She said taking his hand in hers and patting it delicately.
It was their seventeenth wedding anniversary, indeed a reason to celebrate, though Greg had mistimed his charge. He’d eaten a light lunch in anticipation of the gastronomic delights that awaited them both this evening. His hunger was mountainous and his wife was a flutter. The last thing he wanted was to start a fight. He bit his tongue and smiled a smile that told her he loved her. She stopped patting his hand as the bread arrived. Four narrow shards of bread accompanied by three tiny saucers of dip. Greg managed two half mouthfuls before it was gone. His wife commented on the flavours in each bite as though she had just discovered spring. It made him smile.
The waiter returned, “How was that?”
Greg replied, “Great thank you, very tasty.” He sat an inch taller while making an obvious show of shifting his attention to the menu. “I’ll have the…”
“Another dip platter please.” With those four words Greg’s wife broke his heart.
“Very well.” Said the waiter then he was gone.
Greg looked at his wife trying to hold his heartbreak at bay.
She smiled back oblivious, “It is a special night.”
By Jason Geary
Luke had been with Emma for three months now. The fire had gone. The sex was good but their conversation lacked spark.
Emma was happy. Blissfully so.
Luke was ready for greener pastures. He laid the kindling over dinner. A passing comment he knew would get under her skin. “I can’t wait to go on my surfing trip this summer.” She stumbled over her next sentence, he could see something was wrong, but she didn’t pull him up. Over the course of the evening Luke watched Emma’s thoughts catch fire. She became quite and introspective. He had to repeat himself constantly to get her attention.
Eventually, with a tear welling in the corner of her eye, she found the courage to ask, “Are we going away this summer?” He delighted in the masked desperation of the question.
He smirked, “We? Er… No.” A tear rolled down her cheek. He continued, “I thought you had to work over the holidays.”
“Then you can’t come can you?”
“I might be able to get some time off.”
“That’d be great. I’d love you to join me. When?”
“Maybe a week in the middle of January.”
“Yeah, great. I’ll be somewhere on the west coast by then. About two days drive from the nearest airport. I guess you’d have a good couple of days with me.”
“Yeah. It’s a long way north. Great spot though.” She sat next to him and held his arm tight. He knew her thoughts were ablaze. Soon she’d be a shell of her former self. Exhausted and ruined. Ready to be knocked down.
It took 3 years of playing pubs before we got someone from a record company to come to a rehearsal. We hoped he would sign us up straight away. He spent the first song looking at us all as we played. Nothing on his face. We finished and waited for him to speak: “Did you write that yourselves?”
We nodded. He nodded too. “It sounds like Memory Motel. By The Stones. Same chords.”
We played another original. An uptempo number. He didn’t move at all. “Ever heard of the Yardbirds? That one sounded just like Over Under Sideways Down. Their biggest hit.”
“When our regular bass player gets here I’ll be a lot more dynamic,” said our lead singer who was filling in on bass as well as singing. “I’ve got some moves which -” The record company guy waved his hand as if this didn’t matter.
We played another song. At the end of it he looked at the guitarist. “So do you normally play guitar or are you a keyboard player filling in?”
“No I play guitar.”
“Did you guys write that one yourselves?” We nodded. He nodded too. “Volunteers. Jefferson Airplane. Sounded just like it. Only Grace Slick can really sing. She’s got an amazing voice.”
He got a text during the next song and was still replying when we stopped. “That one sounded like Memory Motel again.”
“Should we play another fast one?” I asked from behind the drumkit.
“No that’s okay.” He put his phone away and looked directly at me and then at every member of the band in turn. “You’re playing is competent enough but not really very exciting; you look like the sort of boys my daughter ignores at school; your attitude isn’t rebellious it’s just desperate; your songs are basically a re-write of classic rock from the late sixties, so there’s really no reason…”
He stopped when our bass player walked in. She’d texted earlier to say her bike had a puncture and she’d be late. She was wearing tight bike shorts and a tank top. Her long blonde hair was tied back. She flashed him a smile and stepped into the light where he could see her blue eyes. He looked at her the way my mum examines cuts of meats at the market.
“…no reason why I shouldn’t sign you up immediately. Welcome to the record label.”
By Jason Geary
I climb onto the roof of my house. The night air is warm and blowing a breeze that makes my arm hair tingle. I straddle the peak of the roof and look off to the horizon, like an absurd cowboy. I’m facing north. I raise my thumb and line it up with the top of the willow three houses down. Then I trace a line up. There, about ten centimeters from the tip of my thumb, is my patch of sky. It sits low on the horizon and is mostly darkness apart from 6 fine points of light. Very dim stars clustered close together. I claimed it as my own months ago, just after my thirteenth birthday. It’s such a plain piece of sky; surely no one else could be interested in it. I take out my notebook and scratch off a new boundary, then I mark the position of the stars in the box with my pencil.
Seven. There are seven stars in my patch of sky tonight. I stare hard to be sure. I flick backwards through my notebook and consult previous entries. All of them have six dots. I look at the patch again. Yes, there is definitely one more. This is amazing. I have found a new star. My very first discovery. Wait! I remember a documentary at school saying if you discover a star you can name it.
Suddenly I feel lighter. It takes me all of 2 seconds to decide what I’m going to call it.
I’ll name it after Rachel. I’ll tell her tomorrow and it will blow her mind. Then she’ll have to come over to my place so I can show it to her. Wow, Rachel at my place. This’ll bring her around. This’ll impress her I’m sure.
By Jason Geary
“On an atomic level we never actually touch anything, or anyone. The sensation of touch is the force at which out atomic make up is repelled from the atoms that form the any given surface.” My science teacher was phoning it in. Running his lesson with no passion for the subject matter or the act of teaching. His surprise was visible when I put up my hand.
“No David you can’t go to the toilet. You’re in year 9 now. You should have gone before class.” The class sniggered and his pride at making them do so showed on his face. Smiling, he turned back to the board.
“No sir… I have a question.”
“What is it?” He said with his back to me.
“Um… It’s about never really touching.”
“Doesn’t it bother you? To know this, about the touching.”
“No. It doesn’t”
“You have a family don’t you sir?”
Now he turned from the board. He was curious but annoyed at my audacity.
“Be careful David.”
“Doesn’t it upset you to know that what ever tricks your mind is playing on you to suggest otherwise you’ve never actually touched anything?
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m asking what you do with this information, you know, as an adult.”
“David, don’t start…”
“You have never really touched your wife and kids. All those times you think you you’ve caressed them, held their hands, kissed their lips, it’s just a measure how much you are repelled by them. Doesn’t knowing this bother you? ”
“Don’t be ridiculous David. I don’t operate on an atomic level. I’m not conscious of it…”
“But you just told us about it. You are so conscious of it. You teach it.”
“Get out, go see Mr. Richardson. Now.”
“But sir… What did I do? I’m just asking a question.”
He sighed a deep sigh. “Go to Mr. Richardson and I’ll speak to you after class.”
I gathered my things and to my surprise the class was silent as I exited the room. My teacher stood looking at the floor. I pulled the door handle, knowing that though it appears I am touching it, I never will.
By David Stewart
And would you welcome our next contestant from Melton in Victoria it’s Mr Barry Rogers! (Applause) Welcome Barry.
Now Barry you’ve decided to answer questions about John Tyler the 10th President of the United States of America.
No… No that’s not correct.
No my subject is John Tyler, lead guitarist and songwriter from seminal heavy metal prog rockers Angel Scream.
Ah… that’s a pity because the questions we’ve got here all relate to the President. Do you know anything about President John Tyler?
I didn’t even know there was one.
Hang on I’m just getting a message from the producer in my earpiece. Okay…. okay right. Sorry Barry but it’s live TV and we can’t throw to a commercial yet so your time starts… now! On what date was Tyler’s Presidential inauguration?
I don’t know!
April 4th 1841. Who did Tyler send to China to negotiate the terms of the Treaty of Wanghia?
I don’t know!
Caleb Cushing. Tyler’s father was the Governor of which state?
Virginia. The vetoing of what kind of bill in June 1842 led to the first attempt to impeach a President in American legal history?
Please make this stop.
A bank bill. The USS Princeton accident claimed the lives of two of Tyler’s ministers. One was Thomas Gilmer, who was the other?
This is the most humiliating experience of my life.
Abel Upsher. Who did Tyler throw his support behind after he pulled out of the 1944 Presidential race?
I don’t know and I DON’T CARE!
James Polk. The lead guitarist from which rock band shares his name with President Tyler?
I don’t know.
Angel Scream. On what date did Tyler die?
Wait I knew that! That’s not fair I knew Angel Scream I just stopped paying attention!
January 18 1962. And there’s the buzzer. So Barry at the end of your time you scored no points on John Tyler the President of the United States. Which means you’re the equal leader along with Carol who answered no questions about Jim Morrison the British Member for Parliament and Brian who scored no points on questions about John Lennon, the British mariner. John us after the break when Arthur Crampton from Newcastle will be answering questions about The Rolling Stones, a group of amateur geology enthusiasts from New Zealand.
By Jason Geary
The Hunter stood over his enemy, his sword resting gently on the downed man’s chest, the tip above his heart. The downed man looked broken, defeat writ large on his face. For the first time the Prey looked human to the Hunter. His victory was complete. The struggle over, all that was left to do was lean forward and let the fallen bleed. The Prey nodded and locked his gaze. With a slight shift of weight the blade sank through to the hilt. The Prey closed his eyes but did not make a sound.