Another day starts. You wake weary and late. Whip on a dress suit, hairspray, lippy, and name tag. No time for brushing your teeth. No matter. You never smile at the office anyway.
Clutching a tepid coffee, you’re out the door and running, racing towards the end of your life.
GB Burgess works from home now and smiles every day.
Mark had waited sixty years for revenge.
Searching the retirement home, he found Ben snoozing, feeble. But Mark felt no sympathy for his old enemy.
“For what you did to me at that party,” Mark sneered.
He raised a magic marker, and marred Ben’s face with a moustache and glasses.
G.B. Burgess is a graphic designer. She is occasionally commissioned at parties to create moustaches and glasses.
“When I was little, I dreamed of being a mermaid,” Emily said, “with shiny scales and silky, long, blonde hair. Such a silly fantasy.”
She smiled, revealing fangs, then she lurched away with a flick of her tail, passing beneath the “Beware: Bunyips” sign and slithering back into the billabong.
G.B. Burgess resides in bunyip-infested swampland where she runs a drop bear sanctuary with her pet Thylacine.
The smoke pushed towards our home. When orange glow appeared behind the hills, we filled the car with our favourite things.
I packed the photo albums, hesitated, then added the camera. We’d need it, I vowed. The fire could have the house, not our joy.
The happy snaps would continue.
G.B. Burgess wrote this while watching a bush fire inch ever closer to her home.
During the night, Alise often left the ground floor bedroom she shared with Matt, sleeping instead in the spare room upstairs.
She liked waking early and standing by the window. The view offered promises, lifting her hopes as high as her location.
Then Matt would wake and bring her down.
GB Burgess loves her two-storey house.
“The rules,” the nanny said. “No running. No shouting. No sweets. Clean your room. Stay neat and tidy.”
Tommy stopped listening because it all meant one thing: no fun. He nodded, while planning the biggest, loudest sugar-fueled bedroom mud fight of all time.
It was time she learned his rules.
GB breaks at least half of Nanny’s rules every day.
When I woke, he stood by our bed, his suit muddy, eyes clouded, skin sickly pale.
“I’m home,” he croaked around his decomposing tongue.
“You shouldn’t be. You’re death walking again, honey.”
“Can I stay?”
Taking his icy hand, I led him from the house, towards the cemetery.
GB is a writer from Tasmania. She prefers grey areas to the clarity of light and dark.