The Everday Prince’s travel guide

Rapunzel (2013 Edition)

From the Forest to the Enchanted Castle on a shoestring

Mesmerising, delightful and impossibly unpredictable – with its ancient traditions, supernatural fauna and innumerable castles, Rapunzel’s Forest is all this and more. Once the exclusive playground of wealthy heirs and hapless heroines, the Forest has relaxed its restrictive narrative conventions in recent years, attracting travelling royals and assertive maidens of all persuasions. The real adventure however, lies in the Enchanted Castle and, of course, its most famous resident, Rapunzel. Continue reading “The Everday Prince’s travel guide”

Three Fantasies for Carlotta Cunningham

The Middle Beach High reunion was minutes old and already abuzz: the girls giggled as they arranged white garden chairs in rows along the walls, they nattered while they adorned sand-filled bottles with yawning posies; the men cleared their throats and rehearsed the success stories of their lives.

Some glanced over their shoulders in between sentences or peeked from behind their plastic cups of supermarket prosecco. Carlotta Cunningham was coming, expected to arrive just after nine—or 21:00 as she had written in the email—directly from the international airport, probably by cab if she couldn’t find a decent hire car, (who knows if I still know how to drive on the left!) and maybe, although not definitely, accompanied by an upcoming poet from Barcelona whose work everyone just had to get to know. Continue reading “Three Fantasies for Carlotta Cunningham”

What happened in Paris? (Part 1)

And so the stage was set. Despite all his dreams, the waking hours of longing, and the conflict in his brain, he had committed himself to life elsewhere.

But it was not he who had made the commitment: it was if some mighty hand had flexed its fist and thrashed him into submission, and his consciousness had witnessed the entire event from outside his body. Getting married had happened so fast – he had no memory of having organised anything. Prue and her family, from a foundation of whispers and unheard phone calls, had conjured the entire event: the conceptual design of the invitation, the colour of the duck gravy, post event logistics and the rice confetti’s country of origin. Vietnamese rice was cheaper, but the working conditions of those poor people! The only thing he had to do was wear something nice and turn up sober. Continue reading “What happened in Paris? (Part 1)”

A Brief Encounter on Fleet Street

It was just past five o’clock when Leonard Ward strutted into the “Lion and Byline” and slammed his briefcase on the counter.

“Scotch,” he said to no one in particular and rapped on the bar. As he waited, he studied the faces around him; the suits, shoes, the hair (and lack of it), until his gaze fell on a man hunched over the pages of a broadsheet newspaper. His eyes narrowed. “McCubbin!” he said and slapped his thigh. “I thought that was your head wrapped in that commie rag. Still drinking in halves I see.” Continue reading “A Brief Encounter on Fleet Street”

A Robbery at Big Mike’s

I’m right next to the protein shakes when he comes in.

Or they might be vitamin supplements—the jars look the same (I’m only here to browse product names anyway since everything is at least twenty per cent cheaper online). Dressed in full denim and wearing gumboots, the guy snakes in through the side entrance, knocks down a couple of cross trainers, jumps up at Big Mike and shoves a shotgun right in his face. The first thing Big Mike does is slam the register shut, but the guy screams and prods Mike’s nose with the barrel of his gun. He must be on something heavy—chems or the like—since he doesn’t seem to care that Mike looks meaner than a shed-full of landmines and could probably snap that gun like a toothpick. Continue reading “A Robbery at Big Mike’s”

Across the border

It is not simple line on a map, or a fence that pinches against our wispy plains like a monk’s belt.

No, our border is a wall: as high and thick as a mountain. It strangles, silences, mutes the cracks of truncheon on bone. No one knows what lays beyond; only that the clouds and birds that pass over head fly somewhere, and we cannot. Continue reading “Across the border”