And There Was Ninja Moustache (Chapter 4)

St Murray's Primary School. Oldham, England, 1987. “Back again, Deenis? Good heavens, most boys try to avoid the principal’s office, but you seem to hang around here like a stray mutt.” “I don’t mean to, sir. It’s just that I’m having trouble with some of the other boys.” “Oh, here we go again.” “Well, all... Continue Reading →

And There Was Ninja Moustache (Chapter 3)

In the timid glow of my rental car’s stereo display I watched the night outside. It was dark—too hopeless even for stars. A sliver of moon now and then appeared through the drifting sea of clouds, painting a pale silver outline on the treetops. Behind the giant relic projector screen, the forest grew unchecked, as... Continue Reading →

And There Was Ninja Moustache (Chapter 2)

Manchester Hospital, 1978. “Ah, just a minute sir, there’s an error here on the birth certificate. You’ve misspelled ‘Dennis’.” “That’s not a mistake, Doc. No son of mine will be called Dennis. Bloody poofter name. I want it just as I’ve written it there. Two Es, one N.” “But sir... you can’t call a child... Continue Reading →

And There Was Ninja Moustache (Chapter 1)

 “Man’s most striking shortcoming is his eagerness to convince himself of nonsense. This is also his greatest strength.” —Elroy “Bubba” Fowpend   From diverse eyewitness accounts, unsteady video footage, police reports, second-hand gossip and my own hazy recollections, I have painstakingly reassembled the events of Rory’s fortieth-birthday weekend. It is what it is. I got... Continue Reading →

Painting: Field at Sunset

“Okay, so, this is the final scene—Jane returns to the field where they found the treasure at the start of the movie. You can see the big tree there. So, we see her driving along the road here, and she has a new haircut, something shorter, so you know it has been a year since... Continue Reading →

Painting: Seaside

The Greeks are good at everything. I’m no history expert, but they seem to pop up at the top of every major list. You’ve got Socrates and his crew leading the way in philosophy, Alexander was the great military commander, the Spartans were unrivalled warriors, Homer is the great-grandfather of our literature, Pythagoras is a... Continue Reading →

Painting: Pears

Whenever there is a drought or a cyclone or a fire or a flood somewhere here in Australia (which is often), the television news will run a story featuring footage of (depending on the disaster) dry paddocks with cracks in the dirt, uprooted trees, smoke-reddened skies or a car being swept away in an overflowing... Continue Reading →

What Wakes the Rooster (Part 26)

By the dam, the duckling pecked at the little black box lodged in the mud among the reeds. On one side of the box a square screen lit up, and a tiny arrow flashed in the corner. The duckling leaned in and squinted at the screen; it showed a dark, almost black picture which the... Continue Reading →

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