Microfiction by Kathryn Gossow


When they were married, he took her to a city where houses gripped the steep
hillsides, their fists slick with mud, knuckles white as they fought to halt their inevitable slow
slide into the cold bay.

From time to time the earth shook and boulders toppled and plummeted like giant marbles.

He shouted at her too.

Every day the landscape skidded past her bedroom window.

The Bus Stop

You are just sitting at the bus stop, waiting for the bus, but the monster comes, curls
up from the ground, around the bus stop bench legs, through the slats. You won’t see it. But it
might climb into your shirt and up your spine, make you shudder, whispering, nestled behind
your ear. What does it whisper? Its breath, syrupy rum, and acrid ancient vomit. Does it
whisper, me. Remember me? Me.

I only fall in love in the wintertime. Lured by the softer light, smudging the hard
edges. Day after day of tangerine sunsets, lemon and peach sunsets, amber, gentle through
silhouetted eucalypt. The woodsmoke on your clothes. Words muffled by woolen scarves.
Leaves jostling in the wind.

Kathryn Gossow loves jonquils, decaying buildings, sarsaparilla, lemon curd, cold wind, warm spring days, music festivals and true crime. A committed genre hopper, Kathryn Gossow’s novel Cassandra was a fantasy finalist in the Aurealis Awards. Her collection of short stories, The Dark Poet warns of the dangers of charismatic men. Her third novel, Taking Baby for a Walk is a small-town thriller. Kathryn is a co-editor of South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century anthology. www.kathryngossow.net

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