adult shorts

Not all the stories I write are specifically for children, some are for older people, but that doesn’t meant that younger people (who can be much more discerning) can’t read them as well.

My stories tend to throw normal everyday characters into bizarre situations. And, I do love to put a twist at the end, just to torture the protagonists a bit more.


My husband held our son with one strong arm and steadied the cable chair with the other. Once seated, he held the rope so that I could climb on. I stood onto the narrow plank of wood and swung a leg to either side. I wrapped my arm around my husband and son and pushed us off our rock.

The chair stuttered as I tugged on the cable to get us moving. My son squealed and looked around at his father. My husband kept his eyes firmly on our destination ignoring the boy’s sounds of delight. We quickly gathered speed and the wind whipped at my skirt and hair. I listened to the usual creaks and groans of steel and wood under pressure. Even now, I can still hear that crack of wood as the cable chair crumbled, ringing in my ears. Share

Grim Garden

Georgie said I was being paranoid when I told her the whole place gave me the creeps. I told her, ‘…every good crime story says you should go with your gut…’ and I was having a decidedly IBS gut moment about our little adventure.

Randolf shouted, ‘It’s time!’ half an hour after he told us to relax and enjoy the view from the loft room he had directed us to. We followed the bellow to a cluttered kitchen. Acrid smelling dried herbs and souring grape vines hung from the ceiling, while a wood-wormed table creaked under the weight of enormous cuts of meat. Our sandaled feet jumped back as the hill of oozing flesh slid off the table and onto the cracked slate floor.

‘Neverr mind that girrls, the floorr is clean!’ I caught Georgie’s hand and swung around, but Randolf blocked the exit. ‘Now girrls, wherre do you think yourr’e going?! The fun hasn’t even starrted yet, I still have to show you the garrden! You’rre going to love it!!’ Share

Kung Fu Mountain

I peer through the thick window glass and remember the last words I said to my mother. I knew dad had always wanted a boy, someone to pass on the family tradition. I was never good enough for him, because I was a girl. It didn’t matter that I came first in my class in school, or won a scholarship to college. No, none of that counted with him – he just wanted a son. Well, I’d show him. I was going to follow in dear old dad’s footsteps whether he liked it or not. In fact, I was going to be better than him, then he’d love me, accept me for who I was!

The thin floral paper crackles in my hand pulls me out of my memories. Maeve’s writing is neat and feminine – considering the subject matter, it seems almost obscenely joyous with it swirls and loops. She writes to inform me my mother is dead – a heart attack she says, the doctors reckon she didn’t feel a thing. I always presumed the old man would go first. So, did mum. Share

Cabbage Queen

‘The Babbage Cabbage Beauty Pageant! You could be the Babbage Cabbage Queen!?’

Mum sat with her hands on her lap, and a big smile on her face. Rose stood in front of her with her mouth wide open but no sound coming out.

‘Ms Crabapple suggested it. She thought it might be a good way for you to make friends and build your confidence. You have to wear a costume made from cabbage leaves and ride around on the Babbage Cabbage Pageant float…’

Rose didn’t hear much after the word ‘float’; her brain had ceased to function. Like the lizard that loses its tail when a predator grabs it, Rose had lost her mind at the thought of parading herself in front of the whole town of Babbage in a cabbage costume! She had always disliked Ms Crabapple, but she hated her now nearly as much as she hated having her scalp washed and scraped for lice. Who could possibly think it was a good idea for an obviously overweight, self-conscious girl to wear a bright, green dress made of cabbage leaves in front of a bunch of perfectly formed girls that already made fun of her!?

‘Rose, I know you are as excited as I am. My head is full of ideas for your costume, but we don’t have much time, only two weeks! We’ll have to get started right away. I’ll get my sowing box and measuring tape…my little girl is going to be a beauty queen…’ Share


 All images & text © Julianna O’Callaghan