Brisbane Writers Festival celebrates stories of all shapes and sizes. With the help of Twitter and a brilliant collection of 50 writers from around the globe, the Many Writers, One Story project hopes to put together a very Brisbane tale told in 140 character bite-sized pieces. Where will the story go? What twists will it take? Follow its progress from Tuesday 17 July below or on Twitter by following the hashtag #BWF50. Once upon a time...
Then again, Mother's advice could be patchy. Was it not she who had once said 'Oh, but women *love* men who imitate Ricky Gervais'?
The last time he'd stated 'I've sort of fused Flashdance with MC Hammer shit' Irene threw a glass of rose in his face.
More damagingly still, his mother advised him against setting up a site exactly like Facebook, four years before Zuckerberg did.
AND she'd made him become a train driver because 'cars had had their day.' Yes. Everything was his mother's fault. Today: revenge.
But how do you exact revenge on one who knows you inside-out? How, in a lifetime of failure, could he pull off the perfect murder?
He mulled it over for a minute, drank two glasses of milk, and resolved to send her a really brisk email instead.
He had to act fast! No time for hemlock. Rat Poison? Aha! Of course. the humble oleander, rampant in his mother's garden
He stirred his mother's hot cocoa with an oleander twig, again & again & again, then, smiling, he took it in to the old tyrant
He found her in the bedroom, her plate of gingered carrots nowhere to be seen. She was swaddled in her bedsheets. The room was dark.
He set the mug down by her bedside and leaned closer. 'Why Mother, what big teeth you have.'
She awoke, sipped cocoa. Then snarled. "You stupid boy. This is 2045. Oleander's evolved to be harmless since the 2025 climate crash"
His heart sank. Even a failure at murder, like at uni when he chaired the climate sceptics club, in pointless pursuit of attention.
She unzipped her voluminous leather bustier & there they were, twin barrels of smoking metal soldered right into her breasts.
The visual impact was lost over the phone so she clenched her bosoms & fired one off against the wall to give him the general idea.
He cried out, deafened in his left ear by the sound of the gun shot. Through the pain he wondered how Magda had become such a violent
creature. After all, when they were children there was nothing she enjoyed more than
drawing pictures of dolphins & unicorns. He did however rather swiftly upon gazing at her smoking bosom recall that
the dolphins were often, rather horribly impaled on the unicorns horns. Other memories started flooding in, like the time she
stole a neighbor's sleeping baby right out of its bassinet just to show their mother that she could harness the power of matriarchy.
Magda had never been afraid of Mother and that's why he was calling. I'm ready, he whispered, referring to a childhood plan to
kill their parents and get married. But seeing their father cop the fury of Magda's full metal breasts had freaked him out and
to her disgust he'd refused to proceed any further in the bloody business & they'd never spoken since. Until now.
There is only a certain amount of pethidine a lounge room can take before the metabolism of furniture begins to
alter, to evolve, to become something other.Oh yeah,and him too.Man is this a chair? Or am I a chair? He no longer knew.
He thought, it's me, I'm the chair. Why else would the ambo in fishnets be sitting on my lap? He tried to wriggle out from under the
paramedic but he felt an arm tighten around his neck. The ambo hissed, "How many times have I told you? How many times do I have to
whole thing started.' It's the end of the line, he thought. You either pick up the gun, or you might as well just cop yourself out.
Mother. The plateau. He heard words, far away. He saw his mother, standing victorious, alive, over his dead father...
but really just loyal animals, trained to run under tanks, a switch on their backs ready to detonate any unseen explosives.
But how to defuse this now? With only Lily and her scabby leg by his side, it was almost too late.
Sighing, he knew he needed his room, his writing journals and his 'do not disturb me, mother' sign on the door but...
this had to end, and now. He rolls over, only to come face to face with a dropped semi-auto hypodermic gun
'Dog's fine,' the ambo said. 'Thing we have to worry about is zombies. Project Coriander's gone haywire. Zombies everywhere.'
Magda! They needed her guns. Lily growled, her eyes glowing. 'Hmm, your dog been near any zombies?'
Tweet 45, Thursday 30 August - Jack Vening
Lilly was shaking. The growl got louder. Then, all at once, she rose on her hind legs. 'Son,' she barked sadly. 'I feel unwell.' He
grabbed the ambo. 'Did the drugs awake my dad's dormant personality?' 'I'm no scientist,' the ambo said. 'But yes.'
'Who's the bitch now?' He turned and it was his mother. She was leaning against the ambulance, her lips curled around a cigarette... and the packet rolled up in her t-shirt sleeve. Lily growled, angered by such a terrible pun, and approached her. Mother reached into her alligator purse. Hey eyes small rifles. She pulled out the papers before Lilly could talk to her agent Mother spat the words. "Here's the proof. I'm not your mother. Lily's not a dog. You are the zombie spawn of ... Xaviera Hollander and her Alsatian GoBoy. At that Bonfigliol's mother (and father) withered and died and were NEVER heard from again. The next thing Bonfigliol felt was a wet tongue rasping the space where his left ear had been, rousing him to consciousness. It was
Tweet 46, Friday 31 August - James Butler
Tweet 47, Saturday 1 September - David 'Ghostboy' Stavanger
Tweet 48, Sunday 2 September - Jane O'Hara
Tweet 49, Monday 3 September - Toni Jordan
Tweet 50, Tuesday 4 September - Benjamin Law
'Who's the bitch now?' He turned and it was his mother. She was leaning against the ambulance, her lips curled around a cigarette...
and the packet rolled up in her t-shirt sleeve. Lily growled, angered by such a terrible pun, and approached her.
Mother reached into her alligator purse. Hey eyes small rifles. She pulled out the papers before Lilly could talk to her agent
Mother spat the words. "Here's the proof. I'm not your mother. Lily's not a dog. You are the zombie spawn of ...
Xaviera Hollander and her Alsatian GoBoy. At that Bonfigliol's mother (and father) withered and died and were NEVER heard from again.
The next thing Bonfigliol felt was a wet tongue rasping the space where his left ear had been, rousing him to consciousness. It was
... not quite a dream / but not quite as it seemed / He woke in the half-light / with the smell of cordite
the sound of bird-call / a dog licking his balls
"Lily! Bad dog!" he said, but thought of his Mum / And as he took another hit, he thought, "Man drugs are fun."
Nick Earls, Marieke Hardy, Mark Watson, Joanne Harris, Chris Cleave, Dave Graney, Eowyn Ivey, Jeff Sparrow, Kate Forsyth, Michaela McGuire, Paul Gilding, Patrick Gale, Michael Robotham, Krissy Kneen, John Boyne, Emilie Zoey Baker, Claire Bidwell Smith, Andy Griffiths, a.rawlings, Linda Sue Park, Phil Kafcaloudes, Tanveer Ahmed, Jon Doust, Gina Perry, Chris Turney, Martin Chatterton, Tony Cavanaugh, Tara Moss, Susan Johnson, Rebecca Sparrow, Mandy Beaumont, Sean M Whelan, Belinda Jeffrey, Katherine Battersby, Sophie Hamley, Christopher Currie, Kristina Schulz, Terry Whidborne, Anna Campbell, Chris Somerville, Tristan Bancks, Toni Jordan, Benjamin Law and more!
Brisbane Writers Festival acknowledges the assistance of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and the Department of Education and Training, and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.