When I first started visiting my mother from Sydney it felt like the ends of the earth, but that impression passed. In Bundaberg no one is a stranger for long. At the IGA checkout where I used to shop for Mum’s habitual bits and pieces - a box of tissues to add to the stockpile, sweet biscuits that would remain in her bedside tin until my next visit - I never left without a piece of wisdom or a kind enquiry. It came standard with the receipt. Once it was the secret to the best chocolate cake going. It’s instant coffee, by the way, a teaspoon, not too much.like a motherless childThis was high-end accommodation. He had had no idea. He had paid a lot of money but that was to be expected, given that the company had bought exclusive rights to the mountain. He had been confused by all the information. He'd thought you had to stay two nights - the night before the climb, and the night mid-climb.
“And the other guest has arrived, sir?”
“Your fellow guest, sir? Your companion?”
“What do you mean? It's only me.”mountain lodges"You can't fake heroin withdrawal," she said. "It's a bit more than red eyes and itchy fingers."
"I quit smoking. How hard can it be?"
He'd been buying from Brightsides almost eight years now. She wheeled the streets with a backpack stuffed with pot and speed and MDMA and the occasional downer for when he needed to be especially morose. She'd once sold him a double-hit of LSD that he tongued while touring the Detroit Sweeps. That was killer; Sylvia had called him a "post-societal neo-anarchic hero," and squirreled into his bed not once but twice, as if his neo-anarchic power would spread to her via shared fluids.the kingNEW: mountain lodges•A Journal of Quality Short Fiction From Australia and Beyond•Contents