Christmas morning

Rumour of his arrival. Harry crept downstairs. Presents torn asunder, angel broken, tree down. “Illegal aliens,” Pop slurred, bottle empty.

(Inspiration: past Rāmere Shorts challenge that I missed. The six words were Harry, angel, broken, illegal, rumour and presents)



Gravel crunched under her shoes, the path winding around roots of tall majestic kauri and bright yellow trumpeting kōwhai. The air dripped with the sweet nectar of native bird song, pierced occasionally with the shrill sound of cicadas, basking on the limbs of the trees. Fantails flittered through the greenery, tūī cocked their embellished throats, white pearls snuggled under their chins. An eerie tranquility pervaded, the heavy breath of nature lingering in the air. Although she was in the shade the heat was almost unbearable, her shirt beginning to cling to her. Stumbling over truant roots, she kicked up small clouds of debris in her rush to reach the other end.


Countless infinitesimal glittering diamonds sparkled from the sea like an iridescent paua, swirling in a multitude of colour. The soft breeze hugged the coastline, caressing the bright red flowers sprinkled amongst the pohutukawa’s crop of shiny green hair. Skipping over the top of the bush, it curled its fragile fingers around her hair, lifting and knotting the long strands with ease. She wrestled with its grip, struggling to tame her hair, ensnaring it into a dark baseball cap.

Turning her back on the bay, she found a rudimentary track around the periphery of the native bush, balancing precariously on the cliff between land and earth. And then, she jumped…


(Inspiration: a re-work of a story I wrote many, many years ago.)

Perfectly imperfect

Your cold, blue steel eyes. Colourless and bland. Your hair, or lack therefore. A shining bald spot in the middle of what used to be curls. That unruly beard, how it spikes and scratches against my skin. Your teeth, fragile and forever needing expensive work that leaves us scrabbling together cents. Your ears, almost elfin, with their broad bottoms and pointed, jutting tops.

The way you pick and peck at the food I cook, inspecting every piece for a shred of onion or leek. Yet you devour the much maligned brussels sprout and the flesh of animals, yeasty beer and strawberry-flavoured anything. The incessant rumbling and grumbling in your sleep, pounding against my eyelids. The endless fascination for mind-numbing action movies and an obsession with pointless history. Those godamn awful ‘package pant’ shorts you insist on wearing. That blue shirt.

How you hide your intelligence, beaten and bruised from years of school and being told you’re nothing more than a rugby-playing buffoon. Scarred and battered from a father who barely earned the title. The constant need to always do better than the past generation, to make the circle collapse on itself.

I look deep into the eyes of strangers, but none mesmerize me like you do. You are perfectly imperfect to me, and that, beautiful person, is why I love you.

(Inspiration: the writing prompt ‘using only insults describe the person you love’).



First day jitters.


She approached the lock, heat radiating from her. ‘Don’t be afraid lover,” she said with fake bravado, picking up the Curry & Comb whip…

(Inspiration:  Oh man. I TOTALLY forgot the date today and it wasn’t until a friend posted her #100days project on Instagram that I remembered that today is D-Day! So, I have had to turn to #RāmereShorts for inspiration as I’ve spent the day dealing with threenagers and terrific-twos and just, eurgh.

Every Friday the New Zealand Book Council tweets out six words and you have to take them and turn them into a story that fits within a tweet. Last Friday I missed it (and it is such a fun challenge!) so I hunted out the tweet for some inspiration. The words: comb, afraid, approached, comb, fake, lock).

A beginning

Welcome to Cacti & Coffee.

I plan to fill this tiny little corner of the internet with my flash fiction as part of my 100 Day Project. 100 Days is a creative movement where you take one thing and do it every day. For 100 days.

Before my days were filled with nappy changes, nap schedules, and picking up a billion toys, I was a writer. I miss those creative days where I would sit down and just type. I was a journalist and would spend all day churning through facts and informing people, and then at night I’d enter a world of make believe and spill my ideas out on to paper.

Since having children those moments, and that life, has gone on the back burner. This is my attempt to re-capture a tiny part of that life. An attempt to be creative again (aside from pulling silly faces and making up lullabies).

100 Days starts on May 22. From that day onwards I will aim to post a short story (up to 300 words). Deep breaths……stay tuned.