Kara has missed her flight from Sydney to London. ‘That was the problem with being late often. It actually changed outcomes when it mattered.’ She buys another ticket, and while waiting in the airport meets an Aborigine man named Kizzy who offers her some Kookaburra branded licorice. She takes a handful and stashes them in her rucksack. Back in London, she finishes the last of the sweets in between the train station and her flat; a metamorphosis of sorts begins: ‘Sure enough she was not herself. Or she was herself, but something different. Something skewed and accidental, something tainted with the margin particles of an incense-smelling man who could mimic the curves of a sidewinder.’ The story made me smile, with its absolute repudiation of what a short story might be for, how it might be shaped, how it might work. Liberating.
First published in Nudibranch, Dialogue Books 2019