Australian Short Stories for Boys (& Girls)

      Michael Mardel
Australian Short Stories for Boys (& Girls)

Ten short stories of boys in different eras - sailing under Lord Nelson as a powder boy, travelling the east coast of Australia with a dog, father and son interactions, disability, rabbiting in the Depression, refugees - from Afghanistan to Australia,Ireland in St Kevin's time, selling pots and pans to gold diggers in the 1850s, being a tennnis ball boy in 2020 in Monte Carlo.I arrived in this Universe a while back.Initially, you understand, just to sightsee. You know, glide around a little, take in the milky ways and the dusty swirls, all these stars large and small, all these planets green and brown and blue, some with purple plains and sandy deserts, some with gray black mountains draped in trees some and capped in white others, some neither. Many frantic oceans, too, and many placid seas. All very varied and quite pleasing, I must say. Sightseeing.Drifting in for a closer look at some of these planets, I saw roads and wagons and gates and guards and many people, he called them.Drifting in closer still, I saw steady hands under furrowed brows brighten white canvas with color and warmth to capture trees and mountains, painting he called it.I heard symmetry of sound from throats and hands on strings, music he called it.And I saw many feet move in delicate delicious rhythm, dance he called it, and they seemed to enjoy it, these what he called people.And drifting closer still, I heard laments by lovers wronged, I saw seductions soft, and stark betrayals, brutal slayings and happy resurrections.I saw brother helping brother, sister leaving sister, son trusting father, daughter hating mother, or at least that is how he explained these odd happenings to me, my escort. Though, to be honest, I could not see the truth of these events for they had no pattern to them, not like those of their music or dance, he called them.So I turned to him and I asked, “What’s the point, then? Without a pattern?”“It’s hard to explain,” he answered. “And almost impossible to understand without one of those,” indicating a long display of sparkling shapes that looked just like what he called people but that didn’t move. He brought me down and closer.“What are they?” I asked.“They are called bodies,” he said. “You should try one.”We slowly drifted down the line of these shapely shapes all in glistening skin (still drying and cooling, he told me), until we came to the very end of the display where hung a firm and strong male, he called it, cooled and comely in his long white robe. “Touch it,” he suggested.I looked at him. A question. I once heard of these things. I heard there can be danger.“Trust me,” he said.So, perhaps unwisely, I trusted him, and I brushed against the bare, strong arm.On contact there was a shock a jolt a rush and then a screaming wind furiously inhaling and then a brief blackness and then I found myself inside this what he called a male and many things happened all at the same time, too fast, too many, too soon:Every one thing I saw, every blade of grass, every bird, every tree, every pebble—until then simply small pattern-less somethings to me—was absorbed by this body and once inside it each of these almost countless things spawned a response—a sea of responses. Each and every thing. I felt like a weather system. Storm everywhere.
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    The Journal of Paul O'Leary: From the City to the Outback

      Michael Mardel
The Journal of Paul O'Leary: From the City to the Outback

The story of a 10 year old boy who moves to the tropics of Broome, in the Kimberley, Western Australia. The journal follows him around Broome, setting up house, finding new friends and coping with the heat. Besides his adventures with the Scouts and tennis, he dreams of going places, mainly flying to the stars.The story of a 10 year old boy whose parents leave Melbourne and settle in Broome, 4,000 kms away in the tropics on Roebuck Bay.It tells of his adventures with other boys, his dog, Lassie, and how they cope in the heat. We learn about setting up house, starting at a new school, and living life very similar to Melbourne, except for the heat (though Melbourne has been having hot weather).In between his waking adventures with Scouts and tennis, are his adventures in his dreams. Guaranteed to keep a 10 year old amused.
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