100 WORD SKITTLE // Leaking the Dream (Follow-up to Lurking the Dream)

I wasted no time, stepping into the stormwater drain to retrieve the kitten before it drowned. Wind railed at my back, and the first huge drops of icy rain began to plap on the scruff of my neck. I shivered, my foot slipped on the slick ladder, and I fell in.

I flailed momentarily before my head cracked into the sewer wall. The last thing I remember was my face in bloodied water, my scattered manuscript pages, and a title that read ‘Look What the Kitten Dragged In’.

There was a mewl from somewhere in the darkness.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

100 WORD SKITTLE // Lurking the Dream (Follow-up to Leaving the Dream)

The day was cold.

I hugged the walls, trying to hide in dark corners, but a bitchy wind found me everywhere I went, and gnawed at my neck and cheeks with its merciless teeth. I had no respite.

I was huddled in the pokey gap between a tattoo parlour and pool hall when I heard what sounded like a squeaky toy. There was a frail, drawn-out release of air. Like it had been sat on. Like it had invented misery.

I checked. No. I hadn’t squashed anything, but there was a tiny ball of fur there.

…with two pointy triangles.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

100 WORD SKITTLE // Leaving the Dream (Follow-up to Living the Dream)

It came to life in an expensive arty-farty Moleskine—maybe I fancied myself as the next Hemingway. I even bought a posh Parker pen. Only the best tools, right? But as time went on and times got desperate, the Moleskine got swapped out for paper from bins and skips, and the Parker for biros I’d stolen from cheap snack-bars and post offices.

But I didn’t give up. I continued to scribble beneath dim streetlights, in dingy alleyways, and as close to the neon glow of storefronts as their owners would allow. Come hell or high water, I’d complete this book.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

100 WORD SKITTLE // Living the Dream

My dream. I ended up leaving my hometown for this.

Melbourne was too expensive. I’d lost my job and the rent was killing, so I upped stakes. I moved to deepest, darkest Peru where I burned through the remainder of my savings in under a year. Even though it was as cheap as chips to live there, I eventually found myself eking out a living on the streets.

I guess I didn’t think things through enough. Now I didn’t even have the money for a one-way ticket back to Australia.

Still, I had my dream. I would write a book.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

100 WORD SKITTLE // The First Follower (Follow-up to The Last Virgin)

He’d noticed this strange girl some time ago. She would always come alone, buy a pair of white lace stockings, then leave. And she’d always wear a long black robe that never quite matched her purchases. She was strange and compelling.

He’d tie himself in knots trying to guess what she did. Was she a pole dancer? A prostitute? A fetishist? A Mother Theresa wannabe who enjoyed gifting orphans with stockings full of rock candy? She’d glide in and out, brandishing scythe and silence with aloof aplomb.

He closed the shop and followed her. No one ever saw him again.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018