Trigger Warning: This post contains content relating to suicide. If you, or anyone you know, needs assistance call Lifeline on 13 11 14. In the case of an emergency, dial 000. 


I’ve never seen that before.

I’ve never seen you before.

I’ve never felt such calm resolution in someone before.

Yet the fear.

Your eyes were closed. You were waiting for the moment.


They were so focused.

They spoke to you softly.

He threaded his arms through yours, held your chest.

Nurtured you.

Drew you back.

To safety.

To life.


In the beginning there was Courtney

In the beginning there was Courtney

This house has a history of inanimate objects developing consciousness and functionality, indicating life. And it all began with Courtney.

Courtney was (is) a porcelain doll, dressed in mint green satin and lace, with blue glass eyes that moved. Blue glass eyes that moved.

Her eyes followed people (me) around the room, inciting fear, and thus causing one of my sisters to take particular delight in creeping into my bedroom at night, holding Courtney, crouching at the end of my bed, and slowly lifting her up so she was all I could see when I woke up to my name being called in a long whisper…

Before she left us for greener pastures (landfill*), Courtney imparted her ability to animate with a few other items in the house, most notably, the clothes horse.

The clothes horse tried to enter my bedroom on one occasion, and would have been successful had the door not been fully closed. This occurrence was documented photographically and is presented as evidence in the feature image on the far right.

A conspiracy theorist may argue that it was placed there so I would run into it, loudly, after being out, so as to alert the other members of the household of my approximate arrival time home.

Other places the clothes horse has been observed is in the room where my nieces and nephews sleep when they stay over, covered in a red sheet – very discreet, in the general living area, and hiding behind the ironing board in the laundry.

I’m not too concerned about that last one, but its presence in the kids’ room does raise some alarm bells regarding intent.

The tissue box has had at least four moves in as many months, and mum insists that the movement of utensil jar was her doing; she moved it into a cupboard to prevent flies landing on the spoons and tongs.


*Of which I have no doubt she has clawed her way out of and is currently hitchhiking back to Mulgrave on the Monash Freeway.






She’s rushing around the house, loading containers with food for grandkids, looking for where she moved the tea towels to in the kitchen clean up of yesterday, and calling out to him what time they need to be at Chadstone.

He’s asking when are they going to go get coffee? It’s their ritual. It’s their time. In between committments to others.

It’s manic. It’s a whirlwind he can’t calm.

He says he just doesn’t matter anymore. He picks up his guitar and plays quitely. It’s out of tune, but he doesn’t notice. Or he doesn’t care.

I observe, filling out the crossword in yesterday’s newspaper, scribbling on the comics in between thinking and waiting for the revelation of the right word.

I’m like him. I never realised how much so until these last three months. He scribbles too. He draws and doodles whenever there’s pen and paper lying around.

She’s ready to leave.

The garage door closes. I exhale; silence. Except for the hum of the dishwasher.