Caitlyn Mulcahy

Australia

I write on my laptop, I write on my books, I write on my hands. Best of all, I write in my head. Constantly. I'm never not writing. What do you think dreams are? Your brain writing its own stories while you are sleeping.

Published Work

Talking to “You”

Thanks For Your Concern

You tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe I don’t, but who said it was up to you to burst my bubble? I want to believe I can do anything, I want to believe I can make my own decisions. You look almost pitying as you claim dreams don’t come true for the likes of us. Maybe your dreams didn’t come true, maybe deep down you wish you had taken a chance. I’m sorry you didn’t get to live the life you wanted but does that mean I have to live it for you? I appreciate your concern, I appreciate your advice and I appreciate your persistence. You can stand there and frown away my hopes and roll your eyes at my dreams but who are you to tell me that I can’t? 

The Greatest Power

Children are powerful. We demand attention.
With a tear we can draw every eye,
With a smile we can earn any trust,
With a word we can change your mind,
With a laugh we can make all listen. 
At a glance we can tell whether to approach or retreat,
At a glance we can tell what needs to be said. 
We can make you, adults, cry, frown, hope and regret. 
We can make you drive for hours,
Stay awake all night, Worry all day.
You are forced to trust us. Trust me. 
We hear everything, we understand the words and the pauses and the pain and the frustration. 
When you whisper to each other the walls become paper,
Even your shaking breath echoes around my room. 
We can make you angry, make your heart break.
Understand me dear adults, when I say, 
Children are powerful. 
But only so, when you need, you can be weak. 

Listen

There’s a little game I like to play, when I’m alone or bored or tired. I listen carefully, patiently, see how many things I can hear. People humming softly as I walk by them, doors swooshing open. Music from other people’s headphones. The rhythmic tapping of a cane against the concrete. The constant noise of the city streets keep me entertained the whole walk home. There are always new sounds. Walking these streets every day I get used to the ever-present whir of cars and can drown them out to get to the intricate little noises masked to the common ear, by big obnoxious rumblings. I can also identify which car makes which sound.
 I’m always being reminded that nothing sounds the same.
I wander, caught up in the sounds, smiling at a little girl telling her mum how many handstands she had done at lunch. By the time I hear the complaining tires of the Honda Civic, it’s too...

What's So Funny?

Laughter. Sharp, clear and utterly uncontrollable. It booms from somewhere behind me, ringing and echoing around my head. With each new wave my composure fractures. With each agonizingly loud bark, small delicate cracks spread at sail pace, I can almost see them creeping up and around me. Another roll of laughter, the cracks spread faster, filled with a purpose to make me snap, threatening to break my calm facade. Too Loud. Too Loud. My fingers grip the seat, I close my eyes. Why wont they just be quiet? My head falls to rest on the window and i'm fighting to keep my hands by my side rather than where they long to be, covering my ears. Just stop laughing! The bus pulls into my stop and I escape with a relieved sigh.
Peace, peace at last. 

In Love With Fiction

I am hopelessly in love with Theodore Laurence. There are however, several issues with this. For starters, he is married. A minor problem really. Another, slightly bigger problem, is that Laurie is a brilliant work of fiction by Louisa May-Alcott. Why does this always seem to happen? It’s like you can only find guys that are, kind, brave, funny and heroic in books. Why can’t Imeet Mr Darcy or Cole St Clair or Tobias Eaton or Fili and Kili, even Draco Malfoy. Why do authors so purposely tease us like this? Oh look our heroine is all alone, lets send in a perfect male character to save the day then we’ll wait and kill him off right at the end to hit the fangirls right in the feels. So until I find a perfect guy that embodies all of these characters, I am content with pining over a beautiful work of fiction. So goodbye Laurie, see you in the...

Universal Knowledge

Common Language Of The World

One sentence that is understood, spoken and feared universally: "Ready, Aim, Fire!"

Resilience

People are resilient.
Through all the terror and pain and suffering in the world, we keep going, on and on despite our adversities. Turning back to look for others who struggle to move forward and urging them onward. It’s what we do, it’s what we have always done. War a constant in life, always defeated by our willingness to fight and flee. In equilibrium, those who have it all fighting to free those who have lost it all. In famine we find ways to survive through each other, in plague we send our best despite the risks. In death, no matter how consuming the pain, we carry on. This is what it is to be human, to be people. Constantly thinking how to be better than before, how to accept and ignore our flaws. We keep looking ahead, occasionally glancing over our shoulders when others call for help.
People are resilient, because we have to be. 

Fear

Saying you aren’t afraid of anything sounds very… obnoxious. Spiders are cute, the dark makes it easier to sleep, death is fine, I like to think I’ve got a while. Needles hurt but they’re necessary, clowns are annoying but not scary. Apparently you develop a fear from experiencing something that scares you - I have been scared by lots of things so far in my life, none of which still affect me. I don’t mean fear of being rejected or hated, I mean like an object or scenario that would make me scared to death. And as weird as it sounds, I want to be afraid of something. I want to know what scares me. Because after all, how can Batman be Batman without bats?

Caught In Oblivion

Based on true events.

‘Stupid, rubbish piece of crap,’ He mutters in a voice more worried than angry, kicking his so called ‘trusty’ motorbike. He pauses and analyses his situation. Beside a highway, completely alone, kilometers from home. “Alright then,” he says, voice steady, thinking reasonably. He grabs the handlebars and pushes his bike alongside the road, shaking his head at the countless drunk goons breezing past him in their elated states of invincibility. His family will worry. But he will be there to reassure them soon enough. His arms ache with the continued effort of forcing the bike forward.  Another car flies past, not seeing the tired man in the fading light. No matter, he thought. There will be a phone or rest stop up ahead somewhere. And then: Blinding white lights, complaining tires, a moment of complete terror, instant forgiveness and a final breath. An oblivious driver, a broken motorbike and a broken body.  

Fear Not Death

As the hands of time tick to a close,
All hope in life falls short and morose,
Families pause declaring their love,
Death reaches out removing his glove,
He grins thrilled, knowing what awaits,
Victims lament expecting their fates,
Death curls his cruel, fingers around,
His prey that fall limp without a sound,
With a slight chuckle, he tugs their souls,
Sure his efforts had taken their tolls,
 He whispers thanks to the empty cases,
That once had joyful smiling faces,
Now blank and pale, death sees his job done,
And whisks away his captives one by one,
Back on Earth families shriek and sob,
Wondering how long their hearts will throb,
One husband is gone leaving three kids,
One sister sleeps with heavy lids,
Death claims another, no one will miss,
One girl lies alone, who suffered his kiss,
She was unloved and cared not to live,
So Death promised her, he would give,
The gift of forever with...

4 Billion

4 billion. That is a huge number. So huge in fact that 4 billion years ago, Earth had only just been formed. Our beautiful planet was a mere toddler compared to it now, crumbling in old age. Still beautiful, 4 billion years bathed in sunlight creating and destroying and rebuilding itself into what we have now. In 1975 there were 4 billion people on earth. 4 billion. Such a huge number. But think of it this way. Break down 4 billion in relevance to minutes. In 4 billion minutes the year will be 9620. Let’s break it down further. 4 billion seconds. There are 3600 seconds in an hour. How quickly does an hour go past? Pretty fast if you aren’t paying attention. Suddenly, 4 billion starts to sound like less and less. In a day there are 86400 seconds. Days fly by. So really, 4 billion isn’t that big of a number. What if I told you, in your...

Monday Blues Part 2

Monday frowned as the automatic doors slid open and forced her to trudge forward unhappily. The receptionist positioned by the elevators looked up happily. She greeted Monday rather brightly, a stark contrast to the others, who tried their best to avoid her. ‘Sunny’ her nametag read. Monday lifted a hand weakly in an attempt to return Sunny’s greeting. Slowly, Monday made her way to the stairs where she, without complaint, started to climb the countless flights. Staircases were good. Most people took the lifts. Once at her floor, Monday walked slowly to her desk. She felt the mood in the room change. People quietened and frowned at the floor, they wouldn’t talk to her. Except the people in her team. But they didn’t have a choice. Monday was required to be at the planning meetings that were held at the beginnings of each week, and meetings meant talking to people. Monday hated it, but she guessed it wasn’t much fun...

All in a Name

660 Ways To Spell Caitlyn

Mathematically speaking, there are 660 different ways to spell my name. Although that is just by pairing up different spellings of 'Cait' and 'Lyn'. I have always liked my name, liked how it is written differently to almost all the other Caitlyn's I've met. And though that means it is constantly being spelled wrong, I've learned to cope. Now I don't even flinch if I see an email adressed 'Dear Caitlin, Katelyn, kaitlin, Catelyn...' I am completely fine with people misspelling my name. That tends to happen when there are 660 ways to spell it. I don't mind the meaning of my name much either. 'Pure'. There are probably lots of ways someone could interpret that too. Pure hearted or pure as in innocent? Maybe just pure. The only thing I have a real problem with is 'Caity'. I have been called Caity since grade 4, it was a spur of the moment thing. I was asked if I got...

The Perfect Night

I sit alone, soft, verdant grass moist with dew in all directions. Glistening orange and white lights the size of pin heads kiss the horizon, the dark sky jeweled with stars hangs low giving the night an aura of serenity and purity. 

1000 Paper Cranes

Legend says if you fold 1000 paper cranes you get a wish. I Lie on my back, hair splayed either side of my face, fanning across my pillow. My index finger tracing nameless shapes on my thighs, I stare up into the arc of my old brass bedhead that had once belonged to my mother. A twisted frame that holds more secrets and memories than I could even imagine. Now mine, it sighs and groans in its ancient slumber, still standing tall and steady as I toss and turn aimlessly. It looms above me in an arc, as I watch the flock of cranes that hang down from it. Fluttering and flying on an invisible breeze that helps them strain against the feeble strings that hold them in place. Words scrawled over their carefully folded bodies reveal abstract phrases that represent a deeper meaning, a reminder of a memory designed for only me to understand.  And despite their fragile appearance,...

Six-Word Memoir

Happiness

Running And Laughing Through Summer Rain

Monday Blues

Monday Yawned. Stretched her back into a graceful arc, waiting for the satisfying pop of her shoulders. She smiled weakly and rolled her eyes. She had to work, and that meant an early start. What a horrible start to the day. The others didn’t understand how difficult work was for her. The others had it easy. They weren’t hated. Monday crawled from her bed, walked unsteadily to the window and yanked back the curtains. She winced at the near blinding light that erupted into the room and envied its eagerness to start the day. She wanted to be able to enjoy her work. But she couldn’t. Not with the pessimistic moaning and sighing whenever she entered a room. Monday would never be accepted. Never be loved. She longed to be as popular as her colleagues. Adored and welcomed by all who see them. Nobody would ever willingly talk to her. Was it the dark circles under her weary eyes, her...

Open Prompt

The Scarecrow

In the garden he stood. Tall and slim, head tilted a fraction to the left. His unblinking gaze was patronizing. I always sat to his left. I like the way it looked like his head was tilted, listening to me. I’m sure he was. My long honey coloured hair always got tangled in the weeds that had grown around his feet, and my dresses ended up torn and dirty. But I didn’t mind. I wrote a story about him once. His story. I knew father disliked me being around him. He thought it was unhealthy. But I had to come, I always snuck out and sat with him. It must have become extremely lonely, being out here all the time. I don’t understand why father and mother did it. We hadn’t needed a scarecrow. Mother said the crows were eating the vegetables, I thought they were fine. The crows didn’t bother me. Scarecrow was the inspiration for many of my...

The Girl With The Crimson Hair

My crimson hair danced in the cool breeze, I distractedly pulled a strand between my teeth and continued reading. I closed my eyes and imagined the beautiful land within my book. Field upon field of perfect yellow flowers, I stood and wandered through the fields. Lifting my hand I let the breeze pull me in the direction it wanted me to go. I tumbled gracefully through the knee length grass, fingers teasing and grabbing at the blades. I tripped, my heart beat faster, and landed on my back. I laughed joyfully as I spread my arms through the tall, verdant green grass.

I opened my eyes and smiled back down at my book. Chewing on the straw like strand of hair, I continued reading, leaving my little fantasy behind.