Charlotte._

New Zealand

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."- Albert

Published Work

When the Mountain Exploded

I breathed in the fresh air. Bellbirds, Tui's and Skylarks called. The summer grass was soft against my bare feet, and blowing in the slight breeze. The sun’s rays drew me into a sleepy state. Sighing, I sunk down onto the ground. But my body soon tensed up as I remembered. The memories haunted and teased the back of my mind. I closed my eyes and thought back. Thought back to when the mountain exploded…


I woke up in a cold sweat. My nightgown clung to my body, hair hanging limp against the back of my neck. It took me a while to recognise the absence of the normal night chorus.

There was no wind, no rustling of the trees or small animals. The normally gushing stream was silent, hiding its proud sound.
I heaved myself out of bed, toes protesting as they touched the cold wooden floor. I shakily lit a candle. It took a few attempts for the...

Polar Opposite

Heaven and Hell

 Lights were pulsing. Base was throbbing. My throat was burning. That could have been for two reasons; screaming song lyrics incoherently, or the alcohol. Probably both.
 “Oi! James!” A muffled voice called. It was probably meant to be a yell, but the music blocked out all vibrations except its own. How overbearing; just like my mother.  
 A hand clasped my arm, forcing me to stop my swaying. I looked up into Felix’s dark eyes; a reflection of my own. “Dude, it’s 1 am, your parents are going to freak,” he shouted into my ear.
 “For God’s sake, don’t be such a downer,” I retorted. But I began to weave through the crowd anyway, if only so we could have a proper argument. My head was inside a gas compressor, the pressure growing second by second. My ears popped as Felix pushed me down into a chair, probably covered with some unmentionable substance. My leather clad body screeched against the...

Polar Opposite

Heaven and Hell

 Lights were pulsing. Base was throbbing. My throat was burning. That could have been for two reasons; screaming song lyrics incoherently, or the alcohol. Probably both.
 “Oi! James!” A muffled voice called. It was probably meant to be a yell, but the music blocked out all vibrations except its own. How overbearing; just like my mother.  
 A hand clasped my arm, forcing me to stop my swaying. I looked up into Felix’s dark eyes; a reflection of my own. “Dude, it’s 1 am, your parents are going to freak,” he shouted into my ear.
 “For God’s sake, don’t be such a downer,” I retorted. But I began to weave through the crowd anyway, if only so we could have a proper argument. My head was inside a gas compressor, the pressure growing second by second. My ears popped as Felix pushed me down into a chair, probably covered with some unmentionable substance. My leather clad body screeched against the...

State of Awe

Tauranga Bay

Heat rolled off the sun drenched paddocks, bringing with it the smell of ripe hay. As our car rattled across the gravel the sheep, with their matted wool, stared at us. The candyfloss animals, I used to call them. They were used to the strange coming and goings of humans and soon resumed their munching. 

Inside the car my siblings and I were beside ourselves with excitement. Our chubby fingers wrapped around the door handle waiting for the cue. When it finally came, we were out like rockets. We made a show of avoiding the cloves that sheltered the summer bees, for that would surely spoil our chances of an afternoon swim. 

It was a race. A race to see who could sink their toes into the sand first; who could feel the lap of the salty water before the others. Limbs flailing, us kids leaped down the stone steps worn by generations of feet. The tide was rolling...

State of Awe

Tauranga Bay

Heat rolled off the sun drenched paddocks, bringing with it the smell of ripe hay. As our car rattled across the gravel the sheep, with their matted wool, stared at us. The candyfloss animals, I used to call them. They were used to the strange coming and goings of humans and soon resumed their munching. 

Inside the car my siblings and I were beside ourselves with excitement. Our chubby fingers wrapped around the door handle waiting for the cue. When it finally came, we were out like rockets. We made a show of avoiding the cloves that sheltered the summer bees, for that would surely spoil our chances of an afternoon swim. 

it was a race. A race to see who could sink their toes into the sand first; who could feel the lap of the salty water before the others. Limbs flailing, us kids leaped down the stone steps worn by generations of feet. The tide was rolling...

A Storm of Sorts

 The sunlight tickles my skin. Laughter and the occasional cry of a gull fill the air. The ocean undulates and ripples before my eyes. Waves lick softly at the sand, nipping at the pastel coloured shells bordering the shore. I close my eyes and remember another day when the water was not that kind to the earth. When waves pounded and roared and hissed. How different it was that day when tree limbs flew and the air was harsh against my cheeks with salt spray…
_____
 Even inside it was cloyingly warm and sticky with humidity. I could see the wind through the bay windows blowing leaves in tightening spirals. The sun had just finished setting- the last of the warm rays dragged down by the twilight. Bitterness was a sour taste in my throat. My shoulders slumped, and my head was bowed in regret. I felt annoyed at myself for feeling guilty- why was it so hard to feel...

Polar Opposite

Heaven and Hell

 Lights were pulsing. Base was throbbing. My throat was burning. That could have been for two reasons; screaming song lyrics incoherently, or the alcohol. Probably both.
 “Oi! James!” A muffled voice called. It was probably meant to be a yell, but the music blocked out all vibrations expects its own. How overbearing; just like my mother.  
 A hand clasped my arm, forcing me to stop my swaying. I looked up into Felix’s dark eyes; a reflection of my own. “Dude, it’s 1 am, your parents are going to freak,” he shouted into my ear.
 “For God’s sake, don’t be such a downer,” I retorted. But I began to weave through the crowd anyway, if only so we could have a proper argument. My head was inside a gas compressor, the pressure growing second by second. My ears popped as Felix pushed me down into a chair, probably covered with some unmentionable substance. My leather clad body screeched against the...

Polar Opposite

Heaven and Hell

Lights were pulsing. Base was throbbing. My throat was burning. That could have been for two reasons; screaming song lyrics incoherently, or the alcohol. Probably both.
“Oi! James!” A muffled voice called. It was probably meant to be a yell, but the music blocked out all vibrations expects its own. How overbearing; just like my mother.  
A hand clasped my arm, forcing me to stop my swaying. I looked up into Felix’s dark eyes; a reflection of my own. “Dude, it’s 1 am, your parents are going to freak,” he shouted into my ear.
“For God’s sake, don’t be such a downer,” I retorted. But I began to weave through the crowd anyway, if only so we could have a proper argument. My head was inside a gas compressor, the pressure growing second by second. My ears popped as Felix pushed me down into a chair, probably covered with some unmentionable substance. My leather clad body screeched against the...

Man on the Street

As the morning fog rolled in, a man sat leaning against a faded concrete wall. He started each day the same way, chanting his name in his head. He knew it was important to remember where you came from. Acknowledging your name was a big part of that. So he chanted Foley, Foley, Foley in his mind. The man’s long dark beard was like the end of a scrubbing brush; stained and bristled. His skin was leathery and carved with wrinkles. As Foley regarded the street his grey eyes were hooded under sagging brows.

The bustle of the city seemed eerie. The mist dimmed traffic lights, and they became mere halos of colour hovering in the sky. Noises Foley usually ignored, the tapping of shoe soles, the buzzing of a hundred conversations, were enhanced. A scuffling from the nearby bins drew his attention. His silent chanting broke off. But he relaxed slightly and continued his incantation as a mongrel dog...

A Trail of Crosses

One more cross should do it. I smeared a layer of oily red lipstick on the side of the wall. It immediately stood out against the damp moss clinging to the crevices of the bricks. I grinned, satisfied. I just hoped that he noticed the markers I had left him, and that he was the only one who saw them.

The scuffle of a mammalian rubbish-bin inhabitant startled me into action. I had spent too long here; it was time to get moving. I made quick work of the alleyway. The puddles of what I hoped was water barely splashed beneath my boots. The thick hood I wore obscured most of my features. All except my mouth, painted my signature colour: red.

As I neared the end of the alley, the sounds of the city reached me; sirens, the constant whir of motors, the yelling of fellow city dwellers. The winter sun was a grey, milky wave over me...

Changes

 The Old Man arrived early one morning in the middle of winter. His bundled up layers of what seemed to be tattered clothing whipped around him as he struggled against the howling wind. He faded into the morning shadows, a mysterious apparition. Finally he sat on the frost coated park bench and surveyed the landscape before him. The browning leaves which were left; the survivors of a battle of nature, clung to the small population of trees which bordered the park. Most were huddled against the base of trunks, at the mercy of the gale. The Old Man noticed that an array of forgotten tree stumps were scattered across most of the brown land and shook his head at the sight.

But the trees that remained were like none he’d ever seen before. They towered so high The Old Man believed that they had survived purely because the town’s citizens were afraid to cut them down. Their roots had risen...