The Feel of Men Close Up was short-listed for the 2015 NT Literary Awards flash fiction award. Thank you to the fine folk at the NT Library for hosting these fabulous awards.

Here’s a quick excerpt:

We met at the Railway Club, where there was swing dancing. Women in wide skirts and bobby socks. Men in braces and two-tone shoes.

The Buddhist was shy and handsome and we looked at each and smiled. I thought we would dance together, but it wasn’t like that. Everybody danced with everybody.

My first partner was a woman with a swinging ponytail. She taught me the steps, guiding my body with her own until we moved together, swish-swish-spin. The sudden wonder of it made me laugh.

Then the caller yelled ‘change’ and I found myself before a short bearded man who scowled when I got the steps wrong. He was stiff like a person make out of plastic and wire. I bowed my head and watched my feet.

But my next partner was tall, beautiful and blessedly too young for me to worry about sex. His name was Jun and when we danced, he led. I’d not known what that meant before. But I got it now. The clues were physical and slight like the ones lovers give each other in sex.

When the caller yelled ‘change’, Jun didn’t.