my backyard in 50 years…

WeirdExistenceOn the final day of the Overland Master Class, writer and Age book reviewer Lucy Sussex got us to do a (sci fi inspired) hothouse exercise where we had to write about our backyard in 50 years from now. I thought I’d share my (unedited) effort with you. Why? Dunno! Bored and feel like inflicting some pain on you I guess. Mwahaha!

I am 86. My memory comes in fits and flashes. If I took the vials, well, that would be different. But my bowels are full and blocked and black with synthetic bean curd, and the vials make it worse. But I do remember having water just for myself. Oh the indulgence of it! Now, if I stand on the back step, I can see the outline of my old lemon tree. The energy of it remains. You see, nothing can undo the memory of water. I know. My body is mostly made of the stuff, and yet, I am parched beyond what I ever dreamed I could endure. I hate these hulking black buckets that fill my tiny yard. Yes,  yes, my children laugh when I call them buckets, but as a girl, when we wanted water to slop about the garden, we used a bucket. Not that my children really remember gardens. For some reason they can’t see the aura that my lemon tree has left behind. And this fills me with a deeper dread than I can say. How can the memory of water not saturate my children’s bones like it does my own?



Filed under Art, Fiction, Flash fiction, Hothouse exercise, Lucy Sussex, Overland, Political Writing, Reading, Review, Science fiction, Writing

10 responses to “my backyard in 50 years…

  1. Cool, quick, dark, and thoughtful.


  2. a scary, sad idea of the future…


  3. B-r-r-r, Simonne, a bleak glimpse ahead!


  4. sandybarker

    Like it – in a ‘that’s grim, but full of explicit imagery’ kind of way.


  5. I remember this well, Simonne. It’s still as well-written as I recall. Mine sucked. I hate those hot-house writing exercises (mostly because I’m so bad at them).



  6. It is all a bit grim, isn’t it?! Sorry!

    Thanks Maxine. I don’t know that it’s terribly well done, but it was a good thing for me to be thrust into such a different genre like that. I seem to recall yours being rather good actually… 😉


  7. Hey Simonne,

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to gather all those hothouse stories we wrote in the Master Class. But maybe in fifty years from now, when we’re (hopefully) a lot more famous. Hey, and did you know that besides you and Maxine getting into The Reader, another one of our M.C. got into it. Koraly Dimitriadis is publishing her first piece in it. Hooray for all three of you. The launch will be like a reunion.


  8. This line is my favourite – ‘Yes, yes, my children laugh when I call them buckets’.

    And I’m in The Reader, too. Hoorah!


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