Cum hitting the psoriasis on my elbow made my elbow sting. His ex had psoriasis too, maybe that was his type. I found out she had psoriasis from her blog and I’d scrolled through the entire blog all the way back to the beginning. I asked him to say goodbye to me before he went to work but he didn’t, he left the room quickly when his alarm went off and didn’t return. I had work later in the day at my new job. I hated it but also I’ve hated every job I’ve ever had. I never managed to find one I didn’t hate, I just fantasized about getting into a car accident and being able to sue someone or else starting a petting zoo with my ex-boyfriend as a way to make money instead.


When I got to work there was a message on the answering phone from a customer who said the slices of the multigrain bread they got were too thin and stuck together and difficult to use. Also, the ciabatta rolls were too hard and someone had hurt their gum. I imagined the person hurting their gum and laughed. I printed out my phone list. The sales manager came into the room. He was wearing Crocs and a Hawaiian shirt. “Do you want to see something special…” he said. “Ok,” I said. “Come this way.” He took me downstairs to a small locked room. “Wait, hang on, let me turn on the light…Ok…Come in.” He proudly revealed a desk set up with eight Christmas gingerbread houses covered in icing and lollies. “Aren’t they beautiful,” he said. “Pretty good,” I said.





I finally get ringworm. Something new in my life. I arrange to meet someone from an online dating site and we decide to meet in the park. It’s night. He messages me to say he’s in the field. I ask which field. I say I’m near a field too, the one near the pond. He says he can’t see a pond and that he’s walking up a hill now. “I think I see you,” I say. “I think I just waved at you,” he says. “I can’t see you now though, where did you go?” I reply that I’m not going to wave back just in case it’s not him even though I think it is. We meet at the swings. We sit on the swings but there’s only one adult swing. He says he’ll try and sit on the child’s swing. I talk about past relationships even though everyone tells me to avoid talking about past relationships on a first date. He tells me about a horror film he’s making about suburbia. “Do you want half a plum, I have a plum in my car,” he says. I say I have an apple in my bag, so he should save the plum for himself. He comes back from the car with a cigarette in his mouth. “Are you sure you don’t want half a plum,” he says, pulling the plum from his pocket. I say thanks but no thanks, it’s ok, it’s hard to split a plum anyway, it’ll be messy. “I’ve got my apple,” I say. A few minutes later he holds out half a plum. “Look, I managed to do it.” “Oh,” I say. “Ha, that’s very kind but I still don’t want the plum.”He drives me home. He asks if he can come inside and lie with me in my room. I say I’m sorry but I have ringworm, I can’t touch anyone at the moment.



Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle is from Auckland, New Zealand and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of Autobiography of a Marguerite (Hue & Cry Press, 2014).

2 responses to “Two Stories”

  1. Zarahs mother says:

    Hey zarah its mum

  2. s says:

    Douglas Coupland had a wet dream once.
    He woke up mid-ejaculation, still trying to hold on to that dream, hoping that if he didn’t move, he could fall asleep again and get back into it. But as the cum in his briefs cooled, the uncomfortable reality seeped in, so he tiptoed to the bathroom trying to not wake up his wife, children, stock market, or God.
    Everybody noticed that was in a great mood that day, but no one knew why.
    It was because he dreamt he was able to write like you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *