VOL. 6: Working Girl

Artwork by Chris Gooch
Artwork by Chris Gooch

The following is an excerpt from Vol. 6, available now!

 
I WANT TO be a model or a writer. I am neither of these things. What I am is fifteen and five foot eight, with collarbones deep enough to drink my black coffee out of and a job with Western Australia’s only Sunday newspaper. The job is my first job. The job is a high-paying job, which can buy me three-inch stilettos from ZU, spaghetti-strap singlets from Kookaï, a black French Connection t-shirt that alludes to fucking in a clever and expensive way. It isn’t the job of my dreams, but it does let me skip dinner and leaves me smelling of ink.

When Mum drops me off, I tell her I’ll eat at Dad’s. I tell Dad I already ate at Mum’s, and spend the hour while my stepmother gets ready nursing my Nescafé, watching FashionTV and prodding my little sisters’ fat until they whine or giggle. While my stepmother gets ready, she talks on the phone, calls my dad ‘Mas!’ and, when she sneezes, it’s a heart-stopping sound. At five, she jangles into the kitchen with her red lips and Jakarta Vuitton and slaps the pizza money on the counter. I am already homesick.

‘Ready Luluuuuu?’ she drawls.

When we leave the yellow brick house the light is thirsty and gold. My stepmother’s blue-black hair flashes ahead of me, the vaccine scar on her bare arm, the thin bar of flesh above her low-slung tracky dacks. She is five feet tall and as glamorous as it’s possible to be in stretchy gray polyester, like an actress snapped on her way to Starbucks.

Someday, I will live in a city with Starbucks…
 
Grab a copy of Vol. 6 here!

 
 

Laura Elizabeth Woollett
Laura Elizabeth Woollett 1 Article
LAURA ELIZABETH WOOLLETT is the author of The Wood of Suicides (2014) and an unpublished short fiction collection, The Love of a Bad Man. This year, she was a semifinalist in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Contest, and one of ‘30 Under 30’ chosen to represent Melbourne Writers Festival on its 30th anniversary. She is currently working on her second novel, Beautiful Revolutionary.