By Sebastian, Stage 5

Written as part of Art Write Light 2021

Art Write Light 2021 is a  creative writing project curated by Story Factory, in collaboration with visual artist Blak Douglas. During the program, students from Bonnyrigg High School and St Clair High School were introduced to the work of Blak Douglas, and created written and audio pieces responding to his artwork. The audio you’re about to listen to features a young writer from the program reading an extract from their work.





1:26 am Wednesday 26th May 2021.

I can’t sleep, especially from what woke me up today. The bloody sounds of a bird that flew right into the window. I swear it’s the same god damn bird every damn time! Then the same ol’ question: “So Talisha, why are you here? You’re 19, you can leave.” at the table. I swear I wish I had my own special corner seat so I could stare at the wall and think about mother and father and distract myself from the recurring thought of what happened on that Thursday night in the alleyway when I was 13. I don’t expect tomorrow to be any different, the same old grey saddened clouds in the sky looking over us. The crows on the brand new lamppost, or sitting on the phone box, pecking at the windows for our lunch like idiots. 

The blue cars, I swear I haven’t been in a car for like, forever. Mother’s car was blue and we would be blinded, walking outside, by the reflection of the sun at 7:30am as we went to school on a Tuesday morning. 

The sandstone bricks that support my mother’s house, keep it nice and sturdy. Looking in the dusty mirror I revisit every day in the basement. I see myself and my mother’s shadow, just believe me, like as if I need to slip into her shadow and face the world, this 19-year-old trauma activist on a global stage. 

12.33 am Wednesday 9th June 2021

It’s been a couple days, I haven’t gone anywhere. I don’t plan to stop journaling but I have been somewhere though, the bank! I went to the bank and fought to access the savings account my parent’s made when I was younger. After a lot of struggle with the bank trying to prove my identity because I have no form of ID on me, I managed to gain access and I paid to go to university, to hopefully press my life’s reset button and try to start fresh. Also Happy Pride Month! I hope everyone this Pride Month that’s a part of the LGBT community feels accepted and loved. My heart goes out to those who don’t have the chance to come out, who have lost family and friends from coming out and those who have come out but are having a really rough time. 

1.01 am Wednesday 9th June 2021

Tiredness took the most of me and I had a flashback in my sleep. Well I wouldn’t call it a sleep, it’s more of a nap, a 10 minute nap. I relived the time my parents died. I was 7 and helped my mother cook dinner on a Friday evening in the kitchen.

Dad came home from work as per usual to eat dinner with us, gave me my favourite snack and then prepared to leave for work again, that damn workaholic. I had a shower shortly after dinner, brushed my teeth and then got dressed for bed. Dad tucked me in, gave me a kiss on the head and then left for work. Mum told me a bedtime story, sung a lullaby and kissed me on the head as I drifted off to sleep. The next morning came and normally mother would wake me up and hug me good morning. That morning was definitely different, I was woken up to the sounds of sirens, a policeman’s voice through the walkie talkie on the women’s police vest she wore that day and I vividly remembered that walk down the hallway holding that really nice police woman’s hand to see the lifeless body of my mother on the kitchen tile, the blood on the corner of the island and the police tape around the front door and the stairs leading up to it.

I saw the detectives touching my mother’s body. I felt like screaming, telling those people to keep their dirty hands off my mother! Instead I burst out crying, the authorities taking blood samples, bits of my mother’s clothes and hair and surrounding objects for examination. Obviously at the time I had no clue about the whole investigation side of things. The woman took me out front, sat me down in a chair and asked me about what happened in the last 36 hours and who visited the place. My words barely came out as tears rushed down my face and fell onto my clothes. My mother had smooth skin, was pretty pale, and had straight brown hair. She was always there for me, never missed a single special event in my life. 


Much is Rife, Blak Douglas, 2021

Art Write Light is generously supported by the Balnaves Foundation.

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