AWAW 2017 Spotlight—Irene Buckler

22nd February 2018

We at Melbourne Books want to support local writers as much as we canthat's what AWAW is all about, after all. So we thought we would share some extracts from the 10th anniversary edition of the series.

If you like this, make sure to buy a copy of the book and read all the other incredible, award winning pieces.


by Irene Buckler

Blacktown City Council Mayoral Creative Writing Prize 2016

Though many years have passed since she lived at Lavender Farm, it enchants her now no less than it did when she was young enough to still believe in faeries.  Perhaps she should know better, but she sits quietly and watches, still hoping to see them, the faeries, flitting through the lavender in rippling waves of lilac and pink.  

Rejuvenated by the scent of lavender crushed underfoot, she would stay forever, but the sharp-tongued harpies do not appreciate the beauty.  They are only concerned about the mess.

 “Who’s going to clean this up?” they shriek, flapping with indignation.

They don’t let her explain and as she clings stubbornly to the lavender, they overpower her.  She is quietly sobbing as they wrench her away.      

Later - much later perhaps - she wakes, but she is so tired.   

 The harpies have their ways.    

“The nurses tell me you slipped away to do a bit of painting on the craft room walls this morning, Mum,” someone, a man, is saying.

His voice is warm like milk chocolate and he kisses her cheek.   

Who is he?

As the stranger talks about this and that, there comes a precious moment of clarity when  she holds out the handful of lavender she managed to bring back earlier in the day.     

“Goodbye, my darling boy,” she whispers, a mother to her only son, “I love you.”

The setting sun melts red-gold over the plush, purplish fields of lavender and she must hurry home before night falls.