When Tehani Wessely, of FableCroft Publishing, announced a new anthology called In Your Face , to contain extreme, message-driven stories, I was very interested. I love a good story that doesn’t pull any punches. She wanted stories we might not be able to publish elsewhere, or that we’d been too afraid to write before.
I knew straight away what story I wanted to send her, a story that came to me fully formed one day and that I simply had to transcribe.
I was waiting for a bus in Annandale, Sydney. I spent a lot of time at this bus stop; I have notebooks full of story ideas and observations. I was knocked over on the pedestrian crossing there once (driver gave me a false name but I took the rego number!). But I’ve never used any of it, apart from the old mattress I saw leaning against a wall.
It was thick, and covered with dark stains. I remember staring at that mattress and wondering where it had been. Who’d slept on it. Who’d died on it.
Once I started writing, I somehow channelled all the fury I felt at th roles of women in the world. I was working on a story called Coral in Five Parts, a far gentler story about Coral as daughter, wife, best friend, employee, self. The mattress story, “All Roll Over”, captured what I wanted to say about how sometimes we become lost in our roles, and sometimes we are so defined by those roles we are seen as little else.
FableCroft are running a crowdfunding campaign for the anthology. Details, and full table of contents here.