Joel surfaced again.
It lay deeper than he’d first thought, harder to get to. Its smooth black sheen had caught his eye amongst the grey-green algae that covered the paua bed.
He needed extra help.
He hauled the weight belt over the side of the skiff and sucked in breath. The last blocks snaked overboard, water closed over his head and the surface receded above him.
This time he made it to the bottom. His fingers closed around it and wrenched it free. He pushed off the rock bed and propelled himself upward with powerful kicks.
He came up beside…
The egg slid from its pan and joined two strips of bacon atop the pile of toast. Wiri slapped another slice on top before he realised -
“Almost forgot the magic ingredient.”
Joel slid the sauce bottle across the breakfast counter, pulled up a stool next to him and eyed his own plate.
“Pretty flash, if I do say so myself.”
They bumped cans and chugged gulps of soda. Wiri burped, content.
“Nothing like a good feed after a day of whipping Mother Nature’s butt.”
Joel nodded, mouth full.
It was good to get back to the harbour, Wiri thought…
The wave closed over him.
Joel let it take control and push him deeper. Breath burned in his throat and shoved against his ribs. He rolled in the wave’s tumble, then relaxed and waited for the inevitable. It came, as he knew it would.
The surge passed. Ejected from the wave’s embrace, he lay suspended in the water column for a moment, motionless. Then he pushed upward and broke the surface, breath snatched in ragged gasps.
A head bobbed up nearby and flashed him a crooked grin.
Nothing beat swimming in the aftermath of a storm.
They ducked under the…
One woman’s incredible story of her time in Hitler’s ‘poison brigade’.
One day in late 2012, Margot Wölk answered a knock at the door of her Berlin apartment. A journalist from a local paper stood before her, wanting to confirm Wölk’s part in an almost unbelievable story: that she had been the only surviving member of a group of fifteen women from an East Prussian village who had acted as poison checkers for Adolph Hitler during the Second World War.
Wölk, then almost 95, had kept her war-time secret for more than 60 years, but decided that it was finally…
She disguised herself as a man, to hunt and torture other women.
Little is known of Christian Caldwell, until her appearance as a contractor to the county of Moray (then known as Elginshire) in Scotland in March of 1662, under the alias John Dickson. She’d signed a contract with the county for a year, to be paid six shillings a day to hunt out local witches, with a six pound bonus every time one was identified.
The 1650s in England and Scotland saw a resurgence in anti-witch hysteria, a result of the unsettling effects of wars, and political and economic…
April 19, 4.34pm — May 20, 3.36pm, 2021*
When the Sun moves into Taurus, it’s time to ground the spark that Aries initiated and get to doin’.
Taurus, Latin for bull, is ruled, along with Libra, by Venus. But while Libra explores refining and sharing the pleasures of life with others, Taurus encourages us to access and enjoy those simpler ones that enhance our day-to-day lives for ourselves.
Taureans are usually very attractive people who exude a quietly confident aura. They appear comfortable in their own skin, which other people find soothing. …
April 17, 3.26pm — April 20, 2.10am*
With the moon now in Cancer, we turn our attention to the foundations of life, those seemingly mundane matters that in reality are the pillars of our existence: self-care, our home base and nurturing ourselves and others.
When our literal and metaphorical houses are in order we have a firm springboard to venture out into the world. Take the time to gather your energies and contemplate your options, whether it’s a continuation of the direction you’re already heading or the forging of a new path.
We can find we are more sensitive and…
April 15, 2.35am — April 17, 3.25pm, 2021*
The moon in Gemini lends itself to movement, whether of thoughts and ideas or simply ourselves. Our urge is to communicate, think, and learn.
Here, we encounter the duality of the twins and the truism that words can both hurt and heal, so think before you speak in jest, for your dark comedy may be someone else’s everyday reality.
Ensure that those you communicate with at this time have a clear understanding of your levels of commitment, to avoid any misunderstandings.
Enjoy being swept up in diversions rather than tackling heavier concerns…
A letterbox, a handful of intrepid staff and two thousand Gentoo penguins.
The Antarctic is a strange, otherworldly place: a desolate continent of ice, snow, rock and tussock, where glaciers ‘calve’, and the only sounds are the wind and the crackle of ‘bergy bits’ — the local name for small icebergs.
But even here, things are normal enough that you can post a letter, if you know where to go.
Inspired by the last time I followed the autofill yellow brick road, I’ve been making note of other intriguing queries that I stumble across in the course of my usual…