Drawing Blood

Cara lives in a home where her mother’s alcohol-fuelled violence is a daily reality.

One day, after a beating, she discovers that her drawing of three lorikeets is now a drawing of two.

Where the third lorikeet had been is a spatter of blood, and there’s a live lorikeet loose in her room.

Does she dare use her newfound talent to help herself or will she make things worse…?

Formats: ebook $0.99

Genre/s: urban fantasy

Audience: general, young adult

Length: short story

Available from your favourite retailer here.


Cara sat on the closed lid of the toilet, her head back, and pressed the wet towel against her nose. Her whole face throbbed, and her left shoulder hurt when she moved it. Mum had slammed her into the bedroom wall, then thrown her back onto the bed.

‘I thought I told you no more drawing!’ she’d screamed. ‘And where the hell did you get this sketchbook?’ She shook it in Cara’s face. ‘You been stealing money from me?’

‘No!’ Cara could feel the blood dripping between her fingers. ‘I-I won it –’

‘Liar!’ Mum snarled. She grabbed a handful of pages and ripped them from the book, then threw the crumpled paper at Cara. ‘Bloody artistic scribbling crap.’ She waved the vodka bottle and its contents swirled. ‘Ruined my life you have, you and your lazy-arsed useless mongrel of a father.’ She stomped toward the door, turning when she reached it. ‘If I catch you stealing money from me, girl, you’ll be sorry.’

Cara had waited until Mum slammed her own bedroom door, then she’d retreated to the bathroom. First she had to stop her nose from bleeding, then she’d try and rescue her sketchbook. She closed her eyes, fighting not to cry. She had won the sketchbook, and a wonderful set of pastels and watercolours as well. Ms Graham, her Year Eight art teacher, had encouraged her to enter, suggesting she use the school’s address so it would be a surprise for her Mum if she won a prize. Cara had looked at her warily, wondering if Ms Graham knew, but Ms Graham had made the same offer to several students.

So Cara had entered the art competition, run by the City Council, and she’d won.

And now Mum had torn her book apart, and Cara was sure she’d felt several pastels snap beneath her when she landed on the bed.