Trigger Warning PEOPLE OF A SENSITIVE NATURE ARE ADVISED THAT THE FOLLOWING EXTRACTS EXPLORE FAMILY DYSFUNCTION AND ABUSE ISSUES Zero Gravity Gayle J. Greenlea Excerpt for 30 November, 2021 <chapter> Two continued Hilary flushed with mortification and anger. “I said, stop. Why do we do this to each other? To ourselves, for that matter. Do you ever stop to ask yourself that question?” “Oh, the big ‘S’ word. Been doing a bit of therapy, again, sis? Because we could never get our dad’s approval, we’re continually screwing ourselves and all our relationships. Self-sabotage and all that. Yeah, I’m familiar with the terminology.” “Well, we both seem to be making a bloody mess of our lives. What happens now, do you think? Ryan and I go on as before? Or maybe you and Ryan live happily ever after? I don’t think so. Chalk up one more spectacular failure for the Grace sisters. God, we should be terrorists – we’re so good at blowing everything to bloody hell.” Siobhan crossed her arms over her chest and visibly wilted over the fresh drink the pierced and spiky-haired waitress set in front of her. The young woman turned on her heel and hurried to the next table where she made a pretence of sweeping away non-existent crumbs, realising she’d tread on something intensely private. Siobhan sat for a moment, holding herself; then meeting Hilary’s gaze, liquid blue to stormy grey, whispered so softly that Hilary had to strain to hear, “Do you think it would be different if she were still here?” “Yes,” she said grimly. “Everything would be different.” -Gayle J. Greenlea YOU’RE THE DEAD TO ME Fourth week -A Waning – Day Dead Leaf has turned blue. I may never drink tea again. Leaves are my madness. -Paul Brookes Bios And Links -Gayle J. Greenlea is an American-Australian poet and counselor for survivors of sexual and gender-related violence. Her poem, Wonderland”, received the Australian Poetry Prod Award in 2011. She shortlisted and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize in 2013, and debuted her first novel, Zero Gravity, at the KGB Literary Bar in Manhattan in 2016. Her work has been published in St. Julian Press, Rebelle Society, A Time to Speak, Headline Poetry and Press, The Wombwell Rainbow, Fevers of the Mind, Kalonopia and The Australian Health Review.