All she wanted to do was stay in with her boyfriend and porn, but 
he’d booked a suite in the Sheraton. One night’s plush to become 
sixteen. In a gift too big with hotel walls, his mates popped up 
and sat on the King’s bed. She wore high heels and a shiny frock. 
They all ate in a piano-playing restaurant. 

That was Friday night. Saturday night she is pissed: a sixteenth party 
at home with her Mum and friends. She is dancing to Elvis. Swiftly 
a punch-up over records wastes her music. Next Saturday night, 
sixteen is a fragment-Girl forgetting her feet. The cat crying outside 
is hers; she cannot help. 


Spider on the Wall


All the lights are on. She needs to see all of this Saturday night. 
The night that book-ends how she turned sixteen. The Evil Dead 
is the Saturday-night horror. The tele scares her, then it’s midnight 
time for the big sofa chair and her to separate. 

There’s a shiver up her back: on the lounge wall behind her 
is a massive black spider. Something is going to happen. She knows 
it. She knows not to ring her Mum who’s with her boyfriend 
down the road. So bloody silly. 

She leaves all other lights on and curtains open – except her own 
bedroom. The Girl can see the lighted hallway. Her bed dwells 
behind the open door. The spider is either dead or outside. She 
can’t remember what she did with the spider.


The Sound of Being Alone


She calls out to ask the last empty room. The crash must be the cat 
landing on the floor. She sits cold on the edge of her bed, stalling 

in the quiet of her home. She asks again. Unsure of the silence, 
she stops breathing. 

Her legs get up, and her arm reaches for the door. Listening is hard 
over the noise of hiding a heart. 




Her loud heart walks from her bedroom to the hallway. The skinny 
white Girl is shaking 
because her cat has not meowed, but she senses a breath holding 
the air, a thick fear she heads into. She’s 
a tough little bitch, a pit-bull for her spunky school friends. But 
she cannot hit this stranger in the hall looking her up and down. 
The Girl barks like a mongrel, all the fuck-speak she can muster 
falls back in her stomach tearing up in knots. She’s in 
a singlet nightie. His mean shoulders finger-lesion hall-air slap 
violent jeans, who else is here. She looks to the kitchen all lit 
up in the middle of the night, My dad is and numb-walks 
to the kitchen. The Girl does not know how to run. 
She goes round the solid old wood table. 
Dad. Perhaps the stranger 
will run from the hall 
scared of getting a hiding with a fence post. 


Two Strangers


Because she does not want to be chased, the Girl walks back 
into the hall. 
There is another stranger. Two strangers look her up and down. 
The Girl tries one more ‘fucken get out my house.’ 
She is tiny now. 
She is taken down. The ceiling in the hall offers her a place to look 
away from the smell of sniffers and dirty burglar-body. 
She knows sniffing eats brains. Under the fierce weight of rape and 
a second penis beating against her head, 
she hears her cat crying again. She screams but a fist comes to her 
face. There might have been a knife in that yucky palm. 
Her body clenches tight. Her mind tries to find air. In the porn films, 
they pretend. Intimacy is not part of it. 
The Girl senses the less aggressive one kneeling next to her 
head. She pleads to give up her little money and Mum’ll 
be home soon. The sweaty body trying to break her vaginal wall 
resists his mate’s warning. He doesn’t take the money. 
He doesn’t get out. A new terror hammers home the money and 
Mum’s coming. She lifts her eyes to the less aggressive 
one, now on his feet. If you leave now, Mum won’t catch you. He 
grabs his mate’s shoulder, Come on. Let’s get out of here. 
The fucked-off body gets off her, and makes her promise not to ring 
the police. I know where you live, bitch. I’ll kill you. 
A bit later, still in the hall, her knickers lie a short distance 
from her foetal shell. 
She’ll not want to interrupt her Mum’s night at the boyfriend’s. 
She’ll stay in a ball and listen for a long time. 
She’ll get up off the floor. The one who had been on top of her 
still in her head. She wants to hold her ears, 
but one of them is covered in semen. She will crawl to the phone. 
She will wish she hadn’t rung her Mum. 



Gina-Marie is a wild and brave woman, mama of ‘one gorgeous eccentric butch girl’, lover of animals (has a back/front-yard beaming with creatures), and poet. She’s produced an unyielding collection of poetry this year: bound apple-cake hot out of the oven of the IIML’s MA in Creative Writing 2014. In 2013 she completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Creative Writing at Whitireia New Zealand, Wellington. She lives on the stunning Kapiti Coast, playing in the feral sands of Otaki Beach.