The Moving Pen | Tracie McMahon
author

Tracie McMahon

Tracie acknowledges the traditional owners of the Dharug, Gundungurra and Wiradjuri lands which inspire much of her writing, and on which she is grateful to walk, write and paint. This respect extends to all Aboriginal and First Nations people and leaders, past, present and emerging.
Tracie likes to write about place, belonging and silence (intended and unintended) and hopes her readers will be left with a desire to explore and create their own stories. Her writing can also be found at Lithgow Area Local News, https://lithgowlocalnews.com/ and Bushwalk Australia Magazine https://bushwalk.com/magazine.
Over Promise

Lisa sips at her zero-alcohol beer and stares at splashes of red and white as they wrestle over the sponsor-encrusted grass like …

6 Min Read
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My toes are hanging over the edge as water crashes into the rocks far below. The Pigram Brothers sing of it, but …

1 Min Read
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A piece to mark International Women’s Day on 08 March: A short story about a woman and a place using picture prompts …

3 Min Read
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A short story describing a place without using an adjective or adverb. Audis, Beamers, and Mercs force us against the tea trees …

5 Min Read
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Do you remember summer in the seventies?  I do.  As my eyelids lower under the weight of a glass of chardonnay and …

4 Min Read
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No! A needle jammed in the groove of busyness. No room to think. Full!   Blah! Words tumble, meaningless, inconsequential, Stop!   …

1 Min Read
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“You’re gonna do what?” “Enter the UTA,” Izzy repeats, lifting the half-empty wine glass to her lips. Damn she should have ordered …

22 Min Read
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11.55 PM, 8 March 2023* Tick. Tick. Tick. She watches the clock. The moon is full, painting the damp blades of kikuyu …

4 Min Read
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“About us – we at midnight, slaves,  Chained to a tottering world”*   “Look at them.” Titus** stretches his lithe trunk over …

2 Min Read
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I Very great or intense/Having or showing great knowledge or insight/The deepest part of something, especially the ocean. II “Every man, when …

3 Min Read
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Grandparents’ Rite

Written by Tracie McMahon

Baby’s first Christmas Wide eyed curious chuckle Engraved on our hearts    

1 Min Read
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“What is going on Liza?” “He’s a fraud Dad.” “How do you know?” “I was living with him.” “WHAT? Where?” “Here.” “WHAT? …

18 Min Read
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“What is going on Liza?” “He’s a fraud Dad.” “How do you know?” “I was living with him.” “WHAT? Where?” “Here.” “WHAT? …

18 Min Read
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Jesus? New toys! :-J Fake, faux, real? :-/ End-of-year drinks. %-) Tap if you’re ready. Declined. :{ Who stole the chocolate from …

1 Min Read
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The dust scatters in the stiff October breeze as Liza’s mother lifts her hand to toss a handful of fresh earth onto …

21 Min Read
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“Hey Pa.” “Liza,” the old man raises his head from a thick volume at his lap and nods, as she steps across …

11 Min Read
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“Hi, I’m Jack.” Liza’s boyfriend sticks out a smooth palm towards her Grandfather, as the screen door swings listless behind her. Her …

9 Min Read
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“It’s howling!” “No, it’s just a breeze”.  She stares at her grandfather as he leans against the door, his worn flannelette shirt …

6 Min Read
Carry the Water

The Ripple Effect*

Written by Tracie McMahon

* This piece is a response to Rob Wilcher’s beautiful poem “Carry the Water”.   The stream eddies, as his hand drifts. …

2 Min Read
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Crypt-keeper*

Written by Tracie McMahon

“MUM.  Did you send it?” Clara’s twelve-year-old selfishness stole her thoughts … again.  “Are you listening to me?” Her daughter stomped her …

8 Min Read
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The Lovesong of T.J. Pulpitrock*

Written by Tracie McMahon

For Sheila and Roger   Let us go then, you and I, to gape at sunsets spread across the sky, that meld …

5 Min Read
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Sunflower

Written by Tracie McMahon

For Oliver The little seed is still, black, alone. He lays flat against the earth; waiting. Waiting for what?  For the right …

3 Min Read
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A Christmas Carol

Written by Tracie McMahon

“Me, me, me, me, me, me, me.”  Val can hear them as they flit between the soft cream lounges and the clinking …

4 Min Read
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Lexy

Written by Tracie McMahon

The box is light as always. But that means very little. It’s what’s inside that counts. Don’t judge a book by its …

2 Min Read
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Horror Story

Written by Tracie McMahon

How could he not know? “Why, why, why?” he howls till I silence him.  A slither of red dribbles from my father’s …

1 Min Read
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Thirty-Four

Written by Tracie McMahon

“What size jacket: thirty-four?” Pink cuticles expertly retrieve a black suit from the rack. “Oh no way,” I reply, confident my last …

2 Min Read
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Voyage in a bottle

Written by Tracie McMahon

“Close your eyes,” molasses smooth, his voice beckons.  Spidery fingers stroke my papery cheeks. Liquid slurps from a flask at my bedside. …

1 Min Read
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Buying time

Written by Tracie McMahon

Coins cascade into the parking meter. The dial spins.  Half an hour in the oxy tank will flush the toxins. Post-nuclear air …

1 Min Read
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A funeral

Written by Tracie McMahon

The pew is shiny and hard beneath her fingers as she curls them beside her tucked knees.  She leans forward, eager to …

4 Min Read
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Swipe Right

Written by Tracie McMahon

“Marry me?” His loud plea is swallowed by the cold gray of giant housing blocks. Windows slam shut. Blinds drop. I twitch. …

1 Min Read
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Precious

Written by Tracie McMahon

No, no, no!  I scuttle left, right, back, forward, my antennae twitch frantically searching for the rich dark warmth of the earth. …

2 Min Read
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The Fax of Life

Written by Tracie McMahon

The door whines shut as heaving workman lever the latches shut.  Finally, it’s dark. “Are they gone?”  A tiny twelve-inch monitor blinks …

3 Min Read
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Choose Life Part VII – SUBMIT

Written by Tracie McMahon

Unfamiliar strings of sinew are lodged between her teeth and Beth pokes absently at them, eager to dispel the odd sensation, but …

13 Min Read
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Escape

Written by Tracie McMahon

You summon me with your constant chatter; loud, insistent, beckoning, as you weave and wander your way through the valley far below. …

2 Min Read
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“Are you fucking kidding?” “Oh darling, you know the deal – you’re a coathanger for their Art.” “It’s a bit of tin …

1 Min Read
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“Have you seen the curve?”  Beth’s father slurs, as she shuffles softly towards the living area. His eyes are riddled with delicate …

7 Min Read
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The Message

Written by Tracie McMahon

“Ping.” Busy, I’ll check that later. “Ping.” I really don’t have time for this.  1:20. Boss wants this report on his desk …

4 Min Read
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Choose LIfe Part V – Critical Mass

Written by Tracie McMahon

“This better be good. I’ve got a network to run. My clock is ticking. Who’s this?”  Vlad freezes as he steps into …

8 Min Read
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Choose Life Part IV – The Dark

Written by Tracie McMahon

“Jack, mate, how are you? I didn’t think you’ld be back for a few days.” Beth can hear a man calling to …

16 Min Read
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Shadows

Written by Tracie McMahon

Shadows – always the shadows! Do I seek them, or they seek me? They cast their imagination across drooping ribbon bark. Flicker, …

1 Min Read
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Choose Life Part III – Festival Day

Written by Tracie McMahon

Impotence beats a steady drum at her temples as Beth retreats to the sanctity of her privacy pod. Her small lithe fingers …

10 Min Read
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Who is that?

Written by Tracie McMahon

This piece is an 800 words piece for a spoken voice competition:  Entanglement – Voices of Women.  https://voiceswomen.com/entanglement/.  It was written in …

5 Min Read
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Choose Life Part II – The Words

Written by Tracie McMahon

“Well?” Beth’s brother Jack demands as she returns to the apartment she shares with three generations of her family. “Well, what?” Beth …

8 Min Read
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The Last Word

Written by Tracie McMahon

https://themovingpen.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Boreas-Street-3.m4a Sarah strides across the strip of hard black sand, her toes kicking at the pebbles. Like marbles in a schoolyard, …

3 Min Read
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Choose Life Part 1: Decree Day 2120

Written by Tracie McMahon

The year is 2120. Beth blinks and refocuses on the text.  They can’t be serious.  She stops, breathes slowly, carefully, aware every …

6 Min Read
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The Glass Ceiling

Written by Tracie McMahon

She kneels, her back heaving and pushing. Every muscle straining. Doc Martins scuff and push against the footpath. Passersby glance, then stop; …

1 Min Read
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God, she was beautiful!

Written by Tracie McMahon

Oh God, she was beautiful! Ra’s heart belted against his ribcage each time he thought of her – let alone his groin.  …

8 Min Read
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Silent Night

Written by Tracie McMahon

“Have you got everything”? she asks. “A huh,” the small child nods, his pudgy arms gripping hard at the backpack hugged to …

2 Min Read