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© Fleischl house and property in Karori, Wellington, 1949, Wellington, by Eric Lee-Johnson. Purchased 1997 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Te Papa (O.011300)2021 SummerT3STORIES

Slip Sliding

You’ve just blown back into town and you’re at The Salty Dog this one sweaty night with your best mate Jonesy and a few other guys you haven’t seen in a while. Jonesy, he’s been around longer than anybody. He’s a big lad, both broad and tall. Coloured ink writhes…
Tracey Sharp
February 16, 2021
© Photo by Cherry Lin on Unsplash2021 SummerT3STORIES


4. Will, a Samoan man prone to bouts of obsessiveness, made a vow: today, this very Sunday, he’d remove himself from the internet. For most of the week, he’d argued with someone about the correct way to make palusami in the comments section of an article on Facebook. Will was…
Todd Barrowclough
February 16, 2021
© Dominion Day Carnival, 25 September 1907, by Fred Brockett. Purchased 1957. Te Papa (B.027793)2021 SummerT3STORIES

Nineteen Seconds

Clear. Sometimes I have this nightmare that I can breathe underwater. I don’t realise immediately. I hold my breath as the cold gnaws and I kick down. Below me his ankle circles in languid orbit, brushing on tangleweed. Deeper. Breath disappears with the last beams of light, but I don’t…
Russell Boey
February 15, 2021
© Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash2019 SpringT3STORIES


Nicola heard Quinn’s car rattle into the driveway, and jolted to her feet to let him in. Her nephew, dressed entirely in black, dropped a large Look Sharp bag into her arms and shot past her into the kitchen. She stood in the threshold. Not a single trick-or-treater had knocked…
Gina Holden
December 17, 2019
© Welcome Swallow, Hirundo neoxena neoxena, collected 14 September 1953, Stewart Island, New Zealand. Acquisition history unknown. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Te Papa (OR.000490)2019 SpringT3STORIES

Exit Through The Thrift Shop

Oisín jumped on a stray plank of wood with both feet. He heard its dry snap surge through the empty rooms and crackle into the darkness of the house. They stood there, the pair of them, in the dimness, and Oisín tried to exhale for as long as the dust…
Fiachra Kelleher
December 17, 2019
© Photo by Moodywalk on Unsplash2019 SpringT3STORIES

Michaela’s Thread

It was the seventh night of the blackout. Michaela was six stitches away from closing the hole on the sleeve of her school uniform when she gave a pull and realised that the thread was not going to be enough. Now it was shorter than her little finger and there…
Cybonn Ang
December 17, 2019
© Josie Shapiro2018 SpringT3STORIES

Daughter, Seal

The year my parents died I married Nils Fisker, a big man with shoulders wide, arms strong from a life at sea, hair a sandy blonde. I lost Mama to a wintertime infection and Father didn't return from the winter journey to the ocean beyond the ice. He was sailing…
Josie Shapiro
November 7, 2018
© Kevin Rabalais2018 SpringT3STORIES


There are no adverbs in Xoi. In their place, the lexicon permutates a series of agglutinative super-verbs. Many of these super-verbs are in common use, and the creation of new lexical items is no rare feat. Children with only a few years of speech do so. These super-verbs give the…
Danny Lam
November 7, 2018
© Kevin Rabalais2018 SpringT3STORIES


The cinderblock toilets were painted a childish blue, a ribbon unfurling. The grey heads of whales and their tails, shaped like upturned anchors, broke the surface. Each head had a single black eye, drawn in a straight stroke. Every so often, a drooping m had been painted in white. I…
Anna Woods
November 7, 2018
2017 SpringT3STORIES


My father offered to drive me to the Interschool Cultural Festival where I had been semi-coerced into performing as a ‘Riverdancer’. This was not the sort of duty Dad usually took time off for. The last time he attended anything school-related was a soccer game back in fourth form when…
Di Starrenburg
November 17, 2017