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Image by Drew Beamer
20. Marianna_ Monahan_the_walk.jpg


In this journal, I will document my observations of what I will call the Suspected Secret World, the SSW. I call it this because I haven’t found anyone else who knows about it. Sometimes I ask my mother a silly question to see if she knows anything about it, like whether she thinks the woman in the turquoise shop can fly with her skinny wings, but she just laughs and says it’s a good thing my imagination is so active for someone my age, whatever that means.

I will start with the first time that I saw the Lizard Tail Man, the LTM.

It was a month ago, on a very sunny Wednesday afternoon. One of those winter days that remind you of summer, without the sweating. The perfect day for playing outside. Instead, Aunty Lin decided we had to go the market. It was there that I first saw the LTM.

He was walking down the street towards us, wearing a long brown coat. He didn’t look strange at all, rather like one of daddy’s friends. But then, a dog suddenly ran into the street right in front of him. He stepped quickly to the side and his coat flapped up, and I saw it; a large, red, scaly tail. I gasped. Just for a second it was there, then it disappeared.

I don’t think the LTM realised that I had seen his tail. He just kept walking down the street, not hurrying or otherwise being suspicious. Aunty Lin was engrossed in finding the perfect avocado, so I took my chance and followed him.

He turned down an alley and I stopped, peering around the corner to watch him. The LTM stopped outside the kitchen door of a restaurant and greeted a man there. He gave him some money in exchange for a box. There was no way to tell what was inside. The LTM continued down the alley just as I heard Aunty Lin shouting for me. I scurried back to her side, glancing behind me to double check which alley it was, for future investigative purposes.

End of first observation.


20. Marianna_Monahan_ Art2_ The river.jpg


There is so little that I can control, so little that I can do

Sometimes I feel like a branch in the river

A branch stuck, caught up in debris with the water swelling up around me

The water keeps moving, rushing past me, but I don’t move

I never move forwards, but the river keeps taking from me

Breaking off little pieces and carrying them away

I want to say, “no, come back, if you leave me there’ll be nothing left”

But they just go

Rushing away from me.

The water never stops, it never helps, it just takes

And I keep getting smaller

And one day there will be nothing left.

Maybe that’s just how it needs to be for me

The only way I’ll move forward is to break apart.

Where do all those little pieces go, I wonder?

Do they all eventually get back together somewhere?

Or do they change


Into something else

Something new that is better able to move in the river.


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