Open water 

Featured in

  • Published 20230801
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-86-3
  • Extent: 196pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IN LATE SPRING, Coach Brenda gathered the girls for their annual trip to Lake Mulligan. The week-long training camp was Brenda’s nineteenth, if you counted the times she went as a student. On the bus, the girls from Sacred Heart’s swim squad lounged, limbs flung over armrests, feet slopping into the aisle. Most of them were dozing or reading teen magazines. Some were even wearing pyjamas, the bus having left before sun-up. Coach Brenda took in the scenery while twirling the whistle she always wore on a frayed blue lanyard. She touched the whistle so often each day that her fingers smelt metallic.

Beside Brenda sat Lindsay, her assistant coach. Lindsay had a travel pillow around her neck and leaned back, closing her eyes occasionally. Lindsay was a former (and average) member of Brenda’s squad and only a few years older than the students.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Raelee Chapman

Raelee Chapman is a writer of short fiction based in Canberra. Her stories have appeared in Overland, Southerly, Westerly, Mascara Literary Review and Best...

More from this edition

Women’s work

Non-fictionIn the 1990s, increasing fiscal and social rationalisation shifted responsibility for leisure from the state to the individual and from the public to the private sphere. Leisure studies, with its emphasis on providing research and data to inform leisure quality, accessibility and access, was rationalised to enhance the ‘bottom line’ of universities that were now attuned to the pragmatic desires of industry sectors.

Lying on grass

FictionJamie wishes he could be more like Todd. Not because Todd’s excellent, but because he figures out what he wants and does it. As they pull out bits and pieces from the skip to build their drum sets, Jamie thinks about how he wants to be free, but doesn’t know if that’s something a person can ‘do’. After a while they’ve constructed two sets side by side at the front of the driveway. They’re not buckets, tins or lids: they’re tom drums, snare drums and cymbals.

The rise and decline of the shopping mall 

FictionPerhaps it is instructive to consider how archaeologists of the future may conceive malls. How might they seem, these empty labyrinths – like rituals that had to be endured in order to receive goods and services? As great monoliths, colosseums constructed for our entertainment? As places of worship? Or perhaps malls will seem more like pyramids do to us: mysteries to be unravelled when the tracks of global trade and communication have faded...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.