The Bunyip

The bunyip lives in my toilet, and he wants to snatch me. He takes the children deep into the forest, and hides them by the billabong. They have to stay children forever, and keep the bunyip company. He’s bigger than a man, but no-one knows what he really looks like, because he’s covered in mangroves and mud. He likes cold and dark places, and needs to be near water, which is why he waits in the toilet for the children.

Every year he brings winter, and he waits for the children to go to the toilet in the middle of the night. The houses are built for summer, and they can’t keep out the cold from the ice that’s the bunyip’s breath.

The bunyip can only snatch you if you believe. He hides in the shadows waiting for you to believe. You move slow and pretend you don’t believe. You breathe deep to steady your heart beat. He’ll snatch you when you panic. I always make it back to my warm bed, but sometimes he’s right behind me, and if I run he’ll snatch me.

Once there were twins who could talk to each other without talking. The bunyip snatched one but not the other. That’s how we found out about the billabong deep in the forest. The twin whispered to her sister that they are all there: the children that disappeared without a trace, who were in the newspapers for a while then forgotten about. The children who never got to be born. The children whose parents thought they were in a coma in a hospital bed. They are all there, by the cold, muddy billabong. And they can never leave.

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