zeus header




There’s Something About Carla – a troubled teen haunted by the memories of her father and inspired by his visions of time and space.

Whoever she meets will feel the effects of her inner wisdom and humanity.

Carla is an unforgettable character whose life demonstrates the possibility of rising above circumstances in a very thought-provoking read.

As with this author’s previous books, Skylarking and The Gift, Adam continues to keep his characters simple and easy to relate to for the readers.


In Store Price: $19.95 
Online Price:   $18.95



Ebook version - $AUD9.00 upload.

Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 116

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Adam Mayhew
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2017
Language: English


     Read a sample:


I would like to thank: 

Uncle Bob, Auntie Elizabeth, Adrian and Lisa

for helping me through a rough patch; 

Rob and Elle for opening their door; 

Jeff for the art work; 

My sister, Kate, and her Brett

 and their three beautiful children; 

Mum and Dad; 

And Mother Earth for the seasons

she brings that help me slow down


CHAPTER ONE - read a sample






‘Oh, fuck off,’ groaned Carla as she came to from her slumber. ‘It’s Friday.’ After a moment she climbed out of bed, selected some books to put in her school bag, before heading for the bathroom. She brushed her teeth in the shower, dried off then quickly brushed strokes of foundation on each cheek and got dressed. Aunty Elizabeth had bacon frying when she entered the dining room.

‘Morning, Uncle Bob, Aunt Liz.’

‘Hallo, Carla.’

‘Morning, Carla.’ Uncle Bob did not look up from his magazine.

Carla glanced at the page her Uncle Bob was reading. ‘A new whipper snipper, Uncle Bob!’

‘I don’t know if I should get TVC230 or TVC290. I don’t know whether to get something that will cut through dope vine, but then again, it’s powerful enough to put a bit of earth right through you so I just don’t know. What are you laughing at?’

‘Don’t let the dope win, Uncle Bob.’

‘Can you guys be my audience?’ she asked as she ate a toasted bacon-and-egg roll with grilled cheese.

‘Yes, come on.’ Aunty Liz sat down expectantly.

‘Hi, my name is Carla and my two-minute talk is on George Greenough.’ She paused, reading ahead of herself, and was about to speak then stopped. ‘I tell you what, I’ll just get to the good bit.’

Carla clicked her fingers.

He’s the Sunkist guy with a porpoise mind

and the crowds he takes a disliking.

We can see his view through the lens, that is due to

that view master that his back is attached to.

The surfing world all understand him;

he’s not a king, there’s no one quite like him;

he’s got a view that surfboards are worth making.

Adjust your quiver, George,

acid’s no good for your liver.

Saddle up in your rubber alma,

put a leash around your ankle and plunder.

He surfs up and down like perfect poetry and in rhyme

but let me say this, next time you plunge into the abyss

in times of corrosion the ocean is bliss.

Uncle Bob clapped; so did Aunt Liz.

‘I don’t know how long it’s going to go for,’ added Carla, frowning.

Uncle Bob and Aunt Liz owned a block of land that contained a clay tennis court which they rented out by the hour. Most weeks it would reap fifty dollars, which they were happy with. They were both retired although Uncle Bob mowed lawns two or three times a week.

‘Right, here is your lunch, love,’ said Aunt Liz.

Carla put her hands on the lunch bag. ‘I’m feeling egg and getting a lettuce feeling. Now what I want to know, is the curry still living? I also know that I’ll need some money for a drink.’

‘Let me guess, or you’ll pass on,’ said Aunt Liz with a smirk of sarcasm, and gave her a ten-dollar note

‘Ok, guys, I’m off – love you.’ Seconds later the wire screen door of the front veranda slammed.

They lived in the last property on a dead-end street. Carla took the forty steps that descended through bushland, going down carefully as each step was covered in fossils of stained gum leaves right down to the skeleton of the leaves. Overhead in the bottlebrush the birds tweeted a mishmash of bird language. The seeded flax grass bordering the steps was head height.

Reaching the second bottom step, Carla got out her phone and checked the time: 8.28. Two minutes – what can I do with two minutes? So she started talking to the birds. ‘What’s so good about being a bird?’

One said, ‘You can tweet.’

‘I suppose so,’ said Carla.

Then another said, ‘You can fly.’

‘That’s right.’

Then two rosellas flew down and said, ‘Your friend is about to come up the hill.’

A tarred fire trail rose at right angles towards the stairs where Carla was sitting. Where the stairs met the fire trail there was an Angophora tree in the middle of the path. She studied the scribble an insect had left on the trunk.

‘I’ve got friends in high places,’ she said matter-of-factly.

‘Morning, Carla.’

‘Morning, Wasim.’

Wasim was a smallish fellow with a few pimples on his cheeks, making him quite cute – well, to Carla anyway. She looked at her phone. ‘Every day this week you’ve been late. You look a bit embarrassed.’

Wasim attempted to put on a poker face then crumbled into a grin. ‘There’s no way to explain it – every morning this week I’ve woken up with a erection. It’s stiff cheese for me!’

They walked under the gumtrees, themselves dwarfed by the head-high grasses where the birds were eavesdropping.

‘Well, Wasim, I fuck Hamish and Cameron this afternoon. I think it would be a good idea if you joined us. Whoever decided to put maths as last period on Friday was obviously not thinking.’

‘What happens if nothing happens? Will they laugh at me or something?’

Carla replied, ‘I’ll meet you by the exercise equipment at two pm, Romeo.’

‘Juliet, your miniature sweet pimples give you a little indentation all over making for a rustic glow,’ Wasim waxed lyrically.

Carla sang theatrically, ‘Romeo, when the wind cries, it cries Wasim.’ She grabbed hold of Wasim’s hand as they walked up and over the crown overlooking Bundarra High School. The playground with six hundred teenagers loomed as a knot welled in Wasim’s sternum. Carla had the ability to know what to do so she pretended she had an axe and made as if to chop through Wasim’s chest. ‘You look so cute when you’re like this, Wasim!’

Wasim painted a sour face in return then Carla planted a kiss on his cheek to get him through the day. The line ‘you look so cute’ played on Wasim’s mind as he pondered if it was Carla’s psychology or just another woman who couldn’t control her tongue.


‘I would like to have the attention of the entire school. Congratulations to everyone for the way you conducted yourselves on Wednesday’s swimming carnival, except the twenty percent of students, and I use the term students loosely, who chose to play up. We’ve already got names for destroying public property and if they don’t give themselves up there will be in more trouble.’


Carla walked into the woodwork section; she had a woodwork double period.

‘Morning, Mr Terverni.’ Everyone got their coffee table in its early stages. ‘So, Mr Terverni, can I do my thing?’

‘Go right ahead, Carla.’

‘Brice, you hit the surf Saturday and Sunday and you’re in your speeding stage with regards to your Saturday night.’ She then got Brice’s attention, stared straight into his bleached blue eyes and produced a measuring ruler. It was 30cm long, then she folded it in half to 15cm. ‘Pull back and calm down.’

Then she moved to Maria.

‘Fuck off, you white Aussie slut.’

‘Look, whenever you go through with it we can go through it together.’ Then Carla said, ‘You know, we can work out a diet to get rid of those two red rubies on the end of your chin.’

Maria clenched her right fist as Mr Terverni finished attaching a length of wood to a lathe. ‘Calm down now, Maria, wood-turning has a calming raft to it. I suggest you engage; it can be quite therapeutic.’

Carla moved on to Mike who was making paper cardboard bangles. He connected them and put them around his neck, played his pretend piano and sang, ‘Sing me a song, you’re the piano.’

‘La la ludy la la la de da,’ Carla said.

‘You’ve accepted it and that’s great then.’

Then on to Todd.

‘You right, Todd?’

Todd sniffled and tried to speak but nothing came out. Carla suspected things were not too good. ‘Is there a problem at home, Todd?’

He said, ‘Yes,’ and burst out crying.

‘Oh dear.’ Carla just realised that she would be called upon, and was. She opened her arms and cuddled him. ‘It’s your mum and your dad, isn’t it? Listen, I give the best hand massages. How about that? Feel better? There’s a whole world of people been through the same.’ But she bit her lip. ‘Sorry, I don’t want to put it like that, but your world will get better. You might be with someone who looks like Paris Hilton or you will be reading a book in a park.’ Then she called on the teacher, ‘Mr Terverni, can we get someone to take Todd to the counsellor?’

‘Can you take him, Carla?’


As she walked with Todd, she said, ‘Sometimes, when you don’t talk about things, people don’t realise it’s part of the problem. Here, take a chill pill.’ Carla pretended to give Todd a pill and Todd went along with it, taking a drink from the bubbler. Carla said, ‘Better all ready,’ as Todd smiled with watery eyes.

They walked up a flight of stairs and knocked on the counsellor’s door just as the bell rang for second period. The door opened, thank God, because they both didn’t want anyone to see Todd had been crying.

Carla said, ‘Mrs Oburg, Todd’s having problem at home,’ as she looked at Todd.

‘Todd, take a seat. Thank you for helping, Carla.’

Carla realised that she had done her bit. I should be taking it easy on myself, she said matter-of-factly to herself. She bought some chocolate milk and went to the library where she spent the remainder of the second period and recess reading. Carla was a people person but on the other side of the sword she didn’t really care what people thought about her. She was smart enough to know when she got to Year Ten she might be source of information. The book she was reading was an autobiography of Albert Einstein. She was up to the part when two hours before he died he was scribbling something down on a notebook. She always thought of Albert as a game breaker.

Third period was English speech lesson. As Mrs Stevenson explained, ‘You might well think there’s no need for this test of stress but you will one day have to do a speech – your best friend’s wedding, your daughter’s twenty-first, and so on. When you leave this class you can come away with a small feeling of accomplishment.’

Sally started off with child abuse.

Allan did his beach pollution talk.

Gary talked about his dad.

Luke started up: ‘The dream of flying is as old as mankind…’ breathe ‘In 1799, Sir George Colay designed the first fixed-wing aircraft…’ breathe ‘In 1894 Sir Hiram Maxim made a successful take off’ breathe ‘1903 the Wright brothers made the first powered flight,’ breathe ‘From than they began experimenting to a marketable product. Aeroplanes fly when the movement of air across their wings creates upward force on the wing, which is greater than the force of gravity pulling the plane toward earth. Here is a picture of a 225 Mriya to see …’

‘Luke, Mario here, mate, how long till we can fly to the moon?’

‘G’day Mario, not long, a few years,’ and Luke sat down.

‘Okay Carla.’

‘My talk is on George Greenough. George Greenough is an innovative surfer and cinematographer from Santa Barbara, California, who now resides in the NSW north coast. George rides a surf craft called the Kneelo on which you kneel – virtually a perfect fit for tube riding. Greenough is also known for his creative surfboards. He started making fins that he had modelled on high-powered fish. In the 1960s and 70s he released two feature films, The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun and Crystal Voyager in which he straps a waterproof camera on his back and records tube riding. To take a quote from George, he said, “I had a dream I was kidnapped by aliens on a space ship. it felt like a good idea.” So he built a boat named the Coupe. To quote a surfer, Nat Young, “We’re very lucky to have someone like George in our world.”

‘Now I have a song.’

Carla rustled round in the shoe box on the teacher’s desk and from it produced a thumb tack. She inserted the tack into the front of the ball of her right foot and tapped.

He’s the Sunkist guy with a porpoise mind

and the crowds he takes a disliking.

We can see his view through the lens, that is due to

that view master that his back is attached to.

The surfing world all understand him;

he’s not a king, there’s no one quite like him;

he’s got a view that surfboards are worth making.

Adjust your quiver, George,

acid’s no good for your liver.

Saddle up in your rubber alma,

put a leash around your ankle and plunder.

He surfs up and down like perfect poetry and in rhyme

but let me say this, next time you plunge into the abyss

in times of corrosion the ocean is bliss. 




                                                   All Prices in Australian Dollars                                                                                CURRENCY CONVERTER                    

                                 (c)2017 Zeus Publications           All rights reserved.