Moonlight Motel

Excerpt from Moonlight Motel by Ivy Waters, Student Anthology Diversity 2019.


Raphael leant out of the bed, coming perilously close to tipping over before he managed to grasp his coat off the floor and tilt back. The sudden shift in balance made him fall back onto Adam, who opened his eyes and laughed. Grinning, Raphael pulled a flask out of an inside pocket and threw the coat back across the room with an air of triumph. Uncapping it with one thumb, he took a sip before offering it to Adam. 

‘It’s noon,’ he pointed out, taking it anyway.

Raphael winked. ‘Hasn’t stopped you before.’

Shrugging, Adam raised it to his mouth, then lowered it again, barking out a laugh of surprise.

‘This isn’t Jacks.’

‘I never said it was.’

He drank a mouthful, smile twisting the corners of his lips. 

‘And why did you put orange juice in a ask?’ 

Raphael shrugged. ‘Didn’t have a bottle spare.’ 

‘I see. Didn’t have anything to do with wanting to get me back for last month’s noodle incident?’ 

‘Oh, absolutely not,’ Raphael replied, a twinkle in his eye. ‘Me? Harbour a grudge against you for ruining my favourite shirt? Never.’ 

‘That shirt deserved everything that was coming to it.’ 

‘Well, despite your horrendous fashion opinions, I would obviously never set out to trick you.’ 

Adam shook his head, mimicking Raphael’s mock innocence, then grinned and leant in, pressing cool orange-flavoured kisses to his lips as he pressed the ask back into his hand. ‘Why the sudden desire for sobriety?’ he asked as he leant back.

Raphael regarded him carefully, assessing the angle of his shoulders and the colour of his eyes, reading how deep his reply should go. A slight tilt of his head, and he made up his mind. 

‘I needed to see you. Clearly. It’s been a long fortnight.’ 

A shadow passed across Adam’s face, but before he could pursue it, he had rolled over and was straddling Raphael’s hips with his face in the crook of his shoulder, teeth scraping sensitive skin. Raphael laughed and curled his fingers into the waves of hair at the nape of his neck, thoroughly distracted from whatever they had just been discussing. 


Despite everything, his strongest memories of this place, and of Adam, were still of laughter. Of his head thrown back and shoulders wide, of joy filling up a small room until it felt as if it would overflow. Its name notwithstanding, sunshine had filled that building inside and out, lighting up the dark corners they had lived in. Here, now, the light was fading, and the temperature was dropping, but within those walls, he had never been cold. Not really. Not in the way he was outside them, where the world did its best to threaten his very existence. 

The 2020 Sydney University Student Anthology is now open for submissions on the topic of climate change, so send us your artworks, poetry, short fiction and non-fiction. Submit here.