“Lifeflip: A Fantasy” – Writing Exercise

U3A Writing for Pleasure Class: Exercise to do at Home while we are all Socially Isolating

Ex. 1 Write a short paragraph of a story you may use as a starter for a short story of anything up to 3000 words.
Ex. 2 Write a descriptive paragraph of a character from your first paragraph.
Ex. 3 Describe a room/house where your character might live.

Ideas: Given our crisis today write a story about 2021


It was October 2021. Since the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the world had flipped. Brought on by the worldwide existential angst rising upwards as invisible drifts of anxiety and panic, the change in atmospheric energy had slowly transitioned the earth and her population into a parallel universe. In this world the Buddhist concept of karma had mutated resulting in each person living out their karmic destiny within their present life. Hence, Peter Dutton lived in a tiny cell incarcerated on Christmas Island with former refugees now his jailers. Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg and Mathias Cormann all found themselves waking up on large flat pieces of cardboard outside Flinders Street Station in Melbourne. Incredulous at their “lifeflip” – the newly coined term to describe this phenomomen – and no longer in possession of their mobile phones, they reluctantly agreed with Scott’s directive: “The Australian thing to do would be to go to the nearest Centrelink office and try to get onto Newstart!”


His square head and cold, staring eyes looking down from his 1.84 metre height confirm the impression of superiority and arrogance once he begins to speak. The forced smile, the harsh Belgian accent, the expensive suits – are they evidence of his advantage? Or is he unconsciously hiding his insecurities. We will never know, though superficially it appears to be the former. Having graduated in Belgium as a Lawyer and learning English in an exchange year at an English University, he migrated permanently to Perth in 1996 becoming an Australian citizen in 2000 aged thirty. In 2007 he became the State Senator for Western Australia and by 2013 he had become Finance Minister in the Liberal Federal Government in Canberra.[1]


Mathias’ residential home in Perth, one amongst many properties he owns, is architecturally designed and contemporary in style, thus ensuring distance from his early life of poverty in Belgium. The historical European architecture repels him, thus his study has become the favourite room in his favourite home. Decorated in minimalist, shiny chrome and glass style, his library of books consists of recent editions of law books on International Law and Treaties, his entrée into Australian politics. The only nod to his past is a framed print of the cartoon character Tintin. Performing altar duties at weddings growing up, he was able to choose one book after each occasion, as a gift. He still has his collection of 23 books, though they are hidden away at the back of his state-of-the-art jarrah wood sideboard. Of course, his precious study – indeed his home – is now occupied by a former homeless man who regularly slept outside Flinders Street Railway Station.

[1] For the first two decades of his life, Mathias Cormann didn’t speak a word of English. His family relied on state and church support but it was the fall of the Berlin Wall that politicised him. “He saw how capitalism triumphed over Communism.” Sydney Morning Herald https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/mathias-cormann-a-tale-of-two-lives-20140502-zr37g.html


  1. So interesting. What a flip and what characters to flip. Sweet justice to the refugees of Christmas Island. I have to admit not knowing much about Mattias Corman, but who could be repelled by historic architecture. Does this say something about his harbouring shame?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know much about him either, and in writing the exercise was prompted to do a bit of research. What I found in the SMH article revealed some interesting aspects, and my imagination came up with the rest, being a U3A writing class exercise. Seeing “capitalism triumph over communism” at the fall of the Berlin wall explains a lot.


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