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This book is made up of five short stories.  

  • Obscured by Clouds centres around Jason, who does not have long to live. He gets together with a bunch of old friends to celebrate his new brother-in-law’s buck’s night, the wedding to his sister and a horseracing meet where he cherishes his time with his young niece.


  • In Obscured by Clouds 2 Jason has passed away and goes on a journey from the ocean to Heaven’s gates.
  • Purgacide is the author’s satirical idea of life in Heaven. Jason (now called Giffard)  gets involved  in a Rugby Union tournament – the game they play in Heaven – where his team wins its way to the cup final.


  • Lucky Star recounts the adventures of a group of lawn bowlers who play a tournament on a planet called Oderato.

  • Wake up, Jeff
    is a story about a guy who gives up his role of coaching a kids’ football team to start out in politics. He goes on an adventurous night on LSD where he has an accident. On his rehabilitation he is set a political assignment and helps a kid who has lost his balance in life.

In Store Price: $23.95 
Online Price:   $22.95



Ebook version - $AUD9.00 upload.

ISBN: 978-0-9943521-5-6       Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 178

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Adam Mayhew
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2016
Language: English


Characters in ‘Obscured by Clouds’


Jason’s nickname is Strugo. He struggles with everything he tries – footy, cricket, surfing or skating. By trade he is a welder. He took drugs (acid) every so often as his pancreatic cancer worsened, mainly because the original problem – the alcohol – caused him pain in the pancreas. To give it all up he had to move home as the drugs and alcohol were always available in the house. He moved into a granny flat on Bribie Island near Brisbane to be close to his mother, Jenny, who lives on Tangalooma Island in a refurbished shed.

Casey, Jason’s father, drifted away from the family for a while. He and Jenny are both retired.

Jason’s sister, Anne, found herself in bed with a bloke called Chips, not realising that her brother was asleep in the next room until the following morning. Chips (real name Dwayne) and Anne have been together ever since.

If ever Strugo got a bit pissed off, the guys would say, “Hot chips, chips and gravy.”

Dwayne works as an electrician on Kangaroo Island. When the lease ran out on his last rental house he and Anne rented a beachfront place at Narrabeen, which was simply called “The House”. Dwayne likes weed and beer.

Strugo met Paul in the line-up at Eagle Hawk beach in Tasmania. Paul’s nickname is Cam because he was a comel from Port Moresby (like the comels in WWII); you definitely want this guy on your side. Cam works in sales in a surf shop but previously he was a sales rep for RipCurl in Victoria. He takes speed on Saturday nights but then he can’t get it up and it gets him into embarrassing situations.

Aaron’s nickname is Little John. The reason why he can drink and smoke anyone under the table is because he has Aboriginal heritage but no one can really tell. He has never made a wrong move while being under the influence. He works as a bricklayer and lives in Coffs Harbour.

Justin’s nickname is Pothole. He earned this name by always cutting in on guys chatting up girls at parties and saying something like, “I’ve been told that I look like Tom Cruise from behind.” There is no avoiding him – hence his nickname: Pothole.

Drugs are always hidden around Pothole. If he finds out that his mates are hiding drugs he stands on a chair and sculls a bottle of rum, saying, “Watch this, everybody.” However, his mates have already opened the bottle, emptied half of it out and topped it up with water. Bingo! He’s a happy camper. Pothole used to be a baggage handler at Sydney Airport. He would empty the belly of an airplane and toss what he liked over the fence – skateboards, surfboards and a couple of bikes. When he and the boys came across a suitcase containing a necklace, earrings and his-and-her wedding rings, he bagged the rings. The airport management caught him but the rings were never recovered. Strugo had already taken them during his getaway. After three days in prison Pothole decided to talk and when he got out he was bashed so badly that he spent two weeks in a coma. He now lives in a place called Heron’s Creek near Port Macquarie. For all his shortcomings he has a lovely knack with children; words just roll off his tongue.

Joy is Anne’s daughter from a previous relationship. Her father committed suicide two weeks after she was conceived but no one seemed to know why. Uncle Jason (Strugo) spent the Christmas holidays at Tangalooma with Joy and taught her to swim, fish and snorkel the submerged wrecks. The best way to describe her is joy. Joy is her name, joy is her life.

To attend Chips’ buck’s weekend, Strugo has to catch a train to Coffs Harbour, spend the night at Little John’s, then get on the train and pick up Pothole at Port Macquarie. The three will then jump on a plane from Sydney to Adelaide and meet up with Cam, who will come from Melbourne. They have a night booked in Adelaide and will catch the bus and ferry on Thursday morning to Kangaroo Island.


OBSCURED BY CLOUDS - part sample


Jason stared up to the shining sun and mumbled, “Mmm, 11 o’clock.” He looked at his phone and added, “Nup, it’s 10.25.” He started running his left hand up and down his case of XXXX. He was fishing on a pontoon and his radio was crackling. He thought about what he had to do.

‘Who are you kidding?’ he thought at the reality of ringing his mother as he wound in his line. His can of beer was a quarter full and he slugged it down, his first alcoholic drink for 12 months. He stared idly at the unopened packet of JPS cigarettes before scratching his neck.

“Okay,” he said out loud, and punched his mum’s number. He got through five rings later.


“Hello. Sorry, I must...”

“No, it’s me.”

“What are you doing in town, Dad?”

There was a pause.

“My son’s dying of pancreatic cancer. We thought we’d make a go of it because we thought it might help you as well as us.”

“Dad, it’s over, mate. I’ve got the results and I’m having a beer.”

The phone made a funny sound.

“Your mother wants to talk to you. Here you go.”

“Hi, Mum.”

“Hi, dear. What did the doctor say?” asked his mum, Jenny.

“He said if I hadn’t given up drinking I’d be dead. I told the doctor I was just going to enjoy myself for the rest of my time and he said that provided I don’t go silly I have another 12 months, ball-park figure.”

There was a pause.

“You turn 40 in six months. I don’t want you to think you’re pink every Saturday night,” Jenny said.

“It’s okay, Mum. I’ve had enough acid. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, if you know what I mean.”

“Oh, so you think it’s cool to go down the road for milk, bread and the paper and come back with only two items?” Jenny asked. Your sister is going to call...”

Jason butted in. “I’ve got to call Chips and see how they’re settling in. Mum, you seem really happy. What is it?” He laughed, as he flicked his temple. “Are we expecting a new addition?”

“They’re getting married,” she replied.

“That was easy,” Jason confessed. “Don’t worry, Mum, I’ll play dumb when they call. What month, Mum?”

“February, in three weeks’ time.”

“Oh, I can make that,” he said in a sarcastic vein.

The phone vibrated then dropped out. Jason began to text.


Jenny and Casey sitting under a tree



He cast his fishing rod as he smoked his cigarette and took the head spin on the cheek. The beer was kicking in but the fish weren’t biting. He listened to the beat of the radio tune and sang along with it. “Someday I’ll have money...”

The phone buzzed and he looked at the caller ID.


“No, it’s Anne, Strugo.”

“How’s it going there, Anne?”

“Oh brother, how about you?”

“I’m dying, but the good news is I’m dying slowly.”

“I can’t believe you’ve given up your lifestyle.”

“That’s over.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m curling up my toes. The doc’s given me 12 months so I’m going to enjoy it.”

“Strugo, I’m getting married in three weeks. It doesn’t make much sense getting you all down to the island for the engagement, buck’s party and everything so it’s all happening over one weekend.”

Strugo laughed and said, “This is just what the doctor ordered.”

“Strugo, the Kangaroo Cup is on the same weekend.”

“What? The ponies?”

“The ponies.”

“Wow!” said Strugo

“We sent out the invitations three days ago.”

“Anyway, how’s the man?”

“I’ll put him on,” Anne replied.

“Hey, Strugo.”

“Hey, Chips. Bit of a shindig then?”

“Friday is the buck’s party at the races, the wedding’s on Saturday and the races are on Sunday. I’ve been doing a bit of work for the Islander Motel and they’re going to put you, Pothole, Little John and Cam up for the weekend. It won’t cost you anything. Oh, and what happened to those two rings you’re holding? And while I’m at it... the wedding attire is sandals, jeans and shirt. Beards, as you know, are the theatre of gnomes theme.”

“About those rings...” Strugo said, “patting his two-week-old stubble. “You’re turning Pothole into Robin Hood.”

“Anne filled me in with your progress. Why did this have to happen to us, Strugo?” Chips asked.

The phone went silent.

“I’m sorry; someone wants to talk to you, Strugo.”

“Put her on.”

“Hi, Uncle Jason.”

“Hi, Joy. How are you fitting in down there?”

“Will we be snorkelling the wrecks next Christmas?”

“I hope so,” he replied.

“Mum says that you could be going to Heaven one day soon.”

“Joy, you’ve got three choices,” said Jason. “One is the day I beat Black Caviar. Two is my life as a salad sandwich. Three is I stole Wally Lewis’s jumper and ran onto the field.”

“Number two,” Joy said.

“There I was licking Bob Downs’ bum. We were just a gay rock band struggling for success. One night I went to kiss the band members goodnight when Bruno noticed I had a brown tomato seed in my moustache. Right there we decided we needed a name change and we became ‘The Tomatoes’. We got instant success with songs like ‘Food Fight’, ‘Vine Ripened’, ‘Sometimes It’s Hard Being A Tomato’ and ‘When Does This Fertilising Stop?’ and supported bands like Master Pasta.”

“Uncle Jason, no one’s got an uncle like you. Listen to this,” Joy said.


“There once was a horse named Jip,

As he went past the post, he beat Black Caviar by a fate lip,

and everyone knew he wasn’t testing positive

to anything legit.”


 “Okay, now it’s my turn. I’ve got one.”


“There was a man named Wally Lewis,

Every time he ran to the line he went through us.

Then someone barked, “You’re the king of the park,”

because there’s a statue with him showing the plaque.”


“How’s that?”

“It’s a bit before my time, Uncle Jay.”

“Anyway, Joy, there’s not a cloud in the sky here.”

“There’s not a cloud in the sky here either, Uncle Jason. In three weeks we’ll be together.”

“You can show me some of your paintings and tell me what they mean, Joy.”

“Uncle Jay – your cancer – what’s it like?”

 The conversation wound up.

Strugo got back to his casting and fishing. He looked up at the sky and started singing his favourite song called Razor’s Edge by Goanna.




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