Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.

Short Stories

The Cytogeneticist

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February 12th, 2012 Posted 9:51 pm

She lived only a few miles away from him and had spent the majority of her childhood in this southern London district. She was as captivated by his upbringing in a tropical antipodean climate as he was of hers in cold and wintry surroundings. He thought it cute how she named her puppy after Gonzo, the big-nosed blue character from the Muppets, and he loved the way she hinted how they may one day lay beneath warm covers watching romantic films together. Although his interest in said genre was normally lacking, he honestly couldn’t wait to spend such a night in with his newfound flame.

Above all, the most attractive feature he saw in her was that she was studying to be a cytogeneticist.

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Look Within

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October 5th, 2011 Posted 5:09 pm

She sits silently in the corner of her room, her chin resting on her knees, arms wrapped tightly around her legs.

The hallway light creeps underneath the closed door and coats a small portion of the otherwise dark carpet with an amber tincture. She traces the glowing contour with her eye from one end to the other and back again. It’s the only thing she sees in this vague world.

The cries from her newborn she no longer perceives. Although aware that the weeping exists, her ears concede and filter them out, leaving nought but the deafening silence of an empty space. Before too long, she feels the consequence of her own cries trickle along her cheek, obliviously wailing in near-perfect unison with her hungry daughter.

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Massaman

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August 5th, 2011 Posted 12:23 am

The spicy odour of massaman fails to infect her senses. Her lungs draw heavy breaths, yet she chooses to perceive the aromatic restaurant atmosphere as parched and insipid.

Oblivious to the jubilant crowd, she singles out the silence of her deafening mind over the unheard voices of those surrounding her.

Her disheartened figure slumps over the table, the sharp edge of the timber cutting deep into her elbows as her left hand grips her sunken chin. Slowly she stirs through the contents of her bowl and raises her right hand toward her mouth, the bronze mixture within her half-full spoon emptying into a cacophonic pit. Extensively chewing upon the tasteless fibres, her eyes fixate blankly somwehere between the cold cutlery and the empty seat at the opposite end of the table.

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I Don’t Smoke

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October 29th, 2010 Posted 11:35 am

Over the past week as I’ve been recording vocals in the studio for my upcoming album, I’ve been reminiscing over some old documents and photos to try and get back into the same mindframe I was in when I originally wrote the songs.

Yesterday which searching through my archive, I happened to stumble across one particular document – a short story I wrote in early 2008 – which I had completely forgotten about. I had written it as a competition entry for a Brisbane City Council publication, where applicants were asked to write a story relating to the city of Brisbane. The winners would have their stories published in a book, and would also receive a substantial amount of prizemoney, which was my main motivating factor as I was preparing to embark on an amazing overseas adventure and could have done with a little extra cash to help subsidise my travels.

For about two weeks I slaved over the computer screen writing and workshopping my story, entitled I Don’t Smoke. I had previously written and recorded a song using the same title, based on a rather unforeseen and disheartening experience I had when I first moved to Brisbane in 2005. My story was an extension of this song, detailing what happened on that day. It consists of two parts written from my own perspective, which is factual, as well as a part in the middle written from the perspective of another man, which is not entirely factual, but based as much on the truth as I could pick up from my actual interactions with this guy on the day.

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Would You Like To Go For A Walk?

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January 26th, 2010 Posted 7:37 pm

“Would you like to go for a walk?” he dotingly asks on her return home from her late summer afternoon shift at work.

“Not tonight,” she replies. “I’ve got too much to do.”

He sets off without her. Perhaps tomorrow she will join him.

Through the field he wanders, graciously using this time without her by his side to set out a potential path for their future afternoon rendezvous.

He runs his hand through the dry, brown wheat as he progresses down the farmyard track. Ever so slightly sharp, he snaps up a scattering of stalks, pulling at the furry spikelets one by one and watching them blow off into the breeze. He dreams of the upcoming day where he lovingly offers a head of wheat to her, its beautiful homegrown authenticity possessing much more meaning than that of a manufactured gift purchased from a florist.

Nearing the end of the field, he opts for a southerly venture along the fen, stopping briefly to admire the family of swans wading through the wetlands. He is all too aware of the bond between the mother, father and three cygnets trailing closely behind, and one day wishes for a similar scene to grace his own human life. He sends his love to the swans and telepathically requests that they meet him there again tomorrow, in the hope that both he and his girl can spend time together treasuring their beauty.

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She Must Have Been Sleeptalking

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December 30th, 2009 Posted 9:41 pm

A busy day exploring a faraway city draws near an end, and the two touring sweethearts make their way through the havoc of the inner-northern suburbs to the location where they will retire for the evening. Putting the general chaos of their day behind them, the couple display an ambience of nervous anticipation for the hours ahead, as this coming night is due to be their first spent together. Alone. At one. At last.

Entering the room they reflect on the day’s precedings before making preparations for their inaugural twilit companionship. Nearby, the dull roar of the subterranean carriages shake the walls ever so slightly, in precise harmony with the rumbling of their hungry hearts. She rests her head gently upon his shoulder as he grasps her slightly trembling hands in his, providing a much-needed quietude prior to the forecast storm. A sense of peace washes over as they take in the space before them which they will shortly occupy, their inhibitions gradually fading as the late summer sun merges with the darkening urban horizon. Their surrounding air becomes lighter than light itself; an aura of magnificence emanating from these two perfectly entwined souls.

Sublime to the eye, sweet to the smell and pure to the touch, she remained every inch the beauty he recalled from his yearnful, endless memory. This was a memory that delved back a multitude of epochs, beyond the fruit, beyond the flower, beyond even the fateful event seemingly millennia ago where the seed was first sowed, paving the way for their impending and everlasting reunion. To her, he was the brick, the support, the solid rock she had grasped onto so tightly in the dawning months leading up to and including this moment.

It was a journey of unimaginable proportions and enigmatic synchronicities that finally culminated in this extraordinary state of communion. From every corner of the universe, all entities involved throughout the duration of this amorous journey wept ethereal tears of togetherness, filling the small but intimate room with their unconditional love. Finally, here they were. Alone. At one. At last.

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Escape From Sweethearts

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October 21st, 2009 Posted 10:48 pm

If you’re Australian, chances are you’ve heard the song Breakfast At Sweethearts by legendary Aussie band, Cold Chisel. Written by Don Walker, sung by Jimmy Barnes, and backed by the rest of his Cold Chisel bandmates, Breakfast At Sweethearts was the title track of their 1979 album that epitomized life at the time in the inner Sydney suburb of Kings Cross. Infamous for being Sydney’s red light district, a walk down the main street of Kings Cross today still takes you past countless adult shops, strip clubs, bars and nightclubs, albeit a much more tourist-influenced scene today that what it would have been back in its heyday.

I have always been fascinated by Kings Cross. As a matter of fact, my all time favourite book, Sex ‘n’ Thugs ‘n’ Rock ‘n’ Roll by musician Billy Thorpe, was set in the Cross, which details a year of his life living in the area from 1963-64. I felt so captured by the vibe of Billy’s and Don Walker’s narratives, that for one of my English assignments in year 12, I wrote a spin-off story called “Escape from Sweethearts,” where I tried to put myself in the shoes of Anne-Maria, the Sweethearts waitress mentioned in the song. I would like to share this story with you, but before I do that I must go on a pilgrimage.

Incidentally, I am writing this from a hostel in Orwell Street, just a couple of blocks away from the main drag of Kings Cross. I’ve been based here for the past ten days since my return from the UK, and I’ve often wondered to myself whilst meandering through the streets, where did Billy Thorpe live? Where did Don Walker live? Where was Surf City, the venue where Billy played his legendary first gigs with his band the Aztecs? What kind of antics did the Cold Chisel boys get up to in the early hours of their Saturday nights, “walking into Sunday?” What was Kings Cross really like back in those days? Where exactly was the Sweethearts Cafe?!?

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