Newsletter April 2020

… have gone asunder thanks to the Corona Virus. A little bug with a massive impact.

Keep Safe. Keep Sane.

Firstly, I have another excerpt from “Shadows on the Goldfield Track”

written by Elizabeth Rimmington.

Doctor George spoke. “Right Abigail, we’re nearly there. Now don’t rush it, let the baby dictate its arrival.”

“Don’t you be telling me, brother. I was the one who practically wrote the paper for your degree on this very subject.”

“Glad to see you still fiery as ever, Abby. Now, the head is showing; just a little push.” George mumbled something to Eve which the women at the top of the bed could not hear.

Abigail strained and groaned. She gritted her teeth.

“You know; you can yell if you want to.” Millie squeezed her hand.

“Thanks… Millie… but… I really… would prefer… not to.” Abigail gave another deep groan and strained hard.

“Yes, beautiful. Head’s out. Oh, bother.” Doctor George bit down on the curse that threatened.

“What’s wrong George, what is it?” Abigail’s voice rose.

“Nothing, Abigail. Just breathe slowly for a moment. The cord is around the baby’s neck. I’ll just release it.”

Abigail lay gasping. Perspiration ran in rivulets down her face in spite of Millie’s continually mopping up with the cloth. Her eyes never left those of her brother who stared in concentration over her sheet-covered legs.

Current Weather and Tides

“Shadows on the Goldfield Track” is now available for purchase.

Books can be ordered through Book Stores, Online or through the website.

I do apologize for a delay with the update of the website.

Blame that rotten little virus again – has kept the IT Guru flat strap.

The “Shadows on the Goldfield Track” will make an appearance as soon as my IT Guru returns from cyberspace.

If you are still having trouble please complete the email at the website “contact” page.

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Remember social distancing and please keep safe.

A Pearl for your Enjoyment

The following is the first instalment of a short story which won a first prize.


Written by Elizabeth Rimmington

Instalment ONE

From where he sits cross-legged in the gloom under the house, the boy watches the afternoon shadows lengthen across the unkempt house-yard. A black fly paddles in the bubble of snot guarding his right nostril. It is time for the first skirmish of the day to begin. The quick drum-roll of the three steps at the front of the unpainted timber house signal the warning. This is underlined by the heavy tread across the narrow verandah. The cheap metal door knob rattles at the impatient hand. Accompanied by a screech, the door swings against the wall. Crash! The tremor flows through the house. The boy’s eyes follow the vibration of the loose floor boards as his father’s stomping feet pass above his upturned head, on their way into the kitchen. Clunk! The old-fashioned fridge door is hauled open. The ring top on a beer can pops. Silence holds for several moments as the cool liquid gushes down the parched throat. With the urgency of thirst assuaged, the menacing footfalls move into the one small bedroom. The boy’s eyes scrunch up in anticipation of what is to come. Grubby hands cover his unwashed ears. The first salvo is fired.  A soft tuneless hum is heard by only himself and the dog.

“So slut, ya plannin’ on gettin’ out of bed any time soon?” The harsh voice shatters the afternoon.

“Piss off.” The reply is little more than a grunt. The boy imagines his mother swallowing hard, searching for saliva with which to moisten her thickened tongue. He’s seen her awaken before.

“Don’ be thinkin’ for a minute I’m gonna work me guts out all day so’s ya can shoot me pay up yer arm, bitch. If yer gonna spend all day on yer back, ya may as well earn a quid doin’ so.”

“Since when ’as yer money bought anythin’ but grog? Ya could’ve at least brought me in a beer?”

“Bloody ’ell, get up and clean this place up a bit. Did ya send the boy off ta school this mornin’? I bet not. Don’ be pourin’ crocodile tears on me shoulder when The Welfare come and take ’im away agin.”

“The brat’s eight years old; ’e can get ’isself off ta school.” Her voice struggles through a smoke eroded passage. “Anyway, ’e always finds ’is way ’ome agin.”

Strong hands pull aside the filthy stained sheets which gave no hint of their former colour. Limp hair falls across the woman’s face as she is dragged out onto the floor. A heavy boot thuds half-heartedly into her side.

“Garn, get up, bitch. At least ya could’ve a feed ready for a man when I get ’ome from work.”

“Not much use getting’ up ta cook if there’s no money in the ’ouse to buy food ta cook. All yer money’s in the fridge; in cold cans.” Bruised arms lift automatically to protect her head.

Boots scrape on the floor. “I’m goin’ down the pub.”

The floor boards shudder once more. The front door slams. The house shakes before settling on its stumps. The hum of the traffic filters back from the main road on the other side of the Shell Service Station. The whine of trucks’ air-brakes approaching the red lights at the intersection alternate with revving engines. Occasional sirens wail as police or ambulance vehicles race on from one crisis to another. When a fire-engine screams its urgency, the boy’s eyes lift; his ears alert. A small hand rubs the thick scar on his right arm. Memories of pain fill his mind at the vision of a kitchen fire when he was four years of age.

The boy turns the pages of the well-thumbed comic on his lap. A smile brightens his face as he follows the picture stories. His spare hand is kept busy stroking the head of the blue-dog resting beside him or scratching at the flea bites covering his body or tearing at the lice irritations on the matted brown hair of his head. Piles of old timber, boxes, an antique bed, a broken bike, are some of the paraphernalia that conceal the tatty coir mattress with its striped worn covering on which the pair rest.

It is some time before the swish of bare feet pass above his head and into the kitchen. The odour of instant coffee drifts down through the gaps in the walls and the floor. The acrid smell of cigarette smoke follows immediately on its tail. The sunlight is fading fast.

The boy watches the new neighbour scrape back the chair on his patio. The man, built like one of the enormous round balls he had seen the kids play with at the community swimming pool, moves into the house. A short time later, light bursts out through the man’s kitchen window bathing a flourishing vegetable garden. The boy does not see the round man move back through the house to stand in the darkness. He does not see the intent interest with which the old eyes stare at the overgrown yard next door.

To be continued.