Newsletter MAY 2020
Another excerpt from “Shadows on the Goldfield Track”
written by Elizabeth Rimmington.
“Why does Miss Millie think this stranger may mean harm to Thomas or to the doctor? What exactly did he look like?” Abigail asked when Millie’s warning had been delivered.
Ned shrugged his shoulders and chomped at his scone. He took another swallow of the sweet black tea before making an attempt to answer.
“I didn’t see the man myself. He was in at the bar. She just told me to come and warn the doctor and Thomas and if they weren’t home, I’m to stay with you until the men return.”
Current Weather and Tides
Thanks to my IT Guru the website is up and running again with “Shadows on the Goldfield Track” now a feature.
Have you got your copy yet?
If not, check out the website, www.elizabethrimmington.com.au and place your order. On the other hand, you may prefer to order through your friendly book store.
For those who are struggling with their current circumstances, I wish you strength and courage and heaps of lateral thinking to blow the cobwebs away.
I have been working very hard on the new novel. With any luck, I’ll complete the rough draft this month which means it is still a long way to go but it is heading in the right direction.
Remember social distancing and please keep safe.
A Pearl for your Enjoyment
The following is THE second instalment of a short story which won a first-prize.
Written by Elizabeth Rimmington
As is his routine, when the street lamp flickers at dusk, the boy emerges from his retreat. He weaves his way along the worn track to the breach in the fence leading into the service station. Dry grasses fluttering in the evening breezes caress his shoulders as he passes. Wire scratches the stick-thin arms and legs as he scrambles through the broken fence. Bending almost double, he lopes to where two blue industrial bins sit in the deep shadows. The blue-dog pants at his side. Satisfied all activity is on the street side of the building, the boy slips like a wraith across to where a group of smaller bins stands at the back door.
He draws a deep breath. Kitchen smells assail his nostrils. His mouth waters. Little time is wasted before he begins to scrounge through these bins. With excruciating care, he takes out any food of promise and places them aside. The dog’s nose sniffs appreciatively but the animal does not make any move towards the gathering collection. A hamburger with one bite taken out of it and a Styrofoam container in which a broken piece of fish and several chips nestle are first to be rescued. A half-full flavoured milk container and a large coke bottle with most of its contents still present are added to the haul. Tonight, there is a special treat; an unopened pack of corn meat sandwiches. A small broken chocolate bar disappears into the boy’s torn shirt pocket. Young hands shake out a scrunched-up plastic bag before filling it with his treasures.
The scavengers retreat through the fence, along the overgrown footpad and under the house where they throw themselves onto the coir mattress. The dog gulps the offered burger without even one chew. The boy tears at the wrapping on the sandwiches. He eats with relish. As he sucks noisily on the chocolate piece, the boy’s grey eyes glisten in the dull glow of the streetlight tentacles that penetrate under the house.
Overhead the regular parade of visitors’ footfalls is heard climbing the few steps, tip-toeing across the verandah and tapping lightly on the door. Hushed whispers follow before the footsteps move into the bedroom. The clink of glasses accompanied by giggles precedes the beat of the bed-head against the timber walls. Sometimes this has threatened to bring down the flimsy house like a pack of Chinese-sticks. Sometimes the normality of the sound lulls the boy to sleep. Large rats, mice or brown snakes give the coir mattress a wide berth when the dog’s growl rumbles deep within her throat.
As the town clock, which stands half a mile away near the river, chimes midnight, the sleeping boy’s eyes open. His body tenses. His ears strain to hear the stumbling feet of his father’s return. The dog whines. The main battle of the day is about to begin. Not just a bit of light artillery at this time of night. No, shortly the heavy guns and aerial bombing will commence. Noise will be sure to disturb the neighbourhood for several blocks. Police visits are frequent. In fact, more often than not, they don’t bother waiting for the distressed calls from the public. They just turn up on a pre-emptive strike.
Tonight is no different. The boy lies curled up, with his arms wrapped about his dog. His tuneless humming does little to cover the screaming and the yelling overhead. Verbal abuse mixes with physical abuse; neither show any favour. The crash of furniture as his mother’s body smashes against cupboards and chairs is heard. Sometimes it is the heavier body of his stumbling father that sends things scattering. Low moans follow the high-pitched yelling and the smack of flesh upon flesh. The boy lies beneath the floorboards; barely breathing. He has heard it all before.
Blue lights herald the arrival of the police car. The constant sound of voices on the two-way radio fills the street. Booted feet jump the steps onto the verandah. The thumping of fists on the wall threatens to loosen more of the weather-boards.
Handcuffs flash in the light as his father is led away to the police car. The policeman ignores the vile threats and abuse that explode from his mouth. An ambulance arrives and the battered body of his mother is wheeled away on a trolley. An officer in blue rushes up to the back door of the ambulance vehicle. He speaks to the patient.
“Where’s your boy, Mrs. Mayberry? Is he in the house?”
“’Ow should I know? You lot took ’im away weeks ago.” A defiant reply.
To be continued.