FUN AND FOTOS
Don’t miss the fourth instalment of “The Boy” below.
Can having one’s photo taken be described as fun? I would protest such an assumption. When the evidence is placed in my hand and a face, very like the one I discover in my mirror first thing each morning, stares back; it’s enough to send me scarpering.
“Who is this stranger?” I ask. “Are you using a trick camera?”
“Where is the me of the twenty tender years? That is not so long ago, is it?”
“Aaah; how time passes.”
Do you know what is good about the passing of time? It has presented me with loads of life’s experiences and a fertile imagination from which to develop great stories for you, the readers.
Thank you once again for your support.
Current Weather and Tides
Plans for the October book tour in North Queensland 2020 inch along slowly.
As you can imagine everything is topsy turvy with our friend (I use the term loosely) COVID 19. I have pencilled in a date of 14th October at the Cooktown Library for the presentation of “Shadows on the Goldfield Track”. Before leaving the area on the 18th, I will talk at the Nature’s Powerhouse. Cairns Library has yet to confirm and from there we leave for Townsville and the Burdekin district where I have a booking for the 27th October at the Burdekin library.
My third novel has reached the draft- one stage. This is another fiction/historical/ adventure/romance tale of a family of Irish immigrants to the farming district on the Burdekin River in the early 20th century. At the moment, the manuscript is in the process of having the challenges faced by the characters, at that time, authenticated; particularly incidents related to farming practices or historical events.
Keep reading and writing. Keep safe.
A Pearl for your Enjoyment
The following is the FOURTH instalment of a short story that won a first-prize.
Written by Elizabeth Rimmington
The squeal of the door scatters the pigeons roosting in the roof beams. The copper’s gravelly voice is heard again.
“This place is a pigsty. The boy may have run away from his foster home but he is not silly enough to come back to this, I’ll bet. Look at this bathroom. You’d come out dirtier than when you went in.”
The copper throws himself back from the toilet room coughing and dry retching.
“Oh God, I’m going to be sick, but not in there.” He rushes to the front door.
When he returns, swiping at his mouth with a handkerchief, he asks, “What about the foster-mum? Could she have anything to do with the boy’s disappearance?” He opens the refrigerator door. The handkerchief is clamped across his nose.
Mrs. Scriven is on her hands and knees in front of the sink cupboard. She has one hand pressed firmly over her nostrils.
“This is gross. The foster-mum? No, she is one of our best. She’s been with the department for over twenty years. She likes the boy. ‘A sad case’, she calls him. She never heard the boy speak once in the three weeks he was with her. He spent the whole time sitting in a corner of the house or under the bushes in the garden. One afternoon she looked out to see him patting an old mongrel dog. The next time she looked, they were gone. Neither has been seen since.”
After a futile effort, even Mrs. Scriven gives up. “I’m sorry that I have wasted your time, officer. I guess the boy will remain on your books as a missing person.”
Underneath the house, the boy rolls his shoulders. He begins to relax. He watches the pair make their way to the car. Mrs. Scriven opens the door. She stops and looks over at the neighbour’s house. The boy resumes chewing his nails when he hears what she says to the copper.
“I think I’ll just pop over to the neighbour for a second and ask if he has seen the lad. I know the police reported that the fellow may not speak English but I have to give it one last try.”
The boy wanted to move closer to hear what was being said but he dared not. He cringed further within his retreat when he saw the copper still sitting in the car. Mrs. Scriven’s visit next door seemed to take forever.
Even after the vehicle drives off, the boy cannot relax. What exactly did Mrs. Scriven mean, ‘demolish the house’? Whatever it means, he’s sure that it’s not good news for him. The following day all is revealed.
The sun is barely over the housetops when an unmarked white utility backs up to the front steps. The car doors slam. The house shakes as the men in their hob-nailed boots wander around inside.
“Not much worth salvaging in this lot. We’ll take the fridge and the stove and that’s about all I’ll be bothered with. The bulldozer will be ready this afternoon.”
No-one sees the grey eyes in the gloom under the house as the boy listens to Mr. Spiro talking to the salvage men when they exit the building.
“This afternoon we’ll bulldoze this lot to the ground. Mind you, I could probably blow it down with one big breath.” The burly yellow-jacketed man lifts his hard-hat and scratches his thinning hair.
“Whya you want to wrecka da house?” Mr. Spiro asks.
“Look at it mate, it’s dangerous. It’s just about falling down on its own. Besides, the service station is expanding; building more parking and a truck bay.” The driver’s finger lifts in an idle wave as he pulls out on to the road.
Mr. Spiro does not return immediately to his house next door. The boy hears the top step groan as the man rests his weight. The boy fondles the dog’s ears when she growls softly. He listens as the foreign man speaks out loud to himself in his heavy accented English.
“If I was a boya with a dog, I’da go before men knocka da house down and bury everythinga here.” A long pause follows before he speaks again. “If I was a boya with a dog, I’da camp ina da room at da back of da car-sheda next door. Mr. Spiro nota mind at all.”
To be continued.