Newsletter AUGUST 2020
Don’t miss the FINAL instalment of “The Boy” below.
Last month I had the honour to have been invited to join Sue Cole of the Mary Who Bookshop in Townsville and the President of the Townsville General Hospital Past Graduates Association in judging a writing competition held by the association.
It was a pleasure to read the entries and I have to admit, difficult to separate the winners; they all had something memorable to say.
Current Weather and Tides
In recent days, the three manuscripts for my third novel have been in the hands of my beta-readers. They will examine things like the grammar (not of the planet), punctuation (not dots in front of my eyes), spelling (doesn’t crash the spell-check). And has a plot that reaches a climax and resolution. My gratitude to these eagle-eyed wonders.
Each day I watch the COVID 19 reports in the hope my plans for the book tour to Cooktown in October are not scuppered once again. This trip will be to present “Shadows on the Goldfield Track” the sequel to the first novel “Shadow of the Northern Orchid”.
Speaking of which, have you all obtained your copies of these novels. I still have a few left so click on the SHOP on the website and order now.
Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep safe.
A Pearl for your Enjoyment
The FINAL instalment.
Written by Elizabeth Rimmington
The boy still worried the sores on his legs and dug snot from his nose as he pondered the morning events. A mechanical rumble sounded on the road outside the house. His hollow belly and the dryness of his mouth was forgotten. The ground vibrated. The house trembled. The boy peered out from underneath. A large truck pulling a long flat trailer upon which a yellow bulldozer was secured, crept into the front yard. The boy’s heart knocked loud within his chest wall. He crawled deeper into the darkness where the timber wall came down to the ground. The dog growled as she shuffled along on her belly beside him.
Loud voices of the two men in bright yellow shirts and yellow hard hats confused the boy. He watched warily as they released the chains that held the bulldozer. A thunder of steel followed as the ramps were lifted into place by the small crane on the truck. One man climbed onto the bulldozer and attempted to start the engine. It was not co-operating at all.
“I thought the mechanic was supposed to have fixed this yesterday.”
“Can’t get good help these days. Give ‘er another go.”
The engine spluttered again, faded, then burst into a menacing roar. Slowly the steel tracks clunked and rattled down the ramp. The engine coughed and died again just as the dozer levelled out on the ground.
“I am not a happy man,” the driver complained.
“One last try. If she don’t go this time we’ll call it a day.”
A half-hour passed accompanied by lots of swearing and cursing before the engine showed signs of life once again. Black smoke belched from its exhaust. Underneath the house, the boy’s eyes widened. He reached out to his growling dog.
Inch by inch the cumbersome machine approached the front room of the house. The blade bumped the corner post. Dust rose, splintered timbers crashed to the ground, remnants of rusted iron guttering screeched as it tore away and landed upon the heap.
The boy coughed as a cloud of dust snuffed out the little bit of fresh air that hung under the house. He held his hands to his ears in an attempt to block out the sound of the engine and the smashing of the timbers. The dog gave a short sharp bark before continuing with her threatening growl. Neither was heard above the roar of the dozer. Where he sat towards the back of the house, dirt and smaller debris rained about his shoulders. A timber beam fell with a thud across the very site where the pair had been sitting a moment before. The dog barked again. The pair clung together in a tight ball. The tuneless humming grew louder.
Once more the engine roared as it proceeded to make a second attack on the house. It spluttered and died. The silence hung like Damocles sword.
“Damn thing has died again. No point phoning the mechanic at this hour. May’s well call it a day.”
“Yeah, I’m off to the pub.”
Mr. Spiro puffed and panted as he waddled into the driveway. Sweat poured down his face. His mouth opened to speak but when he saw the men packing up, he clamped his lips together.
As dusk drifted down, the light in Mr. Spiro’s kitchen washed out into the night. The boy did not see Mr. Spiro walk silently to the darker end of the house. He did not see the smile on the old man’s face as he watched the lad struggle to drag the coir mattress from under the partially demolished hovel and across to the hole in the fence. The mattress was too big for the gap. Thin arms strained to lift it over the railing above. He did not see Mr. Spiro move to the other side of his house from where he observed the boy drag the mattress into the small room at the back of the car shed.
Mr. Spiro did not see the small boy share the roast meat and vegetables with his dog, but he smiled at the thought.