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Hoo Roo

22 Jul

The fire’s creeping up on the west side of the property; it’s roaring like a steam train.
The horizon’s a deep orange, dark and fierce as I’ve ever seen.
Above the cracking and splintering of the flames I hear the door open.
“Would you like a cuppa?” she asks.
I lean back in my boots, stretching out my arms.
“Trev” she repeats raising her voice “would you like a cuppa?”
“No thanks”
The porch creaks under her feet.
She puts a hand on my shoulder as she’s done many times before; I tense up like an old bull.
More often than not I’ve sat on this porch wondering what runs through the woman’s mind. Sometimes a bloke needs to be left alone.
Down the back corner some roos jump east towards Barks creek. The fire must be scaring the shit out of them.
“We’ll have to leave soon” she says.
“That’s the bleeding obvious, isn’t it?”
Shrugging free I head down to the shed. I hear Ed’s collar and claws scrape the deck.
The northerly’s blowing ash into the yard. Can’t be too far away now.
I’m gunna be sad to see this lot go up. These gums must be 100 years old. They’re tall bastards too; in strong wind they’re real dangerous. One night one of them gave way, dropping right next to the shed. It’s lucky the cows were in the paddock or there would’ve been meat everywhere.

“Trev” she yells, running towards me.
“Fucks sake woman, what is it now?”
“We have to go” she says, catching her breath.
“Just calm down”
“Trev!” she squawks.
Ed and I jump with fright.
She begins to sob and falls to ground, her dress pulling tight against her knees and waist. Hair drops over her face like an upturned mop.
She’s just like an old gum in the wind.
Ed jumps excitedly around her.
“Fuck off” she screams, slapping his two front legs from underneath him.
He yelps and bolts for the porch.
“I can’t do this anymore Trev”
I stub my smoke and look down on her.
“What the hell do ya mean?”
“This.” she says impatiently. “Everything. I’m not doing this anymore.”
She slides her hair behind her ears looking me in the eye.
Turning away, I notice the black horizon.
She must’ve seen it too.
“We have to go” she says standing up, brushing herself down.
I stare at her, unmoved, shaking my head as she passes.
“Come on Ed!” I yell, signalling the ute’s tray.
I start the engine and light a smoke.
She gets in and shuts the door without saying a word.
She doesn’t look at me.



21 Jul

It sits alone in a pool of salty grease.
It looks good, real good.
I watch her hands fold and gesture as she speaks.
What would she do if I picked it up with my hands?
Would she think me uncouth?

She studies it, looks back at me, and bites her nail.
I pour another glass of water.
She begins talking about work.
She’s stalling.

Placing both elbows on the table, I lean over it; guarding it.
“Can you please get some more water?” she asks.
I peer at her suspiciously.
Hesitantly swinging around, I gesture the waiter.

Turning back; she’s smiling, blinking slowly.
Like a cat in sunlight, she looks warm and content.
“I love you” she says sliding down into her seat.
“I love ……”
The plates empty.
“It was good” she says.

Herald Sun Wedding

20 Jul

A week’s stay at the Royal Woman’s hospital changed Tina’s life forever.
After being date raped by a former partner and admitted into emergency, it was Nurse Wade Douglas who looked after her.

“She was smitten right from the start.” explained bridesmaid Jenny.
Tina looked stunning in her black wedding dress with matching Jim Beam purse.
Wade was not to be outdone in his tailored muster uniform and Bunderburg cufflinks.
“We had to get ‘em specially made mate.” boasted Wade, “It took us 3 hours of searching ‘round Highpoint to finally realise they weren’t an off the shelf number!”

Tina’s father Jimmy was as proud as punch.
“I finally reckon she’s gotta good. Wades a great bloke, really down to earth and he cooks a mean curry” explained Jimmy to confused onlookers.

Wade’s father Craig was equally as proud and showed it by driving Tina to the Reservoir chapel in his restored 1991 Holden Clubsport.

The couple plan to spend their two week honeymoon in Bangkok if Wade’s drug eviction can be overturned in time.

Morning Tea Conversation

10 Jun

“Hi Jen!” Belinda almost yelled.
“Oh, hi Belinda” Jen said burying her head into her shoulder.
“Have you seen this weekends weather?” Belinda continued, almost wetting herself with excitement.
“No, I haven’t” Jen replied, this time with an even more uninterested tone.
Belinda didn’t notice. She placed the tea towel into the mug and began swirling it around.
“Well, it’s going o be 15 and sunny!” Belinda continued looking up at an invisible sun.
‘Wow’ thought Jen. Another exciting weekend for Belinda and her bland husband.
She wondered what excitement they’d get up to this weekend? Another farmer’s market? A drive to the coast? Maybe even a picture show?
“Robert and I are going to the country to stay with his brother Gary.” said Belinda, breaking Jen’s train of thought.

“You know what I’m doing?” Jen quickly snapped.
She had had enough.

“I’m going to wait for my man Luke on the bench in the kitchen. I’ll hoist my skirt to my waist and place my legs on the table. When he enters the room I’ll take to my vagina with a knife and scream ‘why do you hate it?’ ”

There was silence in the small office kitchen.

Belinda stood still.
Her face dropped.
She leaned close to Jen and whispered “So you’ve seen our video?”