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The Gig  

Posted by Scott Wilson

The Gig
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 1370

Samuel rolled himself a smoke casually with one hand while adjusting the rear vision mirror of his midnight black Ford Falcon. The inside of the car already smelt like an old saloon at close time from the overflowing ashtray. If there was one thing Samuel hadn’t doing as a Private Investigator it was waiting. He had an active mind and needed to be doing something to keep from going crazy. Unfortunately, at an early age Samuel discovered cigarettes. He rolled his own, because that way it took up more time than those mass-produced, premade cancer sticks, and they tasted better anyway.

Sam could see the woman in green locking her front door and making her way down to the flash, silver Beemer in the driveway. The car was so well polished that it looked like the moon has fallen from the sky and landed right in front of this Bulimba mansion. The woman had a great figure, nice and tight, “tight like a tiger,” Gold Member from Austin Powers would say. She walked with all the grace of a royal princess and looked like she had the confidence of a woman who knew she could get anything she wanted, and when she wanted.
Sam ground out the rollie in the ashtray, pushing ash and old butts on to the floor as the tray overflowed. He started his motor and pulled out behind a slow moving Daihatsu, but that was ok for now. At least it would add to his cover and stop the broad from seeing him. The Daihatsu followed the Beemer for a couple of blocks before turning off toward Cannon Hill, leaving a tidy little space for Sam to keep open for some other car to fill, hopefully.
By the time they reached the Gabba, enough traffic had darted in an out of the safety zone for Sam to be confident that the lady in green was none the wiser about being followed. Sam waited until she had reached the door of the hotel before he hoped out of his car and quickly made his way behind her. He was far enough away so she wouldn’t see him, but close enough so he would not loose sight of her at any time.

The woman made her way to the bar and ordered a drink, a “Black Russian”, by the looks of it Sam thought to himself. She took a pearl covered cigarette case out of her Gucci handbag and lit it, menthol by the smell of it. Once the bartender handed the glass to the woman, she made her way to a table by the window facing Vulture Street.

Sam ordered a scotch and coke, minus the scotch. He had to appear to be drinking to not be out of place in a hotel like this but didn’t want to be the slightest bit intoxicated. The bartender raised one eyebrow, but poured the drink just as requested anyway. Sam pulled up a stool at the bar and looked at the television screen hanging on the wall a few feet from where the broad sat. MTV, greatest hits of the eighties by the looks of it, Sam thought to himself. It was only 1992, but things had changed a lot since the turn of the decade, and none of them for the better. At least there was less “hair bands” around now, even if the music still sounded the same.
Sam opened his tobacco pouch and rolled himself another cigarette, casually checking the photo in his pouch at the same time. He flicked it over and read the name again – Sarah White. She was wearing a green dress in the photo that her husband gave him at his office two weeks ago. Sam thought “Poison Ivy,” to himself.

“Can I buy you a drink, big fella?”

Sam looked up and was surprised to see the woman in the photo standing right next to him. Sam wondered how she could move so fast, only a second ago she was ten feet away. With a subtle turn of his wrist, Sam slide the photo back into the tobacco pouch, glad that it was writing side up when the woman approached. As it was, he had a good idea that somehow, his cover had been blown and the woman in green had made him.

“Sure doll.” Sam said, taking a long pull of his scotch and coke.

“Same again, please.” She said to the bartender, pointing to Sam’s empty glass with her own empty. Sam noticed that the bartender did put scotch into his coke glass this time. He was glad the guy was on the ball and didn’t cause an embarrassing situation by neglecting the scotch in his scotch and coke this time.

“Does this place liven up?” Sam asked.

“For you sugar, it already has.” She said, winking at Sam as she held out her hand. “My name is Ivy, Ivy Bloomfield.”

Sam thought this broad was having fun at his expense now, but how did she know he called her Poison Ivy in his mind. He must be on edge because she had made first contact.
“Pleased to meet you, Ivy,” Sam said, putting out his hand to shake hers. “Dwayne Rockwell.”
Sam made small talk with Sarah for an hour or so before she put her moves on him. This was what Sarah’s husband has suspected her of doing and what Sam was being paid to find out. Sam hadn’t ever had this happen to him before, he knew he was good looking, so it would be unfair to any broad for him to walk up and try and pick her up. I mean, who wouldn’t want to pick him up. It would not mean a damn thing by the way of proof in his books. He needed hard evidence.
“So how would you like to come back to my place to finish the night off with a bang honey?” Sarah said seductively.

Sam noticed that she still had her wedding ring on and nodded towards the shining mother of a jewel.

“What about your husband?”

“Oh, we divorced two years ago. I just love this rock and can’t bear to take it off.”
Sam was in a dilemma now, if he refused, he would not be able to tail her again without it being obvious. If he accepted, he just wouldn’t feel right and wouldn’t be able to let Sarah’s husband know about her infidelities with a clear conscience. Big stakes to split, Sam thought to himself. Ten grand in the pocket or down the toilet. He did not like the look of Sarah’s husband and thought about blowing the case off, maybe he deserved it anyway.
“Ok, let’s catch a cab.”

By the time they arrived at Sarah’s mansion, Sam looked like he had been savaged by a wild beast. Scarlet red lipstick stained his collar and neck, appearing like a vampire had made a snack on his neck. A bloody messy vampire at that.

“Come in.” Sarah said, opening the heavy oak front door.

Sarah began undressing as she walked towards the large circular leather couch, shedding them like a snake shedding it’s unwanted skin. Sam walked towards the now, near naked woman and could feel himself becoming aroused. He would have to wrap this up soon, he thought to himself. It was getting to dangerous.

“Come her, sugar.”
Sam walk standing next to the couch now. Sarah was laying there with only her panties on. She leaned forward and then…
Flash.
Sam blinked. To his right a burly and tanned man in a cheap suit standing with a camera in his hand.
“Now,” Sarah said. “If you don’t want your wife to find out you are having an affair, then drop this case you dick.”
Sam thought about chasing the private eye in the cheap suit down but it was already too late for that. He had disappeared into down a set of stairs and was probably already starting up his car now.
“You got me good Ivy,” Sam said to the broad. “How about making it worth my while if I am going to get framed?”

Shadow Stones  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Shadow Stones
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 1,547

Shadows fell across the immense plain of red dirt and dust, like band-aids covering a blood covered planet. The formation appeared to be that of a black and red zebra lying down in the shade to rest. A soft wind blew red dust through the air, creating a mist like veil to cover the shadows.

Five campers peered out the dusty windows of the tour guide’s Land Rover, mesmerised by the eerie, alien landscape. It almost looked like the tour was on Mars rather than in the Northern Territory. They had left Alice Springs two and a half hours ago, with a fully stocked, fully clean, four wheel drive, keen and eager to view the great Australian outback. Curtain Springs was the last civilised outpost that they had passed about twenty minutes ago on the Lasseter Highway.
Two of the campers where from America, two from Japan and one from New South Wales in Australia. The Tour Guide, Matthew Georgetown, was the son of an aboriginal mother and white Australian father. He grew up in a small community in the Northern Territory, gaining the traditional native skills of the bush and folklore and European technology and comforts. Matthew was just as comfortable in the bush as he was in town. Passing the last outpost before Ayer’s Rock was just okay by him. Some time in the bush, a fortnight, would let him become one with nature for a little while and help him wind down from a hectic year.

“Is it always this dusty?” Frank, the American tourist asked loudly.

“’Round this time of year it usually is, brother,” Matthew said, bunging on the aboriginal accent that he knew the tourists like to hear.

“How are we going to be able to breathe out there?”

“Just a dust storm, brother. Be gone in a few minutes. During the dry season the red dirt cracks and dust flies around when the westerlies get blowing.”

“My clothes are going to be ruined!” The American tourist’s wife screeched. “There was nothing in the brochure about this, Randy.”

“Don’t worry, Ruth. I’m sure the dirt will come out.”

The two Japanese tourists said something to each other in their own language, and then laughed. The American woman was sure that they made fun at her expense.

“Exactly what I was going to say.” The Australian tourist said, and then laughed.

An ear piercing crack rang out into the silence of the outback, startling all five tourists and the tour guide. The four-wheel drive slide to the left, then to the right, when Matthew turned the steering wheel to straighten the vehicle up, almost rolling when it snapped back on the gravel road. Matthew managed to regain control of the vehicle before two wheels left the ground, ready to topple over into the ditch running beside the road. He used the gears to slow the car until it was safe to stop and take stock of what had just happened.

“What in blazes was that?” The Australian said.

“Sounds like a blow-out, Kez.” Matthew said in a calm voice.

Matthew quickly hopped out of the four-wheel drive before he copped an earful from the Americans. Kez was quick to follow. He did not want to hear any complaining from anyone. It was the first holiday he had been one since his wife left him six months ago.

“I’ll give you a hand.”

“Thanks, brother.”

The tour guide opened the small-sealed trailer and moved the toolbox aside, reached down and pulled out the heavy spare tyre. He dropped it to the ground and rolled it towards the blown out one on the driver’s side of the vehicle. When he reached the back door of the four-wheel drive he felt uneasy, as though something, or someone, was watching him from the distance. Matthew realised that the spot they had stopped was parallel to the sacred burier site of one of the violent tribes of the past. Ninety years ago, the last of the tribe had been hunted down by the white settlers and hung.

“You right back there cobber?” Kez yelled out. He was squatting near the front wheel, waiting for Matthew to come back with the jack. He had already rolled himself a smoke and taken a good couple of drags on it by the time Matthew got near him.

“We should hurry. Bad blood in this area, brother.”

The two Japanese tourists had also hopped out of the vehicle and were stretching their legs and arms out. It was a long, rough road from the turn off from the Lasseter Highway and you felt every bump and jerk of the gravel road. The American couple were still sitting in the vehicle, with the wife in hysterics and the poor old husband trying to calm her.

“Just a quick stop then back on the road,” Matthew yelled across the bonnet to the Japanese.

The woman, who apparently knew more English than her husband, nodded and smiled. She turned and said something in Japanese to her husband before they headed away from the car and towards some dead shrubs and trees.

“Bathroom,” Matthew thought she said before they walked out of speaking distance.

“What’s so bad about this place, mate?” Kez said.

“Bad tribe lived around here when the first settlers ventured out this way. They kept killing the livestock and damaging the tents at night. Never took anything, well nothing that anyone ever noticed. When the settlers didn’t get the hint, the stakes were raised and the children started going missing. None of them were ever found though, not one child or anything that belonged to them.”

“I never heard about any of this in history lessons at school.”

“No brother neither did most of Australia – white or black. Happened in a less populated spot in the country, so not many European settlers knew about it. The tribe responsible was the last of their generation, so when they were rounded up and hung, men, women and children, there was no record from the aboriginal side to speak of.”

“Whoa, children taken. Women and children hung. Are you sure this isn’t some urban legend mate?”

“True story, brother. See out there?” Matthew pointed of to the right. Kez only then realised that the dust storm had completely stopped. It was as dead as the moon; there was no breeze at all now. Kez couldn’t remember if it had stopped before he got out of the four-wheel drive or after. It must have been before he got out; surely he would remember the dust if it was still hurtling around and slapping him in the face.

“Where those trees are right on the horizon?”

“That’s where they tribe was hung.”

“How do you know it’s there? Looks like everywhere else out here.”

Matthew finished putting the spare tyre on then pointed about thirty degrees to the left of the trees. Kez squinted and could make out a dozen or so rocks, or tombstones by the looks of them.

“Is that a graveyard?”

“Of sorts, you could say. Them stones there are the Shadow Stones of the Yourigowi tribe.
They are supposed to contain the souls of the tribe – one member in each stone.”

“Small tribe wasn’t it?”

“They were the last of the Yourigowi. The elders were supposed to be sixty and the two children were both twelve. Some say they were stolen from a rival tribe, the Yourigowi hadn’t had any children for forty years that anyone knew of.”

“Who put them there if they aren’t tombstones?”

“Legend has it the morning after the hanging, the stones appeared. Strange thing was the bodies were gone, brother. Another legend has it that they made a pact with the great snake god. Anyone who goes near them stones better be sure that their shadow doesn’t hit any part of the stones. To have revenge on the settlers they were given undying life in those stones with the power to take the soul of anyone whose shadow hits it.”

“Sounds like a load of crap to me. Dead bodies turning into soul sucking rocks. Why wouldn’t someone have smashed them up at night if they had that sort of power?”

“Legend has it that all but one of those settlers lost his soul to the Shadow Stones the next morning. No one believed him when he crawled into town at Curtain Springs ranting and raving about demons and devils. When the police officer finally made some sense out of the crazed man, he led a search party out to the community and found nothing. The sole survivor had gone completely mad from the horrific soul sucking scene he witnessed and couldn’t remember how to get back to the exact place of the hanging. The site of the hanging and Shadow Stones was lost for decades before found by a group of elders from the Uluru tribe. The secret has been kept to protect both the aboriginal community and anyone wanting to see if this legend is true.”

“So why have you told all of this to me, if it is such a big secret?”

“Well brother, you ain’t in any danger of finding this spot again by yourself are you? We are in the middle of now where and you even said yourself, how did I know this was the spot.”

Check Out  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Check Out
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 539

“Just go and talk to her, mate.”

“I can’t, Paul. I don’t know what to say.”

“Just say whatever comes to mind. I mean, you know she likes U2, science fiction and playing guitar to. You have those things in common.”

“Yeh, but I’m just too shy. I feel too self conscious when I try and talk with girls. Always so worried that I will say to wrong thing or get rejected.”

“So you’d rather not even bother trying.”

“No that’s not it, it’s just...”

“PACKER TO REGISTERS, PLEASE.” The announcement came over the Foodstore’s PA system.

“There you go Chris, she needs yo....”

Before Paul had even finished his sentence, Chris was halfway down to the checkout. Down to the girl of his dreams, Alice.

“Thanks, Chris.” Alice said to Chris when he arrived and slid in behind her at the front registers. Chris liked packing for Alice. When you packed the groceries, you stood less than a foot behind the checkout operator. He could smell her perfume and she often bumped into him when she slid the groceries back along the counter.

By the time Chris had finished packing, he had had about five different fantasies about Alice.
Why couldn’t he talk to her?

He smiled at Alice when he walked back in the store and headed back down to the cold room to help Paul stock the selves. As usual, Paul was pigging out on some of the ‘broken’ stock. This time it was chocolate yo-go.

“Did you ask her out?”

Chris kicked the milk crates near the door.

“No.”

“Chris, Chris, Chris,” Paul said, shaking his head. “I reckon she likes you, you know.”

“I wish she did.”

“I’ve seen her check you out, you know. She looks at you like she has the hots for you when you walk away from the checkouts. She bumps in to you a lot when you are packing for her to. Never bumps in to any of the other guys that much.”

“PACKER TO THE REGISTER, PLEASE”

“She can’t get enough of you today, mate.”

Chris walked down to the registers again and slid in to his favourite place in the store. Alice stepped back and bumped into him, turned and smiled, “Sorry, Chris.”

“That’s cool.”

Chris finished packing and was glad when the customer didn’t want the groceries taken out to the car for them. He stood behind Alice and breathed in, savouring her perfume.

“Would you like to go out sometime?”

Chris looked at Alice in disbelief. Did she just ask him out?

“Yeh that would be great.”

“The new Indiana Jones movie is out this weekend, would you like to see that?”

Chris was relieved, going to a movie meant that he wouldn’t have to worry about not talking much and looking too nervous.

“I’d really like that, Alice”

Alice handed him a small slip of paper with her phone number on it and smiled.

Chris was so excited and started to job back to the coolroom to tell Paul the great news. He didn't notice that one of the other guys had moped the floor. Chris slipped over and landed heavily on his back, hearing a loud cracking noise.

"Chris, are you okay?" Chris could see Alice leaning over top of him. He must be laying on the floor. He thought he must have blacked out for a few seconds.

Chris tried to sit up, but he couldn't move his arms. He tried to roll over and get up that way, but found that he couldn't move a muscle.

"I can't move, Alice."

"Are you okay, Chris?"

"I can't move, why can't I move?"

Chris saw two paramedics kneel down next to Alice, who was holding Chris' hand and crying.

"I don't think he can hear me?" Alice said to the paramedics. "His eyes are open but he isn't saying anything back when I talk to him."

The paramedics carefully slid the stretcher under Chris, making sure they braced his neck to support it and reduce the chance of damaging it anymore than it already was.

"We'll check him out, miss."

Static Movement  

Posted by Scott Wilson

My Short Story - Crash Course in Brain Surgery has been accepted for publishing by Static Movement ezine. It will appear in the September issue.

Check it out next month at www.staticmovement.com

The Dome  

Posted by Scott Wilson

The Dome

By Scott Wilson

Word Count: 1624

Grant checked his oxygen gauge. He had close to half an hour of good clean oxygen left and a forty-minute journey back to base camp. The manufacturer’s guide always said to err on the side of there being less air left in your tank by five percent, give or take a percent. That was no help to this young space cadet today; he needed the gauge to be wrong by ten percent the other way. There was no use worrying about it though, the more stressed the body was the faster it breathed and the more precious oxygen it would use.

“Just relax,” Grant said to himself, “just relax kiddo and you will be just fine.”

A soft click in Grant’s ear gave him hope that the battery for his coms device was working after all. Maybe he had just panicked when he slid down that last embankment, puncturing a hole in his main tank and mistook the readout from his coms device. He thought to himself that that was probably it, he had it upside down, and the readout actually said the battery was full. I mean, how could it be empty when it had a two-week life and he had been gone only two days. Yeh, that was it, he was just panicking and everything seemed to be wrong, but it was all going to be alright.

“Hello, base.”

No reply, not even the static of empty cyberspace.

“Come in base.”

Nothing.

Grant shook the coms device and flicked the power switch on and off, then off and on again. The read out flashed and all the green bars appeared next to the battery icon. The battery must have been loose after the fall, not flat, loose.

“Hello, base. This is Grant Bryant, come in.”

“Go ahead Grant, this is base.”

“Base, I had a bit of a stumble five clicks out and lost my oxy supply. Only got about half an hour left. Request immediate help.”

“Got you, Cadet. We are tracking your coms device and will have an emergency pod out there within fifteen minutes.”

“Thank you, oh thank you so much, base.”

“No worries, Cadet. Just sit tight and we’ll bring you home safe as houses.”

“Will do, over.”

Grant sat down and waited. He could stop acting as though he was worried now. But only a little. He still had to appear relieved for his rescuers.

* * * *

“What were you doing in sector 84CA, Grant?”

“It’s called Wynnum, grandpa.” Grant said abruptly. “It’s where I grew up. It’s where we all lived until five years ago. If it wasn’t for those bloody terrorists we would still be living there instead of this oversized bubble.”

“I know Grant; I miss our home and your parents dearly to. We are just luck that they managed to set up these domes across the world before the bio-weapons took everything. You have to stop going out there. They’ll catch you and you will be expelled from the Cadets, you know.”

“I am being careful, grandpa. If they kicked me out of the Cadets I wouldn’t be able to go outside the dome and look for....”

“No one could be alive out there. Not after five years in that environment. Most of those that died died in only a few months of the attack.”

“There has to be survivors. It looks exactly the same out there as it does in here. The sky is blue, the grass is green, the....”

“But there are no living creatures. The gas poisoned all living creatures that we know of.”

“I don’t believe them,” Grant said softly. “How do you know it’s not all a lie? How do you know that it isn’t gone, if it was there in the first place?”

“Don’t let anyone hear you talk like that Grant. That sort of talk will get you kicked out of the Cadets as quick as going outside without a valid mission.”

Grant stood up, walked across the living room of the unit, and opened the draw of his desk. He moved some papers around and pulled out a photo frame. The frame looked slightly tarnished and Grant’s grandpa did not remember seeing it on any of the shelves. Maybe one that was very close to Grant’s heart. One that held special, personal memories that was too painful to be on show and remind him every day of his missing parents and sister. Grant looked at the frame for a minute, and then slowly walked back over to his grandpa. He handed the frame to him and almost pulled back when his grandpa reached out to take it.

Grandpa looked at the photo and felt tears well up in his eyes. Grandpa remembered someone took it at Grant’s eighteenth birthday party on the family yacht. Grant was sitting in between his parents and his sister was sitting on her mother’s lap. Their pet Siberian husky was looking right at the camera, with his paw raised as though he were waving at the photographer. Grandpa had a good idea who the photographer was; Grant’s fiancé, Bree. Bree was studying graphic design at university and her favourite pastime was photography. Grandpa knew that he was on the yacht that day, but was quite sick from some bad oysters he had eaten the night before, so he would not have taken it. This was the last weekend before the attack. The last weekend the family spent together as a family. The last weekend that Grant and his grandpa had seen the rest of the family.

“I remember this, Grant. But I don’t remember seeing if around the unit before.”

“That’s because I only brought it back from our house a month ago.”

“Our house. That means that it is contaminated. You could be executed for this.”

“For what? For showing the public, that it is safe outside. That there is no danger for us to go back to our homes and live the way we used to before the attack.”
“You could have killed me already.”

“No grandpa. I did some tests over the last few months and worked out that it was safe before I brought this back here. I love you grandpa. There is no way I would do anything that might harm you. You are the only family I have left.”

“What sort of tests?”

“Well, in April I noticed that our Cadet leader had a small tear in his suit. We were outside for a week, he never noticed, and he never got sick. Then I brought back a couple of things each week and left them around the Academy. Not in any places that the Cadets ever go. You know only secure areas where only the leaders are supposed to go. No one has been sick and no one has died at the Academy since I started the experiments.”

“You’ve been playing a very dangerous game, Grant. With people’s lives.”

“Not really, grandpa. I overheard some of the leaders talking a year ago about the outside. They didn’t know I was still in the showers after a trip outside, so they were very slack about talking in an unsecure area. Anyway, I started listening more carefully and looking for any signs that this might be the case. “
“A year ago, you’ve been thinking about this for a year now.”

“Yes, grandpa. You know, I have worked as hard as I can at the Academy to gain the trust and respect of the leaders so I could start solo expeditions as soon as I could. I was so wrapped six months ago when I finally got my first solo task. Even if it was only a day tripper.”
“I thought that you had finally got over having to live in the dome. That’s why I thought you had changed after your last birthday. Why you had become happier, less gloomy and glum.”
“That happened when I started to have hope again. Hope that that there might be survivors outside.”

“You did a good job fooling the leaders today then.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well when they told me that they received a distress call from you, you sounded almost hysterical.”

“I hope I didn’t overdo it then. I don’t want them to think I can’t handle solo missions outside. I had to bung it on though, so they thought I was concerned about running out of clean oxygen outside. I mean, it wouldn’t look good to walk all the way back to the dome with no oxygen left. They would know that I knew the lie about outside the dome.”

Grandpa handed back the frame and sat back in his recliner, putting his feet up as the footrest slowly rose up. Old time comforts in a new world. He too pinned for the old world, where there was no outside or inside. No restrictions on what you could or couldn’t own, or talk about.

“What now?”

“I want to disappear outside next time I go out. I want to stay out there and spend all my time looking for them. I have seen animals out there, you know. There are barriers set up out of sight surrounding the dome. Only the leaders and a select few Cadets have even been out that far to see them. They have to be switched off before you can go past them, to turn off the field that keeps all living creatures away from sight of the dome walls.”

“You mean you have seen animals? What about people?”

“No people yet. But I reckon there are other fields out even further that keep people away from the first fence.

Overtime Part I  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Overtime
By

Scott Wilson

Word Count: 638

Jack checked his watch to make sure he was on time. It was the seventh time in the last ten minutes that he had looked at his old Seiko Digital. Although Jack had never been late to an appointment in his life, he was extremely anxious about this meeting.

“Jack Kensington?” asked the overweight, balding store manager, as he opened the door to his small office.

“Yes sir,” Jack answered in a quivering and shaky voice, “that’s me.”

“You’re late.” The manager grunted harshly to Jack.

Jack looked at his watch; it was 3.30 pm on the dot. The job interview didn’t start until 3.45, so he was actually fifteen minutes early. To confirm that his watch wasn’t slow, Jack looked at the large, red numbers on the oversized digital clock above the manager’s office door.
3.30 pm.

“Sorry sir, I thought that the interview was at 3.45 pm.” Jack said sheepishly, not wanting to correct an adult, but also not wanting to make a bad impression before he even had a chance to get his first part time job.

“It is,” said the manger “but I am the customer, therefore, I am always right son.”

The manager began to laugh and slapped Jack on the back while motioning for him to enter the small crowded office. Jack felt totally off kilter now. If he was nervous before, and boy was he, then he was totally petrified now. He had spent the last half an hour after school going to the toilet from a bad case of the jitters. This alternated between spraying on more deodorant to cover the smell of sweat from a hard day at high school.

“The first thing that you will learn working at Basil’s Bigga Foodstore is that the customer is always right, son.”

“Yes sir.” Jack replied.

“Good, you’ve got manners. A lot of you teenagers seem to have no respect or manners these days. The last week has been a waste of time with no hopers and punks turning up to interviews with scruffy hair do’s and piercings all over their faces.”

The manager looked over Jack’s face and nodded, “Good, neat hair and no metal. Sit down.”

Jack waited for the manager to walk around the messy, polished wood desk and take a seat before sitting down. If he kept up his display of good manners then he would have his foot in the door without even saying a word. That is if he could get a word in edge way. With the manger doing all of the talking, he didn’t have to worry about how nervous he was or saying the wrong thing and spoiling his chances of getting the job.

“I’ve seen you before, haven’t I?” the manager said. “You’re one of Max’s friends aren’t you?
Jack was about to say that Max had organized the interview for him but was abruptly cut off before he even got his mouth open.

“Yeh, that’s where I’ve seen you, you were in the shop last week helping max lift those bags of potatoes. Heavy bastards those bags of spuds, aren’t they. A lot of kids your age can’t lift a fifty kilo bag of spuds, not that you’re supposed to. Workplace health and safety, fuh, when I was a kid we’d carry bags of spuds twice as big from the storeroom to the front of the shop by ourselves. No trolley and two men lifting back in the good old days.”

“Well, Max has probably already told you that my name is Mr. Belano,” The manager said with an emphasis on the Mr. “Basil to my friends and long term customers and Mr. Belano to the staff and suppliers. I don’t go for any of that modern fangled call me by my Christian name.

To Be Continued

Bad Harvest  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Bad Harvest

By Scott Wilson

Word Count: 1,245

“This is the last time I work a job that has shiftwork.”

“Quit your jibba jabbin fool, you ain’t done nothin’ but winge since you started.”

Cliff Bloxxom stopped shovelling wheat from the ruptured silo and wiped his forehead with a handkerchief from his back pocket. He looked over at the tall, muscle bound islander with contempt. Cliff thought how easy it must be or someone that big to effortlessly shovel all day without breaking a sweat.

“Watcha doing now, fool?”

“Look, Bart, i have never worked in a flour mill before and wasn’t told that i’d be doing anything like this.”

“Well Mr. Bigshot, you just gotta do what i tell you, don’t you? I have been working here the longest and am in charge.”

“No you’re not, mate. You are just a mill worker , same as me.”

Bart tossed a shovel load of wheat at Cliff, covering him from head to toe with dust and husks.

“Shovel, fool!”

Cliff wiped his face clean and opened his mouth to start an argument but thought twice. No point in arguing with someone like Bart, Cliff thought to himself. He had dropped out of school when he was fourteen and started working at the Tennessee Flour Mill. Men like that often thought they knew everything there was to know.

Cliff started shovelling the wheat into a forty-four gallon drum. The silo had ruptured an hour after the grain delivery arrived by train at 10.30 pm. Walt Townsend, the Shift Supervisor, assigned Cliff and Bart the task of cleaning the silo spill almost twenty minutes ago.

“This is ridiculous, Bart.” Cliff said harshly, “We need help. Cleaning up a silo of wheat with just two men will take a week.”

Bart lifted a shovel full of wheat, ready to toss it at Cliff again when the wheat behind him started swirling and rising in a dusty cloud.

“What the...” Bart said, dropping the load of wheat to the floor.

The wheat spun and rose to a height of almost seven feet, one foot higher than the muscled islander. Dust and grain filled the air in the packing room like a desert storm. It became almost impossible to breathe and to see more than a few feet in front of the two mill workers.
Cliff pulled the handkerchief from his back pocket again and held it in front of his mouth. Bart raised his free hand to cover his eyes. He could feel the husky shells of the grain cutting his face as it flew past like a pack of angry locusts.

Bart tried to move towards the door to the packing room but was disorientated and could not see any walls to make out which way was which.

Suddenly, the storm subsided and the wheat seemed to stop mid air, dropping to the floor like aircraft that had run out of fuel.

“Are you okay?” Cliff coughed.

“What the hell was that?”

“You’re the boss, you should know.”

Bart turned to face cliff. He was about to give Cliff a full on serve of his mind when he felt a chill run down his spine. He knew someone, or something, was standing behind him, which was impossible as the only door was on the other side of the packing room. He slowly turned around.

“Bart, get the hell out of there.”

“Wha..”

Standing in front of Bart was a seven-foot scarecrow made out of wheat and chaff. It had its arms outstretched menacingly, and a piercing red eyes screaming out like two burning ambers.
Bart took a step back, slipping on the loose grain on the cold, hard concrete floor. He stumbled backwards and fell down flat on his back, dropping the flat bladed shovel as he landed. The scarecrow figure opened its mouth and let out an ear piercing shriek that would have shattered the windows, had there been any in the room.

Cliff took a step forward to try and go to Bart’s aid, but slipped on the loose wheat on the floor to. The mini cyclone in the room had moved the spilt wheat from the crack in the silo to the entire floor, making it almost as hard to walk on as thousands of tiny ball bearings.

“Over here.” Cliff yelled at the scarecrow.

As the scarecrow turned its head, which was a spectacular sight as the head did not so much turn as to become formless and suddenly reform in Cliff’s direction. Bart took this opportunity to get to his feet again, grabbing the shovel and using it to help steady him. He was only a few feet from the creature, close enough to take a swipe at it before he headed towards the door.

“Don’t Bart, just run for it, mate!”

Bart clenched the shovel tight in his hands and swung hard. The shovel passed straight through the scarecrow, like it was a ghost or hologram. Without the resistance of the shovel’s impact, Bart kept carrying through with his swing until he fell off balance and ended up on the floor again.

The face of the scarecrow lost its form, and then reformed facing Bart. Its eyes grew larger and the red light filled the room. Bart shuffled back on the ground, trying to get away from the creature as it lunged forward. The arms of the creature grew longer and ended in sharp talon shaped claws instead of fingers now. It grabbed Bart by his left leg, piercing his dark skin as it did.

“Aaargh!”

The creature pulled Bart closer towards it and its grip grew tighter, crushing the bones in Bart’s muscular leg. Bart clawed at the shovel to his right, but it was just out of his reach. He swung around and punched at the scarecrow’s arm, hoping this time that he would make contact. His fist crashed into the grainy arm and the scarecrow’s grip loosened slightly. He thought that it must take solid form when it wanted to, like when it wanted to grab something, or someone.
Cliff saw Bart’s fist make contact and he threw his shovel at the scarecrow. The shovel whistled through the air and hit the scarecrow in the chest, or so it appeared for a second before it passed through and hit the wall behind.

Bart swung both fists at the arm this time and hit it on either side of its wrist. The scarecrow let go and let out another screech and pulled its talons back. Bart pushed himself back with his right leg, his left wasn’t much good now with the bone shattered. He picked up the shovel and tried to get to his feet.

“Come on.”

Bart could not put any pressure on his left leg, so he had no chance of running to get away. He used the shovel as a crutch and made his way towards the door as fast as he could. Before getting more than two feet he was struck on the back by the razor sharp talons of scarecrow. Bart felt the skin on his back tear and did not understand how something made of wheat could be so solid and sharp one minute and loose and formless the next.

“Bart..”

The scarecrow raised its other arm and torn Bart’s head from his body with one swift movement. Cliff heard the lifeless head drop to the ground as he ran from the room.

THE END

Matthew O’Reilly  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Matthew O’Reilly
By
Scott Wilson
Word Count: 645

Matthew O’Reilly slowly loaded five .36 calibre bullets into his stolen Colt Paterson revolver. He checked the leather pouch hooked on to his belt and counted 25 bullets, enough for the day at least. After holstering the Colt on his thick leather belt, Matthew picked up the 12 gauge, double-barrel coach gun from the log he was sitting on. He cracked it open and slide two shells in, then slung it over his shoulder. He was ready.

Matthew stood up quickly when he heard the sound of the Cobb & Co coach rolling down the dirt track to his left.

“Right on time,” Matthew said to himself.

Matthew ran out to the dirt track and tripped as the coach sped towards him.

“Whoa,” yelled the coach driver, pulling harshly on the reigns of the two horses.

The horses stopped within a few inches of Matthew’s body.

“You ok there mate?”

Matthew feigned unconsciousness, hoping the driver did not know if he had actually hit him or not. In the split second of action, he was sure the driver would not be sure of anything. He heard the coach driver jump down from his seat and walk slowly towards him.

“Hey fella, are you hurt?”

Matthew waited for the coach driver to bend over, and then slowly turned over to face him. The blood Matthew had smeared on his head a few seconds before the coach arrived was still dripping down his face.

The coach driver pulled a Cobb & Co handkerchief out of his trouser pocket and handed it to Matthew.

“Here, put this on that.”

Matthew took the handkerchief, taking note of the Colt Navy Revolver tucked into the burly man’s belt holster. It too was a .36 calibre revolver with five chambers, but an improved model compared to his own revolver. This may not be as easy as he thought.

“Thank, mate.” Matthew said softly to the driver. He looked up at him and could tell that he was a tough case. Not the usual sort of bloke usually driving a coach between towns. Matthew had never heard of Cobb & Co coaches having armed drivers before.

“Crikey, where did you come from? Running out of the bush like a scrub turkey.”

Matthew could feel another set of eyes watching him from within the coach. He looked behind the driver and saw a well dressed gentleman sitting next to a well dressed lady, most likely his wife. Nothing strange about that, but the .44 Winchester Rifle pointing at him from the coach’s window was.

“Sorry, ‘bout that mate,” Matthew said, “Razorback was chasing me and I heard your coach coming so tried to get here before it got to me.”

The driver looked at the direction Matthew came from and squinted.

“Must have lost him, cobber. He ain’t anywhere to be seen now.”

“Must have been the sound of you coach? Scared him off.”

The driver stood up and adjusted his holster.

“Most likely,” he said, “that’s why we have the lowest amount of bushranger robberies in Queensland. Only ten known bushrangers in our state not like down south.”

“Yep,” Michael said, “Sure wouldn’t want to try and hold up your coach.”

Michael slowly stood up, dusted off his moleskin coat and straightened his hat.

“I’d best let you get on your way.” Matthew said and walked off the dirt road and waved to the couple in the coach.

“You take care now,” the driver said. He winked at Matthew and hoped back up onto the coach.
Matthew rolled himself a smoke and nodded as the coach drove off. He sat back down on the log and thought to himself that maybe he should move down to New South Wales.

THE END

Shadow of Love  

Posted by Scott Wilson

By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 869

I remember High School like it was only yesterday. Catching the bus from Harbour Town to The Plaza, then walking to Dinsdale State High was a daily ritual for me for five years of my teenage life.

It wasn't that bad. My trusty Walkman kept me company on both the bus trip and the fifteen minute walk. Come to think of it, my trusty Walkman kept me company for most of my life back then. Being shy has its drawbacks. While not gaining any unwanted attention from any bullies, you also don't gain the attention of any of the girls you like either.

I used to work out every day and jog 10 kilometres, usually past the address of the girl I had a crush on at that particular time. Even though I was super fit and had a six pack, my self esteem and self confidence was none existent. Playing soccer for the state rugby union team didn’t boost my self confidence, nor did trying hard to get good grades at school. Even when I got top of the school for science, I still didn’t feel like I had any worth.

Depression is such a bastard of a disease. Especially when no one wants to acknowledge that you have it. It is far easier to ignore the signs and hope that it doesn’t really exist. I first remember being aware of having depression when I was twelve years old, during the last year of primary school. That’s when my parents died in a car crash. I was put into foster care with a couple of lousy bums that never showed me any love at all. Don’t know why they ever wanted a child, they never spent any time with me or told me they loved me.

All I ever wanted was to be loved or have someone tell me that they loved me, gave me a hug or a kiss. It is such a lonely world when you are around people all of the time but always alone. I suppose that is how other serial killers start off their path down a road that leads to more pain and despair. Rejected from society, wanting to be accepted but never quite fitting in, is it their fault or not?

I eventually wound up in a relationship with someone and had a son after only a year of living together. You would have thought that that would have sorted things out for me but it only seemed to make things worse. She was a heavy drug user and often abused me. Then again if she wasn’t off her face the day we met then I probably wouldn’t have even met someone.

I thought all my Christmases had come at once when this attractive woman with eyes of bright azure started talking to me at Transformers nightclub on a Tuesday night. Drinking by yourself on a week night was usually a pretty lonely and uneventful past time. Most of the time the bars were nearly empty, apart from other lonely souls who were trying to find solace at the bottom of a glass. On a Friday and Saturday night you knew that the chances of meeting someone were a lot higher due to the increased number of people out partying. Not that I ever met anyone in the three years of regular pub crawling every night of the week.

After we had a son our de facto relationship lasted another couple of months before she left me. I have no idea where she went or how I would ever be able to visit my son again. She didn’t tell me she was going to leave me, no phone call, no message and no idea why she left me. We never had any fights and as far as I knew everything was going well. Then again, I had never been in any sort of relationship before so what would I know.

That’s when I started keeping “the list”.

Everyone who ever added to the deterioration of my mental health in any way had scored a point on a tally sheet that should never have started. Past employers, neighbours, sales people who ripped me off and the wanker from high school that made it a goal to try and pick a fight with me just about every week, all made my life hell and deserve to be punished. I just got fed up with being pushed around and never getting anywhere in life. You always get passed over for promotions if you are quiet and introverted. You can’t meet anyone if you are too shy to start a conversation with new people.

I made a choice, or more a choice was made for me. If no one was going to love me, then I was going to hate everyone as much as I felt they hated me.

CRASH COURSE IN BRAIN SURGERY  

Posted by Scott Wilson

“Look inside and you will see the words are cutting deep inside his brain.” Raven Black said to his assistant. “It’s like a thunder ringing out a lightning burning, driving him insane.”
Raven Black’s young assistant leaned over the pale figure strapped to the cold, hard iron bench. He peered inside the large incision running from the top of the scalp to the nape of the neck, held open with rusty clamps. He breathed heavily as his heart beat faster and faster with excitement and anticipation at the thought of the next step in the procedure that he would perform himself. Kirk Ulrich looked back up at his master and smiled uneasily. He was almost to the point of ecstasy, yet he was nervous about letting down Raven Black Raven had been a hard task master, but always willing to explain every single step in fine detail to Kirk.
“Are you ready for this my young apprentice?” Raven said to his assistant as he handed him the scalpel.
“Yes master,” Kirk replied in a quivering voice. “Thank you so much for believing in me. I won’t let you down.”
“I know that you won’t Kirk. You have been a most attentive pupil and I have faith in you ability to perform the extraction.”
Kirk took the scalpel from his master in his left hand, pressing down on the patient’s chest with his right hand at the same time. The patient struggled to turn his head towards Kirk but an inch thick leather belt restricted any movement. Even without this restraint the patient could not move. An hour ago at the Arms Hotel, Kirk added an immobilizing agent to his scotch, rendering him completely paralysed.
“I can see the wicked words lancing his brain, master.” Kirk said as he moved the scalpel towards the exposed grey cerebral cortex.
“That’s right my young apprentice, the words are fighting to conquer his life. It is our duty to remove them, neutralize them with the knife before they take hold and control his life completely.”
The patient tried to scream, no words would come out. The patient had begun crying with pain from the first incision and subsequent clamping. All of which had been performed without any anaesthetic. Every cut, every touch and movement was felt with harsh clarity. The two surgeons stopped each time the patient’s eyes started to roll back in his head, or at any other sign that he might lapse into blissful unconsciousness. Part of the so called treatment was to ensure that the patient could feel each word being extracted from his thoughts and mind. If the patient didn’t feel the pain the surgery was deemed a failure and had to be euthanized.

Uncle Tom's Cabin  

Posted by Scott Wilson

By Scott Wilson

Word Count 2,725


Paulie and his Uncle Tom were fishing down by the Mary River late on Sunday evening. It hadn’t been a very productive fishing trip, with not enough legal size fish caught to feed a young tacker. Paulie didn’t mind though. He just loved spending time with his dad’s brother Tom any time he could. Fishing was Tom’s favourite pastime so it soon became Paulie’s favourite hobby.
Paulie’s father died in an accident at the timberyard when Paulie turned ten. Tom was close to his brother and missed him dearly. After the death of Paulie’s father Tom took on the unofficial role as father figure. Paulie did not have any brothers and enjoyed the male companionship with Uncle Tom every weekend. It was not a planned event by any means; Paulie went fishing with Tom one Saturday and then the next and so on. Uncle Tom never tried to take over the role as father, nor did Paulie look to his uncle to fill this role. It was just a family bond that seemed to form over the two years since that terrible day.
Uncle Tom called his favourite fishing hole, “The Wishing Well”. It was five miles down stream from the timberyard, but neither Paulie nor Uncle Tom acknowledged that. It was a nice, quiet spot away from all the main roads and tucked away from the Mary River enough so no other fishermen in their tinnies disturbed them. No need to try and find another spot because it was so close to where Paulie senior died. It was actually a good place to forget the worries of the world, as callous as that may sound.
The best location was perched on a thick mangrove branch about four feet out over the water. Branches hide you well from both the water and the land so as to camouflage you from the native birds and unsuspecting fish. This trick seemed to work well with the birds still chirping and the fish still swimming. If you had your esky well stocked, you could stay there the whole day, and sometimes even most of the night without having to set foot back on land. A small twinkle every now and then to relieve oneself did not seem to scare the fish away, although Paulie thought on more than one occasion he saw a small tiger shark swim past while he was still taking a leak.
Uncle Tom believed Paulie when he mentioned this to him. Tiger sharks usually like deep water and didn’t often come this close in to shore from the Sandy Straits.
“I hear that this spot is so deep you’d kick on down to hell before you got to the bottom,” he used to say. As if seeing a man-eating shark swim by five feet under you when you were perched on a branch not much thicker than your waist wasn’t scary enough without the need of adding the fact beneath you was a bottomless pit that went right on down to hell, Paulie used to think. Then again, probably why it was the best fishing spot around.
“Why doesn’t anyone else come here?” Paulie asked his uncle.
“Well, Paulie,” Uncle Tom started, “Years ago it was said that a young married couple came down here for a midnight dip. You know, skinny dipping and stuff, like newly weds do.”
“Oh gross.” Paulie said with a disgusted look on his face.
“When you’re a couple of years older you won’t think so young Paulie. Anyways, the next day nothing but their clothes was found on the bank of the river.”
“Was it the sharks?”
“Many locals don’t believe that the tiger shark will swim this far up the Mary. You know, being a salt water creature and all.”
“But we’ve seen then heaps since you brought me fishing here.” Paulie said.
Uncle Tom winked at his young nephew and smiled, “At least no one disturbs our little fishing trips anyway, hey Paulie.”
Paulie thought about it and was about to ask another question then though twice about it and shrugged his shoulders and went back to slowly reeling his line in.
A twig snapped on the shore off to the right and both Paulie and Uncle Tom jumped slightly.
“What was that?” Paulie whispered, edging closer on the mangrove branch to his Uncle.
Uncle Tom picked up his Dolphin torch and had his finger on the on switch when they heard a single gunshot. He quickly took his finger away from the switch and slid closer to Paulie. He raised his finger to his lips and motioned to Paulie to lay down low on the branch.
In the pale moon light Uncle Tom and Paulie saw Sargent Brady and Constable Hedge dragging the limp body of Graham Kelly, the town hooligan towards the mangrove tree they were perched in. A few feet behind the two officers someone was struggling in the bushes.
“Go shut her up,” Sargent Brady grunted at his offsider, “before we have to put a bullet in her too.”
“I can’t believe you killed him,” Hedge replied in a quivering voice.
“If you don’t shut her up and make sure she is secure, you’ll join the rest of them down the bottom of the wishing well.”
Constable Brady hurried back out of sight of Paulie and Uncle Tom. Neither Paulie nor Uncle Tom made a sound and held on tight to the mangrove branch. Sargent Brady was almost beneath the mangrove tree now and they did not want to find out how deep the wishing well was first hand either.
“Help me,” a woman screamed out from the darkness where Hedge hurried back a moment before.
“Damned fool,” Brady grunted as he tossed the limo body into the water. Uncle Tom briefly saw two thick lead bars strapped to the corpse’s legs as it sank into the dark cold water. Tom thought to him self, that body plus the lead bars would weigh at least a hundred kilos and the psycho cop tossed it into the water as though it were nothing but a rag doll.
Sargent Brady walked out of the moonlight and into the pitch-black mangrove bushes out of the line of sight of Paulie and Uncle Tom.
“We have to get out of here,” Paulie whispered.
“We ain’t going anywhere till those two are far way from here, Paulie.” Uncle Tom whispered back. “If they know we saw what they were up to, we’d end up down the bottom of the wishin’ well to.”
“I can’t stay here, they get me.” Paulie said. Uncle Tom noticed that he was sobbing and shaking.
Tom put a steady hand on Paulie’s shoulder and softly said, “Just hold on a bit longer Paulie. We’ll be fine once they go. Just have to keep quiet and still ‘till then, ok.”
Paulie wiped his nose with the sleeve of his shirt and nodded, “Ok, dad.” He sobbed.
Uncle Tom looked at his nephew. How unfair life was, first loosing his father and now being caught up in something this horrible. So many other kids get to go through their whole life with a happy childhood, family and friends. Poor Paulie lost his father and now sees a murder when he is innocently fishing. If he were lucky he would get away from this with his life, but at what cost. How much can a young boy take before cracking and ending up in the loony bin? Uncle Tom listened carefully. What were they doing over there in the darkness; actually he had a pretty good idea, poor girl, whoever she was.
A single shot rang out in the night again.
Paulie whimpered.
“Bring her over to the water’s edge,” Sargent Brady called over his shoulder as he walked back towards the wishin’ well.
Uncle Tom wanted to tell Paulie to close his eyes, but any noise made now would give away their hiding place above Sargent Brady. He looked at Paulie then over to Constable Hedge. Hedge struggled as he dragged the half naked body of another young local towards the water. Uncle Tom looked at the young girl again, trying to see if he knew who it was. When Hedge was almost to the mangrove tree, Paulie gasped. It was Donna, Donna Kennedy, the school captain. She was only seventeen years old, or was until a few minutes ago.
“What was that?” Hedge yelped.
“What was what?” Brady replied. “You are pathetic, you know Hedge. The only thing out here besides us is the dead of night. “
“I thought I heard a cry,” Hedge started to say, “like som…..”
Brady stepped forward with lighting speed and backhanded his offsider across the side of his head. Hedge fell backwards and landed on top of the half naked school captain. When realising why his landing was so soft, Hedge let out a cry that was so feminine that it almost sounded like it came from the female corpse.
Brady tossed two heavy lead bars on top of Hedge and said, “Do something useful while you are down there and tie these on to that thing’s legs.”
Hedge looked up at Brady, and for a minute, Uncle Tom thought that he was staring right at him. Hedge was actually not looking at anything, but thinking how he was going to get himself out of this mess. He did not know that he was going to be involved in a double murder that night when heading out on patrol. Hedge always knew that the sergeant was a tuff nut, but he had no idea that his superior officer was a complete psychopathic, murdering nut case. How could he kill two kids in cold blood without a second thought or even blinking?
“I’m going to give you one last chance before you join these two.” Brady said in a monotone voice, “TIE IT NOW!”
Just as Paulie and Uncle Tom both gasped and almost fell into the water, a huge stripped brown shape leapt out of the water with the body of Graham Kelly hanging out of each side of its razor sharp jaws. Luckily for them the loud noise from the shark disguised the small rustling they caused a few feet above the water. Neither Brady nor Hedge heard or saw the two in the tree, and only just saw the tail fin of the shark as it crashed back into the blackness of the still water.
Hedge used this distraction as an opportunity to bolt. He stumbled over the corpse as he ran back into the mangroves and the dark. Brady un-holstered his service revolver and started after Hedge. He walked like a man on a mission but did not run. It was as though he knew Hedge would not get away from him anyway so there was no point in raising a sweat by running after him.
“Quick,” Uncle Tom said, “Let’s get down.”
Paulie had already scampered across the branch before Uncle Tom had finished his sentence. Uncle Tom crawled right behind his nephew and down the thick trunk of the tree to the soft ground below.
“To my cabin, Paulie.” Uncle Tom said quietly, but loud enough for Paulie to hear without any mistake. There was no time for back tracking or taking any wrong turns now. If they didn’t read the cabin before that crazy cop was back there would be five bodies going down the wishin’ well tonight. Uncle Tom was determined that there was no way that would happen to his poor nephew, not tonight. Not ever.
Paulie ran and Uncle Tom followed closely. He was holding on to the esky and both hand reels. There was no way that he was going to leave any evidence of who was up the tree watching the show tonight. If the sergeant was that crazy, there would be no hiding from him once he knew who they were. The cabin was only about a hundred meters away and not visible from the wishin’ well. It seemed like half an hour before they reached it, in less than five minutes flat.
Uncle Tom fumbled with the key to the padlock before getting it opened, sliding it quickly from the thick, sturdy chain.
“Quick Paulie, inside.” Uncle Tom said to Paulie as he opened the corrugated iron door.
Once they were both safely inside the cabin, Uncle Tom looped the chain back around the holes in the door and front wall, clicking the padlock shut in one motion. Uncle Tom turned and put his arm around his nephew reassuringly.
“We’ll be ok now Paulie,” he said.
Paulie looked up at his uncle with tears welled up in his red eyes. Uncle Tom did not realise just how much poor Paulie had been silently crying whilst stuck up that mangrove tree. Gun shots, half naked bodies and shark attacks, why wouldn’t he be bawling his little eyes out, Uncle Tom almost was himself. The only thing keeping him from bursting out crying himself was the need to stay strong for his poor young nephew.
“We’ll just wait out the night here, then go back home in the morning.” Uncle Tom said. “No one will know that we saw anything and we’ll be ok.”
“But we have to tell someone,” Paulie cried, “Sergeant Brady and Constable Hedge belongs in a prison cell.”
“We can’t say anything to anyone Paulie,” Uncle Tom said to Paulie, trying to reassure him he was right; and to reassure himself what he said was the right thing to do.
“We have to...”
“We are going to have to just keep our mouths shut, Paulie.” Uncle Tom said more firmly this time. “Unless you want to end up in the wishin’ well to.”
Uncle Tom knew that sounded harsh, but he had a feeling that if that crazed sergeant found out they were witness to his midnight crimes, they would be next on his list. He didn’t know what those poor two young kids had done but he didn’t think it would be anywhere near as bad as being witness to a double murder committed by the town law officer.
Paulie pressed his head against Uncle Tom’s chest and sobbed even heavier. He was a smart kid and in his heart he knew what Uncle Tom said was true, but it didn’t feel any better. Paulie knew the right thing to do was report these corrupt cops to someone. They had to be reported. You just couldn’t go around killing people in Australia. It just didn’t happen, did it? Especially by the very people who were supposed to protect the citizens.
Neither of them slept in Uncle Tom’s cabin that night. Every noise felt like it was the sound of the two police officers creeping up on them, ready to kick the door of the cabin in and shoot them dead. When morning finally arrived they cautiously opened the cabin door and made their way back to Uncle Tom’s old Range Rover. It was still sitting off the old dirt track that came off of the road between Maryborough and Tin Can Bay. Uncle Tom looked carefully around the four wheel drive and was sure that there were no footprints. Maybe we will be ok Uncle Tom thought.
The next day Uncle Tom read the front page of the local newspaper, “Constable Hedge’s body found at the fishing spot known as The Wishin’ Well. All evidence indicates that Constable Hedge shot High School Captain Donna Kennedy before turning the gun on himself. Sergeant Brady made a statement that he suspected Hedge had been seeing Donna for a few weeks and was upset that she was going to break the relationship off.” When a familiar voice behind him said, “Guess no one will use that ol’ Wishin’ Well now for sure, hey old timer.”
Uncle Tom turned around and felt his heart well up and explode with pain when he saw the owner of the voice was Sergeant Brady. Uncle Tom thought he saw Brady smile when Tom hit the ground. He thought he heard Brady laugh just before his heart stopped beating. Uncle Tom’s last thought was of his nephew, Paulie. He was never going to be able to warn him...
The End

First Blood  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Hi there

I am a budding young-ish, writer who is keen to have his stories published.

As I write, I will be posting my tales on this blog.