Posted: June 29, 2011 in #blogjune, Devilish Detail

‘Come on!’ Tim thought, frustrated at the delay. He couldn’t wait to leave, to drive himself in his poky old rented car back to what passed for the local ‘airport’. He was still undecided about the gate at the end of the drive though. It was his firm conviction that it needed to be locked. Sarah, though, had been adamant. “We DON’T lock gates around here!” she had yelled. She had been furious that he had even suggested it. “We’re a friendly place around here, and no one locks their gates. No one! So don’t even think about it!” She had glared at him, and he had looked away, letting her think that he would accede to her wishes. And he probably would, too. It wasn’t worth it, the potential damage to their relationship. So long as she realised that when they were back in Brisbane, it would be him calling the shots…

She had made it. The old, part-rotten corner fencepost had never looked quite so welcoming as it did right now. The feel of the hot knotted wood under her hands felt as though it could lend her its strength, so she gathered her final reserves. She was almost overwhelmed by exhaustion, and her right leg could barely support any weight at all, but she’d made it this far – surely she could make it to the end of the drive?

Tim, sitting at the old kitchen table, drummed his fingers on the smooth surface. It had been scrubbed to within an inch of its life by his mother. Then by Sarah, who seemed to have inherited the same family pride. The need to do things ‘right’. To do what was ‘proper’. He doubted that it would have even occurred to her that there was another option to caring for their mother at home. And now, now that the need for caring for her was over, he wondered if Sarah knew what she wanted to do with her life. She need not feel obliged to continue trying to make a living out here on the property. Tim was glad that she had agreed to his plan to stay with him in Brisbane for the next couple of months. Until she had worked out what she wanted. Blue would be fine; Tim lived on an acre in Eight Mile Plains, so there’d be enough room for him to run around, like he was used to. And he’d had recently had it all fenced, so there wouldn’t be a problem there. He hoped that it had all gone okay at the airport. Sarah had insisted that she go ahead to get Blue settled; she had certainly used a tone of voice that brooked no arguments. So he’d seen them off, just past the gate, and come back to the house to wait for her to call, to tell him to join them. Then he’d lock up the house for the last time, drive to the airport – making sure to not lock the gate behind him – and they’d fly away from this oppressive heat and dust.

(The beginning of this short story starts here...)


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