‘Creeping Crawley’


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In a small park beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge a forlorn teenager is hiding from the world behind the branches of a huge weeping willow.

Thirteen year old Graham ‘creepy’ Crawley shivers in fright as the residents go about their business oblivious to his presence just metres away.

Graham ran away from the family home in Parramatta two days ago after an argument with his parents leaving his mobile and his dog Rex behind.

Pencil weighing a mere 40kg the runaway nervously peers through the dense canopy half hoping to see his mum and dad telling to get home because Rex and little brothers are missing him terribly but the streets are empty except for a few stragglers.

His stomach growls in hunger Yeah come on arsehole grow some balls and go find us some food, i am starving’

Graham tries to ignore the little voice in his head but he has to admit that he could the eat the whole Macca’s menu if given the chance and with a final glance to see if the coast is clear he steps out into the night.

The Rocks is an historic part of Sydney with buildings dating back to the early 1800’s, its residents enjoy million dollar views and drive BMW’s and Mercedes Benz around enjoying their inner city lifestyle but Graham really couldn’t give a shit about the locals and their fancy cars all he wants at the moment is to find some food and a place to crash.

Luckily he finds a discarded box of fries on a table outside the local KFC , as he scoffs them down in one mouthful Graham notices a row of terraces down the end of a side street that look promising.

On closer inspection he notices that the terrace on the far end is boarded up with a condemned sign pinned to the front door ‘This is perfect now all i have to do is find a way to get inside.

A Harley Davidson is parked outside the terrace next door and a light is on upstairs but otherwise no one else is around so Graham creeps down the side lane and enters into a small courtyard.

Another notice is pinned to the back door warning that trespassers will be prosecuted but Graham ignores the warning sign and twists the door handle and to his surprise it opens and knowing that there could be drug addicts or squatters inside he takes a moment to listen for any sound of danger than he walks inside.

He automatically hits the light switch and Graham gets another pleasant surprise when a old dirty bulb flickers to life ‘Holy crap what next? A fridge full of chicken nuggets and choc chip ice cream would be nice’ but the space where the fridge should is empty ‘Oh well can’t have it all’

Graham suddenly remembers that the neighbours are still so he switches off the light and guided by the moonlight he walks upstairs to hopefully find a mattress to sleep on but all of the bedroom are empty but strangely a length of rope dangles from the ceiling out in the hallway and without a moments hesitation he gives it a good hard yank and a set of stairs lower down.

Staring up into the darkness the lonesome teenager is reluctant to take the first step but than the annoying little voice taking up his head space decides to add his two cents worth ‘What are you waiting for you pussy,just walk up the stairs because the attic could be full of sausage rolls and fairy floss but on the other hand you could enter a portal to another universe and worse still you could crawl up the anus of Uranus and disappear into the brown for eternity’

Graham rolls his eyes because it is bad enough to have an overactive voice in the head who doesn’t seem to know the old saying ‘silence is golden’

Once his eyes have stopped rolling in their sockets Graham takes a deep breath and hurries up the stairs into an attic full of cobwebs and dust motes and once his vision has adjusted to the darkness he notices an item over near a dividing wall.

A large wooden chest that looks like it hasn’t been opened since Aladdin lived in a cave shimmers in the moonlight beckoning Graham over for a closer look.

With visions of Gold coins, stolen treasure or even a few playboy magazines Graham quickly opens the lid to discover nothing but old black & white photos and newspapers.

Slamming the lid closed in frustration the impact loosens a few bricks from the dividing wall and they fall into the neighboring attic.

Worried that the people next door might have heard the commotion Graham waits for a few minutes but the only sound comes from a dog a street away so after prying a few more bricks loose he crawls through the gap.

Not usually one to steaky beak into other peoples business Graham opens the manhole cover and listens once again hoping that the occupants are asleep so he can sneak down and grab some food from the fridge but suddenly a voice is heard ‘Come on John i think that we should stay put for another week because i have a feeling that something is about to happen.’

‘Jesus Cathy, we have been here twiddling our thumbs in this shithole for far to long. I say that we pack it in and tell the boss that it is a lost cause’

‘Lets give it two more days John and if he doesn’t show then i agree we call it a day, now stop stop jabbering and eat your apple pie’

‘Apple pie’ Graham gasps ‘I would donate my left nut to science if i could taste just a spoonful of that pie’ but just to be safe he waits for an hour or two until all is quiet.

When he hears one of the couple snoring away the starving teenager lowers the staircase and creeps down the gloomy hallway and the snoring gets louder when he walks near a bedroom ‘God’ the voice in his pipes up ‘It sounds like someone is trying to start a broken down chainsaw but i digress, lets go find that pie and maybe there will be some ice cream and sprinkles’

Graham is about to say that nobody has sprinkles on apple pie but he doesn’t want to encourage the voice so he trundles silently into the kitchen and opens the fridge door.

Every shelf is crammed with enough food to feed a dozen sumo wrestlers for a month and sitting pride of place is three huge slices of apple pie on a plate.

Not even bothering to see if there is any ice cream Graham crams one slice into his gob and swallows it down in one bite.

After devouring all three slices in record time Graham grabs a plastic bag from beneath the sink and fills it to the brim with food then he drags the bag back to his terrace and after eating a slice of ham he falls asleep on the threadbare lounge only to be jolted awake four hours later ‘What in the fuck John did you go sleepwalking last and raid the fridge?’

‘Not as far as i know Cathy but pray tell me what has got your undies in a twist’

‘Don;t take that tone with me John because you know very well what i am talking about. the fridge has been cleaned out but worst of all john is that you ate the rest of the apple pie knowing full well that i was going to have a slice for morning tea plus you even had the gall to leave the dirty plate on the counter’

John who looks like one of the bikers on that TV show ‘Sons of Anarchy’ knows that it is useless trying to reason with his wife just tells her that he ‘ didn’t touch any food’ grabs the keys to his Harley and walks out the door.

Graham is in hysterics as he listens to the couple next door arguing but he has learnt his lesson so from now on he will only take enough food to fill his belly and not pig out like a well, a pig.

Once his enjoyment dies down boredom quickly settles in, Graham is tempted to venture outside but his parents have probably reported him missing by now and he is having to much fun to go home just yet so he decides to go and scope out the terrace on the other end of the building.

Cutting through the couples attic is his surprised to see that there isn’t a dividing wall so he slinks over and lifts the manhole cover and listens to see if anyone is at home and almost immediately a voice a voice drifts up from below. ‘Come on Eileen give us a kiss’

I have told you a thousand times Mr Redpath that i am your care giver not your girlfriend plus you are old enough to be my grand father’

‘Please Eileen just one kiss i will even put my teeth back in’

Having know interest in a toothless old coot Graham goes back to his terrace and finishes of the contents of his stolen goods.

Two nights later Graham decides to visit his neighbours to see if there is any one treats to be had and when he hears the chainsaw starting up he ventures into the kitchen and he almost cracks a fat when he opens the fridge door because staring him in the face is a gigantic chocolate cake.

Grabbing the cake with both hands Graham scurries back up to the attic and started to devour the cake bite by bite but then he hears the lady below berating her husband and what she has to say causes him to slam his arsehole shut, ‘Did you enjoy eating the chocolate cake John? Because let me tell you that i mixed in enough laxatives to make a buffalo shit non stop for a week’

John has heard enough ‘Cathy Quinton i have heard enough, i haven’t been raiding the fridge plus you know as well as i do that i am not a huge fan of Chocolate so why would i eat it?’

Cathy leans in and stares deep into her husbands eyes and from experience she knows that he is telling the truth, but if John hasn’t been steaking the food who has been?’

A strangled cry from above answers her question.

Graham knows that if the doesn’t make it to a toilet real quick he will spray his undies so he runs downstairs to his terrace pulling his pants down on the way, with a sigh of relief he sits on the throne and unleashes a liquid torrent not seen since biblical times.

After visiting the toilet ten times over the following hour Graham starts to develop an arm like Popeye from all the wiping and to make matters worse he has used all of the toilet paper.

‘John there is someone up in the attic, go grab a torch and take a look while i hold the fort’

The harried husband yanks on the rope to lower the staircase then he shines the light all around the attic Cathy what if there is a werewolf up here, if it rips my throat out then you will become a widow’

‘I will take that chance now get up there before i kill you myself’

John climbs the remaining two steps ‘There is no one up here but the chocolate cake is on the floor so some one was up here but that also means that someone was in our house’

When John walks back down into the hallway his wife grabs his arm ‘John what if it was Brett Price he could kill us in our sleep next time’

‘Cathy Price is an adult he wouldn’t be sneaking around an attic and come down here to steal some cake, that is something that a child would do so stop worrying, now what’s for tea because i am starving’

Chicken casserole John, it will be ready in about ten minutes’

‘Chicken again Cathy, that is the fourth time this week you must have been a chicken farmer in a past life or something because you sure do love your chicken’

It isn’t by chance that the couple are currently residing at 4/126 Oceanview Drive the Rocks, they are both constable’s with the Australian Federal Police, they have been hunting notorious contract killer Brett Raymond Price for over a decade but the killer has managed to elude them every step of the way.

The Price family grew up next door at 2/126 so the couple are working undercover because by all reports Price is back in town so the authorities are hoping that he will return to the place where he grew up but that leaves John and Cathy Quinton in the firing line.

Graham’s bowels are still doing somersaults and with no toilet paper at hand he has no choice but to go searching for some so he enters the attic and walks over to Mr Redpath’s terrace.

The sun only set an hour ago so Graham knows that the old man is likely still awake but with his guts threatening to explode again he has no choice but to go down stairs and take a few rolls of toilet paper so the lowers the steps and creeps along the hallway looking for the bathroom.

Opening the bathroom Graham is happy to see a pack of four rolls on the floor, but his smile vanishes when his bowels tell him to take a seat and buckle up.

The stench hits him hard’ Jesus that stinks, even the sewer rats will run from that one’

‘Hello who is out there? Did someone just die a gruesome death because it sure smells like it’.

‘Come in here right now, i have a shotgun and i am not afraid to use it, so show your face before i turn you into minced meat’

Timidly Graham enters Mr Redpath’s bedroom to find that the old man is bedridden and there is no shotgun in sight ‘Who are you and what are you doing in my house?’

‘Huh, don’t you remember me grandpa? It is me Graham your favourite grandson’

‘Come closer boy so that i can see you better, why course i recognize you now, it is good of you to visit but why are you stinking up my house and walking around with a pack of toilet paper.

‘Sorry grandpa but i ate a dodgy piece of chocolate cake and got the squirts but i am alright now and i was restocking the bathroom with toilet paper but enough talk why don’t i go make us a sandwich or something’

‘No need Graham i only ate an hour ago plus my caregiver will be here in a few hours, now take a seat and tell me why it has taken so long for you to visit’

The odd pair spend an hour talking about girls, motorbikes and why hair grows down there in your underwear.

When Graham hears a car door slam outside he knows that he should go before the caregiver walks inside’ I gotta go now grandpa, it was good talking to you but i have to do some homework’

‘Sure thing Graham thanks for taking the time to talk to me but before you go let me give you a little something’

Reaching under the mattress Mr Redpath pulls out a wad of notes and hands Graham a $10 bill ‘Here you go boy, now take care and come back anytime you want’.

‘Sure thing grandpa, it was nice talking to you’

‘Holy shit Cathy, they just said on the News that a man has been murdered over on Trinity Street which is only five minutes from here .

Cathy wanders in wiping her hands on an apron ‘What did you say John, i am in the middle of making a chicken pie’

I said a guy was murdered down near the shopping centre, the newsreader said that it looks like a gang related shooting but i believe that was Brett Price that did the bloke in’

‘Price is coming home Cathy so i think that we should call for some backup before the doo doo hits the fan’

‘Calm down John if Price is close and notices any unusual activity he will turn tail and we might never see him again, i say we just sit tight and let him walk into our trap but go call the lieutenant and let him know that we believe that our target is getting close and to have a team on standby’

‘Will do love, um that pie smells good but i hope that there isn’t any bones this time’

‘It isn’t my fault if someone didn’t do their job in the factory John now shut up and go set the table’

Taking a snooze on the lounge Graham is dreaming about losing his virginity to his hot teacher Miss Thomas, a tent is taking shape in the front of his pants and things are about to reach a climax when he is jolted awake by the sound of breaking glass ‘Holy shit someone is trying to break in’

Brett Raymond Price once inside quickly makes himself comfortable in the familiar surroundings, he wanders from room to room dredging up memories both good and bad.

Price is tall and lanky with fiery red hair that he usually hides under a tattered Canterbury Bulldogs baseball cap but his hair isn’t his most distinctive feature, his eyes are a dark brown almost and people have said that when he stares at you it is like looking into the dead eyes of a great white shark.

Price was the eldest of four brothers and from an early age he had a fascination with weapons particularly guns and knifes.

His family used to travel up to Nundle where his shooting skills help to bring down over one hundred feral pigs.

Price was a natural when it came to using a high powered rifle to kill a pig from long range and he took great delight in slitting a hogs throat to put it out of its misery then feeding the entrails to his dogs.

He was loner who patrolled the streets at night with a slug gun and any family pet that had the misfortune to get in his sights was put down and left bleeding in the gutter.

When he turned fourteen he held up a corner store with a knife and escaped with over $500 a fortune for a teenager.

Word soon got around that he was a kid to avoid at all costs and many locals knew that it was only a matter of time before he murdered some poor soul.

When his parents heard the rumors swirling around the suburb they confronted their wayward child and gave him an ultimatum either go live with his uncle Cliff out near Dubbo or go into a boys home until he turned eighteen.

Price chose to go out west and live with his uncle but he soon got in trouble and even his uncle who was a brutal man couldn’t control his short tempered nephew.

Three months later Cliff Crawley was found with his throat cut from ear to ear plus he had been slit open with his intestines splattered on the living room carpet.

Brett Raymond Price was suspected of committing the heinous crime but he had disappeared into the bush, the police believe that he made his way to Queensland where he hid for eighteen months.

Tired of hiding out in central Queensland Price enlisted in the Australian Army using a fake ID, his shooting skills were soon recognized by his superiors and he was drafted into the special forces where he quickly developed into an elite sniper.

When Australia and its allies entered the second Gulf War Corporal Price soon honed his skills recording over 120 kills but his evil ways soon came to the fore and he once again began to enjoy the killing shooting both the enemy and civilians alike.

To avoid an international scandal Price was arrested and placed in the brig, knowing that he faced life imprisonment he bribed a guard and escaped to Oman and from there he made his way to London and soon found employment as a contract killer.

He was a sniper shooting his victims from long range but now he prefers to get close to his target killing them with one knife thrust to the neck.

Now he is back in Sydney squatting at his parents old terrace in the Rocks waiting for the heat to die down after his latest hit.

He has dyed his hair blond and has recently began wearing blue contact lenses, his mobile rings and the killer smiles ‘Yeah it went as planned, i killed him with a gun liked you asked just make sure that the money is put into my account or i will hunt you down and kill not only you but your whole family’

Up in the attic Graham is scared out of his mind and in his hurry to escape he trips and falls ‘Shit’ the voice in his head snaps’ Can’t you do anything right now go to Mr Redpath and get him to ring the Police’

‘What in the fuck’ Price mutters ‘Whoever is up there stay where you are or i will shoot your head off’

Grabbing his Ruger pistol and his razor sharp bowie knife the killer yanks on the length of rope then races up the stairs into the attic but there is no one in sight.

Reaching the Quinton’s attic he stops in his tracks when he hears a couple talking in the terrace below ‘Did you hear that John, someone in up in the attic again’

‘I heard Cathy and no arguments this time, i am calling in for some reinforcements, Price is to dangerous for us to handle on our own, have your gun ready while i call the lieutenant’

Knowing that he has to stop the cop from calling in Price quickly lowers the stairs and scampers down the hall into the living room and before the two cops can react he aims his pistol at them ‘Now don’t do anything stupid and i will let you live’

‘Okay both of you throw your phones on the floor then go sit on the lounge and put your hands above your head’

Knowing they have little choose the cops throw their mobiles on the carpet, Price keeps an eye on the pair while he smashes the phones with his Doc Martens.

Pointing his pistol at John he orders him to remove his shoelaces and tie his partners hands behind her back and once that has been done Price uses the other lace to tie around the male cop’s hands.

Searching the kitchen cupboards he finds a roll of duct tape then he returns to the living room and puts a strip of tape over both of the cop’s mouths and for extra protection he ties the tape around their hands and also around their ankles. ‘Alright Batman and Robin sit tight while i figure out how to dispose of your bodies without being seen’ John and Cathy Quinton look at each other with tears streaming down their faces, they know that Price will show them no mercy so they say a silent goodbye and wait for the end’

Will the Quinton’s survive their ordeal?

Will Graham be able to call for help?

To find out the answer come back and read the final chapter coming soon.

Rocking Horse ( Chapter Two )


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In the first installment i introduced you to to six year old Cindy Watson who lives with her parents on a small at Dunnedoo which is located just west of the middle of nowhere.

Living out in the sticks leads to a sense of isolation and for Cindy and her parents the boredom causes tension and arguments and so to escape the confines of the farmhouse Cindy often went out to the front verandah to ride an old wooden rocking horse.

As she rocks back and forth the little girl drams about riding the horse into the nearest town to rob a bank so she can make life easier for her parents plus she gazes off into the distance she wonders what lies beyond the horizon.

Six years later and nothing much has changed way out west, Cindy’s parents still argue about money and she still rides the rocking horse but not as much as she used to but when she gets a hankering she climbs onto the horse dreaming about visiting the big smoke one day and if she had a bad day at school she will ride that rocking horse like she she in the saddle of a Melbourne Cup winner.

She she rocks her worries away Cindy has no idea that a young local aboriginal boy named Warren Mundine has been watching her from behind a gum tree just beyond the boundary fence.

He knows that the girl is unhappy so every night after the lights in the house are turned off he would wait an hour before sneaking up onto the verandah of the Watson household and sprinkle magical twigs and potions handed down from the spirit people all around the rocking horse.

Then he would walk a short way into the desert and perform a ceremonial dance asking the spirits to make the girl happy so she can achieve her goals and maybe just smile once in a while.

Three months later whilst he was performing the corroberee Warren lifted his arms to the sky, twisting and twirling in the red sand he asked the spirit people for help and to his amazement a small eddy eddy appeared in the red sand a few metres from where Warren stood.

Slowly the small dust whirl grew in size until it developed into a mini tornado a tornado that seemed to have a mind of its own.

The twister spun faster and faster than all of a sudden it changed direction heading straight for the Watson farmhouse, Warren watched in amazement as the funnel of sand measuring about 20 feet tall climbed the front steps and with a WHOOSH the sand tornado disappeared up the nostrils of the rocking horse.

Six hours later Cindy quickly finishes a huge bowl of rice toasties then she wanders out to the front verandah for a quick ride on the rocking horse before the school bus arrives.

‘Good morning Lightning, i hope that you weren’t to cold last night maybe i should buy you a blanket?’

It soon dawns on Cindy that she just called the rocking horse Lightning, where did that come from? Was there a storm last night?

Taking a seat near the back of the school bus Cindy remembers a dream that she had last night.

She pictures in her mind a small aboriginal boy with magical powers who whispered in her that she didn’t have to worry anymore ‘everything will be alright’

As the bus winds down the long dusty outback road Cindy looks out the window hoping to catch a glimpse of the boy who appeared in her dream but she soon realizes that she is being stupid ‘It was only a dream silly and my dreams never come true’

After another boring day at school where she received a very poor report card Cindy boards the bus to make the return trip back home.

An hour later as the bus arrives at her home Cindy gathers up her school bus and walks towards the front of the bus and to her surprise the boy from her dream is sitting behind the driver.

The boy turns around and their eyes meet, Cindy cant believe that the boy really exists ‘Come on Cindy this is your stop’ the impatient bus driver utters ‘Off you get, i need to get the other kids home before it gets dark’

Cindy quickly exits the bus but she cant resist a quick glance behind her and to her disappointment the seat behind the driver is empty.

As she takes a snooze on the lounge before tea Cindy’s mind imagines that Lightning comes to life and rears up on his hind legs leaving behind a steaming pile of rocking horse shit ‘Come on boy lets ride all the way to Sydney and start a new life in the big smoke’

In another corner of her mind thoughts of a small aboriginal boy continue to linger.


26 year old Cindy Watson turns of the alarm on her mobile phone and begins her morning routine, as she pees Cindy vaguely remembers dreaming about a rocking horse that she used to ride when she was a child.

She still lives at Dunnedoo just a few kilometres from her parents farm, her rubs her ring finger that is devoid of any adornment but hopefully one day she meet the right man and settle down to a quite life full of kids and happiness.

In a storage facility on the other side of town a dusty old rocking horse sits forlorn and forgotten.

It has been fourteen years since anyone sat in his saddle fourteen years locked up alone in the darkness.

His black eyes continue to stare at the roller door hoping that one day they will open so that he can run in the sunshine once again.


Three doors down from the storage facility a young man is looking under the bonnet of an old ute in an attempt to fix a problem with the fuel pump ‘Hey Warren when you are finished can you come give me a hand with this Toyota because i cant find where all the oil is coming from’

The apprentice mechanic rolls his eyes in exasperation, Mr Turner might be a good boss but he couldn’t fix a car if his life depended on it ‘Okay boss give me ten minutes and i will be with you’

While he cleans up after Warren Mundine looks at himself in the mirror, he combs his hair and walks out the door with a smile on his face because today is the day where he he promises himself that he will finally ask Cindy Watson out on a date.

Warren like every man in Dunnedoo Warren has gone to the local pub to sink a few beers with his mates and have a flutter on the ponies and today will be no different.

At home he applies a shitload of old spice to his face then after grabbing a small satchel he heads out hopeful of a happy reunion of sorts.

At the pub Cindy is busy behind the bar serving the locals their beer of choice, she wasn’t supposed to work today but one of her work mates called in sick so she was offered an extra shift which she gratefully accepted because the money will come in handy.

As she is figuring out how to make a cocktail for a tourist Cindy doesn’t notice Warren take a seat at a corner table and even if she did she probably wouldn’t of recognized him anyway.

Warren orders a schooner of black from another bartender then he goes back to his table hoping that a few sips of beer will drown the butterflies that are fluttering around his stomach.

The upends the contents of his satchel on the table and arranges them to his satisfaction.

None of the other patrons take any notice the collection of twigs and branches but they hold a special meaning for Warren because the satchel made from a kangaroo’s scrotum has been handed down from generation to generation and now Warren has procession of the ancient relic.

The twigs and branches are also the same ones that he scattered on the front verandah of the Watson farmhouse fourteen years ago.

Behind the bar Cindy is struggling, a busload of tourists just arrived and they are mighty thirsty, at the other end of the bar Sandra Smith, a local legend, who has been pulling beers since Jesus was in nappies smiles at Cindy ‘ Don’t worry love, once we have served this lot things will settle down and we can have a smoko’

Cindy will be glad to take a break, it is almost 9 pm and the temperature is still 37 degrees.

An hour later Cindy pours herself a large gin and takes a seat near the bar, grabbing a handful of nuts from a bowl she begins to relax after being on her feet all night, as she unwinds a smell wafts over and awakens memories from her childhood when she used to ride a rocking horse and dream about moving to the big smoke.

Scanning the room Cindy spots a man sitting by himself at a corner table and even though she is sure that see has never seen him before she somehow remembers him from a distant memory from the past.

Intrigued Cindy nervously wanders over to the table and immediately notices the assortment of twigs and leaves arranged on the table.

Hello Cindy take a seat and i will tell you why i am here, my name is Warren Mundine and we have never been officially introduced but when we were kids i used to visit your dreams when you were unhappy, i danced the corroberee in the sand outside your parents place and asked the spirit people for help to end your sadness’

‘I spread these same twigs and leaves around your rocking horse and while you slept i whispered to the dreamtime to make the wooden horse real and it worked Cindy the rocking horse snorted a shitload of sacred sand and started to gallop around your yard’.

Cindy empties her glass of gin before replying’ Warren i know that you probably mean well and i do admit that i used to dream about a small aboriginal boy who used to ride the school bus and hang around the shadows outside my parents farm and sure i did wish that i could ride Lightning away from Dunnedoo and ride all the way to Sydney’

But when she said the word ‘Lightning’ Cindy immediately went back to her childhood and she realizes that what Warren is saying might actually be true’

‘I am not a liar Cindy that rocking horse is out there somewhere, why don’t we ask your parents maybe they heard or saw something back then and kept quiet about it, they might have put the rocking horse in storage or something’

Sorry Warren but my parents were killed in a car crash a few years ago on that bad bend going into Merriwa so it looks like what you think happened when we were kids will stay buried’

Now i need to get back to work, i suggest that you just get on with your life and forget all about the rocking horse and childhood dreams’

Warren is disappointed by Cindy’s reaction but he isn’t one to hold a grudge so he finishes his beer gathers up satchel and heads out the door, next week he will come back because in all the excitement he never got a chance to ask Cindy out on a date.

But as it turns out Warren didn’t have to wait a week because when he finished work the following day Cindy was outside waiting for him, ‘I am sorry for being a little short with you last night but your story about the rocking horse threw me for a loop’

That is alright Cindy, why don’t we grab some fish and chips and go down by the river and i will tell you everything i know’

‘Sounds good Warren but if this is to be our first date i am telling you that i cant be bought by a plateful of greasy food’

Cindy’s smile tells him that maybe the ice maiden might have a soft side after all.

The pair of oddballs settle down on a bench having small talk for a few minutes but when Cindy is about to explode she throws her remaining to the seagulls who always seem to know when a free meal is coming. ‘Alright tell me your story’

‘It all starts when i was about 11 years old and i was walking past your place and i saw you riding a rocking horse, my family lived nearby a i used to pass your farm all the time hunting for snakes and lizards for my dad to cook and every time i saw you you looked sad so i decided to do something to make you happy and Cindy you said that we both dreamt about the rocking horse but that isn’t true because i never had a dream about Lightning Cindy i created him’

Cindy rolls her eyes ‘pray tell me how you performed this miracle and if you turned a wooden horse into a real horse why are we looking for a rocking horse and not a real horse’

For a moment Warren is stuck for an answer ‘There is for need to be mean Cindy you wanted to hear my story so be quiet because i haven’t finished’ First of all i think that the reason i am looking for a rocking horse is because Lightning only exists when you are sitting on his saddle and when you dismount he goes back to being a rocking horse’

Warren tells her about how he scattered the twigs and leaves around the rocking horse then he danced a corroberee until a dust eddy eddy arrived and vanished up the nostrils up Lightning turning him into a real horse.

Cindy closes her eyes as she listens to Warren narrate the story and she is instantly taken back to her childhood for a minute or two ‘I believe you Warren but where could Lightning be now, i lost interest in him as i got older maybe my parents have a storage locker somewhere in town or they also could have sold him and if that is true than i am sorry to say he could be anywhere in the country, where do you think he is Warren?’

‘I don’ know Cindy my family and i moved out to Bourke to start a new life, i only just moved back to town a few months ago’

‘ And now that i am back in Dunnedoo all that i have been thinking about is you and what ever happened to Lightning’

Melting further Cindy reaches out and grabs hold of Warrens hand ‘Don’t worry Warren together we will find that rocking horse and i have been thinking about you to because when i dream about riding Lightning to Sydney you were hanging on tight behind me but when i have the dream it was back when we were kids’

‘Hey i have an idea’ Cindy laughs ‘Why don’t we post on Facebook’looking for a lost rocking horse, answers to the name Lightning’

Warren laughs as he gazes off into the distance, who knows but maybe one day we will ride the fuck out of here.

The following day the pair meet up at the local bowling club for a few drinks and to discuss their future but soon the topic returns to that rascal of a rocking horse ‘Tell me Warren why is Lightning so important to us?’

I am not really sure Cindy but that rocking horse brought us together in a crazy kind of way plus it was obviously special to you when you were a youngster , so it would be good to find Lightning and have him sit front and centre on your front verandah’

‘Me personally i want to spread my magical twigs and leaves around Lightning and watch him come back to life once again and what happens after that is in the hands of the Gods’

I sure would like to see that Warren and i might be able to help. last night i was going through some of my parents old receipts and i came across a piece of paper that i think might help’

Reaching into her handbag Cindy places a tattered receipt on the table ‘The ink is faded but it looks like it says ‘Safe n Secure’ 22 Black Stump Crescent Dunnedoo.’

‘I don’t know where Black Stump Crescent is Warren, have you heard of it?’

‘Yeah it is on the other side of town in the industrial estate but i am positive that it was destroyed by fire just before i moved but maybe the owners were able to save some of the contents of the units’

‘I can’t think of any other storage places in town Cindy but of course they could of moved to Merriwa or or some other town nearby also the owners could of retired but don’t despair Cindy i, Jesus what am i talking about my brain must be full of cobwebs, there is a storage place just down from where i work’

‘It is a long shot but we have to start our search somewhere so Cindy i propose that first thing tomorrow morning we pay them a visit’

For once in her life Cindy is lost for words, she can feel her quest slipping away but where there is life hope remains.

Warren picks up Cindy early the following morning and drives the short distance to ‘Store n Forget’ only to find it closed for the weekend ‘How stupid, you would think that Saturday and Sunday would be two of there busier days’

‘Yeah it is weird Cindy maybe they are closed because someone took a sickie today but hang someone just came out of the office’

An old man with long grey hair approaches them ‘Jesus is that Moses looking for river to part?’jokes Cindy.

‘Haha good one, i think he probably inside chiseling out a few more commandments’

‘What can i do for you two today? I am the caretaker of this fine establishment, names Joe Mac Curty by the way’

Cindy hands him the old receipt ‘My parents had a storage unit out at Black Stump Crescent that burnt down and i am hoping that you know if the owner is still in town or what happened to the contents of the units’

‘Well well missy today must be your lucky day, i used to work out there at ‘Safe n Sound’ and i can tell you that i was good mates with your father back in the day and his shed survived the fire and i believe the contents are in unit 26 and once again your luck holds because in two weeks time because the unit hasn’t been accessed for years it was going to be sold to the highest bidder’

‘That is great Joe, if you have a spare key i would like to see what’s inside’

‘Sorry i can’t do that without some sort of legal documentation plus you will need to supply a birth certificate or simply wait two weeks and put in a bid’

‘Please mister i just need to take a quick peek inside, there might be an item in there that has a lot of sentimental value for me’

But MacCurty isn’t about to change his mind anytime soon ‘If it was up to me i would open it for you but if my boss found out he would lynch me on the nearest tree so i suggest you get all the required legal papers and come back next week’

Warren can see that Cindy is close to tears so he leads her away ‘It is okay Cindy we will get the papers tomorrow and come back and see if Lightning is in there’

Then just as Warren is about to drive away a series of loud bangs erupt from the back of the storage place ‘Holy shit’ old MacCurty yells ‘That sounds like it came from your parents unit, what did they have in there, dynamite? Come on lets go take a look’

Cindy and Warren wait while the old man unlocks the fence and then they follow him around the back and when they arrive they see a few dents in a roller door like it has been kicked from inside then with an almighty crash the roller door collapses and a huge stallion races towards the trio.

Lightning nuzzles Cindy’s face in happiness at finally being free but the excitement is too much for Joe and he takes a seat on the ground ‘How did a horse survive on there without food all these years plus i heard heard a peep’

‘Ah i was expecting to find a rocking horse inside but um maybe there was a few bales of hay in there as well who knows, but i am just glad to find Lightning before it was too late’

Cindy climbs up onto the saddle and tells Warren to drive to her place and she will follow but Lightning has other ideas, he unfolds a pair a wings and takes into the sky and barely fifteen minutes later he flying in a holding pattern 10,000 feet above Sydney.

Cindy can’t believe how big the place and she almost falls out of the saddle as she begins to choke on the smog and pollution ‘Jesus i am sure glad that i don’t live here’

She gently rubs the stallions neck ‘home boy’ Cindy knows now that Dunnedoo is her home and always will be and her desire to move to the capitol is gone in an instant.

Warren is waiting for Cindy in her front yard and soon a huge horse makes a perfect landing twenty metres from where he stands and Cindy gingerly climbs down from the saddle.

After a quick embrace Cindy announces ‘Warren i now know that here is where i belong and i want to live in this house until i die and hopefully you will be by my side every step of the way’

‘You know i will Cindy, i love you with all my heart, lets get married as soon as we can and settle down and start a family of our own’

Lightning neighs in annoyance at being ignored but Warren and Cindy are keen to start their family straight away so they rush inside the house throwing off their clothes on the way.

When they emerge emerge early the next morning they aren’t all that surprised to see an ordinary rocking horse sitting on the front verandah swaying back and forth in the breeze.


‘Rooster Booster’


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A weary young man named Skeet Humprey is out on his back porch enjoying a cigarette before going to bed.

It is almost midnight and the fourth generation farmer is using the five minutes of solitude to clear his head after busy day attending to 400 head of cattle over 100 sheep and an assortment of others critters both big and small.

His wife of ten years Hattie looks after 15 chickens and a randy old rooster named Peckerwood.

His eight year old son Billy Bob claimed ownership of a mangy mutt who wandered onto the ranch o few months back and for a reason only known to himself Billy Bob named the dog Lonesome.

Millie his six year old daughter loves to play in the mud and help her mom with the chickens.

Skeet is proud of his family and hopes that one day Billy Bob will take over the farm and keep it in the family.

He met Hattie in high school and they have been together ever since and she has been a loving and supportive wife who has raised the children to respect their elders and just be happy and enjoy playing in the fresh air.

Hattie has just secured a contract to supply as eggs to a fast food restaurant in town plus in the near future they would like to purchase fresh chicken a few times a week so Peckerwood will need to get busy so the family has another source of income to keep the wolves from the door.

Skeet finishes his cigarette and goes to bed a happy man but a somber thought in the back of his mind keeps him awake.

cock a doodle do cock a doodle do cock a doodle do

Peckerwood is up early and he is determined to wake every man woman and child in within a three mile radius.

The rooster struts around the yard like Mick Jagger patrolling the stage with the stones back in the day.

But looks can be deceiving because lately Peckerwood has become listless and he has neglecting the hens more and more everyday.

Skeet and Hattie jolt awake at the sound of the rooster on overdrive but they soon recover and begin to snuggle when Peckerwood calls again reminding them that there isn’t a snooze button on a rooster’s alarm clock , so stop what you started and get out of bed.

Billy Bob and Millie wander bleary eyed into the kitchen where the smell of pancakes with maple syrup fills their nostrils with joy’ Mama’ Billy Bob demands’ Why does Peckerwood wake up so early on a Saturday when surely should know by now that we don’t go to school on the weekend’

‘Honey Peckerwood doesn’t know what day it is , he is just behaving like a normal rooster now finish eating your pancakes and go outside to play’

While Hattie cleans up after breakfast Skeet goes into the study to check the monthly data sheets because there has been a worrying trend in the last quarter and worryingly even though egg production is up the birth of live chicks is down 6% and if the situation isn’t rectified soon then the family could lose the new contract and any future contracts.

Pouring himself a cup of coffee Skeet watches his kids playing happily with Peckerwood running back and forth threatening to trip them up, while beneath the chicken coop Lonesome barks once before going back to sleep.

Skeet knows that he can’t wait any longer, Peckerwood isn’t performing his duty so he has to go and a younger more virile rooster brought in.

He doesn’t want to upset Hattie but the farm has to come first so he goes out to the yard to find Peckerwood has finished playing and is now busy scratching for worms and scraps ‘Come here Pecker’ Skeet calls, and the rooster runs to catch up as fast as his little legs will take him.

Skeet walks out of view behind the barn and picks up a axe embedded in a chopping block and a few seconds later the underperforming rooster appears but skids to a stop on seeing what his master is holding.’ I am sorry Peckerwood but you aren’t really living up to your name are you?’

‘I have a business to run and i can’t afford to keep a rooster who is all noise with no lead in his pencil so please step forward and place your head on the chopping block’

Knowing that his time is up Peckerwood tip toes to his own execution and places his scrawny neck on the wooden block.

Tears threaten to erupt from the farmer so he hurries up the procedure but not before Peckerwood looks at him with pleading eyes’ Sorry fella but haven’t got a blindfold just close your eyes and it will be over before you know it’

Skeet raises the axe and says a last goodbye to his friend then he swiftly brings the sharpened steel down but stops just in time when Billy Bob and Millie come racing around the corner ‘No daddy don’t kill Peckerwood, give him another chance please’

Seeing that his executioner has been distracted the rooster makes a run for it and scrambles beneath the chicken coop kicking Lonesome out of the way.

His startled children run back to the house screaming’ Mommy daddy just tried to murder Peckerwood’

‘How could you even think of killing my rooster without discussing it with me first’ a fuming Hattie demands ‘I hand raised Peckerwood since he was a chick , he is part of the family’

‘I am sorry Hattie but he has been ignoring the hens these last few months and if we lose the contract the farm could go under’

‘Calm down Skeet we want lose the farm because Peckerwood’s soldier can’t stand to attention, the cattle and sheep are bringing in a good income.

‘First thing tomorrow morning we will visit the vet and hopefully he can give Peckerwood a booster shot and soon he will be back romancing the hens again’

Skeet is doubtful but he nods his head in agreement after all it can’t hurt to try and find a remedy for Peckerwood’s ailment.

When the sun rises in the morning all is quite on the farm front, Peckerwood is still in hiding under the coop and even a sprinkling of seed on the ground doesn’t help but a quick nip on the butt from Lonesome sends the rooster running right into a carry box.

The veterinarian is a crusty old timer named Cyril Blackadder who has been looking after all creatures great and small for over fifty years.

His attention immediately goes to Peckerwood sitting calmly in the carry box then he finally looks at the troubled couple’ I haven’t seen you two in a while so what seems to be the trouble with your rooster?

‘Well Doc’ Hattie responds ‘He has become listless and tired the last few months plus he has been neglecting the hens so me and Skeet are wondering if there is some sort of treatment to put the wood back in Peckerwood’s pecker?’

Cyril shakes his head ‘Sorry folks but Peckerwood is just getting old so all i can suggest is that you buy a new rooster and let Peckerwood free roam in his twilight years’

On the way home the couple stop at a neighbours farm and purchase a virile young rooster named Sledgehammer.

It goes without saying that the two roosters took an instant dislike to each other and when Skeet opens the two carry boxes and releases the two birds Sledgehammer immediately goes on the offensive drawing blood and scaring the bejesus out of Peckerwood.

Relishing that his days as number one rooster are well and truly over Peckerwood scrambles behind the barn and hides behind the well used chopping block.

Looking up at the axe glinting menacingly in the afternoon sun Peckerwood thinks’ If i can just press my neck against the sharp blade my misery will end and i will fly off to the great chicken coop in the sky’ but the poor bird can’t work up the strength to stand so he just lays in the dirt hoping that a coyote will come along and snap his scrawny neck.

Two hours later Hattie is nice and warm inside the family home watching TV but she can’t concentrate on the program because she knows that Peckerwood is out in the cold all alone and miserable so she grabs a jacket and tells Skeet that she is going outside to see if she can find Peckerwood and tends to his wounds.’Peckerwood will be okay Hattie, he is a tough old bird he just needs to keep away from Sledgehammer for a while’

‘I know Skeet but i need to see for myself that his injuries aren’t life threating so i can relax and get a good nights sleep’

Turning on the porch light Hattie picks up the seed tin and carries it out to the yard, after a few shakes she calls out’ Here Peckerwood, come to mama Pecky and i will give you a nice handful of seed then take you inside so you can sit by the fire until morning’

Behind the chopping block Peckerwood lifts his head from the dirt and lets out a tiny squawk not much louder then a sparrows fart but Hattie has the hearing of an owl and after pinpointing the location she races behind the barn and scoops up Peckerwood and hurries him inside to check on his injuries.

Wrapping him in a towel she checks his wounds but she soon discovers that besides a few cuts and scratches the main injury is to his pride.

Skeet calls out for Hattie to bring him a beer ‘I am busy come and get it yourself’

When Skeet walks into the kitchen Hattie gives him a ‘Don’t you dare buster’ look so Skeet grabs a Bud from the fridge and goes back to the basketball game.

Outside Sledgehammer sensing that his rival is getting special treatment decides to tell the neighbourhood that he and only him is the leader of the hens.


Hattie looks out the window at Sledgehammer standing atop of the chicken coop puffing out his chest and shaking his tail feathers.

‘You will get yours mister just you wait and see’

Day after day the chick birth rate is steadily increasing, Skeet is one happy man, finally he has a rooster who is paying his way plus the hens all seem happy and contented but more importantly the future of the farm is now rock solid, perhaps it s time to increase the chicken numbers ten fold and a few more roosters wouldn’t go astray.

While Skeet is outside singing the praises of Sledgehammer Hattie has been online ordering packs of whey powder ,muscle building protein powders plus an assortment of other goodies.

With a glint in her eye she presses add to cart and gives Peckerwood a gentle pat’ Don’t worry boy soon you will return to your glory days’

A week later arriving home from the post office Hattie rips open the package and adds a few tiny scoops of powder into Peckerwoods water bowl.

The old rooster still bearing a few mental scars dips his head into water repeatedly and Hattie is happy that her old friend want become a feather duster for a year or two.

Peckerwood returns to the water bowl time and time again in the following and he can feel his get up and go that got up and went a few months ago is slowly returning.

The calves on his his skinny legs have become taut and terrific plus he has bulked significantly so he is confident that in a week or two he can return outside and kick some sand in Sledgehammers face.

And three days later that is exactly what he does.

All is quiet at the stroke of midnight passes over the chicken coop where Sledgehammer is sitting guard over his harem.

With one eye open the upstart keeps lookout in case a eagle or coyote is stupid enough to attempt an attack on his watch.

For a split second he closes both eyes and when he re opens them Sledgehammer squeaks in fright because before him stands what appears to be a somewhat pumped up pimped out rooster.

Without warning Peckerwood attacks and in a frenzy Sledgehammer is plucked from crop to ankle and feathers are scattered to all parts of the county. ‘I let you off easy this time Sledgehammer , i could have ripped you open from breast to drumstick now fuck off home and don’t come back’


‘Holy shit’ Skeet wakes with a jolt’ It is only 3 o’clock what has got into Sledgehammer?’ But he is still on daylight savings time’

Beside her husband Hattie smiles in satisfaction’ I think you will find Skeet that Peckerwood is back and Sledgehammer has either gone home or taken flight to God knows where’

After a strong cup of coffee Skeet goes outside to find the chicken coop on its side and a shitload of feathers in the yard ‘ Sweet Jesus’ Skeet gasps when he notices a new and approved Peckerwood strutting around the yard like a heavyweight boxer’ Hattie get out here something strange has happened to your rooster’

Wiping her hands on her apron she walks to the porch door’ Yeah i know Skeet i have been feeding him supplements, protein powder and what not’

‘Supplements Hattie, Peckerwood looks like Steven Segal only with a better haircut’

Hattie smiles to herself ‘ You ain’t seen nothing yet’

After cleaning up the mess and making sure all the hens are accounted for Skeet walks inside to confront his wife’ Hattie what exactly have you been feeding Peckerwood because he is an old rooster and the supplements are meant for human consumption, i am afraid that if he bulks up anymore his little heart will explode’

Hattie comes to realize that Skeet is right and she begins to cry’ All i wanted was for Peckerwood to go back to being the rooster he was but all i was doing was putting his life at risk’

‘ I that from now on he will get nothing but seed and scraps from the kitchen’

The couple snuggle before making their way back to the bedroom and for the first time in years they miss Peckerwoods crow for his midmorning feed.

Peckerwood scratches in the dirt for a few more minutes while he waits for his owner to appear and throw him a few scraps and maybe a bowl of that sweet tasting water but after growing tired of waiting he decides to go looking for himself.

He enters the house through Lonesome’s doggy door and after pecking at a few morsels from the kitchen floor he notices a paper sack up on the counter.

Ripping open the sack Peckerwood snorts a gram or two of protein powder then he breaks open a blister pack of little blue pills and swallows three of the treats.

Five minutes later Peckerwood starts to feel a little under the collar and his block and tackle has grown to enormous proportions.

Forgetting all about morning tea the randy rooster almost trips down the stairs on his way out to the chicken coop.

The hens never knew what hit them, they were just sitting on their nests minding their own business then they were all ravished by what looked like a three legged rooster.

After their ordeal most flew up a nearby tree to escape and some were still shaking barely clinging onto a branch thre days later.

Hearing the commotion outside Skeet and Hattie rush outside to see the hens squawking up in the trees’ I might be a coyote or a rattler Hattie , wait here while i grab the shotgun’

The bewildered couple slowly creep towards the coop when the culprit appears from within with a huge smile on his face , the only thing missing is a well earned cigarette.

‘What is that thing hanging between Peckerwoods legs Hattie surely it can’t be his’

‘Shut up Skeet i think Peckerwood might have taken some Viagra i bought for him’

‘Viagra? Are you crazy Hattie, why would you buy something like that for a rooster?’

‘Because i was upset when you bought Sledgehammer, but i swear Skeet i never gave him any, he must of found the stash and swallowed some.

‘You think Hattie, he looks like he is swinging a baseball bat’

It takes a week for Peckerwood to completely recover and over a month before the hens trusted him again, now except for a nasty case of friction burn Peckerwood is back to his old self.

Now once a week a prize winning rooster named Tender Touch visits to service the hens while Peckerwood enjoys his retirement digging for worms and dreaming about how he can get his claws into some more of those little blue pills.


‘ Camel Toe Joe ‘( Part Two )


, , , ,

In the first installment i introduced you to a runaway child who had ambitions of becoming a famous bushranger.

Young Joseph Markham left the family home in Ballarat Victoria in the dead of the night.

Aged fifteen Joe is about to leave a huge impression in Australian history he just doesn’t know it yet.

He borrowed his fathers horse and rode the short distance from Ballarat to Bendigo arriving on the morning of 23rd of July 1846 and got a job loading wagons at the local general store.

His boss Mr Clarence Denning thought the world of Joe and treated him like the son he never had.

Joe worked at the store for just on three years and everything was going well and Joe actually thought about settling down living a quiet life but that all changed in May 1849 when when a posse of wild horsemen rode into town.

The riders yelled and hollered all the way down main street, Joe didn’t know what all the noise was about until he heard the words GOLD GOLD GOLD.

The precious metal was dug from the ground on 10th May and from that moment the nations wealth grew and Joe’s life changed forever.

A week later an old Chinese man named Huong Long galloped into town on a camel who for some reason took an instant dislike to Joe.

The feelings were mutual and Joe taunted the beast endlessly until while he was chatting to Mr Long the camel delivered a kick to Joe’s chin leaving behind a three inch long tender gash that would become the amateur bushranger’s soul patch.

The wound required twenty stitches and continuously wept, Joe would rub the spot continuously seeking respite from an itch that would never go away.

When the Chinaman finished his business in town Joe offered to tag along on the return trip to the goldfields.

Mr Luong was happy to have the company but he warned Joe to stay away from his camel or he would be left behind plus another kick to the head could be fatal.

Joe promised to be on his best behavior and for the most part he was true to his word.

Along the way Mr Long confided in Joe telling him how an evil man named Percy Carruthers stole his mining permit forcing him and his fifteen year old daughter Knut Fu to work in his mansion on the edge of the fields.

Carruthers ruled with an iron fist forcing the miners to pay him 10% of all the gold that they dug from the ground under the blazing desert sun.

Joe was boiling with rage when the party of three reached the goldfields but he got to met the elegant Knut Fu and it was she who christened Joe with what would become a famous moniker when her father told her how his travel companion got his chin wound.

Squirming with laughter the daughter pointed at Joe ‘You “Camel Toe Joe” and a legend was born.

While Mr Long was unpacking the camel Carruthers made an appearance ordering the Chinaman and his daughter to return to his house and prepare his midday meal then he turned his dead eyes in Joe’s direction demanding to know who he was ‘My name is Joseph Markham and i am here to help Mr Long out of his predicament, if you return his mining permit and let them go about staking a claim like everyone else than i will turn the other cheek but if you fail to do so i will be forced to bring you down good and proper’

Carruthers stands 6′ 3″ inches and weighs over 13 stone and he doesn’t take kindly to young whipper snappers voicing their opinion ‘Well Joseph let me tell i am the sole authority around these parts no you now go away before i throw you in the stockade to learn some manners’

As the stand over merchant delivers his sermon a dozen of his henchmen step forward and surround Joe but he shows no fear in fact he spits in Carruthers direction’ You and your flunkies don’t scare me Carruthers, mark my words you are a dead man walking so saddle up and disappear before i put you out of your misery’

Carruther’s face turns beet red ‘ Throw him in the stockade and throw away the key, lets see how long he lasts without food or water’

50 yards away the camel has been watching proceedings unobserved, with an angry snort he trots away into the undergrowth.


After cooling his heels in the brig for a few hours Joe is mighty thirsty, thankfully the temperature has dropped but it is still stifling in his tiny cell.

‘Please if you send me an angel to help me escape from this hell hole i promise to behave myself and become a better man’

Joe’s nostrils twitch when a nasty smell wafts in through the bars of his cell window maybe a ‘roo or wombat has perished in the heat, taking a gander out into the night he is surprised to see a long lashed animal looking back at him.

‘Jesus haven’t you heard about bathing in a little water now and then? You smell like a quoll has crawled up your arse and died’

Sighing in frustration the camel sidles sideways revealing a coil of rope slung over one of his humps ‘ Holy shit you are one smart camel aren’t you? Come closer so i can tie an end to the bars and then pull with all your strength so i can get the fuck out of here’

‘Oh and by the way i sorry about my wise arse remark about your personal hygiene and i probably deserved your toe kick to my face but if you bust me out of here i promise to buy you a big cake of soap and all the food you can eat, so what do ya say mate?’

The camel doesn’t reply he just snorts in disgust but lets Joe uncoil the rope in preparation of a jailbreak.

Joe suspects that Mr Long and his daughter had a hand in suppling the rope and he is grateful to them, even though he has never tied a knot before Joe ties the knot securely around a bar and gestures to the camel that he is ready.

As the camel gets into position Joe strokes the small cleft on his chin, the wound id still tender and tingles as Joe as keeps a wary eye out for any guards who might foil his escape.

The camel digs in his back feet in the dirt to gain traction then the beast slowly walks forward, the bars buckle and with a snap they are ripped from the window frame, joe climbs out and lands on the frame of metal bars and the camel takes fast into the desert while behind him Joe hangs on for grim death.

A shot rings out narrowly missing Joe who loses his hold on the metal toboggin and falls off leaving him open for the guards to take another shot.

The camel is tempted to leave the annoying little shit behind but he is loyal to his master Mr Long so he doubles back and squats down onto the ground and Joe wastes no time jumping on, clinging to a hump the pair of desperado’s disappear into the night under a barrage of bullets.

For three days they stay at an old abandoned copper mine ten miles out of town and whilst boy and camel recuperate they form an unlikely friendship.

When the sun rises on a fourth day Joe to eager to sneak back to the goldfields and free Mr Long and Knut Fu from the tyranny of Carruthers plus the miners deserve to be able to dig for their livelihoods without having to hand over the gold they toiled to dig from the dirt to a brute and his henchmen.

As they travel back to the fields realizes that he has to call the camel something ‘Hey how about i give you a name to make Mr Long proud?’

Getting no reply Joe continues on ‘What about Mildred now that is a good name, you look like a Mildred to me’

The camel rolls his eyes in contempt ‘Okay so you don’t like Mildred what about Clarence?

Raising his front right leg the camel wriggles his toes signaling to Joe that he better come up with a better alternative or he will receive another kick’ Joe rubs in the furrow on his chin ‘Ok calm down i was only joking;

‘Wait i have it , what about Archibald? From now on you will be forever known as Sir Archibald Camelus, what do you think?

The dromedary paces back and forth considering the title bestowed upon him ‘Come on make a decision because we need to get back and rescue Huong Long and Knut Fu’

The camel smiles and squats so Joe can climb aboard’ Sir Archibald it is then, now hot foot it so we can return the goldfields to the miners and put Carruthers six foot under where he belongs’.

Ten miles away the two guards who fell asleep after drinking a bottle of rum allowing Joseph Markham to escape custody swing silently in the breeze.

They were hanged at first light the morning after the escape on the orders of Carruthers and now their bodies are on display reminding everyone on the goldfields what will happen to them if they to even think about deceiving the mine overlord.

From the balcony of his huge house on the edge of the fields Carruthers points to the bodies of twenty two year old Peter James and Samuel Jacobs a eighteen year old father of two as he begins an address to the 800 or so miners gathered around the diggings’ Disobey me at your own peril now get back to work before i skin you all alive’

The miners quickly disperse but an under current of resentment ripples through their ranks, it is now only a matter of time before they fight back and thankfully a bushranger in the making is about to offer a helping hand.

Inside the mansion Huong Long and Knut Fu clean and polish every surface they are now nothing more then slaves. Huong is tempted to rush forward and shove Carruthers over the balcony to the mob below but he hasn’t got the courage.

All he can do is hope that Joseph will return soon and help them return to a normal life away from the boss man and his evil ways.

One yards away Joe and Sie Archibald peer over the crest of a sand dune to see if the coast is clear, Joe rubs the cleft on his chin with worry and sorrow, his weary eyes moisten at the sight of two innocents who were hanged all to appease the ego of the evil overload Carruthers.

Joe realizes that he wont be able to bring down Carruthers by himself, if peace is to exist on the goldfields he will need to enlist help from the miners and together they will organize an uprising never seen in Victoria.

Skirting the edge of the encampment Joe Joe sidles up to a group of around twenty miners having morning tea ‘G day i don’t know if you blokes have heard the news? On the other side of the fields there is a lot of talk that Carruthers is planning on increasing the levy that he illegally takes from all the miners, it is an outrage, why should that prick be profiting from all your hard work ?’

‘He needs to be eliminated before he can inflict anymore pain and misery on you and your families, we need to stand united as one and bring justice to the goldfields, spread the word.’

The miners begin to talk amongst themselves and Joe strides away satisfied that he has planted a seed, hopefully the seed will germinate and when it does the proverbial will stick nourishing Joe’s masterplan.

For two days Joe mingles unobserved with the miners whispering in the ear of anyone who will listen and a rumbling of discontent soon grows in intensity threatening to explode like a powder keg.

As he patrols the fields high up in the saddle of his stallion Carruthers can smell and almost taste the tension in the air, he is surrounded by six of his best men and he warns them to keep and eye out for trouble his manager an ugly Irish brute named Shamus O’ Dwyer riding beside his boss is nervous but puts up a brave front.

‘I need to attend to some business down near Darling Creek Shamus, if the miners cause any trouble shot to kill’

With those cowardly words Carruthers high tails it back to his mansion leaving his underlings in mortal danger.

At the mansion Mr Long is in the kitchen cooking whilst his 18 year old daughter Knut Fu is busy wiping every surface clean under the watchful eye of the housekeeper Molly Taylor a 36 year old woman from Boston who arrived in Australia three months prior chasing her dream of striking it rich but she soon found herself completely out of her depth.

The heat and the flies took a huge toll on her health and sanity and her skin blistered under the blazing sun but lucky for her she was rescued by her boss and given shelter and a job.

She knows that Mr Carruthers is a despised figure around these parts but he has always been kind to her but lately his mood has darkened so Molly has kept out of his way waiting for normality to return.

She shrieks in fright on hearing the front door slam and on seeing he look on his face she knows that something awful is troubling her boss and instead of fleeing she immediately takes charge and leads him down the stairs into the cellar until the danger passes.

‘Molly the danger as you call it isn’t going to go away, soon eight hundred plus angry miners are going to storm this place and try to kill me, they will probably burn the house to the ground so stay done here with me Molly and with any luck we can hide and live to fight another day.’

Molly isn’t keen staying down in the dank cellar but when she hears the mob outside start ramming the door she has second thoughts.

Mr Long notices Carruthers followed by his housekeeper sneak down the stairs to escape being lynches so he rushes over to the door to let the marauding mob inside so they can bring Carruthers to justice.

Outside Camel Toe is doing his best to calm the situation but he getting drowned out by hundreds of angry miners carrying rifles and axes intent on finding the deceiving mine boss and tearing him limb from limb ‘Listen i know that you are angry and wish to kill Carruthers but if you do that than none of you will ever see one single cent of the money that he stole from you so settle down, i will go inside and bring the arsehole out here and he can tell you where the money is then i will personally drag his sorry arse down to Melbourne where he will be charged with murder and extortion’

Most of the miners calm down but some are still out for blood ‘Why should we trust you with our gold, for all i know you could be in cohorts with Carruthers, i say say we storm the place and take what is ours and hang the mongrel from the nearest tree”

I guarantee you that i am on your side so how about if five or six of you go inside with me because if you rush inside like chooks with their heads cut there is bound to be casualties and that is the last thing we want to happen’.

The angry miner who spoke thinks for a second before nodding his head in agreement ‘Okay you have a deal i will go in with you, my name is Nathan Miller by the way’ he scans the mob then points at individuals ‘Jones, Smith, Johnson and um Banes at the back, lets go inside and catch the prick and find our gold.’

Despite being rammed repeatedly the front door stands firm so you motions for Sir Archibald to come over and deliver a swift kick and having first hand experience of the viciousness of a camel kick Joe stands clear but in the end a kick isn’t needed because with a squeak the door opens and a tiny Chinaman pokes his head out ‘Come quick, Carruthers has gone down to the cellar’

Down in the cellar Molly can’t take in what she is seeing, fifty or so sacks of gold nuggets take up most of the floor space ‘Now i know why you wanted to come down here you slimy bastard, you do realize that any minute no hundreds of angry miners are going to storm down here so hoarding all this gold that you stole from the miners has all been a monumental of of time, if i had a gun i would put a bullet in your head and be done with it’

‘Molly Molly Molly, i hear what you are saying but there is a lot more gold out there in this great state of ours and i do admit that it will be a shame to leave these sacks of gold behind but right now we need to leave before they catch us and God knows what the mob will do to us.’

There is no us or we Carruther’s this is all your doing not mine so be a man for once in your life and walk up the stairs and take your medicine.’

Shaking his head in disappointment Carruthers sprints over to a corner of the cellar than like a magician he disappears behind a partition.

Molly begins to investigate but then the door to the cellar shatters and seven angry men rush down the stairs but soon stop dead in their tracks when they notice the sacks of gold.

‘Eureka’ Miller hollers with joy’ Okay fella’s help me carry these sacks upstairs Joe can find Carruthers’

Camel Joe shakes his head in wonder, how can Miller be so stupid?’

‘Miller those sacks must weigh half a ton each, you and your mates guard the gold and later each and every miner can come down here and claim what is rightfully theirs but now has anyone seen Carruthers?’

Molly is growing frustrated because while the miners had eyes for the gold it gave Carruthers precious minutes to escape further into the bush.

Joe finally notices Molly motioning to him ‘About bloody time, Carruthers went that way’ the housekeeper jabs in the direction of the partition.

Knowing that Carruthers could be armed and dangerous Joe warily peaks around the partition and is astounded to see a tunnel with a train tracks going out the desert hundreds of yards in the distance.

Carruthers must have used some sort of pump trolley to make his escape but Camel Toe isn’t that worried, tomorrow Carruthers will be brought to justice.

Outside Shamus O’ Seamus and a dozen other of Carruthers henchmen watch proceedings with interest, O’ Seamus knows that there is a shitload of gold in that mansion and he aims to take it before the miners claim it back.

Carruthers has more than likely escapes otherwise he would have been brought outside by now, smiling like a cat that swallowed the cream the killer realizes that with Carruthers gone he will soon be a very rich man.

Sitting in the shade outside the big house MR Long and his daughter Knut Fu talk happily because now they are free to do as they please without threat of harm.

Sir Archibald stands beside them chewing on his cud surveying the countryside, he knows that the evil man is out there somewhere it is only a matter of time arsehole you will be caught.

Joe joins his friend and together the odd pair gaze out on the endless miles of orange dust ‘Tomorrow Carruthers tomorrow you are mine’


Part three coming soon.

Brain Snap


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It is a little past ten at night and my body clock is telling me that i really should stop watching crap on TV and go to bed.

I turn off the turn and make my way towards the bathroom ‘Where do you think you are going’ my brain demands. I sigh in frustration because i was hoping that i could just go to bed without being noticed because i honestly can’t remember the last time that i had a good nights sleep ‘ It is still early and i have a lot more thinking to do before i shut down for the night.’

I tell my brain that i had a really rough day at work and that i really need to get some rest because i have to do it all again tomorrow.

All i get in response is a laugh so i know that i am in for another sleepless night.

I set my alarm for 5am and roll over on my right side which is my usual routine, as my breathing slows i hear the crickets outside singing me a lullaby.

I am grateful for their help but i have heard the song before and i know that my brain is about to fill my head with all sorts of useless imformation.

‘Why did you pay $1.50 a litre for petrol today when it was $1.41 just down the road?’

‘You bought a bag of kibble for Fido last when you know that he prefers meaty chunks why?

‘Did you turn the stove off?’

‘I can see light under the bedroom door did you remember to turn off the light in the kitchen?’

I am now 32 years old and i have had trouble sleeping for as long as i remember so i decide to try a different approach tonight.

Instead of ignoring my brain hoping it will get tired of talking to itself i reply to my inner voice in the hope that it will just shut up and go into sleep mode.

‘I know i should have gone to the other petrol station but i really couldn’t be bothered’

‘And he reason why i bought the dry food for Fido was because it was on special and i thought he might like to try something different’

‘I didn’t use the stove tonight so o know it is off and yes i am positive that i turned the kitchen light off now shut the fuck up and go to sleep thank you’

I toss and turn for a while expecting a reply but when none is forthcoming i smile close my eyes and begin to drift off.

‘Did you lock the back door? Because if i remember correctly there was a break in down the road last week’

Sighing i cover my face with a pillow in the hope of silencing the voice but it doesn’t work ‘You really should go and check because you don’t know who could be lurking outside’

Throwing the sheet aside i climb out of bed ‘OK you win i will go and check and hopefully when i come back you will be quiet for the rest of the night;

I rattle the handle and sure enough the back door is locked, i also check the stove while i am up and once i am satisfied that all is well i stumble back to bed.

The time is now 2,23 in the morning and i am still awake ‘Do you want to play a game of I Spy because after all your alarm will go off in a couple of hours so you wont get much sleep anyway’

I spy with my little eye something beginning with B.

My alarm blares so i hit the snooze button in the hope of getting a couple more minutes of sleep but my brain has other ideas ‘Get out of bed you lazy turd, two hours sleep is enough for anybody.

As i said insomnia has always been a big problem for me, I am a worrier , i worry about about any insignificant thing and then i would worry about my constant worrying.

Going to sleep at night is a struggle and somethings i would think about ending it all and going into a permanent sleep but thankfully my brain seemed to sense when when was time to settle down at nights and for a few months i would get a decent amount of sleep every night but than my over thinking and worrying would come back and my brain would again go into overdrive.

Over the years my doctor has prescribed me different types of pills and potions to help me sleep but none have really helped.

Also i have tried yoga meditation and deep breathing exercises to help me relax but again with limited results.

It is now early spring and the last six months my insomnia has grown steadily worse, i average about an hour and half of sleep a night so my days are torture because most of the walk i walk around like a zombie barely able to function and so on the morning of 2nd September i enter a gun store down the end of my block and buy myself a rifle that the guy behind the counter said would stop an elephant in its tracks.

Finally i am taking control of my life even though i am about to end it.

Once home i put the rifle in the hall closet and than like a prisoner on death row on the day of his execution i wonder what to have for my last supper.

I think back to when i was a kid and my favorite back then was leg of lamb with roast pumpkin and mashed potatoes so i go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients for my final meal before i meet my maker.

Two hours later the lamb is cooked to perfection and the vegetables are just how i like them.

I eat slowly at first but i am only delaying the inevitable so i gobble down the rest place the plate in the sink then go to the closet and grab the rifle, my liberator if you will.

Taking a seat i remove my shoes and socks get comfortable then after putting the barrel under chin place my big toe on the trigger and get ready to squeeze.

My brain decides that just this second is the right time to start talking ‘What are you doing Kevin?

I don’t wish to reply but i do any way ‘What does it look like you little fucker, this is all your fault , if only you learnt to keep your mouth shut when i am trying to sleep than none of this would be happening’

My toe gently squeezes ‘You do realise that when you pull the trigger i will be splattered all over the wall behind you?’

‘Yes i am quite aware of that eventuality now just shut the fuck up so i can get down to business’

‘Um i don’t mean to ask a silly question but did you put any bullets in the gun?

My heart stops for a second but i distinctly remember loading the gun so tell my brain to back off ‘Nice try but no cigar’

I toe is getting a cramp but does as ordered and squeezes once again.

blurp blurp blurp plurp

I look over to the coffee table where my mobile is lit up like a christmas tree demanding to be answered ‘Jesus H fucking Christ can’t a man kill himself in peace anymore?

Taking a deep breath i tell myself that five minutes wont make any difference so i put the gun on the carpet and pick up the phone.

The screen tells me that my little sister Irene is the culprit calling but i haven’t talk to her in a long time so i answer ‘Hello sis so how is married life treating you?

She has been married for less than a year and seems to be happy ‘Couldn’t be better Kevin but i am not interrupting anything am i because i hear some tension in your voice’

‘I am fine just a little tired is all’ In case she also has x ray vision i walk over and kick the rifle beneath the couch.

We chat for over an hour about the fun times we had when we were kids and about our parents who are both enjoying retirement down in Tasmania.

Listening to my sisters voice takes all the tension and fatigue out of my system but i now realize that had i gone and killed myself i would of left a lot of grief and heartache behind.

When i say goodbye to my sister i empty the rifle and throw the bullets in the trash then dismantle the gun and put it under my bed for a rainy day.

That night i watch a little TV then go and brush my teeth before going to bed, as i brush my brain pipes up ‘I am sorry for all the crap i put you through and from now on i promise to let you sleep uninterrupted’

I must admit i am skeptical but i happily finish my dental care before toddling off to bed.

At 3am i am woken by my brain ‘I know that i promised not to talk but i am bored so why don’t we play a game or talk about the weather or something’

My brain might have kept on talking but i had already switched off and fallen to sleep.


‘Camel Toe Joe’


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A little known Australian bushranger with the strange moniker of Camel Toe Joe has been on my mind a lot lately.

He doesn’t feature in any historical records that i have seen ( in fact historians will tell you that he never existed at all ).

Plus if you search the web for any references to Camel Toe Joe you will see more than you bargained for.

I don’t think it is right for this Australian legend to remain virtually unknown to his fellow countrymen and the world at large so i have taken it upon myself to set the record straight and write all about his exploits and adventures to the best of my ability.

Joseph Markham is thought to have been born on or about the 2nd June 1831 at his families homestead on the banks of Lake Wendouree just outside of Ballarat Victoria.

His father Stephen Markham was a violent hard drinking man who also happened to be the local pastor.

From day one he completely ignored his responsibility as a parent leaving the upbringing up his son to his long suffering wife Betsy.

From the age of five Joe begin to run away from home to escape his fathers hard nosed attitude but he always returned when his stomach needed filling.

A poor student Joe struggled at school, he tried his best to get a good report from his teacher but his mind would wander and his eyes constantly gazed outside the classroom window trying to picture what lay over the hills beyond Lake Wendouree.

The teacher a mean old battle axe named Beatrice Coltrane would cane Joe for not paying attention and for fighting with the other children.

At home his father would beat his son in an attempt to rein in his wayward ways but Joe wasn’t to be shackled and be just your average schoolboy and a week before his 15th birthday Joe paced a few belongings, saddled up his fathers horse and rode off into the night.

It would twenty years before he saw his parents again.

Joe didn’t have any plans or ideas of which direction he should head nor for that matter what it took to survive out in the back of beyond.

But the horse seemed to know where it was going so Joe sat back and even though he was afraid the ginger haired skinny teenager rode high in the saddle like a nobleman on his way to meet the queen.

Every hour or so he would stop to rest his aching joints and to give the horse a well earned drink.

Up in the trees the Cockatoo’s and Galah’s were waiting for the sun to rise keeping an eye on the stranger in case he would leave any crumbs for them to swoop on come dawn but unfortunately for them Joe only had a small piece of sausage leftover from his last meal at home.

As he ate Joe also had an eye out for any danger from snakes plus from the native aborigines who were known to be hostile towards the white folk.

Joe rode into Bendigo on the morning of 29th July 1846 still unsure leaving home was a good decision but at the same he was determined to find his own way in life.

He tied his horse outside a general store that had a sign on the front door ‘help wanted enquire within’ but than he thought about his parents back home especially his father who Joe knew relied heavily on his horse so he untied the colt pointed back the way from where they came. ‘say hello to ma and pa for me boy’ then he slapped the horses rump.

Once he knew the horse was homeward bound Joe stepped into the general store to enquire about the job.

Noticing an old timer the counter he sauntered over’Hi mister my name is Joe and i am here about the job, i know that i am small for my age but i am as strong as an ox and i can work from sun up to sun down’

Joe has never worked a day in his life but he can lie with the best of them.

When no reply was forthcoming Joe had another look at the old man ‘Jesus he looks older than Moses, i hope he doesn’t drop dead before he gives the job’

‘Thanks for your concern young fellow, my name isn’t Moses and i can still rattle the bones of any of the young ladies in the whorehouse across the street’

My name is Clarence Denning the owner of this fine establishment, be here 6 o’clock sharp and we will see if a little runt like you can walk the work or just talk the talk’

Joe is still trying to figure out what ‘rattle the bones’ means so it takes him a few seconds to reply ‘Ah thanks mister but i don’t own a watch but maybe there is a rooster around these parts who could wake me up?’

‘I dont quite know how long i will be in town for because i have plans on becoming a famous bushranger one day’

Chuckling heartily Clarence told Joe that there is a room around back that he can use until he hones his bushranger skills.

Joe worked at the Bendigo general store for almost three years helping Mr Denning load wagons with sacks of sugar, flour and salt plus barrels of kerosene and crates of beer and whiskey.

It was hard work but Joe built up his strength and inner resilience, his hands bled and back ached a bitch but he never once complained.

Every night as he slept Joe dreamt about robbing banks, hiding out in the bush and maybe rattling a few bones himself.

His name would feature on the front page of every national newspaper from Melbourne to Sydney and all godforsaken places in between.

Then on the morning of 14th September 1850 Joe’s life and the nations coffers were bolstered.

It was just another average Victorian morning, sunny with a chance of rain, the kookaburra’s and crow’s were greeting another day screeching and chatting amongst themselves.

‘Jesus who needs a freaking rooster with these noisy birds are around’ joe thought as he helped load the first wagon of the day, then the mundane was broken when Mr Denning noticed a cloud of dust approaching from the west.

‘Be ready to run inside Joe we might have ourselves some trouble’

Ten horseman rode into view waving their hats screaming at the top of their lungs ‘What are they saying Mr Denning?’

When the men hurtled past the store to became clear to all and sundry what they were excited about. GOLD GOLD GOLD

There is gold in them there hills.

Over the following months Bendigo was swamped with people from across the country and overseas all with one thing on their minds.

Strike it rich on the goldfields and go home a happy man.

After working his fingers to the bone in the general store joe has no great desire to go digging out in the goldfields under the blazing sun.

When he was a young boy his mother would read him about pirates robbing and pillaging out on the high seas.

They had names like Blackbeard, Calico Joe and William Kidd, names that have stood the test of time.

Joe knows that if he is to become a famous he will have to come up with a name fitting the position.

And as fate his last day that he worked for Mr Denning a suitable name was unwittingly thrust upon him.

While he was stacking the shelves with canned goods a commotion outside caught his attention ‘ Come take a look Joe’ Mr Denning called from the front window ‘Have you ever seen a camel before?’

‘Shit a shingle boss i don’t even know what a camel is’

‘There is no need to cuss young man come take a gander’

Joe couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw this large awkward looking animal with knobbly legs and two humps on its back trotted past the store.

Sitting between the humps was a man with a long black ponytail wearing a white dress.

‘Who in the fuck is that man Mr Denning?’

‘I told you before Joe that i want put up with any fucking swearing in my presence, but to answer your question i think his name is Mr Long who has come all the way from China to make his fortune like everybody else but he was railroaded by Samuel Carruthers, now the chinaman is now nothing than a cook and odd jobs man for Carruthers and his gang of thieves’

‘Carruthers is a mean nasty son of a bitch who owns most of the land around these parts, he exhorts money from the miners who dare search for gold even if they don’t encroach on his land’

‘Sounds like robbery to me Mr Denning plain and simple’

Then and there 19 year old Joseph Markham decided that when he becomes a bushranger he will teach Carruthers a lesson and give all the money back to the miners, less a finders fee of course.’

An hour Joe was sitting outside the store on a well earned break when he noticed Mr Long leading the camel towards him.

Once the animal was tied to a post Mr Long asked if he could buy some two sacks of salt and one sack of tobacco. ‘Sure thing Mr Long but before we go inside can i take the camel for a ride? Are the humps full of water or milk?

While he talked Joe began walking towards the tethered beast ‘Not so close, camel mean will kick’ Mr Long warned Joe but it was too little too late.

‘Sorry but i have never seen a camel before, it sure is ugly though, i bet it would scare the feathers from the birds and cause the roo’s to run for the hills’

The camel sensing that it is being put down by the camel waited until his antagonist was within range then without warning delivered an almighty kick that connected with Joe’s jaw but lucky for him it was only a glancing blow, if it wasn’t Joe would be getting measured for two caskets, one for his body the other for his head.

As it was the camel’s toe left a three inch long groove from hid bottom lip to below his chin.

The gash was looked puffy and swollen but at the same time was oddly alluring.

After applying fifteen stitches to Joe’s wound the town’s doctor offered some free advice ‘You will probably have a scar for life and if i were you i would give that camel a wide berth from now on’

Through his pain Joe managed a reply ‘Thanks for your words of wisdom doc but i intend on showing that camel that it made a huge mistake and i intend to teach it some manners’

Upon leaving the surgery Joe was confronted by a very apologetic Mr long ‘Sorry sorry for your injury, my camel did very bad thing, how can i make it up to you?’

Joe thought for a second ‘You can do two things for me and than we will be even’.

‘First when you leave here today i want to go with you and secondly i want to apologize to the camel for getting on it’s bad side’

‘Huong Long gave Joe a wary look ‘Please camel very dangerous, maybe you write letter and i give it to him?’

‘Don’t worry Mr Long i promise not to get to close’

On seeing Joe approach the camel flexed it’s muscles and wriggled it’s toes in anticipation of drawing more blood.

Joe stopped ten foot from the crazy beast ‘I am very sorry for calling you ugly but now i can see that you are even uglier than i first thought plus i just got a whiff and i have to say that you smell like a wombat has crawled up your huge arse and died’

Mr Long rushed forward pushing Joe out of the way of a massive golly of saliva the camel spat ‘You call that an apology? You crazy now you and camel are mortal enemies, like elephant camel never forget’

Once it had recovered from the insults the camel lowered itself to the ground and Mr Long climbed into the saddle then he urged the camel forward ‘You coming or not? And don’t get too camel or he will kick you again plus stay down wind because if he farts you will never remove the stench from your nostrils’

On the journey to the gold fields Mr Long told Joe that he came to Australia with his sixteen year old daughter Knot Fu Long with plans of striking it rich with gold so that they could return to china and live a happy life but that his plans were shattered by a very bad man.

Mr Long clearly distressed paused to catch his breath but Joe took pity on him ‘It is okay, my boss told me how Carruthers is ruling the gold fields with an iron fist but rest assured that when we arrive i will do everything in my power to bring him down’

Please Mr Joe Carruthers has many soldiers and if you cross him it will only make matters worse for Knot Fu and me’

I might be young but i promise you that when Carruthers falls from his perch he will be in no position to harm anyone’

Along the way the camel continually farted and belched whilst giving Joe the evil eye just daring him to come closer.

Joe ignored the camel and was relieved when just before dusk the three weary travelers arrived at the gold fields.

Looking around Joe couldn’t believe the size of the place and even at seven o’clock at night there was a hive of activity.

Gold fever was in the air and Joe almost stumbled from its euphoric effect ‘Father father over here’ Joe turned to see a young girl running toward them. Welcome back father who is the stranger with you? And what happened to his face?

Be quiet Knot Fu, this is Mr Joe from in town who came along for the ride plus he also wants to help us get from under the scourge of Carruthers and his soldiers’

Mr Long suddenly stopped talking and gazed over at a huge house on the far side of the fields ‘That is where Carruthers lives, Knut Fu and i are forced to live there as servants while he plunders the plot that i paid for out of my life savings, but it isn’t only me, all the miners pay Carruthers 10% and if they don’t pay or try and cheat well they disappear never to be seen again’

Joe is seething with rage and the gash on his chin begins to weep and pulsate.

The apprentice bushranger rubs the tender spot not noticing Mr long and his daughter whispering and laughing Hey Mr Joe i was just telling Knot Fu how the camel kicked you and well, here Knot Fu butted in giggling ‘You camel toe Joe’

And so on the evening of 3rd March 1847 the legend was born.

‘Where in the fuck have you been you old chinese cunt, do you think that i run my business on Peking time?’

‘Well let me tell you that i don’t now pray tell who is this boy with you, maybe he could help you and your scrawny daughter help to make my life more comfortable?

Joe eyed the old man astride his horse with contempt ‘My name is Joseph Markham and i am here to help Mr Long out from his predicament’

‘ Perhaps you would be kind enough to give him back his mining rights so that he can dig for gold free from greedy arseholes like you’

Carruthers face turned beet red his eyes bulging not quite believing what he just heard.

The burly 6′ 3′ two hundred pound stand over merchant doesn’t take kindly to anyone upsetting his apple cart ‘Look around you young man i have over fifty men under my command and this very second they have their rifles aimed in your direction’

‘Throw him in the stockade and perhaps as he rots away young Joseph will learn to keep his mouth shut’

Mr Long and his daughter can do nothing to help Joe as he is dragged away by three henchmen to an unknown fate.

The camel stamped his feet in frustration at the apprehension of his adversary who he has grown to admire because the little shit can take a kicking and keep on ticking.

Then things take a turn for the worse as his master and child are forced at gunpoint back to the big house.

Unnoticed by Carruthers or any of his soldiers the camel trots over into the undergrowth and almost immediately begins to formulate a rescue mission.


Chapter two coming soon.

‘A Little Place Called Hell’


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36 year old Alison Reddy takes a deep breath and slowly exhales.

Sitting in the back seat of her battered old chevy wagon her two children have been squabbling since she strapped them in and drove from their home in Lincoln Nebraska.

Now four hours later Alison is about ready to explode ‘If you two don’t quieten down right this minute i swear i will turn the car around’

‘I know that you are excited to visit gran and pop but you need to settle down or i will tan both of your hides like i did last week remember?’

Nine year old Molly and her six year old brother Kevin instantly sit up straight in their seat and rub at old and new injuries but the bruises inside will be forever out of reach.

Alison looks back at her offspring in the rear view mirror and is pleased to see them behaving for once without her needing to raise a hand.

Ever since her husband Randy walked out a year or so back Alison has tried her best to be a good mom but it isn’t easy being a single parent.

A whimper of fright from the back seat brings her back ‘Sorry Kevin but you know that mommy likes her peace and quiet so be a good little boy and soon we will stop for lunch and you and Molly can order whatever you want’

Alison drives down the highway gripping the steering wheel like she is trying to strangle it ‘God why did my parents feel the need to move all the way down to Florida to retire for fuck sake’

Stealing another glance at her children and is shocked to see them covered in cuts and bruises looking like the living dead.

Running a hand through her long greasy hair the harried mother does what she has always done in times of stress, she takes a long pull from a bottle of gin that was sitting in the console within easy reach.

Molly and Kevin notice their mommy drinking from a bottle and know that no matter if they behave or not there will be trouble.

The two abused souls slide down in their seat trying to disappear but trouble has a habit of finding you wherever you choose to hide.

Replacing the cap Alison dares another look back at her children she is pleased to see that they now look fresh faced and rosy cheeked ‘Almost there kiddo’s’

Molly and Kevin smile back but the smiles are etched deep with past pain and sorrow.

Ten minutes later she veers off the highway and drives towards a town called Seabridge, which is strange because Seabridge didn’t appear on her navigation system but she could with something to eat so Seabridge it is.

Rounding a bend Alison barely glances at a sign on the side of the road but that glance was enough to make her heart turn to stone.

Slamming on the brakes the chevy skids to stop fifty yards past the sign. ‘Stay in the car children i just need to have another look at the sign back there, i wont be long’

In the back seat Molly and Kevin shimmer and shine in a ghostly manner disappearing for a second before reluctantly returning.

Alison approaches the sign in trepidation but she knows what she saw so this time Alison takes a good hard look.




Pop – Too many to mention.

Alison knows that she has to get out of here before it is too late so after running back to the car she screams at the back seat occupants ‘OK kids buckle up tight i um just remembered that i left the back door unlocked so i need to go back before someone breaks in’

‘Mommy just call Mr Jones next door’ Molly pipes up ‘He can go over and lock it and we can go see gran and pop’

Yeah mommy’ Kevin butts in ‘But please i need food and i need it now’

Alison isn’t listening because she has more pressing issues at hand like how to escape from hell and live to talk about it.

She knows that she will more then likely end up in hell but she isn’t quite ready yet but after checking over her shoulder for oncoming traffic Alison knows that she has no choice but to drive into hell.

Behind her the road has vanished leaving nothing but darkness blacker then black.

Two hundred yards down the road Alison is surprised to see what appears to be an ordinary main street you would see in any small American town except that there are no cars in sight and the sidewalks are pedestrian free.

Thankful that the kids don’t seem to notice that they are in mortal danger Alison and she can’t really blame them because for all intents and purposes hell looks like a ghost town.

Looking down to the end of main street searching for an escape route but there is nothing to see except a thick black fog.

‘Just put your foot down and drive all the way into hell Alison because that is where you belong you evil bitch’

‘You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t murder me and your own parents and because of your petty jealously and lust for money’

‘Thankfully the kids escaped from the abuse and are somewhere safe away from your evil presence’

Alison’s skin crawls at the sound of her dead husbands voice coming from the backseat.

With gentle arms draped over his children Randall Reddy sneers back at her ‘Your time to burn is nigh Alison and i hope that the fire consumes your soul forever and a day’

‘Fuck you Randall i should of killed you before i got pregnant with your spawn’

Crying tears of joy and acceptance Alison puts her foot down and drives all the way into hell to meet her maker.

‘Wake up you evil fucking bitch’

The strung out female patient sleeping in room 219 on the lower level at the New Brunswick Mental Facility opens her eyes and looks up at a huge menacing figure staring down at her with contempt.

Darnel Brathwaite is an african american nurse who has been attending to his patients needs and helping them in any way he can.

Perhaps helping isn’t the word that the patients themselves would use when describing Darnel’s conduct but Brathwaite couldn’t give a shit what they think of him.

All he is thinking about is helping the crazy lady in room 219 depart this world and get buried deep where the bugs and worms can eat her flesh to their hearts content.

Darnel has helped over 100 patients in various facilities nationwide reach the other side so the lady in room 219 shouldn’t prove to difficult to send on her way.

But first why not have a little fun?

Alison Reddy struggles to get comfortable as the buckles and straps and buckles of her straight jacket bite into her skin.

Her mind is hazy and she is having trouble focusing on the huge cruel nurse in her room but through the haze she notices a syringe in one of his hands and a manilla folder in the other.

‘Glad you could join me Alison, it is almost 9.30 and my shift ends at midnight,i will go home to my cat and a six pack of beer and you will also be going on a journey but before you leave let me read you a bed time story’

This story i am sure you have read many times before but never mind let me read it again so you know exactly why you need to go on a one way trip’

‘On 20th January 1984 Mary Lou Reddy gave birth to a healthy baby daughter who her husband Ben insisted be named Alison after his favorite grandmother who he loved very much.’

‘Alison was a happy normal toddler but when she started school began to show a cruel streak by physically abusing the other students and teachers’

You were immediately removed from school and sent to this facility where you received shock treatment and for a few years your behavior returned to normality’

Braithwaite pauses briefly to adjust himself ‘A week before your twelve birthday you came home from running an errand where after devouring a huge slice of chocolate cake your loving mother made for you ‘

‘You returned her love by picking up a knife and stabbed her 32 times’

‘Then you went out to the garage where your father was working beneath his beloved 57 Pinto’

‘With wicked intentions you wound down the jack slowly crushing your own father slowly until he died an agonizing death’

Once again the excited nurse pauses this time to release his member that he slowly begins to stroke.

‘After murdering your parents you were sentenced to a maximum security institution for dangerous juveniles in upstate New York where you were treated for your maladies’

The governor of the state believing that you were completely rehabilitated released back into the community on 1st July 2009 and you laid low for a while behaving like a regular person but you and i both know different don’t we Alison?’

The patient in the straight jacket smiles at the story teller with a grin that almost causes him to lose rhythm but Braithwaite continues to choke the chicken even as the smirk on the patients face tells him that trouble is afoot.

You befriended a young man named Randall Reddy at church who had no idea that you were a murderer and an evil demon and you didn’t tell him did you Alison?

This time Brathwaite avoids eye contact but the stroking intensifies’

Braithwaite in his haste to spend an evening of fun failed to make sure that the he tied the straight jacket securely and now Alison even in her sedated state has managed to slip an arm from the restraint.

Now the evil killer is just waiting for the right moment to strike.

‘Not long after meeting Reddy you were pregnant with your daughter Molly and three years later you gave birth to a son who you named Kevin’

‘For ten years you lived in suburbia with your family and everything appeared peachy on the outside but they weren’t were they Alison?”

‘In the decade you lived in Lincoln twenty three people who lived within a ten mile radius from your home disappeared’

‘These people were completely innocent and didn’t deserve tp come in contact with you’

Brathwaite has almost reached the point of no return and his breathing has become erratic ‘Your husband Randall never knew who you really were and on his 31st birthday you shot him in the head and ran naked onto the street which is why you currently a resident here’

‘Thank God your children have had their names changed and are in a place where you will never find them and hopefully they will grow to be good people despite having you as their mother’

‘Do you have anything to say before you begin your travels?

Alison motioned for the nurse to come closer and Brathwaite despite all of his training leans in close beating his meat at a furious pace.

Alison launches forward and bites down hard on the nurses nose and after a few shakes of her head the morsel is ripped free.

Braithwaite despite being three times the size of the patient offers little resistance and soon goes into shock and is now at the mercy of the crazy women in room 219′

Alison gets to work, first she shoves the nose down the nurses throat then using the metal tip of a felt pen she found in the nurses pocket Alison severs the shriveled penis from the shell shocked nurse and it to is forced down his throat.

Finally Alison empties the contents of the syringe into his thigh and soon the nurse is dead.

With her heart beating strong in her chest Alison feels exhilarated as the taste of the nurses blood refreshes memories from her past.

Now she has the taste again Alison needs and wants more blood on her hands but first she will need to escape from this shithole.

So she settles down to think of a way out of here.

Ten thousand miles away down in Australia two two teenagers have no idea that their birth mother has just killed again and is thinking about holding a family reunion.


‘Roadkill ( Mantlepiece of Death ) 2.


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In the first installment i introduced you all to Myron Oxenford a 58 year old old eccentric who called rural Mississippi home.

He was employed by the county to clear the highways and byways from any animal unfortunate enough to be killed by passing trucks and cars.

A loner at heart Myron enjoyed driving around all day listening to country music as he goes about his job,scraping up the roadkill all over the couty.

An amateur taxidermist Myron every now and than would take the freshest and least damaged carcasses home to his cabin in the woods where he would stuff the creatures and place them on his mantlepiece.

The pelts he would dry near the fire whilst some of the meat was thrown on the skillet the choicest cuts were put into jars and pickled for winter.

All in all life has been good for Myron Oxenford, so far.

One summer night Myron drank a few jars of moonshine and woke feeling like a skunk had slept on his tongue but he was still keen to add to his collection.

Even though he knows that he really shouldn’t be driving Myron backs out of his driveway on a mission.

A few weeks back a stranger he met at a bar offered him a shitload of money to make his wife disappear, an offer Myron couldn’t turn down.

Ten minutes he notices his target jogging along the side of the road on her usual morning constitutional.

Sally Nulksteader never knew what hit her when she was hit by Myron’s pickup and thrown down a small embankment.

Her husband told Myron to leave Sally’s body at the scene so that it will look like your everyday hit and run but Myron can’t resist temptation so after scrambling down the slope he carried the body back to his truck.

Sally Nulksteader will soon take pride of place on his mantlepiece of death.

Arriving home Myron’s blood is pumping full throttle and he knows that he has dug himself a hole that he can never escape from but at the same time he has in his possession the ultimate display specimen.

For three hours he drank shine as he sharpened his trusty knife on a whetstone.

Finally he stood and got down to doing what needed to be done, he skinned the carcass threw some meat on the skillet and pickled the rest.

Unbeknown’s to Myron for the past five months a lone house fly has been buzzing around his cabin as he slept feeding his drool to an eagle and a misshapen cougar that he couldn’t stuff properly.

The two roadkill victims have been sitting on the mantle for months but the precious liquid the fly has been feeding them has moistened their organs and slowly but surely life is being restored.

On his last day on earth Myron woke to a commotion coming from the living room and goes to investigate.

The cougar bounds from the mantlepiece and kills the roadkill merchant with a single bite to the back of the neck.

When the big cat has eaten his fill the eagle swoops down and picks at the bones and remaining meat.

Myron Oxenford now resides in hell well and truly stuffed.


Brett Nulksteader looks up at the clock for perhaps the tenth time in the past five minutes.

His wife Sally left for her morning run an hour ago and hopefully by now the deed has been done and she wont be returning.

But he waits until mid morning before he calls the police to report her missing.

The desk sergeant at the Holbrook police station tells the obviously distraught Mr Nulksteader ‘Listen Sally has more than likely stopped for some shopping or is visiting a friend’

‘We are new to the area sergeant Murhpy so Sally has had a chance to make any friends and her handbag is here so she has no money on her’.

‘Plus why doesn’t she answer her phone? I am telling you something terrible has happened’.

Please Mr Nulksteader try to remain calm because i am sure that Sally will walk through the door at any minute but if she hasn’t returned by tomorrow we will launch an investigation’

After smoking cigarette after cigarette Brett can’t stand the tension anymore and he really needs to know if Myron came through for him and with no phone reception out in the woods Brett has no alternitive but to drive out there.

Jumping into his car Brett decides to travel the route that Sally normally goes on her run every morning and a few miles from home he notices a huge wet patch on the side of the road glistening in the morning sun.

Trembling with excitement he pulls over to have a closer look, maybe the blood is from a deer or moose but than Brett notices a running shoe a few yards down an embankment.

After spending a few minutes searching no body is found and shaking with fury Brett knows that Myron must have taken Sally back to his cabin.

‘Why couldn’t the asshole just follow the plan?’

At this point Brett should of just driven out to Myrons place but his ego wouldn’t let him so he calls the cops and tells them that he has found what he believes is his wives running shoe down an embankment on Potters Road.

Ten minutes later a squad car arrives and two uniformed cops climb out.

The elder of the pair introduces himself ‘Good morning Mr Nulksteader i am sergeant Coverdale and my partner is corporal Bolin i understand that you have found what you believe is your wives shoe?

Yes officer i reported my wife missing this morning after she didn’t return from her run’

‘Where is the shoe Mr Nulksteader just point where it is’ Coverdale demands.

‘Um sorry but i picked it up and put it on the front seat of my car’

‘You really should of left it where you found it’Bolin pipes up’Now you have trampled over the scene of an accident and potentially a crime scene’

‘Sorry officer but i was just hoping to find Sally alive and well so i wasn’t thinking about a crime scene’

Bolin a slight native american relents a little ‘I understand Mr Nulksteader, we will organize a K9 unit but in the meantime just take a set in the back of the squad car while my partner and i have a look around’

Brett nods his head and takes a seat, he watches the two cops intently hoping that they don’t find any evidence linking Myron to the scene because Brett knows that the old timer would turn on him in a heartbeat.

On a rocky outcrop a mere twenty yards above the two cops a misshapen cougar sits on his haunches ready to pounce.

The stitches that Myron applied a few months back are starting to come apart and the creatures insides are beginning to poke through.

The deranged big cat is hungry but he is wary of the human activity so he turns tail and slinks away.

A K9 unit arrived soon after and six bloodhounds started running around in excitement waiting for their handler to give them the command to seek.

The handler a grumpy old army veteran named Dru Standridge has been helping the local police for years helping to locate many folk both dead and alive.

Stanbridge who some say resembles the old cowboy actor Walter Brennan reaches into a coat pocket and takes a long drink from a flask.

His dogs are going ballistic as he leads them to the blood stain and after a quick sniff the bloodhounds get their bearing trot off in an easterly direction.

In the back seat of the cop car Brett Nulksteader rubs sweaty palms on his jeans when he realizes the dogs are heading towards Myron’s cabin.

All he can hope for is that Myron has disposed of Sally’s remains out in the sticks someplace where the dogs will lose the scent and his wife will never be found.

Six weeks prior Sally was taking a shower when her cell phone rang, Brett let it ring but it is unusual for Sally to receive calls late at night so he answers and listens to the message’ Hello sweetheart i cant wait to see you again tomorrow and we can make love again and again.’

Brett deletes the message and waits to confront his wife when she has finished.

But as he waits Brett blood boils in rage and he comes to the decision that she has to go permanently and the the old man he met in the bar a few days later while drowning his sorrows.

The stranger was none other then Myron Oxenford the towns roadkill merchant and amateur taxidermist.

After hearing of his drinking buddies martial problems he agrees to make her disappear forever’ Give give me $20,000 and you will never see her again.

‘OK but make sure that she is buried deep so the wildlife can’t dig her up because if her body is found you and i will both go to jail for a very long time’.

‘Don’t worry Brett you can rely on me to do the job’ Myron responds then the two strangers went their seperate ways.

Of course Myron had no intention of burying the body, he has always wanting a human trophy to sit on his mantlepiece plus the $20,000 being an added bonus.

Now as the police cruiser follows the dogs out to Myron’s cabin Brett shakes his head at his own stupidity.

How could he have been to reach out to a total stranger to kill his wife?

15 minutes later the dogs are sniffing and whimpering outside the cabin’s front door.

When the cops arrive Brennan has bad news’ Judging by the way my dogs are reacting i am positive that you have a deceased person inside’

Coverdale and Bolin were both hoping that Sally Nulksteader was in some sort of accident and is laying in the brush somewhere waiting to be found but the dogs led them straight here so both officers draw their weapons and Coverdale being the senior partner knocks on the door.

Suddenly the blood hounds start howling and begin to round in circles with their tails between their legs ‘Officers there is something inside that is scaring the dogs maybe you should ring for backup’

‘Control your animals Mr Stanbridge’ Coverdale orders but the huge African American soon shuts up when an evil stench descends upon all present.

Officer Bolin fresh out of the academy takes charge ‘Stanbridge help is on the help so please take your dogs bacck to your van and get the fuck out of here’

The dog handler is now visibly shaking’ Officers please listen to me, i have never seen my dogs act this way before, i am telling you that something terrible has happened inside the cabin so we should go back to your car and wait for the backup to get here’

The only reply is an agonizing scream AARRRGGGG ‘Get this fucking thing off me’ Bolin and Stanbridge watch in astonishment as the huge officer is dragged away by a mangy deformed cougar.

Bolin Can’t get a shot off in fear of hitting partner but soon it is too late when with a bite to the back of his neck the big cat kills Coverdale.

There is no way in hell that Bolin is going to let the cougar eat his partner so he takes a few tentative steps forward to put the cougar down but the cat moves fast and Bolin joins his partner on the ground with his throat ripped open.

The officers blood mingles together and the dogs run to the hills scared out of their minds.

Stanbridge scrambles into the back of the cruiser next to Brett’ Holy fucking shit did you see what that cougar did to the cops? plus there is something worse inside that cabin’

All Brett can do nod his head and try to squirm out of sight then his eyes drift over to the cougar that has dragged one of the cops bodies over to an oak tree where it is feeding with relish.

‘Jesus on a stick’ Stanbridge screams’ We need to get out of here right now before that cat finishes it meal and comes looking for dessert’

Pointing a bony finger the old man croaks’ The keys are still in the ignition so climb over and drive as fast as you can’

Brett is tempted to do what the old codger says but he has to make sure that his wife and Myron are dead and if they are still he will finish them off before a troop of cops get here.

With both his Myron and Sally unable to speak against him his murderous plan will remain a secret.

Calm down Stanbridge i need to go inside and find my wife to make sure she is safe and sound’ Stanbridge knows that there is no way that anyone is safe and sound inside that cabin but the old man is beyond caring.

Brett looks over to the cougar munching on what looks like a femur bone and is confident that the cat wouldn’t leave a fresh kill so he steps outside’ Just stay calm until reinforcements get here but i need to find me wife’ and with a quick glance at the contented cat Brett hurries over to the front door of the cabin and luckily it is unlocked.

The stench of blood and human waste hit him in the chest like a tidal wave and for an instant he is tempted to escape but he has to make sure that no one is alive to tell tales so he takes another step inside.

A lone fly sits on the mantlepiece watching the intruder with interest, the insect has been lapping up the blood and other liquids from the body of the taxidermist as it slowly begins to decompose.

The fly has been drip feeding the liquids into the mouth of the stuffed and stitched human sitting pride of place beside him on the mantle just like it fed the cougar enjoying a meal outside and an eagle perched up on a shelf above a dresser.

If the fly could smile it surely would because yesterday the human’s heart began to pulse slowly.

Now the female is primed and ready to give her husband a welcome he wont forget in a hurry.

The fly rubs it’s wings together in anticipation of another fresh blood meal and it wont be long before it can dig in.

Hello Brett where in the fuck have you been?’

Brett’s head snaps around at the sound of his wife’s voice ‘Up here darling i now reside with the dead and the damned ‘ Brett looks up to see Sally looking like she has been sewn together by a drunk DR Frankenstein.

‘Sorry that i am not looking my best but i was run over by a truck, stuffed and stitched like a christmas turkey and displayed up here on the mantle like a whore in a cathouse so forgive me if i am no longer to your taste but i will savior your demise.

It takes a second or two for Brett’s brain to comprehend what the creature said to him and before the words sink in Sally springs down slamming him to the floor knocking the wind from his lungs.

While her husband struggles for breath Sally rummages around in Myron’s taxidermy kit until she finds a needle and thread’ Now hold still Brett as i sew your murderous words closed forever more and i warn you dear that if you move i will snap your neck like a chicken’

She then proceeds to use the needle and thread sewing her husbands mouth until it like the stitches on an all game baseball.

Brett gurgles in total terror and soon the fly enters the fray.

It hovers around Brett’s left nostril before settling on an eyeball then it finds its way inside his skull and begins to vacuum the vital fluids from his brain.

In a few hours Brett will be left in a permanent state, the hateful husband will spend the rest of his life under care never to utter another word.

As he dies the eagle swoops and begins to pick at the flesh but Sally screams’ No leave him be there will be lots of food for us in the future mark my words’

Police sirens are getting louder so Sally opens the front door and hurries past a terrified Dru Stanbridge still seated in the back of the cop car terrified out of his wits.

She strolls over to the cougar resting after consuming his large meal and scratches the kitty behind the ears .

The cat is annoyed having its sleep interrupted but instantly gets to its feet and follows his fellow roadkill survivor out into the night where they soon vanish from view.

After walking a few miles in a tangle undergrowth they are soon joined by a bald headed eagle that flies from tree to tree leading the way.

A fly lands on Sally’s shoulder and settles down for a long trek.

The gruesome foursome steadily stroll toward destination unknown so please keep your doors locked and your windows shut.

Part Three coming soon.


She Dug Me Up


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My name was Norman Babbage and i am currently residing four foot beneath the surface in my own backyard.

Th worms have been very busy today, I sense and feel them as they squirm and wriggle between my ribs, turning my rotting flesh into nutrient rich compost.

I have been down here in the dank damp earth for two weeks now ever since my wife Maureen split my head open with a hammer while i slept.

After committing the dastardly deed the murderous bitch wrapped me in the bed sheet, dragged me down the stairs and out into the backyard where under the cover of darkness she rolled me into a hole that i had dug a few weeks prior.

My killer told me that she was planning on buying a few magnolia trees to screen our house from the neighbors and silly me believed her.

Maureen and i had been married for only five years and in that time her love for me descended into a cesspool of hate.

We met at a local bowling alley where we got to talking and i soon forgot all about the game, it was love at first sight.

Maureen was big even back then and easily out weighed me by thirty pounds or more, she had long blonde hair and a pleasant smile.

Before i knew it we had convened to a motel room where we made love until the sun come up.

As the two of us drank our coffee the next morning Maureen called me ‘Stormin’ Norman’ and said i fucked like a love struck teenager.

Than she grabbed my hand in a vise like grip and uttered the words ‘You are mine now Norman, you can never leave me’

I should have walked out there and then but i didn’t think she was serious but she was, deadly serious.

Maureen was 23 years old and i had just turned 25.

Six months later we were married and moved into a house at 343 Hillside Drive Glendale California.

The first year of our union was fairly smooth sailing but i had noticed that Maureen was very clingy and would hardly let me out of the house unless i needed to use the bathroom or when i went to work at the post office.

When my shift was over Maureen would be waiting outside in her old Corolla and soon i began to feel like a prisoner in my own home.

If i said that i was thinking of going for a few beers with my work mates Maureen would tag along and make the situation very uncomfortable and soon my friends stopped asking me to go with them.

I grew increasingly anxious and that is when i first thought about leaving my wife and getting my life back.

Maureen must have sensed my unease because one night a week or so later i was in the bathroom shaving before i went to work when she sidled up behind me and at first i thought she was after some loving but i was sorely mistaken.

‘Don’t even think about leaving me Norman because if you do i will hunt you down and drag you home’

‘Have a good hard look in the mirror Norman, go on you ugly little excuse for a man, remember Norman you are mine and the only way you will leave me is in a pine box’

I look in the mirror and i don’t like what i see, Maureen is right i am a geeky looking man your typical nerd plus i am also a coward so i don’t say a word as i change into my work uniform and silently get in her car and she drives me to the post office. ‘See you after work Norman, remember i will be waiting’

For almost another two years i put up with her mental and physical abuse but my frustration was about to boil over , i couldn’t deal with her shit or stay silent any longer so the bitch came home from grocery shopping i was going to confront her and demand a divorce.

Maureen arrived home in a foul mood as usual ‘Norman can you get your finger out of your ass and give me a hand around here, i am tired of being your slave’

I now realize that i should have moved out while she was gone but i needed to confront her face to face ‘Maureen i am leaving today and i won’t be back,you have made my life a misery and i can’t take it anymore’

‘Sure thing Norman pack your bags and get the fuck out of here’

That wasn’t the reaction i was expecting but i quickly threw a few things into suitcase and headed towards the door when Maureen called from the kitchen ‘I can drive you to the bus station if you like but i forgot where i put the car keys’

I look at the hall table where she usually leaves her keys but they aren’t there maybe she left them on the coffee table.?

As i turn to have a look WHACK WHACK WHACK I didn’t feel any pain as the rolling pin cracked open my skull and i believe that i was dead before i hit the floor.

Nor did have any comprehension as my body was dragged out into the backyard and deposited into the hole that i had dug for Maureens Magnolia tree’s.

The Magnolia’s were delivered yesterday waiting to be planted into the ground and now that my body would provide them with essential nutrients i am sure Maureen will fill in the hole and i will disappear forever.

When i was covered by dirt and the moonlight was blotted out for the final time i didn’t bat an eyelid or shed a single tear.

For all intents and purposes i am dead.

The worms are having a fine old time feasting on my decaying flesh and every now and then i would get a drenching when Maureen watered the magnolia’s to make sure the tree established and my memory would stay buried for eternity.

But all of my wives efforts would soon come back and bite her on her huge oversized ass.

As i lay in the dank damp ground the roots of the magnolia weaved between my bones supporting me like an old friend.

For Maureen the situation will soon become very grave, very grave indeed.

Maureen Babbage is sitting out on the back porch enjoying a cup of coffee and a cigarette.

It has been a week since she buried her husband and she knows that sooner or later someone will come looking for him.

Yesterday she rang his boss at the post office and told that Norman had run off to New York with a girlfriend so don’t expect him back anytime soon.

Plus hopefully it will be a while before the cops come snooping around because Maureen has plans to move down to Mexico and start a new life.

Stubbing out her cigarette she wanders into the yard to do a spot of gardening’

The magnolia trees are settling in nicely and hopefully the roots are digging deep helping the worms to dispose of Normans carcass.

Grabbing the hose she gives the trees another good soaking ‘Sorry Norman but if anyone was to end our it would be me and not a spineless piece of shit like you’

‘Now be a good boy and give the bugs a good feed so my magnolia’s can grow big and strong, something that you never were and never will be.’

Four feet below the deceased Norman Babbage soaks up the water that flows past his half devoured tongue.

As the precious liquid permeates into his system his ears listens to the stinging words coming down from above.

Norman chews on a root and digests the protein with gusto because he knows that even though he is still dead one day that bitch will walking and breathing will be brought to justice.

A few days later Maureen is beginning to show some signs of stress.

The Magnolia trees are starting to look unhealthy particularly the one she planted above Norman’s corpse.

Surely Norman’s rotting flesh and the copious amounts of water it has received the trees should be thriving so why are they dropping leaves.?

As she smokes another cigarette Maureen sneaks glances out to her magnolia’s like a mother wolf eyeing her prey.

She knows that somehow her dead husband is responsible for her misery.

Even in death the asshole continues to curse her life ‘Why can’t the bastard just up and die already?’

Night after night Maureen goes out to the porch and every night her paranoia cloaks her in a thick black cloud.

The coffee has been replaced by a bottle of gin the customary cigarette glows like a firefly as she draws in the soothing smoke.

As she swallows a mouthful of gin she picks up a krispy kreme donut and the ever expanding Maureen inhales the sugar in one breath.

Through bloodshot eyes she scans the backyard for any signs of activity but for now the coast is clear.

Another donut is about to be dispatched when the voice of her long dead mother enters her alcohol soaked sugar laden brain ‘Maureen you know that you should never have done what you did, but drinking gin and eating donuts wont undo the deed’

In defiance Maureen empties the bottle in one gulp ‘Fuck you mother and the horse you rode in on’

Remember Maureen that you have always been a big girl but now you are fat and if you continue in your ways, well i am afraid for you Maureen’.

Cut back on the alcohol and sugar and don’t let the darkness infest your brain and everything will be ok’

Goodnight sweetheart don’t let the bed bugs bite’

Maureen shudders as the old bitches voice fades away ‘Thanks for the advice Mom but why don’t you just fuck off and stop interfering’

When no reply is forthcoming Maureen opens another bottle of gin and has a long swallow than she stumbles off to bed ‘It isn’t the bed bugs i am worried about mother it is what lays beneath the magnolia’

As the murderess sleeps she moans with a mixture of pain and pleasure but soon the noise transcends into a snore that causes all of the dogs in the neighborhood to scurry away and hide.

Out in the backyard the leaves from the magnolia trees continue to drop and beneath the surface the roots have evolved , now instead of soaking up the water and nutrients and feeding the tree they now direct all the life giving goodness into the blood and bones of the slain human.

Soon the decaying flesh will renew and his tormented mind will mend and seek vengeance.

The following days continue to be a bane of misery for Maureen.

She now enjoys a liquid breakfast lunch and dinner and the donuts and cigarettes are constant companions by her side.

Deep down she knows that Norman is still to blame for all the wrongness in her life, so tomorrow she will go and buy herself a spade ‘OK motherfucker so you want to play? Now it is my turn’

Next morning Norman is enjoying a bit of peace and quiet relaxing as his body continues to heal when he feels a disturbance in the soil.

A glint of metal catches a dead fish eye and a smile of sorts forms on his face ‘Good god the stupid bitch is digging me up to make sure i am still down here’

When the sun hits his body Norman he doesn’t react ( because he is still technically dead) ‘Jesus Maureen you have really let yourself go, now go away and eat another donut but leave some room in that ample stomach because soon i will be force feeding you a shit load of trouble’

Maureen looks down at her still dead husband and a smile cracks her face as she refills the hole ‘How could i have been so stupid to believe that Norman had somehow come back to life and was responsible for my misery’

Satisfied that her husband is down in the hole where he belongs Maureen heads inside for a well earned drink.

The fog thickens outside the Babbage household, winter is almost here but Maureen is sleeping nice and cozy in her bed.

She doesn’t feel the cold snap approaching or see the magnolia roots creeping around the backyard whilst they wait for their master to give the order to strike.

As she dreams evil thoughts Maureen is oblivious that her life is about to turn into a living hell.

When dawn arrives the birds are chirping feverishly as the eat all the fruits and berries they can manage before they fly south for the winter.

As they fly from tree to tree the birds give the magnolia trees a wide berth because they know that death is lurking below.

Maureen wakes to the sound of the birds eating a little too loud for her liking ‘Shut the fuck up you feathered assholes can’t a person get any sleep around here?’

Knowing that she wont get back to sleep Maureen sticks a foot out from beneath the blankets and once satisfied that it isn’t too cold she climbs out and waddles towards the bathroom.

Out beneath the magnolia Norman is waving his arms around conducting the roots into a well orchestrated frenzy.

He knows that despite his recent rejuvenation his time is limited because once the ground the ground freezes the magnolia will become dormant and he will die again.

Now Maureen has to join him in his grave before it is too late so he plucks one thick root with a bony finger and the root slides up the stairs seeking its victim like a mamba stalking its prey.

Maureen rubs the sleep from her eyes as she on the toilet doing her business.

Then she lets out a strangled scream as a magnolia root appears beneath the bathroom door ‘What in the fuck?’ Maureen whispers as she tries to push herself away from the intruder but there is nowhere to go.

Maureen nervously tinkles every last drop of urine from her body as she stares at the crack beneath the door and for a minute it looks like the root has gone and Maureen prays to the heavens vowing never to drink another drop of gin ever again.

She stands to adjust her clothing when the root one inch round shoots through the narrow opening and wraps itself around her left ankle in a death grip and pulls her off her feet.

There is no way the Maureen is going to fit but the root really couldn’t give a shit and it yanks with all its might and both of Maureens legs snap with a wicked snap that sends all of the birds outside to wing and they take off towards Mexico at break neck speed.

Th bathroom door splinters and Maureen explodes out into her bedroom where she desperately tries to grab something to stop herself being dragged to her doom but the root is having none of that and pulls her across the carpet like a dog pulling a sled up in Alaska.

Maureen becomes aware that her sweat pants and undergarments are wrapped around her knees ‘Please at least let me pull up my pants so if i am to die at least i can leave this world with some dignity’

From out in the garden there comes a muffled reply ‘You haven’t got a dignified bone in your body Maureen, all you have ever done is look out for yourself and treat other people like shit’

‘And if there is a God Maureen you will never get to meet him because you are going to hell where you will burn for eternity’

Maureen sobs in terror at the sound of her dead husbands voice but even with two broken legs and a tree root wrapped an ankle her meanness surfaces ‘Well if it isn’t stormin’ Norman back from the grave, see you soon and when i get my hands on you i will kill you again motherfucker’

The root tightens its grip and Maureen gets the message and clamps her mouth shut for the first time in her life.

But it doesn’t last for long because when she starts to descend the stairs in screams in pain and total terror.


The back of Maureen’s head strikes the first three steps and she bites her tongue and blood clouds her vision, only twenty two steps to go.


Upon reaching the bottom step the voice from beyond decides that this is the perfect time for another chat ‘Sorry about that Maureen that last step was a doozy’

‘Soon we will be together once again but i am sorry to tell you that it will be a brief reunion.

Maureen’s tongue is bloody and swollen but she still manages ‘FOOK YOU NORMAN’

As she is dragged past the vegetable that Norman planted a couple of years ago Maureen grimaces in pain but remembers that the pumpkin’s were plentiful and made excellent soup plus the tomatoes were plump and tasty.

She offers no resistance as she is pulled along the well manicured lawn.

Her fingers and thumbs leave ten shallow furrows in the grass that would be ideal to plant cucumber and maybe some radish and chives.

Maureen sigh’s in frustration ‘If only i was a better person then Norman would still be alive and i wouldn’t be in this this predicament’

In his crypt beneath the magnolia Norman gets little comfort from his wives torment as the root delivers her faster then the post office ever could.

He sits at the entrance propped up by a tangle of roots, his decaying body now resembles a bloated spider waiting to devour its next meal.

Hello Maureen sorry to drag you away from your beauty sleep bur it wasn’t working anyway’

‘Come join me, I promise to make to quick and painless;

Maureen doesn’t argue or complain as her husbands bony hand grips her wrist and guides her over the threshold.

The couples flesh and memories seep down into the earth where they blend together in a mixture of oil of water, damned to rest together in turmoil.


‘Rocking Horse’


, , , , , , ,

Six year old Cindy Watson is curled up in her bed afraid to make a peep.

Her parents are out in the living room having another argument about money ‘ Bob why can’t you get off your big fat arse and get yourself a job? you have a family to support in case you haven’t noticed’

‘Give it a rest Gail, you know that i have a bad back and the doctors all told me to take it easy for a while’

‘Christ Bob it has been over nine months since your accident and i notice that you don’t have any trouble bending down to get a beer from the fridge every hour’

‘Please Bob first thing tomorrow morning go into town and see what jobs are going because the money i make at the supermarket is barely enough to put food on the table let alone pay the bills’

The summer of 1976 in North West NSW Australia is stifling and Gail Watson is frazzled trying to cope with the heat out in the middle of nowhere plus trying to make ends meet because of a good for nothing husband who just wants to sit around drinking all day.

When they were married seven years ago in Sydney Gail was a striking 20 year old who worshipped the ground that her husband walked on.

He was a stockbroker with a bright future and she planned on becoming a nurse but a few months after the wedding Gail fell pregnant and Bob had the great idea to move out to Dunnedoo to escape the rat race.

But now Gail is struggling to cope with no relatives to lean on for support and Bob promising future turning into dust.

Cindy finally drifts off to sleep around midnight but it is a restless night for the little girl because her parents constant arguing has been giving her nightmares.

At 8 am her mummy shakes her awake’ Wake up Cindy, time to get out of bed and have some bacon and eggs before school and we both know that you wouldn’t want to miss the bus don’t we?’

Mother and daughter share a quiet smile because they know that Cindy would rather ride for rocking horse all day. ‘Five more minutes please mummy’

‘Now pumpkin you can have a quick ride because the bus comes’

Even though a strong breeze would probably blow her over Cindy scoffs down a huge breakfast before she scampers out the front door to be greeted by her rocking horse that takes pride of place in the corner of the verandah.

The horse is old with chipped paint and a broken stirrup but to Cindy he is her whole world.

She loves nothing more than to rock back and forth with the wind blowing her long ginger hair into a tangled mess.

Patting the horses neck Cindy whispers’ One day we will ride all the way to Dubbo and rob a bank just like the bushrangers did back in the old days’

‘I will give every cent to mummy and daddy so they would stop fighting and perhaps find time to give me a baby brother’

A flash of yellow catches and reluctantly Cindy climbs from the rocking horse and races down the driveway to catch the school bus. ‘ Goodbye mummy see you this afternoon’

She is a pupil at Dunnedoo Public School and Cindy is a good student popular with the teachers and the other students ( all nine of them ) but sometimes her mind will wander and Miss Walpole an old battle axe with the temper of a mule would scold her ‘Miss Watson please try to concentrate on the lesson because if you don’t you will fail and never amount to anything of substance’

A few of the other kids laugh at Cindy’s discomfort and she is tempted to give them the finger but decides to ignore the brats and knuckle down until she can go home and ride her rocking horse.

Cindy Watson has just turned twelve and she is no longer the tangled haired first grader with a fondness for ice cream and chocolate.

Now she is almost a teenager who started to attend Dubbo High School two weeks ago, she is sill shy and to her annoyance she has a nasty pimple in the middle of her forehead and a pair of braces on her teeth.

But on the positive side her father has given up the drink and returned to work and her mother is now the manager of the supermarket.

So the Watson household is a happy place to be and Cindy likes her new school despite being teased by the school bully Elizabeth Hardcastle.

She still rides the rocking horse most days which gives her a chance to unwind and think of ways to bring her tormentor down.

The latest is to replace her lip balm with a tube of super glue which should keep the arsehole quite for a while.

But deep down Cindy knows that she couldn’t hurt anyone else no matter how nasty they are so she closes her eyes and rocks back and forth until the tension drains from her body.

Just then her mothers voice breaks the spell’ OK Cindy it is time to come inside for your bath young lady and if you behave i will let you watch The Brady Bunch while you do you homework’

Cindy sighs in frustration, dismounts and gives her rocking horse a friendly pat ‘Goodnight Lightning i will see you in the morning’

At the sound of the screen door slamming a quiver runs down the flank of the horse and his tail flicks in anticipation.

Unbeknowns to Cindy a local aboriginal boy has been watching her as she rides her rocking horse like a jockey steering home a Melbourne cup winner.

14 year old Warren Mundine knows that the girl has a desire to move from Dunnedoo and try her luck in the big smoke.

Every night for the past month he has waited until the lights were extinguished for the night then he would sneak up onto the verandah and sprinkle sprigs of Banksia and Bunya Pine all around the feet of the rocking horse.

And under the light of the moon he would perform a ceremonial dance that his ancestors have done for thousands of years.

Adorned in ochre and lithe of limb Warren would dance for hours until the sun started to peek above the horizon.

Black clouds gathered in the dawn and soon thunder boomed and lightning lit up the rocking rock that began to sway back and forth of it’s own accord.

‘Lightning by name Lightning by name’ the lad whispered before disappearing into the landscape like a ghost from the past.

Cindy wakes early and after a quick breakfast she races outside for a quick ride outside but something is different this time.

The rocking horse is surrounded by leaves and twigs that must have blown onto the verandah in last nights storm but they seem to have placed in some sort of pattern.

Climbing onto Lightning Cindy forgets about the plant arrangement when she recollects a dream she had just a few hours ago.

She dreamt that her rocking horse grew a pair of wings and like Pegasus he took flight taking her away from Dunnedoo as he flew to every corner of the world giving her a glimpse of what she is missing out there in the big wide open.

Also in the corner of her dream a small aboriginal boy appears out of nowhere and he climbs aboard Lightning and together they ride off into the sunset.

Cindy shivers in the morning air as her eyes gaze out past the front fence where orange dust twirls in the wind.

The aboriginal boy looked so real could he really be out there somewhere?

After another day boring day at school Cindy is anxious to get home and ride her rocking horse.

She squeals in delight when the bell rings and quickly boards the bus as it prepares to make the daily grind from Dubbo back to Dunnedoo.

In her hand she clutches a report card and it doesn’t make for good reading, C in English, D in History and a big fat F in Maths.

She is tempted to throw the card out the window but the headmaster informed all of the students at assembly this morning that their parents were expecting to receive a report card today so Cindy hangs on to it and thirty minutes later the bus pulls up outside her front gate.

As she meanders down the aisle she spots an aboriginal boy sitting near the front who looks vaguely familiar.

When she reaches his seat Cindy glances over and gasps out loud ‘Holy shit it is the boy that appeared in my dream last night’

Warren smiles in recognition and he knows that tonight is the night to kickstart a thousand tomorrows.

Cindy walks inside and hands the report card to her mother and after grabbing a huge slice of carrot cake she goes out to the verandah where her rocking horse waits’ Hello Lightning why don’t we ride all the way to Sydney because i have a feeling i am about to get yelled at’

As she rides Cindy thinks about the boy on the bus today.

She is positive that he doesn’t attend her school so why was he sitting on the bus and also he seemed to recognize her like they have met before.

Her mind is thinking overtime so she doesn’t notice the horses hooves jitter as he readies himself for a gallop but she soon gets the drift as Lightning rears up onto his back legs and after leaving a steaming pile of rocking horse shit behind the wooden horse takes off down the driveway.

Cindy loosens her grip on the reins when Lightning slows down to a canter to get his bearings.

After flaring his nostrils to taste the air the manic steed takes off in the direction of Merriwa.

The lonely schoolgirl laughs out loud knowing that soon she will be living in Sydney surrounded with friends living the dream.

In her excitement Cindy fails to notice a small aboriginal boy running behind Lightning but he cant keep up and soon he vanishes from view.


26 year old Cindy Watson hits the snooze button to silence the annoying sound that wakes her up every morning.

As she gets dressed she vaguely remembers dreaming about the rocking horse that she used to ride when she was a kid.

Cindy still lives in the same house that she grew up in but sadly her parents are no longer alive to offer guidance to their only child but their presence lingers in every room even though it has been eight years since they perished in an awful car accident.

As she goes about her morning routine Cindy talks to her parents without even knowing she is doing so.

At 8.30 she locks the front door and walks the short distance to the local pub where she pulls beers for the locals and travelers alike,

As she wipes the bar clean only half listening to a story from one of the regulars Cindy will often gaze out the window thinking about what her life would have become if she ever worked up the courage to leave Dunnedoo.

But at the same time Cindy loves her sleepy little town and really wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but hopefully one day she will meet a man and settle down to life in the country.

She takes one last look outside and remembers a saying from long ago ‘It doesn’t matter how close you get to the horizon because it will always remain in the distance’

In a storage facility on the other side of town a dusty old rocking rocking horse sits forlorn and forgotten.

It has been fourteen years since anyone has sat in his saddle, fourteen years kept in the darkness.

In all of that time his wooden black eyes have stared at the roller door daring it to open.

But the rocking horse knows that sooner or later the door will open and the sun will stream in and he will run like he has never run before.


Three doors down from the storage place a man in his late twenties is bent over the bonnet of an old Holden ute trying to fix a faulty brake cable ‘Hey Warren when you have finished over there can you give me a hand with this Toyota?’ ‘No worries Nigel i will only be a minute’

The man straightens up and looks longingly at the pub up the road.

Sure it would be nice to sink a few schooners but the main reason to visit the local is to walk inside and walk up the courage to ask Cindy Watson out on a date.


Part Two is coming just hold your horses.