It’s time to talk about me.

It’s time to talk about me.

It’s time to talk about me.
I don’t normally talk about me, or write about my life. It’s time I started. Being a writer, or dreaming about being a writer is far from that childish dream of sitting in a corner penning marvelous stories, and more about self-promotion for the sake of the writing. It’s more about talking about the things that brought you to this phase in life and less about daydreaming of book signings. I’m pretty sure every ‘writer’ out there, whether you have been discovered, wether you are already famous (then chances are you are never going to come across this little blog), or whether you’re still in your closet and haven’t come out saying ‘I want to be a writer’. Whoever we are, lets face it, there is no room for coyness in today’s world. 
I’m a writer. There, I said it. I’m a writer. It’s another story altogether that I’m a small time writer who mostly just writes for a small audience, or writes for myself. I don’t mind it. Of course I’d be lying if I said I never dreamed of the book signings as embarrassing as that is to admit. 
I’m done writing short stories and poetry, mini-series and chapters and posting them in the hope that it will be read and enjoyed. I used to obsess over the ‘stats’ page initially, anticipating views, likes and comments alike as if they were little pockets of treasure. I used to write one post every week at least in the hopes of gaining followers and readers alike. 
What I do now is pretty much sporadic. I know you are out there, those who have enjoyed my scribblings, typo and all. I still see you liking a post here and there and you still give me great joy. I don’t want to ask much of you, nor should I. I just want to thank you, for being there and keeping company with me. 
More than a year ago I published my first novel on Kindle and announced it with giddiness in all my social media. I mentioned it’s release and kept reminding of the dates so often I guess it helped somewhat. I’m not that person anymore, the one that seeks approval and desperately waits for likes and comments to feel achievement of sorts. I don’t know honestly if that is a good thing or bad. I guess bad in my case. 
Today, I just felt I needed to talk about me and what I’m doing. To bring some humanness to this page/blog of mine. It’s not just a place for stories of fantasy and imagination, it’s also my platform, my awkward stage, my way of reaching out there and conversing with the world. You don’t have to converse back, but knowing you are there is something in itself. 
So here I am, shamelessly ready to talk about my second novel ‘Charming Mr Stewart’. I plan on releasing it on Valentine’s Day. If you’d be interested, keep an eye out for more announcements. I’m working as best I can to meet this deadline. It’s been too long since I’ve wanted this, the nerves are setting in. I don’t know what else to say. 
Keep safe and write on.

Xoxo

Other-worldly

Other-worldly

Balen stood at the edge of the roof several feet above street level. The tips of his shinny leather boots poked out into the night sky. His dark leather cloak flapped like a bat’s wing behind him, and his skin still glistened from the sweat trickling down his blood stained face. His dark eyes focused on the street below with intensity. He could make out a four-horse drawn carriage pulling up outside the hotel and a couple stepped out in style. The size of the woman’s hat spoke immensely of their wealth. 

Catherine Bigums. Until last year, she was a pauper forced to put her three children up for sale for she could no longer afford to feed them. A year later, she was married to one of the richest man in Motown. Her children were still in the orphanage where she’d placed them, and the missing case of her ex-husband was no longer missing. Mr Joel Bigum had been discovered dead a fortnight ago in a small town thousand miles away by a sheep dog out on a farm. The only identity on him had been a fading photograph of three children with their names written on the back.

Balen jumped off the edge and headed down to the theatre level through the stairwell. He needed to observe Catherine close up. See what story her face revealed. Catherine wasn’t Bigum’s style. Her angular face and skeletal figure hardly inspired any curiosity in him. A body of a woman half wasted, not one for a mother of three. Why ex-Mrs Bigums hadn’t claimed her three children begged an answer and Balan knew he had a task ahead. 
He followed the woman and her new husband, Mr Watkins down the street. He followed them through the town centre, pausing in the shadows as the woman made several stops oohing and aahing at trinkets by the shop windows, shimmying through shops as if she were made of money. And whatever she fancied her husband obliged by making a purchase, only to have her gush as his kindness. It all made Balan feel sick. 
It was close to midnight that the couple reached home and Balan stood in the shadows of tree across the road eyeing the house for several hours. ‘Do you see it?’ The soft whisper broke the silent night and Balan to his surprise found himself under the shadows of a tree sprite. 
‘Tell me you see it too!’ The tiny green smoke of a figure whooshed out in front of him and floated there in the air. A sliver of smoke still anchoring it to the ancient tree. ‘I’ve noticed this house for a while now. Curious little thing. Too bad I can’t simply make my way over there to examine it.’

Balan considered the sprite. ‘How long has that been there?’

The sprite shrugged his shoulders. ‘Oh you know, I’m not entirely sure. Maybe a year, maybe more. These things are hard to say.’

Balan clasped his fist around the sprite’s neck, watching it whither and struggle. ‘How long has it been?’
‘A year. A year!’ He struggled and Balan let it go. ‘Ever since that thing has moved in.’

Balan ducked into the shadows of the tree and put his camouflage up as a car pattered past them and turned into a driveway few doors down. 

‘Do you know what it is?’ Balan peeled himself away from the tree and his barks fell away from his torso. 

The sprite nodded. ‘I haven’t seen one in a long while. They used to call them the Black Widows back then. Nasty little things they used to be before they were restricted to the forest dwellings.’ 

‘What’s it doing this far out of its territory?’ 

‘Whatever it is, it bodes ill for that human.’ The sprite slunk back into the tree. ‘Last time one of these came out was almost 300 years ago. The most demonic thing I’ve seen all my life and that’s saying something. Almost killed them all off, those stupid humans.’

Balan stood by the edge of the footpath and studied the strange green gossamer tendrils whistling about the property, snaking out of windows and doors, and floating up from the chimney. ‘And how did they stop it?’ 

‘I have no idea. Seeing how I’m rooted to one spot, I can only tell you what I heard, and this far out, I wasn’t hearing much back then.’

Balan crossed the street and looked up at the facade of the double story house. The lights had been off for a while now and he assumed they’d gone to bed. He took a few more steps towards the house only to have one of the tendrils flick him away viciously. He flew across the road and crashed into the bush at the front of the house there. The wind knocked out of him. It took him a while to catch his breath and get back up on his feet. 

He glared at the house sickly aware that those tendrils of gossamers were nothing akin to spiders, but a rather strong ward against the other side. His side. The Keepers of Light. As he came to once again stand under the sprite’s tree he couldn’t help but notice a figure by the top window, it’s slightly glowing eyes set on him with a mischievous grin on its black face. 

‘Whatever magic that is, it’s not from our…’

‘Realm.’ Balan finished in awe. 

(Inspired by the accompanying photo prompt.)

The Keeper (17)

Something was falling gently from an ornate ceiling and Mona was mesmerized. She lay in her bed knowing that she was hallucinating but she didn’t care. She’d been inclined to day dreaming a lot since she got her freedom back. Yet something didn’t feel right. Part of her wished she was back in Lucifer’s strange but wonderful home. Part of her thought she was crazy, and that part was probably right.

Instead of forcing herself to snap out of the day dream, she embraced it. All its magic, all it’s obscurity that there could be beautiful red rose petals falling towards her from the dark ceilings but never quite reach her. She’d extend her arms up to reach them part way but they’d vanish before they ever touched her. Strange, she thought. She was t much of a rose fan and here she was, enchanted by a hallucination that somehow made her think about beast.

‘I wonder what you’re doing right now.’

An image of a lonely man walking around the grounds of Lucifer’s home pierced the floating image above her briefly. The man languished away from vision, assisted by a cane. Mona followed as if she were walking right behind him. ‘Master, it’s time. You need to ask her. Maybe she will say yes.’

The man turned partially. ‘I will not put this on her.’ He looked a little familiar.
‘But master. Beauty may say yes.’

She stopped. Were they talking about her? But who were they? The man rested by the dying apple trees in the orchard. He turned, a hopeless smile on his handsome, yet tired young face. It was the man from her dreams, the one that asked her to marry him for he o my bad a fortnight, whatever that meant. ‘And what are the chances of that, Mr Lighthouse, for a monster like me?’

‘But you’re not a monster,’ Mona uttered under her breath as she stared at the young man floating above her bed, and for a moment there she thought he heard, for the look in his eyes intensified. Something familiar about them, like she’d seen those eyes before. But where?

‘Belle!’ Suddenly came the frantic screaming of her sisters and as much as Mona wanted to stay there and look into the eyes of her dream she had to leave. ‘Something’s happening to daddy!’

The dream bubble burst immediately and though she felt torn, Mona ran out her room double quick to find her siblings hovering over their fitting father instead of calling for an ambulance.

Mona paced to and fro of the disinfectant smelling corridor. She’d had countless teas and coffee from the waiting lounge. She couldn’t sit and wait, nor calmly go home like her brothers and sisters had done. It was their father in an ICU recovering from a massive heart attack.

‘You’re father is asking for you Miss.’

Mona nodded at the nurse who’d come out just to let her know. She wiped her tear streaked face dry and calmed down before going in.

‘Quiet a scare you gave us.’

Her father stared at her a long moment. ‘Tell me about the Beast. Is he truly terrifying?’

‘Daddy. You should be resting.’

‘Did he treat you well? Gave you food? Clothed you?’ He stared at her. ‘My dear Belle, was he kind to you?’

Something made Mona burst into tears. Perhaps it was that she had almost lost her father, or perhaps it was that what her father asks were all true and so she suddenly missed her friend very much so, missed him like she’d never missed him before.

‘He was too kind, daddy.’ She cried into his palm and missed it. ‘Too kind.’

‘Then what are you doing here my child?’ He wiped her tears. ‘You have very little time.’

Her father smiled at her reassuringly and fell into a gentle sleep leaving Mona thinking. What did he mean by she had very little time? Little time to do what?

‘I only have a fortnight…’ The young man’s voice echoed in her head and his eyes covered her vision, those familiar honey coloured eyes.

‘Who are you?’ She muttered that night in bed as sleep took hold of her. ‘Tell me who you are? Why do I feel like I know you?’

‘It’s me, Belle.’ He said in that familiar voice. If only she knew where she’d heard it before.

End is Neigh!

End is Neigh!

To 2016 that is. I’m sure even if the big END was near, there would be hardly anything we can do, so with that, I say enjoy the little things and the big things in life. Hell, enjoy the lows and the blows. They make us who we are and who we are as individuals is very unique.

So, 2016. What a year it’s been. Life has chucked pretty big events at me. Job that sucked my soul, to a job that is ok, but not too ok (cause I still have that film thing to pursue remember). To getting hitched and beyond, it’s been a pretty big year for me (but not my blog I guess). My apologies. I’ll try more religious next year. New year, new beginning… And perhaps a new release.
I have all but one regret this year, and that is that I haven’t been able to write as much as I used to, or want to for that matter. And I hope what I have managed to write has entertained you, and kept you company for a bit. 
The end is neigh! Another year gone. Another resolution (or two) have also gone unfinished. As 2017 approaches, I’m actually hesitant to set any resolutions. That way no disappointment at the end of it. 
I hope many of you managed to cross of a thing or two from your own list. Were they difficult ones or easy? Were you being realistic with yourself? What are your new resolutions? 
I have a few I’d like to achieve:

1) publish my second book

2) finish the pending films

3) work on the feature script

4) save enough money to make more films

5) enjoy life doing things I love doing (writing, writing, and maybe shooting – a film that is).

6) become a fabulous writer/director 

Will I do all these? I doubt it. The tops three are possibly achievable in the new year. The bottom three? Who knows. Let’s aim shall I?!
My immediate resolution as this year winds down and we all wind up to celebrate, I will endeavor to post more, stories and updates on releases (yes, my second novel, Charming Mr Stewart is being touched up and then released into the wild). I wish me luck and I wish you the best end to the season.
Enjoy what’s left of the year. Happy holidays my lovelies 
E

Dreammaker: 2

Dr Ruiz stared at Ryan for a long moment before he spoke another word. ‘How long have you been having these dreams?’
‘I don’t know. A year, maybe.’
‘Since when did you notice that they were special perhaps?’ As he jotted down few things on the notepad. 
Ryan got off his seat and reached for the scratch on the leg of the coffee table. He licked his thumb and started rubbing at the defect as if he could erase it. 
‘Ryan?’
‘It’s just a little scratch. Easy fix doctor. I can bring my kit next week and fill it up.’
‘Please sit back down, Ryan. I would like you to focus on our session right now. The table can wait.’ Ryan did as he was told and sat there staring at the glaring damage only he could see. ‘When did you notice, or rather what made you notice that these dreams were perhaps special?’
Ryan twitched, and squirmed in his seat. ‘I had a few drinks at a friends party and I saw a murder that night…’
‘A murder?’
Ryan met his gaze for the first time. Transfixed. As if a thousand thoughts were running through his head. ‘Yes,’ he began calmly. ‘She was walking home at night. She walks home every night. Takes her exactly 5 minutes from door to door. That night she closed up shop and started walking but never reached home.’
Ryan stood up uncertain. ‘He came up behind her. Too dark to see. And there was something shinny in his hand. She never heard him coming.’ He fisted his hand and brought it up slowly, high above his head, and plunged it down suddenly, as if stabbing at something. ‘Like this. He kept going till she collapsed.’
Ryan fell quiet and stared at a spot on the floor as if in search of something. ‘He severed her artery.’
It all made Dr Ruiz uneasy but he said nothing. Ryan broke his gaze from the floor and slumped back onto the sofa, only to remember his manners and straighten up. 
Dr Ruiz cleared his throat. ‘So you saw a girl get stabbed in your dream, minutes away from her home, which according to you, only takes her 5 minutes to reach?’ Ryan nodded. ‘How do you know it takes her exactly 5 minutes, Ryan?’
Ryan reached inside his jacket and brought out a notebook. He flipped through a few pages and then handed it over to the doctor. 
It was a newspaper clipping from 1997, about a young girl found 10 houses down from her home with several deep stab wounds around her neck and chest: Darling Daughter brutally slain meters from home. All the details were there, how long it took her to get home normally, what shift she was doing, the style of stabbing and the cause of death.
‘I saw the dream a year before it happened.’ Ryan volunteered. ‘I was nine years old.’ He saw the disbelief on the doctor’s face. ‘The girl’s name was Magda.’
‘Your first special dream?’ Dr Ruiz scanned the article again to try and confirm the information but there were no names mentioned in it. ‘The police never revealed her name.’

 

Dr Ruiz cleared his throat, trying not to look shaken at all. ‘Ok. Say it is the same girl you saw in your dreams. You still haven’t told me what made you think the dream was somewhat special?’
Ruiz scratched at his wrist, just below the leather band of his watch. It itches so bad some days he wished he could take it off, but then again it was the only thing of his dad he had left. 
‘Ryan?’
‘I saw it.’
Dr Ruiz nodded. ‘That you said.’
Ryan shook his head. ‘No. I mean I saw it.’ He pointed at his two eyes with his finger. ‘I saw it.’
For the first time, Dr Ruiz felt a strange curiosity. ‘You mean, you saw it through the eyes of the attacker?’
‘No, I was the eyes.’
Dr Ruiz nodded. ‘How do you know her name, Ryan?’
‘She told me.’ He pointed at the lapel of his shirt. 
‘She wore a badge?’ The doctor noted a few things down on his note pad. 
‘Every time I saw her.’
‘So you knew her?’
‘Kinda.’
‘Kinda?’
For the third time that day, Ryan Priestly hesitated. ‘Yes sir. I used to dream about her.’ He waited for the doctor to say something, but then a moment later continued. ‘For a whole month.’
Dr Ruiz scribbled some more on his note pad before looking up, just in time for his secretary to pop her head in. 
‘Are you almost done, Dr Ruiz? You next patient is waiting.’
Doctor nodded at her and she closed the door. ‘Ok. Say everything is as you say, you see a dream and it comes true. Perhaps articles like these are not helping you. What I want you to do Ryan for the next month is to make a diary of every dream you have. Every single one, and on your way out, ask the receptionist to book you in for another session in a month.’
‘I need you to make them stop Doc.’
‘Yes we will. But we need to get to the bottom of these dreams and find out why you see them before that happens.’
‘But doc…’
By the time Ryan got up, Dr Ruiz was already at the door. ‘I am really sorry Ryan but we cannot extend this session out. Next time, let’s book the last session and we can go over the hour then. Good day, Ryan. Don’t forget to keep that diary and bring it with you.’
‘But doc.’
Dr Ruiz led Ryan to the foyer and collected his next patient. ‘Book in, Ryan.’
That evening, as Dr Ruiz packed up for the night, Ryan’s article suddenly came to mind. Magda? He dialed a number and waited for it to connect. 
‘Hello.’
‘Hello,’ Dr Ruiz responded. ‘I need to talk to Harry. Is he there?’

The Dreammaker

The doctor waltzed into his office with a swing in his step. His spectacles sitting on the bridge of his nose as he swiveled around once in the room. He eyed Priestly from over the top of his glasses and warmly smiled. ‘Please, take a seat. I’ll just get myself ready.’

Priestly stepped into the office with a little more than disdain for what he was about to do. 

‘Do close the door,’ the doctor rumbled around his desk without a glance. ‘I take it this is your first visit to our clinic?’

Priestly eyed the shiny brown leather chairs around a small comfortable little coffee table. He had been expecting a chase of some sort where he would be made to lie down and divulge his deepest darkest fears. He looked rather lost when the doctor joined him with a note pad and pen. 

‘Please sit.’ Priestly did as he was told and the chair squeaked beneath him. ‘So this is your first visit with us?’ The doctor sat in the opposite chair. ‘Have you ever seen a psychologist prior to this?’ 

Priestly shook his head. ‘No.’

‘Right,’ the doctor put down his tools and turned his full attention to his patient. ‘So what brings you here Ryan?’

‘Um,’ Priestly shifted uncomfortably. ‘I’ve been having…dreams.’ The doctor nodded, waiting. Priestly shifted his weight again. ‘Sometimes they seem normal…and sometimes not so.’ The doctor nodded again with a hmmph thrown it. ‘I need them to stop. The latter ones I mean.’

Doctor Ruiz pouted in thought. ‘Everyone has odd dreams. Dreams themselves are nothing more than chemical reactions in our brain while we sleep. Who knows how our brain works truly. But what makes you say some of your dreams are normal and some are not?’

‘They feel different.’

‘And how do they feel?’

Priestly stared at the doctor and then at the tip of his shoes where the leather had scuffed over the years. They needed a polish. ‘The normal ones are normal. When I wake up I feel normal.’

‘And what of the other ones?’

The scuff marks looked really bad he had to admit. If his father were around, there would be no excuses but to grab the leather polish and brush and get to work. Sign of badly kept shoes said a lot about the man who wears them. ‘The other ones make me feel sick when I wake up. Like I’ve been drinking all night and barely slept at all.’

Hmm. The doctor nodded once more. ‘And would you have been drinking the night before on such occasions?’

Priestly narrowed his eyes. ‘I don’t drink doctor.’ Not since the accident ten years ago, he thought. 

‘Is there anything else different about these dreams other than that they make you feel sick in the morning?’

‘Yes.’ Priestly diverted his eyes to the rug beneath his shoes, trying to find faults in it. ‘They feel real.’

‘You mean they are vivid?’ Priestly nodded. He couldn’t see the rug at fault. ‘And how often do you have these?’

‘Sometimes couple a week, sometimes nothing for months.’

‘Have you noticed any particular things that coincide with these occurrences? For example, stress at work, a fight with a family member, or you’re over tired etcetera?’ 

‘I don’t know. I’m not sure.’

‘So you have these random vivid dreams every so often without an obvious trigger. What happens in these dreams?’

Priestly stared at the light scratch he found on the leg of the coffee table and it irked him. Why hadn’t he brought his tool kit with him. It was an easy fix. ‘Different things. 

‘Like what? Give me an example.’

‘Sometimes I see happy things. Like the lotto winner, or the parents who found their lost kid, or a child who got his favorite toy in a gift.’ 

Priestly shifted his weight again and his gaze drifted back to the scratch. ‘And sometimes I see bad things.’

‘Bad things?’

He nodded. ‘Yeah. Like someone lost his mum’s wedding ring, or a man broke his bone in a car crash, or a woman jump to her death. They feel so real.’

The doctor remained quiet for a long moment. ‘But these are dreams, Ryan. Simple chemical reactions in your brain.’

Priestly looked up to the doctor finally. ‘You ever heard the news about that elderly woman down in town who got robbed at knife point in a parking lot for 50 bucks, Doctor Ruiz? That she actually passed away after the incident was reported to the police from a heart attack?’ The doctor nodded. 

Priestly smile turned into a frown. ‘I dreamt that the night before.’

‘You dreamt it?’

‘Exactly as it happened.’ He nodded. ‘You remember that couple who got lost bushwalking last month? They were found almost a week later?’ Dr Ruiz nodded. ‘I dreamt it a week before it happened.’

‘Exactly as it happened?’

Priestly nodded. ‘I need you to stop them for me.’

‘Why?’

Because, I don’t wanna die. Priestly stood up calmly. ‘I’m tired of having them. I just want to sleep.’

Ebony & Frank: 14

Ebony & Frank: 14

It was the first time since the renovation had started on her place at the hands of the two boys that Eb was alone. She had a task to keep her busy the whole day. Task to keep her mind occupied and away from things she no longer remembered . The ghostly gossamers in her mind weaving in and out of her days like snippets of a past she was desperate to figure out. But it would be a lie if she said that was all the she wanted to keep from her mind; the images of what had happened between her and Frank that the too many iced teas had robbed her of. She didn’t really need to think about either. 

Clad in old trackies and a loose jumper, both of which had once belonged to Niko, Eb dipped the roller brush to the paint tray and continued painting the living room wall. ‘Walls first and then floor.’ Niko had dropped off supplies and the paint she had ordered. ‘You don’t need to finish anything, but if you think you can start without us, go on. We will join you after work.’

She had been at it for a little over half hour and every so often she felt she were looking through a window. Snippets of broken memory messing with her vision ahead of her. Sometimes she were painting the wall, sometimes she could see a large canvas ahead. Sometimes the streaks were straight lemon-yellow up and down the wall and sometimes, it were a mixture of other colours and shapes. 

‘Easy does it, Ebony. Whenever you get these flashbacks of memory, just don’t strain yourself to focus on them. Once they start, they will slowly unfold to you. Let them.’ The doctor from the home had said many times whenever she felt she wasn’t trying hard enough. That time when she’d seen the red barn doors, she had tried so hard to piece it together only to loose her wits when nothing more unfurled. 

‘Watch the brush strokes. Careful with the coats. One layer, then the next.’ She mumbled to self, surprised at how familiar the activity felt. ‘Keep going. You’re doing good.’

Eb dipped the brush once more and turned back to the wall. Up and down.

‘Looking good. Just make sure you are all paying attention to the shadows and how they curve with the object!’ A distant echo rang in her mind. A figure, male circled around her and others in a sun flushed large room. His hands held behind his back as he stopped at her stand. He pointed at the underside of the apple she was painting. ‘See here, the apple actually has a sliver of light just before the shadow starts. Pay attention to those lights within the shadows.’

He smiled. The only thing that seemed to be in focus. ‘The rest is not too bad.’ The image dissolved back into the lounge room. Her roller brush in hand. She’d stopped mid stroke. Confused. She stared at the tray of paint, then at the lemon-yellow wall. ‘I can paint?’

‘You most definitely can’t paint!’ Niko hollered at the wall. The wall and a half that she had managed to paint during the day was uneven and the streaks slanting. ‘And what kind of colour did you choose? It’s so YELLOW!’

Eb shrugged, wolfing down her sandwich. 

‘You gotta change the colour. I refuse to help with this.’ Niko dusted his palms and sat down on the floor in his overalls. 

Eb turned to Frank for support. It was the first time in two days that she’d looked him in the eye, or rather his face. ‘You don’t like it either?’

‘Its…it’s nice. Reminds me of, well, lemons.’ But Frank’s grimace gave way. 

Eb leaned across the counter. ‘I ordered it over the phone.’

‘Lesson number uno. Don’t buy anything relating to this house without either Frankie or myself here.’ Niko grabbed his esky and pulled out cold beers and a cider for her. ‘Lesson number two…’

‘Don’t let Niko make all the rules.’ Frank interjected. Refusing to take the beer. ‘Your house, your rules.’
‘You’re going?’

He looked at her through narrowed, questioning eyes. ‘I’m tired as a dog. I can take you to the hardware store tomorrow afternoon. G’night.’
‘Did I miss something?’ Niko looked from one to the other.

Frank shook his head. ‘Was at the Barrister’s today.’

‘Ah’ comprehension dawned on Niko’s face but Eb failed to understand. ‘Go home mate. I got Ebony.’ 

Once Frank had left and the door shut, she turned to the man on the floor. ‘What’s with a barrister?’
Niko twisted open his second beer. 

‘Nada. Not a barrister. The Barristers. They are a family further up from town. The man used to be the Mayor once upon a time.’

‘What about them then?’

‘I keep forgetting you are new to town, aye?’ Niko looked up from his food. ‘They were his in-laws. Tragic really. They really liked him. Every now and then, they still call him around to fix this and that, but I reckon it’s more so they can see him.’

Eb stared at the door. Frank’s ute’s rumble down the driveway had faded ages ago. ‘I didn’t know he was divorced.’

Niko sprung from his seat, taking his rubbish to the kitchen where she was. ‘Not divorced. Just wife’s gone.’

Something in her felt acidic. A sick feeling that sat on her chest. Poor Frank. ‘How did she die?’

Niko shrugged. ‘No one knows really. One day, him and I go up to the McKensies to help restore their fence on their property, and when we came back, she was gone. They never found her.’ 

The feeling sunk deeper down, and Eb felt the sandwich wanting to come back up any time soon. ‘How long has it been?’

Niko thought about it. ‘Reckon couple of years.’
‘Poor Frank!’

‘Yeah he does alright. I guess. You wouldn’t know by looking at the man huh?’

Eb shook her head. No. Not by looking at him.