Scroll down to discover a short story for your reading pleasure.
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NEW PICTURE BOOK JUST RELEASED
Larry Lyrebird Laughs. ($20)
Enjoy one of my short stories.
Thinking about an anthology – do you think I should?
Being alone in the Australian bush can be scary but Jack had got over that. The noises at night had got to him at first. He used to lay awake in his sleeping bag in the tiny tent, listening all night: a rustle here, a scurry there. It was amazing how ‘silence’ had so much noise.
It wasn’t as if he was far from civilization – if he listened really hard, he was sure he could hear the dull roar of traffic. The lights of Sydney definitely lit up the sky in the east. But the terrain in this section of the Blue Mountains was not conducive to easy travel, even on foot.
Jack had found this spot by accident on a day of bush-walking. It had a lovely clear stream and an ideal bend in the rushing water that could be the perfect spot to find some gold. And so he had arrived, set up his tent, and stayed.
Today, the bush reverberated to a whoop from Jack. The bush seemed to pause and raise its eyebrows in surprise as Jack capered from one spot to the next. He threw his hat in the air, grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat. After a few minutes of unadulterated joy he tried to settle. He looked at the pan in his hand. Finally a nugget gleamed gold and large. It wasn’t fool’s gold, he knew that much.
He placed the nugget carefully in his pouch to take back for analysis and weight. Maybe the days by himself had been worthwhile after all.
He bent towards the water once again, swooshing more gravel in the pan – a frenzy building inside him.
Now he knew what it meant. After that, he spent days by the stream, but he found nothing. The days blurred and his promise to be back home by Sunday night was lost in his desire for more gold.
It was 3 month’s later that they found him. Still searching the gravel in a rusty pan. His beard long and unruly. The smell of unclean body almost the only clue that had led the search party to this spot.
He was muttering to himself as they led him out of ‘his’ clearing.
“I just need to hear that sound again. The sound, you know. Where’s my pouch? I need the pouch.” He looked up into the face of his rescuer and for a moment his dazed eyes cleared and he tried to explain.
“It was the sound – the ‘ting’. I needed to hear it again. You know, the gold – it makes the pan ‘ting’ with a special sound.”