Shortlisted for the Carmel Bird Award 2014
This story is based on a dream I had after visiting Paronella Park, Far North Queensland, Australia. Read more about how I write the north on my BLOG, and an interview about my writing process.
unice walks out, leaves the door wide open, the cupboards ajar. She tears through the forest, snapping the branches with her arms, her legs, her chest, swearing when the thick ones hold her back, refusing to splinter under the weight of her body.
She puts her foot into a hole and falls down amongst the fronds and strips of paperbark, the curled fern stems. She sees the creek in front of her and half-slides, half-falls into the water, thinking it will be easier going. Her leather boots fill up. The water is shallow, hot and soupy. A fish moves past her ankle. The rocks slippery with moss. She picks her way over them, feet heavy.
A snub-nosed turtle extends its neck from the water, prehistoric, watching her. She throws a rock and it ducks back under the water. She imagines it treading the current towards her, its neck snaking round her ankle. The forest seems empty beyond the creek. All the creatures cluster around this twisting rope of water, teeming at her body, her feet and knees submerged.
Read ‘BULLDOZER’ as an e-Single on Short Australian Stories.