Chapter 1.6

flies dressed as witches

Three black flies dressed as witches stand over a frothing, black cauldron set atop a crackling fire in the middle of Thunderbolts Way. Gleefully, they drop their droppings, cow pats, into their brew. Maurice creeps closer. Cr-rr-A-ck. A dry twig snaps underfoot, startling the menacing trio.

“Shoo! Shoo flies! Shoo!” Maurice mumbled in her sleep. They cackle and beckon her, inviting her to climb into their pot. The brew bubbles and splatters all over the ecstatic insects, closer and closer she comes. The pot excitedly jumps and skittles the flies in all directions. The potbellied, iron pot spits and blows wisps of blue smoke in perfect spirals into the air. Funnels of blue steam twirl tightly together like ropes whipping the flies as they buzz around the pot. The ropes lash onto the flies and as they try to pull away the straining ropes raise a slumped figure out of the soup. Maurice gasps in horror.

Dark shadows creep out of crowded treetops to dance around them. Without warning the bedraggled figure raises his head and lazily opens one big eye. The eye bulges with sudden surprise at seeing Maurice surrounded by shadows. The other eye flutters open. The ropes snap. He snarls. The bugs and shadows scatter. Schroder?

Consult Luck’s blog: Gasbagger

With a sudden tug of his clenched fists, the macho leopard-tiger-manky-man-monkey thing leaps out of the pot.


He winks at Maurice and stretches his tiny mouth into a silly grin, pulling his lips over over pointy teeth too big for his maw.

Maurice woke up. She turned onto her back and thought of the gross hoards of fiendishly sticky, little flies that inhabited the dung pats of Walcha. Sweat, flies and dung. Poo Mountain. She didn’t give the dream another thought as she mulled over a more dreadful reality. She hated Walcha. She hated rural, country matters. She wanted to go home, Sydney, was it still there?

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