It’s Christmas Day, late afternoon, and Michael O’Shea is walking down the side of Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda.
Month: December 2018
There is too much floor in this room. The shiny linoleum is squeaky clean but depressing in colour. That colour would be called ‘dun’. And there is, literally, room for a pony. I could actually have a pony in here. But I’m not sure the pony would enjoy taking the lift to the second floor. Do ponies do stairs?
“No, I have not been drinking!” my mother insisted as she paused to take a sip. “This is the national drink of those marvellous people from the New Guinea Highlands. It’s called Kava Kava!”
Chase Mason had been to the library three times in a week and he was beginning to feel like a loser – a real loser with too many cardigans and not enough friends. He was also finding the visits mildly unsettling. It was not how he remembered the libraries of his childhood; dark and silent places, haunted by pensioners in tweed but perfect for getting lost in. This modern library was noisy, bright and chaotic and it left him feeling slightly nauseous.
It was the hottest Christmas Day on record. A north wind tore through the town, whipping up clouds of red dust that swirled around the children’s heads and fell into their eyes. Long-suffering livestock stood in crackling, brown paddocks and an oppressive silence hung all around as birds and insects sheltered under the eaves from the baking sun.