A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part two Blog eleven)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part two Blog eleven)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

As she and ‘Wheel Turner’ head towards the stern Master Jo Anne grabs a mop from a chest fixed under the main mast.

“I saw her take out three of Barthadrow’s men when we stole the pregnancy ship for the Queen of Pirates,” She hears ‘Wheel Turner’ warn.

“I’m pretty fast myself,” she says patting the pommel of her rapier.

“Aye, but I can see your movements.  Take my word.  Poke her gently and hop back.”  

“You tackle her if she comes at me.”  They’re almost to the stern of the boat and she can see the door to the cabin the Master-at-arms sleeps in.  ‘Dizzying Blade’ is curled up in a ball with just a powder blue sheet over her egg white night gown.

“Most likely I’ll drag you back and shut the door closed,”  ‘Wheel Turner’ says.

She glances back and sees no humour in ‘Wheel Turner’s’ face.  She lifts the latch and opens the door.  Inside there are no window, just all sorts of weapons latched or tied firmly to the wall.  She looks back to make sure ‘Wheel Turner’ is holding the door open for her to escape through. 

‘Wheel Turner’ nods at her.

“’Dizzying Blade’,” she calls softly.  The Master-at-arms turns onto her back and mumbles.  She spreads her feet with her knees slightly ready to dash and pokes the Master-at-arms.

She is almost through the door when a hand grabs the back of her shirt and pulls her to the floor.  She hears a gasp of disbelief from ‘Wheel Turner’ as she feels the edge of a knife pressing against her throat.

“The Captain wants to see you,” she gasps as she turns her head and stares with bulging eyes up into the crazy glare in the Master-at-arms’ eyes.

“Oh, that’s okay than,” the Master-at-arms says helping her back onto her feet.

“I’m just going to my cabin now and sleep,” she says dusting herself off before hurrying out the door.

“What does the Captain want me for?” the Master-at-arms asks.

“Don’t know but the ‘Harlot’ is making strings for bows and cross-bows,” she says.

“Warned you,” ‘Wheel Turner’ whispers to her.  “Mornin’ Master-at-arms Sadie,” ‘Wheel Turner’ says jovially to ‘Dizzying blade’.

“Mornin’ ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia,” the Master-at-arm replies.

She walks with ‘Wheel Turner’ to her cabin when she hears a sad song emit up from the hull:

If you didn’t like what was done to you

Why would you do it to another?

Shouldn’t you be protecting others from that fate?

All the people who try to escape what they hate

All the people who embrace what destroyed their childhood

You’re a foul thing Barhadrow

Using others’ hurt to get what you want…

“Janet’s up,” ‘Wheel Turner’ says in a dour tone.

“Aye, and if she keeps that up so will we be,” she says feeling her heart sink at the song’s words.  “Good-night ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia, and thanks for almost saving me life.”

“It was well worth the try,” she hears ‘Wheel Turner’ say with a chuckle.  And as ‘Wheel Turner’ walks away she suggests, “Maybe just throw a bucket at her next time so you make through the door.”

As she covers her head with her pillow to block out Janet’s song Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Jo Ann thinks, some of us evolve Barthadrow and we protect those you abuse.  Eventually we’ll bring a storm to wash away your monstrous ways.

With thanks to:

Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne

Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor

Fire & Steel (medieval rapier): https://fireandsteel.ca/

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part two Blog nine)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part two Blog nine)

By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The water in the channel to the sea has white caps now.  She bites her lower lip in concentration.  In the light of the two moons she can see boulders to the port and starboard.  “Stay be forward ye cranky dawdler!” she shouts out. 

“Keep ye straight ye long haired nilly!” she hears Umi shout out in her Japanese accented English and nearly chokes with laughter.

“I’m be straight ahead ye incompetent lassies!” she can just make out ‘Wheel Turner’ shout back.

She finds it hilarious hearing the girls argue in a variety of accents mostly in English.  But often as not the girls will incorporate a few words of their native tongue.  A boulder comes into sight right in line with the Nagua’s bow.  “Turn ye port like a banshee!”

“Port ye Yōsei!” she hears Yumi scream out.

She stops breathing, clenches onto the scrying ball, and stares eyes wide as the boulder looms ever closer.  Then the ship turns and she exhales.  She closes her eyes and thanks the two moons that ‘Wheel Turner’ is so fit and strong.  “Thank ye Eau-de-vie,” she says to the smaller cognac coloured moon, “And ye Cachaça,” to the larger whitish coloured moon.

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part Two Blog eight)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part One Blog eight)

She laments how a single moment can damage someone so badly.  Until they’re ready to fight Barthadrow the Ship Builder will have no closure.  She on the other hand keeps memories close, to give her strength.

Her father was coerced into sailing to Australia on a ship of criminals.  For her it was an adventure.  She had lost her mother to Scarlet Fever when she was four.  So her father brought her up in his blacksmith shop.  As they sailed her father told her that a lot of the ‘criminals’ were people who were caught stealing food in order to survive.   

Somewhere on the Indian Ocean their galleon, the New World, was attacked by a pirate galleon.  Sailing nearby by though, was Captain Barthadrow’s dreaded Corrupta; a hundred canon galleon.  There were also five more, smaller galleons in his fleet.  So the Ship Builder told her when she was older. 

It was a desperate fight for the pirates, whose ship was rotting.  They used grapples to attack the ship.  As they fought the Spanish soldiers and British mercenaries aboard, the chained criminals cheered and cried out to them.  She remembers her young eyes widening with wonder when a woman with flowing brunette hair and icy blue eyes dressed in a shimmering robin egg robe climbed aboard the ship.  The fascinating woman stole a ring of keys from the main jailor as he was fighting the Ship Builder and started unlocking the criminals.  Meanwhile, her father was stabbed in the chest.  He managed to defeat the soldier he was fighting and unbuckle the belt that held the sheath of his rapier.  He tossed the belt and his rapier to her and in a fading voice yelled, “Hide!”

That’s when a shooting star flew overhead, alighting the sky in a cobalt blue glow.  At the same time a funnel as wide as the eye could see appeared over the sea.  She watched, mesmerized, as it pushed into the water until there was only a massive whirlpool.  That’s all she remembers until the Ship Builder and the Witch saved her and Alejandra at the other end of the Milky Way.   

They told her they had found an abandoned bilander and swam to it.  Three other men, all former prisoners on the New World joined them: Jandamarra, who was captured from Western Australia; Drissa from the Ivory Coast; and Esadowa from somewhere between the Northeast of the Thirteen Colonies and Southeast of Canada.

She remembers gazing over the gunwale at the wreckage of ships.  Later the Witch would tell her they may have come from different time periods; perhaps different worlds.  She wondered if the shooting star kept the earlier ships and people swirling in the whirlwinds before letting them all go at once into the sea of this world. 

Jandamarra, Drissa, and Esadowa now live among the horsepeople.  All three men warned the horsepeople about Barthadrow and the European idea that if they disembark on your land they can claim it.  It made finding a land base difficult but it also stopped Barthadrow from taking over anything on the mainland.  So far Barthadrow only controlls a single island, she and the other pirates call Dread Island.  The Ship Builder told her that peaceful giants with long arms and big bellies let Barthadrow and his crew land on their shores to trade.  But Barthadrow struck a Spanish flag and a smaller British flag for the mercenaries into the land and claimed it for Spain.  The giants were butchered until they submitted and became slaves.

The only good outcome of the battle was that Barthadrow used up most of his cannon shot and so far no alternative to gunpowder has been discovered on this world.  Oh well, there’s always trouble on whatever planet your on she supposes.   

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part Two Blog seven)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part Part Two Blog seven)

Part Two

The sun is down and the two moons visible,” Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne sings as she stands at the base of the bowsprit peering into the darkening horizon with a telescope.  “Smell the salt in the air to know how close to shore you are.”

Compare the direction of the wind to the movement of the waves

And you’ll know where you’re heading even in thick fog

Learn the stars that are the same but just off from those you remember seeing on lost Earth

Then take another sip of rum and you’ll see dolphin-tails and fish-tails even when there are none.”

 She hears the Captain talking to the Ship Builder behind her.  The Captain will sleep through the night before taking over her role as navigator in the morning.  ‘One Eye’ will take ‘Wheel Turner’s’ position during the day until they get through the deadly shallows of what is secretly called Hidden Cove Strait.  She watches the rapid water flowing between the barren island No Life and the cliffs that contain the cove they just left, known as Only Death Lives Here.

She glances back just as Umi climbs up to the fo’c’sle with a dim lantern.  Umi will be the caller for the night until they get through the shoals.  She has quite the lungs for such a quiet girl.  Normally Master Jo Anne only sees her dressed in a white loin cloth; white to ward off sharks or whatever swims below in this world.   Right now Umi’s in a mix match of capris, fish boots, and a blanket.  What she’s wearing under the blanket Master Jo Anne can’t tell.  She sees the Ship Builder nod at the Captain and Umi as walks her way.

The Ship Builder stands beside her with a rolled cloth.  “In case you need it,” he says in halting words.

“I’m good,” she replies tapping the coiled hand guard of her rapier.  Her gaze stays on his missing finger.  “I miss her too,” she says.  She looks up and notices his face drawn in.  “Look,” she continues as she lifts a small scrying ball attached to a thick silver necklace from her shirt.  His expression turns to admonishment.  “I didn’t steal it, she gave it to me,” she says hurriedly.  “She was teaching me how to use it.  When I’m out here alone it helps me to focus.  I don’t think it tells me what is about to happen.  More it clears my thoughts so I can predict what is up ahead based on what I already see in front of me.”

She notices his lips quiver before he takes in a deep breath and tells her, “I’ll leave you to it then.”  She watches him climb down the ladder of the fo’c’sle.

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part One Blog four)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part One Blog four)

“Lower the Pinnace!” Oli shouts.  Not a single crew member from on the deck or in the hull stirs.

The Captain takes a swig of brandy and says, “We’ll do it ourselves.  Let’s take out the mast first and we’ll row.”

Oli grimaces.  Normally it takes six women to lower the pinnace.  At least it’s tied to the port side of the Nagua instead of flipped over on the deck. 

The Captain climbs down the rope ladder first while Oli and the Navigator hold onto the lowering ropes to keep the pinnace stable.  Once all three are in the boat Oli takes one set of oars while Master Jo Anne grabs hold of the ones nearest the bow. 

“How long to shore?” the Captain asks with her hands on the rudder stick.

“About ten minutes,” Oli replies.  She knows that with two more crew members the rowing would go much quicker.

They slide onto the sandy shore of the cove where Captain “Peg leg” and most of his crew are sleeping around a dying camp fire.

 The Captain stands up and unlatches the lid of her seat.  Oli sees her take out a wooden stake and mallet.  The Captain shoos her and the Navigator off the boat before she follows.  The Navigator throws a rope with a loop at its end from the bow of the pinnace to the Captain.  The Captain hammers the stake through the loop into the beach sand.  Watching the Captain has Oli thinking of what she would like to do to Barthadrow’s rotten heart.

Oli with the Navigator follow the Captain as she saunters over to Captain “Peg leg’s” snoring form.  Captain “Peg leg’s” stump is bare for all to see.  The Captain nudges Captain “Peg leg’s” side.

“What!  Are we being attacked?!” Captain “Peg leg” shouts out as he groggily grabs his detached false limb and twists it over the bottom of his stump.

“That would depend,” Oli hears the Captain say in a voice thick with contempt.

“Captain Alejandra,” Captain “Peg leg” says as he stands up and gives a sweeping bow.  Oli doesn’t miss how quickly Captain “Peg leg” composes himself by combing his grey hair back and pulling the sides of his waxed mustache to regain the curls.  He gives a toothy smile while his eyelids hood his calculating slate grey eyes.

“Captain “Peg leg”,” the Captain replies.

Captain “Peg leg” screws up his face and smooths out his goatee.  “This about the harlot girl?”

“No,” the Captain replies.

“Oh, well nothing really happened there,” Captain “Peg leg” says in a soothing, paternal voice.  “The tall girl with the amazon body.  The, the “Wheel Turner” I heard them call her.  Long brunette hair and eyes that blaze blue.”

Oli smiles as the Captain says nothing in reply.

“Aye, The Helmswoman, that’s who.  The one a man would gawk at but daren’t approach.  She pulled off young, innocent Dirst before the younger lass and he could be as one.”

“Where is he?”  The Captain’s voice echoes Death’s own call.

“Look, I heard the story about what you did to Crazy Bumbee when he tried to force himself on you.  How you slashed either side of his mouth so he had a permanent smile.  But this is different.  And I’m short on capable men.”

“I’ll take that into account,” the Captain says and draws her rapier.  Oli does the same as does the Navigator.

Captain “Peg leg” licks his lips.  He walks over to a young man with tousled dirty blond hair.  “Get up Dirst,” Captain “Peg leg” says in a hushed voice.

After the young man stands up Oli guesses he’s maybe sixteen or seventeen years old.  Tall and Lanky with a handsome grin but the dull blue eyes are miserly. 

“Consent,” the Captain says up into the young man’s face, “is much more enjoyable and safer than forcing oneself on another.”

“Oh, I learned my lesson,” the young man says with a false smile.

Oli sees a blur of motion from the Captain’s rapier.  The next moment the young man is looking at one of his molars lying at his feet. 

Using a hanky the Captain scoops it up.  “It will remind her of your apology.  However, if you still don’t understand the importance of the word consent, I’ll send my Master-of-Arms to visit you.  Oli sees the Captain glance at Dirst’s crotch.  “Perhaps a ball would make a better reminder than a tooth.”  Having said this, the Captain smiles sweetly up at the young man.  “Whether from below or above.”  Oli watches the young man for any rebuttal as the Captain turns away.  “Captain “Peg leg”,” she hears the Captain say.

“Captain Alejandra,” Captain “Peg leg” says with a sigh.

The young man stands frozen with one finger pressed against the gap in his mouth.  Oli turns and follows the Captain and Navigator back to the pinnace.     

Back on the deck of the Nagua the Captain turns to her and says with mischief, “Time to put your eyepiece on.  We’ll pull up the pinnace then I need you to go below into the hold my First Mate.”

“Aye Captain,” Oli replies with a cruel grin.  Out of her chest pocket she takes out an eyepatch and covers her left eye with it. 

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part One Blog three)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part One Blog three)

“I asked her,” Oli says with frustration, “I swear that one is the child of Lust.  She got drunk on rum and admits she may have opened herself willingly to Captain Peg leg’s crew.  It’s Janice I worry about.  One of Captain Peg leg’s younger men decided she was willing when she was not.  “Wheel Turn” Sylvia stopped him before he could get on top of her.”  As she worried would happen the Captain once again spits into the water.

“Master Navigator Jo Anne,” she hears the Captain call out with a voice full of icy decision.  Their Navigator ties back her long brunette hair with a blue ribbon as she saunters towards them.  Oli notices how the Navigator already has her hand wrapped around the hilt of her rapier.  The hand guard is a marvel of coiled metal.

“She sleeps with that rapier,” Oli says, hoping it will dwindle down the deathly coldness she feels emitting from the Captain.  “I asked her if I could try it to see how smoothly it wields.  She took a step back and partially withdrew it.  I won’t ask her again after that.”

“It was her father’s,” the Captain says, “the last reminder of him from Earth.  We’re off to see Captain Peg leg,” the Captain says to both her and the Navigator.  “Our dear Helmswoman, “Wheel Turn” Synthia, will be in command.”  Oli follows the gaze of the Captain as she peers over the railing of the fo’c’sle where a female figure is slouched against the base of the foremast with her right hand still holding a bottle of rum.  “Or our Master-at-Arms “Dizzying Blade” Sadie.”  Oli once again follows the Captain’s gaze.  This time towards the centre of the deck, where their Master-at-Arms is sprawled against the capstan.    In her right hand she is grasping the hilt of her rapier and in the other a jug of rum.

“Thelma,” the Captain calls to the girl sewing the battens into the extra mainsail.

Oli is always amazed how Thelma’s skin constantly glows with sensuality now that’s she’s a young woman.

“Yes, Oh Captain my Captain,” Thelma replies while continuing to sew.

“Your encounter with Captain Peg leg and his crew, was it consensual?” 

“Aye Captain, it was.  Not all seeds sown grow.  So I can’t rely on a single sower can I?”

Oli is as surprised as the Captain by Thelma’s nonchalant words.

“You want to get pregnant?” the Captain asks.

“What about the Ship Builder,” Oli blurts out.  She wishes she hadn’t as the Captain is now giving her a dark look.

“You wouldn’t know this because you moved out of the hold years ago,” Thelma says to her.  “But he’s like an absent father, the kind who is always around.  We’ve known him since we were children and never has he abused any of us.  I thought he was just arrogant, only ever speaking to the Navigator and Captain.”  Oli didn’t miss the sarcasm.  “However,” Thelma continues, “when the Captain told me to sew up a torn sail with poor instruction–.”

“I was never good at it,” the Captain interrupts.

“The Ship Builder came over to me, and in his deep, hesitant voice, kindly showed me how.  I’ve been excellent ever since.  Also, where he’s missing a finger is creepy.  How do you only lose that finger—it makes no sense.”

Oli gasps at the sudden paleness on the Captain’s face.

“So you want to get pregnant?” the Captain asks regaining her composure.

“I do.  I want to sail with the Pirate Queen again.”

“You don’t like it with us?”  Oli can hear the hurt in the Captain’s voice.

“It’s more I don’t just want to have a baby I also want to be around them.”

“Well, by the time we reach the Pregnancy Ship we’ll know if that’s to be or not,” the Captain says.  It’s the first time Oli has seen the Captain flustered.  “By the way, until the Helmswoman or Master-at-arms wakes, you’re in charge.”

“Lovely,” Thelma replies.

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part One Blog two)

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!  (Part One Blog two)

“Aye, and when Barthadrow tried to put him into the evil barrel he escaped with some of the other boys.  After telling us his story he talked of consent and that as he built up his crew any of the original boys who prefer the opposite sex were allowed to join other ships.”

 “Tristan is a good man,” the Captain says.  “We would have been captured or killed by Barthadrow’s crew a number of times without him.”

“He is,” Oli says with a smirk.  “Probably because our surgeons Canneta and Areso are mated his crew thinks ours is like theirs and we prefer to partner with other females.  The exception being the Ship Builder of course, the only male you let live on the Nagua.  I know you and he are close, as is our Navigator is to both of you, but he doesn’t seem to fit our motley crew and I sense he would not be a fit on the Unbroken

“You and the Pirate Queen saved me when I was ten and I would guess at least ten years have passed since then.  I was so busy trying to prove myself all that time that I never bothered to ask about him before.  Yours and the Navigator’s relationship to him, is hard to grasp.  Not a lover, not a father figure, nor an older brother but I’ve always sensed a deep comradery between the three of you.  And it’s an interesting finger he is missing.”

Oli sees an anguished look cross the Captain’s face.  “You are like my sister,” the Captain says in a faraway voice, “You and the Navigator, but I think it’s best to keep that story hidden for now First Mate.”

“I don’t understand the desire to be with the same sex,” Oli continues.  She realizes drinking so much brandy the other night has loosened her tongue.  “So many of them are good looking and intelligent and we are not a large population yet.  However, at least they have their mates with them.”  Oli hears the lament in her own voice.  “Yours and mine are currently captaining ships hardly larger than sloops.  Not favourable odds when you consider they’re guarding the Pregnancy Ship against Barthadrow’s fleet.”

“We’ll be departing tomorrow.”  The Captain reassures her.  “As for your other point, I think as long as there are enough children on the Pregnancy Boat, it won’t matter.  They could always begrudgingly mate for the sake of continuance.  What’s important is Tristan considers children sacred while Barthadrow treats them the same as adults.”  The Captain spits into the water and changes the subject.  “We have quite the variety of ship crews in the cove.”  The Captain points at the farthest ship to their left.  “The Cannibals, vegan until they go mad during the crossover of the two moons.  We want to stay far away from them.”

“From a distance we saw a few of the other crews trading for flour and other goods with the Cannibals,” Oli says.  “I used the spyglass you gave me and all the Cannibals look anemic.  It’s too bad we can’t get them to attack the island Barthadrow has captured and made into a home base.”

“Perhaps the crossing of the two moons tells them they are missing something in their diet.”  The Captain points at the next galleon.  The Sames have the complete range of human skin colours.  Midnight blue to almost translucent skin, some even have patches of different colours.”

“But they all have the curly blonde hair of the poodles from Earth, or like some of us have below,” Oli adds with mischief in her voice.

They both laugh.

She sees the Captain gaze far to the right.  A ship so huge it seems unreal bobs up and down there.  “The Real Talls should make it to the Pregnancy Ship first.  I know we and others were sucked into the whirlpool during the giant shooting star that caused Luna to turn a cobalt blue colour.  I think though, the Real Talls, Sames, and Cannibals are from somewhere else.  Did you get caulking along with the other supplies?”  Oli follows the Captain’s gaze as it wanders to a nearby galleon, one just a bit larger than the Nagua.  Captain Nathan Peg leg’s Surprise.

“I bartered some of the excess spiked orange we had in the barrels from trading with the Horse People with Captain Peg leg for caulking,” she says.  “Most of our supplies we bartered with Tristan.” 

“Any problems?” the Captain asks.

This is the part of the conversation Oli is dreading.  “Yes,” she replies with a tremble in her voice.

“Someone has wronged one of our crew?  Our Harlot, Thelma?”

They both look down at the deck where a buxom girl with her blouse partially undone sits needling battens into a spare mainsail while a lit lantern swings from an overhead rope. 

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates!

Just a little while ago I was looking at different agents and one wrote that she would love a story about female pirates.  Also not too long I finished reading Samuel Bawlf’s “The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake”.  This all culminated in me talking to Taylor Norris (co-author of Rita Walker, Rita Walker: Australia) about writing a female pirate story. 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl is one of my favourite movies.  I remember Joshamee (Kevin McNally) introducing Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to his new crew.  When Jack stopped at Anamaria (Zoe Saldana), who is also a captain, I thought who is she?  In the next movie I looked for her but that was the last Pirates of the Caribbean, Zoe Saldana was in.  Since then she has become Queen of the Universe. 

Although I can’t use Zoe Saldana’s image nor directly use the name Anamaria I am determined to continue Zoe Saldana’s ruling of the galaxy.  Captain Alejandra is the captain of the Nagua, and she looks suspiciously similar to Zoe Saldana.

A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates song!:

Lost on land

At home at sea

Where the hills are liquid

And the mountains roll

We’re a raucous, wild sisterhood

We mock everyone including ourselves

But harm any one of us and your days are doomed

At dawn we groan at all the work, to do

By noon we’re laughing

And at night, with a cup of rum to keep us warm,

We sit on the deck in a circle singing

As First Mate One Eye Oli’s plays her Mandolin

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Seven) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

A swashbuckling tale of adventure!

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Seven) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris (reference links at bottom)

As Australia and the rest of the world learn how to better harness the sun’s power more electricity will come from solar energy and less from other sources.

A woman with frizzly natural blonde hair and devilish green eyes opens the door for Rita.  “Iluka told us you were here,” the woman says in a wonderful New South Wales accent.

Rita is confused.  “Iluka?  You are Professor Aurora Martin aren’t you?”

“Yes, yes come in, and call me Aurora or it will be confusing when you meet my husband Oliver.  It’s too hot to walk during the day so he’s out with Taz right now.  As for Iluka she is a Yawkyawk.”

Rita wants to know who Iluka is and what Aurora means by a Yawkyawk but her feet are killing her so she steps into a hall with silky oak flooring and a carpeted staircase that goes up.  She notices pictures from places around the world line the walls and up on the ceiling a fan blows much appreciated cool air over her.

“We use solar energy for the fan,” Aurora tells her.  “I just made some ice tea, would like some, and have you eaten?”

“I would love some ice tea, and something to eat would be fantastic,” Rita replies as she follows Aurora into a kitchen with lots of Wollemi Pine cupboards and an extensive hung wine rack just underneath.

Aurora gestures for Rita to sit down on one the high back chairs at an square table made of eucalyptus.  Rita places her dilly bag beside her and takes in a long tired but relaxing breath.

“Chicken Parmigiana okay with you?” Aurora asks.

“Anything,” Rita replies with a thankful sigh.  She unintentionally guzzles the ice tea down.

“Is that all the clothing you have?” Aurora asks as she heats up a plate of food in the microwave. 

“Yes,” Rita replies. 

“Well, I think we’ll get you fitted with some clothes tomorrow morning before we bring you over to meet Iluka.” 

As Aurora is talking Rita hears the sound of a man whispering to a dog as it barks excitedly.

“Stay!” the man shouts as she hears the scrapping sound of a dog pulling and getting away.

The next moment a chocolate brown Australian Kelpie is stalking around her sniffing.  Occasionally he looks up at her with cognac brown eyes.

“Hello,” says a man with disheveled dark brown hair with a streak of white on the left side.  Rita notices that Oliver Martin’s eye colour is similar to his wife’s but with more of a thoughtful stare.  “I don’t think Taz quite knows what to make of you,” he says as he kisses his wife.

https://nga.gov.au/exhibition/niat07/detail.cfm?IRN=163786

https://arena.gov.au/renewable-energy/solar/

Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt

Caedar-writing-artwork.com

Mythruin.simplesite.com