Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Wednesday's Words on a Friday



On Wednesdays, assorted people have been taking monthly turns at putting up a selection of words which is called “Words for Wednesday”.

We have taken over this meme from Delores, who had been having computer problems.
This month the meme continues right here, with words supplied by me!

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.   

Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or images.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...

Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog.  We would really like it if as many people as possible joined in with this fun meme.
If you are posting on your own blog - let us know so that we can come along and read your masterpiece.
I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?
This week's words are:

1. energy
2. caravan
3. drop
4. whispering
5. farmer
6. tracker

and/or:

1. slinging
2. risking
3. young
4. absolute
5. morsels
6. contain

and/or:
"the headlights were the only illumination on the single lane road" 

Here is my story; a continuation of last week's story.
As they left the front office, Sandy and Jenny shared a conspiratorial smile. They'd known Mary had gone to the river camp and long before dawn, Sandy had met with Old Billy to suggest they leave early this year. They'd meet on the road tonight, close to midnight, and make further plans. 

Old Billy had told Pearl to be ready soon after sundown, they'd be leaving tonight instead of in the morning. He glanced at Mary and the children; Mary napping and Tess showing Jackie a picture book. Pearl got the message; the children would be kept awake past their usual bedtime, that way they'd be sound asleep when the adults broke camp and left. Pearl and Mary would each carry a child, Billy would take care of erasing their tracks. 

While Mary slept, Pearl took Tess and Jackie down to the river's edge to catch a fish or two for their dinner. Pearl did the actual fishing, while the two young ones used up some energy, slinging mud at each other, running in and out of the water's edge. When they tired of that, Pearl instructed them to drop themselves into water up to their necks and get the mud off their clothes, then lay in the sun on the big rock by the humpy and get dry. 

The fish Pearl caught had been scaled and filleted, then baked in an old camp oven with wild mushrooms and rice until it fell apart into delicious morsels they all enjoyed. As they ate, Pearl told Mary the plan and as soon as the sun went down, they put the children to bed on a blanket by the fire, then Pearl packed up her few belongings and Mary put the children's things in their small suitcase. Billy had been wandering, looking for the things he needed and once he returned they were ready to set off. 

Mary used one blanket to tie Jackie in a sling on Pearl's back, then Pearl did the same with Tess on Mary's back. Old Billy slipped his feet into his old Kadaitcha shoes, tied a couple of bushy gum tree branches to his waist and they set off, after Billy placed two sleeping brown snakes into Pearl's now empty humpy.  All the small things were contained in a swag tied to Billy's back. 
They headed north with Old Pearl leading the way, Mary stepping as closely as possible in Pearl's footsteps and Billy coming behind, his thickly feathered **kadaitcha shoes erasing the footprints and the sweeping gum branches taking care of any tracks the shoes missed. Billy had earlier erased any evidence of footsteps around the camp.

They kept track of the moon for a while, but soon the sky filled with clouds, obscuring moon and stars and they were walking in absolute blackness. Whispering instead of talking, Pearl and Billy mentioned each landmark as they passed it, in this manner they knew they were still heading in the right direction. Walking steadily for close to four hours, they came to a large rock with a small hollow in the base, similar to a shallow cave. Keeping the children tied to their backs, Mary and Pearl sat in the hollow to rest, while Billy went west towards the road, to meet up with Constable Sandy. It was pitch dark, so Sandy was easy to spot leaning against his car, the headlights were the only illumination on the single lane road.

Through a series of "chained messages" (person to person to person) Sandy's wife Jenny had sent news to another old kadaitcha man that his services were needed. Kadaitcha practices were illegal now, especially "pointing the bone" but there were many other things kadaitcha men did in the past to make people suffer. Kadaitcha men were the witchdoctors of the Aboriginal clans. Tom Feathers had sent word back that he would meet with Billy, his old mate, on the day after the full moon, at his caravan, risking the wrath of the farmer who allowed him the use of the caravan in return for his tracker skills when any of the new young Jackeroos he was training got lost in the bush.

Constable Sandy relayed the messages to Old Billy, then handed over a hessian sack, tied with a pyjama cord, to be slung over Billy's shoulder like an extra swag. The idea had been copied from Stephen Jenkins, now known throughout town as The Shabby Man. In the sack were bags of sugar, flour, tea and a couple of tubes of sweetened condensed milk. Jenny had added half a ginger cake in a tin and some freshly baked chocolate chip biscuits for Tess and Jackie. Jenny had also managed to find out a few things Rick Stanton was afraid of; Billy said he'd be sure to tell these things to Tom. Tom was a master at unnerving people to the point of madness, and he would be happy to send Rick off his rocker. 

Sandy stood by his car for a while after Billy headed back towards the rock where the others waited, he still dragged the branches behind himself, erasing his own tracks.



** kadaitcha boots were usually made by dipping the feet into blood from a freshly killed animal, then dipping the bloodied feet into a pile of feathers, then allowing them to dry; the process was then repeated over and over until the feet were thickly coated with feathers so they didn't leave any tracks when the kadaitcha men walked across the ground. 


two examples of kadaitcha shoes

bone for 'pointing'; usually a sharpened piece of animal bone, the end to be pointed at the victim was covered in blood and fats into which items from the intended victim had been pressed, hair, fingernail clippings etc. The "magic" often worked because the victim knew he had done wrong and would be told the bone had been, or was to be, pointed. His own mental terror would do the rest and he would become ill and die.

tree bark humpy.
 
 

19 comments:

  1. I'm slinging in the rain
    Getting
    A wash again
    For Maid River
    Always young
    Maid River
    She's the one
    I mean it
    Absolute
    Her cooking is a beaut
    Recipes so astute.

    Well now.

    For what morsels I may obtain
    Risking
    What they contain
    One recipe
    I want to see
    Pointers
    To her heart.


    The headlights were the only illumination on the single lane road.
    To Maid River's abode.

    (Whack this one with the rolling pin girls!)

    -Robert.

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    Replies
    1. Now that is one cool written piece that contain all the words and bravo on the funny ending too!

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  2. Love it. And hope that Rick Stanton is a believer.
    I like Robert's tribute poem to you too.

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  3. It's romance.

    But I'll settle for tribute.

    Many thanks.

    -Robert.

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  4. You are telling your story well, River...capturing our attention and interest. Again, well done. :)

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  5. Hi River,

    Wow, you really got immersed in the writing of the continuation of your story. Awesome articulation.

    Thanks and a notable contribution by RH. Credit to both of you.

    Thank you, River.

    Gary

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  6. Great use of the words and sentence! Grabbed hold and kept me reading.

    feathers and blood? Time consuming, but with interesting results.

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  7. fishducky; thank you very much. how many words do I need for a novel? what I have is but a drop in a bucket I think.

    R.H.some nice poetry there and you managed to get a couple of the words in, Well done. no rolling pin today.

    Elephant's Child; Rick Stanton has a secret past that his mother is desperate to conceal. He's a believer!

    Lee; I hope to keep holding your attention. We'll see what next week's words bring.

    Klahanie; thank you. Have you read the back stories? The first one, untitled, introduces the shabby man, but it's way back in 2014, I think in May that year.

    Susan Kane; thank you, I hope to keep grabbing hold of your attention. The Kadaitcha Men, (also spelled Kurdaitcha) are part of Australian Aboriginal history. Way back when they were nomadic wanderers more than they are now, there was probably plenty of time to make these boots. Sometimes fur would be used instead of feathers, sometimes both, from Kangaroos and emus or wild ducks.

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  8. Klahanie; 14th November 2014 in case you wish to find it.

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  9. Begging your pardon, I got All the words in of the second group.
    According to E.M. Forster (Aspects of the Novel) a novel requires a minimum of 50,000 words.
    Your story here is not the sort I'd be interested in reading, but I found the information about aborigines very interesting indeed. It's excellent material for secondary level students (a story containing practical information) and I think you should pursue that idea.

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    Replies
    1. I am sorry, I had to go back and check, you did get all the words in. I don't think my story would suit secondary students, maybe a younger set of kids, 11 and 12 years old.

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  10. Wow, not only an entertaining continued story but also educational. Love it. I posted my poem with the first set of words on my blog as well as in the comment section of your WFW page.

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    Replies
    1. Granny Annie; thank you. I'll go back to Wednesday and read your poem. Then I'll find your blog.

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  11. As always, you did a terrific job telling a story with the word list, but I especially loved the bonus info about Aborigines. Those kadaitcha shoes are super cool, but it must have taken a lot of patience to make them properly.

    Have a super weekend!

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  12. Susan; thank you. The Kadaitcha shoes are the sort of thing used a couple of centuries ago, and into the 1900s, probably even as late as 1940 I think, I'd say there was plenty of time to be making them. The Aborigines were nomadic tribes here long before white settlers, so they didn't have jobs to be going to. Usually when making things like the shoes or the bone to be pointed at someone, each step had the magic "sung" into it. Quite a complex process.

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    Replies
    1. What a great post! And I learnt something new today! :)

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  13. I'm right, you're wrong.

    You need to switch off the automatic "disagree with RH" button.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, incredible (novel) like and as interesting as it is informative too. Nicely written and lovely photos as well. I also put a post together with both of your word lists. Thank you for continuing this! Here's mine
    http://twincitiesblather.blogspot.com/2016/06/words.html

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