Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a word challenge meme which she calls “Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

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. disturbance
2. cumulus
3. burst
4. savage
5. freak
6. terrain

here is my story: 

Waking early the next morning, Rosa spread out her map of South Australia and began planning the next leg of her journey. She noted the distances between available facilities and accommodation options and realised more supplies would have to be bought before she set off. Camping was allowed in the Nullabor National Park, but there were no facilities, Rosa would have to drive all the way to the Nullabor Roadhouse. Perhaps she could use the Roadhouse as a base from which daily explorations could be taken? She began making a list. 
Her Landrover would be ready today, it was in the local mechanic shop getting new tyres fitted; the young mechanic, Brian, had checked her spare tyre and pronounced it fit for use should it be needed. Rosa made a note to ask if a jerry can of petrol should also be carried. The jeep she'd used yesterday belonged to Mr MacKenzie, (call me Robbie, love) and Rosa would fill the tank before returning it. 

She heard Mrs MacKenzie, (Eileen, dear, call me Eileen, Mrs MacKenzie sounds like a school teacher) setting up breakfast things in the kitchen and went to help. "I'm up, Eileen, what can I do to help?"
"Up early this morning, got big plans for today?"
"Yes, I want to go into the town and see about my car and get some extra supplies. Can you or Robbie drive me in the jeep? Then I can come back in the Rover once I've shopped."
"I can take you love," Eileen said. "Robbie isn't home this morning, one of the boys from the 'walkabout camp' came for him last night, seems there's a bit of disturbance going on there."
"Walkabout camp? What's that?" asked Rosa. 

Eileen told her a little Aboriginal history, how the indigenous people had camps they lived in but would often go off on what they called "walkabout" to other areas for whatever reason they thought necessary. This latest "walkabout" had indigenous elders showing some of the young city-born Aboriginals how things were done in the time before white settlers arrived.
"Some of the young lads aren't happy about doing things the old way, like "savages" living off the local terrain," Eileen said. "Robbie has gone out to try and help old Trevor smooth things over. The whole concept was explained to the boys, so they'd have the option of not joining in if they didn't want to, but they've not been bush before and didn't really know what to expect."
"So they're having a hard time adjusting?" asked Rosa. 
"They sure are," said Eileen. "Look, here's Robbie now, looks proper worn out he does and he's got one of those kids with him." 

Robbie walked in and called the youngster to join them at the table. "This here's Travis," he said. "Trav's not happy about sleeping under the stars and eating barbecued snake for his dinner. Told Trevor he was an old fogey who should learn modern white man ways." 
Rosa and Eileen could both see that Robbie was trying hard not to laugh. 
Trevor had spent years in the big cities, working odd jobs and salting away his cash until he had enough to start up this program to help the younger ones to more fully understand their ancient culture. Travis didn't know about any of that, but Robbie thought he could bring it up in conversation as soon as breakfast was over. 

While they ate stacks of pancakes and eggs on toast Robbie said, "I was watching the sky as we walked home, it doesn't look good out there. A lot of heavy cumulus clouds gathering and the wind is coming up. We'd better stay close to home, love, we might be in for one of those freak storms; remember the one from five years back?"
"I surely do," said Eileen, "we don't get much rain out here this time of year, but when a storm hits like that one, it's hard to forget."
"What happened?' asked Rosa.

"It was huge!," Travis burst out, forgetting his pancake in his excitement. "I loved it! big winds, lightning, so much rain the creek burst its banks and washed away Nanna's chook house!" 
"I remember the creek overflowing; maybe we should go back and bring the rest of the camp in for a day or two, just to be safe," said Robbie. "I'll take the jeep and speak to Trevor about it right after breakfast."

Eileen and Rosa looked at each other and nodded. The safety of Trevor and the boys was more important, Rosa wasn't on any time schedule, the Landrover and supplies could wait.
Possibly the storm might never eventuate, the clouds could blow over, but better to be safe than sorry in this case. 
"Flash flood they called it," Eileen said. "Usually that creek is just a dry bed, all pebbles, no water."


  1. I enjoyed this wee tale; brilliant use of the words you were given. =)

  2. They don't have to worry....the bad weather has by-passed that area. It did a detour and came up here instead. And Cyclone Quang is bearing down on Exmouth and Carnavon. :)

    Areas in south-east Qld and northern NSW are on flood alerts. A low system s moving southwards from the Fraser coast, and the very heavy rain and strong wind is expected to hit around mid-day. We've had steady rain since yesterday. I'll be staying indoors today and tomorrow!

    I'm looking forward to reading about Rosa's trip across the Nullabor Plain. I hope she doesn't forget to take enough water along with her! Good tale, River. :)

  3. You paint a wonderful picture with words, I can see in my minds eye the heavy clouds of a up coming storm on the wide plains.

  4. Jac; thank you. This is chapter five in an ongoing saga.

    Lee; don't worry about Rosa, she has two jerrycans of drinking water, she's been travelling before. but I know nothing of the Nullabor Plain, I'll have to look stuff up or make stuff up.

    Merle; I see it in my mind, then write it down.

  5. That is sooooo Australian and wonderfully told.
    I felt I was there with Rosa and taking note of all that was happening.
    I enjoyed the concept of the young aboriginal telling his elder to stop living in the past and earn to live white man's way. It must be so hard for the older people trying to keep their youngsters conversant with thousands of years of culture and finding the young not all that interested.
    Look forward to Rosa getting herself mobile in this ongoing saga.

  6. This is a wonderful series River.

  7. This is chapter five? Darn, I've missed a bit, haven't I? I'll have to go back and catch up. Later. Have to get ready to go to another museum now.

    Anyhow, this is super. Even in this short piece, you manage to develop your characters well. Great job! (You still taking that writing class?)

  8. Mimsie; it is hard to get young ones interested in where they came from when all they want is technology. Not sure if I'll feature Rosa next week, it depends on where Delores's words take me.

    Delores; thank you. I'm having to research my own country now to make things believable.

    Susan; chapter one is way back in 2013 :( and has Molly Raven waiting for her son Jimmy to come home to Alaska from an archaeological dig. Rosa is Jimmy's travelling photographer girlfriend.
    The writing class was just a few weeks, over long ago.

  9. Hello greetings and good wishes.

    You have crafted a wonderful story using the given words. So much planning and preparation goes in undertaking a journey. Surely the route should be carefully noted, the vehicle should be in excellent condition and thee must be sufficient stores for the journey.

    It was interesting to read about the aboriginal practices and the unexpected turn in the story of an impending storm and flash floods.

    Very enjoyable story.

    Best wishes

  10. Joseph; thank you. this part of the story is chapter five and I'm often surprised by where the words will take me.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the new kick-start diet

a lizard in your home is lucky, right?

Sunday Selections