Here is an excerpt of something I may turn into a full length short story in time. I would just like to ask that any of you that know me do not take on board any of my writing as my own personal opinions. It is impossible for these pieces to be contextualised within my own life as they are not designed to be read in this way. I draw on some of my life experiences but my goal is to create stand alone literature and that means that my own emotions and feelings about a particular event are not the core issue. Therefore, the journey described below and the anxieties portrayed by the speaker have absolutely no correlation with how I experienced this incredible trip!
This excerpt was written under the instruction that it was to start and finish with a whole sentence, it must be on the subject of a journey and be written in a similar style to The London Underground Orbital. As always, your input is greatly appreciated.
When you’re going to Esperance, it is wise to fill up the tank before departing. The place itself is named after the Italian word for hope; as in, I hope we get there. What you’re looking at is four hours into nowhere and then another four back into somewhere again. At least, thats what you hope.
On the road. Leaving Perth city. Transitioning into the outback bushland. It’s not gradual. Junction sign, no livestock on the highway sign, kangaroos next 200km sign, then dust, then straight. Trees, spiky shrubs, more dust. Then redder dust. More straight.
The roads are curved like an upside down meniscus and become a point in the distance. Sometimes, if you are lucky, the road segregates itself the way a kindergartener draws a christmas tree. Tiny waves, then bigger ones, only dustier. The dust is getting redder still. I spy with my little eye, something beginning with dust. Everything? Exactly. The car, unlike outside, is filled with icy air. I can still feel my face burning though, even through the windscreen and the standard Aussie brew factor 50+. I put on my hat inside the car. Proceed like a disguised criminal along the straight road. Esperance, as in, I hope we don’t die going to Esperance. No one would notice a criminal driving out here though. Pot holes. Mine holes. They say if you want to kill someone out here you should throw them down a mine hole. No one would ever know. No one would ever find them. Wombats next 20km. How do they know?
Little wooden crosses. Fake flowers. They’d melt. That New Year’s Eve disaster with the fire trucks and the TV news bulletin. Men roasted alive. Feel sick now. Coincidental fire risk sign. Extreme. One down from disaster. Big difference. Esperance. The dust is very red. There’s a bend coming up. Sign for petrol station in 120km. We could buy road kill jerky made from those who didn’t make it.
You know if you licked it, it would be salty. The road I mean. Or the air. Dusty, salty and red. You probably wouldn’t though. Its not unreasonable however as in this heat I am probably salty too. Inconspicuously lick back of hand. Yep. Flood risk? Where’s the water? Not here in January. Salt lake instead. Harder. Like a pink glittery ice skating rink. Pink from the dust. I don’t think salt can kill you at least. High blood pressure eventually. Not just from looking though. Did you know there are whole communities living out here? You can trade old furniture for gold. Seriously. Whole communities with a mountain of gold but no furniture. What do you even call that? Road train sign. More straight. Dust is less red. Koalas next 25km sign…only joking, this is Western Australia, still.
Bon Jovi playing through the one working speaker was timed for exactly four hours in. That means we’re going somewhere again. If we get there, to Esperance, it will all be worth it. We will see the whitest, crispiest sand, the purest sea imaginable and then, we will probably see sharks. Esperance, as in; I hope we don’t get eaten in Esperance.