Mundoo Summer 37

“Did you hear about the attacks at Durra High?” asks Fran, settling herself next to me on the garden bench.

“No. Who got attacked?” I look as surprised as I feel. So far, teacher-bashing hadn’t reached our little piece of the country. It was becoming uncomfortably common in the city when I was there.

“Sasha Davis, Beccy Thomas, Natalie Brown,” says Fran. She balances a plate of sausages and salad on her lap, a glass of white in her hand.

“Three?!” I stare at her, shocked. “Was it kids or parents?”

Fran shakes her head. “I don’t know the details. Thought you might know more.”

I’m shaking my head. “I don’t even know those teachers. Are they new this year?”

“No, no ….. not teachers, students,” Fran corrects. “During their end of term social. Apparently the three went outside during the latter part of the evening, staggered back in some time later, all bloodied, looking like victims from some horror movie. The teachers couldn’t get much sense out of them while they tended them till the ambulance arrived. Melva!” she then calls out as Melva comes out of the house, looks our way and walks towards us. I notice she looks troubled. “You look exhausted,” Fran observes. “Sit down and let me get you a plate of something.”

“No, dear, I’m fine,” says Melva. She looks back towards the house. “But I’ve got a very upset Crystal in there. The attacks on those girls at school …. you know …” she shakes her head.

“I was just telling Lucy,” says Fran.

“Crystal wasn’t involved as well, was she?” I ask.

“No, no,” Melva assures me quickly. “But it’s a shock, what happened. You know?”

“Of course it is! Look, are you sure I can’t get you something?” Fran is looking at Melva with concern. “You sit down for a bit, you look like you haven’t stopped all day. I’ll get you a cup of tea.” And Fran gets up.

“Well, a glass of wine then, there’s a dear,” says Melva, sitting down beside me. As soon as Fran’s out of earshot, she leans towards me. “Don’t leave early tonight, Lucy. I need to talk with you when this is over. Bill too. Okay?” she whispers.

After that the evening drags even though it ends much earlier than our Friday evening staff get-togethers usually do, thanks to Fran who’s gone around and quietly whispered in everyone’s ear that Melva needs an early night. I had intended to sneak off to the pub and join Dan and his mates there but obviously that’s now not possible. After the left-over food has been taken to the kitchen and the last good-byes echoed over the fence, we gather around the kitchen table. Bill, Doug, Melva and I. Melva gets straight to the point.

“I know how crazy this is going to sound but ……. Crystal is adamant that it was Cam who attacked those girls,” she whispers.

chapter 38

chapter 1

Mundoo Summer 37

Alenka Co

Stonebow, Australia

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Artist's Description

contemporary fiction set in a small country town in coastal South Australia

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  • Maria Catalina Wiley
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