There once was a platypus named Herbert who lived in a river deep in the bush. Like most platypuses, Herbert was happy living underground or exploring the riverbed believing this was the reach of the entire world. If you asked a platypus what the world looks like they would tell you it is equal parts water and land, with the land at the bottom and the water mostly near the top. This explanation had satisfied all the platypuses for centuries; except for Herbert, who was different to the other platypuses: Herbert had doubts.
Herbert would often ask difficult questions, especially during the long nights sitting underground in his little cave counting the worms wiggling by. He often wondered if there was more to the world than just the riverbed and the little underwater caves the platypuses lived in. However, platypuses pride themselves on knowing everything and whenever he spoke to the other platypuses about his doubts they smugly told him that there was nothing beyond the riverbed but more riverbeds.
Herbert asked what lived in those other riverbeds and the answer always the same, “some of them have other colonies of platypuses, but most of them are full of monsters that would eat a platypus if they could! So a platypus must never ever leave their riverbed else they will get eaten by a monster.” Continue reading “Herbert the Platypus”
“Hey Bree, what’s up?”
“Oh, nothing much, I just wondered if maybe you had heard any news about Amelia recently.”
“You mean about how she’s pregnant?”
“Yah, that’s it. I mean, yeah, I know about that, but I was wondering if you knew of anything else, since you’ve known her since high school?”
“Not really, she’s always kept a lot to herself, in fact I was chatting to the guys about her last night, and we’re all kind of confused, we didn’t even know she was dating anyone, then she announces online that she’s pregnant out of the blue. I kind of thought one of the other guys might have been secretly dating her, but we soon found that’s what everyone else was thinking! Some of the guys even thought I might be the father. But we had established by the end of the night that no one here knows who the father is.”
“Yeah, that’s right, the other girls don’t know either, Amelia is being really tight lipped about it. It seems to be a pretty well guarded secret because I haven’t found anyone else who knows.”
“Yet she seems really happy about it all.”
“Yeah, she is. Too happy if you ask me.” Continue reading “Amelia’s Baby”
Oriana proceeded directly from Kelly’s house to the community library. Her father had been in a better mood this morning and when Paul came around to pick her up in the morning he seemed relieved that she was with him. Paul was well liked by parents across the neighbourhood, Oriana mused that this was because while most boys were of the rough and tumble variety, Paul was a reserved and generous boy who had a reputation unblemished by teenage scandals. Oriana had speculated that her father secretly wished that she would date him instead of merely friend him, yet for all of Paul’s positive traits, there was something plain about him. It was splendid of him to care so much about the poor, yet a man who cares too much for the poor runs the risk of being poor himself, or so Oriana had reasoned, and while she agreed with her reasoning, she felt agonisingly aggrieved with herself to judge him so harshly. Indeed, sometimes in her low times she speculated if perhaps she was not unwittingly making the same mistakes her mother made.
However, there was now a new man in her life; Kent, and this man was in some ways similar to Paul. He was reserved, gentle, and exuded no malice at all in his manners, just like Paul. However, while Paul had a naïve confidence in the good nature of his fellow man, Kent was a troubled man who seemed suspicious and wary of everyone he encountered. Justifiably so since these Tyranni have appeared on the scene, but nonetheless, whereas Paul was naturally inclined to believe whatever someone might tell him, Kent was the opposite. Kent had in some ways the character of a bad dinner guest: constantly questioning and cross-examining others. He might even come across as arrogant to the eyes of someone who doesn’t know him well enough, but Oriana had by this time concluded that he was not in fact arrogant, but precocious and confident in his intellectual abilities. Perhaps too confident in them, although she didn’t feel ready as yet to make that judgement of Kent. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 29”
The hospital was more than just one building, but a complex of buildings, carparks, and gardens. It was located on the edge of the city centre. The whole facility was surrounded by a red brick ring wall with a small cottage for the original groundskeeper when the hospital was first built. The days of indentured caretakers tied to the land were passed of course, but the original building still stood there as a reminder of quainter days. It was a tall white wooden building with high ceilings and a steep wooden roof. Green fungus had taken over patches of the roofing tiles with obvious gaps where old tiles had been replaced with new ones in recent years. The cottage was located at the corner of the hospital estate closest to the city centre and had been taken over by a Christian charity for the homeless organised by a local church.
Paul was busy making sandwiches with the other volunteers who came in from the parish. Every night the volunteers made hundreds of ham and cheese sandwiches for the homeless. Sometimes they had a huge pot full of soup as well to share, and tonight was one such night so Paul had to go in and out of the kitchen to check on the soup. He had just ducked out when a woman dressed in a short skirt, leg warmers, and stylish leather jacket walked into the area where the volunteers were busy preparing the sandwiches. She looked at each volunteer’s face coolly observing them. Some of the volunteers noticed her and bid her a warm welcome which she ignored. When she spotted Paul through the doorway to the kitchen she drew herself up to her full height on each high heel and allowed a hungry smile to emerge from the sea of cosmetics covering her face. The woman walked quietly into the kitchen, all sense of apprehension now missing from her thin body. She was standing right behind Paul as he was carefully stirring the huge pot of soup.
“That’s a big dinner you’ve got there,” said the woman slowly. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 22”
I am feeling really bad about the lack of updates over the past two weeks. So today I am giving you a special super long update (over 2,500 words). I hope you enjoy it.
Oriana walked into her father’s factory that morning, still wearing the same clothes from the day before. This wasn’t out of the ordinary for her. She would often be out all night and instead of coming home just head back to the factory. She expected that her father would just give her his usual nod and say “hi, honey,” as she walked in but instead he looked at her sternly and used his finger to indicate that she was to follow him to his office immediately. She sat down opposite her father’s desk while he stood for a few moments with his back to her facing the white board behind his desk. Oriana thought she saw his hands tremble slightly as he opened and closed them.
“Ana, I had a conversation with two policemen yesterday evening.”
Oriana gasped, she could hear the fury in her father’s voice.
“What? Peterson and Nix-,” she was cut off.
“They told me that you interfered with their investigation into a religious cult they believe are operating in this area and they are considering pressing charges against you for your own safety.”
“Dad, there’s something you should know, those men aren’t cops. I have a video of what really happened.”
Her father just shook his head slowly in disgust.
“Ana, shut up.”
Oriana’s mouth gaped open, “Excuse me?”
“Shut up. I don’t want to hear any of your lies. You are just like your mother. You don’t care at all how your actions could impact other people.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 18”
(this is a direct continuation from the conversation started at the end of part 15)
“The fox in the field will run, the fox in the forest will hide, but the fox in a cage will fight,” said Suvarin repeating the Aeshiric idiom.
Kent was confused, “What do you mean?”
“I mean, for now the Tyranni see an option to beat us that is non-violent, so they will most likely take it – just as a fox will run or hide if it has those options. So long as they think they are getting somewhere in their attempts to turn the three growkons* against us they will not carry out any acts of violence. However, if those three growkons succeed in protecting themselves against the Tyranni’s rhetoric, they will escalate to violence because they can’t risk them becoming spiritual or joining the Aeshir; despite the harm that video recording might do to them.”
“I see what you’re getting at now,” Kent sighed deeply, “Since the Tyranni have been humiliated by me, and are intolerant of being humiliated even though they will happily dish it out to other people, they are unlikely to just let this go, so violence might be needed by us to get them to leave.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 16”
Oriana arrived back the main chamber to find Paul on the embankment and standing upright. Kelly was busy gesticulating flamboyantly. Realising that Kelly was clearly trying to keep Suvarin distracted for her still Oriana quickly rushed forward to inspect Paul’s knee.
“You can stand on it now?”
Paul explained that Suvarin had given him some medication for the pain and that it was fine to stand on it, just not to carry anything or run for a few days at least.
“You must be some kind of physiotherapist!” exclaimed Oriana.
Suvarin looked at her with an expression of puzzlement on her face, “Has Kent told you about the Salvati?”
“Only that you’re one of the five orders of the Aeshir,” then before she could stop herself, “and that you’re forbidden to carry weapons or do anyone any harm.”
“Oh! Yes, that is true. We are forbidden to carry weapons, but to say that we can’t do anyone any harm is another matter. There are strict rules regarding such matters, yes. It is odd that Kent should tell you that much about us but not about other aspects; such as our primary goals and values.”
“Yes, it is, so, if the Druids are the nerdy, preachy types of your religion, what are the Salvati?” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 13”
The man’s face betrayed no emotion, “I see. Well, then I suppose you did the right thing in bringing them here where they would be safe. However, we will have to make special arrangements for their passage out of here. Do you know who the Tyranni are?”
“Nix and Peterson,” Kent answered. Oriana thought she noticed a particular stress on Peterson’s name.
“Ahh, I see. They must have travelled from interstate to be here in this city then.”
“That’s true,” cut in Paul, “I have a photo of their number plate. They came from interstate.”
“I am sorry, my name is Laneg. How do you do, young man?”
“Well, I’m Paul and my knee is badly hurt.”
Instantly Laneg’s expression changed from neutrality to deep concern. “Oh dear, did the Tyranni injure you?”
Paul nodded affirmatively.
“Well then,” Laneg turned to the young women next to him, “Suvarin, could you please take a look at Paul’s leg? See if he is well enough to walk on it.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 12”
“Are they up to anything illegal?” asked Oriana.
“Illegal yes, immoral no,” said Kent plainly.
“Ahh, yes, you live a life straddled uncomfortably between those two things.”
“Between chaos and order, yes, I suppose I do. But who says that I am uncomfortable? It’s actually kind of fun when looked at from the right perspective.”
Kelly nodded enthusiastically with this statement, “I get it, I wouldn’t do anything that hurt anyone else, but I don’t really care about the law either.”
“Kelly!” gasped Oriana, “You don’t really mean that!”
“Yes I do, why should I follow the law?”
“Because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” replied Oriana sounding far less confident than she thought she ought to be.
“Well, I suppose I should in case I get caught by the police or something, but I wouldn’t hurt anyone or their things. Really, when you think about it, a law is simply the opinion of a group of old men.”
“With guns,” added Paul. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 11”
Oriana and Kelly looked at Paul with a mixture of surprise and sadness, neither of them had known this about Paul. Kent reached out and put a comforting hand on Paul’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry Paul, you clearly care about her a great deal. It sounds like she doesn’t think she’s worth praying for herself to get better though.”
Paul shook his head, “Nope. She doesn’t think it matters if she dies of cancer.”
“Wow,” said Oriana, “I hadn’t thought of it like that, I thought that prayers had to be directed to god or something. I didn’t think you could just pray for yourself.”
“Oh, having some gods to pray about certainly helps with prayer too,” remarked Kent.
Kelly sniggered, “What, do you believe in gods?”
“Of course I do,” answered Kent calmly.
Kelly laughed at this, “But gods aren’t real, they’re just myth.”
“I agree with that too,” answered Kent with a trace of a smile. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 10”