I’ve been sittin’ here since this mornin’ waitin’ for the police...we’ve had lunch, but I couldn’t eat any…and the magpie’s dead! Jim gave us that maggie and now it’s up and died today, too. It was okay when I fed it before he came. I tell you—that’s spooky. Anyhow, I’m sittin’ here watchin’ down the track, waitin’ for the the police to come and I’m wishin’ I was still livin’ at Gran’s house over at Buranda, followin’ the Sallies on Sunday and sittin’ on the gutter while they played their hymns or tryin’ to figure out what went on in that Synagogue in Deshon Street, or goin’ up to Logan Road to Johnnie’s fruit shop near the tram stop.I like Jonnie, he’s Chinese—he must be ancient cos he’s all wrinkled and bent and the shop smells like old vegies and the walls are covered with pictures of beautiful ladies in Chinese dresses with high collars and they have shiny black hair and red lips. His place’s next door to the newspaper shop. If Gran lets me take back the ginger ale bottles for the bond money, I can have a penny ice cream when I go for the paper. I always go there because Sonny gives us the biggest scoop—it tastes like mentholated spirits until you lick off the first bit ‘cos I think he washes the scoop in the metho.
But that’s all finished and I’m back here…waitin’...
Diary of Another Time and Place, short story by Laurie Forth
to be continued.