Tracks – Operation Electric Forever – Part 7

[EXT. – OUTSIDE THE BRACKEN HOUSE – EARLY MORNING]

“She’s all good to go, mate.” Mr. Pfeiffer slapped the bonnet of the rumbling 4WD. He threw the keys to Mr. Bracken.

Mr. Pfeiffer was the type of straight-talking Aussie bloke that Mr. Bracken loved. He had arms the size of tree trunks, a chest covered in thick black hair and fingers stained by the honest art of auto-maintenance. He burped and swore, loved his footy and carried his ancestors’ European surname with just the right balance of pride and self-deprecation.

Mr. Pfeiffer was the type of loud-mouthed Aussie bloke that Perrie Bracken hated. He had arms that swung too wildly, a chest that should be hidden under a proper shirt and hands that looked like sausages that had been left out in the sun for too long. He burped and swore, loved his stupid macho ball game and didn’t really play to well with anyone who wasn’t also a European descendant.

“Couple’a cans’a gas in the back, ‘case ya need ‘em. Maps in the GPS and under the seat. Just gotta bring some water and stuff with ya.”

“Thanks, mate. I can’t thank you enough for this.” Mr. Bracken said.

“It’s no problem at all. She wasn’t getting much use with me. Better to go to a good cause. I just hope you find the lad soon.”

“We all do.” Continue reading “Tracks – Operation Electric Forever – Part 7”

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Photographic Evidence – Operation Electric Forever – Part 6

[EXT./INT. – LUKE’S CAR – THE SUN BLAZES THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD OF A RUSTING RED FORD LASER]

See the boy in centre stage. That is, in the centre of the entire world. As his vehicle rips and tears through the rugged landscape, the planet moves around him like an endlessly repeating pantomime panorama.

A town passed by about an hour ago. The audience (that’s you) surely would have seen the boy leave his car on the side of a wide road in the middle of that town, walk into a quaint convenience store and pick up a veggie pasty and an iced coffee. What the audience would never have been able to guess without narration is that the boy would have loved a curry pie, stuffed full of beef and oil… but his character is a vegetarian at this stage of the story.

“Wise choice.” said the shimmering black mass that was sitting patiently in the passenger seat. “Appearing to care is one of the most important things in this life.”

[ENTER FROM THE DRIVER’S SIDE DOOR: THE BOY]

“I do care. I don’t want to hurt anything that has feelings.”

[Mockingly] “Then why drive a car? Why wear a leather belt?” The Desert asks the boy. The creature speaks in a rough hum, like the background radiation of the Big Bang, but even still, the question sounds cruel.

[Defensively yet apathetic] “Shut up” says the boy.

Continue reading “Photographic Evidence – Operation Electric Forever – Part 6”

Roads – Operation Electric Forever – Part 5

[EXT./INT. – LUKE’S CAR – PINK SUNRISE OVER A HORIZON]

See the boy’s white knuckles wrapped around the steering wheel. It is made of red hot and blistering rubber. Hear the air-conditioning working overtime to cool the rusting red box.

See through the windows of the vehicle, the endless flat stage of red dust and sunburnt scrub. It halts, five kilometres away, at a wall of pale blue. The car is silent apart from the complaints of the air-conditioning, the low rumbling of the small engine and a scratchy pop-tune playing over a radio. The car has no antenna.

See the boy’s eyes fixed on the road in front of him, wide and straight as an arrow. At the speed he is travelling one wrong move, one wheel in the dust, one kangaroo bouncing wildly, would be a disaster. Suspense for the sake of suspense!

[ENTER FROM SOMEWHERE – THE DESERT] Continue reading “Roads – Operation Electric Forever – Part 5”

Clouds – Operation Electric Forever – Part 4

[EXT? INT? – LOST – SOMETIME]

See the boy in centre stage. Around him, a circle of ghosts, a spectral audience. They swap phrases and faces until one cannot be sure where each one begin and end.

See the boy suddenly strike out at the ghosts. He rants and raves at the unstoppable mutation around him. The ghosts shout back with smoke-like words until a dense cloud floats a few feet above the stage. See the boy almost lose sight of himself in the fog.

[ENTER FROM STAGE LEFT: THE DESERT]

See The Desert walk slowly towards the slowly sinking boy. It pulls a small box from its dark robes and hands it to the boy. See the boy take a mask from the box.

He walks out of the fog and over to the crowd of ghosts and attempts to blend in.

The Desert asks, “Where are you?” Continue reading “Clouds – Operation Electric Forever – Part 4”

Ghosts – Operation Electric Forever – Part 3

[EXT – THE PUB – EVENING]

“Beer? Beer? And you, man? You want one?” Max asked everyone at the table, one by one, whether they wanted another round instead of taking the initiative and just doing it. Luke hated that. Max had to make a big deal out of everything.

“You want one?” He asked again, “Yo, Luke, you there, man?”

Luke lifted his head from his phone, pretended to shake off the accumulated dust of focused concentration and stretched. He let his loosely curled fist fly outwards recklessly.

“Oh, sure, man. Yeah, whatever.”

“Alright. You get next round.”

Continue reading “Ghosts – Operation Electric Forever – Part 3”

Like This – Operation Electric Forever – Part 2

[INT – LUKE’S ROOM – EVENING]

See the boy at his screen, hunched over, glowing a ghost blue. His fingers are mobile, going crazy, tap tap tapping away at a thousand unseen problems.

See the boy’s eyes dart to and fro, always searching, locking on and then moving forward. See the colour of his glow pulse, grow dark and then reappear again brighter than ever.

He’d complain of boredom but he knew that wouldn’t help anything. He’d just have to keep going… keep posting. Keep lyi… No that’s not the word, he thought to himself.

Continue reading “Like This – Operation Electric Forever – Part 2”

Operation Electric Forever – Part 1

Cold Open

[EXT? INT? – SOMEWHERE]

See the boy in centre stage, illuminated and ghastly, pale back arching up towards the sky. Count the knobs and curls of the spine. Count the fine hairs on his arms and legs.

[ENTER FROM STAGE REAR – THE DESERT]

See a man draped in black, dripping in midnight satin, emerge. See his broad brimmed hat, his gloved hands, his hidden face. The Desert opens his mouth and lets out a stream of bright television static. It’s unintelligible, but also completely understandable.

“Who are you?”

See the boy. He thought, after all of it, he’d be a different person. He thought that by falling apart he would emerge as something better.

He sat hunched over his own knees, a mottled, papery and fragile human lump. With each careful brush of fingertip against skin, more came off until he sat amongst small mountains of forgotten skin, the fallout from a recent brush with the sun.

The skin underneath was not new and clean like he had wanted, but pink and violent. An eruption of pain and dryness. He’d gone through a wasteland seeking to find himself, but ended up as part of it.

He fell forward, letting legs come out from underneath him. Laying with chest against the cool grey floor, he admitted “there are no fresh starts… I couldn’t find one out there.”

“Well”, The Desert asked, “at least tell me where you are?”

[EXIT STAGE REAR – THE DESERT]

Part 2 – Like This

Part 3 – Ghosts

Part 4 – Clouds

Part 5 – Roads

Part 6 – Photographic Evidence

Part 7 – Tracks

Part 8 – Dust

Part 9 – Sunset


 This is a SA Writers Centre project that will take place on the traditional lands of a number of Aboriginal nations in South Australia. We acknowledge Aboriginal people’s ongoing relationship and spiritual connection with the land, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

Operation Electric Forever, was created during the SA Writers Centre Digital Writer in Residence program during 2016.

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