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”

Memory One – Operation Electric Forever – Part 5.5

[EXT. – HEADING OUT – AROUND NOON]

See the boy, feet in the dust, sitting half-way in and half-way out of a rusting red car. See him parked on the side of a long and winding highway, a road to the Everywhere that he is chasing.

The engine cools and the wind blows through the open windows. There is a fine layer of orange dust growing on the back seat, a back seat already covered with boxes upon boxes of food, water, tool kits, toiletries… whatever really.

The see the boy flick through the glowing box in his hand. He is looking for clues, memories, stories to guide him. He is looking for support from people that he has hardly talked to in years. He is looking for recognition.

See the boy retreat into memory. As he lifts his gaze and stares into the slowly undulating horizon, see lights flicker on his mind. Delve deep into his thoughts and see the images and memories unfold. Continue reading “Memory One – Operation Electric Forever – Part 5.5”

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”

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.

SA Writers Colour Logo copy copy


 

An Introduction

Welcome to the Electric Forever…

12109921_1084305611587204_5414050233965725058_oIt’s an honour to be your new Digital Writer in Residence for the next six weeks! My name’s James Rudd and you’ve already (hopefully) been welcomed to my electronic work through the first introductory chapter “Cold Open”.

I am a collector, wanderer and wonderer. I have been interested in writing since childhood, the days in which I’d write about dragons fighting the cartoon characters I’d watch on television every Saturday morning.

I’m a massive advocate for digital publishing and for the freedom to experiment that comes to contemporary writers. I have spent most of my work-life online, writing reviews and news for Glam Adelaide, working in communications, sharing stories with local zine makers and writing enthusiasts at the University of Adelaide as well as publishing an ongoing thought and travel blog, Electric Holy Road!

I look forward to creating and presenting this story – of a modern problem among an ancient land – over the six week period. The great thing about using Digital Media is that we can all see the story grow and evolve in strange, unexpected ways. Let’s hope for some “happy accidents”, some fun and maybe some existential horror. I guess we’ll see what happens!

Feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@digitalwir) and keep your eyes peeled for updates and opportunities to get involved with the story.

Jack was born in the nighttime…

A Jack Tale from Port Lincoln in the style of Death in a Nut.

by Vanessa Forsyth

Jack was born in the nighttime
in a shack underneath the galahs
he grew up too fast for a childhood
and soon lost the person known as Pa

As years turned in to a decade
he moved house after house with his mum
Jack learned of his illness by accident
shortly after learning to stop sucking his thumb
Continue reading “Jack was born in the nighttime…”