First published by The Red Forge Publishing House, 2015 and updated in 2016, 2017, 2021, 2022
Adelaide, South Australia
Copyright © Sutcliffe, Keren
Book 4: The Elegant Solution
Brenda was very disappointed with her families response to her wanting to leave Jeremy and trying her luck out on her own. She was having a magnificent time not worrying about cooking and cleaning. Her children were grown and perfectly capable of looking after themselves; a job well done. Living the Dockside had been a hoot. A constant stream of new and interesting people. A great view of the Port River.
What next? The play had been a success, of sorts. At least it had gone ahead, there had been an audience. Everyone played their parts. There was a small financial gain, nothing like the bottom lines that Marla had imagined.
Perhaps a film. Perhaps that would be better than a play. The actors wouldn’t get so nervous.
Marla was trying to get ready for a meeting with the team from The Red Forge Publishing House.
Tarnie was laying awake at night wondering how to get out of her current situation.
Max was a little bewilded by the current state of Australian politics and Covid19 was extremely challenging for an information agent.
Charlotte had hardly looked at the Theodorus Spiral and basically trying to find somewhere to store her forge until perhaps she felt more positive.
Leroy hadn’t shown up.
ArkiMay vanished as well. The work was left half edited.
Brenda started writing again. The Elegant Solution.
Tom was alone, at home. He looked out of the back window. It was snowing which was strange. It was fascinating. He was daydreaming. Was it true that each flake was unique but the chances were not zero that at any one time they were all the same. It could be happening now, he thought. He shook his head. It was a strange day. He was in a strange mood.
Through the snow he could see, far down the garden path, that the back gate was open. He pt on his old dirty woolen jumper and stepped outside. It was cold but he didn’t seem to mind and headed toward the gate.
About half was along the path he spotted something on the ground, just off the path. On bending down he gashed his head on the side of the shed. Swearing he raised his hand to touch the wound and a drop of blood fell to the snow. He stopped and looked at the stark red blood in the white snow.
He continued to the open gate. As he approach he could he something coming. It was a rumble. The trees and snow fall were blocking any view down the laneway but from the right something was coming. It sounded like horse hooves. Standing at the open gate with a bleeding gash on his head he looked right along the laneway. Yes, horses were coming. And a carriage and driver. A woman driver, wearing a bright red dress, with a low neckline and flowing black hair. Two magnificent horses, proudly pulling a carriage. She pulled the horses up along side Tom standing their holding his bleeding head that he has gashed on the shed. He noticed her incredibly long dark eyelashes that sparkled. He was mesmerized.
She leaned down as Tom leaned forward and blood from his head smeared her chest. They both were momentarily staring at the blood. She recovered first and said. “Hop in were are off to the Dockside Tavern. I can care for that wound and buy you a whiskey.” He said “sure, there is a piano there, I can play”.
The carriage door opened. Someone else was inside. Tom turned, looked back at his house, closed the gate and jumped up into the carriage.
Inside were two more people, a man and a woman. The man had a guitar. Both were dressed like they were from the wild west. Once Tom was settled it was giddy up and they were off. A quick round of introductions, and passing of a flask with strong liquor and Max, Tarnie and Tom were on their way. Tarnie playing Dirty Old Town and Tom and Max singing and all were laughing like old friends.