Passage from The Men of the Godomar
Tane walks the long way home he can’t face his mothers gaze. She would be sitting on the veranda, her bony back hunched over, breathing in the nicotine air, and she would watch him through cold critical eyes. Tane treads the garden path leading to the fibro cottage, the blue paint chipped, the exterior rests on the dirt patches in front of the house. The dirt patch was once a garden filled with roses, his mum use to love and tend to the roses every single day. She grew roses, because she said it reminded her of her own mother. Before he makes it any further, he is startled by a commotion within the house, an incessant squeal, it takes him a moment to realise the noise is his mother. He doesn’t race instead he walks casually up the garden path. He has heard this uproar before. She is notorious for causing a scene.
The moment he walks in, she lunges at him, a wine bottle in her feeble hand, grasping at his t-shirt, she hisses ‘I seen another one,’ she dashes to the veranda and points towards the bushes. Tane looks out at the expansive woodlands, spreading out of control, and forever creeping towards the shack, he shares with his mother.
‘There is no one their Sandra,’ he pleads, with his mum.
‘Please believe me Tane. I seen him as clear as day, he walked right out of the bush, his skin white, with a yellowish tinge, and his eyes, they were like the cats, thin slits of yellow and black pupils,’ she is holding onto him again, this time by the arm. He could easily shake her off, instead he wraps his hand around her thin arm, and helps her inside, ‘He looked at me, they usually don’t notice me, he looked right at me.’
‘Sandra sit down, I’ll get you a tea.’
‘I don’t want a bloody tea. There are aliens in our backyard, and you’re talking about cups of frigging tea?’
‘The aliens don’t stop you drinking wine though hey Sandra.’
‘Yeah that’d be right, blame the wine. I saw the aliens, wine or no wine.’
‘Maybe one day you can try seeing the Aliens without the wine Sandra,’ Tane suggests as he makes an exit for his bedroom.
Copyright Jennifer Calvert