Forging ahead with fictional endeavours: ~ Write a life on a page and hurry not to its grave; abhor not the coming age, for eternal is the next page. ~ Read what you will, I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Lucky stack

bike

I was very determined to do some fiction today, it seems.  Here’s a short fic which makes it obvious I’ve been working with RSPCA today.  If you’re familiar with Banjo Paterson’s ‘Mulgar Bill’ another influence will be quite clear.  If not I’ve added it as a quote for those non-australians who are interested. It’s not as well known as ‘Waltzing Matilda’ but still an interesting poem.  The photo is provided as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. *Edit Note on my usage of Stack/stacked: a more common aussie meaning means to stack is to crash. (Been back 4 months and I’ve gone native on you.) Okay, going to give up on coherency now.

Lucky Stack

Linda glowered at her Father. Their locked glares became an emotional battle which chipped away at her willpower. Then, with vision blurred by tears, Linda fled the room, grabbed her bike and sped off into the dusk with her Alsatian, Marco. The gentle whir of wheels counterpointed by panting of Marco as he raced joyfully alongside the bike could not calm her tonight. The wrong was too great, and her mind became a maze as she struggled to find a solution. Suburban terrain gave way to rougher bush track but the pair paid no heed; this was their realm, in it they were free. For the briefest of moments Linda forgot her worries. It was then, with a shriek and a yelp, that the pair came to grief on the twilight track. Bike crumpled, and lost in the dark, it was Marco whom found his way from where his mistress stacked. Though he nudged and licked, Linda did not stir. The worried dog let out a sing-song whine as he waited for her. As the temperature dropped he snuggled close to keep her warm, and kept the night life at bay. When Linda was rescued in the light of a new day, her Father uttered not a word of sending Marco away.

MULGA BILL’S BICYCLE by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,
The grinning shop assistant said, "Excuse me, can you ride?"

"See here, young man," said Mulga Bill, "from Walgett to the sea,
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me.
I'm good all round at everything as everybody knows,
Although I'm not the one to talk - I hate a man that blows.
But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.
There's nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,
There's nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,
But what I'll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight:
I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight."

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,
That perched above Dead Man's Creek, beside the mountain road.
He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,
But 'ere he'd gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.
It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver steak,
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man's Creek.

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box:
The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks,
The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.
It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree,
It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be;
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dean Man's Creek.

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:
He said, "I've had some narrer shaves and lively rides before;
I've rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,
But this was the most awful ride that I've encountered yet.
I'll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; it's shaken all my nerve
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.
It's safe at rest in Dead Man's Creek, we'll leave it lying still;
A horse's back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill."

The Sydney Mail, 25 July 1896.

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Comments on: "Lucky stack" (17)

  1. A very moving story. It’s a shame it took such an incident to change her father’s mind.

  2. What a wonderful story! I’m so glad that her father changed her mind about Marco. You’re right, many people give up their dogs for the silliest of reasons! It’s nice to see you writing flash fiction stories again!

    • Hopefully I can keep posting them. It’s been a draining year and I’ve taken on a whole new life. 😀 I think I’m all caught up and the other shoe drops. Marco is actually roughly based on a beautiful boy I met today. Lovely young dog who is only going to get bigger with a tendency to jump up. Instead of getting the training he needed he was surrendered. 😦

      • I’m sorry it has been such a draining year for you. I hope it gets better. That is sad that the young dog was surrendered instead of being taught not to jump up on people. One of the best dogs I have ever had I got from the animal shelter. He was bad about jumping up on people and I trained him not to do it. He was an awesome dog that I dearly loved. At the age of 14, I finally had to have him put down due to a stroke. It broke my heart. That was a year and a half ago.

  3. chrislb94 said:

    🙂 Good boy Marco

  4. I confess I found the breathless style interesting but not always easy to follow.
    I note especially the sentence that ends with ‘stacked’, which I don’t understand in this context.
    But a rip-roaring tale, nevertheless.

    • I realised it’s not a common usage outside Australia after I posted. Then spotted my grammatical errors! lol typical. In this context ‘to stack’or ‘stacked’means to crash. I’ll go edit now, those errors do not help.

  5. Lovely story, beautifully written. Also, thanks for sharing Mulgar Bill 🙂

    • ol’ Banjo is timless in some of his works, if you can get fast the 1800’s Aussie countryside references. Another good one is ‘The man from snowy river’.

  6. Good faithful dog. Now at last dad understands.

  7. I quite enjoy the style, even if some others find it a bit muddling. It definitely adds to the story, and it’s quite different to what I usually read on these challenges.

    • I have habit of trying to drag people into the scene with word style. Sometimes I rely on carefully planned punctuation, other times sentence structure. Though sometimes I swear I forget I’m writing prose, not poetry!

  8. The dog really was a part of the family, as they should be. Giving away a dog is like giving away a child. Glad the father changed his mind.

  9. Dogs are wonderful creatures. Unfailingly, loyal and loving to those who care for them. What a lucky girl to have Marco to keep her warm and safe until she was found.

    • They are indeed. My dog used to guide me home through the paddock when it got to dark to see. My current pair tried to ward of paramedics when I can a cropper in the bush after waking me up.

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