From The Dead

Entry by: QueenC

6th April 2018
From the dead

As she turned the key in the ignition, a charge sputtered from the dead battery, cracked winged and then in a ‘nothing left to give’ spurt—stopped. And then full stopped. Now she could hear the total silence, and her own thoughts – a kind of nakedness because with only herself to talk to she felt self-conscious. As though she could be judged mad if she were to speak out loud or start singing
Sitting down on a rock she acknowledged to herself she was stranded off the Canning stock route in of all places the Gibson Desert, with no way of alerting anyone to her position, no map and only a few packets of crisps. Two litres of water also sat on the front car seat. She gazed at the car bogged in red dirt with its wheels shredded by spinifex and then at her hands sweating. She felt a panic rising in her and started to run away from the car in a direction she believed would take her back to the stock route.
Part of her could analyse her behaviour as hysteria, but it seemed powerless to stop her altogether. She turned back to the car lead by the logic that she did not have any clue which way lead out. Simultaneously a strange shout came out of her mouth
‘somebody anybody! Jesus Shit oh shit’.
She kicked a rock near the car, hurt her big toe and fell down on the ground sobbing. In the late afternoon swelter, the red Gibson desert sand sprayed into her dry mouth but stuck in her tears.
‘I do not DO NOT want to die. Somebody anybody.. ‘
She marched herself back to the car and tried again to get the car moving. But like Max, her driver laid out near the spinifex, it was lifeless. Later she would learn he had died of an aneurysm on the brain. For now, all she knew was that he had no pulse.
Feeling hopeless she curled up in the shade of her rock alternating between whimpering crying and shaking. Within fifteen minutes above and all around her, a black sky enveloped the flat country, so only the southern cross twinkling south bore witness to her existence.
Kylie Faulkner an English girl from near Bath doing a stint of hairdressing at Halls station was no bush girl. In 1999, for a backpacker, the money from the station owners wife for a wash, set and blow dry was just too good to pass up. Max, her chauffeur from Wiluna, was the station owners driver, and he claimed to know the Gibson Desert like the back of his hand. It was just a pity that he also liked to travel light. He didn’t want to fuss with extra water provisions, flares torches and the like
In the growing cold, she awoke. A significant drop in temperature allowed her mind to function, a benefit given she could hardly see in the black night. She decided on saving the crisps for morning and went to sleep in the back seat of Max’s four-wheel drive.
By five am the next day the heat was already making her uncomfortable. She searched for a cover of some sort in the boot and found nothing. Her fair skin would burn to bits this much she knew, and so she needed to put herself in the shade. Other than that she felt utterly helpless and was unable to think of anything to do but wait. She ate a packet of the crisps and drank half her water. At nineteen she was not a big decision maker and lived from day to day pay to pay cheque one party to the next. Someone would turn up.But then thoughts of Monty her white Stafford terrier at home sent her into an extended sob
After a few rounds of shaking crying, she went again to her rock and lay down in the shade of mulga.
Out of the corner of her eye, a strange clumpy little yellow grey weirdly spiky rock appeared. For some reason, she started to laugh. On taking a closer look, it moved. A thorny devil dragon lizard the side of her hand had joined her. He looked up at her as she watched him amble and guzzle at least six ants. His bony ridgeback was spectacular as were his little dragon-like paws. Rocky as she called him ate ants and more ants! His camouflage excelled and was probably a good weapon against some of the circling desert birds.
When Max’s body started to smell she decided to follow Rocky away from the car. Away from the dead toward somewhere Rocky knew had life. This place turned out to be a massive boab tree where Rocky had his watering hole and a large ants nest. And much to her surprise, it was where the Canning stock routes Well 33 could just be seen in the distance. She walked herself to the well and the next morning after a night shared with Rocky some travellers found her.