They bound through the house, their elephantine footsteps
making the floor shake.
The raucous laughter and jeering reverberates off the walls
as one of them falls in the hallway.
The fallen, quite unabashed, joins in laughing, not too proud
to laugh at themselves.
Their energy electrifies the household; always somewhere to
go, something to do, someone to annoy.
Gumboots pile at the back door, a deathly maze that only the
experienced can navigate.
Jackets and leggings are in crumpled piles on the floor, shed
like old skin.
Always the smell of eggs, patties and spaghetti cooking in
Booming music dances all through the house, assaulting our
Motorbike races; taking the paddock racer for a spin; sliding
down a snowy hill on a skateboard with the wheels taken off;
army games at the monument; mockumentaries of their futile
escapades of trying to bush-bash a four-wheeler track;
backyard fires in a ring of bricks so they can cook their
cans of Christmas spaghetti; trying to cover up the fact they
had driven the motorbike into a pond or got it stuck or
rolled it, even though Mum always knew.
Their energy is unlimited.
They're gone now.
No more bouncing down the hall and straight to the fridge.
No more food fights because someone got the last potato.
The house is practically empty; the faded and worn furniture
are the only things inside apart from the last two occupants.
The back door is relatively clean; the gumboots are lined
neatly out of the way, the wet-weather gear hung neatly, the
concrete swept and void of any traps for the townies.
Vegetables are eaten now, and the music is down to a level
where you can converse without sign language.
The floors in the rooms are sparkling, the beds neatly made,
awaiting their return.
And they do return, for this is home.
• By Carolyn Leslie Year 11, Catlins Area School