Suggested by my new friend Don.
A story of an older woman, Stella, who was a tall, large, plain, lonely and sullen person. She drove trucks, because she wanted to and had inherited an out of the way repair shop between the mountains and the coast in Queensland, along with a sizable bequest. And a younger woman, Margarita, a sweet, small, petite, pretty, and on the run from a hostile, abusive father and brothers. How they found each other, creating a new life for them both. Any sex that takes place is between adults over 18.
Margarita busied herself in the laundry of the house she shared with her father and 3 brothers. She knew this was the one room they hardly visited. Still nursing the bruises and black eye from her last beating, she was thinking through what she had to do to get away. Where could she go, who could she turn to? Lowood had a small population, less than 5000 people, and most of them knew her father, the jovial, good natured, fun loving local businessman who would do anything to help his neighbors. Who raised funds for the local school and hospital. Who sponsored the local cricket and football teams, who was the president of the local RSL club and in fact was the shire president to boot. General all round good guy was Arthur Fitzgibbon, he also beat his only daughter, regularly, for the slightest of reasons. Sometimes for the fun of it.
There was no one she could turn to, nowhere she could go in Lowood.
Margarita was small in stature, not even 5 foot tall, slim, some unkind people would have called her skinny, the fact she may have been under nourished wouldn’t have entered their minds. Her father had told people she was a little ‘simple’ and went off the rails after her mother died. It was best she stayed home and be looked after by the family. In truth, other than the occasional visit to the doctor or dentist, no one had seen nor could they remember when they saw her last. The 18 year old would be invisible to most of the town’s folk.
She was hidden away from the world. Kept under lock and key. Did their cooking, the cleaning of the house, and the washing for the men of the house.
It was the 14th of April that Margarita decided she was leaving. She had no idea where she was going, or how she would get there. But she knew she was going.
She grabbed the empty basket off of the washing machine and carefully opened the laundry door. She waited and listened. The TV was on in the family room, so one of the boys would be home. She slowly and quietly went back to her room. She had learnt to move quietly about the house so as not to draw attention to herself. She moved silently towards the family room, and stopped at the corner by the kitchen. She could see the whole room from there and just as she thought, one of her brothers was there, snoring, and an empty six pack of VB was on the coffee table next to his dirty boots. He was sound asleep. She collected the money she had ‘stolen’ from their pockets while washing their clothes, put it in a small back pack she had been given, when she started school. It was the last thing her mother had given her. Those were happier times. Then her mother disappeared, she came home from school one day and her father told her that her mum had run off. She cried for a week, she missed her mother.
Now she was ready to go herself, just like her mum did.
She moved back to the Laundry, closing the door, carefully. Waited and listened, no one was coming. She looked out the small window onto the drive way, just the one car there, so no one else was around outside.
She carefully opened the back door, leading into the small courtyard where the clothes line was, it was barely big enough to house it, the fence having been built to keep her in, not any one out.
The six foot high fence was over a foot taller than she was. The top of the galvanized sheet iron fence was razor sharp, purposely so, no capping. None of this bothered Margarita, she had over time hidden away two wooden crates, one a bit larger than the other. Yes she got a beating when they went missing but this plan she was hatching had been in the making for over a year now.
She took a blanket from the cupboard and put that over the razor sharp edge of the sheet iron fence, then lifted herself over, falling the last few feet to the ground. There was no time now to stop and wait to see if she was seen. She took off. Not down the drive way, but back across the backyard. The wooden palings were already coming away so a swift kick opened up a sizeable hole for her to crawl thought. She replaced the palings and took off towards the highway.
She knew she couldn’t ask for help from anyone, so she kept to the tall grass on the verge of the road and waited. She knew her timing was perfect. No one was screaming her name, with an ounce of luck she could cross the highway and head south until she was well away from the township.
She knew her father would search the house and neighbors sheds first, as he had done in the izmit escort bayan past. This time she thought all she needed to get away from them, was time. Timing was everything.
She kept reminding herself, stick to the plan, the plan will work, stick to the plan.
The plan was a simple one.
Stay off of the main highway out of Lowood.
Take the first dirt track away from the coast.
Sleep under bushes out of sight during the day.
Travel at night.
Get as far away from them as she could.
What little money she had, she had stolen from the pockets of the boys jeans when she washed them. Mainly coins, 10, 20 and 50 cent pieces, some 5’s. She got lucky two or three times when she found a screwed up 5$ and$20 note. She handed back the $50 note to her dad, when she found it in Keith’s shirt pocket. All nicely folded up. She had a bad feeling about taking their money, but then in an instant thought, why not.
It wasn’t much but in the twelve months she had be stashing it away it had added up to over a hundred and fifty dollars. It weighed a fair weight. The money, a couple of pairs of panties, a spare bra, a tooth brush, old T shirts and a pair of jeans. That was it, her entire travelling kit. Timing was everything she reminded herself. Her period had just finished so had at least 28 days before requiring toiletries of that nature. That, she thought, was all she needed.
Now to get far enough away, down to Sydney or Melbourne. Hide in the big cities before being caught.
She waited until dark and crossed the highway, and started walking away from the coast, but not to Brisbane. She knew her dad would go there along the main roads between now and day break. She had to avoid the main roads. Stick to the plan, the back roads.
It was some two hours along a dark dirt track, when she saw the lights from behind her. She quickly got off the track and laid down in the long grass. The ute sped past her, she didn’t recognize it. It wasn’t her dad, or any of her brothers, that she was certain of. It was too dark to be certain of course, so she laid there until the red tail lights disappeared down the track. She didn’t move until the lights had gone and she couldn’t hear the vehicle any longer. When she did move, she got up slowly, thinking any sudden movement would draw attention to her. The fact it was almost pitch black. It was a moonless night, with heavy cloud cover, it didn’t occur to her that she couldn’t be seen by anyone without a pretty strong torch light.
She started walking in the same direction the ute went, feeling quite safe. She walked all night. Before too long the sky in the East became lighter, she started to think about where she would hide during the day, well off the track she thought.
She walked up a small but steep rise in the road and once at the top, she looked down into a valley and saw the small house with a large unkempt shed, sheets of iron were falling off of it at different parts. A dirty prime mover was parked at the back.
The ute that passed her during the night was parked out front of the house. She walked down the road towards the house, and a single light came on shining out a small window at the back of the house, the bathroom thought Margarita, She heard music floating across the empty paddocks between her and the house. The house was starting to wake up she thought. The small light went out and she heard a door close at the back of the house.
Then she smelt it. Bacon being cooked. There is nothing like it, on the fresh chilly air in the morning, at day break, when you catch just a hint of the scent. She could see it her mind’s eye, sizzling in a frying pan, the eggs would be frying in a pan next to them, and how many times has she done that for the boys at breakfast, she wondered to herself. It was then she realized just how hungry she was.
She found a large tree next to the creek running through the bottom of the valley, made herself comfortable close to the edge of the creek, then found herself a cozy little nook, curled up, closed her eyes and dreamed of that bacon.
It was a cold wet nose that woke her. Hearing a panting and feeling a wet tongue lick at her face, she waved it away from her face and gradually opened her eyes. The hunger pains were as they were when she fell asleep. She heard the dog bark, it ran off barking, then came running back barking even more, as excited dogs do. Margarita sat and watched it through her sleepy eyes. She had no idea of the time and still felt tired. The sun wasn’t high yet so she thought it was still early morning. So curled up into the fetal position and went back to sleep. It wasn’t the dog or the flies that woke her next but a dark shadow. And a kick to the sole of her foot. Not a hard or sharp kick but a gentle one, one that you give someone to wake them without startling them.
“Hey girly, what are you doing here?” said a grumpy voice. Margarita sat up but the person had the sun behind them so she couldn’t see izmit eve gelen escort or make out any facial features. She didn’t recognize the voice so she knew she was safe. Whoever it was, they were tall. Over six foot tall, closer to 6’6″ she thought.
“Well” She was asked again. “Sorry, I was just having a nap.” Margarita replied.
“Oh my, that is one hell of a shiner you have there, where did you get it?” she was asked. As a hand came down towards her.
She flinched and shied away, covering her head. “WOW, you have nothing to fear from me child, I’m not going to belt ya, I was only offering to give you a hand up.” Said the voice, which had now taken on a softer tone.
“Sorry,” she said again, “I’ll get on my way.” As she took the hand, which was strong, powerful, a workingman’s hand, except the he was a she. The big woman, stood back and asked. “Where ya going?”
“As far away from here as I can get.” Said Margarita. As she stood up her full height wasn’t even five foot tall yet.
“Make’s sense if they gave you a black eye. I take it you came off second best? Geez there isn’t much of you girly?”
She nodded as she shielded her eyes from the morning sun. Then picked up her shoulder bag. As the blue heeler came racing back and barked at her, then run off, Margarita held out her hand as the dog came close and rubbed its head against her knee. She patted the dog, rubbing behind its ears, the dog was putty in her hands.
“Seems like you have at least one friend in old Bluey.” The large woman stated. “And he is a pretty good judge of character. You look like you could do with a feed? When did you last eat? Are ya hungry?” She was asked all at once.
Margarita nodded and a weak smile came across her lips. “Well I don’t have much, but happy to share it with you.”
“Thank you. I really appreciate it, I have some money to pay you, if you want?” Came the soft reply.
“Did I ask you to pay for it, No I didn’t, so keep your money, I think you’ll need it more than I do. Come on, I’ll give you a decent feed before you get on ya way.”
The walked off in the direction of the house, by the creek, with the old ute parked out the front and an old prime mover parked out the back. With an old worn out shed, with the corrugated iron falling off of it. But to Margarita it looked like heaven here on earth. And this old, burly, grouchy looking woman, looked like an angel.
They walked down the hill, the older woman, in front, her hands in her pockets. Bluey was scarpering around, barking, as if to be saying something to Margarita. Then came running back to her, woofing, and running off again.
“That dog has really taking a liking to you.” She said as she walked on ahead. “By the way I’m Stella.” She stated over her shoulder.
“Hi Stella, I’m Margarita.”
The house was small. A front room, with a motor bike in pieces. A kitchen come eating area, you really couldn’t call it a dining room, the table was from the 1950’s, as were the chairs. The cooker was electric, unclean, unkept, and it smelt of burnt food. The sink was full of unwashed dishes and plates.
Margarita turn her nose up as she looked around the small house. She looked at the motor bike in pieces in what was at one time someone’s lounge room. A TV was in the corner, also from the 1960’s, it was a small wooden box a 12″ screen, with 4 legs, complete with an internal antenna. A couch with bike parts spread out on it.
Cobwebs hung from the light fittings, it was clear to Margarita that Stella was no house keeper.
“I have bacon n eggs or you can have eggs with your bacon.” said Stella. “I haven’t had the weekly grocery stuff dropped off yet.”
As she stood in the kitchen, and was looking around, her stomach grumbled. “Either or” she said “Or both.” She added with a laugh.
Those were the only two rooms that she looked at. It was tired, old and she was glad of its sanctuary. It didn’t take Stella long to throw a few rashes of bacon in a frying pan and 3 eggs in another. As Stella was busy at the stove, she pointed with a nod of her head towards a door at the other end of the room.
“If you need the loo, it’s in there.”
“Thank you, I think I should.” She replied. The bathroom was no different to the rest of the house. The toilet and bathroom were all in one and not big at all. At least it was clean and fresh. The actual bath was stained and dirty, but the shower alcove was clean. She wondered to herself, how a person could live like this.
She washed her hands but found the towel to be damp and dirty, in need of some washing and general cleaning. She wiped her hands on her dress and returned to the kitchen. There waiting for her was a plate full off bacon and eggs, she had options of Heinz tomato sauce or cracked pepper as compliments.
The smell of freshly cooked bacon and eggs, made her grateful for the upcoming feed.
“Fancy a coffee or a beer” she was asked.
“A bit early izmit otele gelen escort in the day for a beer,” she said to Stella, who laughed and told her “Well, by my book it is after 4 somewhere in the world, I would think.” They both laughed.
“Coffee it is then.”
Margarita started to eat under the watchful of Bluey, who sat herself right in her line of sight, licking her lips every so often. Stella looked on as she demolished her meal.
She came over rested a hand on her shoulder, as she put the cup of coffee in front of her. Margarita looked up, smiled and wiped her mouth with an old tea towel handed to her.
“Do you live here on your own?” She asked. Which got a nod from Stella and a mumbled “yeah”
Margarita picked up her plate, knife and fork took them to the sink and began to fill the sink with water. “What are you doing girly?” she was asked abruptly.
“The least I can do is clean up after myself, since you won’t let me pay you for my breakfast.”
“No need to, I can manage it.” Came the reply.
“Well I am use to doing the dishes after eating, so I would feel bad if you don’t let me. I don’t like feeling bad, so if it’s OK by you I would really want to wash up after myself.”
“OK. You can clean up if ya want. I have to do some work out in the shed. You’ll find cleaning stuff in the laundry. But don’t touch any of my bits and pieces in the front room, I know where everything is.”
And with those instructions, Margarita started to repay her grumpy benefactor. She started in the Kitchen, washing dishes, with no hot running water, she boiled water in a saucepan and filled the sink, topped it up with some cold water and went about doing the dishes.
She then decided that the bath needed scrubbing and then washed the floors. She found a soft broom and cleared the light fittings of the cobwebs. And started to clean the stove, she opened the front of the oven and nearly threw up. It was putrid, how on earth did she live like this, she thought to herself.
She had scrubbed the stove and oven until it was gleaming. Same with the bath and shower alcove. She had washed the floors, and wiped down the cupboards. The place hadn’t had such a decent cleaning, well since the last time it was done. At the end of it she was buggered.
She sat herself down at the kitchen table, laid her head on her arms and fell asleep. It was a sound sleep.
She felt a hand on her shoulder shaking her. “Hey, Margie girl, wake up.”
In an instant she was wide awake and sitting up straight, hands clasped in front of her on the table.
“WOW, settle pettle, relax sweetie. You jumped more than a startled rabbit being chased by old bluey there.” Who was still curled on the only rug in the house, not asleep but resting as old dogs do.
“I don’t think he has moved the whole time you have been here. I’ve had to step over him every time I’ve moved around the damn room. You must be special girly.”
Margarita stifled a yawn and looked at the dog. Who immediately got up, stretched and came over to her and rested her head on her lap.
“You didn’t hear the grocery guy turn up then?” She asked.
Yawning a second time she stretched her arms out and said “No, sorry, Stella. I didn’t hear a thing.”
“Well, what say I cook you a decent meal before sending you on your way?” Stella stated. Looking around the kitchen, she scratched her head and commented “You have certainly cleaned the place up a tad.”
“You don’t have to feed me you know, you have done more than enough for me already.” Replied Margarita.
“Well by looking at this kitchen and the stove, I think I am way in the red still as far as per payment goes. So a meal is the least I can do.”
“OK, but on one condition?” She asked.
“Oh and what’s that?”
“You let me cook it for you?”
Stella nodded, “Sure, you can cook, can’t you?”
“Yes I can cook” came the reply.
Stella pointed to the two large cardboard boxes on the cupboard, full of groceries. “Well that’s a week’s supply of food there, go your hardest.”
Margarita started by putting the food into the cupboards, she made a mental note, she will need to rearrange these cupboards next. Some of the food in here was so old they were about to walkout by themselves.
She searched the boxes for what she thought would make a half decent meal. There wasn’t a lot of variety in the groceries. Very bland, very plain, basic meals. She did her best and combined what she thought would be a fairly decent meal. Lamb chops, some boiled potatoes, veggies and a thick mushroom based gravy.
“You certainly know how to cook Margie.” Stella complimented her, patting her well proportioned stomach. Margarita smiled. “It was the least I could do.” She replied.
Stella run her hands through her hair then folded her arms all the while looking at her across the small kitchen table. Margarita blushed and looked away.
“Where did you say you were going to go?” Stella asked her.
“I’m not too sure, just as far as I can away from here. Sydney, Melbourne even.” She said.
“Running away to the big city hey, big dreams I guess?” Stella kept looking directly at her. Studying the black eye and the bruises on her arms and legs. “Margie, who did that to you and why?”