True Blue #05 – “Back in the Saddle” (Part 5)

True Blue

Duncan stared out the window. Orange stretched from the horizon, interrupted only by shadows cast by the hills and ridges. Between them Wungurra sat as a cluster of roofs, so small yet so sparse.

Every mile dimmed the warmth of Les’s smile. “They couldn’t leave you rest,” the elder had lamented; “go on, save the world. I’ll be here.” Their embrace lingered, even from a distance.

By his side Little Rip slept, curled up on her back to feel the massage of engines. She kicked and whined with the turbulence, but fell back to sleep when it passed.

The hero gripped his seat. Skin against leather pulled with the tightness around his lungs. For every mile that scaled down his home the more he wound his shoulders and adjusted.

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True Blue #02 – “Back in the Saddle” (Part 2)

True Blue

Wungurra, Central Queensland

“Here, Rip!”

The old man leaned against the front post. A grey cattle dog came sprinting from the back shed and halted to a stop. She sat, looked up and panted with gaze fixed on the metal dish in her master’s hand.

“Come on, girl! Come get your tucker!”

Duncan set the dish on the planks and gave the dog a scratch on the back as she dived nose first into it. He smiled and shook his head; she was the same old pup she ever was, even though she’d outlived every one of her litter.

How old would she be now? Seven dog years to every human year made too many to count, not that it mattered. There was no better friend in the world and he wasn’t going to number her days this far down the track.

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True Blue #0 – “End of an Era”

True Blue

TEN YEARS AGO

“Excuse me. I have a meeting with the Prime Minister.”

The guard blinked, and blinked again. Somewhere in his maw something coherent was forming, but would fall apart by the end of his tongue. Persistent blinking did not aid him in his duty, nor did it transform the Union Jack stretched over tan biceps into something his pay grade could manage.

“You’re,” he stammered; the rest didn’t come.

“True Blue,” the man smiled behind his beard. “Blue to my mates, or Duncan.”

There was a quality to him that few men possessed; one that could be read from a glance. Skin like leather spoke of experience tempered by the wisdom of his silver locks smoothed on the sides. His smile sparkled and overpowered the shadow of his brow; anyone who knew to look might have seen eyes once so full of hope on posters and billboards without their typical luster.

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