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What would you do if a beautiful woman confronted you, told you she was a witch, and asked you to help her in a desperate battle to help save the world from destruction? It happened to Shaun Spencer, and his life was changed forever.
Dalwood Crescent could never be called a quiet road. Broad, winding up through the outskirts of one of the newer suburbs, it lies ready to carry most any kind of fleeting vehicle on its back for the few seconds necessary to shift from one place to another. Vehicles fly up and down the road constantly, especially at night—throaty, growling transport often driven by young hoons eager to please some underage soon-to-be-ex-virgin. Typically, she’ll be writhing in the passenger seat, quivering in an ecstasy of fear and anticipation as the hoon screams the car through the curves.
The houses lining the street are absolutely normal—simple living places. There’s not a vastly expensive mansion to be seen; they’re exactly the sort of place where you or I would live. I did live there for a while, and I first became conscious of the problem looming for Darwin when I decided I needed to live somewhere else.
It all came together as a warning for me way back in 1986, around the time of the Northern Territory election, in June.
Apart from what was to happen, it wasn’t a good time for me, my family or the Territory. There’d been several years of Australia-wide depression; and even though things were picking up nationally, the Territory lagged, as it usually did. Someone once said northern Australia did better than the rest of the country when it came to being lucky. They were wrong—what happens is that trouble takes longer to reach that part of the world. By the time it starts to bite in the Territory, the rest of the country’s starting to pick up again. Ho-hum, anyway—who cares about economics?
I was driving a ’dozer on a big construction site, one of the Gold Coast-style canal estate developments investors were trying to bring into Darwin. Not a very auspicious kind of work, but it was a living and I didn’t have to think about it much.
I wasn’t thinking about anything much. My only kid had died of leukemia five months before, after reaching the astonishing age of six. Two months after that my wife decided to freshen up her miserable existence by swapping me for a new man, one who wasn’t climbing into a bottle to try and get his daughter back from the grave. We’d been a happy family until a year before, when Jody was diagnosed. Her real name was Justine, after my wife’s mother, but she’ll always be…always was Jody to me.
Yeah, we were happy. We had everything going for us. I was making a big success playing the markets, building on a lump of dough my old man willed me. We had our modest house on Dalwood Crescent, and a block at Howard Springs we were planning to build on—we’d even talked to architects about it.
Mirielle, who was my beautiful French wife a million years ago, was working for an advertising company part-time, and she had them by the balls, she was so good. Then the rogue cell sank its teeth into Jody, and we turned from the get-ahead family into a brittle travesty of the famed Australian Good Life. Sure, we kept up appearances for a few months, especially when Jody had a remission. But soon, when she’d lost all her hair and most of her teeth, when she was bleeding from her gums and when she threw up any food we could force down her, it wasn’t a fun game anymore.
The Lord, such as he is, took Jody at three o’clock one Thursday morning. I can still hear the emptiness when she stopped breathing. The nurse—there was no reason for a doctor to be there, there was nothing he could do—simply looked up from the book she was reading, then stood and placed a hand on Jody’s neck for a moment.
“She’s gone,” she whispered.
Mirielle was sitting next to me in one of those arse-numbing, bone-hard, shit-brindle-coloured hospital chairs. She stood and walked over to Jody, touched her hand to my child’s dead face, then turned to me. Her face was hard, sunken with shadows from the worry and the frustration of being unable to help the kid.
“Take me to the house.”
“The premise is good and the technology, what I know of it and researched, is solid and exciting. A number of tense moments brought me to the edge of my seat and had me turning pages like mad. I recommend this book with the caveat that the reader may not get what they expect in some ways. In others, they will get much more.”
Reviewed by Melodee Aaron, My Book Cravings
"Hurtling to Oblivion is a tricky little book. It sucked my emotions in right away with its straight-from-the-headlines talk of disaster and eco-terrorism, corporate giants out for a dollar at everybody's expense, and callous disregard for Mother Earth. I was primarily outraged that the author seemed to be writing to instill panic in the readership, just like CNN: It's a disaster! They're not telling us anything! Be very AFRAID!
Then enter the Wiccans. I was impressed with the factual, gentle introduction to Wicca by a purported outsider. His representation of Selena Krael is strong and sure, sexy and determined, like many heroines. She isn't a weirdo, just a little prescient, tuned in to her surroundings and she is willing to take chances to try to prevent the destruction of the natural environment of Darwin." – Beth Ellen McKenzie, MyShelf.com
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 386
Paper Weight (lb): 16.0
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