CLINT MALVERN

The school yard�s dense with bodies BUT I CAN'T HEAR A THING. No need to shout, a corona's hanging around her head. The silence of summer. Here we go, across the iron bridge and onto the sports oval. Grass whistle. I'm still asleep. Memory tastes of Vita Brits. Something snaps in my ear as the fog on Mt Nebo clears. Pressure. Younger morning. Raindrop fans on a jacaranda. Oil rainbows on the road. Then I get my best thinking done. So Figtree wakes up. I see it every day. Watch the streets change shape, grow. Trajectories of wet newspapers still visible to me, in the air. Energy of a little volcano, the one that feeds the sky with its extinct knob. Nebo. O'Briens Road like a trail of ants up its side. There's the water tank and the barbed wire fence. Its sign. The long strip of black tar leads to the high school far below, base camp. I rode down it once, without brakes, into American Creek. It�s flooding. This is the best, so untold. By this afternoon, I bet O'Briens Road will be under water. Mum tells me to shut up. She doesn't know. Does anybody? Try lighting a fire in a flood. Try what I tried. Curled up in a little ball, powerless to resist. Try this. Call me Clint. Yes, I'm the eldest. Not so easy to pick, at first glance. Hairdressers are a nightmare, so this summer I'm growing my hair long. Yep. As long as Melissa's. Meeting up with her, after tennis but maybe it's been cancelled. Underwater by now, I'd say. A ripple on the sports oval. The bell. It�s okay. Happens all the time. Well, you'd be surprised. I don't work out at all. Why I never make the team. No, really, it's okay. I'm used to it by now. It doesn't seem to make much of a difference to them. Never has. We're a family. Wonder where we'll go this summer. Dad's got the map out already. There�s the bell. I�d better run. Got to clear out the locker and transfer it all to mum's car. Easier that way. One period. Assembly. Lunch. Then two periods in the afternoon. Surely they can't expect us to do much, on a day like this. Mel's distracted. I see it in the way she sits there, thinking of our big assembly today. Sure. Bye now. Don't let me keep you waiting. Fog's nearly gone. Maybe it won't be so bad. Disappointing really. I'd have liked it to flood on my last day at school. Watch the pens and pencils flushed out of the classrooms, across the sports oval, into the churn of American Creek.

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