Words: 50 000
Stage: Printed – Limited Edition/Leather Bound
Synopsis: Sam’s unplanned journey begins at the age of eight. His days playing around with his unusually advanced mind and imagination in gardens, garages and goodness knows where else are instantly swapped for time spent in brightly lit corridors with a handful of characters at a hospital ward as he watches over his comatosed father bringing him home-made pikelets to eat every Friday until he ‘wakes up’. In this new adult existence Sam faces life head on which he embraces with charisma, compassion, intelligence and almost always in a pair of favourite footy boots. Sam’s father recovers briefly from his coma and reminds his son to find what he wants most in life. However, it is only until Sam reaches one very specific corner of the globe more than 15 years later that he discovers this answer through a person named Satra.
Excerpt: For days Sam would come home and watch and wait. The sprinklers would come on and begin their dance around the lawn spreading fresh spring water around the yard. It only took two days but he had memorised exactly what the sprinklers were going to do, where and when. What an accomplishment. His days in the woods had certainly paid off. Mother Nature had given him some great lessons and he had remembered these well. Now it was time to act.
Slowly and every so gently Sam slid is much-loved footy boots along the soaked patches of grass and watched every pulse of the trigger head spitting out water this way and that. Their movements were building to a crescendo and he knew that any second now the routine would be over. It was like waiting for a time bomb to explode. Sam’s eyes zeroed in on one of the sprinkler heads and he counted out the remaining movements he had memorised. Then at the very last tick of the trigger his hand smashed through the final spurt of water and with his fingers whipping through the air he harnessed the head of the sprinkler as if his five phalanges were talons belonging to a huge wedge tail. He hung on. With an ear almost to the ground Sam could hear the water retreating back through the reticulation system. All the other sprinkler heads had successfully retreated back to the dug outs except for one. There on his neighbour’s lawn Sam laid drenched in sweat and water and the stench of fresh fertiliser. In his hand he held the head. It was the casing of one of the sprinkler triggers that he had eye-balled for days. He unfolded his tightly wrapped fingers from the lifeless contraption and let it rattle and roll in his hand with all its mechanical clips and nozzles. He did it. It was a strange looking piece of construction. A simple but effective tool made up of special pieces that all played a particular part. Now, those pieces lay in Sam’s bare hand. He had broken one of his neighbour’s sprinklers but had also done it successfully and skilfully. That was an achievement even though the man from next door was mortified as he peered down at Sam through his heavily thickened prescription glasses that made him look like a mad scientist. He never said anything just grunted and walked back into his three-storey house after straightening his front door mat that had the words My Castle stitched into the mesh. Sam had never seen his neighbour much before and thought he should hand over his claim from the garden. But he was overjoyed and wanted to learn a little more about what made this trigger tick.
Dragging his wet socks and footy boots up off the wet grass Sam believed the sprinkler trigger might just have some intriguing answers to offer his curiosity. He trudged up the stairs of his parent’s house leaving big drips and drops all the way up the stair case, into the foyer and down the hallway to his bedroom. There facing his work bench hearing the occasional droplet from his drenched t-shirt fall like a thud to the carpet Sam laid the contraption down carefully. It toppled out his hand as if it were glad to have stopped working while Sam gazed at the device ready to engineer his next phase.