In the adjacent bathroom she kneels over the bathtub again, taking each doll and quickly kissing them through her tears. ‘Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.’ With both little hands she turns on the steely tap, adjusting the water so only some trickles out. She can’t stand the thought of one giant wave shocking them, annihilating them. They begin to float, gently bumping into one another. *** Bojana can barely breath in the heated and overstuffed beetle chugging down the Sturt Highway. It has no air-conditioning or radio. She winds down her window to draw some air. She’s careful not to stick her head out, her mum always warns her that an invisible man with a big sword will lop it off. But she rests Honey and Barbie on the window’s edge and admires how their hair flies. The highway’s flooded with headlights this night, crowded with fast cars, many towing caravans. Bojana doesn’t know that hundreds and hundreds of migrant families just like hers have packed their belongings and are fleeing Adelaide in a panic. Some have even sold their homes. With little grasp of the English language, they’ve been spooked by media reports of a combined tidal wave and earthquake reportedly set to wipe out the entire city at lunch time the next day, January 19, 1976. One of Honey’s red shoes soars off into the night, and then the other. Devastated by her loss, Bojana hugs her dolls and cries herself to sleep. ***
Our creative writing anthology.