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As soon as my alarm went off, I snoozed it. I must have drifted back off to sleep. It went off again nine minutes later, this time waking me up more flustered, even though I still had time to get to work without being late. I could faintly here the television on in the loungeroom.

“Would you like breakfast before work?” Mum offered when I wandered out there.

Usually, I would have said that it was fine, not wanting to burden her. Mum isn’t going back to work until next week, though. Therefore, I smiled as I checked my watch and pulled up a stool to the kitchen island.

“That would be lovely, thank you. I have a little bit of time to eat.”

Mum prepared yoghurt and muesli, with raspberries on top.

“Thanks,” I replied, as she handed it to me. “This looks absolutely incredibly delicious.”

“You’re welcome,” Mum responded, while I ate as fast as I could.

“Have you spoken to Nanek today at all?” I enquired between mouthfuls.

“Not today yet,” she answered. “It would be too early, with the time difference.”

The throbbing of my head was evidence I hadn’t adjusted.

“I’ll ring her later, of course,” Mum pledged.

Once I finished my breakfast, she reached for my bowl.

“Here, I’ll wash it up for you.”

“Thank you,” I gushed, looking at my watch again. “I’d best be off for work.”

“Have a good day,” Mum farewelled me, with a kiss on the cheek.

“Thank you.”

I raced out the door. Mentally, I ran through everything which I needed for the day. Bag. Bike. Helmet. All sorted, I cycled to work in a daze. Upon arrival, I chained up my bike where I usually do, then headed in through the back door to the staffroom.

“Good morning,” Patrick greeted me, sipping from his coffee. “Look what the cat dragged in.”

I offered a weak smile and closed the door behind me.

“Thanks for covering while I was away,” I responded. “It’s good to be back.”

I made my way across the staffroom, to dump my bag.

“Trust me,” Patrick remarked, standing up to get on with the day. “We’re lost without you.”

I offered him a smile and followed him out into the supermarket. My legs were already heavy, before the day at work had even started, but I knew that I just needed to get through the day. I still don’t think that Patrick knows the full story, but I’ll tell him, some day.


Jumilah Fioray is a recent high school graduate from lutruwita, Tasmania. Her parents, Catherine and Adriano Fioray, met at the University of Melbourne in the 1990s and returned to Hobart after finishing their degrees, where they raised their daughter and worked in agriculture. Jumilah's passion for conservation reflects her grandparents' work running a sanctuary in Sumatra.

Abbey Sim is the founder of Huldah Media. She is a creative writing, law and theology student who lives on the lands of the Dharug people in Sydney, Australia. Abbey has long had a passion for the weird and the wonderful of stories, sport and zoo animals. 'From the Wild' is her first anthology.

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