This morning I sipped a glass of orange juice in front of the TV in the staffroom at work.
“It’ll be lonely without us around from tomorrow, don’t you reckon?”
Patrick tossed a worn cricket ball between his hands, while Sloane was plaiting her hair while sitting at the staffroom table.
“It’ll be quieter, for sure,” Maryam remarked.
Lucy slipped into the staffroom.
“What’s happening out the front?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Apparently there’s a wasp infestation at the entrance.”
Lucy headed over to the fridge.
“It would feel cruel to kill them, but I gather that’s what’s happening.”
“Yes, as far as I’m aware” Sloane confirmed.
Lucy fetched a can of Fanta which she started to drink. I finished my juice and checked my watch, concluding that it was almost time to start. Just when I would have watched out into the store, Frank came in and called us together for an impromptu staff meeting. Everyone gathered around.
“As I’ve mentioned before, staff ID cards need to be updated. If you haven’t submitted a new photo, try to have it emailed by this Friday.”
We lingered, but that had seemed to be everything.
“Oh, and one other thing, we need to choose a new fire safety warden.”
Lucy raised her hand.
“Did I not do a good enough job or something?”
“No,” Frank insisted. “We just have to pick a new one for a new year.”
I volunteered, and he wrote down my name, with my explanation for the spelling.
With that, I was able to begin my shift on the checkout. Tallulah could work here, although there are closer supermarkets. It was a relatively uneventful day, other than the receipt printing machine starting to run out of ink. We’ll need to change the cartilage soon. At the end of the day, I headed into the staffroom, feet already sore and blistered.
“I really hope that you have a good day at school tomorrow,” I told Patrick and Sloane, while packing my bag ready to head home.
“Thank you,” he replied. “I’m sure we’ll make it through.”
“See you next time.”
Swinging my back onto my shoulder, I approached the exit and opened the door. I stepped out onto the landing. Squinting at the sky, I noticed dark clouds rolling in ominously, despite the brightness which rimmed them. I had my raincoat in my bag, so I figured that I would be fine to ride home. The trip’s only fifteen minutes. I hugged the building as I rode my bike back around to the carpark, at the front of the mall. Getting out of a four-wheel drive, I noticed Mary and the kids, the older ones in their school uniforms. I waved, although she didn’t see me, so I just continued on. Once I returned home, I called Tallulah to thank her for the dessert-dinner last night.
“You’re welcome,” she replied. “Just give me a second, I’m just turning the TV down.”
“I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics.”
“Oh, fantastic, I won’t keep you long. Listen, when you do finish at the café?”
“My last shift’s this weekend.”
“If you want help looking for another job, let me know.”
“Thanks, I put my CV into a bunch of places today, so hopefully that will sort itself out.”
By the time that I was finished on the phone, Dad had returned home from work. He was sitting on the lounge watching TV, and I ambled in during a Ranbuild sheds commercial.
“Do you reckon that we’d be able to buy materials for exhibits from them?”
“Yeah, probably. Listen, are you working on Thursday?”
“No, I’m not.”
“Ah, good,” Dad responded with a smile. “Bruce from the council is coming over then.”
“About the rezoning?”
“Yeah. They’ve got to inspect the land. Then, if we pass those checks, they’ll put it out to the community.”
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.