Peter sat on his haunches as he watched Rory walk across the back paddock. Mosquitoes sang their mournful lament, and he was in no mood to slap them once they landed on his flesh. He was sure Rory hadn’t seen him beneath the lemon tree.
He pondered the strangeness of his youngest child. Peter was sure he had something resembling a doll in his arms. Not a proper doll, but one he had seemed to have made from a toilet roll. He had seen a crude drawing of a face.
Rory was odd and always shut off from the world. Peter assumed it was a voodoo doll. Had the face been his own and these small stabs he felt the result of pins being stuck into the doll?
Rory stopped and looked around at the soil. He was like a dog finding the perfect place to take a shit.
He carefully placed the doll on the ground and Peter now felt a tinge of fear. Was his own son going to stomp down on the doll and somehow the sturdy lemon tree would crash down, crushing him?
He seemed to arrange it in some perfect way.
And then, in an instant, he bolted from the doll. Rory was all arms flailing as he distanced himself.
An almighty explosion mushroomed, and then a minor flash. The voodoo doll sprung up about two metres before disintegrating in a bubble of mashed toilet paper.
Peter felt his heart race and knew he, too, would explode.