Daily Prompt, driving, events, humor, serial fiction, truck, writing

Outback Rescue: Sweeping Up

“First thing you need if you’re going to work for me is a phone that works all the way out here.” I said to Matthew once he hung up my phone having spoken to Mum and Dad about his plans, those same plans we hadn’t long ago discussed.

“What’s wrong with your phone, it means people can’t get hold of me directly.”

“Oh yeah I’m definitely going to be your secretary!” I replied quite happily poking my tongue out at him after saying it.

To his credit he had, without even hesitating, rang Mum and Dad and told them about his plan to live and work with me for a while. He even told them my deal and how I wasn’t employing him because I didn’t want him to give up his qualified job.

Dad’s response was exactly as I expected, cheerful, agreeable and supportive. He asked questions about why Matthew thought it was the right decision, he even asked how I felt about it, to which Matthew told him I was so elated I couldn’t talk! He wasn’t at all negative but he was asking questions until his mind was satisfied that Matthew’s choice was for the right reasons.

Mum on the other hand was a little different, she did eventually agree with and accept Matthew’s decision, without asking me how I felt, but it took a little bit more effort. Her first response was the predictable, “what about your expensive degree?” question but once she got over that it was a bunch of similar questions to Dad. There was a few extra questions like what he was going to do with his house, his furniture and other such things which I have to admit I didn’t think to ask but Matthew had an answer for all them too and eventually Mum accepted his decision, whether she agreed with it didn’t really matter.

“I have to give you credit, you’ve really thought about this move. All the while keeping it a secret from me.” I said to Matthew after he got up and moved the empty coffee mugs to the sink.

“What do you mean? You know why I kept hush about it for as long as I did. We went through this.”

“Yeah we did, but even you didn’t tell me about your house and stuff. That to me says you had been thinking about this move before you lob onto my doorstep looking for a bed.” I said playing with my phone that sat on the table in front of me.

“Oh that!” Matthew said turning from the sink and opening the fridge.

He bent down obviously deciding there was something in there that he wanted, then when I saw him stand up again I saw he had the big jug of water which I kept in there.

“Want a glass?” He asked, when I agree he bent down and got two glasses out of the fridge as well.

In case you’re wondering because I don’t keep a lot of food in the fridge I do keep half a dozen drinking glasses in there because there is nothing worse that getting a cold drink out of the fridge and putting the liquid into a warm glass.

Returning to the table Matthew poured two glasses of water then returned the jug to the fridge before coming back and sitting down at the seat he’d only minutes before vacated.

“I haven’t actually done any of what I told Mum.” Matthew said.

“What? You lied to your mother?” I said faking outrage. “I’m shocked! I can’t believe you did that! I’m going to ring her and tell her right now!”

“Settle down Princess, don’t go falling off your high horse.”

“Haha is that the best you can do?” I said with a smile.

“I’m tired. Someone kept me up all night.”

As it turned out Matthew told Mum what he thought she wanted to hear to get her on board with the plans that he had. He hadn’t rented out his house and put his furniture in storage, he hadn’t put all sorts of plans in place before leaving home too allow for his absence, he hadn’t even organised someone to mow his grass. They were all just things he’d told Mum to rest her mind that he wasn’t jumping to decisions he hadn’t thought about.

I have to give him a bit of credit for being able to come up with the stories so quick. I’m sure he’d given them some thought but at the same time I just couldn’t throw lines like that at Mum, anyone else was fair game but not Mum. Still it was a pretty harmless white lie and it was extremely unlikely that Mum was going to find out any different.

Having voiced his plans and actually had something relatively solid to base them on Matthew relaxed quite a lot, I could tell he was still tired but I could also tell there was a weight lifted from his shoulders. He promised me that as soon as he got back from Broome with his own car he’d start putting things in place to ensure his house was looked after, the grass was regularly cut and the mail picked up.

“So when are you going to pick up the car?” I asked.

“Tomorrow. If I leave by about five in the morning I can be there by about lunch time and back by tomorrow night sometime.” he replied.

“That’s a lot of driving in a single day.” I said.

“Yeah, but I am a big boy and I’m used to being wake for more hours of the day than I am asleep.”

“You know what I mean doofus!”

Of course he knew what I meant. It was about a seven hour trip to Broome, and while most adults are capable of staying awake for the fourteen hours, probably closer to sixteen given stops and stuff, spending all that time behind the wheel is a lot harder than simply being awake for that time. It’s even harder to do if you’ve had a crappy night’s sleep in the days leading up to such a trip.

“So, do you want to come for a drive to Broome with me tomorrow?” Matthew asked.

Previous Outback Story here.


  1. Keep glasses in the refrigerator?

    • A nice cold glass keeps the drinks cooler and in the heat of the outback you do what you can.

      Although in all honesty I don’t know anyone who does it these days other than motels. I don’t even know why I wrote it, I might have been thinking about cool glass, cooler drink, or I could have been thinking about making a specific word count!

      • I think some bars cool the glasses for beer, but with the new super Yeti’s my frozen margarita stays cold for a very long time.
        I think it was an interesting line … unusual … and I like unusual… : )
        Hint, hint …. my fascination with you!

        • I’ll go along with the beer glasses in bars thing, that sounds logical. Although to be honest I think it was probably just lazy writing, why have someone go to a cupboard and a fridge, make it easy on them and get everything in one place. Thankfully they weren’t cooking a roast chicken, they don’t cook well in a fridge 🙂

          You’re fascinated with me? ooooohhhhhh I wont tell anyone 🙂

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