First person in That Eye, the Sky 3: Sounds of the night

Sounds of the night


In this lesson’s snippet, we find Ort sitting at his desk at night. Time has passed; his dad should have been back by now. He’s supposed to be studying history (Burke and Wills, two early Australian explorers who died trying to traverse the continent) but instead he’s listening to the sounds outside and pretending not to be worried. 

The light slants down funny on my desk from the lamp Dad fixed up there on the wall. I should be doing Burke and Wills. They don't seem very bright blokes. Instead I'm listening to the night coming across from the forest – all small sounds like the birds heading for somewhere to stay the night, the sound of the creek tinkering low when everything gets quiet, the chooks making that maw-maw sound they do when they're beginning to sleep all wing to wing up under the tin roof of the chookhouse. Sometimes in the night I can hear their poop hit the ground it's so quiet. Sometimes it's so quiet, Dad says you can hear the dieback in the trees, killing them quietly from the inside. At night the sky blinks at us, always looking down.

The sounds of night aren't really what's keeping me from Burke and Wills, though. It's Dad. He's not back. But I'm not worried.

That Eye, the SkyTim WintonSource
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