The Last Stand Down - part 1

Updated: Aug 28, 2021

July 15th, 2014, 5.00 am, Uluru, Australia

The pale Englishman unfurled from his desert tent, the shy morning sun glowed orange on the horizon and on his slightly balding pate.

“We’ve done it, Joan! By jove, we’ve done it!” he exclaimed, stretching his arms to the naked sky.

“Mmm,” murmured the body in the sleeping bag as it turned over.

“Right,” he said to the spiders doing their morning constitutional over the red sand.

“G’day mate!”

He spun round and too fast, wobbling uncertainly, his sleep-weakened senses still warming up. Strong arms grabbed him. Stood him upright.

“Struth! You okay, mate?” asked the paunchy, Akubra-hatted fellow from one of the other six tents scattered among the spinifex grass.

“Aah, yes, I think so,” stammered Arthur Bayly, adjusting his spectacles. He still hadn’t become used to people greeting him without being properly introduced.