Gatehouse Blues

The dusking coastal sky glows blood-orange and indigo over the port.  A discordant industrial symphony trips 24/7 – except when cyclones and incidents halt production – shattering the original hum of the country.  Trains shunt like viciously-whipped xylophones; conveyor alarms suddenly scream; substations drone infernal; percussive plate metal clashes; airborne dust churns and turns into chaotic red clouds. 

 A busload of work-weary contractors prepares to exit site, driving back to camp after 12 hours under a punishing sun.  Up ahead at the gatehouse they sight Daisy, the cute new static security guard, kept busy ensuring compliance.  She is firm but fair, and – inadvertently – a serial heartbreaker.  She routinely suffers these restless men in the communal mess, where they surreptitiously appraise her, sniffing the pheromone-filled air, too timid to make a direct move. 

 Fresh meat.

 Mick is the designated driver and serial smart arse.  He’s the leader of the pack, informally elected to push buttons and boundaries.  He loves taking the piss.  The transported crew are engaged in personal pursuits:  texting, dozing, reading stick mags, sucking on phallic cans of ‘Mother’, which is their ill-advised excuse for a fatigue-management plan.

 Mmm…that’s a big Mother…

 Mick delicately arranges the numerous swipe cards into a flared fan, and deftly registers them at the electronic card reader.  He greets Daisy with a carefully-crafted question that he has been savouring all week, saving it up just for her.  He moves it around in his mouth like a therapeutic lozenge.  Maybe it quenches his thirst.  Maybe it pacifies him. He finally spits it out, cathartic.

Was that you in that biker magazine?                                                    

Which one?  I’ve been in a few.  

The Christian one.         

No.  That was my look-alike lesbian lover.

I didn’t think you’d be in a Christian magazine.

 The bus speeds offsite, raising the red dust that infiltrates everything:  their eyes, their lungs, their hair, their skin, their clothes, their tools, their dreams.  She stirs their latent male desire for kinky threesomes. 

 You want me to do what?

 The next lucky busload of dusty miners delights in her melodious laughter.

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One Response to “Gatehouse Blues”
  1. Laura Piccinno Laura Piccinno says:


    this piece of writing has a real cinematic quality about it. As I read I feel as if am there in the bus.
    The dialogue is realistic and believable.
    Good stuff!

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