Due Date: 13/5/2013
Teacher: Mrs Wallace-Richards
Word Count: 1800 inclusive of rationale.
Task: Write the opening 1000-1200 words of a cosy school or hard boiled crime fiction novel (designed as short story)
Consider the features of the style you choose and apply your knowledge of the appropriate features of that style to introduce the novel. These features include such aspects as: characterisation (e.g. the detective; criminal; ‘femme fatale’); setting; nature of the crime; narrative perspective and language
‘Gumnuts’ ‘Chop, Chop, Smack’ goes the butcher’s knife. It is late at night, nine pm to be exact, the Mens Shed of the Gumnuts Estate are just finishing carving up the eighth beast of the day. Within the small shed we have a group of men sitting around a table playing poker. Harold; a butcher by trade, needs a hand picking up the final beast and putting it in the cool room. A misty fog is produced as the freezer door is opened, where Michael and Harold hurl the beast onto a hook so they can carve the beast in two weeks, giving the meat enough time to tenderise. Michael is Harold’s best mate; the pair of them are like two peas in a pod. They sit down and begin to play cards with the other lads in the group. Among the group seated includes Graeme. Graeme is one very hot headed man who will commonly just ‘snap’ at people for unknown reasons. Michael is what we often refer to as a very calculating man who often lies to benefit himself with his pride and joy being his sausage making skills.
Alfred, also a member of the Gumnuts Mens Shed walked in ten minutes prior to finishing butchering for the day. Alfred is an elite soldier in the Australian Army where none of the crew is truly aware of his past. Prior to his conscription ‘Fred’ was a Tax Collector from Liverpool in the United Kingdom. The fifth member of our group is Anthony who is a tradesman who works for himself and takes no interest in anyone else’s affairs except his own. He is the snobby member of the group and is more part of the crew as moral support. The final member of our group is Dallas. A most intriguing character who joined the resident Mens Shed group two years ago. As far as anyone can tell Dallas is currently the resident Gangster of Gumnuts, taking up residence in the abandoned Gumnuts Gold Town a year ago.
The 9th of June 2008 sees an excessively freezing winter hit Gumnuts. On this particular day cloud is covering low, the chill factor produced with the icy cold rain and wind made the world feel isolated. It is not an uncommon practice for the community members to stock up on food supplies and other necessities during the winter season. Gumnuts is elevated 1500 metres above sea level at all points in the community. All roads become blocked off and nothing can get in or out due to the excessive flooding that occurs. Essentially Gumnuts stays completely flood free because all the water runs off the eastern edge that slopes down slightly. Two young men sixteen years of age; Dylan and Richard, locals of Gumnuts and also sons of Dallas and Anthony, were hiking through the abandoned Gold Mine on this cloudy and wintery day. They notice an oddly fouled scent that has carried through the thick shrub that surrounds the old miners’ huts and the open cut mine. The boys venture through into the thick shrub hacking away at the five feet tall grasses with their machetes. They begin to smell what seems to be off meat, believing it is a dead Kangaroo, they begin slashing through the wavy grass. Continuing through the dense shrub filled bush of the gold mine the boys come to an odd clearing where a barrel sits. Surrounding the barrel the distant buzz of flies can be heard as well as the revolting sight of crawling maggots through its rusty holes. The pounding rain hitting the muddy floor overhanging with gum leaves creates ghostly shadows that tingle their spines. Their shirts are slowing being pulled up further over there…