Decoyed by orthodoxy

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  • Published 20060203
  • ISBN: 9780733315480
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

Veritee watches the familiar sight of one or other of her parents’ backs as it disappears. Separately or together. Bebe and Larry, down the hall, the steps, down the path, its concrete crumbled … weeds thick in the cracks. Down the street, the city, the state, down Australia, down the world, down the universe. In summers edgy with heat, slatted cool in the shade; winters sliced with cold. Seasonal birds to swoop in arcs, spiral in thermals, gust away to specks.

Normal. Off and away from the chaos they’ve made of Veritee’s universe. Larry, his flesh solid, face impassive if he deigned to look back, Bebe’s body brittle on tottering heels, skin taut at her eyes, expression brittle. Unbrittle, her daughter supposes, when they meet up with friends, acquaintances, anyone. Where her mother extends soft hands she creams – left over right, left over right – day and night. Where he bulges with laughs, all bonhomie, mouth wide open, wine-stained teeth.

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