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Ghostly Silence

Goomalling-Perth — 2000-06-04

On Sunday night at last I’m finished with writing. I say goodbye to my kind and lovable friends, Claudia and Angelika, and their perfect hospitality. It is dark as I drive through the streets of Perth. I’m in a hurry to reach our camp at Goomalling. The Great Eastern Highway is completely deserted and I hope that none of the kangaroos is going to jump in my way.

At a quarter to nine I reach our camp. To my surprise, there is no fire burning. I turn off the engine of the old Holden and listen for any sound, but there is a ghostly silence over the camp. Nothing, absolutely nothing to hear. Just two hours ago I was on the phone with Tom and we talked about his home-brewed beer and the T-bone steaks we were going to barbecue, and now the camp seems completely deserted. Not even Rufus comes running up to greet me in his usual effusive way. I sure hope nothing has happened! Terrible thoughts cross my mind. I open the car door carefully and let my gaze wander over our camp site. Everything looks quite peaceful. Then I check the fire place and find some wood still aglow. They must have gone to sleep already. „Tanja, Tanja!“ I call in a suppressed voice, whereupon I perceive a tired murmur from the direction of our tent. In great relief, I go to the tent and open the zipper. Tanja opens her sleepy eyes and welcomes me with a kiss. „We couldn’t wait any longer, we were too tired. You know that the evenings in the camp are often quite short.“ she whispers and falls back asleep immediately.

Day: 24

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