Strange Taste, Pt 20 - need

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

The need for Georgie to find love grew inside her heart like hunger gnawing at the belly of a starving war-child.

The need for Georgie to find love grew inside her heart like hunger gnawing at the belly of a starving war-child. It didn’t help that her life had no sense of purpose, pre-conceived plan, or career path. Georgie was a farm girl, pure and simple. At least, she was pure when she lived in Adelaide. She dreaded the prospect of returning to her sheltered existence in Rose Grove House, a short walk from the girls’ church school she attended from the age of four. The beautiful Church of St Mary the Virgin where they worshipped every Sunday. Adelaide was famous for its beautiful churches.

Her thoughts returned to her controlling mother, the birch-strict upbringing that she had imposed on Georgie since her childhood. The prayers before and after meals. Prayers at bedtime. Prayers of thanks for the sun, the soil, the wind and rain. Prayers for her dead father (how she missed frolicking in the hayloft with Dad). Even prayers for his dearly departed sheep. Since her dad’s death, her mother had exerted a fanatical control over Georgie. With that control came punishment: smacking her daughter’s bare bottom if she refused to eat her greens, washing her mouth out with carbolic soap if the girl blasphemed. She’d even taken her husband’s stock whip to Georgie’s back on the occasions when the girl feigned sickness in a vain attempt not to go to the overly religious school.

The prohibitive mental and physical abuse Georgie endured behind closed doors as a child had left her emotionally scarred. Then, at the age of sixteen, when she grew into a young woman, she dared to answer back, to fight and question Rachael, who soon diminished and shrank. Frightened of losing her authority, of her daughter’s recriminations, the risk of being exposed as her child’s abuser, Rachael threatened to send her to a convent, where she could repent of her sins in silence. Georgie told her mother to go to Hell. Unless Rachael wanted to read about her sins in the local newspaper, or hear them aired on local radio, or have them raised like red hate-flags in front of the churchgoing neighbours, she would set her daughter free to see the world. The die was cast, their umbilical cord cut; there was no going back. Rachael paid for Georgie to travel to Europe. She never expected to see, or hear from, her daughter again. In return, the young woman vowed to stay silent.

That was the problem. Georgie had booked a twenty-nine-hour flight to Sidney, stopping over at Bahrein and Singapore, on a new Qantas Boeing 747 despite knowing there could be no going back. She left the crowd of tourists seated around the Victoria Memorial, wandering into Green Park to find a shady tree, a grassy patch, time, and space to think.


Submitted: January 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 HJFURL. All rights reserved.

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