A large vegetable patch surrounded a sorry looking shed beside a cow mill with a blade missing. Two figures stood in the garden discussing the discrepancies of the garden. One was a younger girl, about twenty, and another was an older man, sixty. Rachel slowly squeezed a forlorn and rotten looking avocado in her hand, ignoring the dribbles and brown goo that spurted through her fingers and smeared down her wrist, onto her blue flannel shirt, the same exact flannel shirt that she'd worn everyday to help her father beg and plead with the stupid and helpless infertile soil grow a fucking avo. Let alone a bloody vegetable patch. The whole entire grocery store of the backyard was failing, the rain came plenty of times, Rachel made sure to give the whole garden a generous helping of mulch and gentle handling. Still, no tree or vegetable grew or lived without either insect invasion or mold.

"Dad, it's not the soil's fault" Rachel looked up at her seven foot tall father, "we just need to use insecticide"

"Insecticide?" he snorted, grabbing the avo from Rachel, "This better not have had been a ripe one!"

"No, Dad, it was brown and soft before I squeezed it" Rachel wiped her hands on the browned grass.

"Nobody wants to eat chemicals, we can't cart off a bucket of vegetables to the stores covered in chemicals!"

"Woolworths waxes the apples on show. That's why they're so shiny and clean looking" Rachel explained, walking with him towards the shed that called itself a house, it was tiny and only had five rooms. The vegetables got better care than the guest bathroom. And the veggies still complained.

"And I don't touch those bloody apples covered in wax, Nobody should. It's plastic"

Rachel shrugged, walking inside, seating herself on the couch, beside her brother and best friend watching a news report with wide-open eyes, mouths agape.

"You two look like you're watching a porno" Rachel giggled, tying up her brown curly hair

"I didn't know dudes looked at porn with horror" Charlie laughed, donkey brown eyes peeling away from the screen, running a hand through his muddy coloured mop of hair, causing it to stick up in wild angles.

"I would" Rachel laughed, ignoring her brother's snort of laughter.

"Listen" Rob, Rachel's brother, pointed to the screen, his sunburned face crumpling in shock as the news reporter spoke in her bored and tired voice.

…Scientists have discovered what gives lizards the ability to regrow their dismembered tails.


Rachel leaned against the side of the shed, arms folded, looking at what seemed to be Charlie wrestling a twig that called itself a lemon tree back upright.

"Give up, Charlie" Rachel laughed, watching as the city boy huffed and grunted with effort, eventually he stood and swatted the tree with his foot in annoyance.

"This is much harder than keeping my room tidy" Charlie scowled, dusting off dirt from his black oversized sweater "sorry"

"Don't be sorry" Rachel laughed and wandered over to flick him on the shoulder playfully, "Your diligence will pay off somewhere else"

"Thank you" Charlie looked mock insulted, "maybe somewhere else, like maybe climbing a tree to eat the friggin fruit?"

"Or paying taxes" Rachel offered

"That too" he shrugged, slowly turning around after hearing the lemon tree creek slowly to the side and thump back into the ground with a soft plop. "ARE. YOU. BLOODY. KIDDING. ME!"

"Want to vent over Grand Theft Auto?" Rachel suggested

"MOST DEFINITLY!" Charlie roared in the same angry voice from earlier, "LETS MOW DOWN TREES!"

"I believe the word" Rachel walked beside him, arm around his, "is INNOCENT BYSTANDERS!"

"THAT TOO-" Charlie was cut off when Rachel's brother stuck his head out the filthy window out front

"STOP BLOODY SCREAMIN'! I'm TRYING TO STUDY FOR THE HSC!" Rob hollered, school uniform pristine in comparison to the rest of the environment, "You fucking city dwellers don't understand the struggles of rural students!"

Laughing, the two best friends went inside and sat on the couch, the news from the day before far from their minds. Charlie glanced at Rachel quietly, smiling at just about how perfect his own life was. Rachel looked back, still chuckling from before.

"Your turn to play Trevor" Rachel answered Charlie's smirk as they sat down on the brown leather couch indoors

"Promise me you won't run off with some crazy blonde wannabe badass axe murderer" Charlie smiled back

"I believe…" Rachel giggled, "The correct quote uttered was died blond wannabe goth"

"Whatever, the movie was still funny" Charlie laughed, "I reckon the books were better according to the internet"

"I'm not going to run off with some dude" Rachel laughed

"What if you do? What if you grow tired of having your city lifestyle family friend only coming over for the holidays? What if you meet this smashing guy from your rural school way cooler than me?" Charlie felt himself redden from his own complaining

"If I do, you're still going to be my best mate" Rachel held his hand, "And I hope the game for you when you meet some dashing hot girl in the city… probably looking good in uniform"

Charlie felt himself redden under his collar, "Yeah, I'll be sure to not forget my friend"

Gunfire rang out, causing the duo to look up from their longing loos into one another's eyes, hands flying from each other's grasp, in the air in terror.

"Refuse order and get shot!" a voice hollered into a megaphone, the faint whirr of a helicopter in the background

"Charlie Pelican!" another voice roared, "Your father wants you to return to his office!"

Rob thundered down the stairs, screaming, eyes wide, face white, dashing out the door, into the paddock, where Rachel and Charlie followed, to see a bloody and motionless heap that called itself Rachel and Rob's father.

"Stand down!" the PA user hollered, the helicopter lowering itself into the paddock

"What the fuck! You just shot someone" Charlie screamed in terror, watching five men get out the helicopter and advance on them.

"You're coming with us" a man in an FBI jumper clapped Charlie on the wrist

"No, leave me alone!" Charlie shouted, yanking his wrist off

"Do not resist" jumper deadpanned, gripping his wrist tightly, "Obey the legislation. If you do what old man did fifteen minutes ago, you will all die. Please cooperate"