The sun had set but the sky was a still clear. The autumn nights were colder now and fuel was expensive, so the sticks that Jean Smith was gathering at the edge of the bush would cook an evening meal -and keep Gilbert and her warm through the night.The huge farm they worked for on was over 300 kilometres from the nearest city of Perth. Strangers hardly ever came this way.
That was why Jean seemed to puzzled. She felt there was one or something nearby, watching her.She looked over her shoulder carefully, and around her carefully.
There was no one in sight. Apart from the scrub bushes, it seemed impossible for any one to hide. The blank, dark windows of her wooden cabin stared out at her. They were empty.She shivered and bent forwards to pick up just a few more handfuls of wood before she made her way home. And as she bent she herd a whisper of something fly past her neck. A moment later it hit the ground with a heavy thud.
Jean didn’t wait to see who was throwing stones at her. She didn’t need. She already knew there was some one there.
The women clutched her precious twigs to her chest and ran for the cottage. At her back she could feel something chasing her. There was no way she was going to turn back and look.Wood spilled on the porch as she scrabbled at the door handle and tumbled into the cabin. Her husband looked up, wide-eyed, and saw his wife scatter the wood on the floor, slam the door and standing with her back facing it. A moment later something heavy crushed into the door and almost splintered the wood.”Spirits!” Jean hissed.
“Evil spirits!”Gilbert jumped up from his chair and wrapped a comforting arm her shoulder. “No, Jean. We have something to upset the spirit. Its more likely to be one of the shepherd having a joke”.The woman looked at him doubtfully. “There’s no one out there …
at least, no one human eyes can see.””My eyes will see him,” Gilbert assured her and he moved. In the distance a dingo howled. Somewhere another one answered it.Gilbert squared his shoulder and, keeping his back to the cabin walls, he walked around the outside of his home.”Hello!” he called out. Only the dingo answered.Gilbert slipped back through the door and bolted it behind him.
He was just about to say something to Jean when he saw something out of the corner of his eye that made him duck. Something white rose from the corner of the room and flew towards his head. It clattered off the wall and fell to the floor . “A golf ball,” he said. “One that the kids have been playing with. But how “Before he could finish there was a clatter on the tin roof as something heavy landed on the tin roof as something heavy landed on it. “Spirits!” Jean moaned.
The man looked at his two dogs sleeping by the cold fireplace. They hadn’t moved. “Those dogs know when any one comes within hundred yards of here ,” he said . “You’re right. Jean- there’s no one out there.””What can we do?””I’ll go for help, he said.
“You’ll be safe enough inside. Bolt the door behind me.”He snatched the keys to his old van and hurried out. As the sound of the engine faded the dogs woke up, jumped to their feet and began barking and howling. The women slipped the chains from their necks and they threw themselves towards the door.
“Get him, boy!” she said and pulled the bolt back. But when the dogs pushed through the opening door they began howling and vanished into the night.Thud! Something hit the roof again.Thud! That one hit the wall.Jean Smith snatched her husband’s rifle and pushed the barrel through the opening of the door.
But from inside the house an empty jam jar flew across the room and splintered against the doorpost beside her head. She shut the door quickly and sat with her back to it. Every object and sat with her back to it. Every object in the room was a possible enemy now.It was an hour before Gilbert returned with a neighbour. There had been long spells of silence when Jean had begun to relax, but as soon as she did so she was jerked back into terror by something crashing against the wall.”Hi jenny!” Alf Krakour said as he came through the door.
“Gilbert says you’ve been having a spot of bother, eh?””We’ll soon get to the bottom of this,” he promised and, taking his gun, he walked outside with her husband.Five minutes later the men returned. Alf had stopped grinning now. “Too dark too see any thing,” he said. “We’ll just bolt ourselves inland wait for them to get tired.
“”But it was Alf, Jean and Gilbert who were tired by next morning. The bombardment went all night. When the sun rose the attack stopped.”What do we do now?” Jean asked wearily.”Tell the boss,” Gilbert said. “Smart man , Mr Roberts. He’ll sort it out”.
That night Mr Roberts joined them. “Someone having a joke,” he said.”That’s what I said,” Gilbert put in.”The attacks stopped in the morning because they knew you would see them throwing stuff,” the ranch owner explained. He was going to say more when something hissed passed his ear and cluttered against the wall. The man’s weather-beaten face turned pale. He bent to pick up a stone from the floor then gave a sharp cry. “It’s hot!””Where did it come from?” Gilbert asked.
“Must have come through the wall,” Roberts said.”But there is no holes in the wall. How did it get here”? Jean asked. The man had no answer.” I’ll find you a new cabin,” The ranch- owner promised.Gilbert Smith shock his head. “It will maker no differences,” he said quietyHe walked to the window and looked out.
“There’s some one out there,” he said. “Look”.Hanging in the dark air was an unearthly light.
An oval blue light. Suddenly the light moved with an eerie whistling sound and the cabin shook. Jean Smith clamped her hands over her ear but she couldn’t shut the sound out.
Slowly the sounds faded. Jean and Gilbert moved closely together. “We must learn to live with this,” she said.”Then I’ll find some specialist help,” their employer promised. ” There’s some sort of Ghost Society over in Perth.
I’ll contact them. See what they say.” Roberts took his hat and looked carefully around the door before stepping out.The ghost hunters from the Perth Psychic Society tried to explain to the Smiths that this sort of spirit activity was common throughout the world…
.. but they couldn’t stop it . “It tends to stop by itself, ” they said.Jean Smith shook her head slowly. Sleepless nights and fear-filled days had shrunk her.
“Who knows?” they said and went away.The women bent wearily to gather sticks. It was autumn again. A year had passed since that first stone had been hurled at her. The sun had set but the sky was still a clear blue.
The nights were colder now and fuel was expensive, so the sticks she was gathering at the edge of the bush would cook an evening meal- and keep Gilbert and her warm through the night.She stopped and looked up. There was something wrong, something missing. For the first time in a year she smiled.
She knew she wasn’t being watched. She knew that it had gone away. Whatever it was had decided to leave them in peace at last.Jean clutched the sticks and hurried back to the huse. She opened the door.
Gilbert looked up from his chair at the side of the fireplace. “I know, “he said.