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Strange Days in Talbot

Strange Days in Talbot

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Published by talbottourism
A short story by local resident and author, Bill Green.
A short story by local resident and author, Bill Green.

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Published by: talbottourism on Dec 24, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Bill Green started his career as acrime reporter in the early 1960’s,going on to become a television journalist, a managing newspaperEditor and Chief of Staff and finallyPress Secretary to the Deputy PrimeMinister in the mid 1970’s - duringarguably Australia's most excitingcultural upheaval.An illustrious writing career followed during which Billpublished 12 novels and numerous screenplays, including’Minotaur’ which was produced as action blockbuster‘Terminator 2’ by James Cameron and ArnoldSchwarzenneger.Bill now resides and writes in Talbot, an old gold-miningtown in rural Victoria, Australia. This is one of several shortstories he has kindly agreed to share for publication on the Talbot community website.For further information, see http://www.billgreenbooks.com
About the Author
 The village of Talbot once began its Words in Winter celebrationwith several historical monologues from characters who visited thevillage in the mid-1800’s. A cannon was to be cued and fired at anappropriate point in the actor’s dialogue. That point came andpassed despite much cueing from the performer, Doug Gellatly, theformer coffee maker from the Quince Café.Problem was the cannoneer’s cigarette lighter wouldn’t give flame.He dropped the lighter, while directing the closest observer to falldown to give the cannon blast more drama, and fumbledsuccessfully with matches. The cannon gave a mighty whump andblew apart. The closest observer, a local trader in antique junk, hadfallen down ahead of time. Metal pieces passed over him to land onthe road, and other places far away.A piece of the barrel flew several centimetres above the head of New York poet, Paul Kane (he spends 2 months a year in Talbot)whose most recent book was launched by Helen Garner. “I thoughtNew York was a dangerous place to live,” he commented coolly.Meanwhile the cannoneer fell. He had received a bloodied hand andsevere shock. “Shit,” he said.Meanwhile Doug Gellaty, being a barista and former undertaker,and therefore witness to many catastrophes, continued readingunfazed. The chunk of barrel that missed the poet came to rest fifty metresaway, cutting through the fence of a local bed and breakfast. Theseventy people assembled for the reading all escaped injury, themetal debris sailing over their heads. The cannon firing had beenpermitted by the local council and the local police. The police car,travelling slowly, had only minutes before been stationary wherethe road was gouged by another piece of cannon.Observer, Dean Homicki, saw the action in slow motion. He saw apiece of the barrel spinning slowly to one side of him and heardDoug’s voice drag like an out-of-time recording. Going by was a

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