This week, I have been particularly influenced by iconic Australiana. I love the use of colloquial language in Australian literature and the description of landscapes and experiences that are purely unique to the Australian identity. This piece of creative writing titled “Thunderbolts Way” was inspired by a journey up the infamous road.
A bubbling rust grew on the side of the old Ford Falcon. Her idle finger picked at the paint on the passenger door. Every window was rolled down, but no blast of dry air could cool them. In the early morning, they had been in Freshwater, dunking themselves in the surf one last time before the journey west with sand still stuck to their bare-feet. But the sea-breeze was long behind them as they sped on into the still inland air. The sand now looked odd when they stopped at a servo for ice-blocks. They drove on through dappled afternoon sun, whizzing past parched land and historic hotels, the motor hummed and shook methodically. The car rounded another bend, but there, bursting onto the horizon, the ranges loomed before them. As they reached the base of the mountain, the Falcon slowed and the temperature began to rise. “Fuck, it’s hot!” blurted the driver nervously.
“Don’t push her, alright?” the girl said flatly, “We’re gonna make it this time, just don’t drive her too hard.”
The drivers knuckles whitened on the steering wheel as the incline began. This road had defeated him once before. Trees thickened and blocked out the sun darkening the road ahead, the old car started to shudder and hiss. A logging truck overtook them and yelled back “GOODLUCK TO YA!”
From here the road only got steeper and narrow. The driver could feel his heart in his throat as the falcon began to stutter, the engine grabbing at all the power it had left. It was a long way down if you went off the edge, and some did. “There it is, there’s the spot! This is the furthest we’ve ever made it up this mountain!” the girl puffed. But there was still a way to go. The ford falcon was giving it all it had, but it wasn’t enough, the engine rattled and wailed furiously “SHE’S GONNA BURST!” the driver roared as he sent her up the near vertical incline. He grabbed the gear stick in his fist, clunked it down into 1st. The car crunched. Lurched. Then silence. The ford falcon started rolling backwards. The girl held tightly onto the seatbelt stiffened with sweat. The driver stomped the accelerator to the floor and with a thunderous rumble the gear kicked in and the car jumped back to life, thrusting itself up to the top of the mountain. As the road flattened out upon the summit, the temperature dropped. A cool air filled the car and Dire Straits came on the radio. They turned up the volume.