Victoria Nugent

The rust on the wrought iron gate left brown marks on Catherine’s fingertips as she pushed it open, stepping on to the stony path for the first time in 30 years. Her eyes stung as she gazed at once magnificent old homestead, its veranda now sagging and the corrugated iron roof riddled with holes. Droppings littered the path where sheep and kangaroos had invaded the once pristine yard in search of green pick. The lemon tree from Catherine’s childhood stood in the corner of the yard, rotting fruit scattered across the ground. She remembered inhaling the strong citrus scent as she stood on tiptoes to pluck fruit from the branches for her grandmother. She’d also tried scrambling onto the metal fence beside the tree to reach the higher-hanging lemons and …

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