Lost and Found | Moira Kirkwood

Lost and Found

Moira Kirkwood

The Wood Be Good Award

The world is a bit skewed, but occasionally it gets the shake-up it needs.

Piper moved in to our area and we began swapping garden produce and eggs. She gave me some of the berries and blossoms she harvested from the bushland behind our street. She knew all about that stuff; loved it.

Her mother’s people had come from here originally but she wouldn’t know it now, Piper said. The McMansions; the two-and three-car households. People weren’t unfriendly, but there were shiny lives to lead.

From my studio I’d spot her picking her way down the cascades of the creek that ran through various backyards. She seemed at home there.

She hated all the suburban disconnect and when people started having car problems I had a feeling about her. There was something.

I had trouble myself. My car always blew smoke, not very eco, but this time my mechanic said there was no resurrecting it. Bloody inconvenient to cart my paintings around, but there is a train station and I’ve got a trolley. It took planning and the occasional curse.

It progressed like a plague though; it would be funny except for how weird it was. Every household in the street was progressively having to get repairs done that were often only a temporary fix. Many cars were new, so there were replacements but seemingly no end to the troubles.

Piper was at the root of this; whispering old words. Magic maybe.

I did get to meet some people I hadn’t known previously, as neighbours whose cars were temporarily working started offering lifts. We all made a bit of a joke about it… maybe we’d been cursed?

I was starting to feel a bit vegan about always catching the train and there were some excess kilos lost from all the walking. Embarrassing really, how easily they fell away.

In the space of one year, I reckon a good half of the cars in our street had disappeared. The street seemed smaller and everyone knew each other’s names. I thought Piper looked happier.