Here's a sneak peak of the third of three stories in Issue 1 of Shiny. Don't forget you can subscribe using the paypal button on the sidebar to get yourself a copy of the whole issue as soon as it comes!
The Sun People
by Sue Isle
The only way into Perth these days is to catch a ride with a supply truck from one of the private operations. Not many of us know how to drive any more. From Melbourne I got a series of rides to the WA border where I hooked up with an interstater. I helped Sharon, the driver, load supplies and bags of mail and then piled into the truck's cabin. She wanted to chat and that, of course, is the main payment for riding.
"Why the fuck do you want to go back there now that you're out?" was the question she most wanted cleared up.
"I was only in Melbourne for medical treatment. I'm not an evacuee."
"Yeah but what happens if you get sick again? There's shit-all in WA now. You couldn't even score an aspirin."
"I won't get sick again. It wasn't that kind of problem." The last thing I wanted was to explain what it was and maybe have Sharon throw me out of the truck. While not exactly the stereotype of the female truckie, she was definitely more muscular than I was. Her red tank top and shorts didn't leave much to the imagination.
"You couldn't pay me to live in Perth. It's so fucking hot they have to do all their work and whatever at night and just lie around during the day."
I didn't answer that. It was pretty well true. When the sun rose on the highway, Sharon cranked up the air conditioning which was so noisy that I didn't have to talk any more. When we stopped for a mutual leak on opposite sides of the truck, I opened my shirt and peeked at the scars covering my chest. They were healing fine, which wasn't why I was checking. I just wanted to look at them again and make sure this was really real. I'd finally gone under the surgeon's knife in Melbourne and come out looking like the real me. I was still sort of skinny and would have to look up to a lot of guys but I didn't care about that. I'd been warned that unless I could continue with the medication, I might not muscle up very much or need to shave a lot. They'd given me as many pills as they could but I wouldn't exactly be able to wander down to a chemist to get more. They'd done a really good job below the waist too.