In The Name of Lynch

-Chapter 06: A Busy City That Nearly Wasn't-

The bustling streets of Waddamana on the isle of Tasmania would've been a shock to that city's early population. Once it had been all but a ghost town with a population of five after a start of a hundred residents during a hydro-electric boom in the 1900s which had petered off until only the most stubborn or the most sentimental remained.

Then, in 1998, as the Third World War threatened the mainland of Australia and that of New Zealand, the surrounding islands saw an influx of families who sought to remove themselves and their children from the harsh climes of the great conflict.

Not wanting to overburden their already crowded cities, the people of Tasmania, Australia elected the little town of Waddamana and generous portion of the surrounding land to be the site where the newcomers could set up.

They had come with trailers and tents. Old fashioned public dunnies had been set up for the first few months while homes were being built and plumbing was being established. In those days, the responsibility of dunny cleaning fell to those women who were too old for childbirth, but not yet convalescing.

Soon, the trailers and tents gave way to one and two family homes. Shops and restaurants soon followed.

As those who had welcomed them came to satisfy their curiosity, their businesses grew and the town flourished until it became a bustling city.

Twenty years later, a sky-cleaner squad had been established by the RAF. They had seeded the air with a chemical spray which absorbed the radiation and made the affected areas in New Zealand and Australia livable again.

In the following year, many families divided up into those members who chose to stay in their childhood home of Waddamana and those who longed to return to their own childhood homes.

Oliver Burgess had been adopted by one of those families who had opted to stay. His father, Caleb, worked in the local Zlin diner while his mother Eveleigh spent her time as a volunteer with the local Blanks, teaching them how to mend clothing and re-sole shoes.

Although he was now a grown working man himself, Oliver still spent his weekends helping his Aunt Sadie who still ran the dairy farm just outside the town that had been started by her late husband Esmond.

As he tightened the bolts on the milking machine, he heard the rumble of thunder off in the distance. Returning the wrench to his tool belt, he made his way to the generator room to make sure that all was well. A bad storm could mean a power outage, and that could mean very bad news for a dairy farm. Cows did not produce 'on demand' like some people might believe. Not on Sadie's farm anyhow.

Sadie spotted him as she was leaving one of the milking barns. "Come on into the main house when you're done there!" she called. "Looks like we're going to have a heck of a storm!"

"I will," Oliver had called back as he had reached the generator room and went inside.

It had been fortunate that he'd done so, as the generator needed to be oiled and both the spark plug and recoil starter needed to be replaced. Fortunately, his uncle had taught his aunt the value of keeping spares around. She had done her late husband proud, stocking spares of every part that generator needed, even those the manufacturer claimed would last even longer than she would.

Making the necessary repairs took several minutes. Once they were completed, he raced the storm clouds to the main house, missing his mark by a grand total of five yards as they opened up and soaked him quite thoroughly.

"I love racing the clouds," he laughed, as his aunt handed him a towel to dry his hair and face with."

"We can both see who won this time," Sadie laughed. "Well, go on and your room and change up. Supper will hold long enough for you to put on dry things. And hang your wets over the shower to dry."

"Yes, Aunt Sadie," Oliver answered as he headed off into the adjoining hallway where the bedrooms and bathroom were located.

Returning a moment later, freshly dried and combed, he helped his aunt set the table and bring the food out from the kitchen.

"You ever wonder about your birth parents?" she asked him as she buttered a piece of homemade bread.

"Sometimes," Oliver admitted. "My father's name was Brian wasn't it?"

"Bryce," Sadie corrected him. "But you were close. Never learned his last name. We only knew his first because your mother's friend knew someone who knew a little of the story."

"What story?" Oliver asked.

"Sorry, can't say," Sadie apologized. "Too convoluted for an old lady like me to make sense of. All I caught was that his name was Bryce and he lived in London. That and that he was young when you were born. My guess is that this Bryce and his girlfriend got a little carried away and that she ended up in trouble. They must've really cared about you, though, to do right by you and make sure you had a good family to raise you when they were probably both still in school or maybe just too poor."

Oliver decided to drop the subject for now. It wasn't enough information to do anything with, and the stew that his aunt had made would not taste as good cold.

One day, however, he would seek out Bryce and find out his side of the story.

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