Fiction, Melbourne, Writing

Heading home

At the terminal, Ally pauses out the front of the gift shop. The candles and potions beckon her inside.

A friendly shop assistant smiles. ‘Good morning,’ she says. ‘How may I help you today?’

‘Just browsing thanks,’ Ally responds, more tersely than she intends.

‘Of course. I’m around if you have any questions.’

Ally wanders the aisles, checking out the eclectic wares for sale. She wonders if this place makes any money. There’s a small book stand to her left. Odd, given there’s a huge chain bookstore a few doors down from this very shop.

At eye level, she spies the book she’s been wanting to buy for weeks. The prospect of a long, boring flight holds no appeal. She’s never been one for telly and she doubts the in-flight movie selection is the latest box office smashes. Not on this low budget carrier. She strides over to the stand and snatches the book from it. Caressing the front cover, she’s mesmerised by the tag line and the art work. She turns it over to read the blurb; she could almost recite it word for word. She’s done this that often.

The shop assistant hovers. Smiles again. ‘Where you headed?’ she asks.


‘Travel often?’

‘Yeah, I guess.’ Ally doesn’t want to engage, but it feels rude to ignore her. ‘I’ll take this, thanks.’ She holds the book up in the air, by way of explanation.

‘Oh, that’s a great one. You won’t regret it, I’m sure.’

Ally’s not certain how a stranger could possibly back such a statement, but she lets it go. She pulls her purse out of her handbag and opens the card section. Pulls out her credit card to pay. As she does, she sees a small stand filled with miniature boomerangs.

Her heart pangs for home.

9 thoughts on “Heading home”

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