An Outlawed Son

Joe moves, silently, through the moonlit scrub of Byrne gully. As he edges closer toward the clearing, curls of smoke drift through the swaying limbs of macrocarpa, marking a home, he knows, he is no longer welcome. Joe stops and surveys the familiar land before him, leaning his frame against a dew dampened rock; he takes out his whiskey flask and takes a swig. The amber liquid is warm against the August chill, numbing his bearded cheeks, as it drifts through the Woolshed Valley.