Thirty three and clothed in a pink singlet and black exercise pants,
Naomi L. lowered her chest to the ground and raised herself steadily
up again, morning rays warming her back. Body rigid and straight,
she performed her push-ups in a fluid movement, breathing in the
crisp morning air with each repetition. Her routine of one hundred
pushups was well-practised by now, she knew how to conserve her
energy until it was required after the seventy-fifth repetition.
Bending, straightening, bending, straightening, she exercised to a
steady rhythm. She found the push-ups immensely soothing, as if a
small amount of weight was lifted fromher back with each repetition
until she was temporarily liberated from the thoughts of her
abandoned life back in Sydney. If only the liberation didn’t end at the
last push-up, when she stood up with numb shoulders and the
unpleasant realisation of returned reality.
It was after her daily exercise that Naomi would sit on the
verandah sipping green tea and painful thoughts would jumble
together in her mind. Anxiety and uncertainty generated unwanted
guilt. Instead of a former primary teacher who was ‘the victim of
sexual misconduct’ she could be the lonely Siren, luring George
Bishop to his doom. Naomi Leondopolous: Siren. Her Greek
heritage fitted the part perfectly. But was it possible? Had she
unconsciously made an attempt to dress seductively (she had shown
a bit of cleavage on some occasions) and lured George Bishop into
the dark carpark one night? Then she remembered how she had
screamed when he grabbed her shoulders from behind, the sleepless
nights afterwards, the constant flashbacks and the anxiety attacks.
The guilt quickly disappeared; it was a luxury she couldn’t afford
The rundown property in which she had sought sanctuary for the
past six weeks was situated in the Wollemi district of the Blue
Mountains, nestled fifteen kilometres away from the nearest town.
The timber house was badly needing renovating, threatening to fall
to pieces any minute. Windows required re-paneling, rotten wooden
boards creaked and the timber peeled and cracked. But it was her safe
house, located in an area so isolated that there was no threat to
Naomi L. (except of going mad of course).
She wasn’t particularly enamoured of the nature which
surrounded the property either, the red Bloodwoods made her feel
A Wall Of