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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

nowadays .

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


Sophie Kleiman