Welcome to Nariah: Part IV

Nariah has got to be one of the weirdest places that I have ever lived in. Sure I’ve only ever lived on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, but it never got as weird as what it does here in Nariah. I’ve been here a month now and this whole place is very strange – at least to me it is. Dad, well, he’s not too worried. He doesn’t get too worried about most things, that is just the kind of guy he is. Even when Eric’s Grandmother invited us to dinner on night in the future and said that the ghosts would be on their best behaviour he took it in his stride and laughed, promising that they will get a treat if they do.

I don’t think Dad believes that Eric’s Grandmother wasn’t joking. I don’t think he believes that a lot of the things that have happened in Nariah are true. Like the sink holes over near the Pre-School, he was asked to go out and see if there was anything that could be done about them. When we got there the Giant Clawed Hand was walking around, and by walking I mean using two fingers to imitate legs like Thing does in the Addams Family. It went completely still when it saw (sensed?) us and didn’t move again until Dad started laughing and commenting on how creative some of the local pranksters are. The Giant Clawed Hand then started waving enthusiastically at Dad before disappearing into the hole that it came out of while Dad did his job.

Good news is that Dad thinks that he can do something about the sink holes. Bad news is that the Giant Clawed Hand and whatever it is attached to might have to move away from the Pre-School. Dad’s still working on how to fix the sink hole problem so for now it’s fine where it is as long as it doesn’t snatch any more cars.

Dad thought that he move to Nariah would be good for us so we could get out of the funk that we seem to have been in since Mum died. I’m not too sure how moving out here was supposed to do that, but it has diverted my attention away from the sadness I feel whenever I think about Mum. I wonder if any of the ghost’s at Eric’s place can crossover and see Mum? I’ll have to ask next time I go over.

I also want to get a look at his neighbours animal. Eric doesn’t call it a dog. Apparently while it does have some resemblance to a werewolf there are parts of it that aren’t canine at all. When I asked him what he meant he said that it didn’t matter and then muttered something about scales.

Despite all the strange happenings that take place here in Nariah it’s a nice town. Everyone seems friendly and so far I haven’t come across someone who is particularly horrible or cruel, so I suppose despite everything that has happened so far this place is alright. It could be worse.

A lot worse.

Dad works for the council, as an engineer/environment manager or something to that degree. I’m not exactly sure what he does, I’ve never been to his workplace or really had an interest in that kind of thing, but from what I understand his job here in Nariah is to look at things, like the sink hole across from the Pre-School, and figure out how to fix them or improve them. Once he’s figured out the sink hole problem, Dad says that he’s going to look into improving the football oval so that when football season finishes this year they can get it ready for next year.

That has got to be the worst part about moving in the middle of the year, everyone is already in their sports teams and can work really well together, so at least until the summer sports start up, I’m not going to have much to do – unlike Grace, who plays Netball, and Eric, who plays Rugby League, both of which play for the town teams and are pretty good at it. I watched Eric last weekend and I can see why his Uncle is considering driving down to Canberra for the team trials that they have. I don’t know whether or not Eric wants to go and try to play football full time, but it would be an interesting experience all the same. And he would be just one of the many people that I have learnt have gone on to play football professionally from Nariah.

It’s getting late and I need to go get ready. Dad is taking me to the Chinese restaurant down the main street that is supposed to be really good, and if it’s as good as we’ve been hearing about then I don’t want to miss it.

Until next time.

– Ben.


Welcome to Nariah: Part III

When you get lost in Nariah it is always best if you stop the moment that you realise that you are lost, otherwise you’ll get even more lost and the State Emergency Service will be unable to find you. I learnt this the hard way when I was younger and going off to ride my bike at the Bike trial when we first moved here, but I think that it applies to things like blogs as well because I think that we can all agree that I would have been the better person to write the first blog post. Juliette gave it a good go, and I commend her for her efforts, but it could have been better.

I want to take a moment to talk about a couple of things that she mentioned in her post.

  1. Yes I was upset that I didn’t get the first post – but I’m sure that somehow the whole straw drawing thing was rigged so that Juliette could win. I don’t know how, but I’m sure that Ben might have done something to make it so she would win because she has been really nice to him. Like, really nice.
  2. If anyone was going to join this project because they liked Ben, it would be Juliette, why would she be so nice to him otherwise?

Now that that’s been dealt with we can move on.

Before Ben came, my family was probably the last family to move here to Nariah and that was when I was five. I don’t remember much before then. I actually don’t remember much before getting lost of the way to the Bike trail, but Doctor Monroe told Mum and Dad that that is perfectly normal when a child is traumatised. I don’t understand now how getting lost could have been so traumatic, but then again Doctor Monroe is a Doctor and knows more about these things then I do – but hopefully I will know more one day. Especially when I start University to become a doctor.

Not everyone believes me when I say that I want to become a Doctor and I can’t understand why. I’m not sure if it has something to do with how I act or if I just don’t show my interest in medicine outside of my bedroom, but I honestly do want to become a Doctor. Ever since I first saw Grey’s Anatomy.

I know it’s not the most accurate of medical shows, with all the drama and everything and I should watch RPA or something like that to get a better understanding of what life as a Doctor would be like, but… but… it’s so addicting. I mean the whole story line between McDreamy, McSteamy, Addison and Meridith had me waiting to see what was going to happen next. And I know that will never happen, at least not until I’m fully qualified, but it has sparked my interest and that is what I want to be.

Dad just asked me if I was having trouble getting onto the internet. I’m not; I don’t think I’ve ever had problems connecting to the Wi-Fi. It’s not as good as what is at Ben’s house, but I can’t complain. Apparently he’s having some issues trying to find out Nariah’s weather for the next week because he wants to renovate the back garden and he can’t do that if it’s going to rain all week. I didn’t know what he was talking about because as far as I know whenever you search for Nariah’s weather in Google it never shows up. Dad should know this. I think he’s getting forgetful as he gets older. Anyway, our best bet to figure out what our weather is going to be like is to look at Griffith’s weather and then assume the opposite, because when it’s sunny there, it’s usually rains here.

Oh! I just got a text from Elisha, one of my best friends, to go and hang out at the Casablanca Café, so I’ve got to get going.

Oh and Eric, your neighbours with their animal that looks like it is part werewolf aren’t the only ones that can hear Nora banging on the pipes. Some nights, like when it’s going to rain, the sound carries across town. Luckily everyone knows that it’s just Nora and not something else, but the sooner you can get to the bottom of Nora’s sudden change in behaviour the happier the whole town will be, I think.

– Grace

Welcome to Nariah: Part II

The funny thing about Nariah is that it seems a lot smaller than what it actually is. The town has a population of about six thousand, but I have never seen everyone turn up to a football game or even carols by candlelight. If they did I think that we would need a bigger park to hold it in – but I suppose that is something for the council to think about, not me, and by me I mean Eric Samson.

Sorry about rambling a little bit, that has just been on my mind for a couple of days while I’ve been trying to think about what I am going to write for my first post. You would think that it would be easy, just explain a little about the town that I have lived in for as long as I can remember, but it’s not that easy when you actually sit down and try to write it.

I tried to talk to Nana about it, but she just looked at me with this strange look on her face, like she was trying to work out why I would think that writing about Nariah was such a good idea. Then she put the biscuit tin down, smiled and said that I would figure it out. I always do.

I know that Juliette has talked about Nana and her B&B in her post but she didn’t give you the full story. Nana has been my legal guardian for most of my life – since Mum and Dad died, or disappeared, not one is really clear on what exactly to declare them even after it’s been more than ten years since they went poof. Poof is the best descriptive word that I can come up with to describe how they just vanished after going out for a hike with a group of friends and never coming back. No one from the group came back. It would have been big news but a person just vanishing like that out in the Back Scrub is normal, at least it is in Nariah.

I’m not too sure about anywhere else. When I told Ben he just looked at me, as if he was trying to work out whether or not I was playing with him. It took three other people from our year to convince him that I wasn’t messing around with him.

I think that is part of the reason why Ben thought this blog was such a good idea, or he just didn’t think we had enough to do, what with homework and all that normal High School stuff; which is what I should be doing, but I’m not.

I’ve lived with Nana in the B&B most of my life since Mum and Dad went poof and it’s a pretty good place to live. Sure we have a few problems, a couple of leaking pipes, squeaky staircase, ghosts that think that it is fun to invade your dreams and make you afraid of the dark. You know, the normal B&B experience.

Recently we’ve been having a couple of complaints about the noise that the ghosts make, or one ghost in particular: Nora.

Nora has been a fixture of the B&B for as long as Nana can remember. Nana says that she used to play hide and seek with Nora, a game that would last days as Nora would hide herself between walls and refuse to move until Nana gave up. She used to play with me as well, but I used to hit the walls once I learnt her trick and it always made her come out of hiding. Something to do with the vibrations making her feel bad. Anyway, recently Nora has taken to banging on the pipes loud enough that it carries over to our neighbours, and normally that wouldn’t be a problem but they’ve just recently adopted this animal, that I’m sure is part werewolf, and as a result of the banging it starts to howl. When we asked Nora why she was banging on the pipes, Nora refused to answer.

Ghosts are not the best at expressing their feelings in a productive manner.

We’ve also got this new ghost that just kind of freaks me out. I don’t know whether it is a child or if it is a really small adult that has been compressed, but when you catch a glimpse of its face you realise that it has no eyes. And if that isn’t enough to give you the shivers then it extracurricular activity of just walking through you when you’re distracted will – literally. As far as ghosts go he’s not the scariest but the lack of eyes and no concern for personal space is enough to make him my least favourite of the ghosts that live here.

Both Nana and I have told him that it’s rude to walk through people when they don’t know that he’s there or if they are distracted but we don’t think the message got through to him because he didn’t give any indication that he heard us and five minutes later he walked through Nana as she was making one of her famous flourless chocolate cakes.

Nana has invited Ben and his Dad to come and have dinner with us, promising that the ghosts will be on their best behaviour. When she said this, Ben’s Dad just laughed and said that he would bring a treat for them if they managed to fulfil that promise. I don’t think that he understands that ghosts have no need to worldly possessions. Sure they hang out in places where they die, but usually that is because they have some kind of unfinished business, like trying to get a message across. In the case of the eyeless child, well, I don’t know what exactly he would want because all he seems to do is stare eyelessly at people and wait until their guard is down before walking through them, which even Nora agrees is rude.

I’ve got to go now. Nora has started her banging and the howling is going to start very soon, so I’m not going to be able to continue for much longer. Thanks for stopping by.

– Eric

Welcome to Nariah: Part I

Hello and thank you for coming to visit our blog.

My name is Juliette and I’m just one of the four people who will be regularly posting here.

Besides Eric, I’ve probably lived here the longest. I was born in the local hospital, went to the pre-school in the shire run pre-school (Nariah Pre-School), went to school in the local public school (Nariah Primary) and I’m now going to school at the local High School (Nariah High).

I suppose that I could have gone to a boarding school, like some of the other kids my age, but it didn’t seem right as Mum and Dad didn’t send my older sisters away.

Also, Mum and Dad said no.

Ben was the one who first suggested that we do this. There aren’t too many blogs out there that have four people who update regularly, after all.

Or at least that we have been able to find on the school library computers. For some reason whenever we try to look for things that are outside out community and not related to what we are learning in school, the computers kind of throw a hissy fit and make this weird hissing noise – almost like a cat. The librarian’s tell us that it’s because they need new updates.

It’s for that reason that we have decided that our best bet for being able to upload our posts is to use Ben’s computer, because it’s newer and his Dad has really good Wi-Fi. I don’t know how he has such good Wi-Fi. I live right next door and our Wi-Fi is nothing like the Wi-Fi that Ben has. Maybe he just uses a different internet provider.

Who knows?

We’re still working out a schedule but we do know that there will be at least one post up on Mondays, with a few extras scattered in during the week – when we are able to post them around homework and some of the sporting things that we all do.

I’m pretty sure that Grace isn’t happy with me. We drew straws to figure out who was going to write the first post and I won! When I looked over at Grace after I realised that I had won, she didn’t look too happy with me. I suppose it’s because she’s so used to winning. I don’t want to get into it too much, because I’m sure that she will explain more about herself when it’s her turn to post something, but I’m pretty sure that that is the reason.

It seems silly to me that she would be upset about something like drawing straws to figure out who is posting when on a blog, but I suppose that’s why we’re not exactly best friends.

I don’t actually think that we’re friends. I don’t think that we have ever been friends. We never went to primary school together; her parents decided that they would send her and her siblings to the Catholic school instead when they first moved here. So we never really met until Year Seven, when she transferred over to the High School and she became friends with a different group of girls.

The more I think about it the more I believe that the reason that she even wants to do this is because of Ben. Not that I can blame her for being interested in the new kid. We don’t have too many new people move to Nariah so it’s a nice change to have Ben start school with us.

I think that I’m getting too personal now and I should really change subject.

The reason why Ben suggested that we write this blog is to document that last eighteen months that the four of us are going to be in Nariah. We’re halfway through Year Eleven and all of us are counting down the days until we graduate High School and go off to University.

Plus, according to Ben, this place is not like other places.

I’m not exactly sure what he is talking about other than the fact that we’re not a big city area like he is used to. Ben moved here from the Northern Beaches in Sydney so I suppose to him we are a little different, but we’re a farming town not a bustling metropolitan area. It makes sense that we are going to be a little different.

When I pointed this out to him he told me that it has nothing to do with the difference between the city and the country and more to do with everything else.

I think he might be talking about some of the unique things that happen here in Nariah. For example, just last week a couple of sink holes appeared across the street from the Pre-School, and destroyed a car when it did. The council says that it’s got to do with all the old mine shafts that run underneath the town that everyone knows about, but a few people are saying that they were around when it happened and they saw this huge Giant Clawed Hand reach out of the sink hole and grab Councillor Michael’s car.

I don’t know what Councillor Michael was doing at the pre-school because he doesn’t have any children that go there, or any children at all, but he lost his car while he was there anyway.

The sink hole, and the reason why it was formed, was pretty much forgotten after that because Councillor Michael started to have a fight with the Mayor over whether or not Council is legally responsible because of what to his car. Councillor Michael claims that because the incident happened on Council owned land that they should be responsible for the replacement of his car.

The Mayor replied, saying that he knew that that whole area across from the pre-school is a no parking area and still he parked there. Whatever happened was his fault because he refused to take notice of the well placed signs that clearly indicate that that side of the road is a no parking area.

Last we heard Councillor Michael was checking with both his lawyer (on whether or not he could sue the council for a new car) and his insurance company (to see whether or not sink holes/Giant Clawed Hands are covered on his insurance policy).

Anyway, Ben thinks that this whole situation isn’t normal and that documenting it in a place where people outside the community can see it might cause someone to come and investigate.

I’m not so sure.

We have a lot of people who drive through Nariah on a pretty frequent basis and none of them have ever sent other people to come and investigate.

However, I think his idea about documenting the next eighteen months is a good one. Kind of like writing a journal that you can look back on, but with different views on the things that happened.

Plus I think that letting outside people know more about the town is a good thing, especially if it means that they will come and visit – regardless of whether we have sinkholes/grabby Giant Clawed Hands or not.

And it makes the ghosts that live in Eric’s Grandmother’s B&B a lot happier if they have new people to haunt every so often.

Not that the B&B is the only place that has ghosts, mind you. There are a number of places that have them – the most famous is the Metropolitan Hotel. It has one of the bloodiest histories of any of the buildings in Nariah, and most of that history takes place in the first five years after it was built. For a while it was shut down until the new owners renovated and removed the really old bloodstained stone stairs from out the back garden. Now it’s really family friendly and the ghosts hardly ever cause a scene.

Unless you’re doing something that they find offensive. Like women swearing. Milly Harrison did always like to learn the hard way.

Anyway, I think that I have blabbered on enough for now. Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to seeing you again next time.

– Juliette