excerpt: the abertsworths

26/01/2010 § Leave a comment

I had started this story some time ago, and I figured, since Chasing Patagonia is on hold until I actually experience Patagonia, I would write an excerpt that I had written some months ago.

This story started as a personal recount of how a family from the city moved to the country. In an attempt to adapt, and quite possibly enact some sort of change on the community, the family finds itself at the contemporary crossroads of what it means to be human. The story started from personal experience and has evolved to be a reflection of four different aspects of the self. The characters have emerged to become how individuals, or aspects of individuals, deal with a new scenery and new way of life. This is an excerpt from the very beginning, where it sets up the confusion and, quite possibly, the inability to begin something where one does not belong:

“Look girls, it’s so vast. You can climb that tree. We could get some animals. I think we could have a lot of fun here.


Life was changing so fast for the Abertsworths. The father, a graduate from business school, was transferred to a rual satelite office to establish the infrastructure for TelCo. The whole population of the county was 40,000 people. Since hard times had fallen upon the nation, outreach programs dipped their fingers in the far reaches where desperation to work was rampant. Whole towns that were ravaged by down-sizing factories were ripe for the labour pickings. Telco was the first to nab Leeds.

Bill Abertsworth volunteered for the transfer. As far as he was concerned, a change of pace was a welcome direction. His wife, Susan, was unsure what the change would mean for her city-based holitic practice. Yoga and meditation were not common in rural areas, she Googled it. Her daughters were the ones she was mostly concerned with. They were not so young, hormonal enough to be set in their ways, but maybe the move was their chance to understand the other side of life.

* * *

The wave of people searching for jobs left the countryside vacant. Only the strong persevered in the face of isolation and sure failure. In order to feed their families, they sacrificed their dignity. They shook hands with a fate that would leave them souless. Knowing no other way, misunderstanding forward-thinking, progress and technology, they kept to their roots. Listened to what, for so long, had driven their ancestors to a comfortable sustenance. Knowing the city would swallow them up, they stayed and created a protective barrier of beer, guns, and a wildness unknown the outsider. Most people often wondered whether the wildness came from the lack of civilization or the want of their souls back. Outsiders believed it was the former.”


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