Page 60 - Litteratteur Redefining World December issue
P. 60

Litterateur redefining world                      December 2020







                                                   Sunburn


                                                Martin Toman











                         Martin  Toman  is  a  writer  of  contemporary  fiction  who  lives  in
                         Melbourne, Australia. He studied at the Australian National University
                         and the University of Canberra before becoming a teacher of English
                         Literature. Martin has been published online and in print, and recently
                         in  publications  such  as  Minute  Magazine,  Across  the  Margin,  Anti-
                         Heroin Chic, Fresh Ink, The Raven Review, Haunted Waters Press, The
                         Adelaide Literary Review, and Literally Stories.
          The sun beat down. Hot air blasted into the cabin through the open windows. It was a
          long drive back to the vineyard from town, made dangerous by the rutted road. William
          bounced around on the bench seat, concentrating on avoiding the channels carved out
          of the surface by heavy winter rains, the mud long since dried hard by the summer sun.

          He  had  made  this  trip  a  few  times  in  the  past  months.  He  knew  that  if  his  mind
          wandered he could put a wheel deep into a rut, lose control of the vehicle and end up in
          a ditch or over the edge of the road. If he wasn’t killed he’d have to call Roberto to get
          pulled out by the tractor. It wasn’t worth contemplating. So all he thought about was the
          road: his hands on the wheel, his feet on the pedals, being in control.


          William had worked at the vineyard for nearly half a year, from the end of the winter
          until now, high summer and harvest. He was on a working visa, a twelve month deal. It
          sounded so easy when the agency sold him the package. Find a sponsor, get a working
          visa and get paid for six months, and then a lump sum when the term is up. Then you
          were free to travel for the next half year on your earnings, an easy way to see the world.
          The vineyard looked idyllic on the internet, described as rustic but beautiful, and the
          owner seemed nice in the email correspondence they had shared. So he provided the
          ID and filled in the forms on the website. In three clicks he sold himself to six months of
          servitude, and all that went with it.






















                                                                                                         60
   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65