Son Of The Right Hand - Chapter One by B. L. Hobson

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SUMMARY: First draft of the first chapter from a new book that I am writing, set in the Australian outback. I am posting this up for here for feedback, critique and also, hopefully, enthusiasm. Thanks for reading!

There were three of them. Two of them didn't wake up. The third one did. The sun streamed in through a window and beat down upon them through the tin roof above. They were all of them sweaty. The one that woke up was named Michael Tulloh. He was nineteen years of age. He quickly pushed the covers he had slept under off himself and he rose and wiped his brow with the back of his hand. He massaged his face, the makings of a beard beneath his hands felt sore and old. He was dressed only in his underwear.

He walked to the window, the only one, and squinted outside into the sun, rubbing the palm of his hands against his eyes. The desert he looked at was barren and red and there was nothing else to see. The sun made everything shimmer. It was almost unbearable to look. He tried to look for a time and caught himself, shook his head, not understanding why he had bothered. All of it was flat and dry.

He shuffled back to where he had lain the night before. The walls surrounding them were corrugated iron and besides the window there was nothing else there. The three of them had lain on the floor and covered themselves with the blankets from their bags in the cool of the night before. They had found the shed as they had ridden, it's rusted walls and roof apparent in the dark. None of them knew if the was an owner. All of them had been exhausted so nobody had checked.

Michael sat down upon his makeshift bed, hitting the man beside him still sleeping.

"Wake up."

The man, John, didn't move. Michael hit him again. The man groaned.

"We should move in case somebody comes."

"Nobody will come." John said. He kept his eyes closed.

"Somebody might."

John began to move. He seated himself upright. He imitated Michael from before, wiping his brow, getting up from the floor. He wore only his underpants and his stomach's hair had been matted down with sweat. John was larger than the other two and so sweated more. Michael knew the room they were all in had to smell, if not for them being used to it.

John walked over to the window and stretched his arms. He kicked the other laying figure as he did so. The figure opened his eyes without movement and stared at Michael across from himself. His name was William and he just stared at Michael. He had been laying on his stomach and he remained that way.

"We just got here." William groaned as he spoke.

"The sun's up." Michael said.

"It's barely up at all." John said. He was looking out the window.

"We should ride to where we were going. The sooner we leave is the sooner we'll get there. And the sooner we won't get caught up on."

William shut his eyes and opened them again, slowly. He began to sit up. "Alright." He said.

"We have a few days ride ahead."

"You can't say that with any certainty, you having never been there before." John said.

"I've figured it. It should be no more than three days ride."

"You can't be sure."

"I've been near there before anyways. I grew up near there."

"You've never been there though."

"Anyway," Michael said, "We should just keep riding."

The three of them readied themselves.

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