by Sally Hardy
Photography: Festival Photography

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by Sally Hardy

When a hard and unlikeable soccer coach takes his Under 18’s into the bush for toughening up on a ‘team bonding‘ weekend, things go horribly wrong.

Having dragged Simon, the younger and weaker of his two sons (who are both in the team), on a gruelling run through the scrub, the coach falls down an abandoned mine shaft. But after a lifetime of humiliation and abuse at the hands of his father, Simon makes the agonising choice to tell no one, and leaves his father to die alone in the bush. Returning to his team mates without his father, the others are only mildly curious as to his whereabouts at first. But as time passes and night descends, the mystery deepens and tension mounts.

Left to their own devices the boys’ darker sides emerge, as well as their fears. And when a game of Truth or Dare results in a truly life threatening situation for one of his team mates, Simon’s older brother Geordie must not only take control of the situation but also confront the reality that the cycle of violence in his family may have come full circle. The keys to the bus are down the mine shaft with the coach, and two people’s lives depend on Simon coming clean. If his friend is to survive, Simon must face the moment of truth with his father. Only Geordie knows what could have driven him to do such a thing, and only Simon knows if he has it in him to redeem the situation.

This title appears in:

Australian Writers Guild 'What's the Story?' Competition (2017 nominee)

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