Woodridge: Queensland’s Birthplace of Neo-Noir Literature

Logan City’s Dark Side

My ol’ mate Steven Knights and I used to knock about the streets of Logan very late at night. We’d get on our push-bikes and wreak havoc until the wee small hours.

We thought that what we were doing was all pretty harmless. 

If you imagined drugs, fights, knives and violent takedowns then… sorry. That part should be saved for fiction, those read in my books.

The worst we did in life was add free credits to what became a never-ending video game at the BP station near the train bridge. We must’ve played that machine for hours. Simon Jones had worked out how to attach a cotton thread to a coin and then jiggle it about deep inside its money-slot. We’d watch the credits tick-over and then he’d yank on the thread so it’d come free. We were set for a night of Galaga.

Yes, it was the eighties… and we were just 15.
Logan City was (still is) a low-socioeconomic area. It was young and growing at a substantial rate. If fact, it didn’t have a ‘City’ label wasn’t attached when these three boys skimmed freebies from its local servo. That came later.

But life was relatively good in Woodridge. Forget crystal-meth. We never had that. Glue sniffing was the fad of our time. Teens succumbing to its noxious fumes and dying amongst piles of plastic bags behind shopping centres was its accompanying fad.

Steven Knights, Simon Jones and myself never did glue. Our choice of poison was Bundy Rum… and that didn’t come until later. Seventeen and we were already behind the times when cracking our first bottle open. 
After I got my driver’s licence and a small second-hand car, that Bundy Rum went on the road with us. Patrick Marot joined the gang and took to the grog right away. There were drinking games I could tell you about but…
And then a girl came on the scene. She became a drug and the boys had to go.
Sex took up space… and there was not much available in a compact Honda. The guys were invited back when she was away but when she was mine, she was mine alone.
We knew all the dark spots around Logan City. Nicola Du Thaler and I must’ve visited them all. We were horny, young and very good at what we did. When the hunger pangs hit, we fed immediately, gorging until we were full. We pulled my car over frequently.
Rathdowney camping trips were a chance to pull over for an extended period. One time per year, a group of friends would pack their cars, leave their parents and head out to the bush.
Yes, Easter holidays offered the high-school couples a time to bed-down and get busy with whatever they get busy doing for four long, exquisite days. 
Simon and Michelle, Douglas and Karen, Knightsie and whomever he was dating at the time, Nicola and myself unpacked the gear, erected our tents and zipped our tent’s doors behind us. We only arose for air, food and a shower.   
It was a crazy time. Bundaberg Rum was no competition for what happened beneath those sleeping bags. 
And then there were the singles who had other tents and came along because they’d heard about the previous camp-outs. 
Those poor bastards.

They’d listened to special abridged versions of the adventure. Sure, it was good… but it was better for the lovers… and not for the wildlife and natural landscapes around us!

They’d just end up sitting around, drinking and talking all day and night. While they talked about the beauty of the areas, others were busy putting layers of heavy condensation on flimsy nylon walls. 

‘Were you sleeping again?’ They’d ask as we emerged from a freshly unzipped door, the smell of sex permeating from behind us.
‘Sure!’ She’d reply, grinning, straightening her messed-up hair with her fingers. 
Monday morning was a sad time. That’s when we’d have to pack up our tents and genitals to head for home!
The bright sunshiny days in Rathdowney had to be swapped for the darker evenings of Logan City. Twelve months was a long time wait for four days of bliss with heavy breathing!
There are many other stories I could write about but there’s a limit to what I’ll put on a blog. 
Logan City became a significant topic in my novel. A body count grows as a night killer stalks victims during thunderstorms.

It’s neo-noir fiction which it means it’s dark, insidious and contemporary. Strap yourself in, hell is about to bend your mind and tear your morals apart.

P.S I should’ve dedicated this novel to Miss Todhunter. She was my English teacher at Woodridge High during those senior school years. She was the one who suggested I keep on writing.

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