Jan 20, 1994.
I donít know whatís going on anymore. I think Iím losing my mind. I canít cope with the dreams and the feelings and everything else. Am I having a nervous breakdown? I canít, Iím only sixteen! What did I do to deserve this?
I should start at the beginning, write down what I remember while I still remember it. My name is Robin Jameson - my friends call me Robin Hood, but thatíll come later - I was born on the fourteenth of March, 1978, in New South Wales. Things were pretty dull, Iím the youngest of five kids and the only daughter, so I was pretty much beneath everyoneís notice, especially my dadís. I love my family, weíre just not very close. Dad only had time for sons.
My older brother, Branwyn, and I are pretty close, at least. Heís the only one Iím still in contact with. Thatís because Branwynís the only one out of all them who isnít a total idiot.
I pulled my weight, though, despite not fulfilling my daís hopes for another son. My parents own a sheep ranch (of course).Every hand was needed during shearing season, and I was set to watching the flocks as soon as I could handle a gun to shoot the dingoes. The dingoes were a hellish problem, nasty beasts.
I got some schooling, riding a bus for 45 minutes each way four days a week. I didnít have much use for book knowledge, nor does anyone in my family, so I dropped out last year. My parents didnít care, as long as I kept busy on the farm. My decision, they said.
Then I started having dreams, bad ones. Nightmares of being chased, and being caught...I donít want to think about them, they scare me so much. I try to stay awake enough so when I finally do fall asleep I wonít dream for long - but it never works. The monsters still chase me, do things to me...Iím not being a kid scared by the bogeyman, these fucking things are scary. I usually wake up screaming or sweating.
So many of these dreams involved destroying the farm, or terrible things happening to my family - I can say that much - so much killing - that I thought maybe I was sick, really sick of the ranch, and this was my subconsciousí not so subtle way of telling me to leave.
So I left. I ran away to Sydney about five months ago. I write to Branwyn from time to time, let him know Iím alright, but thatís all. I tried to hold down a job, working at the "Biggie Burger Barn" it was wretched, but Iím not qualified for much else. Sheep shearing is at a low demand in Sydney. But I got sick of flipping burgers real fast. That and I freaked out at a customer one day. Some guy came in for a Biggie Burger and, I donít know why, but when I looked up from the register to say "Four dollars, please" I looked him in the eyes and saw...well, I didnít see anything, but how his gaze made me feel...I felt like I do in the nightmares: scared, powerless, hysterical. I flipped out and ran out of the back of the store. The manager dick fired me on the spot and accused me of being a junkie. As if. But I canít blame him, Iíd probably feel the same if I found one of my employees hunched up and shaking next to the dumpster.
I fell with a gang soon after that. Weíre not particularly tough, not like those gangs you see on American cop shows. Sydney isnít a tough city.We hang out, tag stuff and mug people for pocket money. Those of us who donít have a job, that is. Claire helps out part time at a day care center, and Dixie sells papers (and a few other things too, I think). Iíve got this kind of part time thing posting flyers, but the money sucks. Stealingís quicker. I got my nickname because I always pick on those richie bastards who donít care about anyone but themselves and their Rolex. Weíre better off without Ďem. And a good mugging makes them appreciate the finer things in life, like breathing.
We share a house in one of the dingier areas downtown - and Iíve got my own room Ďcos of the nightmares. Who wants a screaming roomate? Dixie offered me some little white pills, said theyíd help. I almost shoved them up his ass for being a fool, but what does he know? He wasnít with us the time we found some git selling smack to middle school kids. He had to be scraped off the floor.
Thatís another thing that scares me - I lost control that time. I beat that dealer into the ground, and it felt really good. I hadnít felt so good in months. I was totally in control, beating on him and telling him what a fuckup he was...now Iím afraid Iím some kind of psycho.
The nightmares got worse after that - Iím afraid to go to sleep, but I canít stop that, can I? Sometimes, not often enough, I can take control and turn on the things that are chasing me, and fight back. That feels good, too, even better than beating up on drug pushers. I felt, like, liberated and triumphant.
Iíve so fucking scared, I doubt you can understand it. Iím scared that Iím a psycho, that Iím going to turn and kill my friends just for the hell of it. Iím scared of sleeping, Iím scared of being with people. Iím scared of that guy at the Biggie Burger Barn...his eyes were deep and angry and sucked me down and I thought I wasnít coming back, how could I not scream? And Iím scared that one night, Iím going to wake up and find out the nightmare is still going on. What am I going to do?
I wonít escape through drugs. I canít go to a shrink - I canít afford it and I donít exist to the state health plan.
I just want to run, run away from all of it - feel free with the wind in my hair, leave this stinking city and my stinking fear bar behind and howl at the moon.
Now, why did I say that?
BASIC CHARACTER GOOP.
Sixteen, almost seventeen years old.
5'7", skinny - lousy diet. Moderate build - keeps fit by walking everywhere. Very light blonde hair and very dark (almost black) brown eyes. Northern European ancestry...
Soft spoken, tends to shyness at first meeting, but quickly gains confidence in new situations. Not much body language, doesnít really Ďreach outí to anyone sheís talking to. Very definite shell, protective of her personal space, which is larger than normal.When she gets in one of her rare Ďragesí look out!
Usually wears basic jeans and tee-shirts. Owns one nice dress (you never know...) and a couple of nice silk shirts. Big, dusty black trenchcoat. Has an opal pendant that was her thirteenth birthday present from her mother, her only piece of jewelry thatís of any value.
Short tempered (of course) about some things: drug abuse, bullies, rich dickheads. Has a vague notion about Ďdefending the defenselessí when she can, but doesnít let her fellow gang members know about it. Really wants to do "the right thing" just as soon as she finds out what it is...
Likes: music (espec industrial), dancing at clubs, reading history, playing AusRules football (when she can).
Dislikes: country music, narrow minded people, politicians, laissez-faire capitalists.
Favorite stuff: Movie - "Die Hard". Book - "Concise History Of Australia" (Oxford University press). Food - Chinese or Italian. Ice cream - strawberry with fudge sauce. Color - neutral gray (goes with everything, right?). Has a secret addiction to those awful Australian soap operas, "Young Doctors In Love" or whatever...
Stuff: clothes, walkman and a few dozen tapes, dozen or so books, illegally bought gun (Glock 22) but she rarely carries it, butterfly knife, swiss army knife, teddy bear, journal, leather gloves, beat up combat boots, equally ratty sneakers, photo album, letters from her older brother, Branwyn.
The sort of look she has right now could get her mistaken for an unusually neat Bonegnawer, especially her attitude. Trying to cultivate the sixteen year old tougher/cooler-than-thou attitude, but itís extremely fragile, more so than most sixteen year olds...pretends ignorance of the fact that sheís obviously about to snap at any minute. The gangís a little nervous about that.
Claire - tough as nails nineteen year old female. De-facto leader of the gang, although Robin runs a close second. If she was a werewolf, sheíd be a Black Fury. Tolerates no sexism within the group, and thatís saying something if youíve met the average Australian male. Wants to "expand" the gangís activities. Joined in 1990, only one left from that period.
Robin - Yours truly. Essentially second in command, when such a position is neccessary. Joined six months ago.
Dixie - one of the newest members. Sixteen years old, white male. Likes his dope, but not so much that Robinís felt the need to beat him up. Yet. Laid back kid. Ran away from an abusive father. Joined two months ago.
Johnny - thirteen years old. Runaway from Canberra, five hundred miles away. Claire felt sorry for this skinny twelve year old she found on the street, but youíd have to torture her to get her to admit it. Pretends to be real tough, just like his role model, Claire, but heís as fragile as any thirteen year old. Nursing a crush on Claire. Joined just over a year ago.
Marie - slumming seventeen year old from the Ďburbs. Hangs out with gang Ďcos it makes her feel cool. Gang tolerates her because sheís a steady source of cash. Actually, a spoiled middle class kid who runs at the first sign of danger - if she gets even that far. "Joined" a year ago.
Ed - Seventeen years old. Sorta resents Robinís position. Why is she second in command, just cos she can beat the shit out of people and scare Ďem without really thinking about it? Gee... Serious drinker, loves his footie (AusRules football). Joined two and half years ago.
Plus several periphal hangers on.
When it comes to serious shit kicking, it boils down to a draw between Claire and Ed, if Robin understood herself, sheíd leave them in the dust, but as it is...Johnny doesnít really like the rough stuff, Dixie isnít too co-ordinated, but makes up for it with sheer effort. Marie always stays out of violent encounters.
Claire is the "brains" such as they are. Robin contributes occasionally, as does Dixie.
They have no plan, or established "turf", theyíre just a slightly unconventional family, as far as theyíre concerned. Social Services, however would take a different opinion...Claire has managed to declare herself Johnnyís legal guardian, but the others are on their own.
AND, REAL QUICK, THE FAMILY SHE LEFT BEHIND...
Father: Seamus Jameson.
Mother: Mandy Jameson.
Brothers: (oldest to youngest) Sean, Patrick, Jack, Mike, Branwyn. Robin feels closest to Branwyn, heís two years older than her.
One aunt (on fatherís side) Siobahn Jameson, who lives in Sydney, whom Robin has been trying to get the courage up to visit.
An uncle (on her motherís side) Chris Fergusson, lives in Alice Springs.