The Shadow of Redfern

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The Shadow of Redfern by Anastasia Scoggins

This month, our Sunday writers ventured into Redfern and took some photos of the neighbourhood. They then used these photos to inspire postcards and stories about the area - with a little imagination thrown in. Here's an incredible modern, urban fable by Anastasia.

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To Tony Abbott,

I am writing as a concerned citizen to tell you about the shadow of Redfern. For the first few months of its life, it lived in its shapeless form feeding off the scraps of human life. As it grew from our waste it began to outgrow its home. While it slithered out of its rectangular prison, what Redfern residents know as the rubbish bin, the shadow’s hand-like form burnt and shrivelled in the sunlight. The scream of the creature caused the 2013 earthquake on Sydney. Our shadow then waited till night to escape its fortress.

Warm regards,

Redfern Council, 176 Redfern St.

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To Tony Abbott,

I have more concerning news of the creature. For the past few months, it has been hiding in the shadows, escaping the torture of the sun. Like a human viewing apartments, it has considered many new ways of life. It has recently occupied the iconic tree of life in Redfern Park. It melted itself through the leaf litter and sticks, and made its home among the roots. This is the only tree that holds the town together, the only nature that survived the shadow’s scream. To add to the situation, the purity of the air has decreased. We, as the council have looked at placing a small ban on carbon emissions. We hope you support us in this decision. In opposition to photosynthesis, the shadow only inhales the purest air, it then exhales toxic gasses. From our most recent reports, we have found the shadow is preparing to feed.

Warm regards,

Redfern Council, 176 Redfern St.

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To Tony Abbott,

The situation has got increasingly worse. The shadow has now blindly fought its way through the compacted soil and found the roots of the ancient tree. The creature has wrapped itself around the roots and has begun to suck the nutrients into its formless body. Without its realisation, the shadow has begun to fade, as has the tree. Over time, the tree has leant severely to the left as the shadow has shrunk in size and power. The creature is no longer powerful enough to suck the food source from the tree, it is unable to consume anything else. The tree has begun to regain its’ power. With knowledge of its near death, the shadow has clawed its way into the sun and killed itself. That is what left the black polluted stain on the ground. Now fences have been set up around the mark as anything that touches it is poisoned. With the shadow gone, the tree stays in its current position but if anything threatens it again, the tree will surely die. With the tree gone, there will be no nature left in Redfern and human life will be impossible.

Warm regards,

Redfern Council, 176 Redfern St.

Story and photographs by Anastasia Scoggins