Chapter 1

“Abby, let’s go,” I said.

“Coming, Dad. I need to print out one more page.” The printer stopped and she skipped out the door.

When did I stop being Daddy? Ah, I remember. It was that frightful day when she became a woman. It seems so long ago ... two weeks.

“Daddy? I need to go to the Chemist,” she had said, blushing.

“We have aspirin,” I said.

“It’s not a headache, Daddy.” She looked down.

“What?”

“I wish Myndee was here,” Abby said. “She would know what.”

“A girl problem?”

“The biggest, Daddy.”

She was looking in the vicinity of the vee junction of her jeans, they seemed a little dark.

“Daddy!”

I looked away.

When we were done with the Chemists and safely home, I asked, “Need any help?”

“Daddy!”

She went next door.

When she came back I was Dad ... been Dad ever since.

We were going prospecting ... fossicking, please ... at her request.

“Dad ... can we go to Ophir?” She pronounced it O’fa.

“I suppose ... why?”

“I had a dream.”

I would be the very last one to ridicule a dream. My inventions were all from dreams. Dreaming made me rich.

“Tell me about it.”

“Really?” she gushed. “Really? You want to know?”

“Really,” I said.

“You won’t laugh or tell your mates at the pub?”

“I might laugh ... but I don’t go to the pub.”

She pondered that.

When Abby is deep in thought I realize what I lost in her mom. She’s lighter skinned but her red hair is almost fake it’s that deep. She hates her eyes ... green with an oriental slant ... everybody wants to know where she got the green contacts. But deep in thought ... her brow wrinkles and there’s these lines that radiate out from her nose ... I miss my wife.

I made that hand movement that denotes I’m waiting ... get on with it.

“Okay. This over several nights.”

“You keep having the same dream?”

“Yes ... just this one ... There’s gentle monsters in it.”

“Wait! Gentle monsters?”

“Yeah, and two people; a guy named Jim and my grandfather? Have I ever met Grandfather?”

“Yes ... but you were four months old.”

“Jim was the guy next door? That moved?”

“You could say that.”

The description was perfect. Tall, skinny, two legged cows ... with kind faces.

“The dream?”

“They missed a spot.”

“Missed a spot?”

“Yes.”

“Who did?”

“The Gold Rush miners.”

So ... we went.

“Ophir, look out. Abbie is on a roll.”

She just laughed. It was a pleasant sound ... reminded my of my wife.

“Dad ... you’re crying.”


Ophir is the name of a locality in New South Wales (NSW), Australia in Carbonne Shire. Ophir is located near the Macquarie River northeast of the city of Orange. Ophir is the place where gold was first discovered in NSW in 1851. The Hatton brothers, Will and Jack, and Ed Hargraves found payable gold in February 1851 at the Ophir gold diggings, located at the joining of the waters of Summer Hill Creek and Lewis Ponds Creek. WIKI.

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