Frankie Fey

by Rigby Taylor

Chapter 21

Real Estate

Each morning Frankie woke to the glorious realisation that he was free of the restrictions, constrictions and expectations of the University in which he now felt he had been imprisoned for three years. It hadn't all been bad, of course. He'd been awarded an Arts degree and wrought major social changes in the place, as well as learning a lot of very useful tricks for living. But apart from Laurent, and perhaps Prudence, he'd made no friends he wanted to see again. For the moment he was content to drift; not impatient to start anything new, and not under the slightest pressure from anyone to do or be anything other than himself. Bliss.

Apart from a spectacular electrical storm with exceptionally strong winds that had brought down large branches and a couple of old trees, the weather gods had provided plenty of sun with the occasional shower. Karmai was pleased to have help in checking the boundaries and forest, and Sylvan too appreciated a hand with the constant maintenance required with all large properties. So there was plenty to do and even more to think about.

Directly after breakfast he would slip his feet into sandals, sling his bow and quiver across his back, and head off into the forest in search of hares that had been debarking trees, and foxes, dogs and cats that had been killing the young of endangered native animals. If he found a pleasant spot he'd sit, open his mind and try to regain the near rapture of meditation he'd achieved in Tasmania. But something had changed. He was no longer lonely or desperate. Probably too comfortable. His head seemed too full of information, ideas, questions—junk that interfered whenever he tried to stop thinking. The more he tried to empty his mind the fuller it became, chasing the serenity of meditation even further out of reach. He should do something that would stretch his brain. Take a risk. But not now. Life was too good to risk jeopardising things. Perhaps later. For the moment he wanted to simply enjoy feeling relaxed, calm and contented without guilt.

When the video of his dance with Prudence arrived, Frankie told no one, deciding to watch it in private in case it was a disaster. It wasn't, she had done a fine job, seamlessly editing shots from all three cameras to create a twenty-minute show from a fifteen-minute performance. Glowing with pride and anticipation he cooked a healthy, if tasteless dinner and invited Karmai and Sylvan to join them. They all munched stoically, wondering why their host seemed so nervously excited. After ushering them into the lounge with glasses of cold tea and directions to sit in front of the video screen, he pressed the button and sat back. Too late to stop now.

The reactions were all Frankie had hoped for. Disbelief when they saw what he was not wearing. Admiration at his agility, dancing skills and professional competence. Shocked delight at the first pas de deux. Raucous laughter as the satyr tore off the nymph's clothes. Wolf whistles and shouts of joy when Frankie returned, pirouetting with an erection. Silent awe at Prudence's splits, the penetration and the balancing act as they moved back to the rock. Disbelieving chuckles during the subsequent savage rutting.

'You actually fucked her on stage in front of a thousand people!'

'Nearer fifteen hundred, actually.'

'Everyone could see your cock thrusting in and out!'

'I did my best to ensure that.'

'You both had ginormous orgasms!'

'Of course! That's what it was all about.'

'From the noise, I imagine the audience was not universally appreciative.'

'He who hopes to please everyone is doomed to disappointment.'

'But you enjoyed yourself.'


'Which begs the obvious question… why did you do it?'

'I'd been wanting to know what it was like to screw a female ever since I was twelve, and when I told Prudence, she confided that she was equally curious. In her case about two things: the feel of a real penis manipulated by its owner, compared to a dildo, finger or tongue, and if she was able to conceive a child.'

'Do you want to have a kid?'

'Fuck no! As soon as she knows she's pregnant, she'll abort it.'

'Are you sure? Women are strange creatures.'

'Prudence is stranger than most, and the last thing she would want is a parasite in her guts… her words.'

'Why didn't you just fuck some girl in your room?'

'I tried with three nubile wenches. I petted and groped, sucked on nipples, shoved fingers into holes, and tongue down throats… all the usual stuff that has normal guys creaming their jeans, but nary a twitch from my not so lusty sword. If anything it shrank! So I thanked them for the fun, but confessed that as I was saving myself for marriage, I'd better stop before their seductive charms forced me to break my vow of celibacy. They accepted the lie with pride, and I accepted that I was queer when it came to females. If I'd carried on attempting to fuck, within a week the entire female population of the university would have learned I'm heterosexually impotent, and that would have been the end of my reputation.'

'I still don't see how that led to your magnificent performance.'

'While in the confessing mood with Prudence, I admitted that the idea of sex in front of a large appreciative audience was so appealing it'd be certain to increase my libido and ensure a pleasurably propitious outcome. Prudence was unsurprised, and confessed she'd made a lot of money at high school by masturbating in a live nude peep show in the city, so would I join her in a dance she'd been choreographing? Whether or not it was theatrically successful, we would both have satisfied our curiosity.'

'Had you ever had sex in front of an audience before this performance?'

'That's for me to know, father dear,' Frankie grinned. 'All you need to know is that I inherited the proclivity from my mother.'

'Virtue? What…?'

'She was generous with her favours, and when I caught her with the window cleaner, the pizza delivery boy, the TV repair man, the gas man… she was always pleased to see me.'

'Poor Virtue.'

'Not so poor, she had a good life.' Frankie patted Ingenio on the shoulder and deposited a tender kiss on his forehead. 'To prove my point, or lack of it, Prudence and I rehearsed all our dance routines naked, but not even once did I get an erection, so our major worry was that I had to guess where the head of my cock would be when I lifted her up and shoved it in while she was doing the splits. Luckily she was so hot and horny on stage it sort of found its own way. If it hadn't we'd have skipped that bit and gone straight to the doggy episode on the rock. It all worked out well, I reckon.'

'And you never worried beforehand that you'd not get an erection on stage?'

'Never crossed my mind.'

'Well, it sure worked for me,' Karmai sighed. 'I've never seen a porno film anywhere near as much fun as this. When you impaled her and circled around, both leaning back with your arms out it was… beautiful.'


'Yes,' Ingenio was thoughtful. 'It was beautiful. You managed to make an act of animal lust seem natural and the opposite of disgusting—whatever that is.'

'Delightful?' Con suggested.

'That's it. Delightful… almost sweet.'

'And the lighting and set,' Sylvan added. 'They were superb! Seriously, Frankie, this is a true classic. It's great Art! I want a copy.'

'You shall have it.'

'It'll go viral on the Internet.'

'No,' Ingenio was adamant. 'That would cheapen it. Keep it for sending to your friends as a gift, and to prospective employers.'

'And as a "Vote for Me" video when I stand for parliament?'

'Yeah, that sort of thing.'

The four men laughed and looked at their favourite son with even greater respect, admiration and love—if that were possible.

Copies were made and Frankie was content. He'd fucked a female, had enormous fun doing it, and didn't have to do it again.

Every day he checked the walkable boundary; more than twelve kilometres, some of it along the top of vertical cliffs, some along the bottom. One boundary with the National Park was a stream that fed a fine bathing pool perched almost on the edge of a vertical drop, over which the stream plunged to join a creek below. Walking was tough going at times, occasionally the track he'd roughly hacked was incredibly steep but always exhilarating. He loved best the lightly wooded glades.

The eastern boundary was shared by a large, treed, private block nearly as large as Frankie's. To the south the boundary was entirely national park, as was about half the western boundary. To the north, his property ran behind private, five and ten acre blocks with road frontages. The entrance to "85" looked the same as those, but was really only a narrow right-of-way leading up from the gate to the large acreage behind. All the private blocks had houses nestling among the trees, invisible from each other and the road.

One afternoon, carrying a dog he had just shot, Frankie was jogging along a flat stretch when he noticed several sight lines that had been freshly cut through dense forest along the National Park boundary. He followed the sound of voices to a couple of surveyors. They were friendly enough, taking more interest in the fact that he was hunting successfully with a bow and arrow than what he wasn't wearing. When asked about the removal of trees and bushes they said they were making the first totally accurate map of the National Park boundaries. Why? Because the government was going to sell it. Why? A shrug of shoulders. They didn't know and didn't care. Frankie didn't trust himself to continue the conversation, so thanked them and returned home, deeply concerned.

So were Ingenio and the others, who began wondering if their neighbours knew about it. They probably didn't, because they too were semi recluses, living in the forest for the peace, quiet and privacy, greeting each other on the road or in town, but not desiring social contact.

'When I think about it,' Sylvan said with a frown. 'It's a bloody long time since I've seen any of them.'

Con suggested Frankie visit them to check if they knew any more than the surveyors.

The following day he put on a pair of shorts and visited; not by crossing the boundary and approaching from the forest like a criminal, but as he would have them do if they visited him, by jogging along the road and entering through the gate and walking up their drive like an honest man.

Every house was empty, and looked as if it had been for several months. Overgrown gardens, dried out patio plants. Sad. He continued into town to ask about the empty properties, but the estate agent was close-mouthed until he realised Frankie was the owner of "85". Then his complaints seemed unstoppable.

How did people think real estate agents could make a living if they all made private sales? Ten properties along that stretch of road, all sold to goodness knows who for god knows how much money and the agent hadn't seen a cent of commission from what had to be millions! There should be a law against it! Why they were sold and to whom, he had no idea. It all happened so fast. One day the owners seemed like normal happy locals; one had a craft stall at the local market, and the next they were gone. No goodbyes, nothing. 'It just shows you never know people. You think they're your friends and then they just up and leave you.'

Frankie assured the agent he would use his services if he ever decided to sell, and returned home, now nervous as well as worried. That evening Sylvan and Karmai came for dinner to discuss it.

'It's obvious,' Karmai said with a shrug of resignation. 'You whiteys keep hanging onto the pathetic notion that your elected government will govern in the best interests of all citizens. But no government in history has ever done that. Look at my people. Two and a half centuries after invasion we're still rotting in poverty and prisons. What decent person would want to lord it over others? Not one. Violent bullies become policemen, and scheming selfish arseholes become politicians, telling everyone else what to do and how to live. Everyone knows that all governments are corrupt, making laws for the benefit of those who'll grease their palms with filthy lucre.'

'Hope springs eternal,' Sylvan sighed.

'Thank you, Karmai, we all agree politicians are a corrupt bunch, so what do you think is going on?'

'What they've been doing forever, stealing people's land for their mates. National Parks belong to everyone, not the government.'

'You have a good point,' Con pacified. 'But why? Who'd want to buy mainly steep bushland so far from the city?'

'Loads of people' Karmai growled. 'Come on, Ingenio, boot up the computer and find out who bought those properties and if they're the same people who wanted this block.'

They crowded around, offering suggestions that slowed and impeded the investigation, but eventually Ingenio found what he wanted.

'There's no secret about state-owned land. The government wants to sell off this section of the National Park to reduce their infrastructure debts. Then private developers will tender for the construction of a new city up here.'

'Who for and why?'

'For the rich and powerful to escape all the pollution I suppose. They don't say it in words, but that's what they mean.'

'But rich bastards already have their harbour side mansions and riverside holiday homes and canal estate castles… why aren't they satisfied?' Sylvan was angry.

'Because humans can never be satisfied. It's why we're in the shit with the climate and everything else.'

'Yep. Three thousand years ago some wise Greek philosopher told everyone that more than enough is too much. But no one listened then, and no one's listened since.'

'Got it!' Ingenio hissed into the computer. 'The Ministry for the Environment's latest climate and environmental forecast. This snippet's from their "Not for public dissemination" file. Listen to this. The melt rate of all glaciers on Greenland's eastern coastline has accelerated sharply. Reliable predictions are for a catastrophic slide within three years.' He searched again. 'Here's an interesting document. "Consequences for Australia of the Greenland ice shelf sliding… bla bla bla… will be… bla bla bla… ah here we are… a rise in sea level of up to four metres. There's your answer, Sylvan. Harbourside mansions and riverside holiday homes will be under water, so they'll be moving up here with the clean air and views over the catastrophe below.'

'And what about all the poor non-rich pricks?'

'That's the plan,' Karmai sneered. 'The rich guys've been wondering what to do with the unemployed workers when all the jobs are done by robots…. they'll let them drown. That's why it's in the official secrets file, so they won't make a fuss before it happens.'

'Even the New South Wales government wouldn't do that.'

Constantine's laugh was derisive. 'Wanna bet?'

By the end of the evening they had learned that the construction contract was most likely going to an American company because the Chinese bidders wanted to preserve twenty percent of the land for green spaces and wildlife corridors, but the Americans were prepared to sacrifice green space to provide twenty percent more dwellings, and that would mean greater revenue for the government.

'They'll be paying top dollars for the land, so that's why Tony Carracci and Owen Lodes were trying to get this place for nothing. Then when they sold it to the developer it'd be pure profit.'

'I wonder if our neighbours were terrorised into selling like they tried to do with us. It's certainly very odd that they all left. Let's try to contact them and find out.'

'Do we want to know?'

'Definitely. Because if that's what happened we can expect more nasty visitors.'

'Why is our place so valuable?'

'Without it, all they'll have is a doughnut; a ring of properties with a huge hole in the middle.'

'Why don't the developers themselves come in and buy?'

'In case it all falls through. They don't take risks. That's what sharks like Tony do. And it's a political ploy too. If the electorate learned that foreign companies were buying up national parks, there'd be uproar and the deal would fail. So the usual practice is to keep it a secret by having Australians buy first, and then spring it on an unsuspecting public when it's too late for them to do anything about it.'

'There's no problem keeping things secret, because banks and corporations own all media. The government's just doing their dirty work for them for kickbacks.'

'So what do we do?'

'We need more information. I'll get onto it tomorrow while you guys work on ways to increase our security. I don't want to sell, but I also don't want to be surrounded by luxury slums.

Karmai and Sylvan set to work on increasing security.

Ingenio got busy, found the names of their ex neighbours and their new addresses, and together with Frankie visited them all, learning that none had wanted to sell. All had been more or less terrorised into selling at a ridiculously low price, and threatened with unnamed terrors if they complained. The one person who had complained to the police, disappeared a month later while walking to the shops. The cops said they were too busy to follow up the complaint. Another man's brakes failed when he was too slow in agreeing to the contract. His wife ended up with spinal injuries and will never walk again. The cops tried to blame the husband, said he wanted to get rid of his wife. All of the previous neighbours would love to get their property back. No real estate companies were involved; they were all private sales.

'They gave us copies of the documents,' Ingenio said. 'The same person did the transfers of all five properties with the Lands Department. Her name is Avarisha Louka. She has an office in central Sydney.'

Constantine prepared himself for a visit to the lawyer.

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