a taste of ‘The Last Free Man and Other Stories’

from the short story collection The Last Free Man and Other Stories by Lewis Woolston, published October 2019 and shortlisted for the 2020 Chief Minister’s NT Book Awards (Best Fiction)



ISBN (paperback)  978-1-925536-88-1

ISBN (eBook)  978-1-925536-89-8

to purchase The Last Free Man and Other Stories, click here for  paperback  /  ePub  /  iBookstore  /  Amazon Kindle  /  B & N NOOKbook  /  Kobobooks




When I met him, he was old, but you could still see how strong he was, muscles like rope practically popped out of every limb covered by skin that the outback sun had tanned like leather. from The Last Free Man

Because I didn’t give a fuck about the job I’d slip them a free drink or two,

justifying it on the grounds that drunk young women tend to attract more customers to a pub. from

Postcard From Cairns

He walked out across the grass, into the heart of the parklands. He wanted to feel the open space. from Peaches in Summer

They used to grow between the street and the front of people’s houses. Every spring they’d flower and give the whole town a crimson glow. from A Row of Bottlebrush Trees

He shakes his head. If he can’t get to Adelaide tonight and if his sister won’t let him stay at her place for a while he is sleeping in his car for the foreseeable future. from The Family Farm

‘Go talk to the truckie, make him blow in the bag and get a statement from him,’ the Sergeant barked. from The Probationary Constable

She’d managed to get into a university in Melbourne without her help, she’d managed to organise a share house with some other students without her help, presumably she’d organise her luggage without her help. from The Exile

When I explained what I’d discovered to them I could see Dicky Knee’s heart sink; he knew this meant a lot of paperwork, dead bodies can’t be ignored. from The Mundrabilla Suicide

‘Why? She hasn’t done anything up here, as far as I can tell she’s clean and she’s got a legit job. No, I say let sleeping dogs lie.’ from Comings and Goings

… if you’ve never been bitten by a Huntsman I can only describe the pain as a chemical burn. As though someone had put industrial strength bleach into an open wound. from A Pistol and a French Girl

She really doesn’t feel up to this but because it’s Christmas she feels she has to refrain from yelling at them to shut up. from Christmas in Alice Springs

This rebellion was met with savage beatings from his father which only ended when Grandpa Bob grew up and started hitting back. from Grandpa Bob

His body language gave the impression that life had beaten him down till he was beyond resisting in any meaningful sense. from The Failure

There was a girl at the bar, real country looking; from the way she was speaking to the roadhouse staff I assumed she was local. I listened in casually for lack of anything better to do. from Rain on the Highway

‘How do you know it’s a she?’ ‘Saw it close enough to know, it’s a mare and an old one, she’s probably had a hard life out here and now she’s all alone just waiting to die.’ from The Last Madura Brumby

‘You’re a top bloke, I’ll tell your boss how tops you are, you should be running the joint! Looking after an old bloke like me, still decent people in the world, just got to find ’em, I reckon.’ from Winter in Norseman

There was Tom, same age as me, same lack of drive or ambition, he supplemented his dole by doing a couple nights a week as a kitchenhand for cash in hand wages. from Tracey’s Lament

It was their first time in the outback; I could tell by the way their eyes boggled as we got further and further out from civilization. from Driftwood

You just have to learn to enjoy the simple things, that’s the trick, I think. Every Sunday morning, I have a big fry-up breakfast; bacon, mushrooms, beans and eggs on toast. from A Little Flat in Dover Court


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