The Hidden Tree

I remember the first time that my parents let me come with them to work. Most kids might have been stuck in a bland office on bring-your-kids-to-work day. Not me. My parents worked out in the sun, surrounded by nature, hunting down ancient artefacts.

My parents had never looked cooler. To my seven-year-old self, their lives were straight out of an action-adventure movie. They were my real-life Indinna Jonesies. We had wandered up the side of a mountain in search of an ancient scroll. It was perfect. They had even packed a picnic. 

At the top, where the canopy thinned enough to create a natural lookout, we ate whilst drinking in the surrounding treescape. Melbourne had been a tiny speck in the distance, glistening towers tiny sparkles on a horizon that stretched for infinity.

I had taken over the family business of investigating the paranormal when I turned eighteen. Today, the people in town would know me as an arborist. I had managed to sneak my way into an inner-city grove that was said to house some of the most beautiful ornamental trees in the world, with the promise I would survey the ‘health’ of the trees.

There were rumours in town that the root systems burrowed under the houses, wrapping around drainage pipes and – this was the part that brought me there – pulsed with a sweet song in the dead of night. 

The grove had become overgrown with time, making my journey difficult. Under the bushes and leaves, there were hints of dozens of cut down trees. Whilst I saw signs of stump removal near me, it looked like the once-maintained paradise had slowly lost funding over the years.

It did not affect the beauty of the place. The garden had an ethereal presence that pushed me further into the thicket. Eventually, the small underbrush transformed into a grove of fruit trees. The towering skyscrapers above me became obscured by the thick canopy.  I had found the heart of the garden. 

Glancing at my watch, I knew it would be dark soon. The song would begin.

Pranks Heat Up

It had been a few months since Goob had begun his ghostly shenanigans of messing with the heating and cooling systems of Melbourne residents. In that time, he had perfected the art of imitating the strange noises that would come from a faulty air con to trick his victims into booking a service for their perfectly functional air conditioners.

His true moment of enlightenment came when he first possessed an air conditioning unit. It had been surreal but rewarding. Despite not having a body, his spirit felt cramped as it pushed its way between wires and dodged electrical currents. 

With practice, he had gotten so good that his control over the units was unbelievable. One day he possessed one boutique store’s unit and found by manipulating the currents that he could control all of the air conditioning systems near South Yarra – those that needed servicing, at least.

As time and the seasons passed by, the temperatures began to drop. It wasn’t just the cooling systems that began to be used. His pranks, whilst holding the same foundation in confusing the living, had to adapt. Soon after he was convincing folks all over that they needed to book in for a heater repair. Cheltenham all the way down to Frankston was buzzing with confused phone calls and internet posts.

Every little mumbled frustration or scratched head made him feel more and more seen. It had been so long since he’d been alive that he had almost forgotten how it felt to be heard. Whilst they weren’t talking about him exactly, it was leagues ahead of feeling ignored and forgotten. 

There were moments when he would feel remorse creep into his ghostly body. It didn’t help that his ghost pals didn’t approve of his newfound hobby. To cope with the growing emotions, he distracted himself by finding new ways to trouble the living. It was becoming a bad habit, but it was better than having to sit with his thoughts.

He didn’t realise until it was too late the damage he was causing.

The Shocking Reveal

There was an electrifying buzz in the air as our jovial builder stepped into the vibrant hardware store for the final leg of his homebuilding journey. This visit was to obtain essential electrical supplies, the nervous system of his ambitious shed house project. He could hardly contain his excitement as he thought of all the potentialities, the appliances humming to life, and the lights bringing warmth to his home.

But as he ventured into the aisle of cables and switches, a grand spectacle unfolded at the hardware shop Cheltenham residents most trust. The lights dimmed, and a spotlight focused on a junction box at the end of the aisle. Then, a booming yet gentle voice echoed, “Welcome, dear builder. You have been an exceptional audience to our harmonious symphony of construction!”

The builder stood there, his eyes wide with amazement as he realised that the entire store was coming to life, revealing itself as a sentient entity. It dawned upon him that it was the spirit of the hardware store itself, an entity infused with the wisdom and charm of a construction maestro, that had been guiding him throughout his whimsical journey.

“Thank you,” the builder chuckled, still partly in disbelief at the theatrical spectacle unfolding before him. “I have to admit, this has been the most enchanting shopping experience of my life!”

The store beamed, responding, “And it was our pleasure, dear builder. We are here to make the dreams of creators like you come true, transforming the mundane into the marvellous. Now let us guide you to the most spectacular electrical supplies close to Cheltenham, the ones that will bring your dream home to dazzling life!”

With that, the aisles burst into a joyous procession, a grand finale of all the products coming together in a Broadway-style dance number, twirling and singing, showcasing their attributes in an ecstatic parade of lights, colours, and electrifying rhythms.

As he gathered the jubilant supplies, now coming to rest but still radiating a warm, animated glow, the builder couldn’t help but feel a profound connection to the living entity that was the hardware store, a place of dreams, creativity, and now, a new-found friend in the magical journey of home-building. 

Racing Repairs

Last Saturday, my friends and I decided to test our speed limits on the local race track. As adrenaline junkies, we always keep our cars in prime condition, ready to hit the road or track at any time. The day was going well, with the wind in our hair and the roar of the engines filling our ears. That was until my car decided it was time for an unscheduled pit stop.

There I was, in the middle of a race, when my trusty sports car started making a clunking noise. I immediately pulled over, hoping it was a minor issue I could fix. A quick look under the hood confirmed my worst fear: I was not equipped to handle it. The panic began to set in. As someone who takes immense pride in their car, the thought of it being incapacitated, even temporarily, was distressing.

Desperate and without much of a choice, I started searching for a reliable mechanic based near Bentleigh. To my relief, I found one with stellar reviews. As my car was towed to the shop, I hoped for the best. The staff were amicable, and their professional demeanour quickly put my racing heart at ease. They informed me that they provide a comprehensive car service in the Bentleigh area and have experience with racing cars like mine.

While I waited for the repair, I decided to engage with other customers. It was enlightening to hear their stories and experiences with this mechanic. Many had been loyal customers for years, and others had similar sudden needs like mine. But the unanimous consensus was clear: the service quality and trustworthiness were top-notch.

By late afternoon, my car was back to its roaring best. Not only had they fixed the immediate issue, but they also did a full check-up ensuring I wouldn’t face another hiccup soon. Driving away from the workshop, I couldn’t help but think about how unexpected events sometimes lead to discovering hidden gems. And in this case, I found a mechanic team I knew I could trust for years to come.

Solar Basement

Elara’s fingers traced the worn edges of the wallpaper as she wandered through her newly acquired Victorian home. The house, despite its eerie history, was magnificent, with arched doorways and stained glass windows. The aroma of ancient wood filled her senses.

In one of the rooms, she stumbled upon a drawer. Inside was an old photograph of townspeople, their expressions stoic. Something about the image made her heart race, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. She pocketed the photograph.

Her wanderings led her to a small door beneath the staircase. It creaked open to reveal a hidden basement. The air was dense, and the room dimly lit. Her eyes widened at what lay before her.

A vast array of ancient machinery hummed with energy. Panels and devices that looked to be a blend of technology and magic were intricately woven together. She saw something that looked a lot like a commercial LED lighting installation, except it had been intricately crafted to harness sunlight. 

Although Elara was now a bestselling author, she still recalled a thing or two from her internship at that solar energy company in her uni days, when she’d wanted to save the planet. She could tell the sunlight was being directed into what appeared to be devices that would ordinarily be used for commercial battery storage solutions. Solar symbols adorned the machines.

As she reached out to touch one of the panels, the machinery pulsed, as if alive. The entire house shook, and the basement flooded with blinding light. She could hear the townspeople outside, their voices morphing into an indistinguishable chorus.

Elara stumbled back. The machines seemed to be reaching out, tendrils of light stretching towards her. The whispers of the townspeople grew louder, echoing in her ears as if pleading for something.

With all the strength she could muster, Elara raced out of the basement, slamming the door shut behind her. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She knew she had awakened something — something that had slept for a very long time.

The house, the machinery, the townspeople; they were all pieces of a puzzle she had to solve. Clutching the photograph, she made a vow to uncover the secrets and free the town from its twisted fate.

The Richmond House

As the rays of the morning sun filtered through the window, Elara found herself back at the start. The sign at the town’s entrance now welcomed her to Richmond. This time, she hit the ground running.

First on her agenda was the conveyancing firm based in Richmond that had agreed to help her the day before. She arrived at the conveyancer’s door before they even opened. Elara paced outside, rehearsing her pitch. She was on a first-name basis with the cycle now; she refused to let it thwart her.

As soon as the conveyancer, Mr Anders, arrived, she deluged him with information and requests. She called the bank from his office and worked on getting her payment approved ahead of time. She was streamlining the process, squeezing every second for what it was worth.

The day wore on, and she was checking off her to-do list at a frenetic pace. The one thing left was to convince the property owner to sell to her. She found him in a quaint café, sipping tea as if he had all the time in the world.

“Excuse me, sir. My name is Elara, and I would like to buy your property,” she blurted out, without any preamble.

He looked taken aback, but Elara didn’t have time for pleasantries. She explained the urgency, the beauty she saw in the house, and how it felt like it was calling to her. She didn’t mention the time loop; she was sure that would sound insane.

Remarkably, he agreed. “I’ve been waiting for the right person to take that house,” he said with a knowing smile.

Elara dashed back to the conveyancer’s office with the owner. The conveyancing and settlement documents were being finalised. She was on the verge of success, but as she reached for the pen to sign, everything around her began to blur.

“No! Not now!” she cried out, but it was too late. The cycle reset.

But now, she knew she could do it. She just needed one more day.

Among Sewers

Nate and O’Sullivan, armed with the ancient idol and inscriptions from their first adventure, delved deeper into the underground labyrinths beneath Melbourne. They navigated through the dark, dank sewers, their flashlights bouncing off the brick walls.

“You think that maybe the treasure is just a lifetime supply of toilet paper?” Nate joked.

“You’d be the richest man in the kingdom!” O’Sullivan retorted with a chuckle.

Nate, ever the observant treasure hunter, noticed a series of symbols etched into the walls. O’Sullivan, the expert drain plumber, recognised them as ancient codes.

As they deciphered the codes, they also had to tackle a series of booby traps and plumbing challenges that tested O’Sullivan’s skills to the limit.

“I’ve had my fair share of Melbourne blocked sewer repair jobs, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” O’Sullivan exclaimed as they managed to divert a flow of water that would have swept them away.

Meanwhile, Nate and O’Sullivan became aware of another presence in the labyrinth. They stumbled upon a campsite and discovered equipment bearing the emblem of a snake coiled around a drainpipe. It belonged to a mysterious faction led by a sinister man named Victor Drainage. They overheard Victor’s men talking about using the treasure’s supernatural powers for evil.

Realising the gravity of the situation, Nate and O’Sullivan hastened their search. Deep in the sewers, they found an ancient chamber with a relic at its centre. The relic was a staff with a gem that emitted an eerie light.

O’Sullivan noticed an inscription on the staff that hinted at the treasure being of supernatural origin, capable of either immense good or catastrophic evil.

They understood that their quest was not just about riches; it was about protecting Melbourne and perhaps the world from unspeakable danger.

As they prepared to leave the chamber, they noticed Victor Drainage’s shadowy figure in the tunnel. A cat-and-mouse game began through the underground maze, and they barely managed to escape Victor’s clutches.

Back on the city streets, Nate and O’Sullivan knew that their adventure had grown into a race against time and evil. Their courage, wit, and skills would be tested like never before.

Inked Phoenix Rising

Lily, a daring firefighter in Brisbane, had always been fascinated by the symbol of the phoenix. Eager to carry its representation of rebirth and strength, she searched for a Japanese tattooist near Brisbane who could ink a perfect phoenix. Her search led her to the Tattoo Emporium.

Once inside, the aura of the parlour felt mystical. Ezekiel, the renowned tattooist, welcomed her and explained that he had traditional tattooist bookings but could make time for her tattoo.

As Ezekiel etched the phoenix onto Lily’s back, she felt a surge of heat pulsating through her. Her tattoo came alive with flickering flames.

At her next firefighting mission, she discovered she was immune to fire and could control flames. Lily began saving lives like never before, dousing flames with a wave of her hand.

However, her feats didn’t go unnoticed. A sinister group, the Firebrand Cult, sought to harness fire for nefarious deeds. They pursued Lily, wanting to exploit her powers.

Realising the gravity of the situation, Lily sought help from Ezekiel. Together, they devised a plan to protect the secret of her magical tattoo and fend off the Firebrand Cult.

They discovered an ancient scroll depicting rituals to counter dark forces. It required them to combine the powers of the phoenix tattoo with elemental ink made from sacred water and earth.

Ezekiel, wielding his ancient tattooing tools, inscribed protective runes around Lily’s phoenix tattoo. Empowered, Lily confronted the Firebrand Cult.

A dramatic battle ensued, with flames dancing and the forces of good and evil clashing. Lily, with her phoenix ablaze, summoned a mighty firestorm, consuming the Cult’s dark energies.

With the threat averted, Lily vowed to use her powers responsibly, fighting not only fires but also forces that threaten peace and harmony.

Ezekiel, proud of his apprentice, reminded her that the magic within was not just in the ink, but also in her valiant heart.

Lily, the Inked Phoenix, soared through the night, vigilant and unwavering, a guardian of fire and protector of the innocent.

Drain Mystery Begins

It was a cold, rainy night when the case first landed on my desk. “Blocked Drains – Brighton” the file said. The kind of case that didn’t sit right with me. The city’s drains were clogging up, and something smelled fishier than the Yarra River. I knew I needed to get to the bottom of it, but I’d need some help.

I started by seeking out a reliable drain plumber, someone with experience in drain unblocking and a nose for trouble. I found my man in a small shop, the kind of place that smelled like grease and hard work. He was a no-nonsense guy, the kind who could tell you everything you needed to know about drain camera inspections and sewer repairs.

“Detective Plumblock,” I said, introducing myself. “I need your help with a case involving a series of blocked drains in the Brighton area.”

He eyed me up and down. “Alright, Detective. But we’d better work fast. These blockages are becoming a real problem.”

We started our investigation by visiting the affected areas, gathering evidence and talking to the locals. Quickly enough it became clear that the blockages were no accident. They were deliberate – targeted. Someone was trying to bring Melbourne to its knees, and they were using the city’s sewer system to do it.

With each blocked drain we encountered, the drain plumber would meticulously repair the damage, clearing pipes and restoring flow like a skilled surgeon. But we both knew that unblocking drains wouldn’t be enough. We needed to find the person responsible and put an end to this madness.

It was in the darkest corner of a Brighton alleyway that we found our first real clue. A strange symbol etched into the concrete, seemingly connected to the blocked drains.

With the evidence mounting and the stakes rising, we knew we had to work quickly. The fate of Melbourne rested on our shoulders, and we wouldn’t let her down. For every blocked drain we encountered, we were one step closer to the truth.

And so, our journey into the darkness began. Melbourne’s underground was about to reveal its secrets, and we were ready to face whatever lay ahead.

Conveyancing Part Five

A young couple named Ethan and Beatrice were in the process of buying their first home. Excited about the prospect of owning their own place, they quickly realised that the legal aspects of property purchase could be quite daunting. That’s when they decided to seek the help of a conveyancing team. After doing some research, Ethan and Beatrice found the most reputable firm for conveyancing Prahran had. The conveyancing team were known for their expertise and affordability, and they had great reviews from previous clients. Ethan and Beatrice decided to hire them to navigate the legal complexities of their property purchase.

The conveyancing team quickly got to work, reviewing the contract of sale, conducting property searches, and ensuring that all legal requirements were met. They kept Ethan and Beatrice informed at every step of the process and promptly addressed any questions or concerns they had. Ethan and Beatrice were pleasantly surprised to find that the cost of hiring conveyancing solicitors was more affordable than they had anticipated. They had initially been worried about the expense of hiring professionals, but they realised that the peace of mind and expertise provided by the conveyancing team was well worth it.

As the conveyancing process progressed smoothly, Ethan and Beatrice were able to focus on other aspects of their home purchase, such as getting a mortgage and packing up their belongings. They appreciated the efficiency and professionalism of the conveyancing solicitors, who made the legal process seamless and stress-free. Finally, the conveyancing team successfully completed the property purchase for Ethan and Beatrice. They were thrilled to receive the keys to their new home in Prahran and move in without any legal hiccups. They were grateful for the affordable services of the conveyancing solicitors, who had helped them make their dream of homeownership a reality. As they settled into their new home, they couldn’t help but feel grateful for the conveyancing team who had made the process smooth and affordable. They happily recommended their conveyancing solicitors to their friends and family, knowing that the expertise and affordability of their services would be a great help to anyone looking to buy a property.