CHAPTER FOUR: THE LANDEATERS 2020
Modern forces of development and economic growth are trying to uproot a stubborn old man
in the final chapter of UNDERTOW - THE LANDEATERS.
Vietnam Veteran Harry Kenning is ready to fight again - for his land, for his ancestors, and for his memories.
Entangled in the roots of a beloved willow tree
- where the ancient ones reside -
somewhere just between today and tomorrow
an old man and his roots
are digging in against
Wayne Tinkerman, after months of wrangling with red-tape and a disgruntled community, has finally landed his prize - demolition has begun, making way for his new subdivision on Wellington’s south coast. All that stands in his way now is an ancient willow tree and a stubborn old man.
Harry Kenning has taken up residence in the roots of that willow tree, cocooned in all that remains of his family’s homestead and his people’s lands at Te Miti. The Vietnam war veteran shows no sign of retreat, even as the earthmovers arrive on his doorstep.
As Wayne begins excavation, unsettling objects seep out of the soil, delivering treasures thought lost long ago. The roots of the willow begin to resemble the dense jungles of Vietnam, then the stark walls of a faded retirement village.
The voices of the dead are rising like a howling gale, and the ground that Harry and Wayne stand on is becoming unstable. A chorus of ghostly pūriri moths flutter around the periphery of their consciousness, and the hot breath of Whiro stirs once more.
If they are to escape intact, the two men will need to work together and make one last tribute to tomorrow.