Outward appearanceTall, brown, high-cheeked woman. Her hair is coconut-oil black, flat, parted in the middle and pulled back, like a photograph from the 1840s. She looks half-starved, beautiful, but with a downward crumpling of the mouth as if she might at any moment tumble into old age. All in black. The clothes merge into a seamless shadow.
Inside informationWathagundarl is an aboriginal word meaning spirit people. Watha is a fairy. She's from Port Fairy, Australia, born along with the town in 1810 when the captain of the cutter Fairy took shelter in a verdant inlet made by a river and fell in love with the place. Watha was born out of his response.
What she is doing or thinkingWatha is increasingly aware that she is a character in a work of fiction. She knows that no train actually crashed on 11 January 1995. Everything around her keeps breaking up into letters and code.
The code breaks into numbers, which decay further into a blizzard of zeros and ones. They slip down wires like a dose of novocaine through nerves, to be reassembled. She feels this happen to herself, in several different machines. She feels herself leap on light as words into eyes. She becomes a series of chemical charges stimulating parts of people that recognize still, horizontal or vertical shapes. She is fed to verbal parts of the brain. She rises again, like smoke, out of the response.
She doesn't want to see the crash. She spirits herself away, downline. See? The empty, slightly itchy, upholstered seat.
Car 7 map