Who bashed Danny?
Danny Morgan is 23, a builder’s labourer. He regains consciousness, bloodied and bruised, on a footpath in the suburb of Heathcourt in the wee hours of a Sunday morning. Danny has apparently been assaulted whilst walking home from the local pub. He has no memory of the incident, and endeavours to uncover the identity of his attacker/s and the reason/s for said attack. More
Who bashed Danny?
Danny Morgan is 23, a builder’s labourer. He works hard and plays hard, likes a drink or twenty, and enjoys playing in his local lower-grade football team. But he is a little apathetic and directionless in life, joyless.
He lives in the granny flat at his boss’s house, a short distance outside the suburb of Heathcourt, where he grew up and went to school. Which suits him just fine, he has a love/hate relationship with the place, memories good and bad, and acquaintances from whom he can often appreciate that little bit of space.
The story begins when Danny regains consciousness, bloodied and bruised, on a Heathcourt footpath in the wee hours of a Sunday morning. Evidently the victim of a savage bashing, Danny has apparently been attacked whilst walking home from his local pub and regular hang-out, the Heathcourt Hotel. He has no recollection of the attack, nor much of the hours preceding it, be it a result of the attack itself or the many drinks he’d put away beforehand.
Danny endeavours to uncover the identity of his attacker/s and the reason/s for said attack. Was it the local drug-dealing thugs he resents so much? Was it somehow related to ongoing animosity between him and certain blokes at work? Did he manage to get himself on the wrong side of the wrong people in his drunkenness? Or was it a totally random attack, opportunists taking advantage of his state of extreme inebriation?
Danny’s investigation finds him undertaking inquiries and putting the feelers out throughout Heathcourt. None of this deters him in the slightest from pursuing adventures in binge-drinking, footballing, and wooing a young lady he’s fancied for a while. In fact, he manages to intermingle it all.
As time goes on, however, the stress of not knowing, the suspicion and paranoia that go along with the uncertainty, and various other factors surrounding Danny’s life and work begin to take their toll. His mental and emotional stability starts to suffer, leading him to act out aggressively. He reports his assault to the Police, hoping this will assist in keeping him out of trouble, and his amateur efforts then dovetail with the official investigation.
During this time, Danny discovers a lot about the environment in which he lives, about those close to him, and about himself. And a lot of it isn’t good. Some of it is just plain rotten.
Will the identity of Danny’s attacker/s be revealed?
What will he do then?
Or will he snap, and do something irretrievably destructive before the mystery is solved?
Heathcourt is a story about binge-drinking culture, about the latent paranoia and aggression that often underlies our daily lives, that sometimes crosses over into violence. It’s a story about life in the Australian suburbs, which isn’t always idyllic but can be stifling and oppressive. Most of all, Heathcourt is a tale about being human, growing up, finding a way, and coming to terms.
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