I recently posted this on Twitter. Click through to read on the bird site or see the transcript below:

I recently bought a new car… well, secondhand obviously, I’m an author. But new to me. And newer than the old one with 320,000km on the clock.

I sold my old car on gumtree, a local woman bought it. A friend brought her around to see it, they took it for a test drive, we haggled a bit on the price. She said she’d transfer the money. Great.

A couple of days later I get the money in my account. So I text her and say the money’s here, come and grab the car any time.

She texts back a couple of hours later. “Can you actually drive it over and then I’ll give you a lift back home in it? I don‘t have any way to get to you right now.”

I said, “I can wait, no rush.” She said, “I’d love to get it right away though. I could really use it today. I’ve got a bunch of errands to run.”

I said sure, as it was only about 5 or 6 km away. It would only take 20 minutes out of my day. “I’ll drop it over in about half an hour, okay?” I told her.

She said, “Sure, thanks. Just as soon as you can would be great.”

So I turn up at the address about forty minutes later and knock on the door. One of those rural properties that’s not really a farm, but a lot bigger than a regular house. Surrounded by bush, you know the sort of thing.

There’s no answer at the door.

I go around the back, call out. Nothing. So I call the number we’ve been texting and it doesn’t even ring. Just that electronic voice, “Sorry, this number is unavailable.”

Maybe turned off, out of a coverage area, something. But now I’m annoyed. I’ve taken time out and driven here and it’s a ghost town.

What to do?

I figure as it’s only 5 or 6 km, rather than waste time trying to organise another time or whatever, I’ll leave the car here and walk home.

Should have brought the dog with me, kill two birds etc.

So I post the keys for the car through the letter slot in the front door, and send her a text to say that’s what I’ve done. I’ve been paid, the car’s delivered, all sorted. And I stroll back towards the road.

That’s when I hear the screaming.

I thought it was birds at first, but it was weirdly muffled. When I realised it was screaming, I ran back to the house. But then I couldn’t hear it any more.

I pressed my ear to the door. Nada.

So I walk back down the driveway, heading out to the road like I had been before, and sure enough, there’s the muffled screaming again.

I’m deaf in one ear, so it took a while to triangulate the sound, but I finally figured it was coming from the big grassy area just off one side of the driveway.

As I moved closer, listening in, I saw the turf was kinda weird looking there. Like it had been rolled up and then re-laid.

About fifty metres away, up against the edge of the bush, was a small front end loader. It had fresh looking dirt on the front of the bucket. Like it had been digging recently, you know?

Then a voice said, “Hey, mate.”

I turned around and there was a grizzled looking guy there, maybe fifty or so (about the same age as the woman who bought the car) but he looked a lot older. “Oh,” I said. “Hey.”

“Sorry I didn’t answer, I was in the bathroom.” He had a bit of a lisp when he spoke.

I nodded. “Right.”

He lifted the car keys, gave them a jingle. “Thanks for dropping it around.”

I said, “No worries. I was going…” Then I stopped myself. I’d nearly said, “I was going to get a lift back” but something made me pause. I didn’t really want a lift anywhere with this guy.

The screaming was hard to hear now I’d stepped back onto the driveway. Maybe it was getting weaker too. I wasn’t sure what to do. I must have looked indecisive.

“I told her not to buy it,” the guy said. “I told her she didn’t need no car of her own. I can drive her anywhere she needs to go.”

“Right. I guess she wanted some independence or something?”

“And what would she need that for?”

I didn’t have an answer to that. At least, not one I was prepared to say out loud and risk this guy’s ire.

He nodded. “So anyway. Thanks for dropping it around.”

“No worries. You’ll make sure she gets the keys?”

He grinned at me and I saw he was missing both front teeth. I thought maybe that was why he spoke with a lisp. I wondered how he’d lost them. “I’ll see that everything’s taken care of,” he said.

The screaming had stopped.

“Cool, thanks then,” I said, desperate to get away. “I’ll see you around.”

“Probably not, hey.”

I tried a smile, but it wavered. “Yeah. Probably not.”

I turned and walked as casually as I could out of the driveway and turned along the road. As soon as some bush was blocking the view to the house, I ran another hundred metres then pulled out my phone, dialled 000.

I told the cops everything and ran all the way home. I guess I might get a call from them soon.

Or probably not, hey.