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Category Archives: Short Story

#FlashFiction: Fees and Bodies Must Fall

“Fees and Bodies Must Fall” was my entry for Microcosms Fic for this past Friday. The prompt was:

(Gonzo) Journalist / House Party / Crime


You would think the blood spatter, taste of copper, and underlying stench of faecal matter would ward me and the others off 17 Mahogany Drive that hot July afternoon. It wouldn’t. Journalists are the curious type and like the proverbial cat, death is part of the gig. Confetti is still strewn about the leather couch, right next to a Ms. Davidson, 22, student at the University of Johannesburg. We look over the shoulders of a police squadron on site led by a Constable Gumede who is all frowns and glares.

“This isn’t a puppet show,” he growls. But we know it is. And not because we can see the threads of bed sheets hanging off the balcony, angling Ms Davidson across the couch like a modern-day Death of Marat. It’s because we know the M.O. That this is the third victim in the repertoire of a man we journos have affectionately labelled The Neoclassic Killer. Just the previous month, a house party in the pseudo-glitzy Parktown area revealed students from Wits University arranged as The Death of Socrates. Bed sheets and all.

It’s difficult to remain objective when faced with the surrealism that our city has a serial killer. The fear radiating through our bones. Poisoning our hearts. Lining our street poles with headlines screaming murder at each corner. Yet we must remain objective so we may assess the situation without emotion. To notice that the killer targets these students not based on any merit of their own but the continuous protests sweeping our streets; Fees Must Fall – which Ms Davidson led as an advocate of.

I am not a prophet, it’s not in my job title, but as more pledges rise, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next classic we see, is The Oath of The Horatii. And death.

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Friday Fiction: Sweets from a Stranger

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

Topic: Sweets from a Stranger, genre: Crime.


The car tottered over gravel on a quiet October afternoon. A quick glance in the rear-view mirror revealed glossy cerulean eyes below thin furrowed brows. An upturned nose blew out every few seconds while silver tape around the lower half of the face crinkled against barely perceptible lips. The man grinned through the mirror,
“You still okay back there?”
The boy turned towards the window in reply. A dimmed sky cascaded sunlight through, dulled by the tint to ensure no one could see in.
“Well you better be. And don’t bother memorizing the road.”
Silence. It was exactly how the man preferred it. The radio had been turned off and only the low hum and crunch of gravel permeated the vehicle. Another glance back and it seemed the boy had fallen asleep, eyes shut and chest rising gently under the Manchester City jersey he wore. Perfect.
*
The silence felt heavy. Outside the sun had deepened, vermillion against the tinted windows. The man took a glance at the rear view mirror and felt his body gradually chill as bright hazel eyes stared back at him unblinkingly. He was sure the boy had blue eyes.
“You still okay in the front there?” The boy asked. The man’s eyes widened, mouthing drooping agape as duct tape around the boy’s lips fell away completely. Sharpened teeth revealed in malevolent grin.
“Well you better be. And don’t bother getting off the road, we’re going exactly where we should be.”
*
The detective stared at the file before him then up at the tall man who had shucked off his lab coat,
“You’re saying he looks like a boy but is actually a full grown man?”
“And takes sweets from a stranger before letting them think they’ve lured him away. Only the assailant becomes the victim. Always.”


You know how I like to add a horror spin to everything I write. Muhahaha!

Friday Fiction: As it is

Living Statue

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

Living Statue, setting: Pedestrian Area, and genre: Romance.


We’d spent the day at the river further out of the city. Aurulent light cascaded over his long dark lashes framing large brown eyes no longer innocent. They sparkled under my gaze, suddenly bleeding clear liquid with a long drawn blink.
“I don’t understand.” A feathery whisper following downcast eyes; I brushed loose strands from the unblemished skin,
“Where the heart draws no line, the law does.” He draped a thin arm across my waist, my chest growing wet against his face. We remained so, surrounded by trickling water, distant chirrups and rustling leaves until the sky deepened into a fiery curtain; the last scene of our final act.

He wasn’t there. Not when the sun bloomed in the distance, peeking from clustered puffs and filtering through the high-rise structures like golden fingers. Crowds milled around the cordoned off pedestrian area, scowling past the workmen carelessly slapping cold concrete over my bare skin. Mother stood rigid further off in the distance, a roulette of emotions.
“Mr Ruskin. Any last words?” I gazed down at the lanky fellow in his flawless grey suit gleaming in the sunlight. I shook my head, sweeping my gaze over the crowds. Hopeful.
“The boy has been banned from visiting this part of the city.” The man said with furrowed brow,
“Not even as a last request?”
“You’re in no position to make last requests. Your kind deserve no rights at all.” I nodded my head and looked towards the sun. It would be the last time I would feel its warmth against my skin. Changing laws meant there was no rehabilitation-focused incarceration where freedom was an attainable dream. Criminals were literally cemented into living statues and put into public spaces, living their last days as public spectacles of ridicule. And thus I would always be.

Friday Fiction: Dust

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

We spun, and our three elements are character: Driver, setting: Rural Road, and genre: Romance.


Title: Dust

Word Count: 258

Dust. It pervaded the streets like flies over dead bodies. Endless. The windshield was a speckled window to the winding throughway that was more dirt and car denting dips than actual road. I had to ease the car through as each little bump would knock my passenger’s sleeping head against the window. Occasionally I’d look over the slumped form, pale skin almost white against the filtering rays, accentuating the dark blue lids shut against the glaring sun. The lips had parted and liquid seeped from the corners to dribble over the near transparent blouse she wore. So peaceful. Eventually the road smoothed out, allowing me to reach for the lighter and Marlboro pack in my breast pocket, balancing the steering wheel on my thighs as fingers worked to light the cig. She wouldn’t mind the smoke. I rolled the window down slightly letting the tendrils escape into the expanse beyond the road, an endless stretch of lush green on either side. One in particular ended at a gentle river where I had met the sleeping beauty. Long locks flowing down her shoulders, hands peacefully clasped over her abdomen with a single flower between. An angel setting my chest aflutter. Love at first sight. Rose petals overflowed from her parted lips, decorated silence of a floating soul amongst the dregs flowing around her. I’d stepped into the cold waters and rescued my princess from drifting through flooded eternity – such beauty required stilled peace. I would bury her in the meadows beyond where she would return to the dust.


A little dark. I blame the music.

Friday Fiction: War

FridayFiction

Nandipa stepped out of the MTN Taxi rank in Noord and immediately slung her school bag through her arms on to her chest like a baby. The gloomy space was rife with activity as people from all ages and walks of life ambled out of taxis or hurried up to them. A man selling boiled eggs kept rattling the Aromat shaker at the passing pedestrians, while another held a box packed with potato chips and cold drinks dripping water down the glistening cans. Nandipa barely gave these and the other hawkers a second glance, already marching through the hustle and bustle and into the warm afternoon sunlight among the rest of Johannesburg’s jaywalkers. She hated Joburg CBD with a passion. Hated the fear coursing through her whenever someone approached from the opposite direction. The unease when she heard footsteps approach from behind. Ignoring any form of whistle, hey, or anything trying to draw her attention because that was all they needed wasn’t it? Just a simple acknowledgement and it was over. And Ghandi Square was still so far.

*

Petros weaved his way to the far left of the M31 heading to Joburg from Alberton. His passengers murmured below his mbaqanga music, yet he barely heard them when his own thoughts seemed far away. He gave a single glance out towards the empty yellow lane and was about to swerve into it when an image, clear as day, appeared before his eyes. Further ahead closer to City Deep, on one of the roads leading left into Marco Fresh Produce, the JMPD sat in their car watching through the rearview mirror. And just as suddenly it was gone and he was speeding towards the back of a Toyota Tazz. He released his foot from the gas pedal, swerved into the lane anyway and pumped his brakes slowly to bring his taxi to a slower speed.

“Driver you’re going to kill us.” a woman said further behind him. He swept his eyes over the mirror and caught sight of her slack jowls, and dark beady eyes glaring at him.

“I’m sorry.” he said,

“Hey wena we almost died and all we get is a sorry? Heh!?”

“I said I’m sorry what do you want? A cake?”

“It’s that disgusting attitude that makes people hate all you mageza. You have no respect for your passengers.” Petros stomped on the brakes and lurched every one forward. He half turned in his seat, removed his leather cap and stared straight into her eyes. She buckled under the red-rimmed stare, her body slacking though her eyes remained alert as Petros dived into her mind.

She was a hard working woman. Stressed from the job she hated yet couldn’t leave. Stressed by the lack of funds for her child’s school fees. Stress from the father of her children who did little to support them let alone support himself. He saw the fear radiating through every aspect of her life – the fear of helplessness through poverty.

“Hey driver, don’t get upset.” the young man on the passenger side said, breaking Petros’ concentration and vision of the woman’s existence. He shook his head clear, adjusted the cap back on his head and resumed his drive towards Ghandi Square.

*

The buses were late as usual, and as thankful as she was for making it to Ghandi Square without getting mugged or hit on, Nandipa couldn’t help the rising daily irritations of a commuters life. If only she were able to get a car and avoid all of the inconveniences and fears of public transport. Then again, there would be the fear of getting hi-jacked or smash-and-grabs or running out of petrol. She looked out at the various groups across the large compound, each waiting at a bus shelter for their respective destinations. A group of high-school kids in one area, dressed in greens and greys, were blaring music from a phone. A few thin-lipped adults around them, no doubt in disapproval of the lyrics the kids sang  too without care of shame. Along one side of the square were restaurants all bustling with people catching an evening snack or perhaps dinner. She touched her school blazer pocket and considered getting a pie from Pie City. She wasn’t sure how long she would wait for anyway, so she rose and began walking towards the purple and white sign. She walked past one of the bus shelters, the sides covered in pamphlets and signs promising all types of wonders and miracles. Usually she walked past with a smile, wondering how gullible people could be to believe that a mere man could make a potion that brings luck or love or make relationships whole again and other nonsense. Only this time she caught sight of a coloured picture that had a brain and five large words in thick black ink:

KnowItBefore

Know it before it happens. If only. She thought. How useful would it before to know things before they happened, then perhaps should would have less fear of being mugged or missing the bus or anything if she could just know when it would happen before it would happen. She was still exploring the possibilities of foresight when a taxi suddenly swerved towards her, the driver staring right at her below a black leather cap. His red eyes bore through her, the roar of the large vehicle rising along with screams from all around her and from within the taxi. No fear overtook her. Her body remained still and her mind calm. She had every right to be afraid and yet – nothing. Just as the vehicle was about to smash into her, the world stopped.

Deafening silence took over.

The taxi-driver was gripping his wheel tight, the knuckles pronounced on his dark skin. Two men on the passenger seat had squeezed their eyes shut, hands clasped in fear. The other passengers in the vehicle had their own surprised faces, a couple of them even leaning forward to see what the fuss ahead was all about. Looking back at the taxi driver, she noticed that his eyes were not looking at her but past her. She turned around and leapt back in shock at the man behind her. He had a dark face with deep lines spreading from his eyes and on either side of ruby-red lips. Thick grey hair cascaded down into a long beard that fell down to his bare chest. Thin animal skin strips slung from his shoulder down and across to his waist, where a traditional Zulu IsiNene hung down the front and iBeshu down the rear,  -aprons made from calf skin.

“Nandipa my child.” the voice was deep and soothing, the words spoken in isiZulu. She took another step back and struck the taxi. A moment later the door opened and the taxi driver stumbled out, rushed to the man and fell on his knees before him, pulling the cap off his head hastily,

“Induna!” Petros cried. Nandipa shook her head, absolutely sure this was all a dream or a coma induced hallucination from getting knocked down by a taxi. But her eyes caught sight of a pigeon in mid-flight frozen still with a piece of bread suspended out of the creature’s beak. It was no dream.

“Hey! Nandipa! Get down!” the taxi driver hissed at her, breaking her trace, and when she didn’t comply, he rose hastily to his feet and gently tugged her down until they were both on their knees before the man.

“Don’t worry, she doesn’t understand the old ways, but she will.” he lifted his hand and placed it atop the driver’s head. “The time has come Siphokazi Petros Nxumalo. We must begin preparations – for a war is coming. A war that will require all the warriors we can get.” The old man turned to Nandipa, who raised her eyes to his and froze in fear before the rheumy green eyes.

“I know your fears, my child.” He said, placing a hand atop her head. She felt all her past fears swim to the surface, her insecurities and worries and doubts all bubbling through her heart, mind and soul. “But I’m afraid all of these are nothing compared to what is to come. Siphokazi here will be your guide.” The old man’s eyes faded to black and then he too was fading. Siphokazi – Petros – rose to his feet and jumped into his taxi, assuming the same position he was in.

“You might want to get out of the way, everything is about to come back.” Understanding, she moved away from the taxi, and just in time too as the world rushed back to normal and the taxi screeched to a halt, burning rubber and leaving black skid marks across the paved floor. He rushed out the taxi towards her and started shouting obscenities to her, but his face bore a smile . He eventually handed her a card, jumped back into his taxi and sped off. Nandipa was still reeling from it all as she tucked the card into her blazer. She glanced over at the purple Pie City sign and decided she wasn’t hungry after all.


Oh gosh I don’t know if I’m going to edit this story right now? I just finished it so it may have some issues. Let me know what you think of the story, I hope you were not put off by any grammatical errors. This is how most of my unedited works look haha.

Oh prompt courtesy of Rachel Poli. Actually I wrote this and then Rachel’s prompt arrived in my mail and I was like “How does she know what I’m writing!?”

Time To Write: Show Your Character’s Biggest Fear

Semblance

Semblance by Nthato Morakabi

Reality is never what it seems. Not for the man and boy sitting solemnly on the park bench; not for the man with a secret that rattles his heart.

Semblance on Wattpad

Friday Fiction: A Hare-raising experience!

FridayFiction

“It’s a rabbit.”

“It’s a hare. Look at those ears. They are definitely longer than a rabbit’s.”

“It’s entire body is longer than a rabbit’s. That’s a terrible comparison” A thick Cupressaceae tree hid the boys from the gray creature picking the top most leaves above them; the creature’s tail swung up and down casually.

“We could eat for a year if we caught it.” The boy turned his head towards the other, raising a hand that rippled with heat. “You run in the sun and distract it with your fiery hair and I’ll come around the other way.”

Self-conscious, the other brushed the locks across his forehead but nodded,

“We need a new strategy other than ‘Ruber be a distraction’. I’ve got abilities too you know.”

“And what are you going to do as a Blessed? Blind it with holy light?”

Ruber rolled his eyes and placed his hand on the other boy’s shoulder,

“Sometimes you can be a real asinus, Lukas.”

“I know.”

As casually as he could muster, Ruber slid his hand down the shoulder and against Lukas’ bare arm. Their skin touched. Only for a second, but a second was all Ruber needed. He started preparing a spell in his head.

“Ready?” He asked. Lukas grinned and Ruber couldn’t help the grin growing on his face too. Only a true friend could manage that in him. Their heads nodded together once, twice and then they ran out from either end of the tree. Ruber sprinted into the sun, flicking the long locks out of his eyes as they tumbled forward. In the sun it gleamed like a fiery torch and his pale skin only accentuated it. The creature noticed immediately and swung it’s body around towards him,

“Look at it’s head! I told you it’s a hare!” he shouted over at Lukas. He could sense the other somewhere nearby but not exactly. That is, until a scream echoed above them and Lukas came flying out of a tree with a sword in both hands. Poised. Deadly. It was something he never left without. And as adept as both boy’s knew he was at using it, only Lukas wasn’t aware how useless it would be at that point. The hare simply bounced back, turning around completely so it’s tail was facing the falling boy. They all at that moment realized what was about to happen. Lukas tried to curl his body into a ball in mid-air, the hare pushed it’s weight forward and lifted it’s hind legs. Ruber held out both hands, eyes closed. Chanting. In the next moment, as the hare’s legs shot back towards Lukas, an amber flash of an invisible shield blinded Lukas and sent the hare tumbling into a tree. The falling boy managed to get his feet down and roll as soon as he landed, staggering to a stop while his eyes remained squeezed shut. The hare had leaves falling around it, and rather than attack, it shook its head and bounded off into the forest.

“Well that was close.” Ruber breathed, walking up to Lukas who had sat down on the grass.

“Good thing you’ve got fast reflexes or you would be chanting a healing spell instead.” The sun lit up Lukas’ blonde hair, making it almost white.

“Why didn’t you fry the thing like you were going to?”

Lukas shrugged,

“Impulse? Fun?”

“To get covered in the blood of your foes.”

“That’s a Dissectum Societas creed. You know I don’t follow that.” his face darkened. It was Ruber’s turn to shrug. He knew that wasn’t true. In the same way he knew Lukas was going to get kicked in the chest and break three ribs, both his arms, fracture his skull and come close to dying of internal bleeding. He knew that Lukas was as much of the Dissectum Societas as his father the Mage Grandis was. And would always be. Especially now as a dark cloud approached from the North of the clear, bright sky. It approached with the scent of Jasmine.


Now, as much as this little short is all airy-fairy light hearted and fun, as I intended it to be, the actual story is far darker and these kinds of scenes just help lighten the mood. Or I’m going to be a depressed writer for the next couple of months.

Nope it’s just going to be depressing.

Let me know what you think of the story! Anything that stood out for you?

Friday Fiction: Innocence

kid_icarus_uprising_nintendo_3ds-wide

Bright. That’s how he would have described the smile. Rare, too, if you had prodded him for a bit more. Perhaps rare wasn’t the right word but it was fitting for the moment, sitting across the table from the brown haired cherub that had caught his attention. The village council of White Pillar village had arranged a special dinner for the foreign visitors, of which the boy was one. They crowded the long rectangular table in flowing robes of lilac, azure, crimson, gold and whatever dye was ascribed to their country. The boy flourished a turquoise scarf over his honey-coloured tunic – the only one in the room. Although he seemed to be alone, as in no parents, beside him was his guardian-slash-fairy god something; a long haired, blonde old man who seemed to be a combination of bearded wizard and robust ancient warrior – save for the tiny, star-capped wand in his large hand. The brute did nothing to lighten the boy’s mood and only when the food arrived did something akin to joy wash over the boy’s freckled face. An entire roasted pig, tantalizing in it’s crisped golden-brown skin, sat atop the very leaves one would have expected the pig to eat, only fresher. The boy’s upturned nose wriggled slowly with the sweet smell of pork, lost to memories swishing past his closed lids.

“What does it remind you of?” The man asked over the curled tail of the pig. The boy’s eyes shot open, the shade of blue darker than his scarf.

“Huh?” Unbroken, his voice was a welcome change to the baritones of the men and screeching sopranos of the women.

“I asked what the smell reminds you of. Home?”

Thin pink lips stretched pulled to one corner,

“I have no home. It reminded me of hunger.”

“Hunger?”

“Oh yes, sir, hunger. It’s the reminder to all humanity that below our rigid masks of self-importance and egotism, we are all the same. We all get hungry. I like to remember being human.”

The answer caught the man by surprise, not only in its maturity and profundity, but in the revelation that if the boy was no longer human, what was he?

“So what are you then… if not human?”

“Hmmm.” He tiled his face upwards, lips pouting in thought. The manly-god-parent leapt on to the boy’s shoulder and whispered something into the small ear. The boy’s eyes widened.

“Angel?” He gasped. The boy’s eyes drew towards the man,

His?

At this point the man was more than just curious about what the herculean imp might be whispering into the boy’s ear.

“But he’s a…” the boy turned his face away from the man and returned his whispers. They continued for a long while before both boy and fairy turned towards him. The voices around them seemed to dull into a whispered roar in the background, the smell of meat temporarily swept away to a mere whiff; even the light seemed to dim. In their place shone the boy in a golden hue encompassing everything around him.

“Well… as much as you are the great and powerful Grand Knight, apparently I am your appointed guardian angel! That explains why I can see your aura.”

“Me? Guardian angel?” The man laughed, the noise around him settling back in place to add him to the raucous. The boy smiled, his eyes mirroring the stretched lips. The rarity of it was not lost on the man, who sensed the boy hadn’t smiled in a long time.

“What will you be guarding me from then my young friend?”

“Loss of innocence if I understand Thoriel correctly.” He tapped his index finger on the head of Thoriel on his shoulder, “This is Thoriel by the way.”

“Greetings little one.” The man replied to the fairy. The fairy stomped his foot down, swept his wand around himself and disappeared in a golden sparkle. The boy leaned forward conspiratorially,

“I don’t think he likes you much.” Then another of those flash smiles the man realized was genuine joy.

“So have I lost my innocence my guardian angel?”

“Not at all, or you wouldn’t be able to see me. Like everybody else.” The boy gestured at the others who were too caught up in their own world to notice the man, or notice that he was seemingly talking to himself. The man recognized many of them as statesmen, seasoned warriors, knights, barons and baronesses; influential people from across kingdoms. Had they lost their innocence?

“So… you’re here to save me from losing my innocence?”

“Not quite… more like here to guard what’s left of it. As an influential man will one day say, ‘All things truly wicked start from innocence.'”


Decided to go for something light this time. Too much darkness swirling about. Also, the quote was from Ernest Hemingway, just by the way.

Friday Fiction: Portal

100WordChallenge

He rushed out the house to find the sky grey, like cow tongues in a butcher shop. A swirling pattern had replaced the stars and moon and sky. He gasped for breath. Gasped in shock. He gasped because words were failing to form. The grass stood like dark spikes stretching into the nothing.

“Aaarroooonnn!”

The groan caused the house to shake and Aaron fell to the soft ground on his knees; the earth bore the same pattern as the sky. The portal was real.

“Aaaarrooooon!!”

He was only twelve. He should have listened to mother.

But that wasn’t mother anymore.

Malady

trapped_in_darkness

Young master Stephen Atherton is undoubtedly the fiend known as blackhand. I fear it is by my own doing that he suffers so, however I too suffer his curse. I have sought to gain entry into his mind and have become a fiend myself, nevertheless it is a necessity for survival. He has yet to reach his thirteenth year and already he is able to keep me at bay. Such strength! I must secure it for myself lest I be lost within this ethereal prison within him.

Oh the foolishness of man, attempting to attain the power of God through the science of man. Attempting to achieve the Magnum Opus, the recreation of the long sought elixir of life, Adam’s God given jewel –  the philosophers stone. Yet despite human failings we accomplished this magnificent feat at the cost of our souls, now encased within the lad’s chest and the embedded vermilion gem. My soulless body hoped to regain a semblance of itself in the boy, only for the alchemic residue bonding body to soul to stone, transformed anatomy to impalpable membrane. ‘Tis how I was bound to the boy, my body fettered to the entirety of his hand and arm, and how he attained the varmint title; blackhand.

Oh this sublime insubstantial existence. How long shall I endure? How long before he slips so I may ascertain myself in his consciousness. Shall I wait for his innocence to pass? Perhaps I ought to devour this purity for my own? What am I becoming? What shall I become? Oh Lord deliver me from this bondage, from this juvenile subjugation – I fear the day I truly become… a malady.


Time to Write: Memories

The past haunts us all. The future holds consequences for something we did in our past.

If you’re not aware, I’m working on a Steampunk horror novel set in the 1800s and I’m struggling with the language. My best friends Dictionary and Thesaurus have been helping me try capture the language and I think I’ve done well. This is not part of the novel but a recollection of the past that I don’t focus on in the novel itself.

What are your thoughts?

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