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Challenge Day 8 – Frozen

Today’s post was in response to a daily writing challenge – please note this story is not for the squeamish and contains descriptions of violence that may not be suitable for all:

Write a post about anything you’d like, but be sure to include this sentence somewhere in the final paragraph: “He tried to hit me with a forklift!” ___________________________________________________________________

Walk-in Freezer(inside)

When Steven Johnson walked into the meat factory, Friday afternoon, the last thing he expected to happen to him that day, was to be locked inside the large refrigerator, with most of the staff gone or leaving. His toes were already numb and he’d lost most of the sensation in his feet; escape was as improbable as a changing government in a third world country. And how did he end up in this predicament in the first place? It all began with a simple conversation…well it wasn’t that simple actually but to Steven, it was as simple as play dough.

“I’m telling you that’s what he did!” Zack exclaimed. His dark wiry strands lay matted to his forehead and sweat droplets hung precariously above his brow. His dark eyes pierced daggers at the other man peering dangerously with murderous intent, while a shaking hand held his worker’s helmet accusingly at the nonchalant Steven.

“Sir. Would I really try and hurt a fellow worker in such a way? Is that something I would do, sir?” Steven could hardly contain the smile of content and satisfaction that was prying at his lips and he knew if they pried his lips wide enough to be a smile – it would remain plastered to his face the rest of the day. But that wouldn’t sit well with management and so with much self control, he relaxed the muscles of his face and gave his most sincere face. Of course his boss bought it, the chunky man with the toupee askew over his bald head would have believed a serial killer holding a dripping knife as long as the man said it with sincerity. The man, Mr Potts, scratched his head indecisively, his toupee slipping off slightly, the action almost causing Steven to crack up laughing but he breathed out slowly and waited.

“Listen here guys, this is a place of employment not a playground. If you have any fights take ’em outside okay! I’m no babysitter.” With a huff he waddled away, much to the annoyance of the agitated Zack, still fixedly staring at the now grinning Steven.

“I’ll get you back Stevie-boy, you watch my words. You will regret the day you crossed Zachary Meyers. Mark. My. Words.” Turning quickly, the man walked away leaving Steven standing by the forklift, the grin on his face fading into a scowl.

“No you watch your back Zacky-boy. You mark my words. Next time…I won’t miss.”


Time rolled by slowly and Steven eyed the long thin second-hand tick by slowly as though it was struggling to pass the seconds. He looked across the grey conveyor belt and found two dark eyes staring intently at him – malice so thick it could be squeezed into poison. Again he felt his heart grow cold from the stare; fear enveloped his chest like a blanket. Smothering. He leered at the man and continued on with his work, looking up at the clock again to see that only 5 seconds had passed since he’d last looked up. He wondered what was running through Zack’s mind, what evil plots he was planning under those dark eyes of his. And why? The man deserved it anyway so he had no regrets, uh uh no sir-ree no regrets. A smile broke his lips as he remembered the way Zack’s eyes had popped open with fear, wide as saucers they were and when the forks of the machine swung right past his face and the realization that a wall prevented him from moving any further back…woo, he figured that would’ve seen the man’s heart leap out of his chest in fear. Oh yes a centimeter closer and Zachary Meyers was a goner – oh I’m sorry Missus Meyers it was a work accident, he didn’t see him there and protocol states clearly that when in the vicinity of a forklift, one must always be at least 3 meters clear of the vehicle – we can only offer our condolences for your loss. Ha! Steven actually chuckled out loud and almost hollered with joy when the lunch bell rang though when his eyes drifted up offhandedly, they came face to face with bright clear eyes and a wide friendly smile that sent a deeper chill down Steven’s spine; Zachary was walking towards him smiling as though everything was hunky-dory, as though a forklift hadn’t almost decapitated the Meyers’ bread winner.

“Hey Stevie-boy, listen. No hard feelings for earlier okay? I was tense from the work, and my wife…you know her don’t you? Well she was being…difficult and stuff and I just took my anger out on you instead. I’m sorry mate.” Steven stood there gobsmacked. A part of him distrusted the whole apology like a warden distrusts his prisoners. No way that was sincere. He smiled nonetheless,

“Sure thing Zachy-boy.” Hurriedly he walked away, turning back once to find that Zack was still smiling broadly at him, waving a little even and moving away to engage someone else in a friendly banter.

Steven was paranoid, understandably. There was Zachary Meyers acting all upbeat and jovial like he’d just won the lottery,

“What’s up with him? He got promoted or something?”  Steven shrugged at the tall red-headed teen next to him. Greg or something was his name – a gangly, freckled youth that had just made it out of high school; spring chicken they sometimes called him.

“Maybe he found a talking rabbit in his shoe and he is now moving to Easter Island to decorate Easter eggs for the children of the world. Who cares.” Steven replied sardonically. The youth shrugged and moved away but Steven watched the other man distrustfully as he walked to his normal place in the cafeteria. Sitting down, he idly stabbed his fork into the pale mash potatoes and occasionally rolled the bright green peas into the potato mound. He knew Zack was planning something but he couldn’t figure what. He’d have to watch his back from here on out…who knows what sinister plans the man was plot behind that cheery smile of his.


After lunch work continued as normal. Thoughts of Zack and the forklift incident had been replaced by the sudden workload that required his full attention.  The metal saw in his hand sliced through meat and bone like a knife through butter, the pieces packed into a large container for transportation to the walk-in freezer at the back. He was so busy in his work that he was hardly aware of the soft rolling sound coming from the forklift behind him. He was in the middle of a cut, his hand inches away from the rapidly spinning blade when the forklift let out a loud honk. Yelping in surprise, Steven jerked the saw sideways, losing pieces of his fingers in the process but that was the least of his problems as the forks of the lift pinned him to the table, with the blades squeezing him on either side of his chest. He screamed. The forklift hoisted him up, the metal bars cutting into his chest. Screaming for help he tried to wiggle free, but any turning he did dug the metal further against his sides and he realized that if he did get loose, he’d get driven over by the forklift. He let the forklift carry him, the pain in his fingers unbearable, the blood continually dripping from the severed stumps; he tried to figure out where it was taking him. He of course knew who it was or at least who had orchestrated the whole thing – Zachy-boy. The forklift was driving towards the open freezer doors and he realized why no-one was coming in to help him – it was delivery day and everyone was out in the front packing; no one would come to the freezer until Monday. The realization of the situation sent him on a frenzy, he twisted and turned and fought against the poignant pain. With a huff he fell to the ground, landing awkwardly on his ankle; a new burst of pain shot through the appendage but he hobbled away.

“Oh Stevie-boy, where you running to…” Zachary jumped off the forklift and casually strode towards the bleeding Steven.

“You sick piece of trash! Filthy stinking garbage! You will pay! You will pay!” Steven was ranting off at the top of his lungs, hobbling off towards the exit, Zachary was holding a frozen piece of meat in his hands.

“He tried to hit me with a forklift! He tried to hit me wi…” With a heavy swing, the meat connected with the side of Steven’s head, stopping his rant in mid sentence as he tilted sideways, balancing on one leg first and then dropping onto the floor with a thud. Whistling, and with a bright cheery smile plastered to his face Zachary dragged the groaning Steven into the walk-in freezer, making sure his gloved hands held the man’s twisted ankle tightly. Once in the cold storage room, Zachary walked out, shutting the heavy metal door with a nonchalant grin, locking Steven within the frigid room for a gruesome Monday morning discovery.


Challenge Day 7 – A letter from a sailor


16 August xxxx


As I am sure you are aware, I am rather excited about the prospect of travelling the wide, churning expanse of the seas on what can only be described as a masterpiece of a ship – the Eidolon. It is said to be a ship of Greek heritage – though one can never be sure. Mother has been quite adamant that I remain home, fearing that I would suffer the plague, scurvy or a severe case of sea-sickness but I have assured her that no such thing will occur. The captain, a rather mellow old man whose teeth have aged as well as his hair (that is not at all), has been meticulous in running his ship; a certificate hangs upon the door of his office that affirms this.

To answer your condescending question regarding my affinity for drink, let me take this time to let you know that Missus McKenzie and I have separated… and yes alcohol had become my refuge, my soothing comfort and my lullaby. However it is not the reason for my want to leave this place.  No you see I seek the adventure of the seas, the billowing winds, the rising tides – the call of the captain from the helm. Forget the drink and the flaxen haired maiden that stole my heart – the adventures of the high seas will be far more satisfying! Far more!

Tell mother that I will send her gifts when I can. Anticipate my subsequent letter for I will be writing from within the ship!

Your Brother

Rxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx


03 Novemebr xxxx

It seems that the time I have for writing has not been as frequent as I’d anticipated, however I have managed to pen this to you in the spare time that I’ve found. The captain has been kind enough to send this to the postal office for me as I have quite a bit more chores to do than what I first assumed there would be.

I am sure you are laughing your head off as you read this, your delusional brother knee-deep in chores when he’d spoken of storms and adventures and high sea adventures. Alas it has been more than a month since my departure so you can imagine the amount of work that must be done before we can embark on any adventures. I spoke to the captain and he corroborates this fact to me daily as I scrub the decks, polish the wood and shine the brass. But soon we will be fending off pirates, navigating the deep churning waters and crossing oceans to visit exotic places; the captain speaks of a land on which one would find people such as ourselves though their skin is as sand (the colour not the texture) and they speak in a language that tickles the ears.

I hope you have found the broach that I placed with the letter; it is a broach that the captain has so kindly offered to me that I may pass it on to mother. How is mother? I trust her health is well and that you too are well, sister? The broach, the captain claims, once belonged to a queen of a place he called Ejeept (I am unfamiliar with how it is written) and that the broach is sure to ensure long life and prosperity for any who adorn it. Though you know I do not believe in such superstitious nonsense, I think the sentiment behind the gesture is worthwhile.

Well, let me be off, I wouldn’t want to  take too many liberties with captain when he has been so kind to me. I hope to write to you again soon (with tales of adventure and bravery ha ha!)

Your Brother

Rxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx

P.S. The captain has been talking in his sleep, something about Amphitrite or Salacia and I wonder who that is. Maybe it’ s his wife who passed away. I should ask him more about her…maybe that will comfort him.


You won’t believe it!  Do not think that I jest when I tell you the tale that unfolded right before my very own eyes. Ha sister, are you laughing now? I know I am, for your brother has been an avid participant in a skirmish involving our ship and a pirate ship – yes we were in an intense battle. Let me divulge the details pertaining to that particular encounter.

The captain and I were sailing smoothly along, across the bright glistening waters; the chores complete, captain had hauled out from his desk a bottle of bourbon for us to enjoy as a treat for a successful day’s work (yes, yes I know but we did not drink that much I assure you!). The captain, his thin frail hair billowing with the breeze and a half drunk smile lighting up his face, had tipped his captains hat at me in a gesture of playfulness. I was roaring with laughter, the captain’s antics and a bit of the alcohol’s inundating influence a contributing factor to the jovial atmosphere on the ship. Suddenly, in a burst of wood and glass shrapnel, with the captain’s hat lying tattered at our feet, the boat quivered, followed by the animalistic howl of what could only be pirates. We rose from where we sat, the captain barking orders to prepare the ship, raise the sails and ready the cannons. The enemy ship rolled out across the seas, smoke billowing from its faring nostrils, awaiting the subsequent cannon fire from their dark chambers.  I was, of course, not merely standing around taking in the magnificence of the enemy ship – oh no, I was peddling out our own canon, rolling it out towards the open cavity, awaiting the command of the captain. When his gruff, old-man voice barked at me to “FIRE” I lit the fuse and almost blanched with fear as the canon ball boomed out of the canon, rocketing towards the enemy ship in a haze of gunpowder and smoke. With much exuberance I danced for joy at my first canon fire only to hear subsequent fire from the enemy ship. The captain had gone silent and I was, for a second, struck with fear and trembling. Not a second later, our ship exploded in wood shrapnel, brass pieces and frayed cloth, flying about me like confetti at a wedding.

How we survived that skirmish I do not know, but captain claims that his jewel from that foreign place he calls Ejeept, rescued us from certain death. I assert that the captain has been deeply affected by the battle as he now constantly calls upon the name of his dead wife (I may have mentioned her in my previous letter) as though she were the ship itself. Nonetheless we have survived and the ship, I found, was in surprisingly good condition considering the battering it had endured.

Well I must go tend to the captain now, his calls for Amphitrite( whom he also refers to as Salacia) have become of themselves a nuisance though I do find at times that I hear a second person reply to his conversations but I attribute that to the wind. After all, only the two of us are aboard this vessel and I sure am certain that no such superstitious nonsense exists on this planet of ours.

Your Brother

Rxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx


02 February xxxx

Sister I am in need of your assistance. The captain…well the captain has indeed become lost! He mumbles away prayers and supplications to this unknown entity that pervades our ship and I am afraid. Afraid not of the entity or for the captain’s sanity, but my own too. You see, she speaks to me too and I assert that it is because of that blasted amulet! (If you can pry the amulet from mother’s hands, please do. I fear I may have been wrong in my assumption that nothing exists between this temporal plane we live in and the ethereal.) I have found myself eyeing the captain’s amulet, seeking it for myself – I’ve been tempted to snatch it away from his bony fingers, and escape into the azure depths below. Oh but I fight the temptation daily, fend it off with chores, chores and more chores.

I will be sending this letter by means of a courier once we reach port (should we ever reach port with that old man’s ramblings!) and I do wish to return home soon – that is my desire.

Your Brother

Rxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx


Mrs Wxxxx Wxxxxxxxx

It is with our sincerest condolences that we, the National Naval Office write this letter to you to inform you that your brother, Rxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx has been found adrift along the northern coastal line of Africa. He was clutching within his hands an amulet which has been sent along with this letter. We also do regret that his body has gone missing and we are urgently attending to this matter, looking to resolve it soon. We are following reports of his sighting in places near to his home town and that he is heard calling for Amphitrite but I assure you that these rumours are false and we will get to the bottom of this mystery.


General Txxxxxxx Lxxxx of the 12th Brigade

Challenge Day 6 – Annivesary


She blinked. The lake gleamed from the streaming sun, while a gentle breeze carried the sound of birds chirping in the distance. She sighed. The book in her hands topple over onto the grass between her outstretched legs, while she tipped her head back against the trunk of the tree. How long had she been sitting out there? An hour maybe? Then again she was early…and he was late – as usual. She sighed again and yawned, stretching her arms up and arching her back. With a sigh she slumped back against the tree trunk and waited… like she’d waited back then. She smiled as she thought back to that day.

She’d been waiting where he’d told her to wait – at the balcony close to the banks where standing on the rails of the balcony allowed you to overlook the small stage area. A throng of people moved either up or down the elevator, heading towards the ATMs – a typical occurrence at end of the month. They’d been “together” for a while now, though not in the sense that she was used to; they were not dating per se but their friendship had progressed further than she’d imagined. And then he’d approached her father – ” with intentions”, her father announced with an intermingled sense of joy and grief. The words, however, had set an uncontainable smile across her lips even as she fought to keep reserved. So when he’d asked her to meet him at the mall, she did and she was anxious about it. She hoped they would eat too  – she was starving.

A band was setting up, she noticed, and her heart suddenly thumped faster in her chest – he’s going to propose with a band!? Her eyes scanned the musicians; she didn’t recognize any of them. Would she though? He might have hired them for this. Wait what if he’s not going to propose. She breathed out slowly, calming herself down before she hyperventilated and passed out right there. How embarrassing that would be – she grinned at the thought only to realize that she was grinning alone and that people might think she’s crazy. With much self control she breathed out again and watched people going by, wondering when he’d get there.

The band was playing – the music drifted softly through the speakers in a familiar tune. By now her patience was also running a bit thin. She pulled her phone from her handbag to check the time; he was 15 minutes late. Okay that’s not too bad. The band was playing louder now – an upbeat tune. She was tapping her foot to the music when everything around her stopped. Just stopped. People stopped moving. The escalator stopped. The only thing going was the music. Shock settled around her mind like a blanket as she looked about to find that even the kids on the toy cars had stopped moving. Her mind was reeling. Thoughts questioned the possibility of mutants and she could already imagine Professor Xavier’s voice cutting through her panic seized mind to tell her all is well – as illogical as that all seemed – and then an old man in a grey jersey and black pants stepped out of the frozen group and waltzed through them, taking the hand of an older woman who came to life at his touch. They danced to the music and with each person that they danced past they would reach out, touch them and the new couple would join in to dance; it was magical. Soon the entire mall was dancing and it was then that she recognized the song playing and her heart in her chest leapt.  A tap on her shoulder had her whirling around and coming face to face with the bright hazel eyes that had so long ago captured her heart. And they danced.

They ate – thankfully. The people in the restaurant were laughing and smiling with them or at them. A complimentary dish had been served by the restaurant in celebration of the event. She was staring at the ring on her finger with increasing joy, like a well had opened up in her chest, releasing fantastic feelings of joy and happiness. She wanted to scream in joy! Exclaim to the world the joy that was in her! Yes! Yes! Yes! – and he was grinning madly at her too. They ate with a renewed sense of excitement, it bubbled out of them in conversation, in the people around them and in just about everything.


She opened her eyes. From under the shade where she sat she could see the path on the other side where he would come from. She reached for her phone from her pocket. He was fifteen minutes late. She laughed at the memory – he’d always been a hopeless romantic. Movement caught her eye from the path and she lifted herself up from the tree trunk only to see it was another couple. She sighed but then movement caught her eye and it was another couple. The third person or rather people to show up however, was her kids along with one of the young girls from the church who would normally babysit them. Concerned she stood up to face them. Her boy ran up to her; he was a replica of her husband, even in the way he tilted his head when he was thinking. Her daughter followed next, long brown hair flowing from her shoulders. She stood watching them, waiting for them to get to her when the kids stopped moving. The breeze that swept through swayed her daughters dress but other than that there was no movement. It took a moment for all of it to register but by then a young man was already walking in, an acoustic guitar in his hand playing a song that was all too familiar for her. She noticed that the couples around her were already dancing to the music, slowly swaying in tune to it and when one of the couples got to her kids, they too joined hands and began to dance – though fits of giggles and large grins had taken over their faces. She knew what was coming next, of course and she was not surprised as she felt a tap on her shoulder and she turned to come face to face with her hazel eyed husband. She wrapped her arms around his neck while he placed the basket and flowers down. They smiled at each other.

“Happy anniversary” he said – they kissed.

Challenge Day 5 – Skhokho

Skhokho is not your typical gangster from eKasi, you know the type – dressed in a black leather jacket, a beanie sitting precariously atop his head while he eyes you menacingly; a frayed  toothpick wiggling annoyingly from the corner of his mouth but you know better than to tell him to spit it out. Neh bra, Skhokho was up there with the elites, which suited his name just fine and by elites’s I’m talking Ocean’s Eleven, Italian Job kind of elites; high-end stuff mos. And so when I was invited to his house in Diepkloof, I expected a mansion of some sort or at least a relatively large estate to be rising among the humble dwellings of the Soweto residents. Instead I parked my City Golf on the pavement outside a small face-brick home with a high wall and a black sliding gate. The blue GTI parked haphazardly against the sliding gate made my gut clench in disgust – Parkes.

I slid open the gate and walked through the short cement pathway up to the front door, knocking on the wooden door and waiting. The door swung open and I was face to face with Parkes; he grinned a toothy grin, a piece of gold closing the gap between his two front teeth.

” ‘sbali you are on time for the first time today neh!” he cried jovially, placing his arm around my shoulder and leading me into the dim interior of the house. Alcohol and dagga encompassed him and I fought the urge to cough in disgust. He wheeled me into the living room where Skhokho sat in a large single-seater couch holding a tumbler glistening gold from the liquid within. Parkes nudged me towards the seats while he backtracked to the door to close it.

“The wheelman has arrived – welcome. Sit.” Skhokho swept his arm over the leather couches that formed a semi-circle around him though his eyes fell upon a chair beside him; I sat on the chair beside him.

“Sir” I said nodding. He nodded back. His dark eyes stared at me with amusement, a slight smile spreading on his thick lips as though he was filtering through my thoughts – and enjoying what was hidden within them. I was afraid of him, of course, why wouldn’t I be; everyone was afraid of Skhokho.

“Everything is set. You just need to be on Harrison street on the day, by the Rand Water building…you know where that is.” He said it as a statement. I nodded. He contiued

“There is a Capitec Bank there…that’s our hit. Its a quick job, in out and we are gone long before the bank clerks can even sniff the sink of fear oozing from their armpits ha ha. You know the drill.” I nodded again. I noticed that Parkes wasn’t coming back into the room…in fact I hadn’t heard the door close. Skhokho coughed to revert my attention back to him.

“I’ll find you on the day of the job – be ready. You waste my time, I waste you.” he smiled pleasantly as though he’d just offered to pay for my lunch; a shiver crawled up my spine.


I sat in the car watching various individuals walk past – each one different in how they animatedly spoke to one another. Two college students – girls – obnoxiously told a young man to go find someone who cares elsewhere before briskly walking past the car; I smiled at the one girl. She gave me a look of disgust and carried on with her friend. I laughed.

“Entertaining strangers in the hopes that you to meet an angel…’sbali?” a voice spoke from behind me. I jumped, my heart catching in my throat and galloping like a race horse. I looked at the rearview mirror and there sat Parkes grinning at me like a Cheshire cat.

“Don’t gape at me like an idiot, buddy! There’s a job that needs to be done and guess what? You have been promoted!” Parkes laughed. I saw no humour in his statement; my humour was still recovering from that shock he’d given me (how the heck did he get into the car!) and now I was being thrust into the robbery itself – could this day get any worse?

Of course it could.

It did.


I was dodging bullets like a mad-man, weaving through the filing cabinets like a mouse in a labyrinth. The air smelled of gun powder and burning paper. Screams filled the office area which made thinking difficult and that coupled with Parkes’ maniacal laughter drove an ice cold dagger through my head.

“Oh ‘sbali! Don’t you just love this!” Parkes laughed, turning to face me from behind the cover of a desk. I couldn’t laugh…I couldn’t even cry. This was a disaster. So much for an in-out  job! The gun in my hand felt heavy and useless, the weight of it like lead in my chest – I’d never shot anyone before; I couldn’t claim that fact anymore after this. Parkes on the other hand crawled further ahead, his hand peering above the desks and letting off shots in the direction of the approaching cops.

Blam. Blam. Blam.


“You’ll never catch us you fat pigs!” He laughed. It was at that moment that I realized why Parkes was Skhokho’s right-hand man; only one who found joy in such chaos could stand on almost equal ground with a man like Skhokho who was just as crazy himself – reserved yes, but crazy nonetheless.

“Hey snap out of it! Let’s go! Car is ready yes!?” I froze. Car? Yes! I nodded. He grinned, motioning for me to go. Fear gripped my legs, froze them in mid rise. I couldn’t…they’d shoot me of course. What if I died right now…what was it all worth!? A bullet ricocheted  off the wall beside me, past my face; I’d felt the wind of it graze my nose. Shocked I turned to see Parkes grinning madly at me. He mouthed an obscenity at me followed by the word “Go” as he lifted his gun towards me again. That did the trick. I took off. At the same time, Parkes rose from behind the desk, facing the cops – everything seemed to move slowly.

Parkes pulled a second gun from behind him seemingly from nowhere.

Bullets whizzed by me, clipping  the tip of my ear as I ran.

Parkes was rattling bullets off still grinning like a mad man.

It was that same grin that was plastered to his face as he turned towards me, his eyelid dropping slowly in a wink.

A bullet tore through his chest…

then another…

and another.

I ran past him then, his body covering the door enough for me to get through but that wasn’t enough as hot-white pain burst through my side and I was falling.

On my knees I landed. My side was scorching, I thought I would pass out. Searing pain and heat tore through all reason and I knew I should just quit now, lay down and die. I tried to cry but no tears formed. I looked up and there he was. Skhokho.


I hobbled into the car grinning like a maniac. The blood flowing down my side was slowing down as Skhokho briskly approached the car, opening the back door for me before he entered the vehicle from the passenger side. I threw myself into the car, wincing in pain but managing to shut the door behind me. I lay my head down on the seat, wondering when Skhokho had acquired a new driver. My heart seized up when the driver spoke, the car rolling away from where it was parked.

“Oh ‘sbali! Are you still alive back there?!” I lifted my head, unable to accept the truth of it. Parkes turned his head and grinned at me, his gold filling gleaming. “Looks like you’ve passed the first test neh!” with his maniacal laughter filling the car, a second laughter joined his. It was mine.


A visit to Joburg – The Capitec Bank where the shoot-out occurred ( let it load to street view ) Harrison Street

Skhokho – An untouchable, streetwise guy.

‘sbali        – friend

eKasi         – A shortened version of the Afrikaans word ”lokasie”. The english word is location, an older word for townships. During the apartheid era, black people were relocated to these townships. The biggest township in South Africa is Soweto.

Challenge Day 3 – Mirrors


It wasn’t so much the disjointed perception of reality that kept him as he was – sane – and it was most certainly not his own ability to deceive himself that it was all true, that attributed to it; rather it was the simple acceptance of the fact that nothing was ever as it seemed. Added to that notion was the fact that he literally forgot what he looked like while ambling along through the depths of life. It became quite easy for him to recreate reality as he thought it to be. Not in the sci-fi sense where reality altered according to his emotions or the state of his mind or anything like that; it was, instead, the way in which he viewed the world, himself and the events around both those two pinnacles…as he saw them. It was only during those moments when he faced his own reflections that the appearance of his disheveled image nudged him back to reality as it was – undeniable.

As surprising as it may seem, his apartment lacked any reflective surfaces, save for the tall, standing mirror that stood against his bedroom wall; dark mahogany wood against painted, sky blue wall. He used the object as means of making sure that he looked decent enough in appearance before heading out to explore the world. It was that same mirror he was standing in front of that morning, when he saw the first crack on the reflective surface. The crack was at that first time merely an annoyance – just a scratch he’d surmised. It’s presence was made known to him while he’d been brushing down the thick black strands tousled atop his head, though in truth his attention was more on the bright grey orbs that stared back at him rather than on his form. It was though he were being watched by someone else, another being that resembled his appearance rather than a simple reflection. Of course common logic told him that he was merely looking at a reflection, but his mind couldn’t or didn’t want to accept that as truth – that was when he saw the crack. A tiny scratch, almost imperceptible had it not created the illusion of a scar running up the side of the reflection’s cheek in a thin line. He’d ran his finger across the pale skin of his cheek first of course and not feeling a ridge, proceed to do the same to the mirror, his finger grazing over the line, tracing its length along the smooth surface. With a nonchalant shrug he turned from the reflection, already lost within his thoughts, his capricious musing already plotting out the events of the day ahead, beginning with a visit to a local music store.

The air buzzed with a certain kind of life as he stepped into the cool interior of the tiny music shop. A guitar riff permeated the air in its intensity, a heavy drum beat steadily rising with the thick, scratchy cry of a passionate vocalist, the  inundating crescendo of cymbals and screams filling the air, higher, louder, fuller and at the apex of it all…crashing into a cacophony of drums, guitars and rambling. This was metal. This was his scene. He meandered through the seemingly endless selection of CD’s, spanning over the chest high aisles that twisted through the entirety of the shop. He sifted through the various CD covers of bands he’d vaguely heard of, most of them while on the internet. A few that he did recognize he picked up to see if there was a particular song that he recognized. It was as he gazed at one particular CD cover that he caught sight of his reflection on the CD cover and the reflection of an individual beside him. Looking up he came face to face with a young woman with shockingly green eyes framed by long dark locks of hair.

“Are you merely browsing or will you be buying something?” She asked him with a chuckle, flicking a fringe behind her left ear; there was familiarity to her but he could not place it. He noticed that her shirt’s logo and text was printed backwards – a statement in itself.

“Meh” he replied with a shrug, placing the CD case back in its pocket on the rack. He turned back to her, throwing out what he hoped was a nonchalant yet charming smile, “Just seeing if there is anything worth buying here…you know.” He flipped his hair – that normally made girls swoon. She smiled back with a slight twinkle in her eyes,

“Just another browser huh?” he casually looked away from her, catching a glimpse of her reflection from a nearby glass. Surprisingly, a scowl painted her face but when he turned back to her, she was smiley sweetly. He shrugged to himself before replying to her

“Only if there is nothing worth the buy. Anything that you would recommend?” An older gentleman walked into the vicinity, smiling broadly as his head nodded to the music – an gold ring glinted over his eyebrow, the shirt he wore also having the text and image backwards.

“Well anything in particular that…” she stopped in mid-sentence, her eyes squinting at a spot on his face.

“Hey…you are bleeding.” He looked at her confused reaching up to touch his face to see what she was talking about. He flinched back as his fingers touched the sensitive spot, a streak of blood smudging his index finger. Without waiting for her to say more, he rushed off to the bathroom to see what the extent of the cut was, though his mind could not comprehend what had caused the scratch.

The bathroom stall was septic white, the fluorescent lights bright and glaring but all of these were just in his peripheral. His focus lay solely on the now throbbing cheek, a prominent line seeping red goo onto his cheek – a crack in the mirror in line with his face.

“…well you deserved it! Why did…” the voice, feminine, rose faintly from a distance and yet it resounded in his mind as though it was said directly to his face.

“…never my fault it…” a male voice, familiar – his own. He quickly threw water over his face, looking back up at the mirror to see that a second crack had etched across his forehead followed by a throb and the telltale sensation of dripping liquid; blood.

“…over, don’t you get it!?…” another crack, another cut.

“…shouldn’t be this way! I love…”

“I don’t…” The final crack ran down from the first one right down to the area where his heart was. The pain was agonizing.


I don’t want to lose you now,

I’m looking right at the other half of me

The vacancy that’s set in my heart

Is the space that now you hold.

Challenge Day 1 – Lion in the deep

Day  1 – Today’s challenge came about from reading another post which inspired this idea. I would suggest you read that post first before mine to get a better context – I decided though to take the other aspect of the story, adding a bit of African flavour to the names (which I have explained at the end of my post). I do hope you enjoy!

Lioness by Shiraiza (

Lioness by Shiraiza (

The shade was there; cool, alluring, tempting – distracting. The temptation to abandon this little escapade had crossed my mind more than once in the last five minutes. The tall thin grass, brown and dead, rose above my crouching form, the sun beating relentlessly down on me; but there was shade…right there. I could lounge in it, wallow in the cool, refreshing umbrella of tree branches and leaves. But no…I’m on the hunt and the pack is relying on me. I can sense rather than see uMama and uSisi, crouching on either side of me yet further off, stealthily creeping through the grass – they make no sound. They are slowly encircling their prey…our prey, I must remember its our prey. The large antelope isn’t even aware of our presence and the urge to jump up and scream at it to run bubbled up my throat. I barely managed to hold the scream in, a tiny moan escaping up my throat in the tiniest of growls. The antelope’s head suddenly perked up, its ears flicking up as though to hear better – my growl had alerted it and now it would run, surely. I remained as I was, still. My mind seemed to be buzzing in uncertainty, a full scale mental battle that blotted out everything else around me. Run antelope run! A part of me screamed but another part, a quieter and stronger part spoke up above the scream; kill, kill, kill! Hunger rumbled through my abdomen like thunder. The antelope’s ears had dropped, yet it remained alert as it began to flit through the grass…towards me.

uSisi Khanyi had not been the same since her disappearance some many nights ago. She’d come back timid and hesitant – uMama said it was because of the humans. I believed her. We’d seen them roar by on their large beast that rolled rather than ran, carrying some animal or other animal on the beasts back while they watched us apprehensively. uBaba had given us direct instruction to steer clear of the tall, thin creatures that walked on two feet, warning us that even though they were weak and frail, they carried weapons that would render us useless. I don’t even remember when we first noticed that uSisi had not returned, thinking that she’d gone off to hunt but after the third and fourth night she’d not returned, uBaba went off to search for her. The person he brought back was not uSisi, not one bit.

The antelope was here, its earthy scent permeated the air around me in a fragrance that set my appetite afire. There was only one problem; I couldn’t kill this poor creature. Yes hunger. But…what was it? I couldn’t understand it, a feeling that suffused through my chest into the beating organ in there. The thought of killing this creature turned that beating organ cold and dark and a sadness clouds my mind. What is this! Compassion!? For my food!? Never! Why!? I’d rather eat grass or slink off to be there, under the cool shade of the tree, away from the running and hunting and killing – and sun. Surely there is a better way than all this crouching in tall grass and sneaking and ripping with my claws. Let the pride hunt, I’ll just eat with them.

“Umtwana wam, she has not been herself ever since I found her where I knew she would be. Many of us had been found there, thin and frail, their ability to hunt lost – their eyes no longer gleaming with the eyes of a hunter. Pathetic. That’s how they all became and there she was, thin, frail and forlorn – pathetic. She’d stood to face me when I’d approached her, first retreating when I’d approached her but recognition lit up her eyes followed by a tiny glint of the huntress within her. Even as we escaped and she fumbled behind me unable to use her legs, she persevered through the trails, past the tall, grey, crisscrossing borders that separated the grassland from the human land and past the single pole rising out of the ground showcasing the head of a human skeleton and some bones. She stank too, a stench that was all too unnatural and pungent, causing my nose to burn from its strength. It was an unmistakable stench that reeked of humans and as we approached the encampment where the pride resided, I knew they could smell, her. They encircled her, watching her, their noses wrinkled in disgust from both the smell that shrouded her and from their loathing towards her return. She timidly hid behind me. I watched the pack, knowing they would pounce on her, kill her now rather than see her disgrace the pack in her inability to hunt. The atmosphere was intense, heavy; static. She let out a sound that was neither a growl nor…lion, it was shrill and loud and startled one the approaching males – in that instant she swung her paws across his face, spouting blood from his face. He shrunk away from her and that was enough to gain some confidence as each individual drifted off into the encampment but each of them would never forget, the sound that she’d uttered; it was a human sound.

Hunger was stronger than my compassion, instinct overriding emotion. I could not go hungry, the clan could not go hungry; we had to eat. The attack was quick, swift – easy. I pounced and the antelope let out a startled yelp, its large black eyes widening in shock and fear before glazing over as my paw struck its head hard, twisting the neck to an improbable degree. I stood over the body with both pride and unease as I watched uMama and uSisi pounce out of the grass towards the dead buck. I accepted their growls of approval and my confidence rose at their praise, but that yelp that the antelope had uttered, it was too…familiar, too…human. Was it “Please”? It couldn’t be, no how could I have understood that? A glint caught my eye as uSisi gnawed into the meat, a shiny metallic piece that was attached to the buck but uSisi tossed the object off into the grassland and by then, my hungry stomach could smell the raw scent of fresh meat. With a delighted snarl we feasted.

Off in the scorching heat of the grasslands, lay a metallic tag, one that belonged to a young buck once captured by humans. The tag would lay in that grassland for ages, rusting with the passing seasons, buried by dust and grass until it is but another part of the Serengeti.

Antilocapra americana
HG Serum HmSap16
Experiment # 1040


uSisi – Sister

Khanyi – a Zulu name short for Khanyisile which means Bringer of light

uMama – Mother

uBaba – Father

Umtwana wam – my child


Well I wrote this already and only now does it relate to my post but the days haven’t passed that much that it would be a hindrance…would it?

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