Category Archives: Writing

Fairy Blessings

Kali pulled the weathered bag strap back onto her shoulder as she ran over the old troll bridge. Through the tall trees she saw the sun touching the almost invisible horizon. Harvest festival starts just after sunset. Thinking of the hot pastries and sticky fruit she loved made her mouth water. She might even try a taste of the honeyed mead this year. Kali wore her best shirt with the elaborate stitching on the sleeves she had learned to do this year. But bare feet flying down the dirt path took her past the silent fairy ring to Greenside Village.

The fairy ring was tended by the village with the usual offerings of fruit, nuts and craft. The amount decreased each year that the fairies stayed away. Some villagers believed they would not return. Only the elders remembered how much the fairies made the festivals magical. Just their fickle blessings were unwanted. Blessings were a double-edged sword. Hew, the last child blessed by the fairies, ended up crippled from only a stubbed toe.

A flicker of movement caught her eye when she stopped to place her offering at the fairy ring. Kali turned slowly as she tried to find the source. It took her a few seconds to see the skittish Fawn that stared at her, his one hand clasped tightly around a small tree trunk. Kali fell over backwards and landed on her backside in surprise.

“Good day… a … Sir Fawn… may I be of service?” Her heart pounding, Kali stammered the almost forgotten greeting to the fairy kin, as she scrambled to get back on her feet.

A sudden giggle escaped the Fawn, his brown eyes sparkled with suppressed mirth. “Good day young one, I seem to require your help. My name is Hest of the Half End Fawn Circle,” the Fawn introduced himself with a small bow.

“I am Kali Weaverskin of Greenside Village, how may I help thee?” She curtsied. Formal greetings with the fairy kin were most important. If offended, a fairy would lay a dire curse on you.

“Miss Kali Weaverskin of Greenside Village, I seem to have inadvertently become entangled with a vicious thorn,” the Fawn said. A look of pain flashed across his face. Kali glanced down to see a large thorn sticking out the back of the hoof.

“I will do my utmost to remove the thorn that troubles you, Sir Hest, Fawn of the Half End Fawn Circle,” Kali said. Fear pounded in her heart and pulled her throat tight. She squatted next to Sir Hest and gently picked up his hoof. She took firm hold of the thorn. One sharp jerk was all she needed to pull the thorn free. With a whisper and a wink the Fawn disappeared.

Kali stumbled back in shock. Did she truly hear him say bless you child?

Dusk pressed firmly down around her as she picked up her bag. She ran like never before to tell Grandma Aimes what happened.

Globster

The things you stumble across when doing research!
This morning I was working on an idea for a romance starter at The Story Mint.
The setup for the story was a young widow with two kids, boy and girl. Who is having a well deserved holiday. The love interest comes in when she is seen on a daily basis by a famous movie star who is working incognito on a screenplay. Sounds like a typical Mills & Boon story right? You got it 🙂
Now originally I had the story set in Seattle and he was working out of a two story house/apartment next to a park where she takes her kids on a daily basis. He becomes obsessed with her and finally approaches her. She doesn’t want to be involved with a movie star – too much publicity, etc. He changes careers (because he was fed up with the public lifestyle in any case) and they live happily ever after.
I decided to rather add a bit of local flavour to the starter since the other serials have all been in foreign (and sometimes frightening) locations. Well, for little old South African me at least. So I tried to set this story up in a South African City/Town/Whatever… and I came up with Margate! If you’ve tried working on a laptop in any South African city you’ll know that the selection of places that supply you with a power outlet is limited. BUT since I was sitting in Wimpy this morning working on my laptop, I thought of the big Wimpy right on Margate’s main beach. Perfect spot for our hero to watch our Heroin.
Since I’m a very fair-minded person, I decided to see what info is available on the internet on Margate and Wimpy and if the other serial writers would be able to google any info they needed to contribute to the serial. I found Margate, SA on Wikipedia (PS: what is with the unoriginality of the South Africans? Every single SA place I google, has been named after some other place…. St Lucia, Margate. I mean really!) and I was amazed to see that Margate’s claim to fame was a HUGE furry water animal that had a fight with some killer whales and then washed up on the shore. The thing was called Trunko. So obviously I google Trunko and it turns out thatTrunko was, in fact, a globster. In other words, a piece of decomposed whale that was unidentifiable because of its state. The fur was only exposed connective tissue fibers. Uhhmmm, Yuck!
Of course, now I’m stuck with this image of “vrot” whale carcass in my head… I’ll have to skip the romance until later.

Silicon

This was written as a Mini Writing Challenge for Writers Pen. Between 100 and 500 words using the word silicon in the story… Enjoy!

PS: Family members might recognise this story. 🙂

~~~~~~~~

She got up quickly as the doctor came towards her.

“Mrs du Preez, your son’s eye was damaged quite badly by the buckshot. The fovea was destroyed and the lense had to be removed. To stop the retina from detaching we replaced the gel in his eye with medical grade silicon oil. Should the silicon oil do it’s job the eye will retain its shape and he will keep his eye.” Strangely the doctor’s factual description eased the aching worry that Angela went through while sitting in the waiting room.

“Can I see him?” she asked.

“He’s in recovery now. They will bring him out in about ten minutes.” He replied

“Thank you, doctor.”

The alarm sounded next to her bed. With determination, she got up to wake her teenage daughter.

“Sam, it’s time to change your brother’s dressing again.” she softly called her daughter. It hurt when her son, Stephan, told her she wasn’t allowed to touch his eye, but to be completely honest, she was terrified that she might hurt him. Samantha had the objectivity to clean and medicate his eye without the trembling hands.

Angela prepared everything that was needed. She handed Sam the anti-bacterial soap to wash her hands. Made sure that all the things used during the cleaning were ready. They walked into Stephan’s room and touched his arm to wake him up.

In the dim corridor light, Sam pulled the tape from the eye patch. She removed the cover and dressing from the eye. With careful strokes, she cleaned the glue from his skin. Using clean cotton wool soaked in saline she cleaned the eyelids. Ten eye drops were counted as they dropped. Then the antibiotic eye ointment squirted in a long worm along the bottom eyelid before the eye was closed again and re-bandaged.

“Done” Sam muttered before heading back to her bed. Angela packed everything away before heading back to bed herself.

The first time Stephan complained about the pain in his eye, Angela almost panicked. Back at the hospital, the doctor explained that due to the silicon oil the drainage canal had been blocked. The eye produced new gel and pressure built up in the eye. Her teenage son had glaucoma. They needed to operate again to relieve the pressure. The second time it happened she knew what to do. Stephan was taken to hospital for another operation. After weeks of controlled panic, her son got better. Stephan kept his eye, though he couldn’t see very well with it. The absence of a lense and the destroyed fovea gave him no detail. He described it as seeing light and dark without any definition. The silicon oil was absorbed into his body and the natural balance was established again in his eye. The only sign of all the trauma an elliptical hole in the iris.

The Bond

Four year old Jason sat beside Shirley as she fed cloth into her sewing machine. As she sewed, his high pitched voice chattered away at her.

‘….and then me and Michael will eat sweeties…’

With heart pounding Shirley stopped her machine and turned to her son.

Michael continued, ‘mommy, you must take a new picture of us…’

His blue eyes twinkled with excitement as he bounced up and down.

‘Michael,’ he said, ‘let’s pull funny faces when mommy takes the picture!’

Shirley stared at the spot Jason was looking at.

A shadow etched a pattern within the silver dust floating in the beam of sunlight falling on the seat.

‘Michael?’ she whispered.

The shadow shifted. She pulled the camera from the sideboard and aimed it at Jason and the shadow. At the click of the shutter the camera flashed and Jason started screaming. ‘You chased him away!’

Shirley caught her bottom lip between her teeth, then, ‘Jason you have to get used to it.’ She tried to draw him into her arms.

‘No,’ he screamed, pulling away from her and shaking his head with a fury that made his hair fly across his face. The freckles on his cheeks seemed to dance with a dizzying speed.

Shirley put her arms firmly around Jason. She hugged him tight wincing as his bones stuck into her, reminding her of the concrete walls that must have scraped Michael’s body as he fell down the well shaft. Jason’s screams turned into sobs before he fell asleep in her arms.

 

Later, during dinner, Shirley watched Jason picking up peas one by one before eating them. He had woken up his normal self after the nap. Eventually she broke the heavy silence.

‘It happened again,’ she ventured.

Gary’s head jerked up from the paper he was reading. ‘What did?’

She took a deep breath, ‘You know….’

Gary stood abruptly and marched to the office muttering that he had work to do.

 

She was awake when he tip-toed into their room.

‘We have to talk about the twins,’ she said, sitting up straight and tense.

‘Not now…’ He shut the door to the bathroom and the buzz of the electric toothbrush filled the room like a tormenting bee.

Shirley threw the blankets off her and marched to the door.

‘We have to talk now!’ she shouted, turning the handle.

The door would not move and there was no reply.

‘Gary,’ she called. There was still no answer.

She rattled the door. The toothbrush was still buzzing. She banged harder with a flat hand.

‘Gary we have to talk!’

There was a thud as if he’d dropped the toothbrush on the floor. Alarmed, she banged on the door again and rattled the handle.

‘Gary!’

Everything went silent.

‘Mummy?’ Jason’s small voice came from behind her.

Shirley flicked him away with her hand, ‘Go back to bed….’

‘But mommy, Michael’s back….’

She gave a last terrified push against the door. It slid open…

Thabazimbi Heat

Melanie slowed to a near standstill behind the decrepit old truck. ‘Come on,’ she thought as it coughed and rattled along the uneven road.

She was rushing to get to the market with the morning’s vegetables.

With disbelief she watched the wheels on the left of the truck lift of the ground. The overloaded truck tipped over in the middle of the dirt road. Forced to stop, Melanie called the position of the accident in to the community radio network before jumping out of her own truck.

‘Anyone hurt in there?’ she called.

They replied in Nigerian, a language she didn’t speak. Even in the middle of Limpopo farm country it didn’t take long for sightseers to appear at the accident scene. As the last of the Nigerians clambered out the first sightseer pulled up.

Fuming with frustration Melanie wiped her brow as she strode up and down the road trying to see a way past the obstruction. Local farmers stood nearby shaking their heads. Dave stepped away from them and asked with a smirk, ‘You picking fights with your new neighbours, Melanie?’

Melanie let out a disgusted snort. ‘If you think their falling-to-pieces truck over-turned because of me, Dave Callahan, you can think again!  Does that thing look roadworthy to you?’ She jabbed a finger in the direction of the prone truck.  ‘You tell your brother-in-law I’m talking to a lawyer about that road he closed off.’

The smirk disappeared.

‘Why don’t you go talk to Billy? I’m sure there’s a compromise.’ He agreed that Billy Gessup was being unnecessarily stubborn about that access road.

‘We’ll see,’ Melanie stopped bristling with an expelled breath.

He smiled. Her blonde ponytail seemed to act like a barometer of her mood. As she calmed it stopped bobbing.

‘What’s so funny?’ she demanded and the ponytail gave another bob.

Swallowing his smile he turned to the truck.

‘They’ve called Will. He’s bringing a block-n-tackle to winch the truck.’ He looked at a nearby tree. ‘Just hope that Jacaranda can withstand the load.

‘Here’s your chance to meet Daniel Sutherland, your other new neighbour,’ Dave said as a new Navara drove up.

Melanie could not take her eyes off the tall dark haired man that climbed out. Jeans hugged his long legs and a khaki shirt emphasized his broad shoulders. The hair curling over his collar was longer than the other farmers. He brushed it away from his eyes with long fingers and his mouth curved into a languid smile.

‘I was at the co-op when I heard the report on the radio.’ His voice was as rich and smooth as dark chocolate.

‘Daniel, meet Melanie Gerald, your Southern neighbour.’

His blue eyes wandered over her with interest. ‘He’s got as many questions as you about the Nigerians,’ Dave said.

Daniel took her hand. An excited tingle passed down her spine at the touch.

‘So, you also can’t figure out what the Nigerians are doing here?’ she said, trying to play it cool.