Posted in Random Pieces Of Writing

Cautionary Tale

Genre: Flash Fiction


The cautionary tale was told to all those who would listen. The ladder by the lake was no place for children! Even the grown were told not to dare go there. The ladder went deep underground and rose up literally into the heavens. Those that climbed it high into the sky when never seen again and those that climbed down into the depths of the earth would later be found floating in rivers lifeless and shriveled. But as with all worthy advice the cautionary tale was ignored by some. Those who simply didn’t care or those who fell victim to curiosity. There was a young bird who dared to venture here. You must understand even in the animal kingdom the warnings were stern. But he went there and stood right on the warning sign, looking above and below. He feared going into the darkness underground and he knew his kind couldn’t swim. So he flew and landed on the ladder in order to climb. Don’t ask me why he didn’t just fly and follow the ladder into the sky. The air around the well wasn’t the most conducive to common sense. So he landed and began to climb but after a while, tired and sweating he couldn’t stop. He kept going on and on. Night and day weaved together. He climbed non stop all the same. Try as he might to fly away the spirit of the ladder in the well holds him in place.

-The End

Posted in Random Pieces Of Writing

A Dash For Dear Life

Genre: Flash Fiction 

  
 

We hear that all too familiar loud purr and in an instant it’s a race against time. A race to get dressed. A race to fit in through whatever exit. A race to escape. Out of breath and in panic, I’m running for my life. No looking back as if I’ll turn into a pillar of salt. The air feels thin and it’s suddenly hot, I’m sweating even through my ears. My feet are barely touching the ground. I know this is not a situation foreign to many. For I’m running because what we heard was the purr of an engine. Her father was back home. Before we had even fully taken off our clothes. Now I just see all eyes on me and the awkward bulge between my legs.

-The End

Posted in Random Pieces Of Writing

African Crime Stories: Justified By Love

  
It’s one those alone moments, not the lonely ones but the ones when you’re deep in thought. How do you care for someone you don’t yet know? Or can you care for someone you don’t know? Not as in you don’t know their name or how they look but you don’t know them as a person. But you just feel their perfect for you. Nicholas wondered as he stared at the blank Tv screen. He hadn’t stopped thinking about his neighbour for days. Their interactions however limited had left a mark on him. Her smile, her laugh, her voice, how she scratched the inside of her hand with her thumb when she was absent minded. It’s funny the things the mind can take note off when it wants too.

They’ve talked all of four times and he remembers every interaction. The first was just after she had moved in and he went there to introduce himself. They hit it off and he already saw unlimited possibilities, that is until the second time they bumped into each other by the local store where he was introduced to her husband. His heart sank. In the moment he wanted to grab her hand and tell she could do better, but he didn’t. The voice of reason still spoke louder than hormones and instant emotions. So the encounters just went on, rare and short lived but priceless to him.

Laughter could be heard as far as two houses away but it was more than just alcohol induced happiness. After a six pack of beers and a couple of whiskey shots Nicholas and Ryan found humour in everything. It was their usual weekend of catching up. As brothers, well step brothers to be exact they had been best friends since as young as 10 years old. It was in fact when they had met. Children of a father who had two families that didn’t know about each other, it was his funeral that brought them together. They bonded immediately but their mothers were adversaries, still fighting each other for the affection of a now deceased man.

The play dates grew to sleepovers and this lead to a bond for life. Nicholas and Ryan eventually ended up going to the same high school, though they would take different career paths after that. Nicholas the brighter of the two would end up pursuing a banking degree, while Ryan would go to police camp after failing his A’level’s for the second time. Through it all they remained close, each was the others confidant. Romance was pretty elusive for both but well Ryan wasn’t one for love. His love life was a series of emotion free one night stands. Contrary to popular belief their rather slim pickings for the African policeman.

“Nick man I saw your neighbour walking in the other day my god she’s beautiful,” Ryan said burying his face in his hands.

“Don’t even think about it man she’s married. Plus you wouldn’t stand a chance,” shot back Nicholas.

Ryan pretended to look hurt then they both burst out in laughter.

“You’re quite defensive about her though.”

“I just respect women something you clearly never learnt Ryan.”

“Sounds more like you have a crush on her.”

At this their conversation was interrupted by crying and shouting from next door. They immediately ran outside to see what was going on. Which in most Zimbabwean neighbourhoods is quite difficult, because we all have walls around our houses. Mostly to keep unwanted people out but also to keep what goes on within our houses inside the yard. Ryan and Nicholas stood peering over the dura wall looking right at the woman they had been talking about a moment ago. Her makeup had run down her face from all the crying and her hair was a mess.

“You have a wife why are you sleeping around with other women?” She shouted at her husband.

A question that was quickly replied to by a hard slap with the back of his hand across her right cheek. She fell to the ground and as she reached for her cheek, the slap was followed by a kick to her gut. And Nicholas was over the wall faster than Ryan could stop him. Darting across the yard, he tackled down Thandeka’s husband before he could do anything about it. By the time Ryan caught up to him, Nicholas had the husband pinned to the ground while he punched him with no remorse. When Ryan finally got to Nicholas and pulled him away he had to restrain him while his anger subsided. He was fuming as if the roles were reversed, like he was the husband and a near stranger had just attacked his wife.

Tinashe (Thandeka’s husband) was already bloody when the assault had been stopped. There was a large gash above his left eye that was bleeding profusely. 

“You’re going to be fucking sorry for this,” he shouted.

“Baby are you okay?” said Thandeka with genuine concern in the direction of her husband.

“Don’t baby me, you should be calling your saviour over there these pet names.”

These were Tinashe’s last words as he got into his car, slamming the door and driving away. Leaving Thandeka wailing louder and the step brothers still arguing with each other. With her husband out of sight, Nicholas ran and knelt next to Thandeka.

“Thandeka are you alright?”

“Why did you do that? Why?” she shouted and began throwing half hearted punches at his chest.

Nicholas just hugged her and then slowly the punches stopped, she gently buried her head into his chest. She felt his warmth, listened to his heart beat and she felt safe. In that moment she stopped caring she wasn’t in her husband’s arms. She was going enjoy these minutes of comfort guilt free.

Before the brothers left Thandeka was given both their numbers and told to call anytime there was a problem. And that night she made a call that would become a daily late night ritual for her and Nicholas. Barely half an hour after returning home, Nicholas’ phone ran. It was a call from a number that wasn’t saved in his phone and he instantly knew it could only be one person.

“Hello,” he said as he picked up the call.

“Hey it’s Thandeka.”

“Hey is everything alright?” replied an anxious Nicholas.

“Everything is fine don’t worry I just called because I wanted to say thank you. No one has ever been there like that for me.”

“It’s no problem hey, I wouldn’t let any woman get treated that way…”

A call under the guise of just saying thank you would turn into a 3 hour long conversation. Almost like the reconnecting of lost lovers, who in an instant ignited all the hidden past emotions and couldn’t get enough of each other. They were both lonely and anxious to fill that void, even for just a moment, even with something that wasn’t love, even with make believe fantasy and even if it didn’t last beyond the night. Tinashe was still not home and all through the chat Thandeka told herself talking to someone who would actually listen was a welcome change. 

A couple of days went by and they were a few more late night calls. While this was going on Ryan negotiated a peace between his brother and Thandeka’s husband. In exchange for an apology Tinashe would drop the assault charges he had filed against Nicholas. It was a rather hard pill to swallow. Every bone in his body wanted to give him a lecture on how women are treated but Nick fought it and apologized. But in his heart he swore if he ever found out that Tinashe hit Thandeka again he would kill him with his bare hands. It wasn’t in the literal sense but it was just a statement of intent.

As the time went by Nicholas discovered from his bathroom window he could see right into Thandeka’s yard. He hadn’t been looking for a spot to peep but the opportunity just presented itself and he wasn’t going to waste it. What was just a crush had turned into a near obsession. The romantic within him wished he could just open his heart and let her dive in, for her to be cascaded in the love he felt. But if wishes were horses even a beggar would ride. He would just sit in there with a couple of beers and watch what was going on next door. Torturing himself by looking at what was so close in his heart yet far away in reality.

But basically he was now a pervert though he thought to himself but he couldn’t help it. It wasn’t exactly harming anybody and in fact he was actually watching over her. Like a guardian angel. Just add alcohol to deep emotions and you can convince yourself of anything.

One night when Thandeka had forgotten to close her bedroom curtains. She walked in, switched on the lights about to get ready for bed. It just so happened that in that moment Nicholas walked into his bathroom and looking out the window, he was face to face with Thandeka. They made eye contact with each other and neither shied away. Thandeka hit with a mischievous thouibegan seductively taking her clothes off as she changed into her nightwear. Nicholas was captivated, he didn’t blink as his eyes paid attention to the motion of each and every curve. Then suddenly the show was cut short. She disappeared for a moment and next thing Nick knew his phone was ringing.

“Ummmm hey,” he awkwardly answered.

“Like what you see over there?”

“I do, in fact I more than like it.”

“Well why don’t you come over and take a closer look,” Thandeka said in the sexiest voice she could manage.

Something in Thandeka had changed, maybe just for that night, maybe permanently. She had tired of being dragged along by Tinashe. She deserved more. She deserved better. What was one indiscretion to days upon days of abuse anyway? It wasn’t love or was it? She had a certain fondness for Nicholas though and had her life been different she could have seen herself being married to him. But raised in hardcore African values, what she was taught was you stuck through the marriage not matter how bad. Yet there she was inviting another man into her marital home. She just told herself what happened happened.

“I-I-I might just do that,” stuttered Nicholas in reply.

“Don’t take too long though.”

“Wait are we just flirting or you’re being serious?”

“Come knock at my door and find out,” were her last words as she cut off the call.

Common sense abandoned him for a moment, Nicholas dashed to his neighbours house and in a vest, with just shorts on and flip flops he gave the door a quick knock. Heart racing and looking about as if someone was watching him. A mixture of anticipation and fear twisted his stomach into knots.

“Come in,” came Thandeka’s voice. 

Nicholas walked in and as their eyes met, Thandeka untied her robe and let it hit the floor. Revealing nothing on but her body’s smooth, caramel skin tone. Nicholas was in awe. He was speechless. His mouth instantly went dry. Nothing was out of place. In front of his eyes he saw perfection. It was a moment that lasted a near eternity. They finally moved closer to each other, invading that personal space. Literally now breathing in the same air. Nicholas grabbed hold of her chin and as Thandeka looked up to him he stole a kiss. Parting her soft lips, she let their tongues get entangled in a beautiful dance. As hands of their own will roamed each other’s bodies.

Stuck within their own world they didn’t hear the gate opening, the car coming in. Tinashe was home early. His arrival only announced when he began unlocking the door. There wasn’t enough time to do anything. They were both just frozen there in horror. The door opened and a half naked Nicholas was caught standing next to Tinashe’s naked wife. The air of excitement that was once reaching the breaking point vanished to be replaced by a slight eerie silence. A tension in the new atmosphere held everyone in their place unmoving but quickly the tension was broken.

“You whore,” Tinashe shouted out. And he for the drawer underneath the Tv stand were he kept his gun. Fumbling with his keys as his hands shook in anger.

Nicholas was still unmoved conflicted between running away and standing his ground, well this was Tinashe’s house so it would’ve been standing on another man’s ground. Thandeka knowing what was about to happen and acting on instinct alone grabbed a close by miniature giraffe sculpture. 2kgs of nothing but granite, and with her full force behind it she bashed it into the back of her husbands skull. Two blows and he was flat on the ground silent. The atmosphere in the room grew even more tense yet nobody moved. Thandeka knelt next to her husband’s body breathing heavily, hands now bloody and tears pouring down. They half expected him to get up again but after 5 minutes it was clear he was not going to. As Nicholas went to try and move him they realized he wasn’t breathing. He checked and rechecked for a pulse but there wasn’t one to be found. The world stood still for a moment and their heads went spinning.

In panic Nicholas called the only person he knew he could trust to help him in a such a situation. His brother Ryan. The police officer. For once he appreciated having a cop for a brother. He forgot the measly salary, the ugly uniform and degrading tasks. If Ryan could get him out of this one even he too would quit banking and join the police force he told himself. After several rings Ryan finally picked up.

“Ryan I don’t know what to do we’ve messed up man and we’ve messed up big.”

“What’s going on?”

“You have to know I love her man, I really love her.”

“What’s going on?”

“I can’t go to jail I just can’t bro!”

Nicholas went on to mumble the basics of what had happened, except in this version he was the one who bashed in Tinashe’s head. He had thought of telling the truth but he blamed himself for everything. If he had just shown some restraint or if he had acted instead of just standing there, things wouldn’t have gotten here. If anyone was to end up in prison it had to be me.

And as a brother should Ryan rushed to Nick’s aid, arriving there just 15 minutes after he had been called. Thandeka with her bloody hands shaking is taken to the bathroom to clean up and then change clothes. Once that’s finished she’s promptly instructed to pack a bag with a few of her clothes, valuables and everything of sentimental value to her. While she does this Ryan goes about pouring oil and liquor all over the furniture and an assortment of all flammable liquids he can find. With everyone out of the house he sets the sofa’s and the rest of the wooden furniture on fire.

They watch as the house burns down from Nicholas’ verandah. Their story extremely simple. The three of them had been together all night. Thandeka had come over to escape her drunk husband and they had watched a movie. They hadn’t noticed the fire until the house was fully ablaze and it was too late to do anything. It was their word against that of a dead man and dead men don’t speak. A cop, a successful star in the business circles and a battered wife. Who would dare challenge them? Plus in a country with virtually no forensics who would know better? 

It was good riddance anyway they told each other to calm their consciences. 

To just be safe though, Ryan calls ahead and calls in a few favours. The incident is already written up as an accidental fire before the police arrive. His brother is going to owe him so much for this. All those years at university and he still needed him to clean up his mess. Ryan feels an overwhelming sense of pride, even though a man is head it doesn’t matter as long as his brother is safe.

Nicholas and Thandeka share another tender hug. She’s in her safe place again. Already trying to forget what had just happened and her last few years of marriage. In light of all that had transpired that she could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and it wasn’t just the fire burning bright. Nicholas smiled into the flames a day dream away or was it a vision of his realities completion.

One mans demise, the beginning of another’s fairytale…

-The End

Posted in Random Pieces Of Writing

African Crime Stories; Guilty Until Proven Innocent Part 2

  

If you missed Part 1 you can find it here African Crime Stories; Guilty Until Proven Innocent I hope you enjoy the read.

The sunlight inches bit by bit into the room as the morning slowly arrives. A drowsy Brian wakes up seated at his desk, his face buried in an arm pillow and his laptop underneath his arms. It’s just another normal day to him, the usual routine, except well now he shoves a taser into his pocket before going out for his morning run. It’s illegal to have one but this is Africa unless it’s life threatening people aren’t really bothered by the crime. A step out of his door, he’s stopped by the reporter.

“Mr Gwati any comments about what went on in the minister’s office?”

“I’m sorry man I’m just trying to run here,” Brian replies.

“So are you saying you’re innocent?”

“What?” Brian shouts out in bewilderment, he heard the question but it just doesn’t make sense that it would be asked to him instead of Mr Mteke the actual minister.

“Well sir the question is are you saying you didn’t take the money?”

“You know what get out face.”

Brian is fuming as he pushes the reporter to the side and takes off in a run. 

First I lose my job without reason in fact I’m fired and now I’m being labeled as corrupt. What the hell is wrong with people?

He’s in silent contemplation as he gets into his full stride, nearly bumping into a vendor carrying her tomatoes. Sorry he shouts out but he doesn’t stop. “Pfutsek,” the lady shouts after him. After 15 minutes he finally stops and there he realizes he hasn’t been following his usual route he’s ran totally of course. While he catches his breath he looks up at a newsstand and there he sees it. In bold black print; MINISTER’S AID LABELED AS CULPRIT IN $5 MILLION CORRUPTION CASE. 

There is an instantaneous reaction within his body. His hands get clammy, he begins feeling intense palpitations and he can’t breathe, it’s almost as if he was being choked. He starts groaning hoarsely as the feeling gets worse and worse. Rivulets of sweat form down his forehead and then he throws up were he stands. And even after there is nothing left to come out of him, his insides kept contracting. A headache comes about and that’s it.

A few hours later Brian comes to in a hospital bed. He is still in the same clothes so he knows he hasn’t been there for long.

“Doctor he’s awake,” a nurse shouts.

A short man in a white coat with a stethoscope around his neck walks in. In this moment movies horribly disappointed Brian. They were none of those tall, handsome, chiseled chin looks that you saw on medical soapies. The man has a chubby face with a rather fat nose, weirdly shaped ears and to make matters worse he’s balding. 

If this is my doctor I’m dying in here, Brian thinks to himself.

“Well Mr Gwati it’s good to see you’re awake you had us worried for a moment.” The doctor says this while placing a thermometer under his armpit and reading the clipboard next to his bed. “It seems you had nothing more than a panic attack, so once your IV finishes and you eat something I’ll discharge you.”

“Thank you doc,” was all Brian could utter.

Late afternoon Brian walks up to the door to his house. It’s unlocked and half open but he vividly remembers closing it and even his keys are still in his pocket. Inside his bags had been packed, his passport and a plane ticket were also on the kitchen counter. It’s strange and unsettling. He also notices a bunch of documents with his name and signature on them but he didn’t recognize them. Then he hears the door open behind him. Turning back he sees two uniformed officers standing there.

“Mr Gwati I’m Constable Panganai and this is officer Zengwa, we would like to please have a chat with you,” said the larger of the two cops. This was the police’s polite way of telling you you’re under arrest but they liked to put it in a way which made you think you had a choice.

“Sure, can I ask what is the problem?”

“Sure you can but you might not get answers,” replied the junior officer while he was already in the middle of putting handcuffs on him.

Brian had listened to all the people have rights speeches but he wasn’t fooled. He knew how things went down in the real world. You either complied or you got forced to comply. It was a short ride in the back of a rusty pick up truck to the police station. Bumpy, uncomfortable and it stunk of fish. 

Inside the station his handcuffs were removed and he was thrown inside a cell. He was in for a long night and there was none of that you get a phone call business. If you got arrested with no one around and you weren’t popular enough to have friends looking for you, you could just disappear into night. Still trying to take everything in, Constable Panganai walks into the cell area with a big grin on his face. 

“So Mr Gwati you’ve been arrested for corruption and your bail has been denied because you were clearly trying to flea.”

“What the hell are you talking about? I’m not guilty of any crime and neither did I try to flea.”

“Well I’m just the messenger and not the judge, so don’t waste your energy on me.”

“I need to talk to who put me in here then and I need to talk to them now.”

“Good luck with that my friend,” the Constable says as he walks away. 

Brian is left angry and exasperated which soon fade away after night falls and the cold gets underneath his skin. The bed in his cell has a thin mattress and one blanket that is riddled with lice. He throws the blanket off and then sleeps directly on the metal base with the mattress on top of him. 

All through the day the top news story had filtered out to most people. The minister had shifted blame to an aid of his by the name Brian Gwati. In poor judgment he had given him autonomy over certain decisions and government bank accounts. The honorable Mr Mteke felt betrayed but he said all the blame was ultimately on his hands as he had handpicked all his employees. This was the climax of a well orchestrated plot to scapegoat the little known Brian Gwati.

Brian’s parents had read the paper in disbelief, they knew their son better than this they believed. Although Mrs Gwati -Brian’s mother- was mostly concerned about what the neighbours would say she told herself she was calling him out of concern but she got no answer. Her false concern turned into genuine worry but it was just brushed off by her husband. Mr Gwati was the tough type, he withheld love to toughen his kids or at least that’s what he let people believe.

Brian had 2 siblings an older brother who was now overseas and a younger sister at university.

Mrs Gwati now fear riddled for her son calls his other siblings but neither has heard from him or even heard about the corruption story. Only later on, on the news would they hear the police correspondent announcing Brian was in custody and that he had been caught trying to fly out of the country.

The next morning Brian wakes up to the shock of being behind bars. He knew he had been arrested the previous night but he just put it away in his mind as a nightmare, an illusion or at the worst a mistake. Once up the comfort of the steel base becomes intolerable. He’s thirsty, hungry and restless. And while he was still trying to put things into perspective he got his shock first visitor.

Minister Mteke walks in unaccompanied and grim faced. It was a welcome sight for Brian that is until he heard what the minister had to say.

“Brian I’m not going to waste anytime here. You’re being accused of corruption and fraud and if you knew what was good for you you’d sign a confession”

“I won’t write a confession to something I didn’t do.”

“You don’t have to write a confession it’s already been written for you.”

“I’m not guilty and I’m not going to say I’m guilty no matter what.”

“Brian it’s really simple,” the minister says while placing a picture of Brian’s parents against the bars. “You either sign the confession or you’ll become orphan earlier than you expected and besides it already looks bad. Your bags were packed, you bought a plane ticket and your signature is on the bank transactions you’re guilty no matter what.”

“So you’re setting me up? Is that it?”

“No need to point fingers dear Brian, but just know every time you say you were framed or you say my name or you say you’re not guilty your parents will lose a finger or a toe and we’ll gladly post it to you.”

“Fuck you Mteke.”

“Well thank you for the compliment but I expect the confession to be signed by 12,” was the minister’s last remark before he walked out. And once in his car Mteke placed a call to the police chief.

“Uncle Dube it’s done,” he says as soon as the call was answered.

-The End

Posted in Random Pieces Of Writing

African Crime Stories; Guilty Until Proven Innocent 

  
His sleep abruptly interrupted, Brian instinctively goes for the golf club he now keeps beside his bed. Any sounds whispered in the night now have the hair all over his body standing on ends. Up and out of bed he’s now in what he calls his commando mode. Five is the maximum number of karate lessons he attended at 13 but he tells himself he can be a black belt when the situation requires it. In light of his new found paranoia, he sleeps with his socks on for the added effect of stealth, when walking about at night to see if an intruder had entered his house. 

A few steps out of bed Brian hears indistinct whispers as he strains to keep his eyes open. The golf club held ready to swing at a moments notice. A few steps out of his bedroom the whispers grow louder and seem to emanate from the bathroom. What is he going to find? A normal burglar? A serial killer? An assassin sent by one his Ex’s maybe? Questions flood his mind faster than he could think up answers. The little attempt at humour in thinking that maybe one of his Ex’s had sent an assassin to kill him quickly fades. Because he realizes it could genuinely happen. Brian fears the worst. 

“I’m going to get there with my stupid golf club and he has a gun, bang I’m dead,” he quietly thinks to himself. 

His grip tightens like he’s holding on for dear life and his heart rate skyrockets in an instant. He tries his best to control his breathing and keep it low. With the gentlest of touches he twists the handle and pushes the bathroom door open, to reveal an empty room. It was just the taps groaning. He hadn’t closed them properly and they were just whispering their disapproval. Letting out a sigh of relief, he shuts them off and goes back to bed. Lying there, looking up at the ceiling he starts laughing at himself, never has a man been frightened so silly by just taps.

Well the paranoia was not all on its own. About a month ago Brian’s life had taken a turn for the worst. Only 27 years of age and working with a senior minister to the presidents office, he was on the fast track to success. Saving for a car and already thinking of buying a house things were in order. It was a modern day fairytale but just missing the love part. This didn’t bother him though, he would think about the bigger picture and just smile to himself. That is until things crumbled. The earth was pulled away from under him. 

A scandal broke out about the honorable Francis Mteke -the minister Brian worked for. Out on the front page of almost every newspaper were censored naked images of Mr Mteke and a young lady (so young she could have been his daughter). The pictures showed them in a rather compromising position on the table in his office.

“MTEKE AND HIS MISTRESS CAUGHT WITH THEIR PANTS DOWN” read one headline, “EXTRA OFFICE HOURS HAVE A NEW MEANING” read another. All the tabloids ate it up, like vultures on an abandoned carcass.

There was havoc in the office as phones rang off the hook and people constantly walked in and out. And as expected the minister was nowhere to be found. Two days later there was a forced max exodus of employees in the minister’s office. Brian was one of the casualties. Fired without notice or reason and just given an extra months pay. Brian had gone straight to the liquor store, bought himself a bottle of whiskey and spent the day drinking himself into a stupor. After an unknown number of shots he began feeling better about the whole thing. His job had been hell, he wasn’t going to miss the work but maybe the paycheck. It was quite lucrative by the standards of any African country.

The worst thing about being at the minister’s beck and call had been that his social life suffered. He couldn’t remember the last time he had been on a date. The days that followed came with a change of mood. He was carefree and breathing easier. He was sweating the small stuff less and less.

Two weeks later minister Francis Teke was at the centre of another scandal. At least in this one everyone had their pants on. The minister was being suspected of corruption. A whooping 5 million dollars was the amount. Brian smiled as he read the article in the paper. How the mighty had fallen, karma truly existed he thought. That whole day he was literally dancing for joy every time he saw a newsstand with the headline. It didn’t bring him any closer to finding a new job but pettiness always has people happy for the wrong things.

The honourable Francis Mteke sat in the police chiefs office, tail between his legs as he received a scolding.

“Francis it is simple, do what you do and keep it behind closed doors or don’t do anything at all. Now you’re making me look bad and we have a problem.” Gerald Dube the 2nd or rather Chief Dube as he had been referred to for the past 15 years spoke without holding back. “I don’t want to arrest my own nephew, so don’t force my hand,” he went on.

“Uncle Dube I am sorry, I didn’t plan for things to…”

“That’s the problem you didn’t plan, you never plan, do you even think? Why did I even help you to get this job? My god how hard is it to just simply not get caught?… Fix this Francis! Get out of my office and go fix this!”

“Yes sir,” was all Francis could reply. He walked out the uncle’s office with his head hanging low and pride bruised. It was especially worrying because he knew if push came to shove, his uncle would have him arrested to save face. The 40% homage or tribute he had paid on the money he stole wouldn’t save him from a prison cell. It had been a fluid relationship he had going on with his uncle. After Chief Dude had gotten him appointed as minister, they began what they called reaffirming the wealth they deserved. Well it was mostly him who did the reaffirming and his uncle was just there to make sure any investigations uncovered nothing.

But this time around things were different, the sex scandal had ruined the delicate balance of the scales. A new ethics committee was immediately put in place to oversee the activities of the cabinet and what do you know $5 million was found missing. It didn’t take them long to look because well Francis hadn’t been bothered to cover his tracks. Now he was facing a dilemma with option A being confessing to the corruption and maybe spending a lengthy term in prison. But he told himself the alphabet still had 25 other letters.

Within minutes of leaving his uncle’s office Francis received a call from an unknown number. It would be the head of the National Intelligence Association on the other end of the line but he wouldn’t know it. Which was just a fancy name for a bunch of corrupt cops that did the governments biding. 

“Hello, who’s this?” Francis answered.

“Your uncle told us you have a problem and we can help you fix it,” bellowed a voice sounding rather impatient.

“How? What do you plan on doing?”

“That’s not your problem, all you have to do is give us a name.”

“Ummmm… Errrrr…” Francis tried thinking for a moment then “Brian Gwati,” he blurted out.

This phone call would set up events that would alter Brian’s life forever. And all because he had been the only memorable character within the minister’s office.

On a Monday days after the second scandal had broken, Brian noticed someone following him. He had started the day with what was now his usual routine. Early morning he had gone for a jog, yes he was now into the fitness life. He had figured if you’re going to be broke and unemployed at least look good. Because your chances of attracting women when you had nothing going for you were zero to none. 

So while on his morning there was a guy who trailed him but he gave it no notice. He just figured they had the same work out route. After finishing his exercise Brian freshened up and headed to the streets to job hunt. It would be around this time, that walking out of an interview he would see the same guy who had trailed him in the morning. But still he just put it up to coincidence, it was a small world after all. As the day concluded he decided to reward himself with a pizza. He needed at least one good thing to smile about after another marathon walked for no results. And behind him in the line for orders he would see the guy for the third time.

Three times could never be just up to coincidence, he was being followed. As soon as his pizza was in hand he darted out, crisscrossing streets and constantly looking behind him. Feeling he had done enough he finally headed home. Less than a 100 metres from his apartment he was blindsided and pulled into an alley. Three well built guys began attacking him with no remorse. Brian simply held his head while he was kicked and punched. The assault ended as soon as it had started, leaving his body already sore. But it had been time enough for Brian to notice that the shoes kicking him were police issue.

“You worked for the wrong minister,” shouted one of guys and they all burst into laughter as they ran away.

Brian stood up and dusted himself off, he felt lucky his face had remained untouched but his ribs and back ached. For a moment he contemplated going to the cops to report the assault but he knew it wouldn’t matter. If someone hadn’t died or been put in hospital all you would hear from the cops is “we’re looking into it.” He picked up his now flattened pizza box and slowly made his way home. From the next morning paranoia would have hold of him like a second conscience.

Back in the present day, Brian stared blankly at the ceiling as sleep eluded him. Finding out it had just been the taps making noise had failed to ease his heart enough for him for him to fall asleep. He decides to get up and work on his CV. It’s already complete but he just wants to polish it with a few more enticing words for prospective employers. Little does he know he could be experiencing his last few hours of freedom.

Posted in Random Pieces Of Writing

The Tale Of A One Night Stand 2

Genre: Romance/Suspense

  
If you missed the first part you can find it here The Tale Of A One Night Stand. I hope you enjoy the read.

The dinner was awkward to say the least, few words were exchangedhere was just the clanging of cutlery and plates. Gerald searched for answers at the bottom of wine bottle after bottom of wine bottle. When Samantha left the table for the restroom, a drunk Gerald took his chance to get some answers. He waited outside the ladies bathroom and when she came out, he cast her the angriest of stares. Yet Samantha simply walked up to him and kissed him, then whispered in his ear, “Don’t act so awkward you don’t want us getting caught, do you?”

Gerald couldn’t tell what he was more angered by, the fact that he didn’t say anything and he let her just walk by him or that when she kissed him he had kissed back.

A few days later when the dinner was slowly being forgotten and things all around were returning to normal (Except in Gerald’s thoughts were guilt and the fear of getting caught still haunted him). An envelope arrived in the mail addressed to Gerald, his wife gave it no thought and just put it on the table. Gerald arrived home early as he had been doing all week, the dinners events had put him off from all escapades.

“Hey babe how was your day?” Jade greeted him as he came in.

“You know the usual, couldn’t wait to get home to you.”

“Mmmmm… You know how to put a smile on my face.”

“Haha so what smells so good?” Gerald said as he took the lid off one of the pots.

“Wait till dinner you,” Jade replied while playfully smacking Gerald’s hand away. “And before I forget something came for you in the mail, it’s on the table.”

Gerald dropped his bag and got to opening the khaki envelope. He took out the papers to realize they were photos. Photos of him and Samatha making love in the hotel room the other night. Gerald immediately shoved them back in clumsily. An all too familiar feeling soon took over him. His hands got clammy, he felt his breath escape from him, his forehead became sweaty and he couldn’t think. It was a panic attack and the worst symptom came last. The diarrhea. He burst out of the kitchen with the envelope and went straight to the bathroom.

An hour later, after calming himself down and collecting his thoughts, he finally properly scanned through the pictures. On the back of the last one there was a phone number and the statement, “Call if you don’t want your wife to find out.” He fumbled through his pockets and found his phone. Immediately he dialed the number. It felt like decades before it connected then it finally began ringing. One ring, a second… By the fourth ring Gerald was ready to burst.

“Hello,” he went as soon as it was answered.

“Bring an envelope with fifteen hundred dollars to the town square park in 30 minutes or the next package will be addressed to your wife”

“Hello who’s this? Hello,” but it was too late the call had already been dropped.

Gerald scavenged through his bedroom for all the money he had lying around. After a few minutes and a quick count he was 300 dollars short. He had to run by an atm on his way to the park. He grabbed his car keys and dashed out of the house. Shouting to his wife, “I forgot something at the office I’ll be right back” as he walked out.

Arriving at the park he had no idea what to do, was he going to just walk around hoping to recognize someone or was he supposed to call again. He hadn’t taken five steps from his car when he saw a familiar face approach him. It was the guy he had been introduced to as Lionel, or rather Samantha’s boyfriend at the dinner.

“Do you have the money?” Lionel said as he approached him.

“Yes”

“Hand it to me”

Gerald was hesitant but he gave over the envelope with the fifteen hundred dollars and in turn he was handed a roll of film. Lionel immediately began walking away and Gerry just stood there dumbfounded. The film in his pocket, it was long lonely drive home. He walked in and he looked like someone who had just seen a ghost. Jade was in the process of serving dinner before the final nail was hit into Gerald’s coffin.

There was a knock on the door and as Jade was still busy, Michael answered it. It was the police. A plain clothes detective accompanied by a uniformed officer. 

“Good evening officers,” Gerald said as he swallowed hard.

“Evening Sir”

“How can I help you?”

“Well there’s just a small matter we think you can help us with, if you wouldn’t mind coming to the station.”

Gerald wanted to protest but as the conversation went on and he was told the matter involved a lady he knew as “Samantha” the feeling changed. Their voices died down to whispers and he had to tell his wife he was leaving again. 

In the police car everything was explained to him. He was told about how Samantha and Lionel had been going around blackmailing unsuspecting married men. Their MO was that Samantha befriended the wife and then proceeded to seduce the husband before he had had a chance to meet her. Lionel would then set up the hidden camera in the hotel room and carry out at the transaction of the money and the roll of film. Also after the first transaction, the blackmail would become monthly for all those too afraid to confess their indiscretion to their wife. He was told he had to give a statement at the station and would be called to testify at trial.

Gerald couldn’t believe what he was hearing, his marriage was over was all he thought. Why had he given in to temptation? Why couldn’t he have just kept it in his pants? He had no idea how he would break it down to his wife.

The ride ended and Gerald was lead into the police station. Seated there in the booking room in handcuffs was Samantha. She gave him a dirty look. He met his one night stand again.

Posted in Random Pieces Of Writing

The Tale Of A One Night Stand

Genre: Suspense/Romance  

  
What’s going to be my downfall? Or an easier question to answer what’s the greatest downfall of men? Let me see. Is it the love of money? The love of women? The love of sex? Our egos? Selfishness? Wait, why am I even thinking about this. Life’s good. No that’s a lie; I meant to say “My life’s good.” You know what let me actually do some work… but then again it’s Friday. So let me just pretend to be busy, just for one more hour or so, just so I don’t lose my job. 

I really should start making better decisions though, I mean, I have a family now. But then again it’s the weekend and weekends were built on a mountain of alcohol, mistakes, throw up, used condoms and even more mistakes. The way I look at it the whole point of the day Monday is to reflect on the weekend’s bad decisions. It’s not going back to work that makes us hate Monday’s, it’s having to reflect on our poor decisions. So if we acted responsibly on our weekends, Monday would lose it’s relevance and as one to love, all I want is for everyone to feel like they matter. There it’s settled, now who am I drinking with tonight? Haha I’m feeling lucky too, so also who am I sleeping with? If only I wasn’t married.

Silently these thoughts occupied Gerald’s mind. He thought about a thousand things and nothing at the same time. In his head he was already under the club lights, out on the dance floor having the time of his life. He heard the door open and and as he looked behind, to his joy he saw his boss walking out of his office briefcase in hand. Leon (Gerald’s boss) simply waved his hand to say goodbye, oblivious to the party atmosphere that was going to erupt as soon as he walked out of the building. Gerald wanted to go ballistic, throw files in the air and jump on top of the table but he was not that well off and he still needed his job after the weekend. The celebration for the non-official end of work was restricted to just a fist pump and a grunt, “Urgh.”

 Minutes after his boss left, he packed his things and stepped out. High on the Friday feeling, he walked out like he owned the place. The best things Gerald had going for him were that he made sure he looked good, he dressed well and he smelt good. On his way home he dialed up the usual suspects. Nathan, Patrick and Brian. Best friends since his memory can remember.

First call up he got the, “Dinner with the wife excuse.” 

On the second it was, “My kid is not feeling well.” 

The third and final call it was, “I’m just not feeling up to it man, I’m sorry.”

He was left alone, the last alcoholic standing “fuck it” he told himself, “I’m going to be at the bar and Tafadzwa the bartender will probably be there so whatever!”

Gerald got home, for a long moment hugged and then deeply kissed his wife Jade, surprised his 4 year old with chocolate- it lit up her face but as usual his wife disapproved of the spoiling. After a shower, a change of clothes and a quick bite, Gerald told his wife he was meeting up the guys to see the Friday night game-Off which there wasn’t one, but Samantha simply didn’t care about sports and couldn’t be bothered enough to check his husband’s excuse.

Club Synergy. The bar/club was a good distance away from his house. It was a nice place and all but he mostly liked it because due to it’s location there was less chance of bumping into any of his wife’s friends. Gerald walked in at a painstakingly slow pace, taking in the surroundings or “scouting the scene” as he liked to call it. He got to the bar and took a seat on one of the high stools.

“Hey Gerry the usual I take it?” Tafadzwa the bartender asked over the music when he saw Gerald.

“You know it.”

Tafadzwa came over with a bottle of vodka and three shot glasses. He proceeded to fill each one of them to the brim. Gerald just popped every single shot like he was swallowing pills, he was so accustomed to the burn he longer even grimaced when drinking hard liquor. Following the shots came what was called the half and half. Half vodka and half sprite in a 400ml glass and by his first sip half of his drink had disappeared.

A few minutes passed and the alcohol was already touching the bottom. Gerald was truly well on his way to drinking all memories of the night away. As soon as he finished his glass, another drink was placed in front of him.

“Courtesy of the beautiful lady there,” Tafadzwa said pointing to the opposite end of the bar with a cheeky smile on his face. 

Gerald glanced up to see a gem, a sight for sore eyes and immediately Gerry’s ego got a boost. “I’ve still got it,” he told himself. Gerry raised his glass in the lady’s direction, in sort of a mid air toast and she raised her glass in return. After taking his first sip Gerry saw her step down from her bar stool and start walking towards him.

Nice from afar and she only looked better the closer she got to the eyes. She was truly the image of seduction, a temptress, charcoal black hair, a face that said “this is what beautiful looks like,” and a body to match. Dressed in this perfect fitting maroon dress, with a slit on the right that was so high it left little to imagination. Black and gold high heels, a purse in hand of the same design-Gerald noticed all this in just one look. She was the complete package of sexuality and class. Gerry’s throat immediately dried up and he had to take a big swig of his drink.

“Has anyone ever told you, you drink too much?” She said as she took the seat next to him.

“Well yes, but I don’t listen to bad advice.” At this she let out a soft melodious laugh and Gerry smiled in return.

“So can I join you and then we’ll just see where the night takes us?” She asked while tracing her index finger on the rim of Gerald’s glass before gently sucking on it afterwards.

“You don’t know how good that sounds but sadly I’m married,” Gerald replied showing her the ring on his hand.

“Well you can always take the night off.” With this she has Gerald smiling like an idiot.

Unarmed by the wit and sense of humour, Gerry contemplated this so fast his brain was on the brink of failure. In seconds he already had the pros and cons of sleeping with this lady tabled up side by side. It was such a moral dilemma. Though as much as it was wrong, could he really deny himself this opportunity? In the famous words of R Kelly, “His mind was telling him no but his body, his body was telling him yes!”

A few hours later, a naked Gerald slid out of bed as Samantha slept. In between walking to her hotel room and ripping each other’s clothes and trying to eat others faces off, they exchanged names and phone numbers. Though after this Gerald had no intention of seeing her again. He fished around the room for his clothes and got dressed as quietly as possible before slipping out of the room. A while later he got home to a sleeping wife. He couldn’t get himself to just join her in bed. He decided to take another shower, a poor attempt at washing away the guilt he felt.

Days went by and with Samantha’s number deleted Gerald barely gave her another thought. It was now back to being the faithful husband who maybe drank a little too much. Gerry didn’t even tell his friends about the drunken sexcapade it was a secret he was going to take alone to the grave. He knew his wife and he knew her well, he wouldn’t even dare to confess this indiscretion to a priest. A good fortnight later he got roped into a double date with his wife. He thought of his dear friend alcohol, that was the only way he would get through a dinner of pretending to like new people.

As he was coming from work, they decided to just meet at the restaurant. Gerry walked in around 6:20pm, a good 20 minutes casually late. He got into Adrienne’s, the restaurant and as a waitress approached him he asked, “Green party of four?” 

“Good evening sir, please follow me,” she replied. 

He followed behind her and soon saw his wife seated facing his direction. They were two people seating opposite her at the table but he could only see the back of their hands so he couldn’t tell who it was. As he arrived his wife stood up to hug him and give him a peck on the cheek. It was to be horror when he turned to face his wife’s friends who were joining them for dinner. Seated next to the guy he didn’t know was Samantha. Samantha from the other night Samantha.

He felt his hands tremble, his eyes water and sweat build up on his forehead. He barely heard a thing as his wife introduced them and Samantha pretended they were complete strangers.

She smiled a smile that seemed innocent to everyone else but to Gerald it said, “we meet again my dearest one night stand.”