Category: stories


For Blacks Only

My name is Linde Ndaba and I’m addicted. My addiction might not have me shacking relentlessly from withdrawal symptoms, as drug dependence often does or leave me broke and destitute, but it may arguably be just as problematic.

As a black person raised in a white suburb Continue reading

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Transracial Adoption pic

Adin and Rita with the beautiful Alou

This blog post is based on a status update I made recently on Facebook. I have adapted it for this blog. Thanks, Brett, for giving me a place to share my voice on this topic.

Over the years I have been quite active with blogging, sharing my colourful thoughts about everything from the opening act at the U2 concert to my opinion on Apple vs Android. However, since becoming an adoptive parent 3 years ago I slowly became less vocal. I am not 100% sure why, but I chalk it up to the fact that I have learnt that pointless and uneducated opinions simply clutter up the world. Continue reading

boundaries

Boundaries

Emma was dead.

I mean, she got that, she really did. Although to be fair, it had taken her quite a while.

But, in her defense, this was completely different to anything she had experienced before, and so recognising it was perhaps not such an obvious connection. What was so distinct about her present state, ‘Was this a state? A condition perhaps? Or do you have to be alive to be in any form of condition? Let’s stick with state for now,’ was its complete and utter differentness to anything else she had previously known.

‘Known?’ Know. To be aware of. Hm, even that seems wrong. It’s like i am in this place of complete awareness with regards to things known and experienced, but i still don’t really have a lot of idea of what is really going on. And what comes next?’

There had been no Terry Pratchettian CAPS LOCK voice speaking directly to her brain to let her know that Death in his, ‘His? ‘Its’ maybe? Does Death even have a gender? All that assuming Death actually has a form and persona of course. I think I may have read too many fairy tales on this topic,’ skeletalness was present and ready to take her away.

‘Skeletalness is NOT a real word. I seem to be really struggling with words to describe my current scenario. That’s the whole trick when you’re introduced to something so well and truly differently different I guess. Urgh, my mom would have cringed at ‘differently different’. Okay, focus, Emma, and let’s try and figure out what comes next. I mean, there is a next, right? This can’t be… it?’

Emma had actually lost count of the number of hours that she had spent trying to “figure out what comes next” before the moment of realisation had struck her that she was in fact dead. You would think it would have been more obvious, but there had been a certain confusion about her, a kind of mist, when she had woken up, ‘No, it can’t be woken up. That would imply sleeping. But I wasn’t sleeping, I was dead. Um, but it had felt like waking up, so maybe we’ll go with that for now,’ and tried to go somewhere else.

The cloud had so descended upon her that even though grasping at a door handle with fingers that were no longer there should have itself been a deafening clue, it had simply delivered to her the information that this particular exit was not a viable one and would she try somewhere else. The second door that led out to the, well previously had led out to the pantry, was also no help. She had moved to windows to no avail, and then, in desperation, and with a sufficient amount of panic, even attempted to pull a chair below the trapdoor in the roof. ‘But pulling anything becomes an impossible endeavour when you have nothing to pull with. Oh look, there I am.’

‘Hours? Had it been hours? It had seemed so, but what was time now? It might have been minutes, or even seconds? Every moment seemed to fade into the next one, in silence of course.’ The one thing Emma had picked up quite quickly on, once she realised, was the deafening silence that, ‘No! No! No! You cannot have a deafening silence. That does not make sense and it has never made sense no matter what ridiculous name the teachers had given to it. Silence is quiet. It cannot deafen you. Overwhelming, perhaps? That is what this silence has felt like. Almost like it was the presence of nothingness as if that could be a thing either. Where was I?’

Even when she was looking down at her lifeless body, transfixed, mesmerized, paralysed, hypnotised, spellbound, enraptured, bewitched, captivated, fascinated, engrossed, stunned, immobili… ‘Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Remain calm. You’re losing it. You’re losing it. Keep it together. What is going on here? Surely something has to happen next. Surely someone, some… thing… has to appear and help me or lead me away or something? Tell me what to do.’

Those last five words she had meant to scream, but there was no screaming here. There was no sound at all. She could barely register her thoughts as words and even they were starting to make less send to her. She felt trapped here. Once she had discovered her body and however long it had taken for her to join those dogs together, to realise that she was in fact deaf, she had quickly become hysterical. Walking through walks had not proved fruitful. It definitely screamed as if something was keeping her in this roam.

What was she meant to don’t? She had no ideal. Her hedge seemed to be spitting now. Lied and worms humming at her foam awe differential erections. No right minded bacteria carpool battery battery emphasis derivative.

Hated.

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Be sure to check out the other amazing posts with this same title with:

roid

37 Million Light Years

It arrived on the screen as a message of hope: “37 Million Light Years”

The number seemed so ridiculously large that Corporal-Sergeant Janet Witherspoon wondered how it had ever been cause for concern in the first place. How does an exploratory spacecraft fitted out with all the latest technology still somehow manage to mess up so badly? ‘Human error’, she thought to herself. Living in a futuristic society beyond anything most people could have begun to imagine even 60 years ago, the harsh reality was that human frailty still got to play a part.

Still, everyone else in the Terminus was in full-on celebration party mode. She should probably go and join them.

7 days ago, there had been the world-shattering announcement that there was a body from space hurtling towards the planet at break-neck speeds. Everyone had sprung into action from scientists  to NASA hierarchicals to the military, but no-one seemed to have any kind of theory or plan of action that provided much help. The most immediate move that could be made would be to send an unmanned probe directly into the path of the object to try and collect some more dependable data to give them some kind of idea just how much time they had.

Janet’s eyes paused on the screen once more as the flashing numbers seemed to be trying to get her attention. That nagging feeling that she had had the week before was back. 37 million? Why did the number seem so familiar to her?

The probe had launched successfully. Four days later it had been able to pinpoint within 0.3 of a parsec the expected trajectory of said body and since then had been making super sophisticated calculations which specialists at the station had been reviewing and trying to draw accurate conclusions from. Space debris, wind vectors, planetary gravitational pulls and of course the frequent showers of meteors in its path all meant that it was nearly impossible to know exactly when and where it would hit, if anywhere at all and so minute by minute, and hour by hour, the calculations continued to furiously be made by man and machine alike as they had to adjust and realign and recalculate once more.

If anything, the silver lining on this cloud had been the Dispersement. Even twenty-five years ago, an event like this would have meant the end of the human race. But with the advent of inhabitable space stations and locating three other planets able to sustain life meant that humankind was now more spread out than any single tragedy would ever be able to touch. A week ago the likelihood had been strong that one of the planets was within range and so the big question the calculations was predominantly trying to answer was ‘Who is in the line of fire?’

Janet shut her eyes involuntarily as a wave of nausea hit her and it was all she could do to keep her lunch down. Kepler-186f! What were the stats on that again? She flung her arms into the air directing holographic computer screens to do her bidding as she searched for the number she was seeking. Kepler 186f was the first planet they had discovered in the habitable zone of another star that had a similar radius to earth, and the second new planet the Dispersement had targetted.  Discovered by NASA’s Keplar spacecraft using the transit method [along with four additional planets ruled out because they orbited much too closely to the star] it had provided much of the initial research and prompting to move out at all. Where was the information she was looking for?

And suddenly there it was, in front of her, blinking on the screen. The party music in the background drowned out Janet’s agonised shriek as the familiar digits lined up in a way she was hoping she’d been mistaken about as she slumped back into her seat:

Planet: Kepler-186f

Governer: Sardun Ahlop [a popular leader from the Krouton quadrant, now in his third year]

Population: 37, 036, 219

37 million! The number was too close to be a lucky coincidence. How did it work again? The probe directed the information to the researchers and scientists who worked the data and then sent the results to Command Centre via voice recognition software and it got displayed across the main screen for all to see.

This was not human error after all. The message they had received which gave them the impression that all was well was not the message of hope they had received at all, but rather a pronouncement of a present tragedy that had already taken place. Bloody voice recognition software!

Numb and frozen in her seat, as the tears streamed down her face, Janet whispered the intended message to herself:

37 million lie! Tears…

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Be sure to check out the other amazing posts with this same title with:

i recently discovered the incredibly gifted Dante who writes incredible micro poetry on his blog, Original-Dante. Thinking my poetry would definitely err on the macro side we decided to do a collaboration and use the same title to inspire two different poems and so here is my offering:

THOUGHTS FROM THE BLENDER

i gaze into the mirror
and the person staring back at me is not you
i cast my eyes across to your face
slowly becoming aware of
the lines of a well-worn path
have i even set foot on that road before?

i stare more deeply into your soul
only to have pictures of my life
flood back at me
i fling them to the ground
as i ready myself to dive right in
but am blocked by the life-sized
lifeless cardboard cutout that stands in my way

me
my life
my words
my thoughts
and my experiences
trying to tell your story through my voice
only rings in my ears
like a much-repeated but long-forgotten fairy-tale i thought i knew
so i close my eyes

and it takes a whole long time
minutes pass like hours
or are those indeed hours
that i am waiting upon
until what is ours
eventually starts to ever so slowly fade

days pass
and i can just about make out the
pathetic sad little robotic figure that is me
waving one last goodbye final wave
as it slides out of the peripheries
and i am gone

still me
still here
eyes closed
waiting
listening to the heaviness of
the air being breathed in and out around me

suddenly
as if you had always been there
watching silently from the shadows
my ears catch sight of you
through the words i’ve taken time to hear
to really listen to
and a picture of you begins to take shape
and you look different than i had ever taken time to imagine

i pull my eyes more tightly shut
knowing that to open them again
would ruin my chances
of ever truly opening them again

and i look once more
as your sound travels towards me
in wave after wave of deep illumination

rich colours are realised
and this new person that is you
more you than you have ever been
and yet completely the you
you have always been and are
the you i never got to see
beyond my stereotypic perceptions
of the you i have always ever painted you to be

oh but when you paint you
what a glorious you
you turn out to be
words become stories
which take shape
in, through and around the pain
that lies scarring your embattled torso
and i see
the you that is you is nothing like
the you that is me.

and it is good.

[To read my new mate Original Dante’s much shorter poem with the same title, click here] 

Also we would love to hear what you think of the experiment of doing a long and a micro version using the same title as inspiration – once you’ve read both, please comment on how you experienced the combo…

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