Creative Writing

An excerpt from a children’s story entitled Little Things (2013), This one is still looking for a published home:

 

” Now of course, trees do not speak. At least, not in the usual way, though sometimes, when the wind stirs in them, they are known to sing songs that are soft and shifting, but to the creatures, both old and new, there is an understanding of the language of trees and grasses and leaves, old as time itself – the Green Language.

“In the next days,” replies the old Tree, “I will call down my living spirit from my tallest fine branches, and I will gather it up from the tips of my deepest roots, and I will prepare to leave this life in this world. My time here is up.”

The dove flies to another branch, unsettled, and takes a while to preen her tail feathers before she can settle down again comfortably.

“Is it true Old Father?” she asks in the gentle voice of the mother dove, “How do you come to know this?”

“I have sensed it,” the old Tree replies, as a melancholy breeze blows through the twigs and branches, “I have sensed it in that Man who lives in the house below. I have felt it around him, and seen his ideas of cutting me down. They drift about him in the air. One doesn’t get to grow as old as I and not learn a thing or two.”

“But why?” asks the little bird, “Why would he do such a thing?”

“What do I know about the ways of Man? Those two-legged creatures go about everywhere. They do as they please! We cannot change them, and we cannot interfere. Let it be as it will be. Great Nature has a place for us all.” “

 

An excerpt from a paid gig (2014) – a drama piece for an Australian client via oDesk:

” “Aren’t you scared of snakes?”

“Why? Are you?”

“No, I mean you’re barefoot, and there must be snakes out here?”      

“There are, but they keep to themselves unless they’re cold or hungry, and they don’t bother me.”

“You’re brave.”

“Not so brave, I just like the feel of the earth on my feet. You should try it.”

Robert looked at his shoes. Already they were scuffed and caked with mud. Black-jacks and burrs clung to his socks and trousers, and by some unconscious impulse he was suddenly imagining what Lucy would do if she were here. He could see it clearly in his mind’s eye. She wouldn’t say a word, but every movement and nuance of expression would say: “I want to go home!” But she would paste on a smile and pretend that it was nothing at all. She would adjust her silk scarf and her black curls defiantly, and get on with the job. He smiled.

“So? Shoes or no shoes?” Asked Sugar, with her hands on her hips. “

 

A piece of a short story about volunteering, submitted to “Chicken Soup for the Soul” (2015):

” We’d heard on the local radio news that there was yet another strike underway at the public hospital, and there was a call for volunteers to help fill the need.

“There’s the hospital they’re talking about.” I casually remarked, pointing out the brightly lit building through the car window.

In South Africa there is always a strike on somewhere. Coming from our troubled past, the country is still finding its way. People still feel cheated, disgruntled, and more often than not, there is a news story about a group of people protesting, demanding better wages, and further straining our fragile infrastructure. Often trains don’t run, because someone has burned them, or buses don’t run because there are no drivers. Outside Steve Biko Hospital there was a large group of protestors wielding placards and Toyi-Toying (A traditional protest dance). This is just a reality of life here, and not meant to be a social statement. It simply is what it is. The important thing is, to my daughter, all of this was a non-issue – all she knew was that there were sick people in the hospital who needed our help. The expression on her face, as she heard the news, and asked me to explain, was something I will never forget. As the facts of the matter sank into her mind, I watched her initial concern morph into indignation, and then firm resolve.

“We’re going to help.” She said.

At first I thought of a tactful way of dismissing her suggestion, seeing that it was already late in the evening, but clearly it was more than just a suggestion. She’d made up her mind, and it had come from the purest of intentions. “

 

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