A life for a life – Part 1

This is a little experiment. Below is the first part of my short story (recently written). All I would like to know is whether you would like to continue to read it. A simple YES or NO will do and your contribution is much appreciated 🙂

“So you wouldn’t say that False Bay is any different to any other prison?” the Cape Town Independent reporter asked, twirling his pen in the gap where two of his bottom teeth were knocked out. “No. No different”, the warden replied. Warden Rodemeyer considered the man seated in front of him with disdain and tried to ignore the tattoo he saw hiding behind the reporter’s collar.

“But surely you can’t be serious Warden. I mean, the highest suicide rate in the country? And I don’t mean a few more than the others, we are talking large numbers here”, the reporter said, tapping his thumb against his thigh, “There have been speculations for years, you know that”. Paki “The Tooth Fairy” Lewis, as he had become known in certain secret circles, had waited months to secure this interview and now it was all going to shit. Fifteen years of journalistic experience was no match for the keeper of this prison.

“Yes. I know that. I run this prison well. I keep monsters away from Joe Public, monsters you would not want to burden yourself with my friend”, the warden replied, “and as you know, I am not guilty of anything. That has been proven”, he continued confidently.

Paki turned back as he exited the warden’s office, “Thank you for your time warden”, he said, leaving behind a smile which promised future investigation into the matter. He did not get anything out of the man. It might as well have been a press conference where, as usual, people ramble on in front of a microphone but nothing is ever really disclosed.

The warden securely unpacked his most prized possession, neatly placing it on his desk. He sat back in his fake leather chair, accustomed to the squeaking of its hinges, swallowed two painkillers with cheap whiskey and rubbed the residue from his mustache with thin, scrawny fingers. Fake leather and cheap booze didn’t bother him, as this was not a place for expensive material luxuries. This was a place for gut wrenching cries in the dark of night. For sweat and piss and a controlled level of malnutrition, he thought. After finishing his drink, he lit the first candle.

To be continued…..hopefully

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House of Books…

Bikini Beach Books, Beach Rd, Gordon's Bay, Cape Town

Bikini Beach Books, Beach Rd, Gordon’s Bay,
Cape Town

A good friend wanted to give me book voucher as a gift. I suggested he rather give me the cash (yes, how forward of me) because at a place like this I could literally buy 3 times the amount of books. This is absolutely a gem of a book store. Well known for over 30 years in Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town, it has welcomed thousands of passers by and regulars. An old beach front house converted into a book store.

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This pretty much says it all.

Not located in a shopping mall where they are bound by a lease to trade until late, but guess what? They stay open until 10pm anyway, how fantastic. It makes sense, you need to pack enough water for a trip to this book house. That’s the magic of it. Make no mistake, I regularly visit large book chains, but here you have to really spend time and search and along the way you find books you would have never known, never seen or never bought. Fiction, non-fiction, crafts, fitness, literature, languages, dictionaries, poems, plays, biographies, autobiographies, comics, history, self help, encyclopaedias, Maps, Air Land and Sea Navigation and more! Kid in a candy store!

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I try to imagine the amount of hands each and every book here has passed through. How much knowledge, laughter, suspense, romance and history has been brought to possibly thousands of readers. Every time I find an inscription from a loved one on the first page I have to stop myself from going, “YAY!”. I found a book once with the inscription “To my dearest daughter. May this book bring you all the joy and happiness you deserve. I hope you enjoy it. Love Mom”. Simple, yet I wondered where that mother and daughter were today, who were they? Did the book do it’s job? Is Mom still alive? It made me think of mothers and daughters all over the world.

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The only sounds coming out of this place was Gregorian music in the background and the ‘creaking’ of the old wooden floor as another book-hunter moved from one stack of books to the next. Yes, Mills and Boons’ The Brazilian Millionaire’s Love-Child is also available here so do not despair. I was over the moon to find a Word Menu (ultimate word and idea resource) and a book titled “10 000 Jokes, Toasts and Stories”.

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God bless my fiancĂ© who stayed patient as I rummaged through these books like a crazed junkie!  I got my fix (4 books) for R110 (divide by ten if you are in a first world country). Time and money well spent. This will definitely be a regular spot from now on and I don’t mind the 30km drive (explorers don’t complain about the distance).

Cheers,

Read Well