Saturday, May 25, 2013

SHORT STORY - A DARK NIGHT

Hello everybody,

Hope you are enjoying the good days and fun-filled nights. It's Saturday again and I am having fun with all the writing, the kids (I think so), the dogs and home maintenance.

This week I will share a short story with you. This story is called a Dark Night, it's a story about drugs. The drug lords. The innocent. How drugs can affect your life and how the innocent people are traumatized by the abuse of drugs.

I wrote this story many years ago, and the story scene is in an actual suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, and the drug lords to this day control that area. In reality, South Africa has a huge drug problem and this escalates every year. There does not seem to be a solution to this scary problem.

Hope you enjoy.


A DARK NIGHT
It was dark, Sam walked down the stairs, through the rotating glass doors. He stepped onto the pavement and looked at his watch. It was three thirty in the morning. Looking left then right, not a soul insight, pleased he crossed the road. Standing still, he looked up at the building across the road. It was all in darkness.
Briskly walking toward the taxi rank a few blocks down the road, he was happy this operation was complete. Several people were bustling around the busy terminal; he found a taxi ready to leave within fifteen minutes. Climbing in, he sat next to a huge woman. Not wanting to talk he nodded greeting her. The driver collected their fees and started the ignition. There was little traffic on the roads this time of the morning and the trip to Rosettenville was fast. Sam instructed the driver to stop at Verona Road. He descended and thanked him.
Still dark he walked toward Nandi's house. As always, the house was open. He walked into the lounge area and saw Nandi sleeping in a lazy boy chair, the lamp on the table next to him was still on. Approaching him, he tapped Nandi on the shoulder. Within a second Nandi, opened his eyes and pulled a gun out.
"Easy man, take it easy, it is me," Sam said stepping back
"You should not do that, it could be dangerous," Nandi said whilst putting the gun back into the holster.
Sam walked over to another chair and sat down.
"So, what happened?" enquired Nandi
"Operation exposure has been concluded without any hitches," Sam answered.
"Good, now we can carry on as before," Nandi, said lighting a cigarette, blowing the smoke into the air.
"What do you want me to do next?" Sam asked
"Chill man, chill for a few days, let the dust settle and we will check out something later on," He said
"Good, then I am going to get some shut eye," he said standing up and went down the dark corridor.
Sam took a set of keys out of his pocket and opened the third door down the passage. This was private space and he was not going to take chances leaving it open to the unscrupulous people entering this drug den. He locked the door behind him and collapsed on the bed.
Nandi walked outside, it was a warm morning, and the sun was starting to rise. He threw his cigarette butt into the overrun garden. Sitting on the veranda wall, he took out his phone and called Dube.
"Dube, Sam is back."
"Yea right what happened?" Dube asked.
"He said it is done."
"Check it out and make sure he is not talking nonsense," Dube said.
"Right, I'll make a plan," Nandi said.
"Good, keep me informed," he said and put the phone down.
Sitting on the porch, he lit another cigarette wondering if Sam indeed did carry out the operation as told. Two women, drunk, walked passed the house, laughing. He shook his head. A white youngster aged about 18 opened the derelict gate and walked up to him.
"Howdy Nandi, what's up?" Paul asked.
"Nothing much, what you doing here so early?" He asked.
"Need a hit, can you organize?"
"You got money? Nandi asked.
"No but check this out," Paul said, removing a gold chain with a gold and silver cross from his jacket pocket.
Nandi took the chain and inspected it. Looking at Paul, he said it is worth two hundred rand. Paul in desperate need of a fix agreed. Nandi went inside and within five minutes returned. He handed Paul a small packet. He took the crack, greeted Nandi and left. Nandi watched him walk down the road.
Dube, a big strapping man lived in an up market suburb. Nandi controlled the drug operation from the Rosettenville house. He trusted Nandi and his cronies. Business was good, they always paid up and he had no reason not to trust them. The money was tax-free; it bought him the best luxuries that money could buy for him and his family. His wife Leone loved the new life he had given her. She was not aware of his business dealing, always thought he was an executive for some huge company. Not one to question him, she left him alone when he said he was busy. She had enough to keep her busy, raising the two small girls and overseeing the house staff. Shopping, oh yes, how she loved shopping.
Nandi, a ruthless uncaring character, who would stop at nothing to secure the business, was Dube's right hand man; he ran the operation from Rosettenville and oversaw the Hillbrow one as well. He was loyal. He earned big bucks and he himself owned a mansion in an elite suburb. Although not married, he knew if he continued working for Dube another year or so he would be able to retire comfortably.
Sitting on the edge of the wall on the small porch smoking his cigarette, he watched the people move up and down the street, knowing that enticing the youngsters to use drugs was easy. No hard work was required. Emily a lady of the night, walked through the half broken gate and walked up to him
"Nandi, please help, I need a fix anything will do!" she pleaded.
"You know the drill, show me the money," he replied.
"I don’t have any now, but I promise I will give it to you tonight," in desperation she said.
"Nah girl, can't do, go find a client and then come back."
"I am desperate, look how I am shaking, please help me", she continued pleading.
"Get out and come back with the money then only will I give you a fix," he said. Standing up and edging her to leave.
She walked out the gate and shouted back to him, "you nasty piece of meat, I will get you yet!" sneering she went up the road.
Nandi sat there watching her walk away. Not at all concerned about her threat, he knew these types of people always angry when they could not get a fix. He went inside. Sam was sitting in the lounge watching TV. He sat down near him. The lounge was dark, broken curtains hanging up on a few clips, the walls in desperate need of paint, and the few chairs torn and broken. The only working item was the TV. He turned around to Sam and asked, "When do you expect to hear any news?"
Sam turned around to face him and said, "I don't know, I will phone my connection later and see if they found the body," and continued to watch TV.
Nandi, not really watching TV sat there staring at the set. He wondered how Sam had exactly committed the murder. He knew he was always careful and was sure that there would be no repercussions. He got up and told Sam he was going to sleep, he must watch the house.
Sam left the lounge and went outside. It was hot, with only a vest on he sat on the worn out wicker chair. He sat watching the people walking up and down the streets. He saw Emily standing near the gate. He knew she would want a fix and did not want to be bothered right now told her to go. She ignored him walked up to the small wall and watched him. His phone rang. "Hello," he said.
"Sam, the cops are all over the place, I am across the road watching," The voice said.
"Well make sure you stay away from the flats and don’t talk to anyone," Sam told him.
"The ambulance has just arrived," the voice said.
"Watch and see if the body is removed and when the cops leave try and see if it is the bitch," Sam told him.
"Will do," he said and hung up.
Emily listening to the conversation was quite intrigued. She asked Sam, "Who is the bitch?"
Sam without thinking looked at her and answered, "It is Denise."
"Denise," Emily said quite shocked.
"What's it to you, if you don’t leave, you will end up just like her?" he said realizing that he should not have said anything.
"OK I am going, I just want a fix, and don’t worry I won't say anything." She said pulling out a few notes from her pocket; she placed it in his hand.
He went inside and returned with a small packet, and handed it to her. Can I smoke this here; I really need to get my fix," She asked
"Go inside and hurry up," he said not watching her.
Emily went into the dingy lounge and quickly rolled the crack into a small pipe and lit it, Taking a huge draw and blowing out the smoke with a feeling of elation; she carried on smoking the joint. She tabbed the remains in an overfilled ashtray and walked out the door. Feeling euphoria, she did not greet him and left.
Sam watched her walk down the street, and thought how stupid she really was. He thought all people taking drugs were stupid, but he did not complain, he liked the money he got from selling the stuff. Wrapped up in his own thoughts, he did not see the police car stop outside the house. A young constable and sergeant walked up to him and greeted him.
"Hey my bro," Sam greeted them.
"So what's the buzz?" the officer asked.
"Got your cash," Sam said.
"Good, make it quick we must leave," he said.
Sam pulled out a roll of notes making sure nobody was watching and quickly handed it to the officer.
They thanked him and left. Sam watched the patrol van drive away. He knew the money paid over to the police was for their protection. It was good having protection he thought. Therefore, business continued to thrive.
Emily woke up it was dark. She did not know where she was; she sat up and realized that she was sleeping on a pavement. Dazed and confused, she rubbed her eyes. She checked her pockets they were empty. "Dam" she said. Still sitting she wondered what the time was and where she was. Looking around in the dark, she did not see anything familiar. She tried to stand up and felt the pain in her body. Finally able to stand, she wondered what had happened. She did not know. Still confused, she started walking down the dark street. Trying to recollect her thoughts, she was more confused than ever. In a strange suburb and so sore, oh the pain she thought. Her hands started shaking; she knew she needed a fix.
Trying to walk toward the light down the street, feeling confused with the terrible excruciating pain, she collapsed. Emily woke up in hospital, the ward was quiet, and she turned her head around. Nobody was in the room she was alone. Her body was tired, and the pain was dreadful. She wondered how long she had been there and where she actually was. Confused about trying to remember what happened, she did not hear the nurse enter.
"You are awake, I see," said the strapping nurse.
"Yes, I am but I have a lot of pain," Emily replied.
"Well the doctor will be here soon, then we can see what we can do," the nurse in a stern voice replied.
"Thank you," Emily muttered.
The nurse took her blood pressure reading and checked her pulse rate. Emily lay still not being able to move and not wanting to upset this nurse, whom she thought was quite furious. Writing done the results the doctor entered.
"Awake I see, and how are you feeling today?" The pleasant looking doctor asked.
"I still have a lot of pain," Emily replied.
"Do you recall what happened to you?" the doctor enquired.
"No I don’t know what happened," she replied.
"Well, I think you were beaten by somebody and then there is the question of drugs," he said.
"Beaten, I don’t remember," she said.
"You have been here for five days, when they brought you in, we almost lost you."
"I nearly died you say, I wonder if he wants to kill me like he killed Denise," she said.
"You know who did this to you?" the doctor enquired.
"I think I do, I am not sure," she said.
"Well the police will want to question you once you are stronger," he said.
"The police, no I don’t want to see the police," she said and started crying.
The doctor turned toward the nurse, telling her to fetch some medicine. She left and within minutes, returned. The doctor injected Emily and watched her fall into a deep sleep.
Emily woke up, the ward was dark, and she knew she was still in the hospital. Wanting to get out, she tried to climb out of the bed. The intravenous drip in her arm annoyed her. She jerked the needle out and watched the blood trickle down her hand. Grabbing the sheet on the bed, she wiped her hand. Still feeling dizzy, she took the glass of water next to the bed and drank it. Feeling a little better, she looked into the tiny closet and found no clothes. She was dressed in a hospital gown. She did not care; she walked toward the door and slowly opened it. Looking left and then right making sure nobody was in sight, she hurried down the dimly lit corridor. Still not knowing what hospital she was in, she did not care right now. She found the elevator and pushed the button. Waiting impatiently for the lift, she kept looking back to make sure nobody was following her. In the elevator, she pressed ground floor and waited. The doors opened and for a moment blinded by the bright light, she stepped into the entrance of the hospital. Noticing a few people behind counters and a coffee shop on her left, she quietly walked toward the glass doors and went outside into the dark night.
Unaware of the time or the place, she walked out of the hospital grounds toward a highway. Feeling exhausted she sat down on a pavement to recollect herself. Not watching the oncoming traffic, she did not notice a new Volvo car stop beside her. An elderly man, dressed in a suit looking very distinguished got out of the car. He walked toward her an enquired if she needed a lift. Not standing up she looked at this kind man and said she did. He offered her a lift and she got into the car.
She told him she needed to go to Rosettenville. He said it was no problem, the engine started and they drove away. Whilst driving, he enquired about her. Emily eying him quizzically was convinced he was a decent man. She told him her name, and mentioned that she lived in Rosettenville. Making light conversation, she asked him where he was from.
"My name is Nick, I am from Houghton, I am looking for my wife, she disappeared a few weeks ago," He said.
"Oh that is so sad, have you not contacted the police?" Emily asked.
"Yes I have but you know the system, they open the file and you never hear anything from them."
"What was her name?" Emily asked.
"Denise."
"Denise," Emily shocked said.
"Yes, why do you know her," he enquired.
"I am not sure, I knew a Denise but I am not sure if it is your wife," Emily answered.
Nearing a robot, he turned left and stopped the car. He switched the light on and took a photo from his jacket pocket.
"This is the last photograph I have of her," handing her the photo, he said.
"That is the Denise I know," she exclaimed.
"Please help me find her?" he pleaded.
"I don’t know if I can, I am not sure if she is alive," Emily replied.
"What are you talking about?" Nick said in a puzzled voice.
"Well, I suppose I should tell the truth," she said.
Emily told him of the conversation she had heard between Sam and an unknown caller. Without too much detail, Emily told him about her hospital incident and the drug lords. He was quite shocked.
"Please take me to Sam's house, I really need to know," Nick asked.
"No you cannot go there, they will kill you, even if I go there they will kill me," she said.
"How else will I ever know?"
"I am so hungry please get me something to eat and then we can think of something," she said.
Nick started the car and drove toward an all-night roadhouse. As soon as they stopped, a waiter came over and took their order. Whilst waiting for the order, he told her not to be afraid he would help her. She thanked him and said he had already helped. The food arrived; she took her double cheeseburger and devoured it. While watching her eat he offered her another one. She declined wiping her mouth and drank her coke, enjoying the taste of a gassy drink.
"We can go to the police, but I doubt whether they would help, they are on his payroll," she said.
"You mean bribery," Nick replied.
"Yes, exactly, they collect cash every week from Sam or Nandi," she said.
"Do you know who is behind the operation; usually there is some big name that sponsors the set up," Nick asked.
"Yes of course I do, I am a junkie I spend most of my time round that hell hole," Emily said.
"Go ahead, tell me his name?"
"It is Dube and he lives in Sandton," she said.
"Dube Ntloko?" Nick asked.
"Yes that is he, "Emily answered.
"Interesting, very interesting."
"So what else you want to know?" Emily asked.
"Give me the address of Sam's house," he said.
"Ok I see I am not going to get out of this one, it is 116 Bouquet Street."
"Thank you, you have helped a lot."
"Tell me mister, why would they kill your wife, you don’t look like the kind of person that would hang around the drug lords."
He told her that his wife Denise met Dube at a function. She quite liked him and found him to be a charming person. They became friends and soon, he noticed huge sums of money disappearing from their bank account. After about a year, he found her unconscious in the bathroom and called the doctor. He confirmed that she was a heroin addict. Nick told her about his wife's admission to rehab. Not wanting to come home, she chose to live with Dube and his family or so she told him, He saw her a month ago and pleaded with her to come back. He gave her some money to help her and she refused his help. He left her in the center of town and went home. Realizing he was wrong, he went in search of her and to this day is still searching.
"Wow, a fine lady with all the best things money can buy, she ends up with nothing."
"I am afraid it is true," he said.
"I am so sorry, you must be hurting bad," Emily said.
"I am, I loved her and sorry that I could not change her mind."
"Yea life sucks sometimes," Emily said.
"Well now where do you want me to take you?" He asked
"No it is ok, I know this road house, and I will get out and go my way."
He took out his wallet and handed her a few hundred rand. She thanked him and got out the car. He watched her walk into the street. The sun was beginning to rise; he looked up at the sky and began to cry.
Nick did not know how long he sat there. He went home and immediately logged onto the computer. Researching homemade bombs, he found some information. Printed out the pages and left for the hardware. Buying the required components, he went home. In the garage, he made a few powerful bombs, went inside, and slept.
He woke up at nine o clock, showered; feeling refreshed got dressed in his denims and t-shirt, put on his Nike boots and went into the kitchen. He opened the fridge and took out a frozen meal. Popped into the microwave and sat down. He took his phone and called Dube.
"Hello," Dube answered.
"Dube, I know you killed Denise, I have proof," Nick said.
"What the hell are you talking about and who are you?" Dube shouted.
"I am telling you, I know and if you want your wife and kids to live, I suggest you go to 116 Bouquet Street now."
"Who the hell are you, and what must I do at 116?"
"I am telling you again, go there now and when you get there, wait on the veranda. I will call you."
"I don’t know who the hell you are and I don’t care."
Click the phone was dead. He phoned back and before Dube could say anything, he said.
"Go there now, if not your wife and kids will die tonight," he put the phone down.
He ate his meal and drank some juice. Feeling satisfied, he left and went into the garage.
He loaded the bombs into his boot of the car and drove toward Rosettenville.
Nearing Bouquet Street, he stopped the car and phoned Dube.
"Are you there?"
"Yes I am, look man, let's talk about this," Dube said.
"Yes we will, I will be there now, " he said and put the phone down.
Dube was standing on the veranda, not at all happy about this, Sam and Nandi were there to. They discussed this matter and Dube told Nandi to shoot to kill as soon as he approached the house. Nandi holding his 45 automatic was ready.
Nick stopped his car two houses away across the road which commanded a good view of the veranda; he saw the three of them standing and waiting. He got out his car and looked up the street, he saw a few drunks walking toward him. He stopped them and offered them money, in return of a small favor. They were overjoyed it was easy; throw a few packets at 116, agreed. He took the neatly packed bombs out of the board, five in total and handed them to the men, he gave them a thousand rand each with the instructions on what to do.
The drunks took the money and the packets and walked toward the house. Dube and his cronies did not suspect anything. Yes, this street had all types of people walking up and down all the time. Standing across the road from number 116, the drunks stopped and within an instant threw the bombs at them.
The impact of the bomb caused a loud explosion. Flames engulfed the house with burning debris falling in all directions. The flames spread across the entire house at a rapid speed. Nick watching Dube screaming, trying to escape and a huge burning wooden beam fall on his back, trapping him. Sirens screeching in the background, he saw the fire department, police and ambulance arriving to help this unfortunate household.
Sitting in his car watching the burning house, he switched the ignition on and drove home. He got into the shower and sung a song. Whistling he climbed into bed and slept well.
The next morning, after dressing, he went to his computer switched it on and searched for the local news. Top story, 'Massive fire claims the live of three unidentified men… Police suspect foul play'. He smiled.




Have a happy week,stay blessed.
Your friend
Laura

Saturday, May 18, 2013

SHARING A NOVEL - THE BABY FARM


Hello everybody,

I want to continue sharing the Baby Farm with you, a novel by Louis Steyn.
The descriptive novel compelling yet with a hint of reality is sure to keep you intrigued.

THE BABY FARM CONTINUATION
He waited for the Angel of death to appear, as he did most mornings. The rising sun caught the sharp edges of the broken windows of the tall buildings opposite, and the whole fa├žade was transformed into a crystal cathedral of liquid gold shimmering light as the figure stood on the edge of the roof.
Dressed completely in black, a great black cloak and a black hood covering his face, the figure stood silhouetted against the dove grey sky. He stretched his arms out as if to take flight, then seemed to step forward or stumble and plummeted to the earth like a wounded bird, a giant black bird. His legs moved awkwardly, his arms failed to and he fell like a stone. Then it was over.

This was the Baby Farm. Two levels of parking had been converted into living zones, a space just big enough for a bed for the mother and a mattress on the ground for the children. A small cupboard, table and chair. Bare walls, no pictures, no mirrors. A bleak space for child rearing, drab grey curtains covered the entrance. Grey the color of choice.

The boy reached his living zone out of breath, his mother sitting on the bed nursing her baby and the younger boy still asleep on the mattress. The mother who could barley read had named her two boys from the signs that were plastered all over the city. "For Sale" and "To Let", and shortened them to Force and Tol.

The children were hers for such a short time at the age of six she knew she would never see them again and it was just one year left for Force until that painful final separation came. The boys had different fathers yet they displayed a bond of unity, with little Tol and his amazing green eyes, growing up in the shadow of Force.


Girl, later changed her name to Luna discovered an old man in the far corner of the roof, w wrinkled red eye with short curly grey hair and yellow teeth. He grew tomatoes in tin cans, red ones, plump, and juicy. Yellow ones in clusters on stakes and he treated them like babies. They made a tall splash of color in a grey world. She was fascinated. She had never seen a tomato before, but she instinctively new they were for eating and she wanted one. She allowed Red Eye to fondle her in exchange for a tomato.


She found the tomatoes sufficient compensation and had never tasted anything so fresh and delicious before.


I have only shared excerpts from chapters and I know the novel itself will be a rewarding experience.

Regards
Laura

SIPHO AND THE GOLDEN NAILS - CHAPTER 7

Hello everybody,

Hoping you are all enjoying your weekend and wishing you a peaceful week ahead.

In South Africa the winter weather is well on its way and the nights are rather chilly. I love summer time. The warm days, the outdoors and the sunshine. Well we can't have it our way all the time, and I remain grateful that I can survive the cold weather conditions.


Chapter 7

RETURN TO EARTH

After spending more than two months on planet Anglur, the children were sad yet excited with the prospect of returning to Africa. Lindiwe and the girls, all packed and ready to leave, waited in the lounge for Zanu and his family. Sipho came in looking sullen with his head hung low and he greeted Lindiwe. She walked up to him and hugged him asking why he looked so sad. He held onto her and told her he wanted to stay, he did not want to return to the settlement. She tried to comfort him. Zanu and Randia entered the lounge. Zanu immediately noticed Sipho’s apprehensive mood and assured him all would be fine. Zanu ruffled his hair and led him toward the door.
"Zanu, where is Idranda, I want to say good-bye to her?" Sipho asked.
"She is staying with Maazen and I will send a message to her," Zanu replied.
Sipho realized that Zanu had Idranda moved from the house because he knew of her gift but, he decided not to pursue this for now. They left the mansion and climbed into the waiting autoglider and drove to the spaceport. On the way, they looked out of the autoglider’s windows for the last time, at the exquisite surroundings of this pleasant planet. They arrived at the departure building of the spaceport and without wasting any time, Zanu guided them to the waiting craft. Zerydo, already on board and seated when the children entered, was greeted by them, before they took their seats. They watched as Zanmorn, Olomos and the rest of the team boarded. Zanu, ensuring they were all comfortable, requested them to buckle up. Looking directly at Sipho, he told them, the ship would orbit earth for a short period before landing and that they should relax and enjoy the experience.

Zanu went into the cockpit and spoke to the engineers and after they told him they were ready to proceed, he went back and sat next to his wife Randia. Lift off proceeded without any glitches. They soon entered into space and proceeded toward earth. After traveling through the darkness, light appeared in the distance and they knew they were approaching earth. Zanu looked around and noticed Sipho was looking out of the window and appeared to be more comfortable. Zanu told the group they were traveling over Asia and would soon see Israel and then Africa. Eagerly the children tried to contain their excitement. Irma was impressed and said she would like to travel the world one day. Sipho asked if the earth’s radar systems could detect the spacecraft and Zanu confirmed they could not. Passing slowly over Israel, Zanu told Sipho to memorize as much as possible about the area he was observing.
The smooth slow passage of the spacecraft was enjoyable and then the spacecraft increased speed substantially and continued down Africa. They soon saw the never-ending hills where their settlement was hidden from the rest of the world. The hilltop opened and the craft descended and landed without any complications. After waiting awhile, Zanu rose and walked to the exit door. He waited for it to open and told the group they should prepare to leave the spacecraft. He walked down the ramp, and followed by all, was greeted by the ground staff and engineers, who were pleased to see them.
Zanu reassured the children who were excited and yet nervous, that all was safe. They went to their quarters, and unpacked, before meeting at the control center. Zanu told them to enjoy themselves and to play and rest, for soon there would be work to do. Without answering, the children left and went to the play-field to enjoy their freedom.


Well that's chapter 7 for now, I am really hoping to publish by the end of next month.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.

All the best,
Your friend,
Laura

Saturday, May 11, 2013

MOTHERS DAY

A big hello to all the mothers,

Mother of mine
Oh, how I love thee
Talking to you each day
Hearing your sweet replies
Every time I need to
Responding with joy, at the sheer honesty of your wisdom!


Happy Mother’s Day to all the loving moms in our lives.

What would we do without our mothers!

I do not have a human mom anymore, I have an angel mom now, and when the world celebrates mother's day, I do to.
Mother's are special they always have been and always will be. I can honestly say my mom was more than a mother she was my best friend, my inspiration and guidance into the unknown future.



Psalm 34
1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.





Blessings of grace, mercy and peace be with you always.
Your friend,
Laura

PUBLISHED ARTICLE

Hello Everybody,

A wonderful Saturday and I hope you are enjoying.

I love writing and recently wrote a few articles not expecting much but it happened. My article was published, I am excited and want to share with you.

Here is the link for my article.


http://guardianlv.com/2013/05/british-government-to-terminate-aid-to-south-africa/

Please read this and comment if you want to.

All the best
Regards
Your friend
Laura

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sharing a story - BABY FARM

Hello Everybody,

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

This week I am not sharing my story, about the lovable Sipho and the twins Emma and Irma. Yes I will share more soon. Update on the not yet published novel - almost there, just a few more weeks. I am still uncertain about the cover.

Now let me share something totally different this week.

Baby farm, yes we know what that means, we have heard of that in the news and especially about the Nigeria one. Awful thought and traumatic for the children, not something expected in a democratic country and definitely not expected from a decent human being!

The baby farm, a novel by my friend, Louis Steyn, incredible and spooky. The story focuses on three children, two brothers, Force and Cat and a girl named Luna. These three children make a pact to meet in Paris when they turn twenty-one, and that I am sure gave these unfortunate children a flicker of hope.
At the baby farm when the children turn six years old they leave, and depending on the color of their armbands, their fate is sealed. Luna and Force, being the same age received different color armbands. Luna knew the blue armband was for donors. A clever child, she created a diversion that ended in both of them having the same color, at least the same fate. Set off to finishing school for a month or so and then sold to ghastly people as sex slaves.
The story tells of their emotional suffering and dreadful torture and endurance to strive for freedom. Freedom at any cost, even murder.
A twist in the story that not even I would have imagined possible. This is a story I enjoyed, and I must say not for the fainthearted, and definitely not for children. Explicit and descriptive scenes throughout the story will keep you guessing until the end.

The opening chapters of the BABY FARM
Morning sky, grey and cold. Hazy mist covered the sleeping city like a shroud softening but not concealing. Slabs of building stood silent as gravestones, darkness lingering in the horizontals and verticals, hiding in the spaces between. Locked in a grid, waiting quietly for the new day.
Built brick by brick in haste and bravado, demolishing the old and the beautiful, making openings for windows, timer bridges spanning wild concrete pouring on the steel inside. History obliterated, the modern city arose out of the ancient dust of Africa. Built in brash confidence to outlast the pyramids only to be finally abandoned and buried at the double funerals of industry and commerce.
A new day in a dead city. Like empty shells thrown away, they stood and waited patiently as the people moved in. There like maggots in a corpse, they lived their squalid lives, without electricity, without water, without hope in a world gone mad.
A smudge of pale light, a lemon sky bitter and cold as juice banished the darkness of night. Birds in the dark trees that still lined the streets greeted the new day. Their bird sounds stranger discordant music on an empty stage. The people still asleep did not hear or care. Today was just another day same as yesterday, same as tomorrow.
Time continued, as always, supremely oblivious. Life and time intertwined.
In the dark heart of the city stood a building that had once been a bustling office tower. On the first floor, once a parking garage, a boy pushed a little wooden box closer to the tall windows and climbed up on it, his little toes curling over the edge, his face pressed up against the cold glass and he squinted through a tear in the yellowed newspaper that covered the lower half of the dusty window.


Well I have shared the first few chapters of this compelling novel and if you want to know more, then leave a comment or contact me and I will share.


The good news this week and celebrated around the world is the release of the women held captive for so many years. That is a story with a wonderful ending and I cannot imagine the joy of being free from a living nightmare. A candle for the brave women.



All the best,
Your friend,
Laura






Sunday, May 5, 2013

SIPHO AND THE GOLDEN NAILS - CHAPTER 6

Hello everybody,

It's Sunday and I sincerely hope you are having a wonderful day.

Well the cover is changed and I am still not convinced it is what I want. Here is it is and leave a comment please. It will certainly help me to determine if I must change the cover again and again. I appreciate your time and comments. Thanks.


I will also share another chapter of this intriguing story with you. I hope you are enjoying.

Chapter 6

FINAL VISIT TO THE TEMPLE AND OBSERVATION CENTER
It was early; no one was awake, Randia and Zanu went down stairs to the dining room. They were sitting at the table enjoying their private time together, when in came Sipho still sleepy-eyed and greeted them. He sat down and Randia gave him a glass of milk. Sipping the milk, he inquired when they would be returning to the Observation Center.
"Sipho, I think we should visit the center today, and then tomorrow you and I must go back to the Temple," Zanu said.
"Great. Can Emma and Irma come along?" he asked
"Of course, perhaps Olomos and Ogmu can join us as well."
"What about Idranda?" Sipho asked.
"Sipho, Randia has planned some other event for Idranda today," Zanu answered with a slight frown on his brow.
"Pity, I like her and think she is super smart," he said and left the room.
Zanu looked at his wife Randia and wondered why Sipho had a sudden interest in Idranda. He told Randia to keep her away from the other children and if necessary, move her to Maazen’s home. She agreed.
After breakfast, Zanu called Zerydo and told him to meet him at the Observation Center. Zanu and the children left the house a little later. When the group arrived, and after the conventional greetings, Zanu, together with Zerydo, called Sipho and told him he would have to spend the entire day observing the areas surrounding Israel. He told him once they returned to earth, he would be going to Israel for a very important mission. Sipho was surprised and agreed to gather as much information as possible. Zerydo and Sipho went over to a monitor and under the guidance of an experienced engineer, started making notes about the regions and areas surrounding Israel.
Zanu walked over to Emma and Irma who together with Olomos and Ogmu were checking different cities on earth.
"Emma, both you and Irma must come with me; there is something I need you to do," he told them.
Obediently they followed him and he took them over to a smaller monitor and told the engineer to zoom in on Cotswold.
"I want both of you girls to watch Cotswold and take notes regarding the times when traffic appears to be busier. Plus the weather patterns and in particular your home and the number of people walking or driving around, and write down the times," he said.
"We can do that, I am sure," Irma replied.
He watched Emma and Irma settle down and under the guidance of a senior engineer, they began to watch Cotswold and make notes. He stood back looking at the two of them and smiled at their remarks and surprises at the events down on earth.
He went back to Sipho and Zerydo and inquired how they were doing. Sipho confessed the areas they were monitoring were difficult to observe as there was a lot of desert. Zanu told them there would be some towns and cities they would see later, but he wanted them to get a good idea of the countryside as well. He would be leaving now, but would return later on. Zanu said goodbye and left.
Zanu went to the council center and consulted with his members. A general discussion of the upcoming events and the return to earth were debated at length. Zanu again confirmed that Publo would be appointed the acting Governor while he was away. Arrangements to send a team of engineers and guards to the settlement on earth were finalized.
Late into the afternoon, Zanu returned to Observation Center and found the children still very busy with their monitoring assignments. He went over to the twins and told them they would be leaving soon. He then told Sipho to get ready to leave. Sipho was happy. He told Zanu the monitoring was difficult and required a lot of patience. Zanu told him he would return tomorrow to continue with this exercise, as it was important for him to be aware of the areas for the upcoming mission. Sipho tried to question Zanu about the mission, but Zanu withheld some vital information for their own safety. Sipho was eager to find out more, but respected Zanu's reply, and walked over to the girls. Happy to leave and have a few hours of fun, they were delighted that the day was not over and the weather was still warm.
Arriving home, they ran to the pool and began to play and swim amongst the rocks and waterfall, splashing and shouting with delight. Zanu watched from a distance smiling within at how happy they were to be home. He went into his study and Zerydo followed him and closed the door.
Zanu offered him refreshments and he gladly accepted a juice. Sitting down and sipping his fresh melon juice, Zerydo watched Zanu stroke his beard and knew whenever he stroked that beard there was some concern he needed to share.
"Well Zanu, tell me about the next mission, I am keen to know how much involvement I will have? He asked.
"I have not been given all the details, but I do know that you will accompany Sipho to Israel with the golden nails," he said.
"Golden nails! I wonder what on earth for?" Zerydo asked.
"As I said, I am not sure about the plan God Most High has. I do know that after tomorrow Sipho must attend the university with you and gather as much information as possible regarding earthquakes and tsunamis."
"My my, it sure does sound like a mystery. Earthquakes and tsunamis? I am more than curious now to know what the entire mission is about."
"Yes, so am I, but we must be patient, we will be told in due course. I have in the meantime arranged for a team of engineers to go to the settlement on earth and prepare for our return."
"Good thinking, it is better to be prepared beforehand."
"At the moment there is not much more I can tell you. Are you hungry? I am! Randia mentioned to me that she and Lindiwe were going shopping this morning, so I am not sure when dinner will be served, but you are more than welcome to stay."
"Great! I think I will join you for dinner, and it will be good to chat to the ladies again."
They sat talking about general events and exchanged several ideas for over an hour, when Randia returned and greeted them. Zerydo stood up and kissed her on the cheek. Zanu remained seated and waited. She walked up to her husband and placed a gentle kiss directly on his lips. She told them dinner would be ready in an hour.
Dawn came stealing over the planet with orange and red glows scattered across the sky. Another day had begun and Zanu was ready and waiting to take the children to the Observation Center. They were not as keen as yesterday, he noticed. Nevertheless, they were obedient and went with him. Once again, they took their seats and started monitoring the events surrounding Israel and Cotswold. He watched for a while and once he was sure they would be fine, he left.
He went in search of Maazen, his brother, and found him at the Headquarters making arrangements with the engineers and scientists who would be leaving this afternoon for their return trip to earth. Zanu watched the professional manner in which Maazen undertook the arrangements. Not wanting to interrupt the sequence of events, he waited for a while and as soon as he saw Maazen was a little more relaxed; Zanu asked if he could bring the children to the launch site for them to watch the team leave. Maazen cheerfully agreed and Zanu thanked him and left to go back to the Observation Center. Once there he walked over to Sipho, who was sitting with both his hands supporting his head. Zanu knew he was bored and hoped to cheer him up.
"Sipho, you are studying and monitoring so diligently. I am impressed," he said.
"Yes, I think I can close my eyes and tell you all about Israel and her neighbors," he said and turned around to face Zanu.
"Well, finish up. I am taking you out for a surprise," he said and walked over to Emma and Irma’s workstation.
He told the girls to stop monitoring and get ready to leave. They were so eager to leave that they jumped off their chairs, and waited for him to give further instructions. He beckoned them all to follow him.
The children left the building, not sure where they were going and kept quiet as the auto-glider sped through the city center and out toward the launch site. Excited and unable to contain his inquisitive nature Sipho asked Zanu where they were going.
He told them that teams of engineers would be leaving today and again tomorrow to return to the settlement and they were going to watch the space ship leave Anglur for earth. Excitedly they asked many questions regarding the return to earth.
At the spaceport and in the safe space observation center they watched the precision and expertise of the Anglurians as they worked to prepare for the lift off. Monitors were checked continuously and last minute details were taken care of. They watched as the spaceship door closed and the ramp was removed. The engines roared and the lift-off proceeded. Up, up this great spacecraft went and within minutes it was gone!
Enjoying this tremendously, Sipho asked if it was possible to watch the spacecraft’s journey back to the settlement. Zanu said it was possible but it would take about three hours. The children listened to him arrange for their request with eager anticipation. Zanu told the children they would monitor the entire event from home. He continued and told them his engineers were busy relaying the signal remotely from the space observation center so they could watch the earth landing.
Excited with the news, they urged Zanu to leave straight away for home. Zanu nodded in agreement. The excitement and eagerness of the children brought a smile to his face. Once at home, they quickly went into the Situation Room and making themselves comfortable, started watching the spacecraft zoom at an unbelievable speed through the cosmos, avoiding asteroids and eventually entering earth's atmosphere.
They could see a few clouds, then they saw the hill top open slowly and the spacecraft slowed down and lowered itself into the secret hillside earth station. Watching a while longer, the hilltop closed and the screen went black. Disappointed at the trip having ended, they got up and went upstairs.
Over the next few days Sipho, together with Zerydo, went to the university and under the guidance of experienced knowledgeable professors learned all about earthquakes and tsunamis. It was traumatic for young Sipho having to be exposed to such horrendous events and each night he would plead with Zanu to stop the lessons. Zanu did all he could to comfort him and assured him that knowing about these events would help him in the future. This frightened him even more, as he knew he would be going on a mission where the likelihood of an earthquake or worse could happen. He became sullen and avoided the other children over this period.
After three days, Sipho became depressed and miserable. Zanu knew he would have to do something quickly to encourage him to continue his studies. He found him sitting under a large elm tree looking very sullen. Zanu sat next to him and tried to cheer him up, but to no avail. He suggested they visit the Temple. Sipho immediately responded and said he would like to do that. Perhaps he would find out what was happening. They immediately left and went to the Temple.
Another perfect day. They walked most of the way in silence and upon entering this vast peaceful place, with the light shining down the aisle, Sipho immediately felt a calm peace overwhelm him. They sat down and listened for the voices of the angels. It was not long before the angels asked them to come up to the front of the Temple and wait.
Standing up they walked toward the front and waited. The angel asked Sipho if he had any concerns.
"Yes, I want to know why I need to find out all there is about earthquakes and what the reason is for this?" he asked.
"Sipho, dear child, you are a chosen child with a great destiny. This knowledge gained now, even though it upsetting it will indeed save you from any danger that may befall you in the future. It is for your own protection that you understand the consequences of such great disasters," the angel replied.
"I still don't understand how knowing about nature’s fury can save me. I think you will be subjecting me to some dangerous event on the next mission!" He said.
"Well you must remember you are special and have our protection. Are there any other requests?" the angel asked.
"Am I going to be subjected to any natural disasters?" Sipho asked.
"Sipho, at this time I am not at liberty to answer that, but rest assured that whatever may happen, you will always have divine protection."
"Well I suppose you know best, although I must admit I am afraid." Sipho said.
"Do not be afraid, all will be well in the end. Do you have any other questions?" the angel asked.
Sipho shook his head and they stood waiting and after a few minutes, Zanu put his hand on his shoulder and nudged him to start walking out. They left the Temple and immediately Zanu noticed Sipho appeared to be more relaxed. He knew the tranquility of the Temple would help the child to feel more peaceful. Sipho apologized to Zanu and told him he would continue learning about the ever-changing weather patterns with more enthusiasm. He asked Zanu to be honest with him and prepare him for any events in the future. Zanu promised him he would definitely inform him of any dangers that may be forthcoming. Zanu hugged him. Together they walked back home, feeling more bonded and closer now that their relationship was firmer.
Within a week, Sipho was confident he knew all there was to know about earthquakes and tsunamis, and when Professor Tylor questioned him, he found Sipho to be more than capable of undertaking any event that might incur danger. He reported to Zanu that Sipho was ready and able to accept the responsibility without coming to any harm.
Zanu was pleased with the training and called Sipho into his study. He congratulated him and told him they would collect the fourteen golden nails at the Temple tomorrow and receive further instructions. He continued and told Sipho they would be returning to earth shortly. Sipho was excited. He loved Anglur, but suddenly he needed to be close to his grandfather and told Zanu how much he would enjoy seeing Dumasani again. Zanu assured him he would be able to see him and subtly reminded him that he was still required to undertake a mission for God Most High.
It was early when Zanu and Sipho left the house and went to the Temple. The walk was pleasant, the weather was good not hot and just warm enough to enjoy. Entering the great Temple, they immediately sat down and waited for further instructions.
"Sipho, Zanu, come up to the front of the Temple and we will discuss your mission," an angel's voice said.
They got up and went to the front and waited.
"Zanu, the fourteen golden nails are in front of you. Sipho and Zerydo will place these at designated places which we will inform you about. But first when you return to earth, you must place four nails around the settlement and the Khula village," the angel said.
"Why must we place these nails around certain places? Sipho asked.
"It is for protection. In other words, no matter what happens the Khula village will always be safe," the angel replied.
"That is good. It should not be too dangerous to do this. I am sure we can succeed."
"Remember, nobody but Sipho may touch the golden nails. The twins Emma and Irma can touch them if they need to."
"Fine, I will ensure we carry out your instructions," Zanu answered.
Zanu told Sipho to pick up the golden nails and they left the Temple. Still being asked many questions, Zanu tried to answer Sipho as best as he could, while they walked back home. At home, Zanu told Sipho to place the nails in a special box and locked them in a safe. With that done, he told Sipho to go and play with the other children and enjoy the rest of the day. Sipho did not hesitate and ran outside to find his friends.
It was midday when Zanu left the house and went to the Headquarters. The council members were chatting and as soon as he entered, quietness descended. He greeted the members and told them about the instructions received from the Temple and told them to prepare for the return voyage to earth. The council members asked many questions and Zanu, as patient as ever, answered as diligently as he could. Finally, after appeasing the members, Zanu closed the meeting and went home.
It was fun and laughter for the next two days, no pressure at all; the children relaxed, enjoyed the trips around the planet and enjoyed meeting many people who contributed to this amazing world.
Lindiwe, during this time did not see Zanmorn, who was still not at home after receiving his instruction a few days earlier to go to the Temple. She had managed to heed Zanu's wisdom and learn to love him as a brother. She wanted to tell him and hoped to see him soon. Zanu was pleased with her decision and told her Zanmorn would return the day they departed. The twins were also eager to return to earth, although they loved being on Anglur with all its intriguing designs and underground passages.
Zanmorn, instructed by the angels not to pursue his relationship with Lindiwe, undertook serious meditation during his stay at the Temple. Emerging from the Temple, he felt invigorated and ready for duty. He realized the passionate feelings he had had for Lindiwe were wrong and promised God Most High he would continue to love her as a sister. During his stay with his sister Bethsaida, the council members informed him of the upcoming events and he looked forward to serving Zanu on earth again. Zerydo, well prepared for the anticipated mission waited for the final instructions from Zanu. He felt disappointed that his brother Maazen and his wife Edra would not join them on this trip, but would return to earth later. Excitement and joy were the features of the day - last minute arrangements were checked and everything was ready for the return trip. Sipho was excited that Olomos would accompany him on the journey. He loved this child and enjoyed his company.



Have a wonderful week and wishing you all the best.
Your friend,
Laura


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

SHORT STORY - THE HAND

Hello Everybody,
It's a public holiday here in South Africa, 'Workers Day', so with time to enjoy I am going to share another short story with you.
The Hand - When Inspector Higgins investigates a missing person, he uncovers a gruesome murder

Hope you enjoy and honest comments are always welcome.


THE HAND
"The bed was empty." Jake told the inspector for the third time.
"Did anybody sleep in the bed?" Inspector Higgins inquired again.
"I don't know, how many times I must tell you what I saw. I told you I went upstairs with a cup of tea in my hand and opened the door. The bed was empty. I called out her name and there was no reply. I walked into the room, put the tea down, and looked around. The curtains were drawn and the windows closed, the lamp was on. I went down stairs and phoned Kerry, her phone was off." He said and sat down with a sigh.
"Jake, according to witnesses, Kerry disappeared three weeks ago, are you aware of this?" The inspector asked in an icy tone.
"No, it is not correct, she was here yesterday, and we still watched a movie before she went to bed." He replied displaying a fidgety reaction.
The inspector got up, put his notebook into his pocket, and told Jake not leave town, as there would be more questions to be answered over the next few days. Jake got up, nodded, and walked with the inspector to the door. He stood there and watched as the inspector get into his car and drive away. Jake sighed and went inside.
Jake was unusually nervous. He did not appreciate the police questioning him. He went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. Removing a can of coke, he opened it and drank it. He did not understand what they meant by saying she disappeared three weeks ago. Trying to fathom out the reasoning for their call and snide remarks, he wondered if indeed some disaster took place.
He went upstairs and checked the bedroom again. He had to find a clue. He did not know where Kerry went. He looked through the dressing cupboard all her clothes were there. The drawers, all neatly packed showed no signs of disturbance. He walked towards the window and drew the curtains, the sun light streamed into the room and he looked out at the garden. He stood there speculating on what could have happened. He turned around and walked towards the dresser, looking around he could not find the cup of tea he remembered putting down. Rubbing his head, he began to feel confused. Did the police remove the cup or did he make a cup of tea? Shaking his head, he walked towards the bathroom door and found it locked. He knocked and called out her name. Silence, no reply, he wondered why the door was locked. He stood looking at the door for a few minutes, feeling confused, he knocked on the door again.
He ran downstairs, to the kitchen and opened a drawer. The spare house keys were there he knew, now where was the bedroom key, he asked himself, as he searched through the bunch of loose keys. A few minutes later, he found the keys to Kerry's room and went back upstairs.
Jake unlocked the bathroom door and as he stood there, he felt the blood drain from his head. Not prepared for the ghastly sight, he looked and could not believe what he was seeing. Unable to move, as if frozen from fear, he stared. Kerry was dead, to all appearances. Her mouth opened and eyes showing a look of horror, one leg slung over the top of the bath. The knife still inserted into the side of her chest and the blood trickling out from the wound. A tap was dripping, he heard the sound of water, but afraid to enter, he kept looking at the dead body in total shock, feeling sick unto death, and motionless.
A few minutes passed and still staring at the dead body, he regained his sanity, closed the bathroom door, and locked it. Jake went down stairs and back to the kitchen. His mouth was dry, and he needed something to drink. He took another can of coke from the refrigerator and gulped it down as though it was his last drink. Wiping his mouth, he went into the lounge and picked up his phone. Dialed the inspector's number, and thought about the consequences and the trouble this could bring.
"Hello, Inspector Higgins."
"Hello, Inspector, it is Jake, please get back here it is awful, hurry up!" Jake said his voice full of fear.
Inspector Higgins, with a frown upon his face, stared at the disconnected phone and pondered what Jake was up to now. He recalled how anxious Jake sounded and decided to go back to the house. Higgins picked up his phone and called his assistant. Within minutes Paul, still a rookie entered his office and before he could say anything Higgins told him, they would be leaving for Jake's house. Paul nodded and waited. Higgins grabbed his jacket and the two men left the office. They left the building, walking towards the car in silence, it began to rain, not a hard rain, a slight drizzle and they ran towards the car. Once inside he started the engine and soon was driving towards Jake's house. He told Paul about the call from Jake and instructed him to check the house again for any clues once they arrived.
The car stopped and he saw Jake standing on the patio, looking rather nervous and impatient. Inspector Higgins walked up the stairs, followed by the constable.
"What's the trouble, Jake?" exclaimed Higgins, giving him a hearty slap on the back.
Jake looked at him and without replying walked inside the house. Higgins and Paul followed. Jake stood in the living room and looking at Higgins with a fearful expression upon his face, his hands clasped.
"Inspector, we never checked the bathroom, it was locked, and I went downstairs to fetch the spare keys." Jake sounding nervous said.
"OK Jake, relax, let us sit down and you can tell me all about the bathroom," the inspector said, exchanging glances with Paul.
They went into the lounge a pleasant neat room with a small rectangular table in the center. They sat down and both the inspector and the constable, staring at Jack watching how nervous he appeared waited for him to talk.
"We should not sit here and waste time. We should get upstairs and see what is in the bathroom." Jake said while flexing his fingers.
"Jake calm down, we are here to help, tell us what you saw before we go upstairs."
"It was horrible, I opened the door and there she was, dead, a knife protruding out of her chest, the bath filled with blood," he said and still twitching his hands.
"This was after we left I presume."
Jake stood up, walked over to the Inspector, and clutched his arm with a strong grip.
"Don't you believe me? He gasped.
Higgins not expecting to hear such a horrid story stood up, jerking his arm free and told him they would go and inspect the bathroom. Higgins while walking upstairs, still felt the sting in his arm from the tight grip of Jake and realised how much strength this timid man had. They walked upstairs and into the bedroom. Standing back, watching Jake who still appeared nervous and his hands shaking as he inserted the key to unlock the bathroom door. The door opened and he stood there with the inspector and constable behind him. Nothing, absolutely nothing, the bath was empty and clean. The inspector pushed passed Jake and glanced around the room. He opened a cupboard, packed with towels all neatly folded. He looked at the window it was closed. He walked back to the bath and felt the bottom. It was dry.
He walked out of the bathroom and shook his head.
"She was there I tell you not less than one hour ago," he threw a startled look at Higgins
"Jake calm down," the inspector told him.
"No, it is impossible, I know what I saw, she is dead," he screeched.
"Jake come now, let us go downstairs, and talk about this," The inspector said with a chill suspicion growing in his mind and nudging him towards the bedroom door.
They went downstairs and back into the lounge. Jake sat down and holding his head, he looked at the inspector as he nodded his head with a very hard look in his eyes.
"I am telling you the truth, she was laying in the bath, her eyes they had such a fearful look and her mouth, it was open as though she wanted to say something."
"Jake are you on medication?" asked the inspector.
"No, nothing, I am not sick"
"Jake I am going to phone for more support and we are going to search the entire house and once we have done that, we can discuss the dead body," Inspector Higgins said and got up.
He took out his phone and called the station. Jake got up and offered them a drink. He went into the kitchen and came back with a few cans of soft drinks. Each taking one and drinking in silence waited for the backup control to come over to the house. A few minutes later, they heard the sound of screeching sirens. The inspector walked towards the front door, greeted the officers, and told them to begin the search. He stood on the patio and watched the rainfall.
Inspector Higgins took out a cigarette and lit it. Blowing the smoke towards the rain, he tried to fathom the reasoning behind Jake. He could not understand what Jake had seen and hoped the search would reveal a few conclusive clues to solve the mystery. His suspicion aroused more as he continued to think about the matter. He became determined to keep a sharp eye upon Jake.
Jake came out and stood beside him.
"Inspector, do you think I am hallucinating?" asked Jake.
"No, I am trying to understand where the body could have disappeared to in such a short time." Leveling a straight glance at his face, he answered.
"I tell you, it is the truth. When you left, I went back into her bedroom and looked around; everything was as she had left it. Nothing was moved, but for some strange reason, I could not find the cup of tea I brought up to her this morning." He said and folded his arms.
"Ah the cup, now we have a missing cup and a missing body." He said mockingly.
"I am telling the truth, don't joke about this," Jake becoming rather angry replied.
"Jake calm down, once the search is over, we can discuss this, in the meantime let us enjoy the fresh air."
Jake did not answer and went back inside. The inspector took out his phone and dialed a number."
"Peter, this is Inspector John Higgins, from Parklane, I need a favor."
"What can I do, John?" the voice on the other side asked.
"I need you to do a full check on a Jake Random."
"Jake Random, better give me some other information, I recall doing a check just three weeks ago."
"Jake Random he lives at number thirty seven, Park Lane."
"Ah the same Jake, well have you got time, there is a lot on this guy."
"OK I will come down to your office, see you in about an hour," He said and put the phone down.
He looked up at the gray sky and wondered what the visit to Peter would reveal about Jake. He turned around and went inside to see how the search party were doing. He walked up to his constable who confirmed the search upstairs revealed nothing. He continued and told him the search was still in progress and almost completed. Higgins told him he would be leaving and would see him back at the station.
Inspector Higgins went to his car without saying goodbye to Jake and drove directly to Peter's office. He parked the car, went into the tall glass and steel building, and took the elevator to the seventh floor. The receptionist recognized him and greeted him. She got up and went into Peter's office. Peter came out and greeted his old friend. Together they went into his office and Peter offered him a drink. He walked towards the drinks cabinet and poured two whiskeys and topped them up with ice. He handed a drink to John, walked around his solid oak desk, and sat down. Taking a sip of his whiskey, he looked at John and shook his head.
"Tell me, what do you know about Jake?" Peter asked.
"Well, there was a girl, Kerry who disappeared three weeks ago and her family filed a missing person report. We have investigated all leads and the last clue led us to Jake. He admitted she stayed there for a few days but does not know where she is."
"I suppose he has told you some weird stories, like finding dead bodies or strange people entering his house." Peter chuckled.
"He told us about discovering a dead body but when we investigated, nothing," Higgins replied.
"Talking of sudden disappearances the one you mention of Kerry, is not the only remarkable one which has come under my direct notice. Indeed, I know of another few women who have disappeared under mysterious circumstances."
"Do you suppose there is a link associated with Jake?" inquired Higgins.
"I am not surprised; we have been investigating him for three years. For some strange reason Jake has always been linked to the missing women. We have absolutely nothing on him."
"Strange, I have heard the stories of the missing women but linking them to Jake, there must be some logical explanation." Higgins frowned.
"Yes I say that all the time. This is your first case regarding his involvement. We will have to work together and come up with a strategy." Peter said.
"Whatever he is doing, we will uncover his devious deeds." He said and put the glass down.
Peter offered him another drink and he declined. He told Peter he would get back to the house and chat with Jake again. He stood up greeted him and left the building. Driving his car on his way back to Jake's house, he kept thinking about the other women who had disappeared mysteriously.
Arriving at Jake's house, he closed the car door, walked up the stairs, and rang the bell. He waited for a response. Again, he pressed the buzzer, no reply. He turned the doorknob and surprisingly it was unlocked. He went inside walked towards the lounge, nobody. All was deathly quiet, he peaked into the kitchen, called out Jake's name and went back into the lounge. The only sound he heard was the solemn ticking of the clock as it counted out the seconds on the mantelpiece. Pondering his next move, he decided to go upstairs and look around Kerry's bedroom. He went upstairs, to the mysterious bedroom. Standing in the doorway looking around one more time, he saw the bed and noticed the covers were ruffled. He stroked his chin and with a frown upon his head was convinced the bed was neat and tidy that morning. He walked towards the bed and moved the covers. Startled at what he saw, he took his phone out of his pocket and called Peter.
"Peter, get some backup and come to Jake's House. I have found a clue."
"What did you find?"
"Just get over here as quick as possible!"
"OK I am on my way."
Higgins stood staring at the ghastly sight and did not notice Jake standing in the doorway. Jake moved close to him and without any warning tapped him on the shoulder. Inspector Higgins with a fear of the unknown turned around and looked directly at Jake who seemed to have a scornful smile upon his face. Higgins advanced in such a way as to place himself against the edge of the bed to prevent him from noticing the ruffled bed cover.
"Jake, the door was open and I let myself in." He said in a stern voice.
"Inspector, you of all people should know trespassing in an offense."
"Not trespassing, checking for evidence Jake."
"Well did you find what you were looking for," he stood with his hands in his pockets.
"No, I was just wondering how she got out of the room." He said making sure Jake would not see his discovery. He needed time and knew he would have to keep Jake busy for a while.
"Well then let us go downstairs and have a drink." He wiped his forehead with a hand that trembled like a leaf.
"Jake, before we go downstairs, tell me about the bathroom one more time."
Jake moved back slightly and the inspector remained standing in the same position, hoping Jake would not look at the bed. Jake scratched his head and repeated the story to the Inspector. Higgins eagerly waiting for the arrival of Peter before Jake would discover the clue on the bed. Jake watching how nervous the inspector looked asked him if everything was fine. Higgins assured him all was well. Jake again suggested they go downstairs and have a drink.
"Jake, look I need to ask you another question before we leave the room."
"OK, what do you want to know?"
"What more can you tell me about Kerry?
"Kerry, she was so pretty with her long blonde hair and always lots of fun to be with. You know she loved clubbing, and when she stayed here I told her clubbing would get her into trouble, she would not listen."
"Jake do you know the clubs she frequented?"
"A few, I will write the names down for you, now let us go downstairs, I am thirsty."
They heard the door open and footsteps in the foyer. Jake turned around and frowned unsure of who could have entered his home. Higgins, wiped his brow, relieved help had arrived. He remained standing in the same position waiting for Peter to enter the bedroom.
Jake walked towards the door, turned around, and told Higgins to wait and not leave the room. He walked out and closed the door. Higgins heard the key turn, and knew Jake had locked him in the room. He walked towards the door and heard unknown voices. He took out his phone and called Peter. He was anxious and urged Peter to hurry up. Peter said they would be there in five minutes.
It was a long five minutes, which seemed to go on forever. He paced up and down the room while waiting for Peter to arrive. Finally, he heard a car stop and walked over to the window, looking out he saw Peter and several constables walk up the driveway. Relieved, he walked towards the door and called Jake. No response! He heard footsteps and called out again. Banging on the door, he heard Peter call him. He called out telling them to force the locked door open. Peter told him to stand back, he immediately moved back and without another second being wasted the door opened, and Peter came in.
"Peter look at the bed." Higgins said pointing in the direction of the bed.
Peter walked up closer to the bed and shook his head.
"A hand, could this be the hand of Kerry?"
He called the constable and told them to remove the hand and the bed coverings. They immediately started to carry out the instructions received. Higgins told him about the visitor Jake received. He confirmed he was unable to identify who it was, and how he locked the room as he left. They immediately went in search of Jake.
The house was empty Jake had disappeared. Both Higgins and Peter stood on the patio, gathered in their own thoughts wondered how Jake had disappeared and with whom.
"Well, I think we have enough evidence to convict Jake for the murder of Kerry that is if we can find him."
"I told you he was a shifty character, and finding him could prove more difficult than finding the rest of Kerry's body."
"Come, there is not much more we can do here, it would be better to get back to the station."
"You are right, let's go back."
They walked towards their cars, greeted one another, and promised to stay in touch. Higgins drove back to the station, his thoughts both many and conflicting, wondering who came over to Jake's house and why.
Convinced of his involvement in the murder of Kerry and having evidence, a countrywide search for Jake ensued. Over the following two weeks, Jake's house remained under police surveillance and during that time, nobody came near the house. Often Higgins would drive over to the house and chat to the surveillance team. Repeatedly the constable would tell him the same story. Not a soul came near the house, it remained completed deserted.
Higgins was at his office completing the huge amount of paper work accumulated over the past few weeks. The events surrounding the Kerry murder and the disappearance of Jake puzzled him. All the efforts to obtain information in this regard and the fate or whereabouts of Jake, had so far proved utterly futile.
He could not concentrate and knew whoever came to visit Jake that day, would be able to put closure on this case. His door opened and as he looked up, shocked, he stood up.
"Jake, where have you been, we have being looking all over for you."
Jake looking tired and confused, very poorly and miserably clad, walked in to the office, and sat down. He paused and looked at Higgins, asking for a glass of water. Higgins poured a glass of water and handed it to him. Jake gulped it down, and asked for another glass. Higgins obliged and sat down.
"I am going to tell you the truth," he said and wiped his mouth.
Higgins watched and waited. Looking at him, Jake told the inspector about his two friends, Perry and Kurt, both drug lords. He continued and told him of his addiction to heroin and the constant trouble of not being able to pay for his habit. Higgins surprised at the confession urged him to continue. Jake somewhat distraught held his head and told Higgins the drug lords almost killed him when his debt spiralled out of control. He managed to make a deal with them in exchange for drugs. They wanted young women and he had to find them. While out clubbing he would meet several young women, take them home and call the drug lords. He told Higgins both Kurt and Perry would come over to the house and instruct him to leave. He would venture off to another club and upon returning home, always found the house empty and no signs of any visitors the night before.
"I promise you, Inspector, I never questioned why they wanted women and what happened." Wiping his brow, he continued.
"Well Jake that is one helluva confession, but tell me about Kerry?" Higgins surprised at the turn of events asked.
"I had nothing to do with her murder. The day you were in the room, remember there was somebody in the house and I locked you in the room."
"Yes, I remember," Higgins replied.
"Well, it was Perry and Kurt; they grabbed me and took me to some old downtown warehouse. For two weeks I was chained like an animal and they tortured me." He cried.
"What on earth for?" Higgins asked.
"They wanted to know why I kept her hand and I kept on telling them I did not keep any of her body parts. They said I messed up big time and they were going to kill me."
"So they knew about her hand, I presume?"
"I still don't know what they mean about the hand, I really don't know."
"How did you manage to get out of the warehouse?"
"Last night, when they came to check up on me, they unchained me so that I could use the bathroom. I walked back to the chair and waiting for them to chain me up again, Perry received a phone call, and both of them left the building in a hurry." Jake wiped his brow, took the glass of water, and gulped it down.
"Continue and tell me what ensued." Higgins said while enjoying this confession of Jake.
"I waited for a few minutes and convinced they had left, crept slowly towards the door and found it unlocked. Upon opening the door, saw it was dark and raining, I went outside and ran as fast as I could. I tell you I was scared, I kept on running not knowing where I was going. I am not sure for how long I ran and walked but soon arrived in town. I was tired and found a park. I went there, rested, and waited for morning. Not knowing what time it was I came straight to your office." He continued and feeling more relieved after confessing, asked for some more water.
"OK, you are safe now, we will help." Higgins said while pouring him another glass of water.
Higgins sat down again and while watching Jake drink his water, picked up his phoned and called Peter.
"Peter, Jake is at my office and I have a confession," Higgins said and put the phone down.

THE END

Well that is the story, and hope you enjoyed. Update on the unpublished Sipho novel, received the proof copy from Amazon and decided I don't like the cover, so it back to work and well hopefully we get this one published one day!

Enjoy your day and wishing you all the best,
Your friend,
Laura