She is called many names; the wandering woman, mystery lady, the medicine woman, the mad woman of Katoke or the nuisance.
She always appeared in the neighbourhoods for a couple of weeks before the start of each season bearing numerous pots and bags of exotic plants. Each boiling pot served broths that cured various ailments and all that was required for any to work is faith.
Whenever she visited the poorer quarters, the inhabitant’s welcomed her presence. They would come bearing little gifts in exchange for helpings from her healing condiments, but the experience was the opposite at the more prestigious parts of town where the policing guards did their best to discourage the charlatan ‘as she was called.’
On various occasions, they ran her off the premises with a stern warning of arrest if she kept visiting but at dusk, these uppity members of high society went to the poor side of town to see her secretly.
The sparse cupboard with the solitary pack of Batchelor soup and canned beans stared back at him as if in mockery. His posh apartment was a sorry mess. Take out boxes and dirty mugs littered the kitchen and George wondered when his life had become so empty.
He was fatigued from months of insufficient sleep and taking work home; the promotion came with more responsibilities than anticipated. He was tired of eating out of paper boxes, he missed having a decent relationship with anyone and would have given a tooth for some helping of the curry flavourful dish that floated down the corridor from his married neighbours’ apartment; his tummy grumbled at the thought.
The ping of the microwave interrupted his thoughts and the cup of overflowing soup that looked more like lava made him swear. With a sigh of resignation, he picked up the phone to call Chinatown. The hum of voices and laughter from next door sharply reminded him that a robust bank balance did not make up for loneliness.
Little stabs of jealousy struck Cody as he stood at the corner and watched Josh and Sam cycle their latest acquisition around the neighbourhood park with such glee,
He envied how they always got the latest and best toys and momentarily, he felt sad and angry that poverty kept his mama from buying any of such things for him. He was tired of their scrounging for food, for hand-me-downs and their broken television.
From past experience, he knew not to ask them if he could join them because they would only laugh and make fun of him. Last time when they were flying a kite and he came closer to watch, Sam made fun of his ill-fitting clothes and oversized trainers and he had walked away red in the face and ashamed.
He really wanted to fit in and he was tired of feeling out of place, but what could a ten-year old do? Maybe if his dad hadn’t died, they wouldn’t be so poor with his mother juggling several jobs. He hoped mama was right in saying that things would get better some day.
Cassie’s excitement grew as she boarded the flight. Her boss had grudgingly approved her time off after making her feel as if she was indispensable and her vacation was a time-wasting venture.
She knew Ian would be surprised and pleased to see her since he had given up on their having the vacation together due to her intense work that never seemed to abate.
Daydreaming as the plane made its way to Seychelles, she imagined all the exciting moments that they would have; surfing, kayaking, sleeping in a little longer, lounging in her bathing suit sipping some fruity cocktail, catching up on her reading and just enjoying being together. Who knows, maybe he would get round to proposing; a girl could always dream.
The holiday resort looked fabulous, but the concierge did his best to burst the bubble of her surprise by insisting on calling Ian before giving her a key.
A flustered, unexcited boyfriend joined her in the lobby. The mere look in Ian’s eye’s told her that something was wrong.
Cyril was disgusted at the oily surface of the water and the amount of trash he fished out of it.
The debris grew worse with each passing day, dead fishes turned up at an alarming rate, the waterway was drying up; the livelihood of the little town has been on the decline and asides for selfish gains, he just couldn’t understand why the Governor signed the controversial pipeline contract with the company responsible for dumping waste into the water and destroying the ecosystem.
The more he thought about that corrupt fellow, the more his anger festered and he wished he could grab the greedy bagger by the collar of his oversized, expensive jacket and dunk him in the foul mess.
She stared at the stairs and in her mind’s eye, she saw it as it was back then; hidden in the quiet corner of the park and surrounded by thick foliage. Leaning on her cane for support, in a slow, emotion-laden voice, Alice told her son a secret she had harboured for too long.
‘I’ve battled with myself whether to let you know or not, but with my diagnosis, I can’t put this off any longer.’
‘You’ve always wanted to know who your dad is and the truth is that I don’t know who he is.’
‘For many years, these stairs represented the stairs into a private hell.’
‘Thirty-two years ago, I was attacked here by two strangers and you were conceived that evening.’
‘Circumstances that led to your birth were difficult and changed my life, but once I held you in my arms, I couldn’t give you up for adoption.’
‘You’ve been such a blessing to me that a situation meant to destroy me was turned around.’
Thank you, J.S. for the photo prompt and PJ for hosting.
As an adrenaline junkie, Ash was always in search of the next rush. He lived for daring feats and had literally done all sorts of daring stuff to the constant chagrin of his mother.
Diving off building tops was tame considering other adventures he had embarked on, but today was different. In response to the challenge of his long-standing competition Todd Kemp, it was a record-setting moment for his fastest free fall so far.
With safety harness all set up and onlookers gathered to cheer, he was about to step off the ledge, when the flash of his mothers repeated pleas echoed in his head.
She had warned him over the past several days not to engage in any dangerous attempts based on a recurring nightmare that she had, but he waved it off as one of her usual entreaties.
Shaking off the fleeting cold feet from hearing his mother’s voice in his head, he stepped off and tumbled down into a blackout. The last thing Ash remembered was the cacophony of voices and an insistent voice urgently cajoling him not to let go.