I thought it would be a relief to escape, to finally be free; free from the accusing eyes, the whispered comments, the scornful stares. And for me, it was. It was glorious freedom. I relished the human interaction that was suddenly possible. I was free to be me without being accused of being a witch or a devil’s child. But for mother it seemed to be a punishment, to be void of punishment. This puzzled me; indeed I was hard to understand my mother’s plight, why she spurned the friendly people of Austria, always polite and a willing confidant, but never inviting friendship. After a while the reason became apparent; it was the embroidered patch on her dress that still set her apart, not because others spurned her, but because mother chose to keep that scarlet token as a wall between herself and the Old World.Continue reading “Pearl by Morgan Krueger”
Her husband wondered where she had gone. Bernadim could see his wife’s car clearly from the air. There didn’t appear to be anything wrong. He took a quick look as he passed over, spotting his wife’s Jag, a beautiful new sedan which she preferred to drive herself, often leaving her driver when she was certain to find parking. He hadn’t noticed before the beauty of the drive’s flowering canopy. Years ago, on a trip to Table Mountain and Cape Town, his grandfather had been inspired by the wide use of the jacaranda and, upon his return, had dozens of the flowering trees planted along the road leading to the family house. When in full bloom, which happened more or less all at once, the full-grown trees created what looked to be clouds of lavender and violet descended from the heavens, ready to carry away all those anxious to meet God.Continue reading “Baptism by Fire by David Lohrey”
The cobbled streets bloat, filled with petrol fumes, birds’ droppings, and old receipts discarded by office workers returning home. A clock chimes seven times.
When I was twelve years old my grade six class went on a camping trip to the Coromandel, a rugged peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island. Three teachers came to supervise the boys-only class. After a two-hour bus trip we pitched our tents at a campsite off a dirt road, thirty minutes from the small mining town of Thames. The site was surrounded by bush and mountain ranges, one mountain caught everyone’s eye, it had a long flat top, a teacher, Mr Larson, informed us it was aptly named Tabletop Mountain.