Of Wandering Minds

#VSS very short story

Wednesdays are short story days. I’ll pick a tweet from  my twitter #VSS archive and expand on it…

The house was silent, in the way a vacant house was empty. My footsteps echoed long and loud as if someone else walked beside me in the empty corridors and I felt like a trespasser intruding on the silence. The movers had finished and all the furniture was on its way to my new home. I was simply doing a final check to see if anything had been left behind.

Looking at the floor you could tell where the furniture had been, spots that didn’t quite shine as the rest of the floor, pale spots where the floor polish never reached. Even on the walls, if you looked carefully, you could see where picture frames had hung and one was still there. Of course someone had forgot to take down the one in the living room.

beaton Family portrait

Our family portrait hung above the mantle. The five of us smiling, a Kodak moment frozen in time. Was that the last time we had all been together, maybe, maybe not but it was definitely the last we had all had posed for a family portrait. Too bad we had not done this more often.

Standing on the tips of my toes I could reach the portrait but could not quite get it to unhook from the wall, I wished I was a little bit taller. Looking around for something to give me a boost I found a broken stool with three legs instead of four, which was probably why it had been left behind too.

I balanced on it precariously, unbidden images flashed in my mind; me falling, breaking limbs, picture frame shattering, glass shards embedding deep and warm liquid pouring out and then, and then coldness; followed by unending darkness. I retrieved the picture with no mishaps except a slight shortness of breath and sweaty palms shakimg ever so little…….

Talk about an overactive imagination I thought to myself as I wiped beads of sweat from my brow. There was nowhere to sit so I rested on the wall and slid to the floor, knees tucked to my chest cradling the family portrait, I could see my faint reflection in it its glass. Earlier I had called for a taxi to pick me and I still had close to an hour to go; I had nothing but time on my hands. Time and a couple of sandwiches, crumbs fell to the floor as I unwrapped the foil, remembering I hadn’t had breakfast, moving is such a stressful business………

I felt movement along my leg and casually flicked away the annoying insect, then I felt another and another and another. That’s when I looked down and saw them. Looking at me with more than an insect awareness, ignoring the crumbs on the ground. Seemed as if they were gauging my weight, checking to see, if they could drag me underground, to their lair, as they would the discarded food crumbs. They were all around me, the ants, standing there, in a coordinated formation, almost military…….

troop of ants

The word troop came to mind.

 

#Flashfiction

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Of Thoughts On TV Land

The television is some sort of pseudo-religion and our living rooms are shrines where families congregate to lay on the TV’s alter their time; attention and sometimes even each……….

Family watching Tv

I don’t know about most of you, but from when I was little, the TV box has always had a prominent place in the family living room and a daily ritual involving “family time” where you are all in the same room (mostly not talking to each other except for a few questions about how your day has been) and watching TV. Its however losing its commanding relevance with smartphones and laptops vying for our attention. Now you find people still sitting in the same room with the TV on but no one really watching all lost in their private worlds on their devices. The old religion is dying and a new more obsessive one is on the rise.

quality time

Would you rather have an unlimited internet connection or premium pay TV bouquet?

Internet TV

I would rather have unlimited internet because it has infinite possibilities and most likely any programmes you want to watch on even the most exclusive TV Bouquet are available on the internet, if not  for free then a nominal subscription fee; and if you are of the less scrupulous persuasion you can watch pirated content (which is illegal)………..

The beauty is you get to watch, what you want, when you want, and not subjected to the whims of a broadcaster also your viewing experience will not be interrupted by commercial breaks it will be streamed in high definition……

What have you been watching?

my recent favourite TV series been:

  • Stranger Things
  • The Shannara Chronicles
  • American Gods
  • The 100
  • Game of Thrones
  • Prison Break Resurrection

Funny enough I don’t remember the last time I watched our own local terrestrial programming from ZBC. Wait I lie, I remember it was between 14 November and 21 November 2017 but mostly watched news bulletins and press conferences during our Private School Coup.

Mostly though the really isn’t much to watch on the local scene……

Conventional broadcasting is dying and a new digital age is rising….

If you want to watch something on TV and you cant find it maybe you should produce yourself……

I don’t know much know nothing about script writing but I do know the secret is having lovable characters and characters you love to hate, and some sort of a plot obviously; why else would you invite these  characters into your life and home every daily?

Confession I have never done this before, you might want to step back, don’t know how big its gonna get……..

**googles how to write a  script**

~B

How hard is it to write a script? If anyone here knows how its done hook us up with some pointers and character suggestions …….. I am letting the rain drops fall on my head I call that brain storming……

Of Birth Days

Birthdays are awesome things, they are the one day in the year people are extremely nice to you (not counting weddings) for simply breathing. People pop out from all over the woodwork to wish you happy birthday, for one day you feel like a celebrity people giving you gifts for literally just being ALIVE….

Heart ECG

Alive

Tell a random stranger its your birthday today and they will smile; tell you congratulations and wish you many more. You might even get personalized service or a complimentary on the house treat (dont get any ideas….) but I want to be rich and famous enough to never have to pay for anything.

Sometimes I wish we had birthdays every day or at least if people treated as on your birthday every day.
If anyone really deserves to get a gift on your birthday it would be our mothers, I mean they did all the hard labour…….. and you simply got your first birthday present, Your Name.

hello my name is........

My first birthday gift

I like to think of birthdays as nature’s way of telling you to eat more cake and apparently the more cake you eat, the longer you live, count the candles on your cake if you don’t believe……….

 

Happy Birthday

Let them eat cake

The world population is mind boggingly huge and everyday someone somewhere has a birthday. Everyday I check my email (I used to have over 1000 unread emails but I am pleased to now run a tight inbox)

The first email of the day is always invariably  a birthday notification from Facebook telling me someone I know has a birthday and I must let them know I am thinking about them…..

facebook birthday Email notifications
I love this Facebook feature because it helps me identify unnecessary individuals in my friends list who need removing…. (by the way does anyone else find it remotely disturbing that the address Facebook and Instagram is 1 Hacker Way)

and the kind I always promise “we should catch up”………..

We should catch up text

sometimes life happens:

So I always say I will deactivate my FB notifications but I never get round to it, they are quite helpful…….

Note well: If you write HBD on my Facebook wall for my birthday, I will block you.
~B

PS Today is my mother’s birthday, she turns something a year older than she was last year, a lady always maintains an element of mystery, correct?

to one who bears the sweetest names

To one who bears a Blessed name

Happy birthday to the woman whom if she never existed neither would we

Blessed Family

Blessed's Family

Blessed’s Family

cakes and laughter…….

cutting birthday cake

happy birthday Mum

cheers

Of Coffee grown from a teapot shaped country

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you tell you that, it feels like I spoke too soon when I announced Spring is here yesterday because today is a cold day like we rewound time to the middle of winter. But everything works out perfectly, we wont need an excuse to light a fire and drink a liquid hug in a mug…..

My friend Josh, left a comment on my last post that had me thinking, my country is teapot shaped and that is not a bad thing, it could be anything really; Oneta mentioned her state looks like a pan handle… what is your country or state shaped like?

A teapot shaped country south of africa

A teapot shaped country

Today is day 2 of my blog everyday challenge; and if you were having coffee with me I would tell you to allow me to pour you tales grown from my teapot shaped country.

I am the second born child in a family of five siblings (and now we are 4). I grew up in an extremely large family because my dad rest his soul had a heart of gold and if any relation needed a place to stay he would agree quickly without a second thought.

The family.jpg

We didn’t have rules any rules in the house; if we did they we less than ten and they weren’t really rules they were more like I would rather you didnts

If there was one rule we had, it was that the word cousin never be used, we had no cousins, we had brothers and sisters. In our culture my uncles (my father’s brothers) are my fathers and my aunts (my mum’s sisters) are my mothers and so their children are my siblings. It’s a great way to keep the family united and when my dad passed away although I missed him I never felt the void of missing a father figure.

Every school holiday we went visiting, either the paternal or the maternal grandparents alternating each time..

grandmaGranma

That one was not a rule that was a commandment. It helped to keep us grounded, we knew where we came from.

Grandfather and grandchild

My Grandad and I

All the stories told, suddenly years later I realise they are so much more than stories and this is why I too am a storyteller, keeping wisdom alive in the embers of a story.

If you were having coffee with me; I would tell you I was born to tell stories

Baby Beaton

 

I could speak before I could walk, and I walked before I could stand. I am told people found that highly disturbing I wouldn’t know I don’t remember…. What I do remember is that once upon a time my dad and I snuck out the house to go to a barbecue with the guys, I was made to swear not to reveal where we had gone, what we had done and whom we had done it with and was bribed with an insane amount of soft drinks, kebabs, ice creams and sweets. As soon as I got out home the first words out of my mouth to my mum were:

I am not telling you that I am not supposed to tell you that I was given sweets to not tell you that…..

I am sure my dad was not amused at all.

I am a fairly decent cook and I am super modest about it, you might even find my picture right under the definition of Modesty. Growing up my mum didn’t differentiate chores for the boys and girls she would just suggest, I would rather you didn’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, I would rather you all helped each other cook….

African parents are known for their heavy handed justice but I never got beat up, ,maybe we were model children and growing up without a father we were forced to be mature kids we never needed disciplining or rules…..

Family

already reading newspapers, helping “kids” with homework

My older brother was off at boarding school and so suddenly  I become “the responsible child”

Prefect

The Prefect

I was a prefect in primary school, a dorm prefect in junior high, a table leader at the the dining and a senior prefect in high school…. I never became a government minister though…..😂😂

what was your childhood like?

#MyAfricaMyWords

~B

 

PS a rare picture of my mum and dad way before The Kids

A rare photo.jpg

A rare picture of me being a baby

me .jpg

 

 

 

Of Coming Home

He sat at his executive desk with all the trimmings of success trying to think of a polite way of saying he would not be coming home for the holidays. He had promised to visit his father for Christmas but then something came up, something always did but the Easter break was rather long, he couldn’t possibly be evasive all five days of it…. Maybe if he said he was going away on a business trip____

A soft knock at the door broke him out of his reverie.
Yes?” he inquired.

The frosted glass door slid slightly, opening a fraction. He could make out the silhouette of his PA behind the door; they all knew to never just enter his office, and when he said yes, he meant state your business and then go away unless invited.

Sir, I was just about to leave, for the holiday, will there be anything?

Thank you that will be all” he dismissed her and then as an afterthought “What will you be doing this Easter?

Sir?” she responded, slightly puzzled, he was never one make personal conversation.

Family, Sir, will be with family… that’s all we ever truly have” she finished.

You, know what? You are so right. Alrighty then; get my father on the phone for me. Have a happy Easter.

Thank you Sir, see you on Wednesday.

The door slid shut silently followed by a faint click. He rubbed his temples as if that could ease the turmoil inside, if they could see him, the shark in a suit, ruthless in the boardroom dreading a conversation with his father. The telephone on his mahogany desk beeped once and then a light started flashing, indicating a call on hold. He took a deep breath, to steady himself and picked it up.

Hello baba, yes, I will be coming for Easter.”

Once he made the decision, everything else, was simply logistics; this is how he got to be where he was, single-minded objectivity. He phoned his sons, and informed them they would be going to the country, to their roots, he made it clear, he was not offering them a choice, it was an order.  That’s what his own father should have done, given him orders instead of giving him choices maybe things would have turned up differently.

A few short hours later they were on the winding road leading them back home. The ride was a bit bumpy, he had opted to use his old faithful pick-up truck and not any of his new sleek status symbols with low ground clearance and low tolerance for pothole ridden roads. The roads were terrible indeed potholes the sizes of small graves, you would think a massacre had been done on the tarmac, and then later the road would become a strip road and then finally a dirt track.

Road copy

It was a logical decision taking his trusty truck he told himself, but deep down he knew it was also superstition, he remembered stories of how people got bewitched or cursed by jealous folk for flaunting their wealth. He did not believe in witchcraft, but he certainly did not want to put it to the test.

They had been making good time being fortunate to not get stopped by any of the roadblocks that seemed to be around every bend but then luck ran out. After requesting to see driver’s licence the police officer went on to ask to for a whole lot of other things and finding fault with everything

One of his tyres had low pressure; he spare wheel was not the regulated size, the red warning triangle was not the standard issue one, the safety reflective vest was the wrong colour shade, the red reflectors at the back of the truck were not the new hologrammed ones, the fire extinguisher was an aerosol fire retardant and not a fire extinguisher, and what had finally set him off, that the car as dirty…

But officer I had the car taken to a car-wash before I left the city_” he tried to argue

There are dead bugs on your windscreen….Dirt” The officer pointed and while he was saying that a bird flying past decided then to drop its business on the truck’s bonnet.

X sitting in the back seat snickered “I bet that bird is his and he trained it do that”

Shut up son, I am handling this” he said as he lowered the volume on the stereo which up till now had been belting out beats, as his son called them, after all it was X’s phone connected to the auxiliary port.

Ah and I did not see a valid listener’s licence for your stereo” The police observed

There was no use arguing, he knew it, you had to pay the radio licence whether you listened to local radio or not, he even wanted to ask do you want to see the licence for my Phone has well it has a radio on it but instead said;

“Ok just write me up the ticket Officer”

“Well, you have multiple traffic offences, you see, and the law states that we impound your vehicle pending a court case and tomorrow being the start of a holiday… that will only be next week Wednesday__”

He started cursing and ranting.

“Calm down father__” but of course never in the history of calming down has anyone calm down by being told to calm down, you can imagine how everything escalated and father and sons ended up handcuffed to a tree restrained ‘for their own protection that is’ and the car was being hitched to an impound tow truck.

“Dad..” X whispered to his father “ this is not the time to be all self-righteous offer the guy a bribe, that’s what you should have done from the start, how did you become such a shrewd business man if you cant grease a few palms”

“but he is the police__”

“Exactly! They are the most corrupt of them all, let me handle this, dad give me your wallet.” X requested “Officer, please step into my office!” He yelled from beneath the tree they were handcuffed to.

Not long after that they were merrily on their way, plus an extra passenger, turns out the officer was just finishing his shift and was headed in the same direction, so he was now riding shotgun and they didn’t get troubled by any other roadblocks as their passenger with a quick wave gesture got them waved through.

They got to the country just before midnight, a bonfire lit one of the thatched gazebos where, his father waited, years had passed since he left for the city, never once had he returned but now, now he was back… He hugged his father, no other words, none were necessary. They sat in silence of the crackling fire, all the unsaid words between them reflected in the tears that sparkled red in the firelight. Wood smoke does sting the eyes does it not?

“Tomorrow my son, I will show you your goats, we can slaughter a couple and you can take some meat with you, and when the police stop you next time, just offer them some goat….”

They laughed, sometimes you need to take the winding road ever leading you back home, to see how you never really left….

The End

~B

BlogBattle Entry themed bribery… again the story continues you can catch up HERE

Of Thanksgiving

 

Today:

Gratitude Journal
I am counting my blessings
All the little things I take for granted
I am thankful for all my friends and family
Those who drive me crazy
Those who like me cause I am crazy
And those special ones who keep me sane
I am thankful for all those who love me
And I love them
I am thankful for the smiles and laughter, the dreams I am after
But most of all I am thankful,
That we do not have little tv screens on our heads that broadcast our thoughts for every one to see….

stick-figures-tv-head-301010

on the other hand its great being me

Our minds are strange strange places or at least mine is ….. no one needs to see what goes on in there ^_^
Happy Thanksgiving
~B
PS May your Turkey be Wild and your Cranberry be mixed with Grey Goose
Wild Turkey? I’m having flame grilled steak and washing it down with a chilled beverage of an intoxicating nature ^_^