Friday, 25 May 2012

Madonna At Stool

This is an excerpt from Kikaffir – A Black Comedy, the second novel in the Shockspeare series. Kikaffir is a post apocalyptic version of Macbeth set in South Africa.

“You’re looking very glamorous tonight, Madonna,” Dingaan said to her when she returned. “Very sexy.”
She fluttered her eyelashes at the compliment and smiled coyly. Mike noticed that she had done some touch-up work while away putting her husband to bed. More paint on the mouth and so much eye-shadow she reminded him of pictures of an iguana. She must have powdered her nose and cheeks too, because she looked unnaturally white, as if she had applied one of those face masks that Lady sometimes plastered on, making her look like a fucking ghost.
“Come and sit over here,” Dingaan said, patting the empty space beside him on the sofa. “Get you another drink? Hey, Malc, a whisky for Madonna. And one for me, too.”
“He thinks I’m a fucking waiter,” Malcolm said to Candy. “Do I look like a fucking waiter?” But he got to his feet and went over to the bar in the corner.
They had been watching a porn video on the big-screen TV – Dingaan’s choice: One Thousand and One Arabian Delights. He turned down the sound and the serial fornication continued in silence. Mike pretended to watch but he was actually keeping a close eye on the old man’s progress. He was already pretty pissed but it would take a couple more drinks before he was sufficiently far gone to be hauled off to bed. Wouldn’t it be great if he kept going all night? When dawn broke the opportunity to murder him would fade away like the night.
Dingaan was flirting with Madonna in an egregiously obvious way, talking all sorts of suggestive shit and putting his hand on her fat knee and laughing at his own jokes. What an old sack of manure! And this was their leader!
“You know, Madoofs is such a lucky devil,” he told her. “And he knows it. He’s told me so many times, so many little stories about how he loves you. Naughty stories, too – ha, ha, ha!”
“Oh?” Madonna looked a little apprehensive. Did she really want to listen to the torrent of smutty rubbish that was about to cascade from Dingaan’s slobbery lips?
Struggling and squirming and grunting, he worked his way forward until he was sitting upright on the edge of the sofa, his huge belly now acting as a counterweight to prevent him falling back. He turned sideways and leered at Madonna.
“You know what Doofs told me?” His voice was exaggeratedly conspiratorial. “He told me you love, you just love a foot massage. It makes you purr like a pussy.”
She looked at him aghast, her eyes wide with shock.
“He told you that?” she said, her voice trembling with hurt.
He put his empty glass on the coffee table – the big, glass-topped coffee table – and reached for her foot.
“No!” she yelped. “No, for God’s sake, Dingo! Please!” And she pulled away from him.
“No?” He looked at her blankly. His face was changing fast, going from lascivious buffoonery to querulous disbelief, and then to spiteful resentment.
“Malcolm!” he shouted at his son. “Can’t you see the glasses are empty? Get your finger out of that whore’s twat and pour some more whisky.”
“I’m not your fucking servant, Daddy,” Malcolm snarled. “Pour your own fucking drink. And she’s not a fucking whore!”
“You see that, Mike?” Dingaan’s voice was going all plaintive and injured. “You hear how he speaks to me? My only surviving child and the ungrateful little faggot treats me like dog shit! After all that I’ve done for him.” Now he was getting close to whining. “He knows how painful it is for me to walk, and yet he won’t even get up and pour me a drink. Little shit!” He raised his voice to a scream: “Fucking little shit!”
“Oh, go fuck yourself, Daddy,” Malcolm responded. “You’re just a disgusting, burnt-out wreck of a…”
“Shut up! Shut your fucking face!” Dingaan thundered. “You talk to me like that and I’ll throw you out. I’ll whip you and chase you away like a dog. You heartless monster, you’re just waiting for me to die so you can take over, aren’t you? If I die in the night you’ll rejoice in the morning, won’t you? You and that…”
Mike jumped to his feet. Time to intervene, before the family tiff turned nasty.
“Okay, okay, okay!” he said. “Cool it, both of you. I’ll pour the fucking drinks, and then we can all relax.”
He gathered the empty glasses from the coffee table and got busy at the bar. The others sat looking fixedly at the TV, where a swarthy man dressed in nothing but a turban was standing on an oil drum having sex with a camel.
Mike handed round the drinks and sat down. Madonna stared at her whisky, a funny look on her face, as if she was trying to make a choice, but there was only one glass. Then she picked it up and drank like it was water and she was thirsty.
“What else did Madufi tell you about us?” She gave Dingaan a contemptuous glance and looked away, waiting.
“What else?” Dingaan repeated. His eyes became crafty and vindictive, his mouth cruel. “All sorts of things,” he said. “Like…” He leaned towards her. “Like he loved to watch you… You know? He just loved to watch you…” He lowered his voice to a theatrical whisper. “Taking a crap!” He sat back, as smug as a horny old toad waiting to be kissed by the beautiful princess. “Old Doofs said it was very, very sexy. Very sexy.”
She had flinched when he came out with it, but now she seemed to shrug off the pain and she was matter-of-fact.
“I don’t care,” she said. “I should have known it would end like this. Maybe I did know.” She was talking to herself. “How stupid it was to imagine we could be happy right up to the very end. It doesn’t work like that. It never has.”
“You know,” said Dingaan, “I’ve always envied Doofs.” His voice was becoming seriously slurred. “We’ve been close, ever since our days at university, and we’ve shared the good times and the bad times. But he’s been luckier than me.” He shook his head sadly and sipped his Scotch.
Mike and Malcolm both rolled their eyes heavenward. They could see it coming – the old bugger was about to get maudlin.
“I’ve never known such intimacy,” Dingaan went on. “Not the way you two are intimate; the way you trust each other. No. His mother,” and he gave Malcolm an accusing look, “she never really trusted me. There was always that distance, that gulf, between us. All my life, Madonna, I’ve yearned to be close to a woman the way you and Doofs are.” He put down his glass and sat with his hands covering his face. “And now it’s too late. Oh my God!”
His body was racked by a sob.
“You know how terrible it is, Donna?” He was actually crying now. “I’m going to die, we’re all going to die, and I’ve never seen – not even once – have I ever watched a woman defecating. Can you believe it? I’ve never even watched a woman doing a wee! And now it’s too late.”
Madonna stood up and steadied herself. Determination was written all over her face. She kicked off her shoes, bent forward and lifted the hem of her floral silk dress, which draped her body like a tent. She felt about for the waistband of her panties, found it, and pulled them down and stepped out of them.
Panties? Well, more like bloomers. A very large item of underwear, voluminous enough to contain such prodigious hips, belly and buttocks.
A piece of lint had fallen to the floor. It was a home-made incontinence pad, designed to absorb any involuntary spillage. Bearing in mind she had given birth to three children, all of them vaginally, and the plumbing wasn’t what it used to be. Also, her obesity and the approach of menopause didn’t improve matters either. Not that it would have been a big deal if there were health care facilities available like in the old days. Any gynie with a little surgical know-how could have sorted her out with one hand tied behind his back. Some basic pelvic floor repairs and a few stitches to the neck of the bladder – that’s all she needed. A piece of piss. But these weren’t the old days.
At first Dingaan was flabbergasted, but he soon recovered and began to babble excitedly.
“Jesus, Donna! Jesus, this is incredible. This is just such an incredibly fucking generous gift. I can’t believe you’re prepared to… Oh my God, now I’ll be able to die a happy man! Just give me a chance to get ready.”
With considerable huffing and puffing and grunting he got down on all fours and then rolled onto his back and began propelling himself under the coffee table, the way a mechanic eases himself under a car he’s working on.
“Hey, Malc,” he called when he was in position. “Get Sandy to suck me off while I watch Madonna, won’t you?”
Candy recoiled in horror.
“In your dreams, Daddy,” said Malcolm in a voice that was totally uncompromising. “Do your own dirty work.” Then, in a more conciliatory tone, he said, “Use your pump. Where’s your penis pump?”
“In my bedroom,” said Dingaan, as he fumbled with his trousers.
“Well, fuck that then,” said Malcolm. “What about your Fleshlight? Where’s your fucking Fleshlight, Daddy?”
He knew his father liked to wank while watching porn.
“There it is,” said Mike, pointing. “Next to the DVD.”
Malcolm went over and picked it up.
“And the KY?” he said, rummaging about. “Where’ve you put the fucking lubricant, Daddy? Or doesn’t that calloused old prick of yours need lubricant?”
“Of course I need lubricant. Do you think I want to rub myself raw? Look in the logical place, Domkop. Look in that drawer.”
It was time for Madonna to mount the stage. Mike eyed the coffee table with trepidation. Alright, it had a sturdy wooden frame and the glass was close to an inch thick, but Madonna was a real hippo. Wouldn’t it be fucking hilarious if Dingaan met his end like this? Cause of death: brain haemorrhage resulting from blow to the head when struck by bare-butt Madonna, the falling fat lady.
She had delicate, soft hands, so white and translucent they looked like porcelain, and her finger nails were painted the same crimson as her mouth. Malcolm and Mike each took one of these hands as well as the dewlap of fat above her elbow, and assisted her onto the table. Her flesh felt cool and a little clammy.
The table didn’t even groan. No hairline cracks in the glass, either. Solid as an emperor’s throne, so the voyeur was safe.
Madonna took up the stance of one about to squat, hoisted her dress and gathered it about her middle so that it was well out of the way and wouldn’t get soiled, and went down in a surprisingly fluid manoeuvre.
Dingaan had been battling to get himself into the Fleshlight.
“Oh my sweet Jesus fucking Christ!” he said, as he saw her descending. His brain fired a fusillade of signals in the general direction of his member and it responded with eager virility, and thrust itself deep into the Fleshlight, as if it had a will of its own.
“Oh my God, my God, my God! Oh my God, this is just too beautiful!” As he watched in rapture his right hand worked the sleeve slowly up and down, and the lubricant made a squelching and sucking sound.
The soles of Madonna’s feet formed part of the picture but the main view was of her bearded vulva, perineum, anus and surrounding expanse of fleshy buttock. Dingaan had only a few moments to gaze upon the spectacle before the action commenced. Her anus gave a vibrating flutter and he heard the high-pitched whine of a preliminary fart. And that? What was that? A haemorrhoid was peeping out shyly. It blushed red and a tiny bubble of blood exploded on the glass. Then the membrane around the anus began to swell angrily, and there was an ominous bulging as she strained.
Suddenly, at just the right moment before constipation could claim another victory, her sphincter relented, the anus dilated, and the main body of fecal matter came swarming down Madonna’s rectal passage.
At the precise moment that the brown horde burst into the open, Dingaan let out a cry of joy and ejaculated into his toy.
It – Madonna’s dung and not Dingaan’s discharge – came out in the shape of a long, well formed sausage. It smacked head-on into the glass, began to go all blunt and spread-out, and then fell flat. Hard on its heels came the next one, crashing into the first and falling the other way. Then a third and a fourth in what was proving to be a multiple pile-up.
Dingaan had to move his head to one side in order to see past the spreading heap and find out what was going on. A straggler had emerged from Madonna’s anus and halted. Was it afraid of heights, or something? She strained again and there was a noisy detonation that scattered brown bomblets far and wide.
That was it. He could smell the rich warm odour of her excrement. There was nothing foul or rancid about it, but there was no mistaking the stench of fresh human shit. Hey, hold it, here comes some more!
This was the last of a movement that was proving to be astonishingly copious and eventful. It came out much softer than the turds that had preceded it and, being unable to hold its shape, spread out and tried to make its way to the lowest point. This was the icing on top and surely the end of the show?
No, there was one last surprise in store. To his amazement, a little straw-coloured fountain gushed, oh so briefly, from Madonna’s flabby pudenda before she was able to cut the flow. What an incredible bonus! And so what if he could feel the hot liquid dripping off the edge of the coffee table onto his belly? Now he had seen it all!
The American girl had her face pressed into a cushion and was sobbing. Mike and Malcolm helped Madonna to stand up and then step down. They tried to avert their eyes from her face, and not see the wobbling fat on her bare white haunches.
She picked up the incontinence pad, mopped the drips and then clenched the pad between her cheeks before letting the folds of her dress fall and finally cover her nakedness. Without uttering a word she dried her feet on the rug, stepped into her shoes, and turned to go.
As she left the room the tears began to stream down Madonna’s face, but she walked erect and her head was up. Yes, she had crapped in public. But she had also crapped on this despicable pig still lying on the floor. And she had crapped on that treacherous weakling, her husband. She had crapped on herself. She had crapped on every aspect of this lousy existence.

To read the full story, get a copy of Kikaffir here.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Jacob's Genitals

Jacob’s sexual apparatus is never far from my thoughts. It’s been like this for several years now. It started with his rape trial back in 2006, when I sat listening to the radio transmission of the judge’s summing up of evidence before delivering his verdict. I was amazed at how graphic the details were, from his arousal technique with the baby oil, to the way in which he parted his accuser’s labia with his fingers to facilitate entry. My heart was pounding, the way it does when I watch pornography. And I could see him standing there in the shower afterwards, giving his dick a thorough soaping, head to toe.

I happen to be straight (just haven’t met Mr Right, my faggot friends tell me), but from then on I’ve been fantasizing about Jacob’s organ obsessively. My initial problem was whether to visualize it as a Roundhead or a Cavalier. I knew that circumcision was not as widespread amongst Zulu men as with their Xhosa counterparts, so it was quite possible he hadn’t had his cock docked. I decided to toss a coin, and it came down heads. Roundheads. A big baldy without a collar.

The next time I saw him on TV my eyes went straight to his crotch, the way bored female shop assistants appraise male customers as they walk through the door. Could I detect a bulge, an extravagant padding beneath the expensive cloth? Was that woman one of his wives? Jesus, I thought, imagine having three or four wives. How do you decide on who to fuck, and when? And where? Do you go to them in their separate rooms, or do you summon them to the master bedroom? Or set them up in separate establishments, as if they were mistresses? Wow! You’d need a lot of kickbacks to finance that lot.

Then, when I heard he had been at another one of his friend’s daughters, and got her  up the spout, and laughed it off with some kind of admission of guilt fine, I was seriously impressed. He was in his late sixties and still going at it like a three year-old stud bull. What was his secret? Big balls pumping out industrial quantities of testosterone? I had already given him a nine-inch whopper; now I endowed him with two tennis balls in a leather moon bag. Jacob was the best-hung hero in Mzansi.

So when  Brett Murray came on the scene with his feeble version of South Africa’s crown jewels, I was appalled. Pathetic, man, pathetic! I can see why Jacob feels insulted.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Dr Godknows Tshabalala: the best sangoma 

in Cape Town

This is an excerpt from Pop-splat, the first in the Shockspeare series. The novel is an unapologetic rip-off of Hamlet , and is set in South Africa in 2008. 

"Sangoma?” Matt looked startled. “You mean a traditional healer? What the racist pigs used to call a witch doctor?”
Yah man,” said Horry. “But this dude’s a 21st century sangoma. This is a healer of mind and body, a man of cultural depth, wide learning, global savvy, and uncanny insight.”
Well, shit man, I don’t know.” Matt was sceptical. “If you think he might be able to help me… Maybe he can interpret my dream. I mean, does he throw bones; and would I have to drink lion piss and eat the gall bladder of a baboon that was mated with a hyena? That kind of thing?”
Oh for Christ’s sake!” Horry was scandalised. “Don’t be an idiot. This is a sophisticated sangoma, a modern man of the world.”
What did you say his name was?”
Godknows Tshabalala,” said Horry. “His rooms are out at Crossroads. He actually works from home.”
Oh.” Mat looked and sounded unimpressed; far from convinced. “How did you get to hear about him?”
His younger brother is my Political Science lecturer. Fucksakes introduced me to him about six months ago.”
Who?” Matt couldn’t believe his ears.
Yah, I know.” Horry laughed. “Cool, hey? Godknows and Fucksakes Tshabalala. Now these are real names. The darkies have got imagination and humour. Not like us. David!” He said it with disdain. “They went and named me David. Every second Jew boy on the planet’s called David. And you: Matthew. How many million Matthews, Marks, Lukes and Johns are there in Christendom? But we’re getting sidetracked. Dr Godknows Tshabalala offers conventional Western psychology, or traditional African methods of divination and appeasement of the ancestors. Or a blend of the two. It’s up to you to choose how you want your psychosomatic disorder treated. He’ll only throw the bones if that’s what you think is necessary.”

Matt was nervous about driving into Crossroads. Horry had drawn him a map and given very precise directions, and assured him it was perfectly safe in the hours of daylight. Nevertheless, he had taken a fully loaded firearm with him, just in case. He didn’t want to end up like his father.
It wasn’t far from the highway, but it felt like the hinterland of darkest Africa. The potholed track led into a jungle of shacks and took a turn. He was immediately engulfed by walls of wood, iron, cardboard and plastic. Most of the hovels were closed up, the residents away at work or school, or off foraging for firewood, or scavenging for bits of rubbish that might be of some use, or out and about breaking into houses and stealing washing from clotheslines, or off to town to do a little shoplifting and begging. He saw a woman, some small children in rags, an old man. A skinny dog barked a warning: if he stopped it would piss on at least one of his wheels. Some chickens; a goat. Everywhere the smell of human excrement.
Up ahead was a palatial shack, or collection of shacks, painted bright turquoise. He stopped behind what he took to be a client’s vehicle: a brand new R700,000 Touareg. Pigmobile. Two little boys were having fun slowly approaching the vehicle until, when about a metre or so away, it began to emit clicking noises and a metallic voice said “Back off! Back off!” They would shriek with glee and scamper away, only to repeat the game yet again.
Dr Tshabalala met him at the front door. He was a slim, bespectacled man in his forties. He wore neatly pressed trousers and a Madiba shirt. His shoes shone and around his left wrist was an expensive-looking watch. They exchanged greetings and shook hands and Matt was led into the doctor’s office.
It was a surprisingly spacious room panelled with tongue and groove planking painted the softest of pinks. The plasterboard ceiling was a little low but what could you expect in a shack? Doctor Tshabalala sat in his executive chair behind the desk and the patient seated himself in a comfortable wingback armchair.
For a few minutes they chatted about the weather and formed an initial impression of one another.
There was a filing cabinet and a large bookcase. Framed certificates on the wall; even some artwork. In the far corner was another door. Matt became aware of a woman’s voice, monotonous and saying something repetitious.
I understand,” Dr Tshabalala said, “from what you told me on the phone, you’re being treated for bipolar disorder. Your medication has allowed you to function normally for the last two years, but now you are suffering from insomnia.”
Yes doctor,” said Matt. “For a few weeks now I’ve been having this dream. It’s always the same.”
And he gave a detailed description of the mortuary scene. The 21st century sangoma listened attentively and made some notes in a case file.
I’m worried about my condition,” said Matt. “My state of mind isn’t good. What do you think is the significance of this nightmare of mine?”
He immediately realised that he had overstepped the mark. This was a serious breach of protocol: you never, never, never ask a psychiatrist or psychologist a direct question. Even general practitioners resent being put on the spot. But to his surprise Dr T didn’t seem offended at all.
It’s quite clear,” he said, in his pleasantly polite fashion, “that there’s a conflict that needs to be resolved. There is something that you do not wish to acknowledge, but you know you must. The dream serves as a subconscious manifestation of what it is you must confront. You see, your father is trying to tell you something that you already suspect but do not have the courage to bring to the surface and examine in the full light of day.”
Oh?” said Matt. “And what could it be that he wants to tell me?”
Just then there was a knocking at the door in the corner.
Enter!” called Tshabalala.
The door opened and a frightening apparition stood there. It was a black savage scantily clad in the regalia of a witch doctor. He wore a skirt made of grass, tails of monkeys and strips of animal hide. At one hip were some inflated pig bladders. Anklets, bracelets and a necklace of assorted teeth. His face and torso were daubed with ochre and white clay. As a headdress he sported the skin and tail of a juvenile baboon, the skull perched atop like a crown. Oh yes, and even a bone through the cannibal’s big Negroid nose, for Christ’s sake!
The barbarous creature uttered words in the English language.
What now, doctor?”
Please excuse me, Matt,” said Tshabalala, getting to his feet. “I must just give my intern some instructions and ensure that the ritual cleansing is being performed in accordance with standard operating procedure.”
Matt was left on his own. The door was ajar and he could hear the woman’s voice more clearly now. What was she saying? It sounded like ‘No more shoes’. No more shoes? Unable to contain his curiosity he jumped up and tiptoed across the room. Peeping through the two-inch gap he was rewarded with an outlandish spectacle.
The room was in semidarkness, lit by candles and a paraffin lamp. It was the interior of a shack: the walls and ceiling were lined with flattened-out cardboard boxes. On rough shelving and scattered about the room was a clutter of African bric-a-brac: earthen pots, wooden carvings, spears and a shield, big glass jars with the internal organs of animals, even humans, a calabash or two, all sorts of bones, a big pestle and mortar, a panga and a chopping block, carved drum and drumsticks, several knobkieries, animal hides – that kind of thing. And dangling from the ceiling were bunches of dried herbs, strangely shaped bulbs and roots, several skulls of monkeys and baboons and a buck. Also the skull of a cow complete with horns.
In the middle of the room were two 20L plastic drums set about a foot apart. Standing in these drums was the patient, a white woman in her forties. She was stark naked except for a blindfold. In each hand she held what looked like a large wooden phallus. They must’ve been hollow with beads inside, for each time she shook them they rattled.
She was slowly trudging, bent forward, legs apart, shaking the wooden phalluses, repeating as she went, over and over, “No more shoes, no more shoes, no more shoes.” Each time she lifted one foot it made a sucking, sloshing sound, while the other foot descended with a splash and a squelch. The buckets must have been full of some thick, sticky substance; something vile like goat’s blood mixed with pig shit – a nauseating stench reached his nostrils.
He nipped back to his chair, just in time. The doctor stood in the doorway talking to his apprentice.
She is now in a trance-like state, without a doubt,” he said with confidence. “Another five minutes and then please be so kind as to insert the pessary.”
The door was closed and Godknows Tshabalala returned to his chair on the other side of the desk.
Sorry about the interruption, Matt,” he said in a relaxed, conversational way. “Mrs B has an obsessive-compulsive neurosis which my white colleagues have been unable to treat. She has a phobia for old shoes, fearing that any hint of shabbiness in her footwear would be socially devastating. She feels compelled to wear only brand new, out-of-the-box shoes. Even though she knows her behaviour is irrational she has been unable to help herself. It has brought her husband close to financial embarrassment.”
Gee, it sounds bad,” said Matt. “So that’s why she keeps saying ‘no more shoes’, and has to stand in a bucket of pigshit?”
Exactly,” replied the sangoma. “In cognitive psychology we describe the treatment as “flooding”. But there is also an underlying sexual element in this kind of neurosis and it too must be addressed. But this is a digression. Let’s return to your dream: do you read the newspapers regularly?”
Well… er… yes.” Matt was taken aback by the abruptness and apparent irrelevance of the question. “I try to follow what’s in the news. I didn’t used to, but in the last six months or so I’ve been trying to follow what’s going on in the world. Current affairs and…”
From next door there came a moaning scream, stretched out long and low as if it possessed a visible shape.
Must be inserting the pessary, he thought. What the hell’s a pessary? He mustn’t forget to ask Horry – he was bound to know.
In that case,” said Tshabalala, ignoring the background noise, “you must have followed the media coverage of your father’s death and the subsequent analysis of other information that came to light.”
Well, yes,” said Matt. “But not in any great detail. I’m afraid I’m not all that interested in what goes on in the business world.”
I see.” Tshabalala raised his eyebrows as if he found this lack of interest somewhat remiss. “If you had followed the investigative journalism carried in the Financial Mail, Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian, Business Day and Noseweek you’d probably have a shrewd idea what it is your dead father wants to tell you.”
Matt felt confused and embarrassed. There was a suggestion of disapproval in the doctor’s voice.
I know that my father was involved in all sorts of shit,” he admitted. “But isn’t that what it’s all about? My whole life I’ve been hearing about some sort of intrigue going on in the background. There was always a devious scheme being hatched; threatening phone calls, secret appointments. It was going on at home and all around me: wheeling and dealing of every kind. How many times have I seen bundles of cash, cardboard boxes of it, changing hands at a pool party, a braai, even in the car park at school? Laughing about the stupid ANC and affirmative appointments and BEE deals, and backhanders and board memberships. And tax! Jesus, I’ve heard so much about tax: amnesty, grey areas, offshore assets, undeclared income, fraudulent claims. It’s all they ever talked about: money, money, money. Money and cheating, and what money can buy. Fuck, I hated it. What do I want to read about it for?”
The psychologist looked at his client for a few moments and then leaned forward.
Matt,” he said, “you can choose to bury your head in the sand if you wish. But then you mustn’t try to make sense of the world or ask why you are troubled by strange dreams. On the other hand, if you want to understand what goes on, you must read the papers and engage with society. If I didn’t do this myself I would be of no use to my patients.” He sat back and rested his elbows on the padded arms of his chair.
Because I have followed your father’s story in the press,” he continued, “I have been able to form an opinion, only an opinion, of what might really have happened. And of course it is just speculation.”
You mean…” Matt was having difficulty grappling with what Tshabalala was trying to tell him. “You mean he might not have been killed by hijackers? Then…”
Tshabalala held up a hand, interrupting him.
Look,” he said, “you came to me with a psychological problem. I’m not a business consultant or a private investigator or a lawyer. You want me to treat the underlying cause of your insomnia. Well, I can offer you a choice of two types of therapy: Western, or traditional African. Because you are of a generation without cultural depth, because your psyche is stunted and your imagination malnourished, you are probably incapable of terror. Therefore I would not recommend the sangoma treatment. The ritual and mystery would be wasted on you, for you would see it merely as special effects. You’d compare it to some game on your PlayStation.”
Involuntarily Matt glanced over his shoulder to the door behind which lay the silent aftermath of orgasmic catharsis.
No,” said the doctor. “Instead I shall deal with you bluntly and without subtlety. Matt, I want you to go away and read the reports about your father’s death and what has happened to his business empire. Then you are to ask yourself this question: who has benefited most from Bruce Dreyer’s death?”
Matt sat staring at the therapist, his mouth open in astonishment. The scales were already falling from his irritatingly obtuse eyeballs. And not a single bone had been thrown.

To read the full story, order a copy of Pop-splat here. It'll set you back R150, postage included.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

He Makes His Entry

Bang in the middle of the century, on the stroke of midnight, as the moon rose above the African bush, Mrs O'Riley shrieked in agonized panic, raised her knees and parted her thighs, and began to expel Henry from her womb. He had been perfectly content where he was and would have preferred to remain there. But the rules and regulations governing obstetric procedure decreed otherwise. On entering the world he opened his eyes and gasped in horror. For a brief instant his life lay before him, all sixty-five years of it, and in that instant he understood the impossibility of ever going back. He let out an anguished bellow of rage. And just to confirm that the clock was already ticking, Mrs Hildagonda De Groot, housekeeper cum midwife, slapped his face, held him up by his ankles, shook him, and then hacked through his umbilical cord with a meat cleaver.
Exhausted, Mrs O'Riley lay back on the pillows and began to sing in a serenely dreamy murmur.
"Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny,
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny …"
Mr O'Riley, Henry's father, was not present at the birth because he was feeding the little fishes at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean halfway between Cape Town and Southampton. The exact circumstances of his disappearance at sea were never established: was it suicide, or was it misadventure under the influence? All that was known with certainty was that, on the night in question, he had been maudlin-drunk. And with good cause. Regret, guilt and remorse had blended into one powerful emotion. Anger and paranoia had combined to create another. No wonder he was exceeding distraught!