Drop #110: Visions of the Legless

old south african flagPretoria, South Africa, 1976:

Gert Grobbelaar, a successful young accountant, was sitting in his living room on a Sunday afternoon. His servant brought him a cup of tea.

‘Thandiwe,’ he said to her, when she was leaving.

‘Yes, Baas.’

‘Did you polish the silverware?’

‘Yes, Baas.’

‘Did you do it thoroughly? The Dominee is coming tonight and I don’t want to make a bad impression.’

‘Yes, Baas.’

‘Cause last time, I found a fork with a nasty smudge on it.’

‘It is spick-and-span, Baas.’

‘Good. Good. Oh, and Thandiwe?’

‘Yes, Baas.’

‘The Missus told me your husband was here again yesterday night and he was drunk. If I catch him here one more time I will have him arrested and I will throw you out, do you understand.’

‘My son, he is sick, Baas.’

‘I don’t care about that, you hear? I want no more trouble from you.’

‘Yes, Baas.’

Gert drank his tea; then walked over to his study to read the paper. The blerrie blacks were revolting at the mines again and there was all this nonsense happening in Soweto. What crazy times, Gert thought. What the hell is next? Black teachers at white schools?

As Gert sat there, reading, a freak accident occurred. The heavy framed portrait of his grandmother, Wilhelmina Geldenhuys, dislodged from the wall, falling downwards and outwards, its edge catching Gert cleanly on the head. He fell to the ground, unconscious.

Thandiwe, having heard the crash while working in the kitchen, came running. Seeing the Baas on the ground she hurried to find the Missus, who rushed into Gert’s study with a head full of curlers.

‘Oh my Liefie!’ she said urgently, kneeling beside him. ‘What has happened to you?’

She lifted his head into her ample lap and gently patted his cheek till he awoke.

Jissus,’ he said, looking around, startled. ‘What the hell is happening here?’

‘You were passed out, my love. How are you feeling?’

‘I had the strangest dream just now,’ he answered. ‘The strangest vision, but clear as blerrie day.’

‘Of what, my skat?’

‘It was thirty or forty years from now,’ Gert said groggily, ‘and two black policemen.’

‘Black policemen?”

‘Yes, two black police officers, without any white supervisor, if I remember right, had arrested a young white man, an athlete with no legs–‘

‘An athlete with no legs?’

‘Yes, and a runner, nogal! He was accused of murdering his girlfriend, and they were leading him out of his house in handcuffs.’

Jissus, Gert, but you must have taken a nasty knock. That’s the most impossible thing I’ve ever heard!’

‘I know.’ Gert chuckled. ‘Isn’t it just blerrie ridiculous?’

Glossary: Baas: Master;  Dominee: Pastor;  Blerrie: Bloody;  Liefie: Love;  Jissus: Jesus;  Skat: Term of endearment, Dear or Treasure;  Nogal:  In this case, just a word added for emphasis – something like Too! or Can you believe it?

by E.M. Vireo


About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

6 Responses to Drop #110: Visions of the Legless

  1. Nice, though I couldn’t help thinking of Bruce when you used Grobbelaar

  2. laurabesley says:

    Really really enjoyed this one. I speak Dutch, so understood all the Afrikaans words, which maybe helped (despite the glossary). Thought you did a wonderful job of weaving the past and future together as well as dealing with a massive issue such as racism and on top of that you managed to get a current issue in there too. Thoroughly well done! 🙂

  3. pi says:

    Written BC*

    *Before changeover.

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