A Collection of Creative Writing by Students of Ladysmith High School in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

Sunday, 7 January 2018

The Hustle And Bustle: Are You the Man for the Job? ~ Lulama Msomi

  “Beep! Beep! Move man move!” an annoyed taxi driver yells as the traffic lights change from red to green. It’s scorching hot and the sun’s heat punishes the city of the power hungry: Jozi. Women pulling their children furiously across the road respond to the taxi man with irritated smirks. The air is hot and moist. Everything here is bigger and moves as fast as quicksilver.
It’s been months since my mother died in our matchbox of a house and it feels as if it’s been centuries since I escaped the foster care system that used many of my siblings and I for grant money. The escape, however, was short lived as the crime and violence I’d tried to avoid in Thembisa was in abundance when I landed upon Jozi.
  The city is riddled with an immense number of thieves that vary such that some are quick and obvious in their daily grind whilst others are patient and disguise themselves in suits. The “quick” gain little for a short while, whilst the “suits” garner large amounts of money that is enough to last an eternity. They have one goal in common: survival, which begs the question “Are you the man for the job?”
  “Alright, alright Jabu I’m impressed with your recent piece of work you’ve done well, I think you are ready to work with big boys now,” my Pakistani employer, Mr Malik, applauds me. He is a “suit” and believes himself an honest man. He is in fact corrupt and ironically the same man I stole from in an attempt to save my dying mother. He nearly killed me for the parcels I stole from his pharmacy. The pharmacy itself is a façade for his gun and drug smuggling cartel. I never wanted this wanted this life but I had to be the “man for the job to survive.”
  Gunfire thundered through the stale air of an abandoned warehouse. “Where are the firearms boy!” the infuriated drug lord, from whom Mr Malik stole his merchandise, demanded. Hiding behind wooden boxes I fire back hesitantly since it was my first time firing a gun. I shoot blanks but it’s enough to scare off one of the shooters in balaclavas. I don’t know how I got myself into this situation. A situation that could reunite me, six feet under, with my brother and mother but, unfortunately, there was no turning back.
  Mr Malik constantly reminded me that working for him was payment of an infinite amount of debt. His version of sympathy was allowing me to live since I had lost my mother. I was entrapped with as many chances to escape as a man alone at sea on a lifeboat. I had survived many tempests prior to this but this one was sure to drown me…but I wanted to survive, so I must have been the man for the job.

©  Nolulama Msomi

Matriculant 2017

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Blackbird ~ Michaela Steele

Jessica Monroe ran for her life.

  Her legs felt as if every muscle was fighting against the instinctive urge to stop. Her lungs burned as if she had swallowed a lit match and the flames were slowly spreading through her airway.
  She would however not cease her mad dash through the woods as the shouts and footfalls seemed to send new circulation of energy through her veins and adrenaline to her muscles.
  'Come on Jess, you need to lose them. They can't get the Blackbird file.' With that fervent mantra repeating in her head she pushed forward and continued to run.
  Jessica stopped after three miles as she came to a rushing river. Not far from her she spotted the deadly rapids and razor sharp rocks. She had made up her mind even before the Russian agents came within one mile of her immediate area. Jessica Monroe would rather die than let the Russians gain access to her father's life work. Blackbird was the only thing she had now.
  The young brunette woman took a deep breath and made certain her necklace was secured and then plunged into the icy waters, she swam in earnest, knowing full well that the rushing waters were just as uncontrollable and dangerous as herself.
  She saw figures running with an effort across from her on the riverbank. They were clad in black and soon enough the barrage of bullets that hit the waters near her confirmed that the men were the Russian agents she was so desperately trying to escape from.
  With a grunt of determination, she dived underwater. The area she was hiding out by was close and she had to get the flash drive containing Blackbird if she wanted to find out exactly what her father had been hiding from her.
  Jessica finally made it out of the numbing waters. She was bruised all over her body and bleeding from her head because of being forcibly pushed by the rapids into numerous rocks.
  Her troubles were only beginning. the once FBI hacker, now a rogue agent and wanted by the agency she once served, she would have to make a daring trek through the woods to get to the cabin she was currently living in.
  The only question that continued running as the shivering twenty-five ear old hesitantly began her trek was what exactly had her father been investigating that would lead to his untimely and gruesome death?
The other question she tried to desperately to answer was whether she was ready to continue her father's mission. She had already lost her career and risked her life for the piece of metal currently hanging by her necklace that contained the 'Blackbird ' file.
  That was not where the danger. She now had Russians after her and they wanted to see her blood spilt.
Was she truly ready to face the enormous amount of danger coming her way, all for a file with information unknown to her?
  For the work of her father, the answer would always remain a solid an unwavering 'yes'.

© Michaela Steele

Grade 12

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Life and Times of my Intrapersonal Conflict ~ Nolulama Msomi

I couldn’t breathe. Every opportunity I took to inhale the rich gas that surrounded me in my moment of despair was stolen by the werewolf. I was being chased. He was chasing me. “I’ll find you,” he threatened, “I’ll hunt you down Blair” His threatening glare and smug façade taunted me. Salvator, Victor Salvator, the night mare of every full moon. The devastatingly gloomy ally  I fled into obscured my vision. I couldn’t see which direction I was heading in, I could not find refuge.
Like white on rice, Salvator was behind me. His teal veins were bulging outside his temples and then I knew then that he wanted my blood. He was thirsty for it.  In fact had it not been for the copious amount of fear instilled in me to save myself from his clutches he would have ripped my limbs apart and devoured them like the savage he was. At this very moment my heart was as heavy as that of cumulonimbus full of rain and my mind plagued by worry and uncertainty as though it were an African thunderstorm.

 I felt this way not because of the overwhelming ordeal I had placed myself in but the thought of the words my mentor, my modern day Mr Miyagi, had told me: “Blair, it always seems impossible until it’s done”. Both curious and confused at this unexpected gift of advise I asked “What is?” I focused my gaze on to a tiny ant crawling on the pebbled pathway that led to the York Canterbury Library. I felt ashamed of not being able to uncover yet another one his mysterious life lessons. “The work Blair, and the odyssey. Where there’s darkness there will be light.” A wise man Clark was, before old age turned him senile. Perhaps, he knew that I would sooner or later plunge into the pool of madness this mystical town had to offer.

The troubled Nancy Drew in me, however, could no longer dwell in the past as reality had settled in to be me of my memories in nirvana. I could feel my heart pounding again ready to jump ship off of this wreck I was in and the tempest moving at an unbelievable pace, the wolf was still behind me. It was unnerving really. However, in that moment I felt a sudden adrenalin rush, a rise in confidence, that flight or fight moment had overcome me and I chose to fight! I immediately halted and faced my worst night mare, my English essay marks, it proved to do harm to me and broke my spirits but surprisingly like the phoenix, I rose from my very own ashes and attempted to flourish yet again…

© Nolulama Msomi

Grade 12

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Hopelessly Candid ~ Ashleigh Skinner

She grappled with the thought of hurting her supposed friends. She knew what the consequence would be if they found out what she has been doing for the past month but she was also aware that it would ultimately be worth it.

She opened her laptop and began to type.

"According to my investigations Jenny has been cheating on Lucas for the last 2 weeks. He's going to find out soon, she's getting sloppy. Why shouldn't he find out? It's not like she doesn't deserve to be caught.

Elisabeth is still trying to hide her depression but honestly it's plain to see although the source of it remains unknown.
More attention will be put on her in the next week.

Brett thinks I love him. I hate lying to him. I know I never truly will because I know everything about him. I know how his mind works and he's not capable of love. Neither am I "

Phoebe closed her laptop and sighed. "I can't get an attack of the conscience now, not while I'm so close" she thought aloud.

This was her big break, the truth. She knew what people wanted to read. The ugly, dirty truth about what real people actually do to each other on a daily basis. People lie, cheat and hide away from who they truly are and -as sickening as it sounds- are entertained by everyone else's downfall.  So that's why began her project. She studied, befriended and faked her way to finding out everyone's dirty secrets and has been putting it into a file named " Hopelessly Candid" ever since.

It didn't feel as wrong after she started adding the truth about herself in too. Of course she'd change the names of her "friends" before the time came to publish but she knew the would be utterly heartbroken when they read her bestseller. Why should she care? All of them are cunning snakes, they don't deserve her empathy but then again she didn't deserve theirs either. Phoebe had been trying to justify it from the moment it began. She'd actually become quite convincing. Unfortunately she wasn't able to persuade the depth of her soul but that was something she was going to have to live with. She didn't want to be one of those washed up poets who only became famous when they died. She wanted the glory soon and whether that made her a pathetic thought of a person or not she was going to get it.

She knew the risks and was prepared to take them. She was only human after all. Greed was a part of human nature. Communism failed for reason. She had to remind herself of this constantly.

Her phone buzzed. It was a message from Jenny. It read: " Elizabeth committed suicide apparently she's been really sad. I had no idea."

Phoebe went ice cold. The warmth from her tears fell in contrast to the chill. Guilt rushed through her as she tried to push away the thought she couldn't escape from.

She knew.

© Ashleigh Skinner

Grade 11