I. Gumboot °


The afternoon was a bright canopy of sunlight and the sun itself sat overhead in all it's white glory, undaunting in it's scorching heat. It brightly shone on the acqua-blue BMW as it pulled up to a stop at the guard booth at the beginning of the maximum security prison.

The prison loomed ahead, a monstrous building of concrete. Thick razorwire surrounded the grass ground shining in the bright sun. Guards in towers high up scanned the perimeter with their binoculars.

The smoked window at the driver's side rolled down and a black guy handed a uniformed guard his license and ID card.

He was dressed in a conspicuous bright red suit, his slicked back onyx black hair reflected the sun, his eyes were hidden behind large sunglasses.

The uniformed guard handed back the papers. 'Who are you here to see?'

'Dalikoven Meta.' His voice was soft but powerful and hinted that he may be dangerous if he liked.

'Okay,' the guard said after masking his shock with a clearing of his throat. He stepped into his booth and scanned a list.

He stepped back out from the booth and pointed to the front of the prison. 'Drive up there and someone will tell you where to park.'

The smoked glass went up and the car pulled through. Not less than twelve minutes later the car was seen coming out. The guard stopped him.

'What's the problem, sir?'

'I changed my mind.' The voice was ice cold steel.

'Oh,' the guard said and waved him ahead.

The sky was blue, the clouds drifted dreamily across it like weary lovers in a tango and the car was several kilometres ahead when two minutes later the monstrous fortress that was the prison exploded, shaking the whole ground. No survivor was found.


'. . . rescue mission is still ongoing at the site of incidence as survivors of the fatal explosion are being searched for. Mahita Triden, from Stakonn News, reporting.'

'Alright thank you, Mahita. Over to Lende from Hasta City, what do you say about the incidence at Eraray?'

'Thank you, Kilira. Well I think —'

Kanadaa pressed the power button and the TV went out with a fizz. She uncrossed her legs at the ankles and pushed up to a sitting position from the dirty white beanbag chair. A fucking explosion at a fucking maximum security prison in fucking Eraray was of no concern to her.

The rate at which accidents happened in Muleria nowadays, give or take three days to now the news would die down and the news channels would be casting another incident.

She stretched to remove a can of Budweiser from the six-pack then leaned back into the chair to pop it open. News was never and would never be her choice of entertainment — but no subscription plan meant she had to watching fucking free-to-air channels. And this said channels never had nothing to give, save news broadcast, ball matches and sometimes — if she was lucky — a film or two.

Throwing back her head she emptied the can with some trickling down her chin. She crushed the can in a fist and tossed it on the stool. It missed the edge by a few inches and went clattering down the tiled floor.

Fucking shit can, she thought and stood up, wiping the beer from her mouth with a sleeve of her dress shirt.

Suddenly the hammering noise and animal sounds aidible from the other side of the wall picked up again and she rolled her eyes. The girl called Muaire was at the horizontal mamba again with her new boyfriend of two days. It was fucking silly they never gave a fuck about who heard them — and it damn sure was the whole complex given the incredibly thin plywood walls.

She glanced at the watch on her wrist. Eleven eleven. When was Ruuga going to be back? He ought to be back now from his goddamn workplace she knew didn't exist.

She was going towards the kitchen to get more drinks when she heard a car horn outside. It sounded like Ruuga's, so she went to open the door almost stepping on something.

Blood was congealed in a small pool on the floor of her verandah. She frowned as another drop hit the pool making her look up. Her face went rigid with fear before she fell down and started to scream.

A black hand attached to the lower arm hung from a hook on the ceiling where her hanging plant used to be. The presence of the hand didn't scare her as much as the realization that she knew whom it used to belonged to. It was her brother's hand. The real-gold signet with the cursive R on it remained snug on his middle finger like it had always been. His one and half inch long thumbnail that he never cut for some reasons not known to her glinted with the colourless nail varnish he had applied to it.

Another drop trickled down and she screamed more and was now crying, shuffling back on her butt into the house.

She'd warned him many times to desist from his work, fearing for his life but Ruuga being Ruuga just smirked and tapped her forehead dubbing her The Paranoid Sister.

She had a hand clamped over her mouth as wracking sobs shook her. Ruuga! He was her only brother. What had he gotten himself into now? Where was his body? Who had him hostage?

All this questions fizzed through her troubled mind as she reached the red button Ruuga had installed in the living room and hit it.


She was now downstairs wrapped in a blanket and shivering in the hot sun as the police moved up and down in the process of collecting the evidence. Muaire, who had been her neighbour since she'd been living here but hardly talked to, was sat beside her, a hand on her shoulder which she kept shrugging away. She didn't want to even look at her again and see the numerous hickeys decorating her neck and chest.

She rocked again and stared into space. Her world was over without warning. Had anyond told her that twenty-six minutes ago, she'd have told them to go fuck their shit in hell. How could she keep on living when her only brother was dead? Fuck, he was just twenty-three the day before yesterday.

She remembered baking him a cake only for him to refuse with a flick of his hand claiming he was too young to die of food poisoning. That was her brother, he loved her immensely but always made sure to be an asshole to her all the time to seem tougher. If only he'd known that was his last birthday he would have run the risk of food poisoning from his sister's bad culinary skills.

No, she had no doubt he was dead, for how could someone survive after having the hand ripped away.


'Condolences, ma'am.'

She sniffed and looked up to see a police officer staring down at her.

'I'm Detective Kosha Fanxi, and I'd like to lay you some question, if you don't mind.'

As if she had a choice. The detective looked too young to be at his job. He looked to be Ruuga's age. That very thought brought fresh tears to her eyes. He was devilishly handsome and fresh and if they'd met under normal circumstances they could have dated.

'Very well,' she said in a sore voice.

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