South Africa – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
This week’s prompt comes from Rudolph the Red-nosed Gayer, and takes me back half a century, to a different time and place. It is, appropriately, in black and white.
This piece is an abbreviated excerpt from Medville Matters, my book of Sound Bite Fiction.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on this picture, below.

© Russell Gayer

Click here to hear the author read his story:
South Africa, long ago

Although strictly forbidden, we head through waist-high grass to the servant’s quarters.
Empty, because the girls are cleaners, one per apartment.
Four doors in a grim, once-whitewashed block.
We creep to the first door and peer cautiously inside.
We see a tiny room, six feet by six feet, containing a single bed and a small table on which sits a candle and a Bible.
There is a pot under the bed.
I look at my brother.
He looks at me.
We are ashamed, of ourselves, of our parents, of everyone.
At seven years old I know apartheid is wrong.

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28 Responses to South Africa – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Beautiful story, it touched me.


  2. Thank goodness it’s in the past. Next should come the poverty. Good writing, C.E. —- Suzanne


  3. magarisa says:

    Such a powerful message.


  4. A wonderful story… perfect way to describe the wrongs without saying more than necessary.


  5. Wonderful story. It certainly makes the imagination go.


  6. Superb. Insightful and beautifully put.


  7. granonine says:

    So good. So true.


  8. At seven a child can see things as they are without their minds being led by outside influences. Excellent.


  9. Nan Falkner says:

    Very smart children! They haven’t been corrupted by mean-spirited people and are still innocent! Good story well written!


  10. Touching. On a daily basis, we discover so many wrongs that a group of humans have inflicted on other humans.


  11. Seven has much more wisdom than seventy these days.


  12. Indira says:

    Hi! Simply marvelous. How much you depicted in just 100 words. Touched.


  13. Such fine sublime writing to convey the horrors of apartheid even from a child’s POV. Brilliant, Ceayr.


  14. I had no idea where this was going, but you took me there step by lovely step.


  15. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    I loved that despite their upbringing they were very clear on apartheid being wrong. Very strong take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. pennygadd51 says:

    That’s a splendid tale. You paint the scenes very simply, and allow them to tell the story. That’s top quality writing. Kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mandie Hines says:

    I like how well this story from your book fits in with this prompt.Visually, a whole world came to life as I read along, and a powerful message in your last line.


  18. Lynn Love says:

    What a great story. That build where we#re not sure which way the story is going, and that killer last line. Wonderful C


  19. Sandra says:

    We lived in Johannesburg for several years. I wouldn’t keep a maid (which made me very unpopular with the neighbours), but still remember my dismay when I saw the quarters assigned to the previous tenant’s maid. Good one, CE.


  20. Very poignant and very well told!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


  21. rgayer55 says:

    Dear Elephant-Ears Ayr,

    I loved this one. (and no end died–at least in this abreviated version). I grew up around a lot of racial hatred and discrimination. Even a child can see it’s wrong. Well done.

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Gayer


  22. James says:

    As the saying goes, that escalated quickly.


  23. Moon says:

    Powerful message and great story telling .


  24. neilmacdon says:

    I love this. No more to be said


  25. Dear CE,

    This was one of my favorite piece in your book. Nicely edited here.




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