Tag Archives: tales

Cliffhanger

I could begin this with the rather cliché “standing on the edge.”

Truthfully that wasn’t how this began. This began as most wonderful adventures usually do… With the opening of one’s eyes to the glorious South African blue sky and picturesque sun-filled day. It took much convincing of one man to walk to his friend’s house and to ask his friend a rather large favor.

“take us to the sea,” he asked on behalf of the golden haired girl beside him. Many hours passed without food and stomachs grumbled. Many minutes passed as they gathered their things and arranged others to join them. Each second felt painfully heavy with politeness as she waited, patient but anxious with anticipation. The car ride seemed to stretch on, an ever growing straight road that only seemed to further tempt her with the promise of what lay at its end.

She bid her time as they indulged in baked goods and frozen lollipops. Breathed easily as the road turned from cement to gravel. A deeper shade of indigo beckoned her toward the horizon. It called to her.

Instinctively her feet gravitated toward the whispering water. It was not enough to simply feel its icy touch on her toes though…

She was here for much more. With heavy legs they walked toward the bulbous rocks which jutted half out of the sand and half into the sea. Their feet plunged deep into wetness and warmth. Along the way they found bits of shell and ancient sea creatures. There was no longer time to wait.

Her long legs bounded ahead, climbing up the oversized rock along a path she knew by heart. One year since she’d been here last.

Up and up she climbed only vaguely aware of the friends she left behind. Up and up she walked until she reached the spot she had been searching for.

Down below powerful waves smashed against the rocks and blew the salt sea spray against her face. She was filled with this sudden iron will. Backing away from the edge, she never for a moment felt fear.

Rather her body and mind became one. Trusted each other entirely. With one large and last leap she flung herself off the edge…

For a moment hovering midair above a deep, vast and endless blue.

Then she flew.

 

©   This work is subject to copyright (20.04.2019)

All rights are that arise from this work are reserved for, and are the property of the author JC Delport

The First Settlers

Our ancestors were great inventors.

Men of exquisite minds and women of great bravery who brought skill to each task which was presented before them. Problem-solvers and curious-thinkers they viewed the world as one large puzzle destined to be discovered. The knowledge that came from their time has been passed down to their progeny, their children to carry on the ways in which they would plant and cultivate the naturally growing food sources in that area. They had learnt how to test the ripest coconut by its hollow sound, to feel the temperature of the water and know which way the current was pulling. At night they shared great secrets with the moon as it whispered to them the times of the tide. The tide would bring fish and depending on the season they would know whether a catch could be bountiful or scarce, they could foresee the survival of their people by reading the land as one now reads books.

They built great rafts made of slender curved wood that was light upon the water and a dagger through the waves. As families grew they took off in search of more land, in search of the unknown and when the world was full of possibilities. Their canoes and boats were there greatest tool as they traveled large distances waiting to see land on the horizon where the ocean had promised there would be. Each new colony came with challenges as the climates changed so did the fauna, the flora, they had to find new food sources to ensure survival. Then there were the plagues which brought horrific death and the loss of those they loved, once here but no longer tangible or within reach. Pain can bring about belief. Belief in something inexplicable. The world now presented itself as unsolvable. Events took place that they could not explain and when explanation was presented, they could not accept. For where had their children gone? Had they turned to ash and dirt, been swept away by the winds and become fertilizer for the ground on which they walk. Death. The beginning of faith. Faith helped many keep their sanity, it allowed them to speak to their lost children, lost mothers and fathers, lost family all having wandered off into some great beyond. They asked for advice and they asked for strength. They ask for rain, sunlight and a change in the seasons though the time was not ready. The world provided, and they consumed it.

Looking to the sun they felt warmth on their faces and built as no other civilization had built before, great stone steps which could lead them toward the round glowing god who sat heavily in the sky. When men came with four legs who spoke like music and distorted sounds their ears were not accustomed to, they welcomed them and praised these strangers for their strangeness. The consumption continued, it ate, and it ate until nothing remained except rubble and memories of what once was. Many men have come and gone since the time of our ancestors, many wars have been fought and blood has been shed. Much has been lost and much has been gained. Feet have walked the earth which shall never walk again. Forests have crumbled, and water turned sour in the mouths of the young. Laughter has echoed through time as humans continued to grow, continued to flourish beneath the radiance of the sun and the dampness of the soil.

There are few now who know the truth of where I came from.

©   This work is subject to copyright (24.02.2019)

All rights are that arise from this work are reserved for, and are the property of the author JC Delport

Bonsai

 

Have you ever seen the sunlight filter through the leaves?

As a young boy his mother would tell him how the light which danced between the gaps were really fairies who had come to show off their dazzling beauty. He thought of those fairies often nowadays and Will knew it, she could sense that longing flow outward from her father. Perhaps it was pity or sympathy which had allowed for the idea to take root in her mind, the idea of such a trip which so few had the time or energy to make though everyone spoke about it. They spoke about the trees as though they were dinosaurs now. Spoke about oaks which had once stroked the sky with their green fingertips, oaks which had once been so large it would take over a dozen people holding hands to encircle it. Such trees had become part of myth and legend. Schoolchildren could be found at the museums gazing up at old fashioned photographs of their great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers standing beneath entire canopies of trees! Teachers would explain how the trees had once been the skyscrapers of the world, they had stood just as proudly with twisting arms and dark skin. Teachers would speak of the numerous species of trees, all of which were unique standing this way or that. They would speak of the proud pine and its sharp needles, how it represented a time of Christmas and how people would decorate the pine with tinsel and silver. They speak about the willow and its relaxed mood, swinging side to side in rhythm to the reggae beat that seemed to drift through the air whenever one was in the presence of the willow tree. The blue gum who would shed its skin and when damp appeared as though it were a Van Gogh painting with such a diversity of color.

The history lessons of fast growing populations and an unquenchable thirst for natural resources. Her father had told her most of those. He had told her how the world swallowed itself whole. The bonsai tree is often prayed to, preached to and its symbol restores faith throughout the world. Thousands of bonsai trees can be seen to line the windows of every building they pass by, each gnarled and stunted in height they standing slightly crouched over yet with an attention to detail that is captivating. Its petite leaves dangle from slender branches, moss keeps its feet warm in the winter and in spring miniature blossoms can be seen blooming. There are one hundred bonsai’s for each singular person. The bonsai’s are their breath, absorbing the smallest particles of carbon dioxide and releasing minute oxygen in return. Her father could often be found glaring or frowning at the bonsai’s, speaking of how they were poor imitations of the real thing. A child that never had the chance to grow up, he would mutter. Each person was taught from young how to curate and nurture the tiny trees, to ensure their survival was to ensure humanity’s survival. Will had loved her bonsai’s and to this day felt the thrill of watching one grow its first leaves, her favorite being the maple whose leaves portrayed spectacular flecks of gold in the autumn. Will feared this trip would change her view of the bonsai’s. 

The car smelled stale, litter could be found beside feet and under chairs. Cups and takeaway Styrofoam boxes with remnants of food probably three days old. What had possessed her to take such a drive? Will could no longer answer that question and the need for a bed had become unbearably loud. Her father slept in a fetal position in the passenger seat and his body was so frail at this point he could be mistaken for a child. At over a hundred years of age his childhood was long behind him and there was only one thing left in this world for him to do. Death was an old friend who visited in his dreams and made sweet promises. Before he accepted her hand, there was one last thing on this great earth he wanted to see. Will had lamented. As they drove the final distance a silhouette appeared on the horizon. At first she believed them to be buildings of a strange architecture. As the drive drew on, the last forest came into view. From a distance they looked like a line of bonsai’s growing somehow naturally but as the car drew nearer the trees grew larger. Their presence in the world spoke of times long forgotten and their leaves were maps of a world that once was. Charlie seemed to get out of the car before the wheels had stopped moving, he was six years old again playing with his brothers outside.The trees had been grand mansions once, entire worlds for them to climb. His legs did not ache as they moved toward the lush forest which seemed just out of reach. Stretching out his fingertips the distance between him and the trees finally closed. Charlie felt the gross beauty and imperfection of its rough bark. An energy ran through the tree making his fingertips hum with its vibration. 

“I am home.” 

By J.C. Delport 

©   This work is subject to copyright (14.02.2019)

All rights are that arise from this work are reserved for, and are the property of the author JC Delport

The Lunula Butterfly Fish

Paulo Coehlo said in his famous novel “The Alchemist” that “butterflies were a good omen.”

The Raccoon or ‘Lunula’ Butterfly fish streaks yellow and black through tropical waters. It darts between rocks, under coral and glimmers golden with an ethereal beauty. Over the years this simple creature has come to symbolize a world that is both real and magical as it coexists somewhere between the two.

The stories here hope to capture a similar nature…