09H41 TUESDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2014


Chapter 1

Scars. They never lie.

The entire time, Voel looked as if in trance. Ubu was not expecting her to speak. Voel didn’t speak, she couldn’t, she was…mute. Physically, Voel was a daunting presence. Quite tall for a woman, she had a large, muscular frame, a rather manly physique. Her thighs bulged out of her torn denim shorts. Mahogany, dry skin that told a thousand stories. Her hands were hard from fighting life itself with teeth-bitten nails ingrained with terrifying moments. A hairstyle that resembled what used to be dreadlocks but now looked undecided and defeated by the hazards of forgetting that one does indeed have hair on their head. Yet the most striking feature Voel had was her lips. Large, cracked, bulbous structures with a flash of pink breaking from inside the mouth. A rough scar was written on the left side of her temple, disappearing into the hair just above the ear. It told a story as twisted as the mark it left. The scar was like a birthmark to symbolize the day a little girl died and a woman was untimely ripped from the womb of her youth. That night, long, long ago, little Vallery September died and the tale of “Voel” was born.

Voel was the name her mother had called her ever since she was small. It originated from “groot Voel”, meaning big bird in Afrikaans; this was due to her tall height and chubby features. Her mother was a Xhosa woman from the Eastern Cape but became accustomed to Afrikaans after she came to Cape Town at a very young age and her family settled in the coloured community of Delft, more on the outskirts in the shantytown. As the tired story goes Vallery’s mother got herself de-flowered at an age tender enough to warrant her parents dissownership of her and her bastard child. From then she bounced around from back room to back room as girlfriend, mistress, side chick and extended booty call. She finally settled in with one who could inflict the least amount of physiological damage. The boyfriend's ritualistic woman bashing was performed at regular intervals that allowed old wounds to decently heal before a fresh batch was dished out. Our survivalist state of being human grants us an uncanny ability to adapt to the most adverse of circumstances, even to our own detriment. Voel's mother and her boyfriend lasted for years as a couple, better the devil you know, as it were.

It was on a Saturday morning while she was coming back from the shop, taking too long, again, to go buy the bread that her mother sent her to go buy. It was on a Saturday morning that… life changed. Walking into her shack home, she was met by the blood shot eyes of her mother’s boyfriend. Intoxicated out of the little mind left after years of drinking spirits concocted from battery acid. He was half sitting, half falling on a chair next to the cupboard in the “kitchen” after having been missing in action for a nearly a month. Their shack was essentially one medium sized room and the bedroom was a space obtained by dividing the room with a curtain. With no direct sunlight, the bedroom was dingy by day and gloomy by night. You had to peel away the curtain to access the bedroom. From the door she could see the puddle of blood coming from under the curtain, although she could not see inside the bedroom. The size of the puddle spoke of a gaping wound, somewhere. The blood had already begun to clot thus meaning whatever happened, happened a while ago. He kept mumbling something, speaking to the silence that seemed to endorse his justification. The bread knife in the bowl-come-sink said it all, in red. Vallery stared at the puddle…frozen at the door…numbed by the convoluted thoughts that were muffling the voice that wanted to declare the obvious. Her little mind fought desperately against logic for what seemed like an eternity. The moment was shattered by the empty bottle of Black Label that broke onto the left side of her head, she flinched, but she didn’t move.

“No one cheats on me!” he slurred. “I kill her…kill her… You, just like her haah! HAAH? Little piece of rubbish!”

He stumbled to his feet, which took a lot of concentration on his part, and managed to take one step towards Vallery. Vallery launched herself with such force that she landed with her knees on his chest and he fell back and knocked over the cupboard that fell into the bedroom landing on the bed bringing plates and cups crashing over them. She was 17 yrs old but because of her large size she was almost as tall as he was and heavier. His throat was crushed the moment she wrapped her hands around his neck. He was too drunk to master the strength to fight back. She sat on his chest, blinded by rage blood oozing from her open forehead. Tears, tears mixed with blood… she cried blood. It dripped onto his face and into his mouth while his tongue stuck out as if trying to escape the fate that was to befall its host body. All the while she didn’t make a sound, aside from heaving breathes. He kept kicking and waving his hands trying to inflict some pain onto to her, he couldn’t, it was not possible for her to feel beyond what she felt in that moment.

He finally stopped whimpering, his tongue receded, and his hands fell limp. His eyes never closed, the stare of a man who saw the truth.

He was dead long before she released her grip. Slowly she stood up, and faced the bedroom curtain. Blood dripping down her face. She could taste the anger in her mouth, it was bitter. Yet, the thought of going into the bedroom petrified her. She stood there for long, long time. Then, suddenly, she turned around, out through the door and ran. As she passed the gate a, her neighbor who had heard the commotion was making her way into the yard. They met by the gate. Vallery didn't stop running. The woman from next door shouted her name. She ran.

“Vallery!” She ran.

“VALLERY!” She ran.

She didn’t look back. Vallery was dead. Lying in a pool of her own blood with 3 stab wounds. The one that killed her, went straight through her heart. Yes, Vallery died that day, and Voel was born, and she flew. Ever since that very day Voel has never uttered a single word, until…

Chapter III
Chapter IV 
Chapter V

Chapter VI 
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII

Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Words & Illustration: Vus (@JustVus)

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