11H17 TUESDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2014


Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V

Sometimes, it is not the answers that we are given that change us. It was the questions we are asked.

The sun finally rose, seemingly, reluctantly so. Killy surfaced from her slumber like a bear out of hibernation. A gaping yawn, ritualistic snarling that summoned mucus from the very pits of the nasal cavities. In the morning, before the ceremony of waking up is completed, Killy is hideous. Her eyes usually take longer to open; in a way she leaves gazing at this sordid world for last. A blurry vision welcomed her into the new day. Before the moment of clarity she managed to make that there were two figures seated on the opposite wall on the small alleyway. Voel isn’t the chattiest or friendliest of sorts so, it’s not like she invited a friend over for a little morning tea. What was even more baffling was that this girl – as she realised because her vision was clearer now – seemed to be eating on Killy’s breakfast.

“Voel, what’s that?” she sneered, referring more the intruder than to the food. She shifted her scrutinising eye to the girl, in a manner that implied that she expected the girl to respond. The girl froze and her eyes escaped in Voels’ direction.

“Don’t waste your time, I have known her for 6 years and she has never spoken a word so unless you are the Second Coming I don’t think you staring at her will heal her dumbness. So go on, speak! Who are you and what the hell are doing with…” she was getting up from the mattress positioning herself to launch at the terrified girl when Voel, who was seated an arms length away from both of them, stopped her dead in her tracks blocking her movements with a firm forearm on Killy’s throat. Voel looked her straight in the eye. The number of times Killy had received that look from Voel can be counted with one hand. It was the type of look that would never need the accompaniment of words. She knew very well what it meant. She accepted the ruling with absolutely no objection, and with that Ubu became part of the sisterhood.


"Wake up, wake up!"

Killy was thundering the two sleeping by beating on the blanket. Were she not drowsy from sleep Voel would have man-handled her for ripping one so harshly from what was beginning to be a beautiful dream of being a normal girl. Ubu took better to this onslaught. She had been a breath of fresh in the months she's been with them. She had a peculiar smile that seemed to had been etched onto her face, much to Killy's annoyance who thought it strange to have the ability to smile when your life seemed to be an experiment to figure out how messed up can you be before you die. Voel, on the other hand liked Ubu. Being the protector of a little girl running from a cruel world seemed to somehow sooth her own wounds. Killy could but only, reluctantly, tolerate an extra mouth to feed. But they both never ever allowed her to even think of going into business. It was a strange sister like instinct.

"We are celebrating today!" she yelped while dancing up and down and pulling the blankets of the slumbering bunch.

"What are we celebrating?" Ubu asked while wiping sleep from her eyes but already gleaming with excitement.

"My birthday, of course!"

"Realy, how old are you turning?" she asked Killy.

"I don't know!" she replied with a beaming smile turning all excitement to confusion.

"Then how do you know it's your birthday?" inquired Ubu, perplexed.

"I don't. I woke up this morning and the sun was shining so beautifully and I thought to myself; today must be my birthday!". Ubu gave up her battle with the sensibilities of logic, she could hardly contain her joy, and by nature the child was naive and gullible. Even though she didn't understand how one chooses their own birthday, the idea of a happy moment absorbed her. She was already bopping her head tracking Killy's movements around them as she danced to some song in her own mind. A song from her childhood, a happy song.

Dumpy, the cop, who was also a kind of guardian for the girls, was on his patrol route and decided to pay them a visit when he came across the jolly commotion. He parked his police car across the road in front of the alley and strolled towards them. Killy, in her madness, didn't see him coming from behind until he accidentally kicked an empty tin. She froze, holding a position half bent with her right hand in the air. She turned around very slowly using just her torso. Dumpy froze too, more out of confusion caused by Killy's strange behavior. Killy's head rotated slowly until she was now facing him even though her body half facing the others. The right hand that was in the air shot out a skinny index finger that pointed straight him. She looked as though she was about to cast some voodoo spell that was going to turn him into a toad or some other creature. Then, softly she started to sing. A traditional song they sang back home to welcome an esteemed guests, none of them of course, understood a word of it. She started striding towards him swaying her body slowly from side to side, like a snake in the trance of a charmer. Her voice went louder and louder and the movements became quicker. By the time she reached him Ubu and Voel had already figured out there was nothing sinister about her approach towards Dumpy, in fact seeing the bewilderment on his face broke a rare smile on Voels' face and sent Ubu into raptures. Killy had already grabbed the officer's one hand and had already pulled his rythmless self into a disjointed dance routine. He wiped the sweat off his forehead and did like the Romans.

In between singing and dancing Killy told Dumpy of the revelation of her day of birth. He didn't get it, but the chubby Afrikaaner cop was getting down with the prostitutes. He went and bought food and wine, the cheap potent kind, which happened to be Killy's favorite. And to everyone’s delight, he brought a little battery-operated radio. But before the party began Killy took the girls to PEP store across the road and got herself a new dress. A long, white one with a blue floral print. She bought Ubu a chiffon, God knows why but Ubu was beside herself. For an even more odd reason she bought Voel a large comb. Not wanting to spoil the moment, Voel took it and planted it in her dilapidated dreadlocks and smiled. They went back "home" in the alleyway behind KFC and sat waiting for the sun to sink and then, it was on. After building a little borne fire the three sat around it and ate, drank and drank. Killy practically sang every single song she could remember even the more modern RnB hits whose lyrics never quiet sounded right. Where Killy's memory fell victim to the wine, the radio took over. Ubu, Jesus's fallen child, she had such a weak tolerance for alcohol that after one glass of Tassenberg she was out for the count. But before she fell asleep, during a mellow moment while Killy was regaining her strength, Ubu asked Killy a questioned that that Killy had hoped to never have to hear from someone she cared about.

Chapter VII
Chapter VIII

Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Words & Illustration: Vus (@JustVus)

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