December 5, 2005



Flames and black smoke covered the upper slopes of the mountain over Fishhoek, the fire engine had been there since the evening before, and this morning most of the men had gone up the track carrying sacks and axes and shovels. Where else would three boys go, on a Saturday morning, breakfast bolted down and pocket money already spent? Not that there was any prospect of actually participating, but all the action made the area interesting, especially from the house on the far side of the valley, where the flames were visible, way taller than the ant sized men moving around in front of them.
As they got closer the flames were lost from view behind the houses and trees on the lower slopes, and firstly ash and black burnt grass and leaves, then hot and sometimes glowing bits, began to drift down on everything. They were beginning to wonder if this was such a good idea, with the roar and noise of the flames louder as they got closer, when the wind dropped away suddenly and the noise of the fire seemed to change. There was an outburst of shouting from the men up there, thin with distance, and then the wind switched around just like that and began to blow from behind them. The men were cheering and yelling now, something had happened and they weren't there yet! Wanting to be a part of this adventure, The Great Fire, they hurried up the track past the last houses
The fire engine was parked where a big rock blocked it from going any further uphill, and on any other day would have rated a good close inspection, unattended as it was, but not now. They hurried past on the footpath through scrub and tall grass, the air humming with insects disturbed by the fire and birds darting around with full beaks.
A great brown mottled mantis came whizzing along and landed on Peter’s right shoulder, turning its head on the thin neck and waving it’s barbed front legs in an agitated way. He called to his brothers, “Hey look here, he’s trying to talk to me.”


To read more, youll have to wait til someone decides the story is worth publishing, or else read the book I shall be self-publishing through Lulu fairly soon. I have about 25,000 words in short story form, around 100 oages in a paper back, so I hope to put together a book of short stories during this summer.

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