I Claimed the Night

Stormy Sunset in the DrakensbergI haven’t slept at all last night. It’s just after 5 am here as I write this post and the house is quiet and calm. The kids are sleeping. My wife is sleeping. As is Stella, my golden retriever.

So I claimed the night and worked on Hameln-13 and Babylon’s Song. I got stuck somewhere after 3 am and started adding words to a piece of flash I wrote a while ago. You might remember it as the ode to Nelson Mandela I created for a writing competition. I have no idea what I’m doing or to what purpose I’m fleshing it out. All I know is that an urge spurred me on.

It’s a work in progress so please forgive any errors you may find:

The old man paused and turned his gaze to the lands of his ancestors far below. Lands where once the black rhino and Cape buffalo roamed free and unhurried across bushlands and marshes. He leaned on his staff and studied the valleys and rivers through heavy eyelids. Deep grooves lined his leathery face like twisting paths of a life lived hard.

The journey up the mountain had been strenuous, filled with many perils and heartaches. A pang of regret stabbed at the old man’s withered heart as memories of all he had lost flooded his thoughts. But, like an old wintry ache, the pain settled in a special place deep inside him. A place reserved for such things, where he kept his memories safe and preserved, like gold collected over a lifetime of enterprise.

Qamata called to him then, his name a sigh on the warm, comforting wind. “Come child of Africa. You have done enough. It’s time now to rest weary bones. Come now, Your ancestors await you.”

The old man chuckled to himself as he turned slowly. “A good thing then, eh? I’ve used up all my words.”

“Indeed, Madiba,” Qamata replied softly. “Indeed.”

As the old man stepped towards the waiting voice, a cool grey mist rose lazily about his feet, swirling and swelling with each ambling step, caressing the old man’s skin with a butterfly’s careful flutter, until even his bony shoulders and grizzly head were shrouded in the massless brume. A strong breeze suddenly swept down from the mountain and the old man was gone.

It is funny how the writing urge takes you. I was tired last night but for some reason I just could not fall asleep. Could have been the heat, I suppose, but I doubt it. My mind was spinning and buzzing with activity and I had to do something to get it to simmer down, and now I did.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy today’s surprise words.

Woelf

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4 thoughts on “I Claimed the Night

  1. I liked it the first time, I liked it even more this time. It flows better, in my opinion 🙂

    I’d never be able to write at night, let alone at 3am. And doing such good job? Never!

    1. Thanks! I only had 100 words to work with the first round. I’m not sure if I’m going anywhere with this one, though. I don’t think I should add much more for fear of killing it. Maybe I’ll just keep it as is for now. lol Thanks again for your support.

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