My short Stories


South Africa in Winter.                           Charlie Dimech.

Home | 2. | 3. | 4 | 5. | 6. | 7. | 8. | 9. | 10. | 11. | 12. | 13.

'Twas the time of volcanoes. Lava jets were spewing out of nearby Mt Max. Lava flows were headed in the direction of the port.
The ship was taken out into the harbour and we all fled to our country abodes. There was no time to take any stores, the port town was virtually under the shadow of the mountain. We were quite far from the the mountain and the town. Those who were closer  were covered with ash and the places virtually had to be abandoned and most of them were. The residents of the nearby homesteads moved further afield. For peace of mind they travelled long distances. We were sparsley scattered after that and the town remained solidified and silent.
Hence we returned much to our previous existence in the way of solitude. But we had much more by way of the necessities of life - all the basic necessities, plus our solitude.
Each farm planted one crop apart from his own needs with which he supplied the whole community. In this way a large number of goods were available to the whole community. there were no factories but the skills of each were used to the benefit of all; carpentry, furniture making, pottery, spinning and weaving, agricultural advice, painting and organizational skills to co ordinate all these activities. A lot of fruit and vegetables grew wild on the island which had been a predominantly agricultural economy and this was also harvested. There were no medals, no bumtious speeches. The loss of the supplies that were in the town meant that the work was now much harder, however we managed. There was ample rainfall and a fertile soil. there was also good timber, plenty of surface water for irrigation and normal consumption, fresher air even than on the mainland coast and an abundance of natural wildlife and scenery to explore. 
Just like the Pilgrims of earlier times who set out to found the New World, just like even Noah of early times, we saw evil, the word really does exist in reality,  and tried to escape its influence.
The pride of the times was an aetheistic doctrine. They saw how this affected the Communist "experiment". It was a failure; so they promptly applied it  to the so called "capitalist" system, and succeeded in destroying that too.
The pride was all there was. It was not based on anything.
From the bedroom window as I watched, white flecks shimmering in the sunlight dappled across the swimming hole. It was a train of butterflies. Like glitter they rose and spread out, dipping and fluttering into the surrounding bushes.
Charlie was playing fetch with his pet silkie terrier as Cherrinne whispered in my ear;
"I think I might be pregnant."
We both hoped for another child as it had been nine years since Charlie was born and the memory of James untimely death still occupied a place of sadness in our hearts. Here was good news and we knew if she really was pregnant it would be good for Charlie too.
It had been raining the day before and todays sun gave a newness and cleanness to all it surveyed like a crystal chandelier after it had been  cleaned in methylated spirits and then lit up. The comparison wasn't quite appropriate on our island but I had seen it often enough as a child in my mothers house. Hence the subconcious connection. And I wondered again  whether her timing could not have been more perfect.
I turned to her and set aglow the embers of my love when our eyes met and in the stillness of our exchange, the revelation of the infinite power of our love, and even its mystery, was undaunted.
On the stove, a wood burner, a rabbit stew cooked and the aroma of the cooking gave a civilizing air to all around us. We had become a family, a civilized family, out here where the wilds once claimed us and where everything spoke of non- civilization.
But more important we were away from the madness of the civilization we had left behind. Life would be kind to us from now on. I sincerely believed that.
In a few years Charlie would be old enough to start thinking about a vocation. He could attach himself to a tradesman as his apprentice or any of the other skilled or professionally trained people on the island; we took the long term view of our stay on the island, or he could learn agriculture and stay where he was and we tried to leave it all wide open.
The family unit would remain strong on this island, particularly in our case where we were bonded so profoundly together by our years together in almost total isolation.
There were not a lot of distractions on the island. The greatest was the island itself. We became a group of explorers in our spare time and thus we gradually built up our knowledge of the island which was a great source of excitement to us all, cataloguing everything we found, mapping all the existing tracks or as many as we found so as to be of benefit to others who might be interested. Everyone had an interest in the environment. We were all a bunch of adventure seekers and this added richly to the 'esprit de corps' on the island.
 The mechanical cultivators the ship brought with it had all been saved as they were not a part of the stores still left in the port when the volcano erupted, so had much of the fuel supply. We were extremely fortunate in this regard and the time saving that these produced as well as the effort involved we were extremely grateful for. This allowed us to take breaks from our work though not as much had we saved all our supplies.
Hence we had time to party and adventure, to go exploring and camping, as well as discover the resources of beauty and other potential of the island. In this way we became intimately connected with it.
Thus we were not at all happy when the war broke out world wide for we felt as well as compassion for the people that were and would become directly affected by the war that it might also come to our island.
But its secret remained intact.
It had been excluded from  the computer program driven governments control of the world and hence forgotten.
We were spared the devastation that took place which took half the worlds population with it, to the sadness and grief of those that remained.
However these events did not take place for some time.
It was five years that we had been on the island before the catastrophe was let loose on the globe. Much took place in the meantime, and afterwards, as shall be related later on.
I turned to return to my work tilling the field. She grabbed me from behind.
"I've got to get some work done." I  protested grinningly..
"That can wait." she replied. "we've got to celebrate."
"But you don't know for sure."
"Who cares." she retorted "Lets not live in the future. Lets live in the present......   Lets celebrate the fact that I might be having a  baby..." she continued ".Lets celebrate hope."
"OK you've won me. but I bet you its a girl."
"Bet its a boy."
"You're on."
She released her grasp.  I went into the kitchen and picked up a bottle of our home brew red wine. As I removed the cork Cherrinne went over to the side cupboard and removed two glasses. She handed me one and I poured them both up almost to the rim. She gave me a wink and and we entwined arms.
"Here's to a boy or a girl." I said.
"Here here." she replied.
We took a sip then kissed......alternating between sips and kisses until the glasses were empty.
"I bet you're not pregnant at all." I teased.
"Soon find out." she quipped. she gave me a cheeky mischievous smile so I picked her up and carried her into the bedroom.
I stayed in till lunchtime.. the rabbit stew was Charlie's favourite dish and by the time lunch ws over we were all in very high spirits, and I carried this feeling back with me to the field; a field that whern planted would eventually yield  an abundance of grapes and wine which would serve the whole community. 
We chose a simple process, no additives whatsoever, together with my own secret tecnique which gave an excellent result. I labelled it "Nectar of the gods." and all  on the island agreed!
Towards 4 o'clock in the afternoon Cherrinne joined me as she usually did and we worked together until six when we returned to the house where Cherrinne put the dinner on which had already been prepared and set the table for dinner around 8 o'clock.
Meanwhile I had a wash and relaxed on a sofa bed reading, then taking a nap. Charlie though with us on this particular occasion was often at a house not far from ours which had a child about his age, a little older. He would often stay an entire week and then after a time the process was often repeated in reverse, his friend coming to stay with him. They were very close friends and it worked well.
They had lots of games and toys which were provided by the colonists, that were great on rainy days in particular. They were also avid adventurers and explorers in their own right.
There were compulsory lessons conducted by the mothers with the help of material and advice provided by the expedition.
Many travelled great distances bi-monthy for community gatherings which lasted the entire day and these included interesting talks on various aspects of their education as well.
The islands general activities were co- ordinated at these gatherings, as well as many other activites on the day, including drinking and storytelling.
It was at one of these meetings that a strange tale was told.
Long ago hundreds of years before the age of Noah in the isle of Atlantis, the most advanced civilization the world has ever known, technologically, was about to be destroyed. Their wealth of technology had become their god and spiritually they were dying. They tried to reverse their upcoming doom by going foreward in time, time travel, to our own generations to give them time to develop a technology taking it back in time to their own generation to prevent the disasters that were coming upon them, not perceiving that what has happened in time cannot be reversed or changed in any way; this too was part of the reality to which their devotion to their technology had blinded them.
This will eventually result in our current generation, in a war which will destroy 3/4 of humanity; with the help of 'outside' demonic forces using this technological breakthrough in our own generation - courtesy of the Atlanteans; against us.
It was an extraordinary story , and the mystery of UFO's was at least partially explained. Not whether or not they existed.Sightings and kidnapping (most of which were temporary and rarely remembered by the victims) had been going
on for decades, but there never seemed to be an intelligent explanation of the whole thing. This explanation however opened up a whole new can of worms, not the least of which was the obvious light years difference between their technology and ours, so how were we to develop further than their already pre - existing level of technology? It wasn't going to happen. Just like in Noah's time where they made a similar attempt with the same modus operandi , we would be destroyed in the process, but this time not by water but by fire;  and as predicted in the Holy Texts.
Luckily, we at least, were not affected on this island.


"And another one on the way."