Kosan entered the shebeen. The men made space for him. He perused the group but did not sit.

“Is it done?”

Sipho nodded. Kosan joined them.

The men were tired but they acted as if nothing untoward had happened. Just another day. Another day at war against the enemy.

Sipho looked out the window at the township, the sunset scorching the tin rooftops. He thought about Vusi. He wondered if he was dead yet.

“You are deep in thought Sipho”, said Kosan.

Sipho did not turn around to respond.

“He had a son”, he said.


The other men waited for Kosan’s response. Kosan drew breath and placed a large hand on Sipho’s shoulder.

“Brother, turn around. Face me. Listen.”

Sipho turned. Kneading his thumb into the palm of his hand, he stared at Kosan. These hands had thrown a tyre over a man’s neck. He looked around. Another pair of hands had doused the same man in petrol. Another had struck a match. Kosan had just given the order.

Kosan pulled his face closer to Sipho’s. Tobacco scented breath whispered sinisterly.

“You know, I went to King’s Park last month. To listen to Mandela. Do you know what he said? He said, ‘Take your guns, your knives and your pangas, and throw them into the sea! Close down the death factories. End this war now’”.

Kosan stopped and smirked. Rising from his chair, he turned to the others and bellowed.

“End this war now? We have only just begun!”

The men stared at the dirt floor. Except for Sipho.

Kosan turned to Sipho.

“Vusi deserved to die.”

“And Sipho, you know what happens to our brothers who don’t support us?”

I am a stay at home parent to a beautiful little girl. I am also an aspiring writer. I am currently working on a few projects; a novel that is set in Guernsey, post WWII and a children's book set in Ireland. I write two blogs; www.irenehalpinlong.com and www.hervoicefromthekitchenwindow.com. I also love to play the piano and flute (badly!) :) And I love, love, love to read, watch reality tv shows and do easy level Sudoku.

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