Writings of the general word's body

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Read

In Lauri Kubuitsile's story, God's Command, white Adele has run over a young black girl named Mphoentle. Adele will discover that she shares more in common with the dead child's poor mother than can be expressed. Meanwhile, a young priest has his own interesting ideas about God's role in the whole sorry business.

The policeman snatches her passport from her hand. “You’ll not be going anywhere anytime soon,” he snarls at her. She tells him a story that puts her in the best light, no searching for lip balm in hand bags, but still he’s not happy.
“So you say you were going 40?” he asks, one side of his lip rose in disgust. She was a Boer, same as all of them. He hates her just as she expects him to.
She doesn’t hear him at first; she is watching another police officer lift the tiny body, now covered with a sheet onto the back of the bakkie. Only her small feet hang out. She wears the clunky black school shoes and white ankle socks of all of the school girls. Her mind drifts to her own daughter safely at school wearing the same shoes, the same socks. But then she thinks- even this girl’s mother believes that her daughter is safely at school. She has faith that all is well. A faith that will mock her with her ignorance when she finds out the truth in the matter.
Her husband, Johanne, comes up. “So are we done then, Boss?” his booming voice tampers down the policeman’s authority.
“Yes, she can go. But I’m keeping the passport. Don’t go anywhere.” He is not happy; the game is over too soon for his appetite.
They climb into the vehicle and they turn towards home. “Bloody Kaffir!” her husband spits. “Stupid picaninny jumps in the road and they want to blame you! Who the hell does he think he is? Just shows what idiots they are.” He looks at his wife staring blankly out the window and he becomes quiet. “Are you okay? “ He rubs her thigh with his big, red hand.


JD said...

Thanks for sharing this MW! Fascinating story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Lauri was able to capture vividly the pain and confusion of both women as well as highlight some social/racial issues inherent in many African countries where white and native Africans live together and call home.


Ms. Catwalq said...

That was powerful!