Friday, November 3, 2017

moving forward november 2017

life to my simple mind, is not about being rich, famous or even free, it has a singular purpose & aligning myself with this purpose is now my goal.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

seekers - a wildetect style story

As a child I realized when playing hide and seek, one really only needed to hide as close as possible to the seekers, whilst they were counting down. I would carefully position myself in front of them, concealed as best I could. The seekers invariably would shout,” coming ready or not” and whirl away from the position they had been closed eye facing. Which was Exactly Where I was hiding, then they would run looking for the hiders on the horizon. I would wait awhile before reaching out to the den and declaring the usual, “Nicky not on.” Or that’s what we said when we reached the safety of the selected den tree.  We are all grown up now , so this game is not played formally anymore,  however I really did enjoy the intrigue of hiding as close to the seekers as possible.

Living in a very modest home, in what could be termed a working class suburb, I have managed to eke out a living. My debt is the same as the next guy and my overheads much higher than my income. Pretty normal I suppose, I work for a big company that makes billions of dollars, however what I really enjoy most, is coming home to the normality of my everyday life. The complete fear of being hunted by the seekers for one’s wealth and possessions doesn’t over whelm me when I walk in my front door. as I am sure it does a truly wealthy man with lots and lots of possessions.

Kobus Visagie, a work colleague, pops round from time to time, we share a few beers and discuss the rugby or the issues he is facing at work. Kobus is going to make it very big one day, his dreams are massive, and I enjoy the discussion of imagining what’s beyond his horizon line. Kobus does this type of conversation very well. He lives way beyond his means and keeps company with some really rough characters. People he assures me I wouldn’t consider being friends with.  I don’t encourage his stupidity in my house.  However watching someone else making interesting life choices is an experience shared and a life simultaneously lived. All be it through a process of conversation and shooting the ol breeze moments. A simple guy like myself gets to inadvertently see what life’s like over that illusive imagined horizon line.

Kobus came to me several months ago with a sure fire scheme to, as he put it, “redistribute some of the companies wealth portfolio.”   Listening carefully to his scheme, I felt it was ingenious. I told him he needs to be very, very careful, as it sounded like serious embezzling to me. Kobus just said that he wasn’t fearful of the theft or being caught or even the police. He said what was really scaring him most about going through with the plan, was the rumors about the companies silent mystery owner. A truly ruthless individual, far,  far worse than the people he currently was friends with, (for Kobus to say this , judging the company he currently kept, meant the person must be extremely frightening)   this owner of the multibillion dollar company we worked for, man or woman, nobody had ever seen and nobody really knew who they were. It was said that whomever saw them, never lived to tell any tales.  It was also said that they were extremely dangerous. This shadowy boss had taken on an all-encompassing persona and when it came to loyalty towards the brand, “this BOSS was not to be trifled with at all.” I thought it was a strange word for a man like Kobus to use – “trifled” – I couldn’t help smiling. I told him he shouldn’t trifle with this cake owner then. I thought it was a funny comment for me to make, however the silly nuance was lost over his head. He was too absorbed about his long con that he was carefully planning. Well once we had finished a few more whiskeys – Kobus’s brilliant plan was neatly laid out. Superbly crafted and amazingly simple and effective. As I worked in the computer division of this multi-billion dollar company, I myself had a few skills and with the framework of Kobus’s plan I could clearly see the intricacies of his effective thinking. Kobus was going to be very, very rich, without too much work at all. However was it really worth the risk though?

Now that Kobus had taken me into his confidence he came round to my little house in the suburbs much more often, to discuss his master plan of action.  He had solicited the help of several other employees in his department. I told him I didn’t want to be associated with the scheme so my involvement was never to be mentioned.  I was truly amazed how easily people are swayed when the talk of big money is brandished around. Greed and the thought of an imagined materially rich future clouds the most honest of us it seems, this has always saddened me to realize.

I didn’t feel like I was too involved in the scheme, as I told Kobus time after time,  I didn’t want to share in the spoils of his undertaking. Only it was fun to fathom out his thinking process and share in the excitement of his long Con. I was just a sounding board as he counted down his plan. Much time and planning had gone into the small intricacies of his vision. To think more clearly he had the habit of closing his eyes to block out all influence so his mind could race to its wonderfully wealthy end.
I did tell Kobus that it was rumored that the illusive company owner had dealt with similar threats on the companies recourses, by somehow making the perpetrators completely disappear. After years of planning, Kobus was now ready to execute his plan. So it was with a small measure of surprise to me, when Kobus phoned me to say he had been asked to attend a meeting with this shadowy BOSS figure, who owned our multibillion dollar company.  I told him he shouldn’t go and he should resign and move on immediately. But Kobus already had the wealth greed virus really bad and nothing I could say would change his money fueled little mind.

Kobus told me he was meeting the mystery owner of the company through a series of chauffeured driven stops. The first pickup was that evening at 6pm. He was not to speak to the chauffeur who would be masked and he would be dropped off and picked up at undisclosed destinations around the country. The drive could take a while, possibly days.  He was to eventually be taken to a secret hidden away villa for a very private meeting. I begged him not to go, however it was to no avail.
I had to tell him that I was once used in the past to chauffer people as 1 part of 10 pickup and drop off drives. Nobody ever new the eventual location of the villa, except the last driver and the frightening thing was that these people where never ever seen or heard from again. Kobus was confident that he had this one in the bag. He was traveling armed and totally ready for business.

It was with slight amusement for me when Kobus got into the car at way past midnight that night.  the relief on his face when he saw it was me as the chauffeur was over whelming – he said “man nicky, am i so glad to see you, please  get me out of here, I’ve had enough and im very, very scared.”

The end

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Perceptions –a short story by quinton j damstra

Commandant Konraad Leopold Visagie was an incredibly conceited and superstitious man. Unbeknownst to him and most others Konraad had a very dark obsessive compulsive streak. He also firmly believed that his drop-dead good looks, irresistible charm and brilliant wit, made him the complete male package. When woman saw him, he felt they would either lament the fact they were married or simply wish they could have him. If not him, then a man as close to him as possible, which as far as he was aware, was an absolute impossibility. This reality floated around in his head and it was the plain and simple truth of the matter.

When Commandant Leo, his preferred name, first laid eyes on Mrs Lettie Viljoen, it was complete love at first sight. Her radiance was absolutely spell binding and for him she was a natural choice to compliment a great man such as himself. He had only ever seen her from a far off distance, however he was certain what he felt was the truth. Because one thing about being a brilliant man, it is the ability to follow through and make decisive decisions immediately. The first real opportunity he got to actually meet Lettie was going to be at the farewell 3rd battalion border party. KLV had spent 2 weeks preparing for the event, down to the minute detail of placing himself at the Viljoen’s table he even made sure he was sitting at the exact point of the table where the northern sun light would illuminate him perfectly. So when he made his usual spectacular all smiles entrance he knew he was leaving a wake of broken hearts in his trail. He made his way to the round table and his especially reserved north-facing seat at the six-o clock position. His eyes locked for the first time with those of Lettie’s and he was completely shocked to realise she was even more beautiful close up. In the brief first few seconds of their interaction KLV noted how her head delicately tilted to the side and her eyes narrowed ever so slightly – he even noted the colour seemed to go a slighter darker shade. In his heart he felt this look was completely reserved for him. The night went very well with KLV being the life of the table, with his well-rehearsed dialogue and animation delivery. He was even able to glean that Sergeant viljoen, like himself had a complete phobia for snakes, as that day the couple had heard of a black mamba in the compound. A long thin deadly exceptionally aggresive black snake with a gun mettle grey underside and a large upturned at the corners mouth. He couldn’t help emit a fearfull gasp at the mention of such a creature he hoped nobody at the table had noticed his pulpable fear.

The Angolan border was an exceptionally dangerous place – terrorist insurgents were constantly attacking from the north and the attacks were brutal. Sergeant Viljoen proved to be a very brave and clever man, who constantly showed brilliant skill in the face of the enemy. It was during a routine op – the terrorist insurgents performed an anti-trek manoeuvre and completely disappeared. The trail and all traces of them totally vanishing into the landscape. The detailed report showed that a single shot fired at 18h00 from directly south, hit sergeant viljoen in the back of the head, killing him instantly.

It was 2 years after the fatal incident on the border – commandant Leo was now very happily married to Lettie. Every day he pinched himself at his luck to have secured such an incredible prize. Konraad was still in the army and living in the compound house he had secured many years before. His financial status had increased considerably when marrying Lettie, however he insisted on remaining in the army because of all the benefits. The cicadas were screaming out a cacophony of sound as he walked through the front door of his north facing compound house, at promptly 6pm. It did strike him as very strange that the doors and windows where all closed and lettie was not in the kitchen humming gently while preparing the usual evening meal. A strange ice coldness permeated the space – which surprised him for such a hot African highveldt afternoon. KVL did not at first even see what caused the severe pain in his upper left arm. It was only once his eyes adjusted to the light of the passage that he realised he was staring into the eyes of a large thin black snake. The head looking strangely oversized for the size of the thin body. It was standing up on a small part of its tail enabling it to look directly deep into his eyes. The large upturned at the corners mouth opened in an instant to reveal a black inside with large fangs. KVL clutched at his arm whilst whirling panic stricken, frantically screaming, as a wave of complete nausea consumed him. a renewed intense pain struck his right back shoulder as he raced for the door. He fell by the closed sliding door as his breathing started to constrict. What felt like a cold slithering sensation kissed his skin. He felt the weight of a full grown black mamba on his chest. In this bizarre moment he noticed in a strange slow motion Lettie looking in through the clear glass sliding door. She was holding an army report , her head was delicately tilted to the side, her usually large eyes had narrowed ever so slightly. Just before slipping away forever he was sure he noted the colour of her eyes seem to go, a slightly darker shade.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

H1virusM2 - the mankind flu virus

Are we earth’s virulent virus. Is Man a virus destroying his host?
We operate under the guise that we are an advanced creature. However we do not act very advanced. We appear so insecure that if there were a more advanced creature on earth, we would have set about destroying it along time ago. The threat would have been greater than trying to understand our advanced neighbour. Like cancer our suburbs erupt, blighting a perfect landscape. Black tar and concrete oozes over pristine fields. Monoxide blankets the once clear skies. If this is evidence of advancement, then we are really just fooling ourselves. Advanced systems or species create environments of self-preservation first; this is not what mankind practice. We act more like a virus as we parasitically stifle the fragile life systems of this earth. We are hell bent on self-destruction and we are actually getting it right. Like any virus we kill our host and hope to god another one swings by before it’s to late.
Our cities verses cancer cells
When analysing mankind’s cities one cannot help but wonder how far removed they are from the beautiful landscape that used to be before the onslaught of man. Our cities ooze tar and concrete all over a once abundant life filled landscape. Where once thousands of creatures and plant life lived and died, now a fraction of different, introduced forms of life inhabit. For us to inhabit a space we change completely the natural order of the Eco system. We do not find a way around our environment; we obliterate all that was once the environment.
Man and his present system appear to be a fast killing virus. Mankind’s very small time on our earth and his ability to wipe out functioning Eco systems instantaneously, make man an extremely dangerous virus. The earth is millions of years old, with Eco systems equally as old. We have managed in a split second of time to bring these environments to there knees. Even viruses that prey on us don’t kill their host as fast. Given the age of the earth and the time man has been on earth. When comparing our life span and viruses that effect us. The virus that is man would kill us in 0.000000000001 of a second. Making us the worst form of parasite yet. As understanding increases of our fragile earth a small part of mankind is stemming the tide of wholesale abuse. Imagine if cancer had small parts of its collective that thought altruistically. We would need only to encourage the growth of that small segment of the collective in order to overcome the threat on the human body.
To bring about change in human perspective is difficult. To try and educate people to stop abusing our fragile earth is impossible. Man will always have the element of self abuse within his ranks and to try and control these individuals is not really the answer. Man will only effect change when his life or resources are coming to an end. We are simply very selfish and will only leave our ingrained habits when the water rises above our heads or the heat of our own fire starts to burn our own flesh. That moment is fast approaching.
Where to from here?

Our city architects have expounded their wisdom and our builders have touted their talents. We have many examples of mankind’s talents. Man does not try and live simply within his means. We have tar and concrete up to our eyeballs. We use every form of soap and insecticide to sanitise our already sanitised living spaces. Few cultures and human forms of life leave little or no scar on the landscape.
What is our answer?
First and foremost we need to humble ourselves and stop thinking the sun circles around us. By this I mean we need to stop thinking we are the smartest life form on the planet. If we where so smart we wouldn’t have a fraction of the problems we do. We are one of the only life form that practices wholesale abuse on an unprecedented scale. (Compared to Earth’s other passengers) If antelope or squirrels showed as huge degrees of difference between individuals, as humans do, we would have desert squirrels living at the bottom of the ocean. We have a vast amount to still learn and we need to acknowledge this lack of knowledge, unpack our existing building processes and start rebuilding our environments with the sensitivity of a few select cultures who have understood clearly our place and space in the universe.
Our structures and cladding could be a living. We could develop architecture that protects us but it itself is alive. So when this fragile structure starts dying we can immediately address the fundamental issues. The structure itself acts as a thermometer to our destructive tendencies. We need to grow our structures as a shell grows around its organism. The individual organism is responsible for its own sometimes-living shelter. When we work with organisms like the organisms creating coral in our oceans to create our shelters, we might have advanced to the next level of our survival on this planet. We might start to understand the synergy we where designed to live by.
We think to permanently about our homes. Homes must provide shelter for us today not necessarily be around in 10 000 years time. Each successive generation should have the privilege to build their own structures. Learning from past endeavours and improving on future concepts. Our structures at the moment are permanent fixtures. Along with the scar of the quarry that the stones for our homes where hewn out of. Our building materials must be alive; they must provide an unseen energy, which flows through our human experience. The only type of construction on earth I can think of at present that fits into this thought process is the polyps of coral and the small creatures that create them.
This form of construction using living building material will form an early warning system to potential environmental issues. Like the rose trees at the edge of a vineyard detect problems before the vines fail.
Mankind will reach the next level of his advancement when his energy to put back into the universe is greater than his energy to take out. We are incredibly destructive creatures who need to stop feeling where the top of the food chain and start realising we are in actual fact a very, very small part of a massive system. Of which we have not found our correct place in yet. It appears through instinct, wisdom most of the planets other passengers are able to get along without interrupting the natural flow of things. We can learn so much from systems around us – and we have the wisdom to find the best system that will best suite our needs. Unfortunately we are still quite far from this point in our history.
Quinton J Damstra

The bird whisperer - copyright 2009

Konraad Jacobus Smit was an intensely quiet man, introspective reflective to the point of being extremely rude. To Konraad, peripheral talk did not interest him at all. He enjoyed his own company and chose not to speak, let alone meet people. The very thought left him feeling cold and in a strange way violated. His small holding was a suitable distance from the Karoo town he chose to settle in. He never received visitors and his trips to town were short and decisive. When the townsfolk tried to include him initially, many years before, he made it known in no uncertain terms, he wanted to be left alone. So for 40 years he lived off the interest of his parent’s substantial inheritance, not knowing or caring about whatever happened to the family home in Stellenbosch and the holiday homes dotted around South Africa. Konraads parents passed away disenchanted by their only son, who was lavished with attention, only to reject all emotional advances unequivocally. From a very early age he willfully shunned all forms of human interaction. Now days the only time Konraad interacted with anyone was when he gruffly walked into the institution that had been managing his financial affairs. He cared not for the entire amount or for the wealth of the full portfolio, only for that which sustained him at present. Konraad knew exactly what was happening around him, he was aware of what was expected of him. For reasons not even fully understood by himself, he just did not want to give up his thoughts, feeling that every thought or notion was a valuable piece of treasure. A treasure that would get depleted with every word carelessly spilled from his lips.
Konraad had a mysterious gift, a gift his parents could never understand. Where did Konraad receive this gift, this strange but wonderful ability. They fathomed over the meaning of Konraad’s gift, whilst he sat silently wishing only to be left alone with his thoughts. He watched owlishly the numerous professional people who tried to unpack and unpick the sacred trove of his mind. Reverting ever further inwards into the deep dark recesses of his inner sanctuary. Simply put, his strange gift was that he could call the birds. Konraad would sit outside on the grass and make a gargling rasping sound with his throat. A single bird would flop down from the sky and land close to him, not so close as to appear startling. The bird would appear drugged and confused, staring transfixed at the source of this strange sound. Within a short space of time birds would appear from all over. It wasn’t just the shear volume of birds but the variety, all mesmerized by the strange little man quietly gargling and gasping. The trees surrounding this spectacle would become heavy with birds. Konraad would tilt his beaked nose this way and that, perfectly mimicking a clucking chicken. Konraad would keep this charade going waiting for his favorite bird to make an appearance. The beautifully green malachite sunbird would dart this way and that through the throng of feathers, its beautiful plumage catching Konraad’s peripheral vision, before disappearing in another direction or behind a more drab, dull counterpart. The sunbird perfectly reflected his own mind and thoughts, with concepts racing through his mind, out of reach. Konraad read thousands of manuals for appliances, cars, "how to books", mathematical reference material and scientific journals. He would inevitably have better ideas, more advanced concepts than the ones put forward. He zealously guarded these concepts, however, squirreling them away like a crow, to be recalled at will and ripped and pulled apart at his leisure like a giant bird of prey. He would chortle and chuckle to himself , budgie like, for improving the relativity theory or a mathematical formula. He knew he had the answers sought after by the great minds of the day, but he would not impart with his nuggets. They were safely stored in the vault of his mind, never to escape the tightly sealed chasm, never to see the light of day.
There came a point in the calling of the birds that a single sunbird would hover effortlessly infront of him, beating its tiny beautiful wings thousands of times a minute. He would sustain this moment for as long as he could, all the while staring transfixed at the tiny frail bird in front of him, taking in the extraordinary beauty of this truly magnificent bird. The 2 creatures locked in a strange frozen moment , with thousands of onlookers.
As he reached out next to him, he reflected how ironic it was that he had been given this unusual gift. He continued to marvel at his ability and the trust this tiny bird put into him, a strange cold hearted creature, like a moth to a flame. Konraad was still enchanted by his extraordinary ability and the irony as he took aim at this little bird and squeezed off a single shot that exploded the entire mass of birds into a flurry of activity. The vortex of this turmoil left Konraad with the slowly fading flapping of wings and thousands of tiny feathers , mostly green, slowly , silently drifting to earth.

Monday, February 16, 2009



Bentley Carneson was in serious debt, the 25-year-old son of a very wealthy 17th century ship merchant, he had squandered his family’s wealth to near nothing. His family’s predicament did not really bother him, not nearly as much as the London underground who were now demanding in full their paid promises. He was starting to doubt the word of his accounts manager Ernest Smythe and his business partner Charles Radcliffe. The year was 1815 and through various missed deals, lost opportunities and shocking advice, Carneson found himself in Ceylon India, trying to salvage the last of his father’s lucrative empire. His reputation, which was starting to precede him, stated simply that BC’s hands were never dirty but his heart was as black as coal. There was a certain Machiavellian imagery to this that appealed to the dark recesses of his inner being. As his financial security fell around him and his business relations dwindled, a vengeful spiteful streak started to overwhelm him becoming an all-consuming hatred. He put the blame for his financial demise at the door of his 2 closest business associates. He would stop at nothing now to see they ended up in the same foul waters he was finding himself submerged in. even if it meant getting his hands filthy dirty.
When Carneson booked his passage back to London on the East India ship the Arniston, he knew he was facing complete financial ruin back in London. His very life would be in danger if he couldn’t manage to make good his debt. This worried him but the plotting and the scheming to undo his 2 accomplices kept him from jumping into the cool clear Indian Ocean. He already felt the cold foul waters of despair overwhelming his thoughts. So the natural extension of this was to quietly let the Indian Ocean deal with his carcass. This was a far cry better than the polluted Thames river, which had quietly received many such as himself, willing and unwilling over the years. To his mind the ocean would be a pure washing of the blackness which was overwhelming his vision, it seemed a fitting end. The first part of the journey was uneventful, however as the convoy of ships progressed, he became aware of the long tentacles of his debtors. As is always the case the bully boys form part of the first wave of intimidation and it became apparent a ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean, was still well within reach of his other life. He was aware of being followed by someone for the last year. in a dark passage near the galley steps, his doubts were put to rest. He could talk away the bruising to the face as the ship was rolling and many a wrong foot on the stairs led to nasty injuries. So it was that Carneson found himself in the first class lounge more often than not, raking up a debt which in itself would take years to pay back.
It was a viscous storm and a tragic event, which changed the course of his life. The Arniston broke away from the main convoy during the storm and was driven to its resting place on an impossible stretch of the South African coast . Out of the 279 passengers 6 men where reported to have survived. It was fortunate for Carneson that he washed ashore much further down the white sandy beach. He was not alone; one of the London underground toughs had stuck to his job impeccably and had also washed up alive, nearby. Obviously Carneson was worth a lot more alive than dead. To an observant rescuer something might have seemed amiss when a man’s body was found above the high water mark. The man had Carneson papers in a tweed jacket 2 sizes too small for him. There was also the imprint of finger marks on his neck and the sign of a huge struggle etched in the white sand. The single set of footprints with the intermittent drops of blood leading into the dunes where quickly being erased by the wind. This was lost to the mortified rescuers who had the grim task of burying the wreck’s unfortunate passengers. The papers back in London pronounced the death of B Carneson who’s body is buried on a remote stretch of beach in South Africa.

The next year or 2 of Carneson’s life was unimaginably difficult. Every step was made with the all-consuming vitriolic hatred for the men who had put him in this insufferable situation. His will for revenge was always stronger than his will to live. He learnt how to survive in the wilderness between the wreck and Cape Town. Being detected was not an option and anonymity was vital for this next phase of his life to work. The altercation in the white sands had left him with a broken nose and a ghastly slash across his face. The wound and the disfigurement untreated left him with terrible facial scars. Hardly recognizable as the once dashing Bentley Carneson he hoped to shadow back into society just long enough to inflict his venom, what happened next did not really matter. Getting back to London was never going to be easy. It was a cold June 1817 morning that saw a disheveled spectacle make its way across the Cape flats to Cape Town. By this time Carneson was heavily bearded, a fraction of the imposing 6.2 man that had slipped from society 2 years previously.
No questions asked, none given – Carneson started begging and eventually found casual work at the harbor as a carpenter’s assistant. He found, his grossly disfigured face prevented people from asking questions, being to embarrassed too look at him, let alone engage him in conversation. This suited him just fine, Carneson slowly built up his financial resources, he also to his own amazement became an excellent ships carpenter. And his skills became needed on most of the new ships calling into port. It still was his absolute hatred that kept him from slipping into the cold waters of the Atlantic harbor sea port. It was the year 1825 and carneson now Jack Smith had amassed a tidy sum and a solid reputation. In the Vasco Da Gama pub which he frequented he had actually made a few valuable friends. He found he enjoyed the hard work, which often took his mind from his one and only mission. It was a July morning when he lit upon the face of Sophia. She was a beautiful woman; her eyes sparkled with her smile. Surprising even himself with the vitriolic hatred that cursed through his veins was what now seemed to be the capacity within all this to discover an equal but opposite capacity to love? He found himself staring and thinking of her obsessively. She worked as a maid for a wealthy British family near the docks, when Jack did eventually engage with her, she appeared to look past his appearance and became a genuine confidant. A spoilt, self-obsessed man such as Carneson lacked the capacity to see beyond himself. But lowly Jack Smith, disfigured and disheveled was capable of turning a black heart red. The days were spent working and thinking of his new obsession. His previous reason for living was shoved to the back of his mind. He was actually becoming happy and contented, he was definitely going to ask for the hand of Sophia and he knew she would say yes. If it weren't for the arrival of the 20 gun British man o war ship, HMS Martin, Jack Smith would have probably moved on from his vendetta in London and lived an accomplished simple life as a ship’s carpenter with his beautiful young bride.
The HMS Martin was a British man of war ship, which arrived in the Cape on her way to Australia, in 1826. She needed a few carpentry repairs. Jack Smith was the expert carpenter chosen to oversee the reparations. Normally a man o war does not take on passengers but whilst working near the captains cabin Jack heard recognizable voices. The HMS Martin was secretly carrying 3 passengers to Australia. Now usually this would not concern him or even bother him. However in this case 2 of the passenger’s voices were well known to Carneson. Whilst working undetected in the cabin next door, Carneson over- heard their mission. Smythe and Radcliffe were on a top secret mission for Her Majesty to infiltrate the Australian underground. It appeared both were Queen’s men and infiltrating established crime syndicates was their job.
Carneson’s rage went to a white-hot level. All the hatred and vitriol solidified in his cursed veins. He needed a plan; he needed retribution, he wanted revenge. He carried on the repairs as best he could; he had no worry of bumping into Smythe and Radcliffe, if that was really their names. They were well hidden and it was fortuitous he had stumbled upon their meeting with the captain. His nights were spent conceiving his plan. It all came to him simply enough, he would sabotage the ship. It seemed the entire British fraternity conspired against him. It was fitting that the establishment would pay in full for their deed. Being an expert carpenter he felt he could undetected weaken areas of the ship’s woodwork. In so doing the first big storm would send her to a watery grave almost immediately. This was a suitable end , which almost mirrored his own previous demise perfectly.

The last part of his plan would need to be done just before the ship sailed , he wanted to weaken the rigging on the main mast. He planned to sneak on board late at night and do the necessary and then slip into the shadowy night undetected. He would then comfortably resume his Jack Smith persona, marry and live happy and contented for the rest of his life.
Carneson gathered his bag of tools and headed for his date with destiny. He had a jaunt in his step and the air was crisp and clear. He loved Cape Town at this time of year, he loved being here and he loved Sophia. His life was good and once he had accomplished this sinister deed he would symbolically remove the foul, wretched stench of Carneson from his memory forever. Approaching the docks he thought he heard a noise behind him. Turning around he saw a harbor rat the size of a small cat slip into the black water. Creeping on board was easy, as the men had exhausted themselves in preparation for the huge ocean crossing. Carneson set about sabotaging the key areas of the rigging. It was early morning as he slipped over the side, dropping into the harbor waters. The cold Atlantic Ocean seemed to cleanse and cool his hatred and as he stepped on shore he was now completely the phoenix - Jack Smith.
Jack watched the HMS Martin set sail that early 1826 morning. A wry smile pursed his lips. He watched her from Signal Hill and once she had disappeared from sight he left to go find his true love. He had a tidy sum of money stashed away; they would live in a cottage he had been eyeing near the harbor, kids would be great and maybe a dog. Life was really good that morning; Jack Smith was a truly contented man. The bones, the rancid flesh of Lord Carneson had now been laid to rest forever in his mind.

If you walk up near the top of Signal Hill, there is a lone tree set apart from the rest. It is a gnarled twisted tree, grown in an impossible spot, exposed to the harsh Cape storms and searing African sun. The seedling had been put into fine soil but as nature would have it, it had been washed into this impossible spot, growing into this hideous apparition you will now see before you. If you look very carefully at the branch facing the setting sun, you used to be able to see a rope burn, but that I think has grown over now.

In late 1826, the accountant Willaby Smythe and businessman Charles Radcliffe still in London, read a very confusing note sent from the Cape. The note simply read, "your voices now over whelm my every waking moment". Signed Carneson.  Smythe simply threw the garbled note in the bin – vaguely  recalling a distant business acquaintance called Bentley Carneson, who recklessly squandered his family assets.

You see, Jack Smith made his way to Sophia’s house in the Bo Kaap full of expectation, her mother was surprised, shocked to see him. She informed him that she had said goodbye to Sophia early that morning. She said Sophia had followed him to the docks the previous night, she had seen his travel bag and she couldn’t bear the thought of him leaving without her. She had rushed back and packed a few things and said she would stow herself away on the HMS Martin. She was prepared to travel to the ends of the earth, where-ever in fact, Jack Smith might eventually go. Her mom had begged her to stay , but she said she saw not the apparition but the incredible man whom she loved.

The end

Shipwrecks along the South African coast. – parts of this story are true - however the characters are definitely not. ive tried to keep whats true separate from whats just a story.
It is not only the Waratah that went to a mysterious watery grave along the SA coast. Numerous other ships have completely vanished along this treacherous stretch of coast. The HMS Martin was one of the first large ships to disappear without a trace after leaving Cape Town harbor in 1826 on her way to Australia. The wreck of the Arniston claimed 273 lives in 1815 with only 6 known survivors. 25 of the victims were regrettably children.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I am Doctor Dirk Potgieter and my secret obsession all started innocently enough. As the leading expert in matters of the mind in South Africa, it was really just a natural progression, to start testing my mind theories on those closest to me. I assume total control of any and all my social interactive situations. This makes it easy for me to manipulate myself into the puppeteer position, to test and research my latest social interactive theory. Or S.I.T. as I call it. I pull, knot and carefully stitch the fragile strings of human interactive psychology. Like a skilled heart surgeon stitching up tiny arteries, I ply my skill. I secretly liken my art form to the careful manufacture of an intricate bomb, a social house of cards. The true art is in knowing when to introduce my innocent victim to the tiny trigger or spark. The ensuing social explosion between oblivious partakers leave them completely emotionally drained and exhausted, Unaware of the gentle baiting, teasing and stitching that eventually leaves them feeling emotionally lobotomised. At this point I quickly provide the needed emotional antidote without a moments hesitation, to make sure I remedy any and all frail minds affected by my important research. In so doing I inevitably look even more professional and learned to all present who have just witnessed my absolute genius at work. I have all the answers to the contrived situations and revel in the awe of those who listen to my awesome theories of the mind – I literally leave a room of participants completely spellbound. Sometimes I administer this antidote just in the nick of time, just before the person is lost to the wilderness of the mind from which there is no coming back.
This scenario is extremely rare to achieve – but when done properly it will leave a room of people completely speechless. Spellbound by my impressive mind analysis theories and absolute caring humanist persona. The by now suicidal participant is also absolutely elated to learn the fundamental issues that plague them. They actually feel in debited to me for my accurate revelations and unique understanding of their space and place in the Psychological Social Interactive Universe. P.S.I.U.
Very tragically my research has had collateral damage, in the early days. On one occasion I made my one and only fatal error of taking too long to supply the participant with the social antidote. Unfortunately one of my more sensitive partakers, oblivious to my important mind research tragically killed herself, by plunging to her death, head first from the third floor toilet window, whilst our dinner was being served.
As I opened my first practice soon after this tragic event, for awhile I eased off on my art form. However, the research is just to important to stop completely. My research is of vital importance to humanity. The power I am now aware of, that I can wield with my mind is all encompassing. In most cases when supplying the antidote I do not even charge for my expert advice and suggestions. The person actually receives my brilliant direction for free, which they can really gain from and use.
I don’t really have a name for this real out, real in psychology, which leaves oblivious participants teetering on the brink of insanity. It is much like hypnosis, with some people being more susceptible than others to my mind manipulation. Over the years due to my constant practice and obsession with this mind study, people slowly have withdrawn from me. For no obvious reason on their part, other than whenever I am vaguely present. Wives want to divorce husbands; depressants or the newly depressed, start thinking about wrists, bridges and copious amounts of alcohol and pills. I am constantly seeking out new social circles to conduct my mind research and social experiments in. This does not really bother me much because this ensures people do not get to close to me to observe a pattern developing. And I consider it a form of marketing for my now bustling practice. I often sleep at my office and shower and ready myself for my morning patients. I am meticulously careful never to try this secret obsession with any of my current patients, as that would be completely unprofessional. No, I reserve the research strictly for after work social interactions.
My latest secretary is a beautiful woman. I gave the institute where I run my practice my detailed list of requirements and because of my accurate description of what I was looking for, did not have to go through a long list of candidates. This suited me just fine as my schedule is very busy and wasting time is never an option. My previous secretary resigned rather suddenly. As I never fully mix work with pleasure, I only slightly tested my mind theories on her. She unfortunately left before I could apply the antidote to her manufactured emotional issues. It was really her own fault, as she should have stayed longer. Now there is a poor woman who believes that her husband has whittled her away to a R100 for groceries and R10 for herself weekly servant. She also believes that she misplaces things and loses money all the time due to my implied subliminal memory loss implication techniques. I was also just starting to research a new mind technique of following her around and staring at her from a distance. She would never see me of course but I realise now the theory of someone staring at you constantly, even though you could not see them is very affective. But this is very advanced psychological study and is very new to me. I will perfect this research over time and document my findings for you all to benefit from.
Due to the high number of sexually deviant patients that come to my practice. The psychological institution that I run my practise in has had to suddenly become incredibly strict. I now have to see all my patients at my office under strict lock and key. Additionally due to the high number of germs carried by these miscreant patients they have to come and see me with white coats on. Even my new secretary has to wear a coat. In order to get through my workload of patients, I am finding I have to sleep at my office every night now.
I will be publishing my thesis shortly for humanities benefit. All participants in my research will be amazed at the roll they played in this important and revolutionary document. It will finally validate my position as South Africa’s leading mind expert.
THE END - copyright Quinton J Damstra