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Author: Bradley

Lester – Part 1

Posted in Short Stories

Lester was a little creep who had obtained super powers. He got them from an odd rock that had plummeted from the sky and landed in his back yard. The rock radiated with cosmic energy and would have gone completely unnoticed if Lester hadn’t tripped over it and subsequently attacked it with displaced aggression. The rock had done nothing to incur Lester’s wrath and the moment the boy’s skin made contact with the mineraloid, it had gifted the spoilt ten year old with abilities beyond his wildest dreams.

Lester did not deserve these powers.

The imbuement of absolute power seemed to go unnoticed as Lester continued to pelt stones at the neighbour’s cat – an average Thursday for a no-longer average child.

-5%-

“Stupid cat, why don’t you move if you don’t like me throwing stones at you? Obviously you must like it!?” said Lester.

The very next stone that Lester flung, ripped through the cat like the creature was made of tissue paper. The cat slumped over the boundary wall, it’s guts leaking out on either side. Lester stood quizzically for a moment observing what he had done.

“Stupid cat.”

Spinning on his heel, Lester trotted inside the house, unperturbed by what had just transpired.

By 8pm it was time for Lester to go to bed, but the overindulged child was not interested.

“We will not go through this exercise again, Lester!” scolded his father.

“I don’t WANT to go to bed, I WANT to play Xbox!” protested Lester.

Father and son stood in front of one another for what seemed like an eternity, eyes locked – both unyielding.

“I WANT to play Xbox!” he hissed through gritted teeth.

Lester’s squealing shot through his father’s mind like needles. Burst blood vessels in the man’s eyes caused him to relent as he stumbled off to the bathroom to rinse his face. Soon after his wife would come looking for him.

“Henry, what’s happened!?’ she cried.

That little shit son of yours, that’s what!” he scolded.

“Henry, your eyes!” she gasped.

“Yes, I know it’s my fucking eyes, was so angry…shouting at Lester must have popped a blood vessel or something.”

This was not so, and was in fact Lester’s direct doing. Though neither knew it at the time.

Yet again, Lester was untroubled by what had happened and saw this as an opportunity to get his way and play Xbox, just like he wanted in the first place. His father would not bother him again that evening, as he lay in bed nursing the worst headache he would ever experience in his life.

-9%-

It was Saturday, and Lester enjoyed nothing more than melting plastic soldiers with his father’s blowtorch, he wasn’t allowed to go near the tool but his father worked on the weekends and his mother would spend the day watching her shows. So melt little plastic soldiers he did.

The rotting remains of the neighbour’s cat had caught Lester’s eye as carrion birds proceeded to rip and pull at the entrails. Lester’s lapse in concentration at this spectacle meant that he neglected to notice that the blowtorch was spewing white hot flames onto his knees as he sat on his haunches. As Lester finally turned his attention back to his melted soldiers, he fell back, startled, thinking he had burnt himself but there wasn’t a single mark on his skin, not even a scorched hair. He rubbed his knees and legs over multiple times in disbelief but he remained unharmed – the blowtorch sat next to him idly, the torch’s nozzle stained by heat.

Panicked, Lester let out a high-pitched scream, and soon after his mother came running outside to see what had ailed her son but her concern was almost immediately replaced with anger as she saw the blowtorch lying on the ground next to her wailing son.

“What have we told you about playing with that thing!? Do you see what happens when you don’t listen, Lester!”

Lester’s mother stormed over to her son, scooping up the blowtorch – she grabbed his forearm with the intention of dragging the boy inside but recoiled with pain as her hand was immediately and inexplicably burnt, the palm of her hand bubbled with welts and loose skin.

‘Fuck, Lester!”

Her son stood idly, watching his mother writhe in pain, trying to make sense of what was happening. His mother glared at him with equal confusion, cradling her hand, she stormed inside to nurse the wound.

-12%-

That night, Lester sat in his room playing video-games as his parents argued in the kitchen, his mother desperately trying to explain what had happened that afternoon without sounding too hysterical. Her husband, tired from the toils of manual labour sat at the kitchen table, disengaged, hardly paying attention to what his wife was saying but lashed out at her after she spilled his beer while trying to show him her burnt hand.

“Jesus, Karen! Watch what you’re doing!”

“That’s what your worried about? Your fucking beer!? I’m trying to tell you something here, Henry! Something strange is happening with Lester!”

“The only thing that’s strange here is how you mollycoddle that little shit!”

“He burnt me, Henry! As soon as I grabbed his arm!”

“And this is exactly why no one but me should touch that blowtorch!”

“Damn it, Henry! I was holding the blowtorch, I got burnt when I grabbed his arm…haven’t you been listening to anything I’ve said!?”

“No Karen, because what you’re saying is stupid, clearly you shouldn’t be touching the blowtorch either!”

“Fuck you, Henry!”

Karen smacked her husband’s beer out of his hand before he could take another sip and stormed out of the kitchen. She passed Lester’s room, stopping momentarily to see her son sitting in front of the TV, still playing his video-games. For a moment she thought about approaching him, but the memory of that afternoon gave her pause as a chill ran down her spine. She continued on to her bedroom.

***

After several hours, drunk and weary, Henry slowly shambled towards the bedroom but not before seeing Lester still playing video-games.

“For Christ’s sake, Lester, shut that shit off and go to bed.”

Lester did not respond, and seemingly ignored his father.

“I’m not going to ask you again, boy!”

Still, Lester remained motionless in front of the television. A fact that only served to enrage his father even further. Henry marched up to Lester, crushing various toys that were strewn in his path, reaching out to grab hold of his son, Lester got up and turned to face his father. A split second later and Lester held both of his father’s wrists firmly in his grasp.

-15%-

“Fifteen percent, Dad.” whispered Lester.

“Wh-what are you talking about…let go of me.” protested Henry, unable to free himself from the ten year old’s grip.

“Fifteen percent…it’s the amount of power I have so far.”

“P-power!? This isn’t a cartoon, boy. You are going to get such a hiding, you have no idea what’s coming, you little shit!”

“No, Dad. It’s already here.”

Lester crushed his father’s wrists so thoroughly that all that remained were two stumps as the man’s life spilled out onto the carpet – filling the small room with the overbearingly acrid odour of blood. Taking a few steps back, Henry fell into the hallway, slumped against the wall, and bled out in moments. In response to all the commotion, Karen came out into the hallway, in a daze of confusion as she tried to make sense of seeing her dead husband slumped over in the hallway with no hands.

Karen stood silent, so petrified she was unable to scream. She managed a few steps towards her husband before her heart gave out. She fell to the ground dead, only a few feet away from the blood-covered man.

Lester stood at the threshold of his room, staring blankly at his dead parents. In one fluid motion he spun back into his room, sat down in front of the television, and continued to play his video-games…


New year, new me bullshit? Well, sort of but not really…

Posted in Meanderings

I wasn’t overly aware as to just how long it had been since my previous blog post – a realisation that dawned on me when I logged into the Dashboard this morning only to see that there were 10 pending updates and WordPress had seemingly reinvented itself with ‘blocks’, new features and what have you.

The usage of ‘block paragraph inserts’ seems lost on me but I’ll go with it…for now. My last post was the 4th May 2018, now that’s quite a while ago, and even then I wasn’t really writing, having shifted my focus to a small web comic I was doing which has subsequently fallen to the wayside due to time constraints and just a general lack of interest I suppose.

Yesterday was the first time since December last year that I managed to dedicate some time to my novel – an endevour that I started in 2012. The book is essentially complete, I’m just going over it one last time before I set out on the arduous task of looking for a publisher. My lovely wife-to-be is also assisting me by offering advice and criticism which is welcomed as after having spent 6 years working on the thing, I undoubtedly have a degree of tunnel vision so there is room to gain a widened perspective via an additional viewpoint – especially since she is an avid reader.

So what have I been doing? Well, for the most part, I have been diverted from working on my book yet again by a YouTube channel I started in July of last year – it’s been quite an undertaking and although it may not seem like it, there is a fair amount of writing that goes into developing episodes, namely writing scripts and so forth. It’s been fun but I think it’s time to go back to my roots – complete my book and get it off to a publisher. There is certainly a degree of self-sabotage at play here since I always seem to find ways not to work on my main project.

I aspire to be a published writer – read; ‘published’ – I hate the term ‘aspiring writer’. I’m already a fucking writer and won’t allow anyone to tell me differently. If the difference between being a writer was measured on whether or not one is published then I fear for the industry. If you want to write, then write. If you want to get published, then get published. There are numerous avenues a writer can take to get their work out there. The real danger is procrastination and self-sabotage, in this era it is simply too easy to get side-tracked by the sickly wonderful hindrances of streaming services and social media. Not discounting the unfortunate hindrance of a tedious day job either…

I’m not about to abandon the YouTube channel – I’ve invested far too much time and effort into it, but I will slow it down a bit – besides I have some other ideas in mind which will be explained in next week’s video.

So for now, I will return to the pages of my book, thereafter I intend on finishing off a couple short stories I had been working on – I read the pages of one in particular I had started last year and really enjoyed it – I think if you can read your own work and smile about it or look at it in awe then you’re on the right track and it would be a shame to let something like that fall to the wayside.

| Brad.


Log a ticket! #014 | 2018-03-23

Posted in LOG A TICKET! ~ Web Comic

This is based on an actual event that occurred earlier this week.  We had one of the PA’s walk in and advise that a new starter is complaining that her headset is too small for her head – bearing in mind that these headsets have been used for the last ten years (and not once has this issue ever been reported) and have adjustable rails…at this point I asked the PA how big the user’s head was but it turned out that she was putting it on incorrectly.  Still funny as hell though!

Japan Day 2018 Centenary Edition

Posted in Things to do in Cape Town

Location: Oude Libertas Slow Market, Stellenbosch

Date: 17 March 2018

Up until this point I had never heard of the Oude Libertas Slow Market in Stellenbosch, let alone “Japan Day” but it was an event that popped up on my girlfriend’s Facebook feed and it looked like fun so we decided to go.

As I understand it, the Oude Libertas Slow Market is a regular event that happens every weekend.  Essentially a ‘Farmer’s Market’, the Slow Market is populated by a plethora of stalls offering craft beer, artisanal breads, a melting pot of international foods and various craft stalls selling handmade jewelry, art and so forth.

In between all this was the Japan Day festivities, which for the most part occupied the amphitheater as well as the upper levels of the market place.

A demonstration by the JKA Karate Dojo was first up on the amphitheater itinerary.

SA JKA Karate flyer, if anyone is interested in further information.

Unfortunately the audio isn’t the greatest and I didn’t have time to clean it up, however, it’s still nice to see the demonstration in action.

Other demonstrations that would follow included Aikido, archery, Sushi making, Kenjutsu as well as cosplay (a rapidly growing culture in Cape Town), but we only stuck around for some of the Karate and archery.  The archery club has a total of 6 members I believe – 5 in Brackenfell and 1 in Hermanus.

Some more of the Slow Market stalls: