Rough Diamond (5/5)

By Drum Digital
17 April 2015

A boy who thinks he’s smart may have a lot to learn.

There were isolated chuckles. But all around was a silence, the calm before the storm. Es was on a roll. “No door! If you ask how you’re going to manage,they give you a balaclava. Hee banna! You’re expected to wear a balaclava as you sit on the bucket so people who pass in the distance can’t recognise you!”

The laughter was fading, and many of the assembled company wore outraged expressions.

The uncle could be heard muttering under his breath, “Who does he think he is!” Later, when Es went outside, the uncle followed him. When Es turned to see who was behind him, his mouth painfully kissed the head of the hard-swung knobkerrie. The two protruding teeth flew out of his mouth and landed in the dust at his feet. The move had been subtly planned so as to appear as an accident. But Es saw the resentment on the uncle’s face.

“Sorry,” the uncle said, then walked away.

Later, Es was waiting in the car for his friends to drive him to the hospital. His gums were painful and bleeding. A young man peered into the car and said: “There’s a lot you don’t know about this village. Here we improve a guy’s looks with a knobkerrie. Our cosmetic dentists don’t even charge a cent!”

Es was in no mood for comedy. His father’s words were throbbing in his head along with the pain. The rough diamond was getting the polish the Old Timer had foretold.

The end.

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