The captain's captive (1/4)

By Drum Digital
02 November 2015

The Rosettenville kid was in deep trouble...

IT WAS one of those summer nights when life on the streets of Rosettenville was good. The air was balmy, and I was away from the crowds of daytime and worries of how to get through another day.

For once, as I crouched over a discreet little fire between two bricks in the dark corner of a parking lot, I was free to reflect on deeper questions.

Like, how does a man tell the right moment to flip the braai wors? Is it by the smell of fat dripping on the coals or by the bubbles bursting under the skin of the meat?

Then, my thoughts were rudely interrupted by a stampeding horde of humanity.

The first thing I heard was yelling like the distant braying of donkeys. Then I saw a crowd of bodies that broke out of the night at the far end of the parking lot and homed in on me.

I couldn’t believe my eyes who was leading the charge – none other than Joseph the Crippled Beggar Boy. We were used to seeing him at the robots – hunched over and pitifully dragging a foot while he jiggled an empty cup. But there he was – bounding along like a mountain goat, lifting his knees so high that I thought he might knock himself on the chin! As the herd swept by, I saw a whole parade of local talent – homeless guys, illegals and backyard dwellers, beggars and rubbish scavengers, skibengas and zama-zamas, heist specialists, taxi assassins, drug peddlers, whoonga sniffers and street corner girls.

To be continued...

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