The End of the Line

eBook (PDF), 83 Pages
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This is Craig Lock's first novel. A short novel set in "the beloved country". A passionate and heart-breaking tale of South Africa, a true story of the bad old days, but with the hope of the new. THE END OF THE LINE "The End Of The Line" could be described as a "faction", a fiction with a serious factual grounding. It is simple, and therefore moving. It gives yet another highly individual portrait of that troubled land, and it does so through a believable and sustained narrative form."
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  • By Craig Lock
    Mar 24, 2010
    Some extracts... CHAPTER ONE: It was a typical Cape winter's day. The wind had been howling from the north-west for a number of days already. The sky was grey as I looked out of the train window towards the mountain and Devil's Peak to the left. The rain pelted down and the bleak atmosphere even permeated through to the faces of my fellow passengers on the train. Sullen white faces peered down at the Cape Times not sparing a look at their fellow passengers. Amidst the stony faced silence however I was happy. I had already been working for three months and commuting from Claremont, where I lived, to central Cape Town, which wasn't so bad. It was only when I was late that my boss at the office of Sun Oil would growl at me. I used to catch the 7.25 train every morning, which would get me there in time for my 8 am start. However sometimes there were delays at Salt River station or in heavy rain like today. The train would stand still for what seemed like hours while agitated passengers... More > looked at their watches anxiously (as if to stop time passing by) and like me, imagined their bosses' wrath descending upon them. It was just that kind of day that bleak Monday morning when all of a sudden the train screeched to a halt just outside Observatory station on the main line. The standing passengers lurched forward, even those holding on to the straps. Heavy sighs of exasperation came forth from frustrated mouths at yet another delay. It really was going to be one of those days if the week started off like this -a real black Monday. People in the crowded rush-hour train started leaning out of the windows. I couldn't see much, because I didn't have a seat. Only those fortunate enough to live some way down the line like in Fish Hoek or sometimes Diep River stood much chance of reading the paper seated in comfort. Having climbed aboard at Claremont I stood near the doors packed closely next to my fellow passengers, like sardines. People then started talking excitedly amongst themselves. I saw the train driver in his white coat walking next to the tracks back toward "Zervs" station. His white coat matched his face, which seemed drained of all its colour... * Edwin could forgive but never forget the immense pain caused to his family by all that had happened to them. Sonya could too. Oh what price has power and greed! However that era was now over:" finished and klaar". He resolved to put all that behind him in a spirit of 'UBUNTU' or humanity .He and Sonya were at a new dawn .With it a spirit of tolerance, respect for others and order would hopefully prevail in the new country. This moment was a new beginning for South Africa and a great future of peace and prosperity lay ahead. In time he hoped everyone would live in harmony, although they both realised that many difficulties lay ahead; the path ahead was very rocky but that makes life and the country so interesting. What a privilege to be living here in such exciting times as history unfolded, thought Edwin. South Africa was on the verge of being a free multi racial democracy after a very painful labour; although the country remained a deeply divided society. Their first dream had come true. Together, they and the country, had climbed the first steep and tortuous hill. Tired as they were they would not stop to rest. The country was in a bit of a mess: rampant crime (political as well as ordinary) , violence and massive unemployment as a result of a run-down economy. Also there were massive divisions among the diverse peoples to be healed and bridged. There was a mountain of work up ahead. There was still plenty to be done with many more hills to climb. They had both been in the deepest valleys; now they knew what it was like momentarily to stand on the highest peak. Sonya and Edwin wanted to bring people closer together and do their little bit to help to build one nation of South Africans in the future. Both Sonya and Edwin resolved to play a small part in this for the rest of their lives - they were committed. Their dream of seeing a unified nation at peace with itself was still a long way off, but both of them resolved to make this their life's work. A miracle had happened already. After all fairy tales and dreams do come true, don't they? Back in Cape Town , 1000 thousand miles south on the tip of the African continent, the crowds on the Grand Parade in Cape Town sang and rejoiced as they put their arms around each other: Black, Indian , Coloured and White. Nelson Mandela's vision of the future was a Rainbow Nation Edwin and Sonya would see to that as they embraced , seeing the images on television outside the City Hall with it's imposing facades. It was the same City Hall where Mandela had made his first speech from the balcony when he was released by President Frederik De Klerk in February 1990. The first European settlers had arrived here in 1652 under the Dutchman Jan Van Riebeeck to set up a stop for provisions. Cape Town was conveniently situated as a halfway house on the long and treacherous journey from Europe to the trading nations of the East Indies, which were rich in spices. However, colonisation had now come to an end in Africa, and South Africa belonged to all it's people...after over 300 years. As the tears streamed down their faces, Edwin and Sonya thought back on their lives. Recent events in the "beloved country" had moved so rapidly, they were unbelievable. They had seen a miracle happen in South Africa , although there remained even higher mountains to climb in the uncertain but exciting future days. It didn't matter though: they wanted to be the "Sir Edmund Hillary's" of the future. Nelson Mandela's closing words had moved and meant a lot to Sonya Shepherd and Edwin Carelse: "It was time to roll up the sleeves and get back to work" so they did just that... "For yesterday is but a dream And tomorrow is only a vision, But today well lived makes yesterday a dream of happiness And every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day! Such is the salutation to the dawn." anon. * * *< Less
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Craig Lock
September 29, 2011
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Printable? Yes
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