The Two Jims

© J. Francois Barnard - 9 February 2024

Jim woke at his usual time, around 5 am. He got dressed to go for his usual 5-kilometer walk. And as usual, he walked past Nette's room, now empty. He leaned against the doorframe and stared at the empty bed, neatly made.

May 1945

© J. Francois Barnard - 5 February 2024

As dawn broke, Siegfried emerged from the trench that served as his uneasy refuge through the night. Casting a wary glance around to ensure solitude, he carefully moved westward, steadfast in his journey homeward to the Fatherland. The landscape before him bore the scars of recent battles with the Russians; the timeline of those encounters blurred in his weary mind—was it yesterday or the day before?

The Gulag

© J. Francois Barnard - 1 February 2024

Tatiana shouted for help as they dragged her away from her aunt's house. Nobody dared to help her and stand up against the militsiya. That she acted in self-defence did not matter. She shot an officer who assaulted her, and her destiny was the Gulag Camp, Perm 36.

Murder in Muckleneuk

© J. Francois Barnard - 18 January 2024

The little six-year-old boy stood in front of his older brother and sister. They pointed at him and snarled their accusation: "Murderer!" Their mother stepped in between them, and by then, all three were crying.

The Operation

© J. Francois Barnard - 02 January 2024

When you reach the ripe age of about forty, you know the time will come for The Operation. Her hormones would be applauding, and other contraceptives would not work for her. You have to brace yourself to go through the ordeal of a vasectomy.