Chapter 3: The Just Friends Trap

The next installment of the ongoing fictional saga of Jake and Wakesho (working title of the whole thing is “For Tomorrow”). This one’s a bit longer, so bear with me. See related A Cape Catharsis  and Fish Traps (it would help to read them in order). 

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental. 

Jake was sorting through his mail on a Friday evening while sitting in his favorite worn-out secondhand chair listening to the local college station which was playing obscure alternative rock. Finding nothing of interest in the mail, Jake ventured into the kitchen, grabbed a beer from the fridge and scrutinized the contents of the cabinets. Finding the cupboard bare, he pulled a frozen pizza out of the freezer and slid it into the oven. Continue reading “Chapter 3: The Just Friends Trap”

Chapter 2: Fish traps

Pomme de Terre River by LocalOzarkian Photography
Pomme de Terre River by LocalOzarkian Photography

This is another installment in the saga of Jake and Wakesho, my long-running fictional tale of two people trying to figure out life. See my previous related post, “A Cape Catharsis.” 

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

Jake drummed his thumbs on the steering wheel in rhythm to the drum beat of the Congolese rhumba song playing on his stereo while impatiently eyeing the stoplight overhead. After what seemed like an eternity the light turned green and he released the clutch and began to roll into the intersection, only to slam on the brakes as he glimpsed a car speeding into the intersection out of the corner of his eye. The driver showed no sign of recognition that he was running a red light as he sped through the intersection. “Pay attention, asshole!” Jake yelled out his open window, flipping the man his middle finger at the same time. Continue reading “Chapter 2: Fish traps”

Chapter 1: A Cape Catharsis

This is an excerpt from a much longer work of fiction I have been working on for a very long time. These characters have been haunting me for the better part of twenty years. I think the time has come to share them with the world. 

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental. 

Walking down a narrow street lined with stout oak and sycamore trees reminds Jake of his childhood in the Ozarks. He thinks of Halloween when he was five years old, going house to house trick-or-treating in the small farming community where his grandparents lived. The smell of rotting leaves and wood smoke in Cape Town’s cold night air takes him back in time twenty years, holding his older sister’s hand as they walk along the sidewalk in their costumes, carrying their bags stuffed with candy, their mother following along slowly on the street in the family car, keeping a watchful eye on them. Continue reading “Chapter 1: A Cape Catharsis”

What is an upscale shack?

This should have been my first post. Belatedly, let me explain the name of this blog.

In 1845, Henry David Thoreau quit his job and built a small house in the woods. It was essentially just a shack. But it was an upscale shack, not just some thrown-together lean to. It was small, even by the standards of the day, measuring only 10 feet by 15 feet, containing a single room with a bed, a table and a writing desk. A fireplace kept him warm throughout the winter. He lived comfortably in his upscale shack for a bit over two years, and documented his simple lifestyle in Walden. Thoreau’s most salient advice, which defines the spirit of this blog, was “simplify, simplify.” Continue reading “What is an upscale shack?”