AFRICAN OSCAR AWARD, INDIEFEST FILM AWARD WINNER, 3x BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF YOUNG ADULT URBAN FANTASY, PARANORMAL ROMANCE, MYSTERY~SUSPENSE FICTION &TRANSFORMATION INTERVENTIONIST WELCOMES YOU TO HER FANTASY GALAXY!
My weary eyes opened to an ominous sky speckled with dim stars and a
huge full moon dappled with unsettling, flaming balls of fire. I was in
an unfamiliar setting, an open space surrounded by terrifying, blazing
fires, and the humming of a charter aircraft shattered the stillness of
Mum and Darwin hopped out of the car, with me following, and we hastened
toward the small aircraft.
“What’s this?” I kept asking, with no answer from Darwin or Mum.
“Are we going on that?” I asked again, ducking a cloud of sand blown
from the ground, a result of the blazing fires and rumbling aircraft.
In front of us was a six-foot-tall, dark-skinned man, dressed in a dark
blue pilot’s uniform. His eyes showed great anticipation as he
struggled to move toward us. No sooner had we closed the distance to the
aircraft when we heard the terrifying staccato of gunshots …
Chapter 1. Transformation
The children in my neighborhood gathered to play under a half moon
seated comfortably in the sky. In this sixty-five-degree weather, we
watched the heavy rain flow in waves through the narrow, muddy streets.
Though the streetlights were dimly lit, the Christmas lights, so bright
yet so decadent, on the fourteen houses in the courtyard made up for the
darkness. In this festive ambiance, I paraded myself in my favorite
T-shirt—sleeveless, jet black—layered underneath my navy blue hooded
sweatshirt, shamelessly bedazzled with bronze studs in the shape of a
giant hawk on the back, and my brown jean pants, covered with cuts and
slits … a fashion statement entirely wrong for the rainy season. The
spikes shooting out of my wristbands made a chinking sound as I rubbed
them together, announcing my presence on Milner Court. If Mum knew I was
wearing this outfit again, she would go off the deep end! Regardless of
how she felt about my “gothic God-forsaken” style, as she would
often refer to it, my friends were somewhat used to my dressing. For me,
I commanded respect in school dressing like that. Students were afraid
of meddling in my business. Besides, this was my lucky shirt, and I was
wearing it to win the race ahead.
Lying gracefully between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange
River in the south, with rolling grassland and fields of crops rising to
a lovely sandstone mountain, is Milner Court, Bloemfontein, a suburb
nestled in the middle of Free State, South Africa. Though Mum, Dad,
Jody, and Stephen had been born in the farmlands of Limpopo, a northern
province of South Africa, they worked hard to ensure the very best of
living for our family. Mum often told us she was never afraid of
working. She strongly believed her great-grandparents who came from
Ireland and Britain to settle down in South Africa, as well as her black
South African connection by way of her mum, had gifted her with a hard
work ethic as they worked to briskly tend to their farmlands. Mum was a
retired high school home economics teacher, and Dad, a mix-breed
creation of a Dutch and German union, had worked his way from second
lieutenant to major general and now lieutenant general. One more bump up
the success ladder, and he would become the general!
Living in this suburb was their way of telling the world that they had
arrived and were able to fend for themselves and their offspring. It was
certainly their wish that their children would gladly embrace their gift
of hard work, starting with bringing home great grades—a dream that
was yet to be fulfilled in my case!
In the midst of this success lay a recent rumor of a potential unrest by
the military troop in the country. The people’s dissatisfaction with
the government leadership was unveiled by series of riots, led by the
youths alongside those Mum called South African hooligans. They were
attempting to change the system by relentless, often violent
demonstrations across our state. While I was pleased with Dad’s
promotion, it was also of great concern that one day, these hooligans,
or perhaps the military itself, under the guise of protecting the
nation, would eventually succeed in bringing anarchy into the peaceful
communities we enjoyed. More importantly, my fear that Dad would one day
be called upon to defend the country he loved with his life was a
thought I most readily tucked at the back of my mind while playing on
Milner Court. I had succeeded in tucking away my fears simply because,
though we heard the erratic voices of rioters often on Milner Court,
their venom had not spread into our peaceful suburban communities yet.
Ignorance is bliss, as they say. If this was true, we were living in an
ignorant haven on Milner Court under dad’s protection.