I recently entered a short story compo. 250 words with the theme “Load Shedding” which was hosted by WriteSmarter
My entry didn’t win. But of course, I don’t mind. I still love writing. So now that the winner has been announced I can now published my take on this theme:
It was like…
The weather was dull. The grey clouds invited me to stay indoors. I grabbed my latest book and made some plunger coffee and then snuggled into the corner of the couch. I was set.
The Daily Sun lay open on the table beside me. It displayed this week’s crossword puzzle. The challenge persuaded me to leave the story.
First clue across. ‘Nickname for South Africa’ starting with R. Easy one! Rainbow Nation. The next clue down. ‘A former president’s affectionate title’ starting with M. I jogged my memory and worked it out. Madiba.
This tug-of-war with the puzzle continued for 30 minutes. I had two words left to completion. I stood and stretched. Switched the kettle on and prepared another coffee. I stood in the middle of my kitchen peering to the world through the window. I could hear the occasional dove cooing. The wind was rustling through the leaves.
I thought of that old adage; “I live in a small house, but my windows look out on a large world.” I smiled at the mere years of my life and what I had been blessed to see thus far.
But I was stalling. The missing words lured me back. I figured out the second to last word. Final one. Starting with L: ‘when one lacks power’. 12 letters. I was out. I couldn’t see what I needed to do…
Then, it was like a light went on in my mind. The answer: Load Shedding.