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The Seller

Maura was trying hard. Recently widowed she had to make a living. Her and her children were barely holding on. Mike had left her very little in terms of life insurance and assets.

The past few months she spent studying to write the local estate agents exams through the Professional Estate Agents Group. It was the only qualification she could study and be earning within a short period of time. And you didn’t need a degree to do it.

Maura spent hours trolling through websites to familiarize herself with house prices, the best and worst areas and the average prices of homes. Often people advertised their own homes and sold them privately. Maura disliked the concept but realized that they did hold opportunities if the owner could be convinced to work with her.

The advert read: house for sale. Blairgowrie – R650 000 – 3 bedrooms, swimming pool and double garage. Call: Blaze. Maura read it again. The house prices in that area were well over a million rand. This couldn’t be right. Maybe he left out a “1” in front of the “6”.…

The Proposal

Wilbotsvale is the Hicksville of the West Rand! It doesn’t mean the people are bad, just poor and common. Being mainly a farm community, there are many poor families renting rooms from the farmers while working the land. It’s amazing how, no matter how poor they are – they smoke, drink and have more kids than they can educate.

Blinky is the exception. Pretty. Able to pass grade 8. Takes care of herself.…

The Christmas Carollers

 

 Mike was short, stout and downright ugly.  He hated everything good and kindness was a foreign concept to him.  Even at Christmas time, when his neighbors were giving he didn’t.  The neighborhood Christmas carollers spent months rehearsing their songs so that they could sing their way through Christmas. It made them happy and they approached their singing with love and enthusiasm. They loved to share the joy.

 

The carollers drove Mike crazy.  He moved between ignoring them ringing the bell in the cold and opening the door to hurl abuse at them.  This year Mike decided to prepare for the carollers too, he had a special surprise for them.

Rattus!

Benny, short for Bernice was a fitness fanatic. Every morning was an opportunity for a run in the beautiful forests around her home. Only a hailstorm or lightening could keep her off the path. She had bought the place for that reason and she loved it. Her home was tiny, she had to make sure her furniture was minimal. But what she had was comfortable and perfect for her.

Benny’s constant companion was “Treats”, appropriately named as treats were the little dog’s life. He was what she called a “Bitsa”, bits of this dog and bits of that dog! He had been trained to run with Benny, first on a leash tied to her belt, then beside her. Several times when it was raining, she had tried to leave him behind, but his pitiful cries always made her turn around and get him. He was so faithful and too adorable and Benny adored him back.

Sunday was the best day for a run in Benny’s mind. She could go further and still get to do what she wanted, the rest of the day. Benny had stocked her fridge and intended to make a large, vegetable lasagna and a sweet carrot and chicken soup for the week. It was this she was planning while listening to the rhythmic “thunk, thunk” of her feet on the hard sand. Great music led the way, a gift from a long-forgotten ex. The view was calming and the dappled sunlight tickled her skin with warm fingers. Taking deep breaths scented with pine needles, moss and damp – she flew along the forest path, loving each second. If she had known what was ahead – she would have turned back.…