Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Would You Want to Read More?


Another Saturday, another funeral. Lindiwe dusts breadcrumbs off her lap, takes a final sip of her sweet tea and places the mug in the sink. She’ll wash it later. She takes her coat off the hook and puts it on. She always wears her coat, even though it’s the height of summer. Putting on her beret, she leaves the house. Carefully, but conspicuously, Lindiwe locks the front door so that the scabengers who have moved in next door notice just how locked it is, and then she stands on the kerb waiting for her lift to arrive.

She and Sipho do funerals every weekend. Often they organise them; finding the cash to put caskets of different sizes in the ground and to arrange food and drink for the mourners. If they’re not organising, then they’re attending. Sometimes they are the only attendants. Last Saturday, they buried five-month-old Maria. She’d been dropped at the mission and had not lived long enough to draw a crowd. Lindiwe mourned her, though. She always mourns, every baby, child and adult who they bury. Every time is like the first time. Sipho knows to have tissues and he passes them to her at the appropriate moment. Such a nice young man. Lindiwe wonders when his time will be.

Sipho drives up in his aging yellow Golf and she climbs in. He drives them past the overflowing cemetery outside Lindiwe’s suburb, along the dusty road into town, down the main road and up the hill through the once-white only suburbs. They join the highway and climb another, steeper hill, Sipho’s car chug-chugging behind articulated lorries. Today Lindiwe has not had to arrange anything, but she has been asked to give a reading. She holds her Bible closely to her heart to muffle its thumping.

© Charlotte Otter, 2008

(Because if you do, there’s more where that came from …)

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

31 thoughts on “Would You Want to Read More?

  1. and and and….. the rest?! I want to read more! Charlotte I can “see” everything and my heart is aching and thumping as well! I love it!

  2. I want to read more!!! Pick me! *waving hand wildly in the air*

  3. In the words of my Luke, when I’m telling him a story, “and then..?”

  4. I would really like to read more. Please share!

  5. So is that an excerpt from your upcoming book, Charlotte?

  6. Oh my, yes. Definitely.

  7. Thanks, everyone, for your enthusiastic responses. In answer to Ian’s question, yes, this is part of what one day I hope can be called a novel!

  8. Is it too late? Pick me too! Maybe I’ll share mine when I finally finish this stupid degree and can pick it up again…
    My father went through a phase of attending lots of funerals and writing letters to me about them where they would be the only content…

  9. I liked it. I want to read more. What will the title be?

  10. Oh definitely. Go Charl go!!

  11. I’m hooked. Please, sir, can I have some more? 😉

  12. Oh you nice and lovely people, thank you! I might start a fiction blog where I place this story as it grows. Or I might not. I can’t decide if going public is a good idea right now or not …

    Yours, undecidedly,

  13. Yes, please, some more (when you’re ready).

  14. Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I think young books should not be allowed to go out without a chaperon. On the one hand, I am like all others here, dying to read more and I’d absolutely love a fiction blog, but I am not sure it would be right for us to read before you’ve had enough rows with an insufferable editor.

  15. I’d like to read more.

  16. YES. I would want to read more. It’s lovely. That said, I would keep it private, girlfriend. You are much too talented a writer to sacrifice your novel publicly. If publishing a novel is your dream, then I sort of think you should go full-force for it….don’t get me wrong…no one loves blogging as much as I do…but I also think you can always put it up on a fiction blog in pieces if it doesn’t get published down the road…

  17. Thank you very much, Courtney, Mandarine, Emily and the lovely Ms Sofa for your comments. I will probably heed your advice and keep my beloved story close to my heart for now. With thanks for your help and kind words.

  18. Do not share Char. Write the bloody book!

  19. Wonderful start Charlotte… as soon as I read

    “dusts breadcrumbs off her lap, takes a final sip of her sweet tea and places the mug in the sink. She’ll wash it later. She takes her coat off the hook and puts it on”

    … hooked…. lovely attention to detail, suddenly, she was real.

    Looking forward to the book. Keep going, girlie

  20. Go for it. Start that fiction blog!

  21. I don’t know how I got here, but I’m so glad I found your site. I definitely want to hear more. I’m going to go look around some more.

  22. Yes, the first bit is very promising! If you hesitate between going private or public, maybe you could post little pieces you like or, on the contrary, paragraphs you’re not quite satisfied of… a kind of virtual writing group for comments and suggestions. But don’t feel obliged to post the whole stuff!

  23. Pingback: Write What You Know « Charlotte’s Web

  24. Love it 🙂 I think your protagonist is perfect 🙂

  25. i would absolutely want to read more. in fact i can’t wait to read more. i want that book in my hands already!

  26. Pingback: The Writing Meme « Charlotte’s Web

  27. you got me with that first bit..sucked me in to their world. Write, write, write!

  28. I’m with Mandarine on this one. The baby should be protected a bit, not brought out into the big world before it is dressed and named. But I enjoyed the teaser.

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