Thabazimbi Heat

Written by: Sumanda Maritz

Melanie slowed to a near standstill behind the decrepit old truck. ‘Come on,’ she thought as it coughed and rattled along the uneven road.

She was rushing to get to the market with the morning’s vegetables.

With disbelief she watched the wheels on the left of the truck lift of the ground. The overloaded truck tipped over in the middle of the dirt road. Forced to stop, Melanie called the position of the accident in to the community radio network before jumping out of her own truck.

‘Anyone hurt in there?’ she called.

They replied in Nigerian, a language she didn’t speak. Even in the middle of Limpopo farm country it didn’t take long for sightseers to appear at the accident scene. As the last of the Nigerians clambered out the first sightseer pulled up.

Fuming with frustration Melanie wiped her brow as she strode up and down the road trying to see a way past the obstruction. Local farmers stood nearby shaking their heads. Dave stepped away from them and asked with a smirk, ‘You picking fights with your new neighbours, Melanie?’

Melanie let out a disgusted snort. ‘If you think their falling-to-pieces truck over-turned because of me, Dave Callahan, you can think again!  Does that thing look roadworthy to you?’ She jabbed a finger in the direction of the prone truck.  ‘You tell your brother-in-law I’m talking to a lawyer about that road he closed off.’

The smirk disappeared.

‘Why don’t you go talk to Billy? I’m sure there’s a compromise.’ He agreed that Billy Gessup was being unnecessarily stubborn about that access road.

‘We’ll see,’ Melanie stopped bristling with an expelled breath.

He smiled. Her blonde ponytail seemed to act like a barometer of her mood. As she calmed it stopped bobbing.

‘What’s so funny?’ she demanded and the ponytail gave another bob.

Swallowing his smile he turned to the truck.

‘They’ve called Will. He’s bringing a block-n-tackle to winch the truck.’ He looked at a nearby tree. ‘Just hope that Jacaranda can withstand the load.

‘Here’s your chance to meet Daniel Sutherland, your other new neighbour,’ Dave said as a new Navara drove up.

Melanie could not take her eyes off the tall dark haired man that climbed out. Jeans hugged his long legs and a khaki shirt emphasized his broad shoulders. The hair curling over his collar was longer than the other farmers. He brushed it away from his eyes with long fingers and his mouth curved into a languid smile.

‘I was at the co-op when I heard the report on the radio.’ His voice was as rich and smooth as dark chocolate.

‘Daniel, meet Melanie Gerald, your Southern neighbour.’

His blue eyes wandered over her with interest. ‘He’s got as many questions as you about the Nigerians,’ Dave said.

Daniel took her hand. An excited tingle passed down her spine at the touch.

‘So, you also can’t figure out what the Nigerians are doing here?’ she said, trying to play it cool.


Author: Sumanda Maritz (SA)


It had to happen soon. We have what looks like a real love story here and it will be interesting to see how the writers tackle it. Without comedy, fantasy or copious amounts of blood, the test is to write a believable plotted love story.
You force me to say it . . . a real love story is a fantasy unless it's got blood and guts and turmoil. Don't believe in "romance" myself. I do believe in relationships. And THAT's what we're really trying to delve into here. If two people end up together in the end, great. Let it be Dave and Daniel. XD
We still need to have tension, suspense and conflict. Happy ever after in the first few chapters would be bad.
Steer clear of love scenes too. Even the best authors get it wrong and make it mechanical rather than tender and emotional.
And lastly, we don't want to bore the pants off people with excess romance. The story needs to focus on other wants and needs in their lives, then have the romance come seemingly by accident. That's should seem more natural... I hope.
Not easy to accomplish in 5000 words, but we'll give it a shot!
Very well written, but I don't think there is a language called "Nigerian". Nigerians speak Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, or any of the 530 languages in the country. The one conventional laguage spoken by almost everyone in Nigeria is "Pidgin english" and is spoken by both the schooled and unschooled.
The amount of knowledge being shared from one serial to another, between writers, is astounding. I feel like I need to make notes.
Oops wrong spot