Last of the Nomads

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Summary

Set against the turbulent landscape of growing up on the Cape Flats during apartheid South Africa, Last of the Nomads tells the story Maxwell’s transformation from innocence to coming of age. During the retelling of his high school years, he confronts old scars and wounds unable to heal. There are moments of shame and glory, forbidden love, grief and Maxwell’s personal struggles with bullying and forgiveness. A striking first novel that explores a teenage boy’s encounters with masculinity and identity during adolescence, but also shows us the man he has become.

Genre:
Mystery / Action
Author:
Teswell
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
26
Rating:
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:
16+

chapter one

CLEARLY THE POLICE DIDN’T do their job. If they did, she would not have laughed, and she wouldn’t have asked, “Where’s that freakin’ idiot? He rushed out this morning without cleaning his pigsty of a room.”

There was the police neglect to deal with. And then there was Gino’s mother, Florence, who we called Auntie Florrie. I looked over the fence, saw her. There she was, in the tiny backyard, sitting on a wooden bench with her daughter, Wendy, cackling and laughing as if it was just another, normal day. When Auntie Florrie laughed, her whole body laughed.

Her mother said something and Wendy got up, crossed the yard and started to pull at items of mis-matched Salvation Army clothes that hung from a sagging washing line. We were standing halfway between the gate and the washing line when she first laid eyes on us. Wendy stopped her pulling and gave us a long stare. “Where’s Gino?” she asked.

I felt unnerved, shaken up, immediately turning to my friends for help. Even they looked rattled. For a little while nobody spoke – both mother and daughter waited for an answer.

Wendy was just about to open her mouth again when the scratches on my arms and legs caught her attention. “What happened to you?” she asked in a snappy tone. Her expression had suddenly changed. The smile on her face had completely disappeared.

I shrugged my shoulders.

Then, a few seconds later, the penny dropped. As if alerted by some sixth sense, Gino’s mother pushed herself off the bench quickly, took two or three steps and stood in front of us.

“Where’s Gino? Where the hell is he?” She spat out the words, causing Colin to burst into tears.

“Auntie,” he sobbed, struggling to speak. “Gino is… Gino is dead.”

“What do you mean Gino is dead?”

She turned to me, grabbing my hand firmly to make me look at her. “What the hell is he talking about? Is he trying to be funny?”

I dropped my eyes onto the ground, taking care not to look at her. “Sorry, Auntie, Gino is dead. He died this morning.”

Auntie Florrie went noticeably pale. “Max, what stupid game are you boys playing? Please tell me you’re lying. Tell me that my baby is still alive.”

Again I shook my head, feeling how the fear was flooding my veins. Soon enough, a volley of screams exploded from her mouth, rising up. The screaming was unearthly, shrill, and it made my blood run cold. Wendy followed her mother’s lead. Her tongue was equally sharp. But she turned violent.

Still dressed in her school uniform, she hurled the washing basket at us, missing Colin and me but hitting Oscar square in his head. There were discarded clothes flying everywhere, floating down, settling and then flowering the muddy ground around us. Wendy came closer, lifted her hand to strike, but let it fall. Afterwards, she walked over to where her mother had collapsed into a wailing heap. They clung to each other, crying hysterically. The crying began to sound hopeless and agonizing, almost ghostly.

“How did he die?” Auntie Florrie asked. The question wasn’t unexpected, but it still came as a punch to the gut. I suppose none of us had counted on her asking that sort of detail.

God, what do I tell her? That was my first thought, which was followed closely by another: Run.

And that’s when I exploded out of the blocks, moving as fast I could. And in my haste to get away, I forced open the wooden gate, neglecting to unlatch it first, snapping it broken and sending bits of white pickets flying everywhere.


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Further Recommendations

nika1975: Great short story 🥰Good characters, plotline...a bit of smut 😁😉Could have easily been written into a longer book, but I recommend it to everyone who likes short stories ❤️

J.A. Price: As someone who has been in the military, I usually shy away from these types of stories because they are typically inaccurate, and the portrayal of those who serve is way off, and their depictions of military life is laughable. That's not the case with this story. True, I don't know much about th...

Neferua: It was a good mixture of crime and romance..an enjoyable read..thanks for your hard work..looking forward to reading more of your works..

GoldenQueenBizzaro: This is one of my favorite series.I love how you have created a whole new world were we can feel love the ups and downs of life and how things can be different.Also love the concept of family very multicultural and very accepting.Overall a beautiful serie with lots of potential for printing novels

madhatter831: Nice short story!

Pragati Damini Banwar: Story so far goes well, but still few things could have been clearly mentioned

lapatrick74: This was an amazing story 🥰🥰🥰💗

Angel: I love the feeling lead in thus book. She wasn't a new to life ditzy girl nor a damsel in distress. She carried herself as a woman with life experience and a good head on her shoulders.

ricardodaniels2: I like the intensity of the explanations

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suzell: Awesome Awesome Awesome 👌

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