Shadow game, by Michael Power
Shadow Game is a novel by the South African writer Michael Power about a homosexual couple during apartheid.
While he was laughing he was saying, 'There it goes. Parys. We're over the State border, they can't catch us now.' 'Parys, Orange Free State.' 'Vrystaat!' 'Wait till you see the other Parys. They call it Paris over there.' 'Nonsense, man. Me? And you? Paris? Those are fancy dreams and you know it.' 'One of the things I can't stand about you is your pessimism.' He said, 'I've told you before. Dream for your own sake, leave me out. YouTl trip yourself up if you won't listen to me.' T hate your pessimism.' My foot sank towards the floor. 'Steady on, man.' 'Oh for Christ's sake', and I took a quick look at his face staring straight ahead as though willing another road sign to rear up next to the slimy navy blue tarmac that flowed mile after mile through the beige mealie fields towards the town we were heading for. 'That was a corner and you were warned it was.' 'The next corner is after Kroonstad. So just relax for the next twenty miles. Light me a cigarette.' 'Full of cheek, hey?' I held up two fingers for the cigarette. 'Okay, get us to the horizon. Verdoemde Voortrekker.' 'There you go again, like all South Africans. Always pinning on labels. You see the label first, afterwards the person. Thanks.' The tip of the cigarette was creased from the pressure of his powerful lips. I put it between my own and at last drew on it. After a few seconds the smoke went towards the windshield, then was whipped through the little side window into the fast bright air. 'You white people/ he said, 'started the practice.' Behind his light tone one caught the coldness. He was dead against me, if only for the second in which he spoke. 'You black people seem to have fallen into it pretty easily.' He gave a distant little sarcastic laugh, swerving his face towards the window. 'Subject people always pick up the most attractive traits of the people in command.' 'How disgusting. I never heard of such a weak-kneed attitude. Subject people should say to hell with your labels and your shitty refrigerators and canopied beds and perfectly hideous garden furniture, then rise up and grab their knives and slit the throats of all those perfumed bitches in their canopied beds. Just you give some serious thought to this idea.' 'H-e-y'. The wavy drawn-out syllable and long whistle that followed it filled the car and I glanced at him, not quite sure of developments. He was grinning at me rather feverishly. The short thickly packed lashes round his shiny black and white eyes were straight and silky, without the least crimp in them. It was on account of this, when I first met him, that the thought occurred to me: You have Indian blood in you, did you know that? 'H-e-y. How about us getting a knife?' 'Whose throat have you got in mind?' 'Anyone's. As long as it's white.' The car we were riding in was a chocolate and olive-green Ford with fittings to match. It wasn't his, or mine, of course. The Organisation, the huge bumbling monster of a company that I worked for in those days, kept a pool of cars that you drew on when you had a job to do at one of the mines or factories that were dotted about all over South Africa, in most cases in the dismal waterless areas in which precious metals are invariably found. [...]
This is an excerpt from the novel 'Shadow Game', by Michael Power.
Title: Shadow game
Author: Michael Power
Series: Penguin Modern Classics
Publisher: The Penguin Group (SA)
Cape Town, South Africa 2008
ISBN 9780143185567 / ISBN 978-0-14-318556-7
Softcover, 13 x 20 cm, 240 pages
Power, Michael im Namibiana-Buchangebot
First published pseudonymously in 1972, 'Shadow Game' masterly exposes the police-state brutality of that era.