It’s been a while

So, in the time I’ve been busy being a new parent, my brother-in-law has been busy impressing people with his writing. Though, admittedly, I am rather jealous of his achievements and I not-so-secretly wish I could beat him, I would love to share his stories with you.

Since the first story of his that I linked, he has had two more honourable  mentions and a win. Go have a look at the stories written by Riaan Els!

I honestly think I’d enjoy and hate working on a collaboration with him. Enjoy, because he has innovative ideas and definitely does not think like I do. And hate, because he is obviously very talented (making me feel like a dud) and definitely does not think like I do.


Memoire of a lost garden

Neglected garden

“Mo-o-o-om, can we go home now?”

The slug squirmed as Jeremy poked it with a stick. It took me aback to see him acting so violently despite my own revulsion at seeing the fat slimy thing on a withered rose bush. The rose bush had been a gift for Evie’s eightieth birthday. I had chosen it for its zebra striped pink and white petals.

“No, I need to shout at Sipho.”


“Shout at Sipho!”


“Sipho! I want to go back home so I can play on my PC! Come out here so I can shout at you!”

“Shhh! What are you doing? He’ll hear you!”

“But you said–”

The squeek of the garden gate made us turn around just in time to see Sipho peering into the yard.

“Miesies Johanna? Are you lost?”

I pulled myself up to my full height and puffed angrily. “Aren’t you lost? Where have you been? This garden hasn’t seen a drop of water in months!”

“I look after Miesies Evie’s garden.”

“You call this looking after a garden?” I heard my voice go a little shrill.

“Miesies?” He looked at a bit of a loss. “Miesies Evie’s garden is next door.”

2nd place in a competition :D

A Gift of Love

Just a note: I got a request from my hubby that I split the story posts and the essay posts more strictly. From now on, all posts logged under the category of “Stories” (see right panel – it should be in the middle-ish somewhere) will contain only stories or links to stories that I have written.

All posts that are essays on writing will appear under the category of “About writing”.

So, yes, the post below contains the same link from the previous post.


I got the good news this morning that I got second place in a competition I entered last month. It appears that it was close and I almost won. Go check out A Gift of Love (the story by me – Natalie Myburgh) on the AllAboutWriting site.

(In case this didn’t come across: The image of the rose is for my flash fiction entry linked above.)

Flash fiction – “Insurance Works”

“Mom, I’m an assassin.”

Her mother laughed as she folded a pair of pants and put it in the laundry basket. “Were you killing mosquitoes with your pillow again?”

“No, Mom. I haven’t done that since I was in primary school.”

She shook out a pair socks before she started rolling them up. “Flies?”

“I kill people. That’s what assassins do – kill people for money.”

Her mother looked up, now a little upset. She stopped rolling the socks she was holding. “Baby, don’t make jokes like that. You know I don’t like it.”

“Mom, I’m not joking.”

Her mother pulled herself up to her full height. “That’s it, Tebogo. Stop it! You’ve gone too far with this. Ever since your father died, you’ve been trying to get attention in all the wrong ways. I’m not playing along with this.”

“Then don’t play. Because I’m not playing.” Tebogo looked out the window. “You remember when I said Uncle Vusi had left the car here for you as a gift? I paid for it with money I got for killing my third mark.”


“I bought a rifle the other day when I said I was meeting with Mpho after school. I keep it in a bag under my bed. You know, that red one?”

Her mother’s face was ashen when she looked up at her. The older woman sat down abruptly. “No.”

“Someone had to take over Dad’s work…after he was taken out. Did you think that all the money was still the insurance paying out?” Tebogo laughed.

Her mother sprang up again. Now her face was darker, redder. “Get out! Get out of my house! Get out! Get out! Get out!”

Tebogo looked at her. Her hair was done up again. New extensions, Tebogo realised. She probably bought it with the money from last week’s mark. The dress too.

She stood up. “I’ll send you the money in the old insurance envelopes I’ve been using.”


Tebogo’s mother sat staring at the open envelope in her hands. There was R10 000 in R200 bills inside. And a note.

You can use it to have the house repainted. The paint’s been peeling lately.   Tebogo

<<A side note to non-South Africans: The South African currency is Rand. In case you wanted to check exchange rates, the international abbreviation is ZAR.>>

<<General side note: The story was meant to be no more than one page.>>