The world in 50 words
France /
17H51 - Wednesday 7 January 2015

PARIS 7/1

He strode to the policeman writhing in pain on the pavement, shot him and walking to the car, picked up something on the road. They drove off. Because if you’ve firebombed offices and killed twelve people, you should think of leaving the area. And I wondered: what are human beings?

The world in 50 words by Will van der Walt

The world in 50 words is a maverick, a flash saga, a fugitive amongst forms, but when light breaks, the face is clear. The intrigue of a short story, the seed of a novel, the taste of poetry, the pimento of haiku – There … think that should be fifty.

Author and playwright
The world in 50 words
Corée du nord /
10H30 - Thursday 25 December 2014

Seed

Beloved Leader towered over him as he sat at the computer. “You are our supreme technician. Look where you like but hack them … to pieces.” And he waddled off with the entourage. The man turns to the screen. The wide world is open. He’s the freest citizen of this serfdom.

December 25, 2014

 

The world in 50 words by Will van der Walt

The world in 50 words is a maverick, a flash saga, a fugitive amongst forms, but when light breaks, the face is clear. The intrigue of a short story, the seed of a novel, the taste of poetry, the pimento of haiku – There … think that should be fifty.

Author and playwright
The world in 50 words
Cuba /
09H24 - Monday 22 December 2014

Cuba, December 2014

A four-chord vamp and his knobbly fingers seize the keys. The faded velvet voice caresses the melody. He pauses. “Politicians rise,” he says to the listening boy, “they fall, vanish.” He turns to the yellowed keys. “But …” his fingers dive again “the dreams of people, like music, go on.”

December 22, 2014

The world in 50 words by Will van der Walt

The world in 50 words is a maverick, a flash saga, a fugitive amongst forms, but when light breaks, the face is clear. The intrigue of a short story, the seed of a novel, the taste of poetry, the pimento of haiku – There … think that should be fifty.

Author and playwright
The world in 50 words
World /
17H46 - Monday 8 December 2014

Child Soldiers

In smoke and noise, he seized us, thrust assault rifles into our trembling hands. We were young. In two years he won the struggle and became president. But I hadn’t been paid. My buddies neither. We still got the rifles and we’re not going away. He’s old, but we’re sixteen.

December 8, 2014

(Painting by Allison Bruns)

The world in 50 words by Will van der Walt

The world in 50 words is a maverick, a flash saga, a fugitive amongst forms, but when light breaks, the face is clear. The intrigue of a short story, the seed of a novel, the taste of poetry, the pimento of haiku – There … think that should be fifty.

Author and playwright
The world in 50 words
Afrique du Sud /
10H12 - Monday 24 November 2014

Hindsight

« I’m sorry your daughter has died. »

He turned from the window. He knew her love for him too, had gone. As a leader, he’d downplayed the warnings about the pandemic. Daily, statistics proliferated; cries against him rose.

He turned again to the window. The city was disappearing into the sunset.

Novembre 24, 2014

The world in 50 words by Will van der Walt

The world in 50 words is a maverick, a flash saga, a fugitive amongst forms, but when light breaks, the face is clear. The intrigue of a short story, the seed of a novel, the taste of poetry, the pimento of haiku – There … think that should be fifty.

Author and playwright
The world in 50 words
Burkina Faso /
18H57 - Thursday 6 November 2014

The Fall

He’d ruled with a fist for thirty years. Then streets filled with shouting faces. He fled. In silence, he sips an aperitif on a palm-fringed terrace. The waiter with cheek requests payment. “Do you know who I am?” the man demands. The waiter shrugs. “I won’t , if you don’t.”

Novembre 6, 2014

The world in 50 words by Will van der Walt

The world in 50 words is a maverick, a flash saga, a fugitive amongst forms, but when light breaks, the face is clear. The intrigue of a short story, the seed of a novel, the taste of poetry, the pimento of haiku – There … think that should be fifty.

Author and playwright
The world in 50 words
Afrique /
13H52 - Monday 27 October 2014

Reunion…

Warmly charmed by her, he suavely asked where she was from. “Eastern Congo,” she said. “Old enough to remember the Troubles.”

Since those years his rise in politics had been meteoric. Now he cast his eyes down. Her eyes were on him. “My body remembers you. Intimately. With great horror.”

October 27, 2014

The world in 50 words by Will van der Walt

The world in 50 words is a maverick, a flash saga, a fugitive amongst forms, but when light breaks, the face is clear. The intrigue of a short story, the seed of a novel, the taste of poetry, the pimento of haiku – There … think that should be fifty.

Author and playwright
The world in 50 words
France /
13H58 - Thursday 23 October 2014

« Le Suicide français » ?

Crossing Place Charles de Gaulle, I tripped and fell over uneven paving. No one stopped to attend my searing pain. A black man stopped, stooped with care. “Ca va?” he asked – a moment amid silver fountains of shattering stereotypes, obliterating the slow river of complaisance – if not his, then mine.  

October 23, 2014

The world in 50 words by Will van der Walt

The world in 50 words is a maverick, a flash saga, a fugitive amongst forms, but when light breaks, the face is clear. The intrigue of a short story, the seed of a novel, the taste of poetry, the pimento of haiku – There … think that should be fifty.

Author and playwright
The world in 50 words
Maroc /
07H37 - Friday 17 October 2014

Morocco Dance

“Your dance sweeps me away,” he said to her as she stepped off the floor, glistening with sweat from passion guitars. “You are from across the sea.” She stopped, knocking back her wet black hair. She looked beyond him. “When I dance, there are no countries. Learn from that ecstasy.”

October 17, 2014

The world in 50 words by Will van der Walt

The world in 50 words is a maverick, a flash saga, a fugitive amongst forms, but when light breaks, the face is clear. The intrigue of a short story, the seed of a novel, the taste of poetry, the pimento of haiku – There … think that should be fifty.

Author and playwright
The world in 50 words
Chine /
14H14 - Monday 6 October 2014

It’s raining again

“Ah, mother,” he said downcast, “two months ago, at the protests in Hong Kong, Mei and I overnighted in a sleeping-bag and now she’s expecting.”  His mother smiled warmly.  “Ah, my child, your father and I were at Tiananmen Square in 1989 and you were conceived under a blanket.”

October 7, 2014

The world in 50 words by Will van der Walt

The world in 50 words is a maverick, a flash saga, a fugitive amongst forms, but when light breaks, the face is clear. The intrigue of a short story, the seed of a novel, the taste of poetry, the pimento of haiku – There … think that should be fifty.

Author and playwright