Meeting the Foe (prologue to a larger work)

By Kevin du Plessis


By ways of a first memory, how does one describe it when the Devil was present? What manifestation of the many different depictions of this not at all fictive figure do you blame for a memory, perhaps as false as the tits on a blonde bubble gum chewing bimbo who surely has this elusive child frightener on her own shoulder? A fart of the brain that seems to have been conceived in the distant memory of a dream when you were but a yet uncorrupted bundle of raw bone, fat and brain in a crib somewhere off in the not-so-distant medieval past of a 1990-South Africa.

Whatever the truth of the origin of my first memory, it has been with me for as long as I can remember (obviously). As I recall it, or how I have been telling it all my life at any length, is that I was lying in a crib that was positioned at the foot of my parents’ bed. A crooning baby most probably with all of the movie clichés that has the camera zooming up to me staring up at the ceiling with sparkly baby blue eyes clutching a fleece blanket as the silver moon light spreads itself through the window over my mother and father sleeping soundly (no pun intended) whilst emitting in the case of the female, light peaceful breathing, and for the male a fitting snore, varying in intensity throughout the night.

In this dream, from amid the shadows in the long dark hallway a figure emerges. As far as his appearance went, I cannot remember much, just that he had a mischievous grin on his face as he looked me in the eyes and lifted me from my bed right before carrying me across the length of the house and through the kitchen door at the back. I did not struggle or make any sound that could alarm anything more that the cat which always snoozed in the pot plant right outside. There were about three or four rather amateurely built steps that attached itself to the house, connecting its high floor to the ground outside.

We left the completely silent kitchen (for there was no fridge to make even a hum – but more on that later) behind as we descended the steps. It is necessary to say something more about the steps since in my dream, they did not connect the house to the earth outside, but rather continued spewing forth steps that went down into a hole in the world. It was somewhat like a tunnel that was lit by a glowing fire-like light.

I do not know what happened down there. Nor shall I ever know or get the chance to understand the incident. Though, I strongly suspect that my grandmother would come closest to such a thing. She always said, “Funny things happen there, there is something strange about that place”.

The dream had not yet reached its end. After the blank of wherever The Foe took me that night and whatever happened, I remember that he took me back up the steps, through the silent kitchen and the dark corridor and placed me as he had found me back into the crib at the foot of my parents’ bed. There I lay as the dream ended and made its imprint upon the farthest recesses of my memory.


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