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Fiction Friday: “In the Shadow of God” by Gothataone Moeng

The Bed Book of Short StoriesBotswana writer Gothataone Moeng received an honourable mention in the Senior Category of the 2012 Golden Baobab Prize this week for her story “Absolute Truth About Red Mites”. In 2006 her short story “Singing in the Rain” won the second prize at the inaugural British Council / Alexander McCall Smith short story writing competition. Moeng also contributed to The Bed Book of Short Stories. Today we bring you a taste of her writing with the story “In the Shadow of God”, which appeared in last month’s edition of The Kalahari Review.

The story traces the changing relationship between the protagonist and her mother as she changes from being a little girl into a woman during the time when Seretse Khama led Botswana’s independence movement:

When I was little, I thought it was my mother who summoned the rains. I thought it was she who commanded the night to softly swoop down, and that it was she who ignited the moon which lit our yard and the world beyond it. I remember that everyday at dusk, when the sun bid farewell to the day, Mme would come to stand at the fence and shout out to my brother and I as we enjoyed our last moments of batho-safe.

“A ko le tle lapeng! Come home. The darkness is coming.” And the darkness would come.

I thought it was Mme who summoned the rains. She would sniff the air and squint up at the darkening clouds with her half-blind eyes and say matter-of-factly,“The rain is here.”

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The Bed Book of Short Stories

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