Syblings: Episode 8

by Paul du Preez



While Darren jumped the gate into the Arderne Gardens – unexpectedly meeting Arno there, Leandré had been entrancing the crowd at The Compass with a performance inspired by Poliamuel, her angel.


Poliamuel clenches her tiny fists at waist height, signalling the cut-off. Leandré lifts her bow, but lets the final note ring on, till it fades. There is an awed hush. People are unsure – is this a concert, or is it church; should they applaud or worship?

They do both: hallelujahs and whistles mix as a torrent of clapping thunders like a waterfall.

Leandré curtsies, blows a kiss to Maxwell, who clasps his hands to his breast (“Bravo,” he shouts) curtsies again. And, surrendering to a mix of modesty and impatience, gathers her skirt and steps straight down from the stage and into the adoring virtual crowd. She’s not wearing haptic-gloves, so she can’t high-five any of them, but she lifts her arms in triumph. And in worship: “Glory be to God,” she calls, high and clear. “Glory!”

Her little, needle-sharp claws twitch in their silky sheaths. Ooh, kitty would love to play…

And, performance over, can’t resist a peek at her stats.


Her live SpaceBook performance-capture already has 327 likes, and the counter clicks up another one as she watches. With a second-long stare and a double eye-blink she changes apps and… Instagraph is looking good! But by then she’s up to her ‘meat’ friends, present in flesh and blood and, with an awkward flurry of blinks, manages to minimize the display and reinstate AR ‘normal’ – The room feed and backgrounded notifications. And a clear through-view of Pastor Arendse, ecstatic, and eager to embrace her, and behind him, Saloni and others.

“Amazing. Praise God!” booms Arendse enfolding her in his pastorly hug. “The anointing of the Lord is on you.”

They ‘amen’ and ‘glory’ each other for a bit before Arendse’s highly-tuned social instinct propels him, ever onward, to another glad-handing encounter.

Saloni enfolds her – a welcome embrace, and Leandré begins to let herself relax, taking comfort in the pressure of Saloni’s arms clamped across her back, the pad of Saloni’s bust hard against her ribs.

“Good luck and all the best congratulations to you.”

“Saloni,” she exhales. “Thank you.”

Saloni smiles wickedly. “Although my heart is falling too, I’m in love with your body.”

“Oh, Stop it!” guffaws Leandré, swatting her shoulder. Saloni is laughing too, holding on to Leandré, and tilting back on her heels: her glossy shoulder-length hair parting round the prow of her designer AR glasses, like the creamed wake of a luxury speedboat, as she rocks forward, surging onto the balls of her feet.

About to anchor a kiss on Leandré’s cheek, when…

Marcus bulls in. His du-rag freshly tied. Earnest. Smooth, but manly. “Excuse me ladies.” Fixes on Leandré: “I have to say that was one amazing performance. Really! Conscience won’t let me rest if I don’t tell you.”

Leandré presses fingers to her mouth, sputters, giggles. Saloni follows. They lock heads, laughing.

“Uh, my name’s Marcus,” he says, toughing it out.

“He-loooo,” responds Leandré, straightening. She knows his name, of course. Fresh giggles explode. Marcus tries to hide dismay – but his mouth gives him away. His eyes stay hidden behind glasses.

“Sorry,” gasps Leandré, resting a butterfly hand on his shoulder. And stifles a further outbreak. “Stop it,” she hisses at Saloni.


“Yes, you.”

And straightens once more. “I’m sorry. My name’s Leandré.”

“Yeah,” he says respectfully. With enthusiasm.

Oh! That is attractive, thinks Leandré. Promising. Then: “Did you really call me a ‘doggette-baby with a front row seat’?”

Marcus goes…rose-mahogany. (My goodness! That’s quite unique.) But, there’s no turning back. “Yeah,” he gruffs, swallowing. “I don’t mean disrespect. Actually, I think it’s one of my better rhymes. Inspired.” He puffs out his impressive chest.

“Oh,” says Leandré.

Her little, needle-sharp claws twitch in their silky sheaths. Ooh, kitty would love to play…

But Saloni is meowing, and tugging at her hand. “I’ve got to go,” she mouths. “Really!” Which is code for ‘talk to me – now – or be unfriended’.

“Marcus, it’s been great… It’s been awesome!” Leandré titters, and collects her handbag. “But something’s come up.”


† Ed Sheeran, The Shape of You.

Image Credits

Leandré and Saloni, Heads Locked, Laughing by Paul du Preez

Angel Wings by Sergei Tomakov on Pixabay

Intro Music (on Podcast)

Excerpt from Black, White and Blue by Paul du Preez

Disclaimer, Copyright and Permissions

Syblings the Syrial is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events, and incidents are the product of Paul du Preez’ imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

All rights are reserved, including without limitation, the right to reproduce Syblings the Syrial and the original art or music associated with it, or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of Paul du Preez. Copyrighted 2020 by Paul du Preez.

The reader may download from this site for his or her personal use.

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