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I just called to say … – Poems, Pictures & Prose by Saaleha Idrees Bamjee

I just called to say …

Sunday 5am.
Curettaged from sleep by Freshly Ground’s doo-be-doo. The true tone pours out of my phone friendly and confusing, surely it couldn’t be time to give face to the morning yet?

But my disorientation would soon be supplanted by something a little more sinister. and doo-be-doo would never sound quite like warm summer sun ever again.

A heavy voice on the other end. Hello?

And obscenity.

Menacing surrealism. I dive into a dark dream limbo where reality sat on the passenger seat, and the voice changed gears and pumped the accelerator.

He knew my name. And still, he continued with his violation.

His voice familiar. Casual conversation forever stained. Every howya-doin now suspect.
Was it you?
or You?

He hid behind a flashing LCD screen – private number. A perverse coward with the manhood of a eunuch.

And he reduced me. A sheer ugliness suffusing through my insides.

The nagging stickiness of thought, I know his voice.

I know his voice.

More fear.

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I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

10 thoughts on “I just called to say …”

  1. Slmz S

    Freaks like those ought to grow up. Infact M. I hope the dont run and hide so you can actually knock the senselessness out of them. Sorry you had to go through the experiense S. Know what it feels like, but believe me, it’s worst when they don’t say anything.


  2. i did suspect that the caller may have been high. there was an odd, strung desperation in his tone.
    my mobile number isn’t listed, and the way he said my name, nah, he knew me alright.

  3. Over time your subconscious will process that voice and one day you’ll suddenly know who did it. Keep in mind that they may ave been on substances when they called, which would somewhat alter the voice.

    If you are listed by name in the phone book, then it could have been random. But I trust your instinct.

  4. Just think about it this way. It was your good deed for the day. When you’re hung like a gerbil, you have to resort to such measures because other gerbils wouldnt touch you. The poster boy for a pimple but is actually a penis. Shame. If he does bother you, open a case file and then watch him squirm some more.

  5. I’m fine now. It feels a little more distant everyday. In time, it will never have happened.

    What really bugged me was that it’s someone familiar to me. Not a close friend, but someone i’ve come into contact with in the past.

    oi. shiver.

  6. Damn… are you okay?

    This is like a scene from Fatal attraction, the worse part of it, is that its real.

    Manhood of a eunuch indeed. The smae people who hide behind computer screens in search of perversity, a lie against humanity shadowed by Lust.

    If it goes any further it’s a travesty against mankind and not any one person.

    Excuse my french but if I ever catch a fucker like that, he’d better run and hide. I have no mercy for them.

    Keep the faith S., nobody can touch you.


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