Friday, 14 June 2013

In the Company of Alexander McCall Smith

A few years ago I had a try at writing in the style of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, and so I couldn't resist entering a competition on Alexander McCall Smith's Facebook page to write a piece of a Mma Ramotswe story.

It turned out to be quite challenging because the word count was very low (300 words max) and I needed to somehow wrap up the story told by the previous weeks' winners.

Here's my entry. It's the sixth part of a six-part story so if you wish you can read the other entries to understand the story (mine's the one attributed to "Mumbletoes Hornswoggle").


The little white van was soon travelling along the Lobatse Road once more. Mr J.L.B. Matekoni frowned disapprovingly at the speedometer but he did not say anything to Mma Ramotswe. He knew speed was important sometimes, and perhaps on occasions it was good to push an engine a little faster than the engine would like.

“Clovis Andersen says this is the best stage of a case, Rra,” Mma Ramotswe said. “It is the denouement.”

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni did not know what a denouement was. He decided it was best not to ask Mma Ramotswe for a definition while she was driving her little white van at such speeds.

“And here we are,” said Mma Ramotswe as she parked the little white van outside the Gaborone City Council building. It took them an hour to arrange a meeting with the deputy mayor, but when at last they were able to present their findings to him, he was delighted.

“This Violet Sephotho is a bad woman,” he said. “She has done many bad things but this is the first time we have some proof. Now she will not be able to stand in the election and this is a good thing for Gaborone.”

It was strange, thought Mr J.L.B. Matekoni as Mma Ramotswe drove him back to Speedy Motors. He had thought Mma Ramotswe would be happy that the case was solved but she was sad and quiet. Perhaps it was because she was such a kind person that she felt sorry for someone as bad as Violet Sephotho. She was a complex woman and he – well – he found his mind wondering if Mma Potokwani would provide them with fruit cake in celebration of another solved case.

The heart may feel sadness, he said to himself, but there will always be cake.