SINS OF OMISSION
The theme of ‘sins of omission,’ includes an eclectic mix of stories set in Zimbabwe, at widely different times. Many are based on true stories. The only one that occurs in England, ‘The hoax,’ has an African connection, through Homo rhodesiensis. In each story, a ‘sin of omission,’ leads to an unexpected result.
GODFREY - Godfrey is an African fisherman, a carpenter by trade. He goes fishing with his grandson, but is irritated by the ‘smartphone’ that the lad has acquired.
“Switch it off,” he grunts. “We don’t need the world in this boat. Just you and me.” But the boy is right in the end.
“Sometimes it’s good to have the world in your boat, grandpa.”
A DISH BEST EATEN COLD - Charles Pohl goes on a forced vacation to Zimbabwe. What happens there changes the course of many lives.
A CLUTCH OF CURATE'S EGGS - Does Emma orchestrate the outcome, or is her influence merely a sin of omission?
COSTALOTTA - A tale about the perils of internet dating, loosely based on the Ashley Maddison scandal. Once Matt has launched himself into cyberspace with the click of a mouse, there’s no going back.
A DIRTY LITTLE BASTARD - Sister Loveness add a dirty little bastard to her collection to remind her of how much of God’s work there is to do.
INYANGANI - An open-ended story based on the real disappearances of people on Inyangani, Zimbabwe’s highest mountain, which is located on the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
MISSING - Who was the skeleton in the cave? The world’s press talked a lot about him at the time of his disappearance.
PILTDOWN MAN - Who was really responsible for this hoax and why, years later, did he not own up? Written as a single stream of consciousness in the form of a conversation with the perpetrator and his co-conspirator, about a hoax that bemused the scientific establishment for many years.
THE FUNERAL - Two women doctors among the mourners at a funeral discuss the life of the recently deceased. Sinéad, glancing at the urn, says that it’s a small box for so large a man.
"Maybe he had an enema to reduce him to that size," says Charlotte, nastily.
Sinéad 's eyes twinkle. They often do.
"Aye. Well, he's the ideal weight now. About two kilos, including the urn."
Why would they be so unpleasant at a man’s funeral?
THE CENSOR - Set in 1942. An Austrian Jew, Egon Groeger, is a guard at a POW camp for Italians in Fort Victoria, Rhodesia. He is also the official censor. Egon discovers an extraordinary secret about the bullying camp commandant.
VICTORIA FALLS - A story set in the days of hyper-inflation in Zimbabwe. Two Greek casino owners concoct a scheme to enrich themselves, but the plan goes horribly awry.