The spent punctuation marks lying around, the chalk lines of drafts and revisions, and the criss-cross trails of emails, back and forth and forth and back—yeah, you can tell a story happened here.

Have a look at the hospital where grief and tragedy collide and at the soft, rolling memory of a father. It is plain to feel that a story happened here.

And here, too, on this lonely road late at night that will spoil the sky forever, and on the trip North with a stranger who will become a friend. The coroner’s looking at it all and he knows a story happened here.

Something went down at the nursing station—can you smell the rat and its dilemma? What about this street where the crackle of magic can still be felt in the air? It cannot be touched, not really. But just there at the edge or recognition, vanishing into the undergrowth, around the corner, zooming past you in a taxi full of loyalty is that weird sensation you cannot shake: a story happened here.

Look at the dust motes dancing in the light that seeps from the cracks—there is a crack, a crack in everything, that is how the stories get in.

And I know you hate the pert exuberance of birds but I also know you know that something happened here, something that prose cannot explain.

These snaps of stilled life by the roadside, and these fragments from places known and unknown—all of them are proof of one thing: a story happened here.

On the streets in the city, on gravel paths in towns and villages, in homes spread out from East to West and North to South, beyond the highlands and the savannahs, on the pages of the sages, and in the minds of the dreamers—there is the silence of stories just waiting for discovery.

A story happened here…

We are just telling the pieces that we can find.

This is Doek!

A Namibian literary magazine.

Rémy is a Rwandan-born Namibian writer and photographer. He is the founder, chairperson, and artministrator of Doek, an independent arts organisation in Namibia supporting the literary arts. He is also the editor-in-chief of Doek! Literary Magazine.

His debut novel The Eternal Audience Of One was first published in South Africa by Blackbird Books and is available worldwide from Scout Press (S&S). His work has appeared in The Johannesburg Review of Books, Brainwavez, American Chordata, Lolwe, and Granta, among others, with more forthcoming in numerous publications. He won the Africa Regional Prize of the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. He was shortlisted for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing in 2020 and 2021 and was also longlisted and shortlisted for the 2020 and 2021 Afritondo Short Story Prizes respectively. In 2019 he was shortlisted for Best Original Fiction by Stack Magazines.

Cover Image: © Kristin Capp.