Over the course of the rest of the day, Karabo continued trying to do more of her own lifting and carrying. She lifted her bag over the shoulder of her good arm and walked a little taller. It actually made her feel better. It was only when everyone went off to sport at the end of the school day that she felt rotten again. She decided to not think about missing provincial trials next week, thanks to Lara destroying her arm. Each time she walked past Lara, she glared at her and hoped that part of Lara’s face would melt. Isla had tried to convince Karabo it was an accident, and that thinking evil thoughts about Lara wasn’t going to change anything. But Karabo was still insanely furious about missing trials; she couldn’t help but focus her frustration on Lara, in the hope that something equally horrible would happen to her.

Isla tried to explain that Lara felt very guilty and she was actually suffering in her own way. Karabo didn’t believe it for a minute and couldn’t wait until she was better. She was going to get a

hockey ball where Lara’s goalie pads didn’t meet. Lara had a year to work on her skills, because Karabo had no intention of her balls going around Lara anymore. She was going to send her hockey ball through her!

Of course, when she’d told Isla of her evil plans, Isla had laughed at her. ‘Oh please, Karabz just let it go. Lara is a fool and, I promise you, she will get what’s coming. You’re a freaking sangoma-in- training. You know how the universe works!’ said Isla. This had made Karabo feel stupid. Why did Isla have to remind her that she was a trainee sangoma? She had been chosen, and there was nothing she could do about it. Despite her best efforts to ignore her ancestors, they called on her when they needed her, or when someone else did. She knew that all her dreams of harming Lara were nothing more than childish fantasies, but she still liked to indulge in them. A small part of her began to wonder if these dark thoughts about Lara might actually cause her some harm, or call a bad spirit to hurt her by mistake.

Her mother had suggested that Karabo meditate and speak to her ancestors. Karabo had been on so many painkillers up until now, she had been unable to do much more than plod around and sleep until this week. Besides, it wasn’t as if her connection to an alternative dimension was going to help her tie her shoelaces, was it?

To avoid the evil thoughts about Lara’s destruction and her struggles with her ancestors, Karabo opted to go to the library and do her homework. The library, she thought, was a safe bet to calm herself. She was extremely up to date on all her work, and even ahead on her maths. With no sport to exhaust her, she found herself filling her time doing additional ‘suggested reading’ in some of her other subjects. If nothing else, her grades were going to be fantastic this term.

She lumbered her way through the bookshelves to her favourite desk at the back of the library. She liked the table that was bigger than the others and only had one chair. This meant she could spread all her books out, without someone wanting to share the desk with her. She also loved the smell and feel of this part of the library — old and dusty — which was like climbing into a favourite book, hushed and peaceful.

After finishing her homework, and completing a past paper in Maths 2, she decided to lie down on her good arm and rest her cyborg-like arm next to her. She just needed to close her eyes for a second.


Question: What do you think of Karabo’s attitude towards being called by her ancestors?