Zip cleans the table and moves on. At the next one, she sees a beautiful girl. She just stands out, dressed smart, not trashy, like these other girls. She is clean cut, and clutches a beautiful, red, leather bag. Zip has never seen her inside Phumza’s before. She drinks only soft drinks. She listens intently to Spokes, a Jack of all seedy trades.

You shouldn’t be here, dear sister, Zip thinks. She wants to whisper a warning to her as she wipes up spilled beer on the table.

Then a hand fondles and pinches her bum. She turns, and the bastard winks at her. “Piss off!” she hisses at him.

“Why are you like this, Azipho? You’ll never get a man if you are always angry like this. I was asking for another round for the table. I’ll complain to Phumza if you keep swearing at me.”

The girl who does not fit in looks down at the table, embarrassed about the people she is with.

“What’s your order?” Zip asks.

“Beers and a vodka shot, just like before.”

Zip gets the order. She knows the vodka shot is his. He has been touching her bum all night. She keeps a present ready for people like him: laxative pills ground into a fine powder. She pours the powder, plus a gob of her spit, into his vodka shot.

Last rounds. Zip sweeps up cigarette butts in the smoking area at the back of the tavern. She looks up at the moon and the stars. Her thoughts run wild. She exchanged one hell for another, but this is less hot. She may be sixteen and on her own, but this is much better. Back home in the Eastern Cape it was getting hopeless. She had to push her abuser under a speeding taxi and run away.

“Azipho! Azipho! Move out of the way!” It is the man from earlier, the one who pinched her bum and ordered the vodka. The laxative is working on him now. He runs to the toilet and finds a long queue.

“Dear God no!” he screams. He bolts out of the tavern. He is the butt of all jokes because he can’t hold it any more.

Zip laughs her heart out, broom in hand. She feels another hand on her ass. What gives men the right to think we just want to be touched? This time it is Spokes, the jack of all seedy trades.

“What time are you getting off, Azipho?” he whispers in her ear.

Zip drops the broom, clutches his private parts in her hand and squeezes.

“Ouch!” he yelps.

“Shhh shhh. Don’t make a sound.” Zip takes out the zip knife she keeps in her bra. “If you ever touch me again, I’ll cut your balls off.”

He slumps to the ground when she lets go.


Tell us: And now, what do you think of fierce Zip? Do the men deserve what she does to them?