“Slowly!” shouted Augustus, “my feet must be handled with the most delicate care, by the touch of no less than angel hands!” He sat there, leering, his peels of fat, oily skin rolling down the gold-gilded face of his lectus. A wreath encircled his forehead, decorated with coins and jewels. Crouched on the floor, scrubbing furiously at his yellow, rotting toenails with an industrial-strength file, was a middle-aged woman with wispy black hair trussed up in a bun, grey at the roots. Dressed in an unflattering purple tank-top and grey, floor-length trousers, she mumbled several inaudible words through her white, surgical face-mask.

The blaring tune of God Save the President sounded from a black telephone. Groaning, Augustus swivelled and rolled his humungous figure like a dancing walrus until he reached the phone receiver, almost knocking over three penholders made of lemon-scented mahogany.

Today is speech day Mr. President! The people expect you to tell them how you are going to cure their illnesses, end the food-shortages, fix border immigration, end the drought and give every man and woman one million dollars!

Augustus let out a ferocious burp and smacked his thick, cherry lips before replying, “Slowly, my dear Francis, slowly. Great change does not happen in a second, heck not even in a few years! Call me again when the Earth spins around the moon, and then all will be done”.

Deep down one thousand metres beneath the asphalt in an underground banana factory, a tall man sits rubbing his bony knuckles against each other. Wrapped around his feet are the bodies of two freshly-slain snakes, the ones only found under rocks of lava in the outskirts of the Caribbean. His office tiles were made of black diamond, a very peculiar kind sold to him by a Romanian stone mason. Rubbing his smooth, slimy skin over the mineral enabled him to go weeks without any food or drink, and he loved nothing more than lying naked and spread-eagled on them for hours on end.

The office door thunders and is thrown open. A man stumbles in, gasping and coughing before falling face-first onto the ground. The sleeves of his shirt are rolled up to his elbows and his armpits are stained with perspiration. His throat manages only a dry raspy whisper, “Serpius, when will I get my promotion?”

Serpius smiles and narrows his eyes, “Slowly! How now young man, hard work will get you there. When I was young, my father taught me that the best things come slowly! Now hurry along, the machines need tending…”

In a small quiet village, where the houses are made of straws and the ground is made of burning red clay, a young boy lugs a bucket of water back to his hut. The filmy, grey liquid swashes and swirls out of the container as he walks. A lonely pair of tattered brown shorts lay flimsily around his little thighs. His rich tan skin is dry and the soles of his feet are cracked from his trip to the waterhole.

Wiping his brow he steps into the hut. He drops the bucket in the middle of the room and runs over to his father lying on the ground. He feels his forehead with his tiny palm and rushes back to the bucket, pulling out a dripping towel and wrapping it around his father’s forehead. His father tries to muster a smile but moving his jaw bursts open sores at the back of his throat.

The boy sinks down to his knees and leans his head on his father’s stick-like body. “When will you be strong again daddy?”

The father grasps the boy’s hand and holds it against his sunken cheeks. He parts his lips and his entire frame shudders at the effort,


“Slowly, my son, slowly.”


Hi there!

Firstly thank you very much for reading through this long, saddening and slightly humorous story, I appreciate it very very much.

What do you think? I’m trying to improve my writing and creativity skills so please give me any constructive criticism you have!

This is just a first draft I wrote, but I enjoyed writing it so much and I would love to see how I can improve it.







5 thoughts on “Help Comes Slowly – A short story

  1. You have a way with words, a talent for imagery, and quite the imagination. There’s something about your writing that is very captivating. You’ve certainly caught my interest.


    1. Thanks for reading firstly and also thank you so much for your kind words 😀 Perhaps it’s because this story is more of a commentary on the ineffectiveness of economic and political policies that interests you. I also like your blog a lot as well, it’s so refreshing and uplifting to see someone to convey their thoughts on real, importance issues in an interesting and unique way! You’ve got my follow as well, great work.

      Liked by 1 person

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