Whiteboy sat behind the wheel of his car and laughed. Things were going well. So extremely well, they couldn’t be going better if they tried.

The Botha job had gone exactly as planned. It had been as slick as the best he’d ever done. And he knew the rest of the job would go as planned, too, although the investigators were further ahead than he’d anticipated. It didn’t worry him, though. He’d put a backup system in place immediately. From now on he’d be able to keep a closer eye on them. He wouldn’t be surprised again. And, when the time was right, he’d set the score straight. In the end, justice would be done. His own unique form of justice.

He remembered one of the first times he had meted it out. Years ago, it had been. Back in the old apartheid days, when every white South African male was forced to report for mili-tary service. In a place whose name he didn’t remember now. Somewhere near the Angola border. Where his unit was sent on some pointless mission.

He’d been running a scam with a colleague. It involved one of the kitchen staff, Farm Boy, a clueless white kid who was straight off the farm and as ignorant as pig shit. He was stupid enough to do whatever Whiteboy asked him, without realizing that if he was ever caught he’d been set up to take the fall, all on his own. He was also too stupid to realize that Whiteboy knew the exact quantities of the goods that were being sold off. He’d tried to keep some back for himself, even though they were both making money on it, even though Whiteboy was always fair. But this farm boy had tried to make too much money on it, had tried to screw Whiteboy. And that wasn’t allowed.

They would meet late at night after roll-call, in a hollow near the dunes. Whiteboy drove a vehicle to their rendez-vous. One of the big armored trucks called Casspirs. Farm Boy walked. They met in the place where the supplies had been stashed earlier on, to share out the money and organize the distribution of another load. A ten-minute contact from beginning to end. Arranged whenever necessary, circum-stances permitting.

This time, it worked differently. The kid arrived as usual. He loaded the supplies into the Casspir. When he was fin-ished, Whiteboy jumped him from behind and got a rope around his neck. He couldn’t do anything after that. He was immobilized. Whiteboy thought he would have been immo-bilized anyway from terror. Probably all he’d needed to do was shout and the kid would have dropped down dead of a heart attack.

But he didn’t. That would have offended his own code. Instead, he clicked a pair of handcuffs onto each of the Farm Boy’s wrists and ordered him to lie, face up and arms spread, splayed across the front of the vehicle. The boy resisted at first. He tried to scream, but a few tugs on the rope round his neck had sorted him out. Then he’d tied a rope to the handcuffs, running it through the APV’s interior so that his victim’s hands were tied apart.

Then he’d worked on his legs. First, he took off his boots and camo pants. Then he’d ripped off his underpants. By that stage, Whiteboy recalled, the little wimp had already wet himself. That was disgusting. His dick had looked pale and tiny, like a little white maggot. By way of punishment for having pissed himself, he had stuffed the warm and soaked underpants into Farm Boy’s mouth and used another piece of rope to tie them firmly in place.

When he thought about it, his MO hadn’t changed much since then. Clothing for gags always worked well.

After that, he’d knotted a rope to each of the boy’s ankles and tugged the knots tight under the chassis of the big, heavy vehicle. Then he and Farm Boy, now splayed, naked and writhing, across the Casspir’s angular grille, had gone for a good long ride in the bush.

This punishment wasn’t his invention. It was a well-known method of torturing captured terrorists on the way back to camp, to soften them up for interrogation. He’d never done it before. But he liked to think that he’d improved on it, on his own, that night.

He drove through the thickest trees he could find. The Casspir was old. Its camouflage paintwork was already scratched in a thousand places and it was tough as old boots. Nothing much could happen to the vehicle. But the same could not be said for Farm Boy.

It was amazing, Whiteboy remembered, how a man could scream through a gag. Sitting behind the thick windshield, he had watched the strong thorny branches whip and rip into Farm Boy’s white flesh, leaving hundreds of bloody lac-erations behind them. He’d become increasingly bolder and more inventive. After all, it wasn’t as if he would need to interrogate Farm Boy afterwards. He found a tree with a long, ragged stump of a branch jutting out. Long ago, an elephant or something must have broken it off. Whiteboy drove and reversed, drove and reversed. Each time, the branch ripped further up his victim’s thighs. Closer and closer to where the little white maggot was cringing away.

It had been an anticlimax, in the end. Such pleasures often were. He had revved the engine before delivering the coup-de-grace and sent the vehicle hurtling forward in order to embed the branch in Farm Boy’s groin. Whiteboy was looking forward to seeing what would happen. He remem-bered smiling as he put his foot on the accelerator, his armpits damp against his heavy body in the tropical night.

In his fear, Farm Boy found the strength to move himself further down the grille. God knows what he’d hoped to achieve by doing it. He was stupid until the end. The branch missed his groin. Instead, it ripped open a path higher up, through his stomach. It must have torn his diaphragm and ruptured his lungs, too, because he died quite quickly after that.

Whiteboy untied him and let his body slide to the ground. He undid the handcuffs and the ropes. Army property had to be accounted for, after all. Then he threw Farm Boy’s trou-sers and shoes out on the ground after him. He was in the middle of nowhere, deep in the bush. He was confident that it would take a couple of days at least for anyone to find the body, and by then it would be well mauled by small preda-tors, decayed and unrecognizable.

He’d stopped at a riverbed on the way back. For most of the year it was more or less dry, but the recent rains had swollen it to a torrent. He sluiced the front of the vehicle clean of blood. The next morning he overheard some talk that the boy might have deserted. Then it was discovered that supplies were missing, and everyone assumed that was linked to his disappearance. There was a half-hearted search for him a day or two after that. His remains were never found.

Shortly after that, Whiteboy was recalled from Angola and discharged from the army. But before he left, he heard through the grapevine that Farm Boy’s parents were selling off their farm. They were broken by the disappearance of their only child. They’d been keeping the farm as his inheritance.

Just for fun, Whiteboy went along to see the setup. It was closer to civilization than he expected, northwest of Pretoria, on the way to the Magaliesberg mountains. The land bordered a little go-nowhere tar road, which in turn eventually led to a little go-nowhere town called Rustenburg. On the way, the road passed close to a nearby black homeland.

There were a few of those homelands dotted around back then. They were mini-states within South Africa, ones that the government had allowed the blacks to have in compen-sation for taking all their other, and better, land away. He’d heard that a rich Jewish bloke called Sol Kerzner was building some sort of gambling mecca in this particular homeland. He was going to call it Sun City.

Whiteboy thought it sounded like a fun place. Cards and slots, blue movies, naked dancing girls. All the stuff that you couldn’t get in South Africa itself in the late 1970s because of the stupid outdated Calvinistic laws. He thought it might do quite well. And if it did, land along the Sun City road would become a sought-after commodity.

He bought the farm. It was extremely cheap and, because he arrived in his army camo and gave Farm Boy’s parents some sad little story about how he was struggling to make a living and had been their son’s best mate in the army, it was cheaper still. An extra special price for him.

It turned out to be an excellent investment. He’d subdi-vided it into ten smaller pieces and, over the years, sold off the sections. He’d sold the last one for ten times the original price of the entire farm.

The episode with Farm Boy had launched him into his future career.


Whiteboy heaved his bloated body upright in the seat. Time to phone his contact for information. He believed in having contacts he could trust. He liked having a history with people, some water under the bridge. He liked to be able to rely on them. That was one thing he’d learned in the army. You watched your buddy’s back, and he watched yours.

He snapped open the cell phone and made his call.

Random Violence