[Sponsored] A remarkable new literary talent – Read an excerpt from Tumelo Buthelezi’s debut novel The Last Sentence

‘Come to me …’ she said, softly, ‘and I will make your pen sing again.’

BlackBird Books has shared an extract from The Last Sentence by Tumelo Buthelezi!

About the book

Bandile Ndala is a once-successful scriptwriter who now struggles with substance abuse, anxiety and depression as he starts to lose his tenuous grip on reality. His career has stagnated with the rejection of his literary work and life at home with his family is under strain. His life starts to descend into a living nightmare, literally.

Bandile is desperately searching for inspiration so he can make a much-needed comeback.

When Bandile finds himself in room 28 at the Cariba Inn with a sultry temptress he wonders whether he has gone crazy. Has the formerly brilliant writer who churned out hit TV show after hit TV show lost his mind? Is he on drugs? Or is it all in something he ate at a dinner a few years back … ?

Buthelezi takes us through the inner workings of Bandile’s mind as he thinks about his writing and battles with the possibility of not producing something meaningful, ever.

The Last Sentence introduces us to a remarkable literary talent. Tumelo Buthelezi is an exceptional storyteller.

About the author

Tumelo Buthelezi is from Sebokeng in the Vaal. He is a founding member of the Ink Gallery, a movement that promotes an interest in reading. The Last Sentence is his debut novel.

Read an excerpt:


Chapter 1

A Call

Bandile Ndala, a successful playwright and author in days long gone, found himself in an open field – naked as the moment he popped out of his mother’s womb 43 years ago. A cold, driving rain slicked off his body. His teeth were chattering. He looked around, hoping to spot something familiar – a landmark, a sign post, anything to help him figure out where he was. How he got there, he’d try to figure out later. For now, he had to find a way to get home, a journey that starts with knowing your current location. The psychotic episodes had been getting worse. But he never imagined they’d become so bad that they’d cause him to wander off in nothing but his birthday suit.

The call of an owl caused him to turn and look up into a tree covered in darkness. There was something about the empty, tinny quality of the owl’s call that made Bandile nervous.

‘Whooo, whoo?’

It sounded like an accusation. In the tree, on one of its skeletal branches that reached out into an endless night, he saw a pair of round, glowing eyes looking down at him. The rest of the owl he could not see; its tar-black feathers blending into the darkness.

The sight caused his blood to run cold. He knew owls to be omens of bad luck. Black owls, he thought, surely must be the devil himself paying a visit.

‘Come to me,’ he heard a voice say, a woman’s voice.

It was warm and inviting. Irresistible, in fact. He thought it was coming from the owl. Talking owls. He almost laughed out loud, thinking that the cheese had finally well and truly slipped out of his sandwich. But, when the woman repeated herself, it became clear that her voice was coming from somewhere behind the tree.

He felt his body move on its own, manipulated by the woman’s voice.

There, behind the tree, a few steps away, he made out the shadowy figure of a woman with long braids. The owl called once more and, again, he threw his gaze up into the tree. When he looked back at the woman, she was hurtling towards him. He tried to move but was paralysed. He could only watch as she plunged a massive meat cleaver into his chest and pushed it deeper with relish, causing blood to splutter out of his mouth as he struggled to breathe.

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