Writing Exercise: A Son’s Honour (Fiction)

This story is in badly need of revising. See how an incompetent English user writes. 

Exercise three: Choose five headlines from a local or internation newspaper and write a story or poem including the headlines and two characters – one an animal and one a person. Write for 15mins/time yourself and read aloud.

The North Korean leader’s brother, told to be quiet when he asked about how the country was doing, rankled at every gesture his brother made at the dinner table. The arrogant tone on Jong Un’s voice coupled with his rigid posture reminded him every thing he hated about his father. Jong Nam had been living abroad after he had a fall out with the old man, who was not used to disobedience. To save the premiere from the shame of sparing a son from the death sentence, he left the country on self-exile and did so happily. His father was after all, Kim Jong the second, the tyrant.

Jong Nam had planned to come home earlier before news of his father’s death arrived. He was driving home with a dog he had just adopted from a rescue shelter. He read that dogs may protect babies from some infections and was thinking that his toddler might benefit from this addition when the sudden ringing of his cell phone knocked him out of his reverie. It was a representative from the North Korean government informing him a recent decapitated body of a man found in a river was his father and that they requested him to attend the funeral. He did not even know that his father was missing. He took a red eye flight the same day and attended the solemn yet lavish ceremony the next day. He shed no tears for the old man, felt not a twinge of grief and he sympatised with the people who did.

As a young child, he was fortunate enough to travel outside the country and experience civilization first hand. He saw the destitution of his countrymen through the eyes of a foreigner and this realization had troubled his conscience ever since. He had wanted to bring about change in the country, to help unshackle North Koreans from the grips of poverty, yet at the age of 15, he had only but dreams. He was powerless to do anything. His brother was slated to be his father’s successor and with what he knew of his brother’s character, his country will remain the same. The only way he knew how to cope with this reality was to flee.

He now knew it was a selfish and cowardly act. He realized he had chance to make things right when he received that phone call. He had brought the dog along with him. He wanted to exemplify how the people of his adopted country treated their animals and how it was better than how his brother’s government was treating their people. Newspapers ran pictures of him with the dog. They talked more about how the animal would make a tasty meal at the dinner table and less about the nature of their relationship. Still he hoped the message he intented got through, behind closed doors. Jong Nam kept the dog at his side during dinner, petting and talking to it as his brother ate in silence. Its companionship slowly assuaged his anger.

He returned to bed that night thinking about his flight tomorrow, and the impending departure from this bleakness surrounding him. Though he was not allowed to speak to the country’s media, he hoped his presence and his photos with the dog left a mark on the people. While waiting at the airport the next day a news report on television ran the headline second typhoon hits South Korea, moves toward North Korea. The sorrow that was absent on his father’s passing gripped him then. His people would weather the storm the best they could, the way they always had, but the thought of their increased suffering devastated him. The government was ill equipped to aid victims in such catastrophe, let alone care. And there he was about to abandon them again. He never got on the plane that day.

A year later North Korea was yet again in mourning when Jong Un was found missing in his private chambers. A letter sent anonymously by a group claiming to be the North Korean rebels claimed that the leader had been kidnapped and assassinated.

World Marks day of the missing,” said Jong Nam in front of North Korea’s military men and women and civilian spectators. Being a member of the Jong family, he was selected to take over the country’s leadership, and he had accepted whole-heartedly, stating to the band of government leaders that he was responsible to honour his father’s legacy. He had not only assumed his father’s position, but his poise and demeanour. The extent of his assumption only went so far. The dog remained at his side as he delivered the speech, a pledge of change to his countrymen.


2 responses to “Writing Exercise: A Son’s Honour (Fiction)

    • Thank you, Nikson. You know how headlines are, verbs omitted and all. I had to figure out how to make the sentences work. I think the tenses are all funny in the end. 😀

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