It’s an Afrikaans word that means ‘saddle up’, but it was also a place: a farm, to be exact – a lonesome speck of nothing on the edge of a dirt track nowhere near a main road in the South African wilderness, somewhere in the Adelaide district.
It was 1939 and the Great Depression made a harsh life for many. Peter van der Westhuizen, a husband and father of seven who spent most of his days on the road as a truck driver, struggled to make ends meet. He did his best to provide for them, but after taking the new job, he and his family found themselves in need of a new home. Even if it meant relocating to the middle of nowhere.
The farm was isolated and the nearest living people were miles away, but it was close to his route – and it was a place to start over. The move went smoothly, painlessly, but as Peter left for work that next Monday morning, leaving his family completely alone, he had no idea he was leaving Helena and his children at the mercy of something dark and sinister.
Something unseen and violent lurked in the shadows at Opsaal, strange shadow-figures roamed the old corrugated iron structure, something that wasn’t shy or recalcitrant about striking her in front of her children! It also wasn’t restricted to the house itself. A darkness infected the entire property and struck terror into the hearts of them all! With the passing of each day, Helena became increasingly tense and afraid, but she had to hold out – she had to put on a façade, keep a brave face for the sake of her children! They had to hold out until Peter returned. Then they would plan an escape. Because she knew if they stayed there, someone was going to die.
Opsaal is a tale based on a family legend from the van der Westhuizen side of the author’s family lore, and hence, is based on a true story.
Available in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats!
- Published: First Edition, November 13, 2021 (eBook and paperback); January 14, 2022 (audiobook).
- Words: 7,596 (flowing text eBook)
- Pages: 36 (5 x 0.09 x 8 inches paperback)
- Duration: 53 min. Narrated by Darla Middlebrook