Tim Walker’s Novel 1 of 2

As the years passed Kahn Walters proved himself to be not only a scintillating mind, but a physical specimen to match. Thanks in no small part to the brilliant tuition and fine culinary skills of his adoptive mother, once he’d worked through the constitutional misgivings of over twelve years of famine and hardship, Kahn grew into a tall, intelligent, strong and robust young man. Beth and Dave Walters never were compelled to foster more children; mutually deciding to focus their total energies on their first, most remarkable, son. On account of this, that first son grew up feeling loved unconditionally and supported unequivocally. He was continually told by his father that he could be, or do, anything. He was made to believe by his mother that a kind and happy disposition, along with unwavering self belief and self respect, is all a person needs to be great. This was the mantra with which he now faced up to life and through that, this lad from North Korea soon became loved and respected by all who knew him.

His appreciation for nature never waned and if anything, with the onset of maturity came the desire to further harness Mother Nature’s aromatic embrace. At the age of eighteen Kahn’s home schooling was deemed complete and, according to headmistress Beth Walters, this fine student was now equipped to embark on whatever vocational avenue should take his fancy. The only avenue that seemed to be taking Kahn’s fancy however, verified by the wonderfully landscaped and maintained gardens around the Walters residence, was gardening; or more specifically, working with the land. Originally from a farming background, thus with a similar penchant for the earth, Dave was pleased his son had discovered a passion that was worth devoting his life to, and did everything in his power to help the young man turn his unbridled fervour into a budding career.

K Walt Landscaping, before the close of 2010, would apply for recognition as a GST registered business.

Kahn was so very resolved to prove his place in his adopted homeland that he worked with the tenacity, with the ardour of a man possessed. He refused offers of financial help from his parents to get his business established, preferring to start small, work his way up through hard slog and whatever wherewithal he had at his immediate disposal. From the age of sixteen his mother had been giving him $20 a week pocket money; at the time of him completing his schooling and subsequently entering the work force, the bulk of this money had been accumulated. With it he purchased a cheap car – 1989 Toyota Corolla – some basic landscaping tools – rake, shovel, spade and fork – and went in search of jobs. Starting slow, weeding and basic tending of gardens, he soon had a respectable client base and a reputation to match; speed and efficiency were Kahn Walters’ trade mark. Before too long he embarked on his true love – proper landscaping projects. He went about it with unrelenting passion; his results spoke for themselves: entire gardens landscaped in one day, an entire section levelled and planted the next. He possessed a keenness of eye and a meticulous approach that both astonished and impressed his parents; to see their son at work, deftly shifting soil with his rake, stopping, surveying, carefully pushing some back, stopping, surveying, and so on, made them more proud than they ever could have hoped. His ability to see an empty garden plot and know precisely what needed to be done in order to make it beautiful was simply miraculous. He didn’t know the technical names of shrubs or the varieties of plants; he didn’t need to, he just knew how they needed to look and what they needed to grow.

He would come home each day dirty, sweaty, sometimes bleeding and invariably exhausted. He’d be in bed by 8.30 at night, up at 5.30 the next morning; every morning. Even in the winter. While Beth and Dave were extremely proud of the maturity and high level of responsibility that Kahn was showing, they did wonder just what was driving him and more importantly, if such a workload was sustainable.

For Kahn, 2011 passed very quickly. He would have quite happily worked through his nineteenth birthday, if the area had not been under a deluge. Little had changed in the Walters household since he’d finished school and headed out to make his fortune: the major difference, instead of his Mum giving him $20 a week pocket money, he now gave her $20 a week board – an hour’s wages. It was a good deal; aside from that he had no real expenses. His car ticked along, taking him and his tools from job to job throughout Canterbury; he didn’t have friends, a girlfriend, or a social life, simply, because he didn’t feel he needed them.

He was going it alone and in Kahn’s opinion, life was perfect.

2012 passed with even greater alacrity than the previous year as, at the close of 2011, a major Canterbury Garden and Landscape business declared bankruptcy. This meant that from the New Year K Walt Landscaping was fielding over double the calls from potential clients, demanding to have not only a plot landscaped, their garden maintained or hedge trimmed, but wanting their lawns mowed. Lawn care had never been an industry of interest for Kahn; while he knew there was money to be made there, the inclusion of such would require a greatly expanded assortment of equipment therefore, equipment maintenance. It was a messy industry, both literally and figuratively, but it appeared that this was currently an industry with a sizable opening.

2013, ‘K Walt Landscaping’ became ‘K Walt Landscaping and Lawns’. In fairness Kahn thought ‘Lawns and Landscaping’ sounded better but it was much more straightforward, also cost effective, to simply lengthen his sign-writing stencil, rather than design a whole new one. In the beginning of K Walt Landscaping Kahn had made his own stencil from the side of a fridge box then taped and sprayed it onto the sides of his Corolla; although when he’d upgraded vehicles in 2012 to a 1996 Toyota Hilux, he’d decided that to ruin the emerald green paintwork of his ute would be nothing short of criminal, hence the advent of his professionally manufactured stencil and furthermore, the arrival of ‘K Walt Landscaping and Lawns’. The other issue he had, as fast and as hard as Kahn liked to push himself, ultimately, he was still only one man and there was no way that one man could mow one lawn at the same time as he manicured one garden.

His first employee was a short, stocky, Polynesian man by the name of Kevin. Kahn didn’t share Kevin’s views on many work related topics, including morals, ethics, and wages, but as long as Kevin took care of the lawns leaving Kahn free to tend the gardens, given that K Walt now had a charge out rate of $25 an hour, Kahn wasn’t overly objectionable to letting Kevin have eighteen of those dollars. Taking into account mower servicing, repairs, and general maintenance, however, the lawn care avenue was far from a lucrative one. Nevertheless, as it meant that more people were now using K Walt, brand exposure was at an all time high.

It was at the end of one breezy September day in 2013 that he clicked on the radio in his Hilux, to be told a chilling story: “In world news today, alarmingly, North Korea appear ready to strike out in belligerence, against the rest of the world.

“Not since the infamous, North Korean Horror Story, of two thousand five, have we heard anything notable, from North Korea, but reports have been recently circulated, that General of the North Korean Army, Kodos Wanton, is set to be released from prison, after less than ten years, of incarceration.

“Wanton, who holds the highest rank, in the North Korean army, and who, despite his recent imprisonment, still has the support, of legions of loyal followers, was the orchestrator behind, the aforementioned child conditioning programme, where children as young as zero plus a month, were abducted, then unknowingly enlisted in the North Korean army, widely known as the North Korean Horror Story.

“Sources have it, throughout his incarceration, Wanton has been communicating, with his military counterparts, organising, planning and, worryingly, conspiring against his foes, and whether China, is still among the forerunners, of said group, is anybody’s guess.

“North Korea, today, are considered the world’s fourth largest, military power, but rest assured, this is merely what North Korea is willing, to display to the rest of the world.

“So in summary, the man at the centre, of the world’s greatest, atrocity against mankind, is to be released from prison, in the coming weeks, leading this reporter, to wonder, need the rest of the world, be, concerned?”


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