Millie was a curious chicken. She knew there was always more to life than relying on humans for food and waiting for the day Bruce the cockerel found her intriguing enough to have kids with. Millie would spend more time around the anthills fending for herself. She would occasionally wander off to the fences where she would stare out of the barbed wire hedge trying to figure out what life outside was like.
Suzie the quintessential hen never really liked Millie. Technically they were sisters they were layed by the same mum but she always felt like she was the model child. Just because she felt that she understood the lessons from Mama better. Suzie adored the humans and always followed their beck and call like Mama taught them. Not Millie. Millie was a loner. Suzie was the perfect weight and had the shiniest feathers of the brood, she was Bruce’s favourite. She was now expecting her first brood. Mama was proud. Millie was disgusted by Suzie’s pride.
“Look Suzie, Hannah and Sally are also expecting. Doesn’t it bother you that they are also carrying Bruce’s children?” Suzie shrugged her off.
“What? Is monogamy something foreign to chicken? If anything, that is the one thing chicken should know human’s don’t want us to have!” Millie seethed.
A few weeks later when the pregnant trio was busy clucking; ready to lay their children, Millie went to her usual anthill by the fence. She had been seeing a dog pass by. A scrawny looking dog that seemed to have no owner. She tried to talk to him. “Hey! Psst!” Hey! Hey! You! Can you hear me?”
‘What’s your name?”
“Don’t you know the rules kid? I am a dog; I occasionally eat your kind.”
“Rules? Who cares? Why did you talk to me in the first place?”
Let’s just say Millie’s questioning got on his nerves and the dog started pawing in through the fence to get at her. He caught a hold of a wing and was reaching to try and rip her head off.
“Squawk! Squawk! Squawk!” Millie was flapping her wings like mad. But no one could hear her.
“Squawk! Squawk!” This was going to be the last time that she would ever attempt to defy her nature as a chicken. Or so she thought.
I don’t know if this happens to you, but once in a while when I day dream I get really random thoughts in my head. The other day I was in a matatu and there was this gorgeous man next to me, well groomed and well mannered. He respected personal space. For some reason I wanted to rub his back and kiss him on the cheek and thank him.
Alice, a close friend of mine, and acclaimed psychologist, she did a bloody diploma now she can read minds and human behavior, said that I had suppressed sexual feelings. True or false, I never take anything she says seriously. At times I just think I have a lot of love to give and just want to act out my love. Another friend of mine said it was a Jesus syndrome. Once again do not take anything they say to account.
You see the reason why I let them stay as thoughts is because the last time I acted on my thoughts it ended badly. Like crash and burn bad. This time it wasn’t affection, it was I imagined myself as some martial arts guru meets commando type chic. Where? In a matatu. I know it looks like most of these weird thoughts occur in matatus.
I was on my way home after a regular day it was around 7pm. The matatu had pulled out of town and was on the highway; all of a sudden the guy next to me holds a gun in the air and yells that everyone pulls out their phone. “Sim card on the left hand, phone on the right” the brother was not joking. I was busted because as usual, Kenyan antisocial behavior, I was reading people’s status updates on Facebook on my phone.
Once he had finished speaking, two chaps, one next to the driver and another guy at the back yell the same thing. Now there were 3 of them great! Now since the guy next to me seemed new to holding guns (I watch movies and can tell novices….yeah right!) I elbow him in the gut and then stick my head out the window and scream for help.
People start screaming in the matatu then I muster the courage stand up and try to smack the gun out of his hand with a “Haiyaaaa!” martial arts sound then the gun, luckily or unluckily, goes off and I see bloody gushing. A closer look backed by his uncontrolled screaming, revealed a bullet hit crotch and now I was covered in his blood. The other thugs panicked yelling and the matatu driver stopped. Unfortunately we stopped far from civilization, near a coffee plantation.
Esther was really fond of her grandmother who she was named after. Whenever grandma called, Esther always ran to her side to run any and every errand she would be instructed to do. Lately she had noticed her grandma wasn’t as bright eyed as always. “What’s wrong Dana?” Grandma shook her head and smiled at the 7 year old caramel gem. “Can I get you something to make you feel better?” Esther smiled revealing her missing milk teeth.
“Don’t worry toto. I will be fine.” Grandma said as she sat down very slowly with an occasional wince of pain. Esther had never seen this before. Grandma started experiencing the aches and pains since Grandpa had returned from what the people in the village called Lweny. It was some great fight that Grandpa and other men fought in. He chose to go instead of Esther’s father. Grandpa said father needed to take care of Esther’s family as the only son and Grandpa was old enough to go and fight. Well that is what Grandma told Esther. Esther didn’t really care much for the details.
Grandpa came back a withdrawn man, Esther and her siblings barely saw him. He was always visiting other homesteads. Esther would only hear him at night when his yelling woke her up as he passed by her window. The route to his house passed right by that window, a window that would later reveal violence and torment that no child should ever be exposed to.
Esther ran from grandma’s side and went to grab some of the left over lunch, that was still warm, for her to eat. She handed it over to Grandma. “Thank you my jewel” Grandma appreciated the affection she got from her grandchild. She slowly began to eat her meal, she took small mouthfuls chewing steadily and swallowing ever so slowly, wincing as the food went down. After the fourth painful swallow that Esther watched she pulled the plate from grandma and asked her what was wrong. Grandma dismissed it. Esther moved closer and looked at her.
Grandma had a wrapped a khanga around her shoulders covering part of her lower neck. Esther leaned in and pulled it away. Grandma tried to fight back and cover herself up. But it was too late Esther saw the deep marks on her neck. She accidentally dropped grandma’s plate of food and ran to the house. ‘Mama! Baba! Mama! Baba!”
That night the heavens had severe diarrhea, they would not give. It started at around 2 O’clock in the afternoon, and Nolari’s shift was going to be ruined by it. She had worked on stormy nights before, but this rain was relentless. She tried calling Stella and Amina to find out where they were. She wanted them to kill time together then head out to work. But both their phones were off. When it got to 7pm and the rains’ bout, slowly began to ease, Nolari left the house. She was on her way to meet Amina at the usual spot then head to work with her. But when she got there Amina was a no show. “Fala! Nkt!” She muttered something more explicit and kept walking.
Nolari turned and took another route it was less flooded, but not well lit. Not the smartest move. She inched along the poorly lit street now strewn with garbage and the contents of some of her neighbours tummies floated freely and shamelessly along the road. “Aaaargh! Amina utalipa!” Amina was definitely going to pay for this once Nolari got a hold of her.
A car sped by and washed her with the sludge and mud! Needless to say Nolari sent out a war cry and a tirade of profanity. She wiped off some of the mess from her face as she turned back to go home and change. She lost the fight with her tears and was now making loud grunting noises as she grit her teeth. She walked as she attempted to wipe the mess off her legs.
As she leaned forward to wipe her shins as she walked, she tripped over something huge. Like a log of wood. She screamed violently. “Aki Amina leo nitakuua.’ Amina was going to have it tonight when Nolari got to work.
The log of wood made a groaning sound and rolled. “Uuuuwwwii!” was all Nolari said and leapt; the pain was miraculously gone. The log rolled over again and made this moaning sound and started vomiting plastic. Nolari was plugged to the ground, a random street light decides to turn itself on. And the rain showered down again.
Nolari’s face was moist and drooping, her lips were trembling and pouty, she was the Menegai crater finally alive after years of dormancy ready to explode. As she stood their frozen and confused, the street light was now illuminating the ‘log’. A man was slowly unraveling himself from a reel of plastic paper, he was moaning, like a zombie resurrected from the grave.
My eyes were fixated on her teal lipstick against her ebony skin as she spoke. As her lips pursed, puckered and parted as she spoke, I couldn’t stop staring at her perfect white teeth that look like polished ivory. Her perfectly carved long nose was the foundation of her face. The perfect slant of her nose was perfectly set in the middle of her bright hazel bug eyes. Her eyes were as white as her teeth, her camel eye lashes batted as her lips and nose swayed to the direction of her words.
A beautiful gold tiara rested on her brow. Her hair underneath the tiara however jostled around like a tree in the forest. Her ears looked like an elf pointy at the tip with long lobes. Her face was a mystical treat. She was regal yet comical, never had I seen such a combination. She stood to excuse herself. Her gown flowed to the ground, its twists and turns cupped her body; Africa had bestowed upon her its rich bodacious essence.
Her gown was slightly shorter at the fore and revealed contorted and gnarled toes. Her longest toe, not her big toe, looked like it was trying to crawl away, poking out of her sandals touching the ground as she walked. No one spoke.
This beauty had been spoken of far and wide in the land, but up until today I had never gazed up on this beautiful clown. Stories had been told of her parents. She was the daughter of Princess Suni and Lanahan the court jester. Their love was believed to be the essence of their daughter; comedy and royalty.
The King banished Princess Suni for falling in love with the scum of the kingdom used as a source of ridiculous entertainment. The King believed that his daughter was only to be bequeathed by the finest princes the land had to offer. But because the princess went against her father’s wishes, she was banished and cursed to bear the essence of her love.
Princess Tara was a physical representation of that love. She was innocent, humorous and awkwardly normal for royalty. Despite being banished, the King did not strip the princess Suni of her crown. He did so with a condition that the jester would never be in line on the thrown and she would only bear one child who would be next in line after Princess Suni’s demise.
Princess Suni was in love and didn’t put much mind to her father’s agreement. Now she had conceived a second child. The King was out to ensure that his agreement was honored even if it meant killing his own blood.
The flood light went on, bright as day and the sirens awoke from a slow lazy moan to a loud and irritating repetitive shrill. A sound of metal against metal could be heard and chanting and cheering. The inmates were going wild, they knew exactly what was going on; someone had made it for the ‘other side’.
The warders in the cell blocks closest to the administration block ran in and assumed position with AK 47 rifles and night sticks at hand ready for the command. The warders in cell block ‘C’ where the petty offenders were stationed ran around the block in search of the missing inmate. They knew exactly where the escape happened because unlike most inmates, Henry was a chatty Patty. It was as if he was afflicted by some obsessive compulsive honesty and disclosure syndrome. His first few months were spent paying for his ‘fat mouth’ now his prison nick name. The wardens ran from showers to the laundry to the kitchen, there was no sign of him.
The flood lights shone and rotated from end to end of the compound. Henry ran faster and faster, his breath hot and heavy panting and gasping. His canvas shoes now soaking wet from the night dew, his thin cotton prison uniform clung on him. He was better off naked, his clothes weighed him down without giving him any warmth. He saw torches behind him with dogs panting heavily in the distance. This was his only chance to make it to the other side.
If Henry got caught, he would be lucky to get solitary confinement. What the prison did to petty offender escapees (since their terms were 3 years and less) who get caught, they would be placed with hard core criminals where they would serve the rest of their jail term. When you are moved from prison’s ‘paradise’ with minimal work and loads of outdoor time, to Sodom’s gang rape, indoor excessive hard labour, you make sure your ass does not get caught when you escape.
Henry had a good reason to escape after just 14 months of his 2 year sentence. There’s something he had to finish. He could not get caught. His only hope was a red Datsun pickup with his brother behind the wheel now just 200 metres away.
Mona groaned as she turned, she had slept in her clothes. She stretched and groaned again wiping her face with the back of her hand. Then she turned again to try and go back to sleep. She closed her eyes and a sound jolted her. She opened her eyes suddenly in shock. She sat at the edge of her bed hands supporting her up on either side of her body.
The bed creaked as she sat up and one of her hands touched something wet. She opened her eyes wide to see what the wetness on her hand could be? She couldn’t, the room was dark. She rubbed her index and thumb together again after feeling on the wet spot. Whatever it was it was sticky, she rubbed her fingers together again drawing them closer to her nose.
She turned her head rapidly slapped by the stench; it was blood alright. Mona panicked and started to touch every inch of her body wondering where she was bleeding. She felt no pain, where did this come from she wondered.
The florescent light in the bathroom was flickering making a constant clicking sound. Mona walked to the bathroom to look at herself. As the door creaked open with a gentle push from her, the first thing that met her eyes was blood droplets all over the bathroom sink that seemed to be spattering toward the shower. The tiles on the wall had bloody hand prints. Mona’s heart began to beat so hard she could hear it in her ears.
She covered her ears and began to sing to herself as tears streamed down her eyes. She dashed out of the bathroom back in to the bedroom and sat on her bed. She looked around palms still pressed on her bed on either side of her body. Tears gushing down her face dripping on her clothes. She started to tap her toes restlessly. She shook her head and then pressed her palms against her ears.
“No! No! No! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Mona was in disbelief. “This can’t be happening! This can’t be happening to MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” She screamed now shaking her head violently from side to side, breathing heavily, her rocking more violent.
Mona catapulted herself to the curtain and ripped them open. The daylight hurt her eyes and she let out a scream! The light flooded the room. Mona turned, her tears turned into loud sobs; she clasped her chest as if to prevent her heart from popping out of her rib cage.