I didn’t realise how active my mind was till I was with some friends and a friend mentioned that he was interested in producing a series of short films. I applauded him, I was in awe of how cool that idea was and he mentioned the genre that he preferred; Horror. I am not a fan of horror at all. After watching the Excorcism of Emily Rose you kind of realise that some horror movies aren’t just dumb ass dark comedy like Beetle Juice or Little Shop of Horrors. In my mind real deal horror movies are the re-enactment of the real deal spiritual stuff.
My mind is running and even writing this has got my heart racing a bit about this. Crap the TV has started flickering! Maybe I should stop, breath, breath………
OK. It has been about an hour since I started writing, but I am still a bit iffy. Alright, the reason why I stay away from horror is I believe in the supernatural, the spiritual and when you have a priest flicking holy water or oil on someone speaking in Latin. First I am a bit concerned by what the hell he is saying. Two, I am not sure if the man might be conjuring up more drama. And three since it is spiritual, I believe that by being a passive observer of a recorded film doesn’t mean spiritual things like demons respect time and space. What I am driving at is I think that demons and stuff can possess you from watching that stuff. That is why I cannot watch things like Paranormal activity. It is the real deal.
I have no idea why people choose to tell scary stories at night. Spiritual things aside my grandmother would wait till after dinner at around 8 pm, no electricity and only the flickering of a tin kerosene lamp to tell us about leopards that would devour us and liked hiding in mango trees because the foliage gave great cover. Great! Then once she is done and cackles like a witch who just conjured something up to devour her enemy, all the grandchildren in the room have a sudden urge to pee. There isn’t any indoor plumbing so we use a pit latrine. And where is the pit latrine? Thank you for asking. The pit latrine is 200 metres from the house just right after the huge mango tree that is now moving from a ‘slight’ wind.
There he was in the big city in the sun spinning round and round in the middle of the street. Buses were hooting and matatus swerving and causing pile ups by the side. “Fala wewe!” some drivers shouted while flipping ‘the bird’ at him. His arms were spread out and he was soaking up the city sounds smiling and completely aloof of what kind of damage he was causing. Then all of a sudden the street fell silent. Sospeter opened his eyes with a quizzical look on his face. Then his back got really hot, his head got sore, he rubbed it rapidly to try to reduce the pain he felt. Then it all went dark for a moment. When Sospeter opened his eyes afterward, his face was hot and sore.
“Toka hapa!” one voice demanded.
“Shaggz mudu huyo!” another yelled and made a prolonged clicking sound with a sneer to boot at Sospeter.
Then Sospeter felt a very strong tug at his shirt. And then someone kicked him in the tummy, he fell over to protect himself and screamed in agony. There was a tirade of pain that moved through his whole body. The city melodies began to pour in again. This time it did not sound as good as before, it seemed more brutish and harsh. It sounded like an action movie soundtrack just after the bad guy is killed.
Sospeter felt himself airborne and the next thing he knew his jaw was on the floor next to a dirty and worn shoe. The shoe moved, and he quickly raised his head afraid of being trampled on. He sat up wincing and holding his face and gut with his hands. One eye was swollen and he could barely see through it.
Sospeter could now hear someone shouting something and from his ‘good’ eye he could see the person whose lips seemed to be moving rapidly but he could barely hear. The person’s hand was wagging a baton at him with an insolent countenance. Sospeter winced and the man’s baton wagged even more but was thrown off the bench, when the van was jolted by something. Sospeter burst out laughing at the potbellied man as his face wacked the floor of the moving truck and let out a girlish scream.
The man picked his baton and hit Sospeter on the head. “Wewe? Wewe?” the man said threateningly. He was not amused. Since he was now closer Sospeter could now see that the man was wearing a grey city council askari uniform. He now understood what had happened, well sort of. He had been arrested and attacked by askaris, what for? He had no clue. What he knew now was that the city was not as glorious as it first seemed.
Ondoro rolled his eyes as he walked back to his desk from the front of the class. He knew the teacher had it in for him. He was never good enough or smart enough even with an average 90% grade in every subject. He had to be better than best. He was so used to being caned for missing his ‘personal pass mark’. Ondoro had just recovered from swollen calves from severe canning for forgetting to put his name on an answer sheet in a C.A.T.
Amit was the favourite; the ‘100% guy’ he could never do wrong and according to teachers was the model student. Then there was Nyina who spent more time turning regular lessons into the market places of Athens with philosophical debate to much of the pleasure of her classmates who needed a way to keep themselves from falling asleep. Most of the teachers had given up on Nyina, she was very smart and witty but she was a rebel, she believed that education was a way to equip generations to challenge status quo. She didn’t care for the “why did you meet your pass mark nonsense.” An exam was simply to gauge comprehension levels not a determinant of her destiny.
She was just 12 years old but had the mind of a 75 year old sophist. Her story was quite interesting. She lived in a nearby slum with a drunk father and perennially pregnant mother who did have a high school education. Nyina fell in love with books that her neighbor used to hawk. Her neighbor Meero, spent more time reading books than actually selling them. His house was filled to the brim with books. He caught Nyina’s attention with the ‘big words’ he used and spent more time figuring out the words’ meanings in the dictionaries and thesauruses.
Mr. Mukwati, their class teacher, was one of few words, he spent more time wearing a look of condescension through his thick glasses dishing out reading assignments and drills in class. At the beginning of every class he always walked in through the class door yelling, “Number ONE!” followed by a series of questions that all students should have answers to by the time he gets to number 10. Once he said finished, which was more rhetorical he would command, “exchange your books!”
Nyina was Ondoro’s desk mate and on one occasion after a long recovery from serious beating because the class failed a drill, Ondoro scored 4 out of ten and was beat by Nyina who got 6. After seeing his score, Ondoro began to cry and walked to the front because he knew the drill; be caned a corresponding number of strokes to the number of questions he got wrong. Mr. Mukwati raised his cane on the ready to strike, when Nyina grabbed his hand and began her usual rambling arguing the effectiveness of corporal punishment on student learning and productivity. Ondoro took advantage and walked out of class never to be seen again.
Fala, was living irony; an internationally renowned photographer whose name meant idiot. He had gone missing on his return home after walking away with an international peace prize in his work in covering the mining cartels in the north of the country. His photography had changed the fate of the locals who were now full beneficiaries of the mineral sales, homes and schools were restored and political big wigs prosecuted serving life sentences and others on death row.
Fala was the darling of numerous poor in a land of vast impunity. Fala had been missing for a week and there was no clue of where he may have been taken. He had not been abducted at the airport. He had arrived and spent time with family and his fiancé. But on Monday, two days later, he did not show up for a photo shoot which was completely out of character.
His Fiance, Zane had been on the news with running mascara and bug eyed from the endless tears. She looked disheveled. “Bring him home!” was all she ever said at press conferences while being embraced by her future mother in law and sister by her side. No ransom notes or calls,absolute silence.
In neighbouring Yenka, they watched the news wondering what their corrupt neighbor was up to. Loli was an investigative reporter from Lupa and knew from her country’s history Fala could be anywhere by now within Yenka’s wide borders. She opted to give some of her contacts back home in Lupa a call. And true to form someone had seen a gentleman with Fala’s description smuggled across the border to Yenka. The most likely location after just seven days was that Fala would probably be close to the capital now. She knew the local rebels always played by the book covert operations were expensive. It would be cheaper to get Fala to the epicenter of his enemies to get rid of him.
Loli packed her bags and headed north to the capital. The hilly hike would take a number of days with the terrain and the poor transport. As the sunset that day she opted to stay at a flea motel. She was too tired to go further for better accommodation. At around 2am, she was awoken by something heavy being dragged on the floor. She lifted her head then silence fell. She thought she was dreaming. Then she heard the dragging again with a groan. Lights went on in the motel and screaming ensued. Loli froze in her bed when she looked up at the wall and saw the poster of the Lupa smuggling ring logo. She was in their flea hotel.
Petronilla was so nervous she almost threw up on the person seated in front of her in the waiting room. Her palms were sweaty and no amount of wiping against her skirt was going to solve it. She belched on occasion and by the looks of the people around her not all was well. The constant waft of boiled eggs had people sitting now about 4 rows away of her.
Her foot now couldn’t stop tapping the ground, now people were getting irritated by Petronilla’s nervous ticks in the waiting room. Petronilla’s body was bursting with gas and fluids she just couldn’t wait any longer a final heave let out a colossal invisible cloud of noxious fumes.
The security guard grabbed Petronilla by the arm. “Madam umetuweza leo! Hata kama ni uoga hiyo yako ni ya majini!” As if evil spirits would be the cause of her nervousness. She was shoved into the ladies and the guard yelled from the other side of the door. “We will call you when it is your turn!”
Petronilla farted one more time and fainted, this was too much for her to take. The last time she had anticipated something this long was her 18th birthday when she awaited her ‘O’ level results. This was her once in a life time opportunity to live her dream.
Petronilla was awoken by the clicking sound of heels. She looked up, “Are you ok?” She jumped up and said nothing. Petronilla thought it was one of the immigration staff checking to see if she was capable of travel. “Don’t worry; I know how nerve racking it is.” The lady consoled her helping Petronilla up and dust the little bits of tissue off.
“Your first time to travel far from home?”
“Yes” Petronilla burped out covering her mouth looking down.
“Here!” The lady offered Petronilla water in a bottle and some Eno
“Thank you!” Petronilla burped out again, now utterly embarrassed.
As Petronilla swallowed and tossed the bottle in the garbage and looked at the lady with puppy eyes about to ask something, someone knocked the door. “Wewe…Petronilla ni wewe njo!”
Petronilla shied off from what she was about to say and meekly said thank you with her head down and walked out of the washroom.
Sita woke up and stretched, she opened her mouth and yawned loud and prolonged and made a finisher smacking sound with her lips. She opened her eyes and everything was dark. She blinked, it was still dark. She closed her eyes for about 10 seconds then pressed her eyelids down hard and opened her eyes as wide as she could. It was still dark as soot. She touched her eyes and her face to see that everything was intact.
‘Maybe this is just a bad dream I will wake up soon. Do not panic Sita. It’s just a really really bad dream.’ Sita consoled herself and sighed and then began to feel around. The room was damp and smelt like safari ants but not quite; she couldn’t put her finger on the smell. Sita’s feet felt unusually cold. Something moved when she reached down and she froze. She looked side to side in the pitch darkness. The floor beneath her was moving, she held the walls which were also very slippery, her nails dug into the wall.
“This shouldn’t be happening!” Sita was getting really nervous the floor moved again and she bit her lower lip to prevent herself from screaming. Something began to climb up her leg, she was sweating and her stomach was churning. She held her breath and bit her lip so hard it began to bleed. Then she heard a hiss. Sita could feel the solidity of the ground beneath her separating and becoming more fluid. She began to hobble and grasp at the walls which by now she figured were mud because her fingers kept sinking inside them. She felt something slither over her arm and up the wall.
Then all of a sudden light appeared above her. ‘Jesus?! Am I dead?’ A loud earth shattering chuckle emerged from the light. “Stupid girl!” Sita had no idea who that was. There wasn’t anything godly about his voice and the light blinded her. She felt something hit her head as the light slowly dimmed and became pitch black again. A snake fell on her and she screamed. She lifted the thing that hit her on the head. It was a bucket and there was something soft in it, she felt around and felt something big and round roll around her palm. She jolted and dropped the bucket.
Sita gazed around hoping to see something. She felt hungry and felt around for the bucket. She found it and placed her hands in and felt for the soft and squishy thing. As she reached in, her hand hit the rolling object in the bucket again she pulled out her hand and accidentally hit a snake that hissed on another side of the bucket. Sita didn’t realize how close the snake was, she felt a sharp pain on her nose and she screamed and fell to the ground and hit her head on something hard and sharp that wasn’t there before.
Then there were 10. There had been heavy fire on the military base in the heart of Chalbi desert. It was remote and the radio transmission was shaky, satellite communication was completely shut down. The 10 of them had survived the attack by sheer luck. Only two had military training the rest where roaming nomads caught up in the melee. There was heavy shelling outside the bunker. With every successive blast the bunker would tilt and creek whatever was attacking was drawing closer and was determined to exterminate all life in the area.
Another blast rocked the bunker and an unusual semi human groan was heard. One nomad screamed, “My camels!” as he ran for the trap door to open up to the hallway to find the room where his camels had been secured. He was tripped and blocked by one of the military men. He fell to the ground with his face close to the man’s sandy coloured boots. He looked up to a menacing face and a head shake of disapproval of the nomad’s action. The nomad was dragged by his feet across the room as the others looked on. The other military man, who he only heard being called a variation of Patrick, either Pato or Pat or Rick interchangeably, yanked him to his feet and then shoved him on a seat.
The nomad heard the sound of tape. The first military officer stretched a 30cm piece of silver masking tape as if to tease him with it. He plastered it on the nomads mouth as Pat tied his feet and hands then the other military officer added the masking tape on top of the rope. The nomad was now sweating looking side to side.
The nomad, tied, recalled stories he had heard of what had been happening in a secret place in the desert where men in uniform assaulted and killed numerous nomads for an unknown treasure. He knew that this was it. He threw a gaze at the other nomads who had now pressed themselves against the adjacent wall bug eyed in shock. The bunker now reeked of sweat and dirty bodies. They had been in the bunker for 2 weeks and food supplies had been depleted, the destruction outside had affected water and electricity supply. The reserves had been destroyed, in a storage chamber area that was in the extreme end of the bunker, by whatever was preying on them.