0

Mogaka’s Lot

“Al Hamdulillah sijaona msichana kama wewe.” The sweaty dreadlocked vocalist belted out strumming his guitar. He bobbed his head steadily, dreamy, life went on around him, people milling by, high fives and laughter, cell phone chatter from stone cold business suit types, then there was Mogaka.
Mogaka had slippers tied to his knees and hands; he had a piece of cardboard secured ingeniously between his knees and hands which scraped against the rough concrete pavement. The sound would cause a temporary stir among the swarms of crowds towering past him. Once their glances met him they quickly went about their business. Mogaka wasn’t one to mind, after years in the same routine, he learnt not to expect much from humanity. They are the ones that got him there in the first place.
It had been 15 years ago when Mogaka had signed up as a village volunteer in a local Youth service recruitment drive. Training was rigourous; Mogaka was up to the challenge he wasn’t fazed much by the strain on his tender frame. During one early morning run at 4am, Mogaka was running ahead of the pack, as always, enjoying the morning breeze easing in the air into his expectant lungs, when something heavy smashed his legs in. He fell to the ground and as he used his arms to lift himself up, a sharp pain pierced through his hip and spine and head. He passed out.
Mogaka woke up 5 months later from a coma with stubs; legs amputated at the knee.
“Training accident, but look on the bright side you are alive.” The doctor quickly told him as Mogaka tried to make sense of his surroundings. There was a persistent irritating sound that he tried to shield himself from with his hands. But when he raised his hands he couldn’t believe what he saw. His palms seemed to be stuck at a 90 degrees angle. He looked at the doctor puzzled; quizzical.
He turned and a familiar face emerged. Suzie. Mogaka’s kid sister looked at him with puffy eyes. Mogaka was her hero and couldn’t help seeing him in such a state.
‘Momo! Hi!” She affectionately called him with a quivering smile and overly moist eyes.
“What is happening Sue? What is wrong with me?” His voice wavering and angry. Suzie bursts out in tears, the doctor emerged to the fore; a different doctor; composed and sober.
“Mogaka. I am doctor Adongo. You are in Kamiti Hospital, and you have just awoken from a 5 month coma. Now…”
The doctor was abruptly cut short by Mogaka’s screaming, he tried to slap his thighs in anger and shook his wrists as if to awaken them to move in the gesture he wanted them to. But to no avail. His mouth wide open; he began to moan like a wounded animal. Spitting out, “why did you do this to me? Why? You did this!” He was pinned down by three orderlies and sedated. That would be the beginning of a long nadir.

0

Stuck on “Jerry”

“Why I am here? I know I shouldn’t be here…Walk away Nanu. You can do it. Sigh! No I can’t who am I kidding? I can’t do it!!! I can’t throw away all those years together. How did Sarah do it? The last I gave it a shot, the pain was unbearable. What will life be without…? God my heart hurts, need to breath, it’s the only thing on my mind anymore. I can barely work. I can’t eat. Crap! Here comes the boss! The cursor’s been blinking for too long on a blank screen. Please walk away…please…please…please…Crap!

Damn it! Now I need to stay in this peanut paying dump longer! Nkt! Nkt!NNNKKKKT! Why the hell am I hear, why did I have to say yes? Why Nanu? Why do you always do this dumb stuff? I am so stupid. Lord it is only 9am, that was the slowest hour in history. I can’t deal. I am so angry I want to scream, I am anxious. I really…sigh! Why? Why? It was fun in the beginning, it felt good…it felt…mmmm…it was heavenly…it never felt so good. I wish it never had to end!

Is there something on my face? Why is that HHB looking at me? Self righteous pervert. Eeeeww! I need to shower. Eeewww. I really can’t unsee that? I walked in to this office expecting some decorum, now here’s Mr. I tripped out of a circa 1980 T.P. OK Jazz music video. Trousers tied so high up at his waist he can answer his cell phone without pulling it out of his pockets. Eeeww, need to go outside.

I want to call…NO! Don’t Nanu stay focused you can do it girl!!! Deep breaths, deep breaths! Ooooo! What the? Oh! Man this office eye candy makes me melt with that chocolate skin, big brown eyes and delish dimples….mmm… Nanu snap out of it you are flirting with him! You are here to work not…just snap out of it! Lord why does he have to leave? He is like a Michael Ealy, Taye Diggs, Kobe Bryant mash up, Lord and he smells like he owns a perfumery. Put your hand down woman! Sigh! And he has a darn wedding band! Aaargh!

Sigh! I need…right now….J.e.r…no need to stop, can’t dial that number. I need to fight it!!! What else can I do to fight it? Food? Call Sarah to kick this to the curb, so I don’t call…This is hard… oh! No please don’t….don’t…aki please….I can’t hold it back anymore there they go. The floodgates! Gosh this hurts. No! No! No! She can’t see me like this don’t want to be a topic of office muchene…Aki please….MOTHER!!!….

Screw this…I am shaking…need to go back to the ‘field’…MASSER sent his slutty assistant. Jerry and I need to spend some quality time soon because these ticks and tremors need to bounce…damn it Kuro!…fat ass got a promotion thinks she can boss me around…aaarggh!”

2

Unresolved

I had sat in the lecture theatre for about an hour. I don’t recall a thing the lecturer said; his lips moved I heard no sound. After thirty minutes I gave up and plugged in my headphones and let them take me to wherever they wanted. I closed my eyes and bobbed my head gently to the beats. Heads turned in unison toward me. I just stared at them and turned to the window. I felt the table shake. I looked down at it and shifted my gaze to the window outside. There wasn’t much to learn anymore.

I saw people stand an hour later, and leave the theatre I followed. I saw, “Assignment one” written on the whiteboard in purple marker. I didn’t care to know what it was. I walked to the door and something drew me to look back. It was Harriett again with the munchies wolfing down doughnuts from the cafeteria. I waved, her chocolate laden hands waved back. I shrugged and walked away. I had another class it was two doors down from the Lecture theatre. I walked past it. My presence in class made no difference. I learnt nothing, heard nothing what was the point?

The lecturer saw me pass by, I just ignored him, he stuck his head through the door into the hallway yelling my name. What did he care? I just whipped out my iPod and cranked up the volume to drown him out.

I walked past the janitor; we exchanged nods acknowledging each other. He looked around and gently placed his mop against the wall. He followed me to the smoking section of the school courtyard.

“Got it?” he asked me. I nodded and whipped out the book. Soma contrary to his name hadn’t done much reading as a child and spent at least 20 minutes of every break he could get reading a novel, anything to stimulate his imagination. He was an interesting character to read. He would read a chapter and then sit for a few minutes eyes closed, still replaying what he just read in his mind. “Movie ya kichwa” he would say; re-enacting a movie in his mind.

“I have something to show you Kevin!” OK I thought. I pulled out my earphones and looked at him quizzically.

“Check!” Soma handed over a yellowing foolscap with dog ears and ugly penmanship that looked like a 4 year old had doodled on it. I sneered a little then stopped when I realised Soma was looking at me.

“Read!”

Soma had always told me he would write a book. And today I had the manuscript in my hands. The bell interrupted our moment. I just said, “Thanks!” flipped my hoodie back on and blasted my iPod some more. As I strolled to class, I felt someone behind me, I turned and Soma threw himself on me and hugged me. It was a weird feeling I had never experienced before. I shook him off quickly. It was a sensation I couldn’t explain. I wanted it but hated it at the same time.

“Thank you!” Soma said nodding and smiling. “You tell me what you think?”

I nodded. Weird! I thought. I turned back and found myself throwing myself on him. I needed that sensation again however repulsively meaningful it was.

0

O.D.B

The door flung open, door bell rung. Paddy looked up, eyes worn from hours fixated on the machine. He moaned out a pleasantry and the customer nodded his head. “that’s all!”

“That’s all what?”

“Didn’t you hear my request?” The customer queries puzzled.

“What request, CAN YOU SPEAK LOUDER?” Paddy yelled.

Agitated and insulted the customer picked his umbrella from the counter, shook his head. The bell rang again and the sound of splashing cars on the road was audible for a split second then fell silent. Paddy was tired it a had been three consecutive nights to ensure that he reconciled the books before Awori showed up. He was tired of his ass being lit on fire for faults that were not his own.

Paddy was a withered man, hunched over by life’s disappointments and several botched attempts to kick start his own accountancy firm. Now here he was 83 years old, balding and shedding like an elderly cat, on a wooden three legged office table working for Awori, his grand nephew. “Evil, pure evil” Paddy muttered.

Paddy had never agreed with his elder brother on the business. They had been distant for decades till his demise 15 years ago when Paddy’s consultancy crashed. Investing in withery pensioners didn’t seem as lucrative as it once was. He was now laundering money for his grandnephew, a spoilt philandering spendthrift who put no effort whatsoever in keeping his inheritance afloat.

‘That’s your job!” Awori repeatedly yelled at his granduncle; when he would raise concerns of serious discrepancies, but falsified balance sheets was what Paddy was good for. That is what he was there to do. Things had taken a turn for the worse recently the binge drinking got worse, and Awori was now openly taking heroine at the front of the store. The hardware store was just a front for a bigger syndicate whose wares were now packed in plain sight of the law in moving boxes. The boxes had close to 13 million dollars worth of heroine.

Paddy was burning the midnight oil to ensure that the stock was disposed of which meant distribution to smaller vendors. But he also needed to strategically justify his dilapidated stores ability to have a fat cat bank statement when all the hardware looked like it didn’t move, so Paddy spent most of his evening creating fake stock movement, sales, purchase of new store stocks, receipting and making legit online transactions to ensure their tracks were covered.

He really didn’t have to do this, he detested it but he need to. It was every day a pensioner would walk home, quite literally, with 1 million dollars a month.

“Damn you Yowi and your stupid grandson’s business.” Paddy cursed his brother. But despite detesting his brother, Yowi’s, overt defiance to the system, Paddy wasn’t a straight arrow. The last week volumes of heroine had been smuggled in to the country through the ‘blue connection’, the corrupt cop cartel that Awori spent time entertaining every Friday. While Awori entertained, Paddy colluded with Omosh the Kayole drug baron. Omosh was an ex commissioner of police and knew the loop holes. He retired for health reasons. Of course with a pot belly the size of a whiskey curing barrel, he needed to do more than retire, he needed a liposuction while he jogged on a treadmill to lose all that fat at a go.

Omosh retired as the celebrated police commissioner who seized 13 million shillings worth of cocaine. The evidence was allegedly destroyed but somehow found its way back on the streets. After his exit from office there was an immediate increase in drug busts with addiction in Kayole and other low income neighbourhoods across the city on the rise. There were calls to reinstate him; no one ever seemed to put two and two together. Even the very public meetings between Omosh and a known money laundering heir, Awori, did not stir any interest. It’s maybe because the city was ‘high’ most of the time.

It had been three grueling months of piecing the financial paper work together to cover up laundered drug money in legit business transactions.  It was quite ridiculous because it was obvious the warehouse wasn’t making any sales. The wares were rusting and the regular customers had fled. To where? No one knows but the new customers were obviously cops. Paddy was old but he wasn’t stupid. The cops made no attempt in asking for different products or dressing differently each visit. They were on to them. Paddy had to leave.

That night after a long day’s work, Paddy turned off the store front lights, put on his trench coat lifted the collar to shield his face from the imminent cold. He tossed his hat on and out the door he went.

The following day inebriated Awori emerged through the door yelling profanities and demanding that his granduncle get his “shriveled ass off the can.” As he opened the toilet cubicle door his face was peeled off from the heat of the blast. Car alarms in the streets went off. The store was coated in a fine charred substances, boxes contents strewn all over the floor. Half the store was ripped open. Urchins who slept in the store front were bloody; coated in a fine powdery substance. The cops ran out of the surveillance van to the scene. An hour later they called Paddy, no answer.

Three hours later they broke down the door to his grim, smelly apartment strewn with all sorts of pills, hungry Siamese cats meowing and empty cans of food. A note lay on the table, “Got you suckers!”

XXXXXX

The waves lapped and the clear blue sky was warmed by the sun, waves kissing wrinkled toes flexing in the wet sand. A bare-chested saggy breasted man stands tall sipping his pinãcolada with a smirk on his face. His blanket of silver hair showing traces of what was once black kinky hair. He stretches his arms out to take in the suns rewarding warm embrace. He smiles and sighs in relief and takes another sip of his pinãcolada. “Yowi I told you I would get what I deserved.” Paddy chuckled.

0

It all ends

He stood behind her and wrapped his arms round her waist, Anna leaned back on his chest and sighed pleasantly. Her eyes closed hands clasped on his they stood and said nothing. They didn’t have to speak they both knew. Andre leaned down and kissed Anna on her forehead, Anna smiled and whispered, “I love you!”

“You complete me” Andre responded. Anna giggled childishly and turned to face Andre. He looked in to her eyes, Anna tip toed and looked into Andre’s; her gaze dropped to Andre’s lips and he leaned in for a kiss. His supple lips against her rich red lips; the gentle turn of their heads to gently share their love was a pleasant scene. People around them walked away, shying off, some smiled, some sneered, some yearned. They gently pecked in conclusion and Anna turned round; back leaning on Andre’s chest. They both sighed with huge smiles and star stricken gazes. Andre held on Anna’s waist tighter.

“Let’s go!” Anna said, her turned to face him again, drowned in love she nodded and with a blink she whispered “stay with me forever.” Andre smiled. “I’m never going to leave” as he flung back his shoulder length jet black Samsonite locks, dimples deep and provocative. The couple strolled in the poorly lit street. Shifting gazes from each other to the starlit heavens. Andre sheepishly pulled out his phone and scrolled through his playlist. Anna was getting impatient, she thought he was busy chatting or texting. He hit the button and Toni Braxton’s “Fairytale” began to play.

“Awww! Honey…!” Anna jumped on Andre and smothered him with kisses. Andre laughed hysterically. “You are one crazy lady” he remarked lifting her from his waist and setting her 5 foot frame down to the ground. Anna laughed with a chuckle that sounded like a car refusing to engage ignition. That tickled Andre, he burst in to his earth shattering laugh, head craned back, dreads swimming in the air.

His laugh was cut short by a scream from Anna who now sounded distant. Andre straightened himself and looked at the direction the sound was coming from. Anna was on the ground being pulled by her braids by a dark figure. Who seemed to strategically move where the street lights didn’t fall.

Andre dashed, yelling, “Mwache! Leave her! Mwizi! Leave her!” Andre caught up with the man and pounced on him. As he leapt yelling, the man lost grip of Anna and let her head hit the ground violently she was now bleeding and in and out of consciousness. Andre pummeled the man. The man pulled out a jagged edge blade, he took a swipe at Andre but missed, a struggle ensued.

After a 5 minute struggle Andre managed to get the blade and attempted to stab the man; but he got away. Andre quickly dashed to Anna’s side, she was still breathing. He whipped out his phone to call for help. It was gone. He yelled, no one answered. Andre lifted Anna and carried her over his shoulder jogging to the nearest place he could get assistance sobbing loudly. Anna wasn’t going to make it.

0

Phew!

It was an awkward feeling; sadness, joy, anxiety. What the day had in store Nick had no clue, all he knew was that he was not looking forward to it. Something bad was going to come out of it. Of this he was sure. He heard the front door creak open and he began to breath rapid short breaths; perspiring profusely, his shirt looked like it had been dipped in a bucket of water. He couldn’t help himself. He clenched his fists hoping that nothing would harm him, closing his eyes even tighter muttering the same words repeatedly.
“I am sorry, won’t….do it…again! Please!”
The ‘please’ came out louder than expected like a moan. He bit his lips, eyes wide open begging in fear. He didn’t want anyone to harm him. What he did was stupid and unacceptable, but he really didn’t have to face death for it. Back pressed up against the wooden wall, eyes closed praying as he inched toward the window palms pressed tightly against the wall. He didn’t want the assailant to see him. He needed to get out of there alive, one inch, two inches, a third inch and the floor boards moaned about his weight. Nick ducked his head under the window ledge, lower lip bit to prevent him from yelling in a burst of fear, eye closed…no eyes would meet his.
A loud smashing sound and a brick plunged on the wooden floor a ghastly wind flung the curtains wildly. Glass was strewn all over the floor. Nick’s bladder surrendered and the stench of urine filled the room. The urine flowed across the floor being stopped by one of the numerous mutilated corpses on the floor. The air was thick with blood and now warm urine. Something was sure going to be drawn in by the stench. A huge thud and a furry gnarly hand grabbed on to the window ledge the curtain was ripped off and a huge E.T. looking head emerged into the house. The head was too big to fit through the window. The wrinkles on its fury neck straightening and spewed out thorns. Nick was glued beneath the window ledge he now tried to hold in his breath and occasionally exhale ever so slowly. His heart was beating so fast he began to gag.
The E.T like creature then moved away. Nick could hear footsteps shift toward the door which was unlocked. The door handle moved and the hinges creaked. The huge, bald, wrinkled head emerged and a serpent like tongue began to hover over the room. It looked like a detector of sorts. Just as Nick closed his eyes one more time, he felt the ‘detector’ lick him, it was a slender tongue yet seemed sloppy at the same time.
Nick opened his eyes, soaked in urine and tootsie his dog was licking his face. His alarm was blaring it was 6.30am, time to get started for the day. He sighed in relief. He sat on his bed with a squishy feeling; he had done a number two on himself.
“Time to hit the shower!” he said relieved slipping on his sandals.

3

Journey to Oblivion

It was 7pm Francis was sweaty, gunky hands and coated in exhaust fumes and dust. He had only worked for three hours but was worn out already. “Gari iko chrome!” Swaleh yelled gesturing with his hands; making a fist with a yanking motion, then hit the side of the bus.
Francis engaged the gear and hit the accelerator and maneuvered through traffic leaving a trail of hooting motorists and cursing pedestrians. It is not that Francis didn’t care about the other motorists, he no longer saw anyone else on the road.
His work driving a PSV bus was mechanical, boring and the only time he had decent entertainment was between 4 and 6pm when the sexy office vixens sat next to him flashing their thighs and manicured nails. And oh! Did these women smell fantastic, he always wanted to know what the secret was in staying fresh and pristine all day. He smelled like a sweaty baboon within 3 hours of driving a bus, but not the polished office folk!
Today he was stuck with equally smelly passengers, all men who seemed to have an oral hygiene problem, which they seemed to think would be cured with a conversation with Francis. His window was perpetually open despite the occasional drizzles. Bobby McFerrin’s, “Don’t worry be happy!” was playing, Francis choked up and pulled up at stage 30 enroute to Kiriani estate.
He needed to breathe; he was so fed up of his life. He was tired of working from hand to mouth, he wanted more, and he knew he deserved more. His High school certificate wasn’t much to go by, but it was worth something. Anything…..anything but this!
Francis pulled out a cigarette and began to smoke, passengers stuck their heads out of the window hurling insults.
‘Mamako! Unadhani hatuna kazi ya kufanya?” one man yelled from the rear most window in the bus
‘Haya! Kwani what’s wrong with this guy?’ A weaved ghetto ‘fabulous’ looking damsel with a french manicure exclaimed with her JKIA acquired ‘A-meru-can’ accent, while scrolling on her smart phone.
The Swaleh banged the side of the bus yelling at Francis to get in. One or two passengers alighted and an argument ensued between them and Swaleh, they wanted a reimbursement to get another vehicle to their destination. Francis sat by the road side, keys in hand and soaking up the sounds around him. His mind wondered once again.
“We bana! Wacha udo! Tuishie, unaweza bonga na Maisha achukuwe dinga utulie!” The tout, Swaleh, was agitated but was fighting to stay calm despite being hung to dry with a verbally abusive bus load of passengers.
Francis arose from the road side dusted his bottom off and yanked the huge bus door open, sat engaged the gear, hit the accelerator. He turned off the music 50….60….75….80….the speed governor was bleeping incessantly…90….100…110.

Silence suffocated the bus; passengers now silent, ashy fists clenched on seats, eyes’ popping out, silent stares through the window as bus stops turned to sign boards into other towns. Screams could be heard, children crying.
“Unatupeleka wapi?”One man demanded!
“Uuuuwwwiiii!” Screams permeated the bus.
“Sikufi leo!” One young man screamed running to Swaleh who was dumbfounded and seated on the stairs at the bus entrance.