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Bliss

There was a warm salty kiss coming in from the ocean that enveloped Kanini, her skin tingled and she had this giddy giggle reverberating through the air carried by the breeze through the coconut trees. In the distance some children collecting seas shells by the shore began to laugh when they heard her laugh. They stopped what they were doing and ran straight in to the Ocean; splashing away as the waves lapped by the ocean shore.

The sun was warm and bright, its majesty was unquestionable, it stood and rid the island of the sadness and gloom that had overwhelmed them the last few weeks. The sky was immaculately blue, not a single cloud to stain its rich blue, the breeze, gentle, considerate whispering sweet nothings causing laughter to fill the air.

Kanini was in a beautiful Ankara sun dress, flowing all the way to her feet. Her dress swole in fury every time she ran and abruptly stopped; trapping the wind in her frock. Her laughter was infectious. The children screamed gleefully in the ocean. Kanini’s bare feet strutting across the beach, her feet kissing the pristine white sand, she bent over and scooped the goodness in her hand, and sniffed it! Ah! Kanini was in love.

She tossed the sand out of her hands in to the ocean and laughed again. A horn was sounded and ululations were heard in the air. Kanini began to sing, as she sang, the waves got violent crashing against the shore, the children in the ocean wet wild with laughter and screaming. “Louder! Louder!” they yelled out.

They wanted to surf the waves, and they wanted her to singer louder to ignite the waves. Kanini raised her arms singing louder and the ocean began to ripple and build huge watery walls of waves. The children screamed wildly, they loved the waves, the huger the better.

“And whooooooshshshshsh!” Kanini said and the children were swept into a wave! This drew them right to Kanini’s feet, all sandy and soaked the children jumped up demanding playfully, ‘again! Again! Kanini…please again! Again!” Kanini shook her head and said, “Tomorrow…we will do it again tomorrow. I promise.”

“Aaaaaaaaaaahhh!” The children chorused in disagreement.

“Go along and play there is plenty of sand…” Kanini began as she moved her wrists in circular motion and a sand castle was quickly formed on the beach. “Have fun!” The children screamed running toward the sand castle.

It was a beautiful day in her island. Urembo was the only place on earth were magic was normal. She was the daughter of the recently deceased evil warlock. Kanini’s father’s demise awoken new possibilities and hopes for magic once again to change not just the kingdom but the broken world they now lived in.

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Karma Just Grew a Branch

“Tap! Tap! Tap!” There was a gentle but resilient sound at the window. Maggie had been trying to ignore it all night. At some point the irritation turned to fear thinking that maybe it was a witch trying to get at her for what she had doen ealier to her kid brother. He was getting on her nerves, she snapped and shoved him to the floor. Spanking from Mama didn’t seem to appease the mystical world. Maybe a witch had been sent to make things right with the gods.

At 6 am, the tapping was equally persistent, when she walked to her window and pulled her curtain open. She noticed that it was a gnarly tree branch that had been tapping on her window. She was relieved that she had been proved wrong. But why did a part of her still feel something was still not right? She looked down two storeys  and noticed  that the tree was leaning on her window because, it had grown another long stem. “But…but…Overnight? How could that be?” She asked herself.

As she lifted her eyes from the stem she saw something climb the stem that was now leading to the branch tapping on her window. She quickly drew the curtains heart racing and now yelling, “MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM!”

Mum dashed and burst into her room, are you OK? She leapt like a Kenyan Steeplechase athlete, and grabbed her daughter and drew her to her bosom. Kissing her head and rubbing her back Mum inquired her daughter’s status. Maggie was shaking in absolute fear, Mum got really concerned.

“What is it love?” Maggie feebly lifted her arm and pointed toward the window. Mum tried to move, Maggie stayed put, feet plugged to the ground. “Mum no! Please! Don’t do it! I am scared. Mum!’ Maggie’s mother peeled her off and walked to the window, she drew the curtains forcefully, the morning sunshine blinding her for a few seconds. Her eyes eventually adjusted and the room fell dark. Two huge eyes were now obscuring her sight. She fell to the ground screaming backing up to her more hysterical daughter who was now flinging herself toward the bedroom door trying to leave.

“Where are you going? Why are you afraid?” The deep vice bellowed from the window. The creature dare ask a question when its hideous disfigured face was obscuring the whole window. The creature backed up and unusually it’s face became normal. It wasn’t any unusual creature it was James, Maggie’s little brother.

“What the HELL ARE YOU DOING?” Maggie yelled in tears.

“James, why did you look like that?” Mama asked with much concern.

“Look like what Mama?” I just wanted to get back at Maggie for shoving me to the ground, I noticed that this tree sprout a branch at night and this morning I was going to climb and scare her through her window.”

“But your entire face filled the window?” Mama replied.

“You looked like a huge insect?”

James laughed at the two of them, what were they talking about,? His little face couldn’t fill an entire window. “Hehehehe!” Especially a window almost the length of a stretch limo. He waved them off, and climbed down in laughter.

Maggie and Mum were left holding each other shuddering from what had transpired. They couldn’t explain what had happened, including the retraction of the tree branch which now looked like it elastically rejoined the tree trunk. Something was off. Maybe the mystical world was avenging James. He just didn’t know it. “Mum had always said there was something weird about this house.” Maggie thought to herself.

0

Huge Mess

Drum rolls rang in the arena; there was an expectant silence in the darkness only slightly illuminated by the spotlight in the centre of the arena. The juggling monkeys had already dazzled the crowd and the vegetarian Hyena, Ella was up next with the usual colossal act; balancing on a beach ball while rolling across the arena.

“How unoriginal! Is this really all circus folk can come up with?”

“Shhhhhh Ella!” The serpent interjected. “Just do what you are here for; you’ll get the master angry.”

“Angry?” She trumpeted. “I’ll show you angry”

Ella emerged on twos, the crowd gasped. Ella began to dribble the beach ball like a basketball player. The crowd cheered, it was extraordinary. The Ringmaster cracked his whip, Ella trumpeted so loud the man seated in the front row lost his toupee. The crowd went wild. They loved it. Ella gave the master an evil look and trumpeted in his direction for a prolonged period of time. The snake slithered in to the arena and wrapped itself around the elephant’s trunk. Ella’s trumpeting ended abruptly making a loud fart sound, the crowd cheered and laughed.

Lizzy the Tigress emerged and roared in her yawn, she had missed her act. “Cat nap? You’re one with the nerve to show up now aren’t you?” Ella reprimanded her while shaking off the snake. She ate peanuts tossed at her by the amused crowd. She thanked them aloud only sounding like rhythmic trumpeting.

The Ostrich emerged from knitting her offspring’s ugly woolen cardigans. “Would you girls turn it down?” Ella trumpeted loud and prolonged to get back at the Ostrich. In the mean time, playful and full, Lizzy, began to roll on the dirt like a bowling pin, Ella lifted her feet to avoid the tigress. It turned into an act, the humans roared in laughter. Lizzy was trying to cure an itch, Ella was avoiding her, but it looked like the famous feline bowling pin move. The crowd loved it.

The monkeys who had flung poo and smeared his face with it had shut the ringmaster in the corner closet. The crowd was writhing in their chairs, tummies clasped in full amusement. The show couldn’t get any better. Lizzy burped and jolted to all fours, Ella started chasing her round the ring to get at her. “Just dreadful! What did you eat today Lizzy, a whole Gazelle? It stinks.”

“No, I was fed with some human supplements of some other carcass; it doesn’t sit well with me.” Lizzy responded very casually after a huge mushroom cloud of flatulence rendered the crowd in chokes and tears.

It was roaring and head nodding, trumpeting, and trunk swinging as Ella chased Lizzy around the ring. An apple smacked Ella in the face.

“Oi! Who was that?” She trumpeted and looked in to the crowd; the room was bursting in laughter. She began to inch forward in the direction of the projectile. The inch slowly built momentum and soon she was stampeding toward her target whose smile slowly turned into a countenance of worry. Ella had had it with the Circus and today she was determined to leave it.

0

The Muse

Rickety! Rickety! Rickety! Bump! Bump! Bump! The bus hobbled on the rough road. The journey out of Ragada had only begun but Osborne was already bored. The hobbling was making him dizzy and he was craving some sweet potatoes and fried liver for some reason. It was 7am; they had only been on the road for 30 minutes. Osborne couldn’t wait to get to his little muse.

Rickety! Rickety! Rickety! Bump! Bump! Bump! Thud! Thud! Thud! Osborne was awoken by the pain from his head pounding against the window. The road was completely washed off with sharp rocks protruding. The bus was driving on a tight narrow road with nothing but thorny thicket on either side. It was the prayers of the fervent elderly woman at the bus that kept them all safe.

Eyes were bulging out of sockets, bright white, with pale and dried lips, brows sweaty like the palms clenching the seat ahead knuckles so white they looked like they had been doused in ash. The elderly lady at the back began to wave her arms in the air and bellowing out
“Amazing Grace how sweet the sound…” There were a few trembling voices whispering in with the woman. The air in the bus was thick with fear. The driver’s body jerking from side to side, face forward, back straight yet so calm amidst the turmoil. In an instant the tossing stopped.

“Hallleluuuuuuujah!” The woman exclaimed from the back of the bus. The bus was saturated with cheers and applause. If it wasn’t for people’s fears of their bowels loosening, there would have been a standing ovation. The bus came to a halt and the driver said, “30 minutes!” They had arrived at a truck stop. The location was centuries away from Ragada. There were acres upon acres of wheat farms, windmills, people walked faster here; with purpose. Lips moving, but not to converse with others, to metal rocks pressed to their ears. Osborne was excited; it was just another two hours away and he would be splashing around with Lawi.

Thirty minutes raced by, Osborne never left the bus, he had dosed off in his seat and was awoken by the passengers brushing against his seat. He closed his eyes, snuggled into the blanket and slept peacefully on the smooth road all the way to Subra.

Two hours later Osborne was on his way home, a 10 minute cab drive and his muse would be in his arms. He arrived and rang the doorbell, Susan answered the door with a huge hug smothering Osborne with all her love. “How’s Lawi?” he asked Susan with so much enthusiasm. She nodded in his direction.

“Oh! Lawiiii?! Lawiiii?! Laaaaawwwii!” Osborne was getting so giddy he began to laugh. Amidst his cackle he heard a giggle and a childish chuckle. And emerging from his room was a cute little boy with his cute little fingers covering his mouth. “Waaaawiiiii!” The cute baby called out. Osborne yelled in astonishment, “LAWI?” seeming very confused.

“Waaaawiiiii!” The cute baby called out again and pointed behind Osborne and right there seated in his arm chair was Lawi his 8 foot tall freak creation; half grizzly bear and half cheetah, ready to probably paw its master and make it like Usain and bolt.

0

Pointless

Every morning Rosa looked in a mirror it cracked immediately. Rosa had never seen her full image in the mirror. Even walking past reflective surfaces would result in scratches appearing from nowhere scratching out her reflection.

When Rosa was just a wee little baby a kind witch cast a spell on the child. She was the most beautiful child the earth had seen at that time. It was believed that, when the time came, Rosa’s beauty would bring glory to the kingdom. But it was also believed that a wickedness would come upon her if she grew up constantly being reminded of her beauty. And with that, to protect her purpose, Rosa was never allowed to leave her grandmother’s mansion. She was only allowed to see the gardens and play as the sun was setting only allowing her 2 hours a day to play.

Rosa had made several attempts to escape from the torment. But to no avail. It was days to Rosa’s 25th birthday when the witch would lift the curse and her preparation for her crowning would commence for a five year period.

Rosa was ecstatic, it was finally here, she would now be allowed to wear whatever she pleased and could stay out all day if she wanted. She was allowed to try anything she liked on one condition; that she would not talk to anyone outside her staff and the royal family. She happily obliged. It was a step up from two hours a day outside and locked up in her room for the remaining 22 hours.

Weeks turned into months and months into years soon it was three days before Rosa turned 30. She had explored new skills, from sewing, to baking, to portraiture, but there was a constant yearning she had. It was a yearning she once had long time ago when she was younger, her mother once dismissed it as trickery from the evil witch. But now that the spell was to be lifted, she didn’t consider it something evil, she was now old enough and strong enough to handle it.

The feeling was more persistent now; she found it became a lot more intense during the painting and poetry sessions with Kan, the bakers son. She didn’t quite understand why she would giggle so much and sweat so much around him.

“Must be the flu” she thought to herself the first few weeks. She even had a doctor brought in to test her, but alas! She was as fit as a fiddle. She noticed that when she giggled, Kan too, would get uncontrollably excited. More than when Hannah or Joseph would attend his session. Rosa thought that maybe it was because her siblings were younger.

On coronation morning, Rosa received an unusual disturbance. It was pretty early, but Rosa wasn’t one to bother, she would finally be free of her curse. She walked to the door to open it, and right at the door was a wooden carved music box with her name engraved on it. She opened it and a slither of an usual flowery scent emerged. Rosa collapsed at her door.

0

Mystic Living

Andrea shut the front door, holding on the door handle intently looking through the glass front door. She gazed in through the front door forlorn. She held that look for about 2 minutes, she was disrupted by the sound of her neighbour opening his front door.

“Hi Derrick!” She said quite dutifully.

Derrick nodded and walked passed her down the hallway to the gate. Andrea had been staring at him as he walked away. She sighed looked into her apartment again, head hung, hand still on the door handle.

“Why?” she muttered under her breath. She let go of the door handle and walked to the apartment block’s main gate. She turned her key staring back in the direction she had come from. Head hung, tears welling up. She walked through the gate and emerged into a new realm all together.

People walked backwards and spoke Sheng in reverse. She hopped on to her bike and sped off in reverse revving her way past the milling crowds garbed purely in black flowing outfits. Andrea stood out most with her blue jeans on the back of her orange bike. She sped as fast as she could, her speedometer gradually inching from 80,90,100,120,130,140,150, she was going going, going, going back in time. Andrea hit 200km/hr she felt a strong suction and just like that, she was on the same highway, now dilapidated, sprouting grass with no vehicles. It was filled with colourfully dressed people.

Two women passed her with baskets of fresh fruit, high fiving and chatting animatedly. Andrea just sat on her bike watching, a bicycle bell rang and a man in a hat waved at her. He greeted her in a language she didn’t seem to understand. School children milled passed her in blue and white checkered uniform in snow white socks and shiny black shoes. Their rucksacks swinging on their backs as they ran past the numerous women bearing goods. Andrea hopped off her bike, peeled off her helmet and jacket and laid them on the bike. She put her keys in her back pocket and walked hypnotically toward the women. She was drawn to them, she didn’t know why; there was one woman in particular that she couldn’t stop staring at.

“Selena, ebu njo!” One of the many woman called out to the woman Andrea was fixated on.

“Selena!” Andrea gasped out loud rushing towards the woman who was laying out her wares. Andrea stopped abruptly in front of her reaching out to her. Selena lifted her arm as if to greet Andrea, Andrea felt nothing, but Selena shook a hand. Andrea looked down and noticed a hand was going right through her, Selena was having a conversation with the owner of the hand. I was the man who was on the bicycle. What was going on?

“Selena! Selena! Selena!” Andrea began to yell to get her attention, no one around her noticed her, save for the man on the bike whose eyes would shift from side to side as Andrea called out. The man completed his conversation with Selena and grabbed Andrea by the forearm and walked her away.

“LET GO OF ME!” Andrea demanded shaking the man off. He spoke in a language that was completely unfamiliar to Andrea, though when he spoke to Selena it was in Swahili. Andrea had no clue what was going on. There was something off.

0

Little favours

Peter had been at it for weeks, song after song, he strummed his guitar this sunny morning and nothing came out. He had sung his last and now his vocal chords were tired of the abuse they had received. That was it, after only one year of an illustrious debut. That was going to be the end of Pete Joy, “the man who sung with a woman’s heart.” He wrote music like Babyface and Teddy Pendergrass, Sang like Sam Cooke but had the shortest career of the three predecessors.

It wasn’t actually a year; it was more like 8 months, 3 weeks. He had skyrocketed in to fame and with the pressure to stay on top and relevant. This heart throb needed to produce more music fast, write music even faster. And with his vocal chords shot Pete Joy was history! He shut himself from the world. His publicist, after seeing him, thought it would be a great way to create some mystery around him to have people wanting more from him. Pete didn’t care, he was crushed, after taking him 40 years to get there he was only going to stay at the top for 8 months and end? It couldn’t be.

That night after ordering room service, Peter flipped through the TV blasting the volume so that he wouldn’t hear any knocks. He wanted to be alone and just mope around. Every channel he flipped to was the same.

“And the winner is….”

“America’s next top model is….”

“Welcome back to who wants to be a millionaire….”

Peter got tired and turned off the TV. He flipped his sheets around and found his head phones, he was just about to put them on when he saw something emerge from his hotel room door. He rubbed his eyes to see that he was seeing right. He opened his mouth attempting to inquire who it was, he shut his mouth again, no sound emerged.

He flung a magazine at the little being drawing closer to his bed.

“Aww! That wasn’t very nice Peter!”

Peter was startled and inched back on his bed, fanning the being away with his hands.

“You won’t get rid of me that easily.” The little man uttered.

Peter inched into his bed and drew out a pillow and with all his might flung it at the little man. The man flung and hit the TV screaming. He landed on the floor with a thud. Peter inched toward him to see if he had killed him. Peter looked down at him and in an instant Peter’s ankles were grabbed by the little man and he was flipped to the ground. Peter landed on the ground with a thud and groan.

“Can you hear me out please? I am so darn tired of being treated this way. Am I that grotesque and freakish that no one would want to talk to me, a 3’ 9’’ man, and find out who I am first before trying to kill me. Even women treat me this way. I need to talk to Nyasaye to sort this mess out. More attractive guardian angels… Darn it I am fed up of being…” The little man stopped rambling and clicked.

“My what?”

‘Yeah you heard right, guardian angel…call me Help”

“Help?”

“Yeah, believe it or not that is my name.”

“Hhhiii? Help?”

“Yeah! Yeah! Let’s get on with it; you can save the ‘pleasantries’ for later.”

“Help for what?”

‘You do realize I am reading your lips right now? No sound is coming out? And you still wonder what you need help for? Boy! You humans sure are a ‘special bunch’ no wonder Nyasaye has a lot of mercy on your sorry souls.”

The next few hours in the hotel room Help assisted Peter create new music using something special. He ditched the guitar and handed him a Nyatiti. An eight stringed lyre with strings made from animal tendons, it had an unusual sound but as Peter strummed the instrument and made up lyrics and played, his voice returned richer, stronger with a magically long vocal range; from treble base to ultra tenor sounding almost feminine. Peter was in awe, he cried all night.

At dawn he arose to a cleaned room, bed in breakfast and a note.

“Studio at 11am!”

It was 10 am; Peter wolfed down his breakfast and hit the shower. He dashed out got to the lobby and ran back to his suite, grabbed his nyatiti and the stash of lyrics he created at night and dashed into the limo. He was so engulfed in his work he almost ran down a fan in the lobby.

He pulled up into studio and to his surprise, there was no one there. It was closed. The limo had pulled out so there Peter was out in the cold July rain wondering where to go, the frustration he felt the day before began to return. He began to sing sorrowfully leaning on the studio building wall, tears streaming. And just like that the studio doors unlocked and opened. Peter walked in and went straight to the recording booth. Help was seated at the mixer.

“Hit me with your best shot!” Help yelled through the mic.

The next three hours were a set of some of the best culturally fused music that the world was going to ever hear in many years to come. At the end of the recording Help bid Peter farewell never to be seen again.

The following day when Peter was scheduled to produce his new album, he got a call from a panicky studio executive.

“It’s been leaked!”

“Slow down Jose, what do you mean leaked.”

“Your lead single ‘broken’ from your new album has been leaked what do we do?”

Peter had this smirk on his face, ‘What’s the reception like. People are super requesting they love it!”

“Time to schedule a new tour don’t you think and give the people the great music they are looking for right?”

And just like that Pete Joy was back on the road more glorious than ever.