Chero had been trying to wake up for the last two hours.

“5 more minutes” she would mutter as she slammed the snooze button on her alarm. At 10 am she eventually arose with a huge yawn and stretch. She slipped on her slippers and went straight to the bathroom to relieve her bladder of the night’s build up.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” She exclaimed gleefully as she wrapped up, flushed the loo and stepped in to the shower. She let the water run for a few minutes to heat up. Chero stretched again, groaning as she felt those sleepy muscles awake.

“Yeah! That feels good.” She blurted as she grinned sheepishly from the relieving effects of the stretch. Chero eased into the shower face first letting the water flow down her face to wake her up. She was absolutely exhausted. She then inched the rest of her body in to the shower just enjoying the flow of water down her body. She smiled and rubbed the water from her face as she shoved it in the water. She sighed in pleasure as the water streamed down her body.

Chero reached out for the soap and lathered up. She began to below out a tune with her rich alto,

“Unbreak my heart, say you’ll love me again. Undo this hurt that you caused when you walked out the door, and walked out of my life….”

As Chero began to crescendo, the shower just dried up, with soap all over her face; stinging her eyes, she carefully stepped out of the shower and reached out for a towel on the rack near the sink. She missed, slipped and fell on the floor with a huge thud! And Groan. She slithered into an upright position and attempted to reach out to where she gauged the towel may be. She reached out and grabbed something; it seemed wide like a tree trunk. Fleshy.

Chero quickly withdrew her hand and slid back into the shower. She used the shower curtain to wipe the soap from her now watery eyes. “Who is that?” No response.

“What is that? I…I…I…I…mmmmmean, what are you?” No response. Suddenly a ghast of wind blew through the shower whisking the shower curtain into a frenzy. Chero began to feel a chill and tried to grab the curtain to wrap herself in it. She finally got a hold of the shower curtain and steadily inched across the slippery floor and off to her room. The bathroom door was lying limp, it had been ripped off its inches, by what? “What was that?” She thought to herself. The hair at the back of her head began to stand, she had no idea what was going on.

Water began to gush out of the shower again abruptly, she dashed back in. She looked around, then resumed showering in silence. She was quiet and a bit distraught. She smacked herself to see if she was dreaming.


Smelly Doppleganger

Good Lord! It is 11.20pm, I swore to myself that I would be in bed by ten showered and cosy. Here I am typing away wondering what in the world I am going to write about. My back hurts, it has been such a long day and it seems like it is going to get longer.

I haven’t written to you in a long time so maybe I should fill you in on what has been going on with me the last couple of months. It has been a rough year, for some reason people don’t seem to want to pay, so I have been doing this dance with my landlord, the debt is building. Any cheque I get now goes straight in to clearing that mess.

You know the last time we spoke I told you that at times, more often than not, I feel that I have experienced more pain and disaster since I set foot in this country right? I don’t hate it, I just feel like things weren’t meant to work out for me. OK, maybe I am exaggerating but you know where I coming from? We have had this conversation a gazillion times.

Anyway, so a few days ago I was walking in the CBD minding my own business when out of nowhere my eyes began to sting, heck if you have been in the Nairobi CBD around the “commoners” streets you know what that means. The city council officers are around with the cops; the tag team of civilian harassment.

I got caught up in the melee of teargas, coughing, screaming, sacks tossed on peoples backs running with their wares leaving a trail of where they were headed. I did what I did, I stood still coughing, to avoid being confused for a hawker or loiterer or whatever crappy charge they like to slap people with.

But alas! Everyone within a meter radius of the melee was whisked in a smelly council van and charged for loitering. I shouldn’t have been surprised, it is January after all, the dossers needed early year bribes to get them through the month. Well a crappy pay of US $150 can’t even sort out rent and meals.

Anyway so there I was awaiting to be charged and this really smelly beggar walks up to me and calls me by ALL my names. Yeah! The names that are a document in itself, I was stunned. Who was he? He called me by ALL my names again. I spoke to him in Luo and he nodded. His stench was choking me. I asked him who he was and as usual, miros, he was offended.

And in the midst of his reprimand, when he waved his hand I froze. I knew those hands any day. And it scared me senseless. There was no way, 20 odd years, later that that smelly man would be my dad. He looked like a skinny spitting image of my father. I am still confused trying to wrap my head around him. How could this man look like my father, know me by my name know and ask for every one of my close relatives. I was so confused.

I was charged and paid my fine of 1,000 shillings for loitering in the council court, but I am still baffled how that man looked like my father’s doppelganger. How? What in the world is going on?


Little Things

The bell rang the last time, Mbugua needed to dash to class before his math teacher walked in. But he couldn’t he needed to get his book from his best friend’s class next door, they had accidentally exchanged bags when they walked in to school. Mbugua only noticed just as the bell ending the ten o’clock break rang.

Hassan’s English teacher was already in class, there was no way he would get in. Not that he would be punished, but he just couldn’t stand having to walk all the way to the front of the class with 50 pair of eyes fixated on him. He wouldn’t even be able to utter a word. So what did Mbugua do? Since Hassan sat at the back of the class, he waved frantically through the window on the door to get his attention. That idea was cut short when Hassan’s teacher started pacing up and down the class. They were reading a book. Mbugua was out of luck.

As he waved frantically, the teacher on duty busted him in action. “What are you doing young man?” she demanded as she tugged at his earlobes. Mbugua screeched finally drawing attention to himself. Hassan looked up, he knew that sound, he quickly dashed to the door forgetting that he was in the middle of a lesson.

“Can you sit down Hassan! Where do you think you are going?” Hassan shrugged his shoulders and sat back down on his seat. He knew how that shriek was going to end.

“I said what were you doing at that door? Aren’t you meant to be in class? Who is your class teacher?” The teacher spit fired questions at a now defeated Mbugua. Before he could say anything another teacher passed by, it was his math teacher, she was late to class after all.

“He is one of mine, what now?” His math teacher inquired as if she was asking the price of fruit, completely disinterested but compelled to just to show a sense of care.

“He was peeping through a classroom door.” The teacher on duty stated matter of fact, hoping that her irritation would be matched by the math teacher.

She walked away shrugging her shoulders while calling out.

“What did you want from Hassan today Mbugua? You know you are old enough to be the principal here, why don’t you just go home to Mum, and I will see you in the evening. You can play with Hassan then.”

The teacher on duty was in shock, she looked at Mbugua again, there was something off, he was a midget and a mentally handicapped at that one. But the only way she noticed it was when the math teacher pointed it out. There was some resemblance between the two, and he did look like a fully grown man.



There was a lot of chatter in the room that seemed to be moving in closer, awaking Daisy from her slumber. A deep sigh and stretch and her eyes opened up to a blinding light. She shut her eyes with a moan, the light stung her. Her ears began to hear clearly now. There was a rhythmic bleeping sound on her left and on her right there was a sound of deep and deliberate breathing. It sounded like Darth Vader was sleeping next to her.

Daisy tried to raise her head to see where she was, she couldn’t feel her legs, she tried stretching her hands, but there seemed to be something off. She wiggled her fingers, something wasn’t quite right there either. She drew her hands toward her and to her surprise; they were gauze covered, with blots of blood. Her heart began to race and the rhythmic machines pace began to pick up. Daisy was scared, what was going on?

She looked around her frantically and as she lifted her head to where the light was a few minutes ago, a dark shadow was cast, and she saw a hazy figure and heard a deep voice. “God?” she wondered aloud. She heard a deep chuckle. Then the voice reverberated through her ears, she was drawn to it, attracted, she couldn’t hear him well. It sounded like Barry White chocolate candy spread all over her ears. Even though she couldn’t hear what exactly he was saying the texture of his voice was right up seduction alley.

Daisy closed her eyes to fully take in the experience of what she was hearing. A few seconds later, she was jolted by intense pain. She screamed like a wounded animal and subsequently began to cry. She felt woosey and she was out like a light. The voice now completely gone and she was back to complete and utter silence.


A clapping sound and what sounded like sheep singing is what Daisy awoke to 5 hours later. She thought it had been five minutes. Hear hearing was now clearer; she didn’t care to open her eyes for fear of them almost being singed off like the last time. She felt hot breath and what felt like spittle on her cheek. “We love you Daisy, you will be fine?” Her brow furrowed quizzically.

“Who was this and why was I going to be fine?” She slowly opened her eyes and there before her was her mother. “Mum?”

“Shhhhh… it is OK. I am here now, close your eyes and get some rest.”


“Shhhh…Daisy….reeeeessssttt.” Her mother encouraged her ever so gently. Daisy did feel a bit sleepy and she closed her eyes for a moment. She felt this impression next to her arm and a caress on her face, hands so soft, so gentle, so caring. She felt a warm and prolonged kiss on her forehead. She smiled and mouthed, “I love you.” Then there was another kiss, more urgent yet equally as gentle on her forehead.

Then in the distance, she heard the Barry White voice again, she opened her eyes. An immaculately blinding white coat caused her to shut her eyes again to avoid being blinded by its splendor.

“Can you hear me?” The sensually deep voice asked. Daisy smiled knowingly, and provocatively. She nodded slightly to acknowledge.

“You are in a hospital; my name is Doctor Carlson…” The voice now not so appealing after it divulged the contents of its presence. Daisy’s smile turned into a frown. And the rhythmic machine sound she had heard earlier began to race. She began to shake and tears began to stream down either side of her face.


Gooey Humour

There was uncontrollable laughter piercing through the walls of Brian’s apartment. It was midnight and Eddy had just been dropped by friends. Eddy had pissed on himself as usual and could barely see straight. He had been on his “one last one for the road” for the past four hours. The doofers who drove him home weren’t even sober enough to say their names. Eddy had just graduated and did what he knew how to do best.

Brian wasn’t up to joining the crew and getting ‘plastered’ in the name of celebration. Eddy was so messed up he smacked his head on the door while trying to find his keys in his jeans pockets. He fell to the ground and passed out. Brian had been laughing like a hyena since he walked into the house for hours earlier.

His neighbours initially dismissed it, they assumed he was maybe watching standup comedy as always. He was a huge fan and always tried creating his own sketches that he would try out on his neighbours. But after two hours elapsed Elsa from next door got concerned and knocked the door to check in on Brian. He didn’t answer, she peeped in through the living room window next to the door. Brian seemed to be having a conversation with someone who kept cracking him up with jokes. She thought maybe Eddy was home. But it still didn’t add up. She banged the door and the laughter stopped. She heard a rushed clearing with things falling to the floor. A throat cleared and Brian walked to the door.

Because of the laughter, Brian now had red eyes from all the joyful tears and liquid snot oozing down his nostril to his moustache.
“Hey Elsa!” Brian was very chummy, quite unlike him at that hour of day.
“He-hey Brian! Is everything ok? It’s been…” Brian cut her short.
“I am super – graduated today! WooT! Wooot!” Brian raises his arms in the air pumping enthusiastically and bursts into uncontrollable laughter holding his tummy. Elsa joined in his laughter and walked away holding her own tummy completely tickled by the whole scenario. She waved him off and went back to her apartment. Brian went back into his apartment. The laughter was in excess and he began to gag. He threw up and then passed out.

Brian came too around midnight after close to a five hour nap. He began to laugh hysterically. His face seemed to show agony from the laughter. He held his throat trying to prevent the laughter from emerging, but he couldn’t suppress it. He heard Eddy collapse at the front door. He quickly opened the door and dragged his drunk buddy in. His laughter now seeming more mechanical; but at the same time as if he was in no control of it.

When Eddy lay on the ground, Brian bent over and hunched over him and something emerged from his mouth, a mucous layered creature, an usual grey with veins running through its mass. As Brian clasped his throat in shock and gagging from his observation, he passed out. The creature crawled in through Eddy’s ear and he awoke still drunk, sleepy and laughing hysterically.


Beat it

Gerry bobbed his head in studio drumming his fingers on a section of the huge mixer. A piled ash tray sat next to him with embers dying out slowly from the last puff. The studio was on fire, the music was relentless, hit after hit, beat after beat; Gerry just could not get enough of it. He stepped out of the studio to get some coffee from the kitchen. He hadn’t even noticed the time; he knew it was time for a caffeine kick to keep the midnight oil burning.

“That’s a great idea!” Gerry said out loud and headed back to the studio with his coffee mug. He rocked back in to the studio with a spring in his step, a bob of his head and tripped on a cable and there went his coffee, snaking its way across the multimillion shilling mixer. ‘NOoOOOOOOO! Damn it!”

He dashed for the door, but it just wouldn’t open, he whipped out his cellphone to wake up his kid brother to open the door for him. And bring in some paper towels. Terry’s phone rang but no one answered, it was 3am in the morning; he wasn’t going to answer it.

“Damn it Terry!” Gerry cursed and looked helplessly at his mixer, coffee now spilling to the studio carpet. A loud buzz emerged; Gerry spewed profanity and walked in to the recording booth. He flung the door open and headed dead center to where the microphone was, immediately he was plugged right in front of it, the door shut and he heard a lock turn. It made no sense, the door had no lock. He dashed to the door and tried to yank it open, the handle broke off. He tried thumping at the glass; it was sound proof; futile. Gerry began to panic, he needed a cigarette, he was shaking and screaming, he grabbed his left wrist and held it in a weird way, as if he was trying to yank it off. He began to hyperventilate.

“LEFT. ME. OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” he yelled at the top of his lungs. Then suddenly music began to blare in the studio he couldn’t hear it clearly, but involuntarily began to moon walk and punctuate each moonwalk grabbing his crotch with a ‘hihihi’ at the end like Michael Jackson.

Then the studio went silent. Gerry was sweating now and in need of a sip of his coffee. A bottle of water was lying near the foot of one of the mics, he sipped on it and then the music began to blast again. Then once again involuntarily; Gerry raised his right arm with a fist pumping in the air shaking his head sideways and jogging on the spot like a Rastafarian.

“IRON, LION, ZION! I’m on the run…” He bellowed. Gerry was so confused it was like an out of body experience watching himself; under some form of a spell.


Erotic trauma

Candy was on the pole upside down with her glass heels piercing the air, she was jigging her butt as she always did at happy hour. The crowd was wild like blood hounds, tongues wagging, 1,000 shilling notes showering down on her. Candy was a special stripper no one was allowed to touch her or put money in her g-string. That was what made her so alluring she was a tease. It was Friday Happy Hour at Robba’s, and Candy was out to please.

The drinks flowed and the DJ was letting it rip, the floor lights went off at exactly 7pm and the strobe lights electrified the room. The laser lights went on and Candy did what she did best, turned a hound into a wolf in her 30 minute sets. Her agility left even the most flexible gymnasts awe struck.

15 minutes into the set, the lights went off and the crowd raised hell. In less than 10 seconds the lights were back on, the DJ’s music went back on and so did the strobe lights and lasers. Then someone screamed and a glass broke. Candy was missing, she wasn’t on the pole, there was a trail of blood from the pole to the door and her weave lay by the base of the pole. The floor lights went on. The music went off abruptly sounding like a chewed cassette and everyone stood staring at one of the mirrors on the wall. “You were warned!” was written on the mirror with what looked like blood.

The other strippers waiting to go in next for their sets froze, then another scream was heard coming from the back of the room. The DJ was seizing on the ground with blood gushing out of his neck, his eyes about pop out of their sockets. The manager, Chris, ran to The DJ’s side. “Clear the area, give him some room. Stay with me Jess! Stay with me it will be fine!” Chris knew at the back of his mind that it wouldn’t be OK.

Woosh, a shadowy presence wafted by the room and a cold air filled the room. A door flung open and it was banging repeatedly against one of the tables near it. The crowd began to steadily thin out. The lights went out again and a cocktail of screams rent the air, scuffles and people yelling. “Let me out!” “I am too young to die!” “Take whatever you want!”

It was blood curdling chaotic fear. Then the lights went on a minute later. People were baffled touching themselves to see if anything had happened to them. One man seated against a wall who had been inebriated for most of the night began to laugh hysterically. And pointed at everyone, they looked at him baffled. Then he gestured cupping his imaginary breasts, then pointed at the mirrors around.

People screamed, grabbing anything in sight to cover themselves. They were all naked and had no idea how it happened. None of their clothes were in the room either.