0

Bliss…Shortlived

It was a beautiful night; the moon was bold and stunning. Its reflection shimmered over the calm river. The air was soft, slowly swaying leaves on trees, made a harmonious sound with the crickets in the marsh in the distance. The occasional moments of silence, not even a mosquito stirring could be heard. Bliss. Oh! Bliss.

Terry lay on his back looking at the skies with a grin on his face. At last he had what he had been seeking, peace. Terry sighed and closed his eyes. The swaying of his hammock let out a creaking sound on the tree branch. Terry wasn’t bothered. He was at peace after several months of non stop fights and failure. Tonight swaying in his hammock alive and undisturbed was all that mattered.

There was a crackle and snapping sound, Terry peered over the edge of his hammock and steadily slid down to add some more logs into the flames of his campfire. He took a few steps to the lake shore and with his toes gently kissed the surface of the water. He then saw some movement and quickly stepped back. He walked back to the fire and warmed his now cold toes. He steadily eased into his deck chair that was right by the fire. Terry let out a sigh of relief and placed his hand on his heart and muttered something and smiled.

There was a loud sound, a huge wash of displaced water from the river. Terry didn’t hear the sound, and went about enjoying the warmth of the flame as the temperature began to steadily drop. The waters stirred once again, this time Terry turned a bit startled, but he saw nothing. He walked to his tent for his blanket and some boiled maize he had in his bag. He sat by the camp fire wrapped in his blanket and leaned in toward the flame roasting his maize cob, occasionally turning it to even out the roast.

Terry’s mouth watered he couldn’t wait to finally stuff his face. He turned once again to look into the beautiful glistening waters behind him. Just as he pulled out his hot cob, the gushing sound of water returned this time more forceful than before and without any warning Terry was tossed to the ground. He didn’t know what hit him, but it was like a bullet, it pierced his torso and thrust him to the ground. Terry groaned in pain feeling his torso. He raised his wet palm bloddied from the wound he had sustained. His breathing increased rapidly and he began to sweat. He was scared, was it going to come back. He turned to the direction of his tent. He saw something slither in. He felt heat on his thighs. He peed on himself. Terry was alone, it was dark and there was no civilization for kilometers. He wasn’t sure how long he would last. His eyes were fixed on the burning logs of wood.

0

Detained

Mogaka the plumber knocked on the door waiting as he looked around. Fancy neighbourhood this time; he was accustomed to unblocking overflown communal toilets in his neighbourhood. A place where people would still try to negotiate on price despite the shitty work, quite literally, that he was left to do and clean up afterward. The hot poo occasionally scalded Mogaka, leaving the skin on the back of his hands scaly and burned.

Ding! Dong! Mogaka rung the bell again, someone pulled the curtain and peeped out with one eye. “Muuuuuuum! He’s here!” a little voice yelled. Mogaka looked around him again, as if he was running away from something. He was just finding it unusual to get a phone call for his services in Suburbia. Mogaka’s funky ‘fro and side burns made him even more conspicuous in that neighbourhood. His blue over sized bell bottom overall made him look like he was stuck in a time warp, all he needed were platforms. He wore boots instead; “you never know what flows out of the abundance of drainage”, was the slogan written on his overall.

The door lock turned and as the door opened a flowery scent escaped and gushed into his face. Mogaka smiled sheepishly. “Mogaka thank you for coming,” a stunning Amazonic woman uttered. She stood at about 6’5” towering over Mogaka. Mogaka’s smile was shattered with shock written all over his face when he laid eyes on the woman. “What is this?” He said.

Her hair was cropped and neat, natural in fine curls, her square face was made up, she looked like she was pulled out of a photo shoot. Her blouse was buttoned up but sleeveless showing off her ‘canons’ for arms. Her pencil skirt cupped her curves just right. Her calves, stunning firm, toned and her toes manicured yet eerily hideous. They looked like a witches; bony and crooked.

“Did you say something Mogaka?” Mogaka sheepishly shook his head to deny any utterances. “No wonder she called me,” Mogaka thought to himself. He couldn’t believe this woman. “Does a woman like that even have a husband?” Mogaka’s mind wondered with a lot of questions not paying attention at all to the brief that he was receiving from the woman who had just let him into her home.

“Mum!” That familiar voice from the front door emerged from a little girl about 5 years old. Her hair was as long as Rapunzel’s; jet black and kinky and held in two puffy pig tails shoulder length. Her inquisitive eyes fixated on Mogaka’s fancy tool belt. She cracked a smile to reveal missing teeth. She reached out for a pair of pliers, “Mum can I use this to remove my other tooth?” Mogaka quickly pressed his pliers closer to himself. He wasn’t sure slapping a Suburban child’s hand would be ideal; especially if Mum was King Kong.

“Akinyi! No leave that kind man’s belt alone! Come here, have your breakfast.” The lady uttered. “I am so sorry Mogaka I haven’t even introduced myself, my name is Angel. This is my daughter Akinyi, welcome to our home. Can I offer you some breakfast before you start work?”

Mogaka was dumbfounded he was just staring at Angel. “Mogaka?”

“Yes, yes, madam! Yes.” He had no idea what he was saying yes to. “Please have a seat at the counter.” Akinyi was staring at him as she shoveled cereal into her mouth. Mogaka was stunned by the kind of paintings he saw on the wall. Images of death, and more curiously men being put to death by women; one was crucified upside down, one was decapitated by guillotine, another was castrated. The images were gory. And neither mother nor daughter saw anything wrong with that.

“Here we are…enjoy!” Mogaka was nervous and wasn’t quite sure whether that was art or an omen. He chugged down his tea, in the process burning his throat, causing him to tear. “Nianze wapi madam?” That was the first thing he had said aloud.

“Down the hall way to the left,” Angel directed.

Mogaka’s stomach was turning, he wasn’t sure if he had been poisoned or he was just being paranoid. He wasn’t going to take his chances. His 5’6” frame needed to be protected. He grabbed hard on to his tool belt, anything could happen, he needed to be ready.

Finally got to the door and he could hear a swarm of flies feasting. He flung the door open, it was baffling. It was pristine. He flushed the toilet and it was fine. He pulled the shower curtain and run the shower, the drainage seemed fine. Where was the sound of flies coming from? And what was going on here?

Mogaka turned and looked behind him, he jumped and screamed, out of nowhere, there hung a half dead man with maggots oozing out of his eyes and mouth, his clothes unusually clean, like they had been changed. Mogaka ran to the door to get out, he shoved the lifeless hand to the side and attempted to open the door, it was locked. Mogaka screamed.

0

Unnecessary Sympathy

Makena’s head was craned back, eyes closed as she soaked in the day’s sunlight, her feet submerged under the steady stream of water flowing through her little garden. She was in paradise. Her nose pointed straight up to the sky; palms pressed behind her on the deck chair, she sat on, made her look graceful and ready to lift off and disappear from the world around her.

Makena’s moment of Zen was disrupted when she was tapped by an elderly lady, called Susana. Susana walked from village to village with a basket full of ripe and juicy mangoes. Makena didn’t feel like buying any, she politely declined and continued basking.

As Makena closed her eyes once again and pointed her head to the sky she felt a slight prick followed by drowsiness that she couldn’t fight, she was out.When she awoke, she was in motion on her back. The noon day sun was now scorching her face. She was on a stretcher of some sort on something, it wasn’t a car or a van, its movement was unusual. She used her hands to feel around, her hands were bound to the stretcher but she felt tough animal fur. And the stretcher became very wobbly when she struggled to break free.

“It must be an animal”, Makena thought to herself.

After an hour or so, it came to a stand still and she felt herself being unfastened, she closed her eyes and mouth tight to prevent herself from screaming. She was whisked down and thrust on to a shoulder. She didn’t want whoever these people were, to know that she was awake. Makena wanted to see where they were going to take her and listen in on what plans they had for her.

A scrawny man pointed north of where they were, there was nothing but shrub land. And the muscular bulwark who carried Makena began to jog steadily toward an unknown destination. Makena’s tummy began to churn. It started off with a bit of flatulence that had the man cough, and soon she began to throw up. Thud! The man dropped her to the ground after a few kilometres.

“Lady, I don’t know what ails you, but I can’t believe that a woman as beautiful as you could be so rotten on the inside. We’ll have to wait here for a while. I need to recover from the stench.” The man bent over, hands on knees and himself began to throw up.

This was Makena’s chance to escape, but instead she stared at the man in agony. She felt sorry for her captor. What was it about him that kept her there?

0

Scarlet Baptism

He heaved one last time, and moaned in pleasure, sweat drenched torso, and he slapped my breasts one last time. He pulled up his trousers and I heard him zip up. I held my mouth shut with my hand, grabbed what was left of my torn clothes and covered myself. I cowered into a feotal position. Tears streamed down my face.

I felt a sharp pain on my head and a loud snap, I screamed in agony, I felt where the pain had emerged from, my braids were gone, it was a bloody open wound, he laughed. He laughed uncontrollably. What was the joke? He had got what he wanted, why cause me more pain. I squirmed to the edge of the bed and fell to the ground. I moaned in pain.

“You liked that too?” he laughed, I heard a belt buckle. I froze, was he going to do it again? I was so tired, I was sore, I hated him, I hated myself, I needed a shower, a cleanse, bleach or even burn my entire body to rid myself of the shame, disgust.

I felt footsteps move from his side of the bed to mine, I couldn’t look up, I didn’t want to see it coming, couldn’t. The sharp pain on my head returned, I was moving? I felt cold move up and down my body, cold sweats dropping from my brow leaving a trail on the floor behind me. Where was I going now? Why? What did I do to deserve this?

I strong waft of liquor engulfed my face, stinging, burning, screaming at the top of my lungs. He was singeing my scalp with the liquor, the wounds, the pain, escalating, I felt dizzy, and then everything went dark. I felt some relief, I didn’t fight it. In the darkness I screamed, I clawed my way around. A scream, the darkness fades in to light, I look up, I see scarlet red, streaming down a bumpy chocolate countenance. The eyes bulged out of their sockets, mouth foaming, the nails, the hands familiar. I cringed, I felt pain, I felt wet, I could smell blood.

I panicked arose and inspected myself, my tattered frock was now soaked in crimson; it smelt of defecation, sewerage and raw eggs. I squirmed on the floor and rolled myself to the bathroom. I tugged at the door, it was locked, no answer, I went further squirming as I made my way to the hallway, a swarm of flies buzzed by. A woman was in a heap in the corridor. Was she asleep? She smelt of flatulence. She was cold, she was deaf, and she was stiff. There was blood oozing out of this woman’s ears and mouth.

I held my mouth with my bloody hand, where was I to go next? I got to the kitchen and there in his own blood my son sat upright against the cabinets nursing a knife in his chest, he was shivering and whispered. “Mum”, “Mum”, “Mum” The voice got fainter and fainter and in 5 minutes the boy was no more.

I wailed and fell face first it to his mighty arms. Where was everyone, would help never come?

0

Karma the Hulk

Naliaka fanned herself violently, her face cringed and she pursed her lips ready to spit, her eyes were red with rage.

“Come on! AMUNGAAAA!!”

Amunga looked up and giggled as he used his hand to fan air from his behind to Naliaka’s direction. It was the same routine every morning; Naliaka would be awoken by the stench of her brothers flatulence. Amunga burst out laughing and left his sister’s room.

“MuUUUUUUUUM!” She yelled out as the door slammed shut. Amunga ran down the stairs with a huge smile on his face, mission accomplished. The daily morning quota to annoy his kid sister was achieved.

Dad was on the couch reading the day’s newspaper; mum was laying the breakfast table.

“Why do you do that to your sister Amunga?” Mum asked. He shrugged his shoulders, and winked at his mother as he reached for some freshly made mahamri. “Have you washed your hands?” Mum inquired as she smacked his hands from taking a helping.

Amunga glanced at his mother cheekily; he had managed to sneak two mahamri away and was wolfing them down as he walked to his father.

“Morning dad!” The two fist bumped, mum rolled her eyes.

“Can the two of you wash your hands please, breakfast is ready.” Mum said as she walked toward the staircase, “Naliaka, hurry up.” Then she heard a thud. “Naliaka?” Then another thud and a violent tear.

“John?” Mum called out to dad, “I think there’s something going on upstairs could you check on Naliaka please?” He turned nodded his head and then nudged Amunga, “let’s go check on your sister.”

Mum stopped them, “Uh! No, Amunga stays here; you have already done enough damage to your sister. STAY. HERE!”

Amunga shrugged his shoulders and dived to the kitchen table.

“HANDS!” Mum called out to Amunga.

Amunga headed straight for the kitchen sink as he scratched himself. Mum just rolled her eyes knowingly, it was like seeing her husband 40 years younger, her son was annoyingly charming like John.

The thuds got really frequent as dad walked up the stairs. Much louder with each hit and they could feel a cool morning draught in the corridor. What was going on? Dad knocked on the door.

“Naliaka? It’s dad and mum can we come in?” Silence.

“Honey, Amunga is downstairs…”

Then a violent thud and Naliaka emerged through the wall. Mum screamed and clenched on to one of the banisters. Dad fell to the ground in a shocked mound next to mum.

“I WANT AMUNGA!’ The hideous voiced bellowed in the house. It, she, whatever Naliaka had become looked like a fusion between a wet gremlin and that homicidal plant in Little Shop of Horrors, the movie.Needless to say, Amunga pissed his pants and screamed like a wounded animal.

The real terror had just began and Amunga was about to get a taste of his own medicine.

0

Here comes the Pain!

Muli was thrilled, he had just turned 11 and got his first bike, it was a BMX. And boy could that bike move! He had received a BMX stunts magazine and he was in love. Muli was the envy of the neighbourood kids. He had just wrapped up breakfast that Saturday and was allowed to play outside.

It was a warm August mid morning. Muli had been riding his bike in circles round the pine tree. He attempted a few stunts and almost toppled over. His mum yelled from the living room where she had been watching him.

“Muli! Muli! Wewe! Wewe! Don’t you try that! In fact where is your helmet?” Her index finger pointed straight at him.

Muli quickly hopped off his bike and grabbed his helmet. He knew that look his mum gave him when she ‘inquired’. He was getting bored, riding around in circles.

“Muli! Muli! Muli!” a voice called out playfully and persistently. Muli looked through their hedge and saw his friend Vincent. “What Vinnie?”

“Want to go ride elsewhere? My mum said we can go close by, like the park near Oti’s place.”

Muli opened his mouth about to say yes, then he turned back facing the direction his mum was seated. “Wait a minute.” He gestured with his hand, dropped his bike to the ground and ran in to the house. Immediately he got in to full view of his mother, his hands went straight behind his back.

“Muuuuum.”

“Yes, Muli. What do you want?”

Muli smiled sheepishly at his mother’s playful glint in her eye. She knew exactly where this conversation was going.

Muli grabbed his mother’s hands with his tiny ones, “Can I? Can I go and ride with Vinnie and Oti? Pleeeease? Pretty Pleeeeease. I promise to be safe.” He smiled as he knocked his helmet bright eyed.

His mother smiled and nodded. “But I need you to be back here in two hours.”

Muli dashed out as he looked at his watch. “Got it!”

In no time the gate was swinging shut and laughter and spinning bicycle chains could be heard whirring in the distance. Vinnie and Muli found Oti by the road; they had no intention of cycling round the neighbourhood. Ngong town, about 10 km from where they were, was the destination. The boys fastened their helmets, got their reflectors on and the chase began. They carefully maneuvered their way on the road, occasionally racing each other. Once they got to Ngong town to their surprise there was Sammy, Vinnie’s younger brother. The “handful”.

“What are you doing here? You’ll get us in trouble. Go back!” Vinnie shoved his brother who was now on the verge of tears. He was 8 years old and had followed an alternate route once he heard his brother’s plan. There was no way he was going to be left behind. After a lot of shoving and shouting, Vinnie had no option, he had to keep and eye on his kid brother. “Brat! You better stay in line or else…”

“..Or else” Sammy mouthed in mockery with a sneer plastered all over his face.

In just a matter of minutes Sammy was missing, his bike was on the ground, no helmet no reflector jacket. Where in the world could he have gone? They had turned for about three minutes to discuss the route they would use to keep going.

“Sammy! Stop being silly! I will so tell Mum! SAAAAAMMMMY!” Vinnie yanked off his helmet and threw it to the ground in frustration. He thought this was a practical joke. But after 20 minutes of walking around the 500 metre radius they stood in, no one was laughing. The day was drawing to a close and the boys were far from any help and Sammy was genuinely missing.

0

Darkness

The beep at the till rang through the supermarket, Hannah had stood at the yoghurt section of the fridge for 10 minutes without realizing. Her daydream was cut short by a gentle hand on her shoulder. Juliet was startled and turned, she was greeted by a warm smile, teeth radiant and breath fresh. Her stare shifted from the supple round lips to eyes, she began to smile then everything went dark after that.

Juliet awoke, eyes struggling to open as she heard muffled sounds in the background, it was a mixture of screams and rowdy cheering, when she eventually gained consciousness, she begn to feel excruciating pain all over her body, with one last blow to her rib cage. Juliet was now curled up in the fetal position, she was bleeding from her mouth, she spat out blood, her upper lip had cut open. Her knuckles were bleeding.

She felt hands scoop her up and she screamed attempting to wriggle her way out of their grip, she managed to, but once she got on her feet she fell again. She was not able to run, her shin was bust open revealing bone, Juliet screamed. Then everything went dark once more.

Juliet awoke to the beeping sound of machines around her and right in her face once again, were the lips she has smiled at earlier. Now she wasn’t smiling, she jolted and attempted to move. She was frozen in her position. Juliet had one hand and one foot plastered and raised. She couldn’t move. When Juliet realised this, she began to scream. She felt a prick and once again everything fell dark.

A loud sound awoke Juliet an hour later, the lips and smile of the man she had feared was all gone, she looked around her. She was in hospital, and her father was seated right by her side. Just when she was about to ask where her mum was,

“Hello Pendo!” Mama lovingly called out. She kissed Juliet’s forehead and handed dad the day’s newspaper. Dad looked at Juliet, “You want me to read the newspaper to you?” Juliet nodded, Dad used to do that when she was younger, it made her feel good. As he finished reading the second article the doctor walked in.

“You are such a fighter; I don’t know how you did it?” He said examining her, she cringed as he thumbed his way round her sides. “You’ll be fine in a few weeks.”

What happened? How did she get there from a supermarket? Why was she so badly injured? Only time would tell, because everyone was mum about it everytime she asked.