Celebrating East African Writing!

The Mysterious Visitor by Beth Nduta

Photo by Jerry Riley. Click on image or visit to see more pictures of Kenya

The whole setting was silent, though the shop was opened and I could peep out to see whatever was happening, I still could not bring myself to go out. The two men-one dressed in a white shirt and hands akimbo and the other in a faded jacket, and red shirt with colors peering out and hands in the pockets-standing out of the shop were still talking and it appeared that they were the only ones who were brave enough to chatter about the morning’s event so casually.

The previous night everything was normal and no one had even the slightest idea that such a hideous event could take place. I remember we were at home slowly taking our breakfast when the sirens of the police car and ambulance shattered the peaceful atmosphere. We all cowered in a corner as the cars whizzed past our house towards the shopping center. My father, in his old and worn out coat, went out to  find more detail as I peered through the window. We had to wait a while before father came back. From him we discovered that the shopping center had received a mysterious visitor the night before.  Many people described him as a normal everyday man who could never hurt a fly but with the destruction, he left behind, we knew better than to judge a book by its cover.

I gathered enough courage to head to town and have a look at the whole situation. My hands were shaking as I moved towards the yellow tape already put by the ardent police force. Pushing my way through the crowd, I heard the sighs and gasps of the people who had already seen it all. I was shocked to see the body of a young boy, sitting silently at a corner, with deep cuts allover his body, and gazing across the boulders. I slowly followed his line of site and had to gasp as I behold the sight of a naked woman whom, as I figured out later was his mother. She was sprawled on the floor in an unnatural pose. Her head-with irregular patches of hair- looked like it was held by tiny ligaments while her legs seemed broken and at an irregular position. I was shocked.

The police force after seeing the increasing size of the crowd, started to shoo us away. We reluctantly moved away after a lot of persuasion from them, each of us silent with thousands thoughts in our minds.  After a few minutes, the chatter started everyone with their own theory as to what had caused the event in this lonely village where everyone knew the business of the other.  We opened the shops, the market women took to their stands and for a while, the normalcy returned. I later came to learn that the woman and her son had run away from home, after years and years of brutality from the man, she married. She had sought refuge in our village-miles away from hers but the adamant man came after her.

©Beth Nduta

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.

19 comments on “The Mysterious Visitor by Beth Nduta

  1. Kui
    July 26, 2010

    wow! this is an excellent work….for me its a 10.
    Congrats Beth! we need more of this….

  2. mwas
    July 26, 2010

    absolutely captivating………..rating: 8

  3. Samuel
    July 26, 2010

    Very good wish she had more to tell. left me hanging
    I give her a score of 8

  4. Samuel
    July 26, 2010

    8 out of 10

  5. Sherry
    July 26, 2010


  6. Anita busaka
    July 26, 2010

    Beautiful suspence,and concise.

  7. Eberekpe Whyte
    July 26, 2010

    A wonderful short story with a beginning and an end! It readily captures the imagination as it is very passionate…

  8. Mwah
    July 26, 2010

    great story with enough suspense

  9. Hezron Chwero
    July 26, 2010

    I had seen this coming from you.It’s such a captivating piece. It sounds real, or is it?

  10. Joyce Ndinda
    July 26, 2010

    9 points. This writer reflects some of the difficulties that most women go through but contend with for fear of been victimized further. Great piece.

  11. Anne
    July 27, 2010


  12. jesse
    July 28, 2010

    nicely done..suspense has been weel used…

  13. chrispus
    July 29, 2010

    like jesse says, the suspense is well used though it has been killed eventually, maybe if the events unfolded smoothly, one would be driven to read further, i vote 8 for the flow

  14. Byron
    July 29, 2010

    An episode clearly weaved with heartbreaking superlatives. It is credit-worth story.
    My vote is 10 out of 10

  15. greatrnk
    July 30, 2010

    The beginning and the end are the strengths of this story. I commend Beth for bringing out the theme ‘Brutality against Women’well. For me it is an 8.5

  16. Muthee
    July 30, 2010

    hmmm, was left a bit hanging by an otherwise excellent story with a setting that can only be real if we what we see everyday in the news is anything to go by. Great piece this one but the author can do better. An 8 for me.

  17. Kim
    August 21, 2010

    Awesome stuff.Its a solid 9.5 for me.

  18. Moses Abukutsa
    August 28, 2010

    This is great TALENT from Beth.A Very insightful realistic narrative!

  19. mwas
    September 22, 2010

    absolutely amazing………..I give it an 8

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