Celebrating East African Writing!
The walk across the tarmacked ground was intriguing to Mugo. The enormous elegant plane taking him with other passengers to America stood on the end of the grounds. He couldn’t he help wondering about this magnificent machine, how it looked so different from the way it looked whenever he occasionally saw it in the distant sky of their village. Now as he headed towards it, he was seriously comparing it with the local noisy cabined road weary pick-up that swayed the passengers stuffed in it as it staggers down the rural roads. This was something different.
He could almost visualize himself sited inside holding onto some metal rail somewhere above the seat as he qsually did whenever he boarded the local public vehicle. To the local chief and his unscrupulous neighbor he had a simple word for them, “Bye”. They could battle the aase of the last installment his late father was to be paid for the land just outside his simple grass-thatched house. The neighbor now lived in it.
With his Green Card safely tucked in his trouser pocket, he was guaranteed a good life outside there in America. He would make a lot of money and be saved from the constant struggle with hunger and poverty. He couldn’t remember hov he got this thing called Green Card; all he remembered was the man who brought it to him that morning and on handing it to him had simply given him three hours; for his coat which he had hurriedly washed to dry for the trip.
His brown leather bag though worn out came in handy for the trip. Now, he gracefully swung it on his side, eyes fixed on the plane. He looked the odd one out. All the other passengers were dressed in suits; blue, black, and white. He was in the brown coat with a Khaki trouser. Surprisingly, his black shapeless leather shoes hardened by weather factors now brightly shone. As he came closer to the plane, he took his position in the slow procession of passengers entering the plane.
His mind went back to his faithful dog he had left at home. Its barking seemed to echo in his ears. He wondered how it would fend for itself and sympathized with it. The thought was pushed out of his mind by the sound like that of bumble bees lodged in the rails of his house.
“It must be the planes engine.” he thought.
He hurried into the plane and walked along the seats trying to locate a suitable place. He headed for the seat next to a small open window and sat there. He wondered again about the case he had left behind and felt himself the triumphant fellow in the unsolved land dispute. The neighbor could remain with the installment if he wished and could buy the local chief a drink in appreciation of the way he maneuvered the case for he lacked enough supporting documents. He shifted in his seat. He began feeling cold. Wind was furiously blowing in through the half open window. He tried sliding it close. The glass pane wasn’t moving. He decided to leave it for the plane operators when they come around. He looked out of the window.
All of a sudden he saw his dog running across the field very fast its tail tucked in between its hind legs. It was making distant whining noise that lazily drifted into his ears. Behind it came a large black dog baring its teeth in a growl. “It must be a police dog,” His own dog began to bark furiously.
“Sic! Sic! Sic!’’ He encouraged it to go for its attacker. His dog seemed to delay. ‘’Sika! Sika!’’ He shouted as the police dog came advancing threateningly to his dog that was now standing just outside the window. The black police dog pounced on his dog that let out a loud whine and scrambled noisily up the metallic body of the plane. The planes body crumbled in and the police dog was now angrily speeding for it.
“Kweraaaa!” He let out one loud scream and made a dive aiming to go over the dogs locked in a scuffle.
Mugo found himself on his bed. All of a sudden he was sweating. Apparently, the door of his house fashioned out of iron sheet had been forced open. Mugo cursed softly. His dog came to his bedside wagging its tail though still whining. The neighbor’s dog stood at the door growling. On seeing Mugo, it ran away. He put his feet on the ground still seated in bed. The brown leather bag with his latest collection of documents was still on the table beside the plates of the previous night’s luckily acquired meal.
He reached for the plate of young pumpkin leaves combined with the crumbs of Ugali and led his dog out. He emptied the contents on the ground for his dog and went back to the room. The dream was still fresh in his mind. It puzzled him. He wondered how morning had come so fast. The noise of bumblebees stuck in holes on the rail above the window caught his ears. He clicked softly and sat on his bed. He easily slipped his feet into his hardened black leather shoes and picked his coat from a wooden peg driven into the mud wall. He took the bag from the table, quietly closed the door and headed for the chiefs office wondering where his next meal will come from.
© Peter Yieko Ndiwa 2009
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