Celebrating East African Writing!
If God would have wanted us to be trees, we would be some place in the deeps of Mau forest. The world is insane and what kills us in darkness is sin, and quilt, something that disturbs my values. Some one said that pregnant women do not fight in the market place because what they are carrying in them is greater than the Omena and Sukuma plus the merchandise all combined. We are lost and this took him as strange. In civil wars there are wanton mass murders, mass graves, and despairs of mass burials.
Crispus looked at the queue, little amps of agony and bits of marauding grief soaked a resilient soft spot of his blur darkened bosom, voices inside strangling him in a painful deafening dialogue of soul searching.
‘No! No way.’
In a line of four hundred and eighty seven beautiful daughters of Elgon, there was no single virgin, from the little girl of fourteen up to the seventy five years old granny supposed to attend the state funded mass burial. Either way they had gone through assault indirectly or even openly. Like, a young girl was sleeping out with an old man in the IDP camp far corner, another helpless lady was being blackmailed by an army officer with a packet of worthless perishable salty jungle marine biscuit, in exchange for a favor to survive, another, struggling to please a global humanitarian volunteer for a piece of half baked WFP tasteless odorless cheese in a state crisis. He knew their nightmares like a dreamscape of an unwanted national rot that stained the memory, and lingered in the dead thought of millions who groped in mid day darkness as national refugees IDPs created by post election violence.
‘Two million.’ He could not believe the state was funding the burial of thirty five young men mistakenly murdered in a state operation
Crispus was never christened in a church or a synagogue or anointed by an Italian padre but the jungle made him who he was; frustrated citizens come -togethers earned him the simple pronounceable nickname, the quiet Cris and he loved it so it stuck, and in an effort to deny his ugly past he denounced a name his mama proudly gave to him. Seven times he had tried poison and something kept it off happening; dying. Six months ago he was Serut Komol.
‘Why am I not among the dead God?’ Crispus took a seep and walked toward the men line.
‘Are you drunk, Crispus, at this hour of the morning?’
‘You bet I am, my…he done good damage.’
‘SLDF plus the army plus the politicians’
The procession of state intercooler machines would start in Eldoret show ground toward the deeps of remote villages in Elgon. Amidst the post election violence The Chebyuk great convoy was meant to bring an understanding to citizens who at all cost wanted the vocabulary of forgiveness blotted from the books of law. There was fast need to deliver or gun down Matakwei before the activists began to protect him making him inaccessible. He was killing mercilessly.
‘What is it to forgive?’
‘Serut your father, your own blood is a mass murderer,’ he irked.
Well, the mass burial had slotted a speech by a child soldier deserter, little Sang, and an international NGO was sponsoring him to deliver him from the blood baths of wicked SLDF. This heated the curiosity of a hard boiled Crispus, that was why he was uncomfortably squeezed in a army truck not enjoying the free ride, and registered as a mourner with four bottle of illegal brew tucked deep in his second hand twelve pocketed coat, his flesh and spirit unwilling. Forces unforeseen kept on pushing him to hell, bitter and unforgiven.
Lorna Lesoi was not struggling with the blue dress she holding, but with guilt. She looked at her beautiful long finger and instead of smiling, a lonely tear oozed out of her round beautiful eyes and marathoned across her arid cheek.
‘I am dirty.’
She was not pregnant but her womb was heavy, a blemish clot gave her a terrible ache in the upper part of her sky soft belly creases. She thought of the army officer who raped her and she vomited the sweet weetabix cereals she had passionately taken for breakfast. Her father was a sentenced one leg cripple so the little young daughter of man was dead inside.
It was the women of Elgon who convinced her to attend the state funded burial of youthful men killed by SLDF and the army.
There is something strange about mass burial of mistaken identities; but, there, a diabolic sadness was looming in the air during the post election mass burial in Selwa, a state forest near Kapsoit . Why? Crispus known as Serut six months ago looked into the eye of the old people and in a foggy feeling of drunkenness saw tears of fathers, old men toothless men who were cloaking eighty trying to cross bumpy wrinkled faces , opposite, old granny mothers were letting drops of tear cruise their faces freely ,faces that were once beautiful and rosy and nothing could console them.
As the Red Cross guys began the process of arranging caskets every person was standing and little wails could be heard from every corner of the over flooded burial, An old generation who were doing last laps of their fully lived lives deep broken by this loss of teens and youths who were not being buried by their father, instead the government was putting a memorial in a chosen state forest, maybe as a reminder of an expensive tribalism blunder landmark or Legal dumpsite destined to never to resurrect the 07 demons and ghost .
Crispus felt tired of himself and the political speeches were resurrecting enormous painful memories, so in delusion fogged by dead illusion he decided to walk out of the burial then maybe in the thicket suck two bottle of brew that were tempting in this state crowd, with the police around plus the president it would be lethal to clear mind with a drink.
He sat on the smooth stone and slowly and proudly unpackaged the tipple bottles, camouflaged in the thicket but still seeing the burial from the high raised position, he began to enjoy. Then he saw her coming direct toward him. This was Lesoi, his first heart breaker love meaning everybody, bad and good was in this mass burial.
‘This drink diluted?’
The comforting foggy steam in his mind evaporated and he hated the soberness that engulfed her like a sickening miasma, he stood to run but a germ of fright weakened the biceps of his athletic twenty two years old legs. She had already seen him plus the bottle of booze he was gulping. In six months they stood and looked at each other eyes soul searching for a clue or a starting point of a dialogue.
‘Serut I see you take brews nowadays even in state functions?’
‘Am Crispus Lesoi not Serut anymore, and in this nation strange things are on the move.’
‘Am not that drunk, am trying to stay sane.’ He took another seep.
‘Yah the nation stinks plus Ocampo is coming to Kenya.’
Suddenly Lesoi hugged her hard until little chips of paradise began to warm and mire his pagan soul with lie flies of wishes and holy feeling that were packed away from his abominated heart.
‘What are you doing woman?’
‘Whatever you calling your self Man, you are the only beautiful wish lingering in my mind up to todate’
Then Lesoi turned and began to walk away from him the second time.
‘Wait please, wait my dear.’
©Alex Mutua 2010
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