Celebrating East African Writing!

If the Wind could Tell by Elizabeth Ombati

Photo by Jerry Riley. Visit to see more pictures of kenya

‘Psst…mmh…I love you darling.’

A heavy sigh, shuffling feet…then a helpless groan

‘What do you want? How do you want for me to show that I love you?’

A table is moved, rather noisily. Thud! Impact of falling glass meeting the hardened floor. Glass breaks. Silence. The television comes to life.

‘You are a sweet ripe banana. Appealing to the eye. It’s tempting not to peel you over. To taste you. To partake in your sweetness.’

‘Akinyi, Akinyiii.’ Mama Nyaguthii, the neighbor. She is home early. Maybe there was no market for her mandazis.‘Are you home Akinyi?’ her voice could wake a dead lion.

‘Shhht; don’t answer darling. Such a nuisance Mama Nyaguthii is. She doesn’t know you go to school? By the way, why din’t you go to school today Akinyi? How is Form 1? Do you love Maths?  Are there any boys who look at you in a funny manner? Don’t let them. I am here. Your only love.

The TV volume is raised. It should drown Mama Nyaguthii’s deafening noise.

‘Psst, darling, it won’t hurt. As sweet as the chips I bought you yesterday. You are a ripe banana; I tell you everyday your sweetness needs to be tasted. Psst, don’t open your mouth, does it hurt. Don’t look at me with fear then, I am your friend because I love you. Tomorrow I should add chicken to your chips you know.

Gong, Gong, Gong. ‘Akinyiiiii’

Curses… Mama Nyaguthii. The Loud Mouth.

Gong, Gong. ‘Baba Tembo. I see your door is open. Did you go to the mjengo today? You are home early.

Psst. Psst. Baba Tembo gestures. My banana…whispers. My sweet banana. Shut up. Shhhh.

‘Gong, Gong. Akinyi eeeeh.

The unfastened mabati door is wide open.

Uuuuuiiii uuuuiiii uuuuuiiiii

Baba Tembo. Mama Nyaguthii stammers…uuuuiiii

Shhhhhuuuuut up. He whispers. Shhhut up.

©Elizabeth Ombati

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.


5 comments on “If the Wind could Tell by Elizabeth Ombati

  1. Alexander
    July 19, 2010

    It is an experiment in form. As such to be applauded. The author chooses to present a loaded topic (sexual abuse of children) in a thoroughly non-moralist form, and indeed in a very minimalist frame.
    This minimalism requires some cooperation from the reader (Mildred Ngesa type of shmooze is so much easier), and thus hopefully sets the reader’s brain in motion, not just her or his righteousness gland (a small endrocrinal structure, located next to the gall bladder).

    Two things I like especially: firstly, the repeated contrast between silence and noise, which the authoress then very cleverly transfers into a contrast of noise and noise (the acoustic phenomenon of “cancelling out”).

    Vote: this is not a short story, it is a mini radio play, ans as such it MUST be seen and evaluated. I give 9 for topic, 10 for minimalism in execution, 10 for originality of presentation.


  2. Aspiring Writer
    July 19, 2010

    I love the style, she reveals so much while saying so little.
    I give it a 9 (there was a typo, sorry)


  3. jeantrix
    July 20, 2010

    am a first ime storymoja blogger and this stuff is out of this world, i vote a 7 for the dialogue quality


  4. samuel
    February 18, 2012

    the story is a definite wow. I particularly envy the imagery which gives the reader the ultimate picture of the events that unfold in the story. A nine would do.


  5. Kevin
    September 26, 2012

    That is deep! And masterfully spun…


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