Celebrating East African Writing!

The Monster by Beatrice Wainaina

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

I am woken up from the mat by the sounds of matatus honking away, playing music so loud it makes the iron sheet wall vibrate. My eyes refuse to open. I hate mornings! It takes literal effort to get my feet onto the cold floor and will my eyes to adjust to the darkness. It is 5am in the morning.

My room stinks. It reeks of my mistakes. I should not have left her. My husband is a monster . . . was I mean? I came home from the dairy to find him on her. He was ploughing her like a farmer would the earth in dry season; hard and with determination. She was five. I look at her body which has turned pale. I do not know what to do.

I walk along the corridor to the main door of the house; we call it a unit. The door is slightly ajar. The women must be taking refuge in the darkness, while taking a communal bath behind the unit. The care-taker must be awake too. He must look after the safety of the women early in the morning. I step out and the morning chill hits my naked face. I tightly clutch at my clothes. I sit on a stack of wood outside. They creak as though refusing to be disturbed.

What was disturbing though was that they were father and daughter. She must have screamed. They must have thought I was a negligent mother. Maybe I am. I screamed, but no one came. I didn’t think. It came to me as naturally as breathing does.  I lay hands on him. I did not know I have such strength!  For a split second, I was the monster. She didn’t even squeal. Blood was all over the place. I couldn’t bear to mop it. It would mean that she was actually gone . . . and I did not want to accept that reality.

The sun slowly comes up to reveal the miracle where filth outshines metallic dustbins. From far, one can see shimmering circles of dim light, but as you got closer, the dim light takes on a different shape. The bins have been well used; but that has not stopped the people from using them. They overflow with banana peels, maize flour bags and the unmistakable chaff of thoroughly sucked sugarcane. I wrap my kanga around my head as I always do when I’m going to the dairy and walk away.

© Beatrice Wainaina

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 “The Monster by Beatrice Wainaina

  1. Eberekpe Whyte
    July 26, 2010

    Perhaps a good story…An attempt to write fiction in a poetic manner. If the writer did succeed about it is debatable. It put the reader in a state of confusion whether to flow with the story or to pause to ask the questions as to who the ‘I’,’My’, etc is, and who actually is rendering the narrative…


  2. J.R
    July 26, 2010

    Easy 2 be lost somewhere there but nicely written.A 7 from me…


  3. Njeri
    July 26, 2010



  4. chrispus
    July 29, 2010

    frankly speaking, it started of nicely but the reader is bound to get lost as they try to relate the pic to that photo, who is the I and Me here?, i vote 4


  5. fex
    July 30, 2010

    walking away from the problem or just escapism? i am lost, i vote 5


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: