Celebrating East African Writing!

The Prodigal Son by Frankline Sunday

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

No one had come. It was on purpose. Linda’s idea he was sure. She wanted him to find his way back. Not because it would be a character building feat or a fun way to test his memory but a punishment. A well thought out penitential rite meant to facilitate a much deserved guilt trip. “Halo I have just alighted and am at the stage”. He feverishly gripped his Blackberry tightly covering its entire breadth with his palm in an attempt to keep its identity hidden from searching eyes. He had heard tales on Facebook of how his cousins had gotten mugged and he was not too keen on having a story of his own to tell.

“Kam tu si unakumbuka njia. Niko peke yangu kwa nyumba na siezi toka”. Yeah right. He could make out the familiar hint of derision in her voice. He had become accustomed to it. Like the way she always replied in Sheng whenever he spoke to her in English.

Seven years is not a very long time in this part of the country. Sure the road now had tarmac and Elimu Bora Primary School now had iron-sheet roofing and a new water tank. The place was otherwise pretty much the way he had left it. Left. Surprisingly it dint feel like he had ever left. After a short motorcycle ride he reached his destination.

Linda was at hand to meet him. “Umechelewa.”

“There was a slight delay at Amsterdam” he explained as he searched for an appropriate note to pay the Boda Boda man.

“Wacha tu ntamlipa”. She said and proceeded to fish a sh20 coin for the man. The man gave him a look of scorn that sounded very much like Linda’s voice and turned his dilapidated machine around and sped off to pick up another fare.

“I thought you said you were alone” he said, looking at the faces peering at him from the window, their attention attracted by the drone of the Boda Boda.

“Umechelewa”. They stood briefly looking at one another.

“I told you my flight got delayed.”

“Your Flight?” She asked. More derision.

“You know what I mean”


“Where is dad?”

She pointed to the large mound of red earth. He was surprised he hadn’t seen it when he entered the compound.

“What happened? I thought his condition had stabilized?”

His voice sounded strange to him. High pitched.

“His flight was on time,” she said.  She turned around and went back into the house. He stood rooted to the spot. Shifting his gaze from Linda’s retreating back and the fresh grave.

© Frankline Sunday

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 Prodigal Son by Frankline Sunday

  1. Gachagua
    August 16, 2010

    symmetry, harmony, easy flow…good ending! A 9.


  2. Maureen Adhiambo
    August 16, 2010

    I didn’t quite ‘get’ the story; perhaps because I was distracted by the grammatical errors? I’ll have to give it 1.


  3. Philip ogai
    August 16, 2010

    Good stuff.


  4. Lewis Kahuha
    August 16, 2010

    he has tried so much to it is short


  5. Emma
    August 16, 2010

    Niice story. I like it. The use of da words was pafect.


  6. Ashley Lime
    August 16, 2010

    This story is one that is very rare. It starts out with alot of suspense and is paradoxical. The reader is meant to believe that Linda is the guilty one here and she’s cruel to her brother. Yet it is her brother who, at the end, is indeed the prodigal son! It also has an African touch which many of us can identify with. A very well-written story that capyures the reader’s attention.
    I rate it at 10.


  7. aby
    August 17, 2010

    Well writen piece. The story addreses the underlying themes common in African society and dserves to be developed further. In my judgement, it warrants to be the story of the week.


  8. cherop
    August 17, 2010

    the story is interesting and has brought out the reality of the African conversation. i give it a 9


  9. Sharon
    August 17, 2010

    i give it a 9


  10. ethan
    August 17, 2010

    this is definately a good piece. it deserves a 9


  11. ethan
    August 17, 2010

    WOW. A 9 WILL DO


  12. Raymond Bett
    August 18, 2010

    I would give it a 7. This is a well written story though the end leaves a lot of questions.


  13. evesreflections
    August 21, 2010

    Nice. A 9. I like the ending.


  14. kyt
    August 21, 2010

    story of the week without a doubt 9!


  15. Mwangi Ichung'wa
    August 23, 2010

    This is a brilliant story, short and to the point. It’s not about the length, it’s what Sunday has captured: the moment. Let’s not dwell on which parts remain untold and focus on the writer’s presentation of mood and setting. I give it a 7, which could have been a 9 if not for the grammatical errors.


  16. Nyawira Njenga
    August 28, 2010

    I give it 9. Well written.


  17. flora
    September 20, 2010

    this is a story many people identify with.


  18. Mueni
    July 17, 2012

    I like it. Brief and to the point and heavy with meaning. I’ll a nine 🙂


  19. Mueni
    July 17, 2012

    Sorry for the typo meant I”ll give it a nine


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