Celebrating East African Writing!

Dear Mr. Death, Hurry Please by Julius Muriungi Rutere

Screams and gun shots, bombs, fire razing down the pretty buildings, silent evenings were gone. Aisha sat in her living room; the home made wick lamp had replaced the beautiful chandeliers that hang on the ceiling.

Her husband Omari was not home yet, she looked at her daughter Amina sleeping beautifully on the sofa. “Blessed are the little ones” she muttered as she carried her to the bedroom. She had heard stories of how the militia group was killing young men who failed to join them. Her neighbor’s husband had his head and hands chopped off for failing to join the group. She fought away the imagination of that happening to her husband who was unusually late.

Her thoughts were cut shot by a knock on the door and before she could open it, it flew open from the force of a kick. The killer gang entered with her husband in tow. “Woman, we present your defiant husband with two choices, he joins us or he dies”.

“I am not joining your evil group if you want to kill me let it be now”. Omari replied.

With one move of the glittering sword, his head fell on the floor. They chopped off his hands and turned to her. “Now you are our property of pleasure, otherwise you will die. Now we will take you for a short trip to the land of Lords.”

They boarded an old lorry outside the house and drove off. After about half an hour, they disappeared into the mountainous region of Mogadishu. The smell of rotting human flesh hit her as they entered the cave. Inside the cave lay the victims; some dead, others naked with blood all over their private parts and others being raped by the gang members.

“See them, they defied our orders and this is where their world ends. Please me, my girl”, He told her with a sarcastic tone. With one move he tore her gown apart and raped her. The others descended on her, one after the other and when they were done she was bleeding. I’ll survive she told herself. They seemed happy with her service and they let her go home.

They frequented her place to satisfy their desires. She knew she had to get away with her child if she was ever to see the sun of her life again. At around midnight, with her child and a few belongings she left hoping to find peace. After a night of trekking, she got to Ifo town.

A ‘Good Samaritan’ took her in but he turned out to be a monster, too. He raped her but she had no option. When she got pregnant, he kicked her out into the wild world. With her daughter and an illegitimate child in her womb she left. Left and right problems surrounded her. Her clothes got tattered, her body thin and pale. Stripped naked to problems, they hadraped her mind, body and soul, but she let her hope leave not. She feasted on animal carcass and lived each day as it came. She wished she could wake up to find her pregnancy gone, but wishes were not horses. She had to ride her problem stallion.

WELCOME TO KENYA a large board exclaimed.  She knew that this was the place she could find the peace pond and swim in it. With weak strides and a smile on her dry lips she crossed the border. She had forgotten about the child strapped onto her back until her feeble kicks hit her back. She knew death had come knocking. Amina died on her mothers’ back. She thanked death for saving her daughter from the problems that life in their war torn country was as she laid her malnourished body on the sandy ground. She had no energy to burry her and with one final look at her body she left. She heard some buzzing sound from a distance and let her sand filled eyes look sky wards. A military helicopter flew by. Pains had become part of her life and as labor pains set in she knew only death could separate them.

She delivered her baby by herself, but the energy to sit up and tend to her little angel wasn’t there. She lay there, bleeding blood she didn’t have. The baby was still linked to her by the chord. A sharp pain in her lower stomach brought her back to her senses. She jerked her head up and saw it; about four meters long. Its fangs deep into the new babys’face and streams of blood had started to flow from the fresh wounds.

She gathered all her energy to scare away the snake but her body didn’t move an inch. With one flexible move the head disappeared followed by the rest of the small body. As the snake slithered away with a full stomach she prayed, this time to death.

“Dear Mr. Death please consider me for your next shipment from planet earth, Amen”. They came again, this time sent by Mr. Death. The python coiled around her bony body and as it squeezed her she thanked Mr. Death for answering her prayer. She smiled as the serpent squeezed life out of her and died a happy woman. The serpent swallowed her and slithered away. The Kakuma refugee camp was just a kilometer away.

© Julius Muriungi Rutere 2009

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.


10 comments on “Dear Mr. Death, Hurry Please by Julius Muriungi Rutere

  1. kyt
    August 25, 2009

    this is a sickening story nice flow and a true representation of what happens its a REALLY sad story voting a 8


  2. Mercy Ojwang'
    August 26, 2009

    Too many grammatical errors, bad punctuation, misspelling of words: all these detract from an otherwise creative story. I would give it a 4.


  3. Antony Chambira
    August 27, 2009

    Too sad a story. Too many dead people. Give it a 4?


  4. Isaac keah
    August 27, 2009

    i like it 8


  5. deniskabi
    August 28, 2009

    The saddest story I’ve read in a long while.

    Please correct grammatical errors before submitting a story.

    I vote 6


  6. John Robert Ngugi
    August 31, 2009

    Quet a sad story.

    I rank it 5


  7. chrispus
    September 6, 2009

    I hadn’t read the story but now that i have…i feel touched that such pain could exist, or is it maybe in the author’s mind9th probable). Creative story in spite of a lot of telling, i give it a 6.


  8. Christine
    September 10, 2009

    The idea is very creative, and the story sad. Reflects the reality of many people affected by war. But the delivery could be improved on, grammatically, but also:

    – Would someone who’s just been gang raped think, “I’ll survive?” Or show no reaction when the husband is beheaded? I think you could have done more to depict the despair.
    – I thought that if it’s a somali refugee, she would be headed to Dadaab and not Kakuma.

    I give it a 5


  9. juliana
    September 17, 2009

    despite the sadness it is still the truth well described.
    i give it 6


  10. PISH
    October 19, 2009

    its to sad and tramatising.i wish she made to tell her own story.
    i gv it 8


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