Celebrating East African Writing!
Kel Kama Rami Market
I was at the market to purchase various items.Our market has a weird name.Why did they ever name it Kel Kama Rami? The name means ‘bring the place where it hurts’.I was standing carelessly, facing the wooden racks.Then I saw a heavily- built woman stealing fish from another woman’s basket. She got caught by the hawk-eyed owner who began raining blows on her. Heavy abuses followed in quick succession.
The thief-woman gathered courage and started fighting back. Within a few minutes, the place had become a real battle ground. The two combatants were now almost naked. Blood was running in rivulets down their faces. Now left only in white petticoats, their breasts heaving crazily, I saw the fear that clouded their faces. It was a moment of great indecision with none wanting to let go. They were sizing up each other.
‘Donkey!’ shouted the thief-woman
‘Your thing!’Responded the other woman
‘As if you don’t have a thing yourself. Look at you,dirty face,’said thief-woman.
‘You thief, no wonder your husband is never at peace in his heart.’ said the other woman.
Before the thief-woman has gathered enough courage to respond, the market superintendent has shown up and had started the delicate process of acting as the prosecutor and judge.
I buy everything mother had sent me to buy. I have a small list which I consult as I move from one rack to the next. The woman with fish is foul-mouthed and keeps on insulting everyone who haggles over the prices. She is adept at naming the female anatomy and she laughs at her own insults in an exaggerated manner.
I buy sukuma wiki, sweet potatoes, onions and tomatoes. Then I go to Mister Akande’s shop to buy sugar and cooking oil. Mother always buys things from Mister Akande on credit. She then pays up once she is paid. Her teaching job is good for us. I remember to pick a loaf of bread for tomorrow’s breakfast. But I forget Blue Band margarine so that when tomorrow arrives, the bread will be taken dry meaning breakfast will be a sad affair.
I place everything in my shopping bag then head home. There are others going home so we all walk along. The winding paths are too narrow for everyone to walk abreast. So we take a single file which leaves us resembling a Rift Valley Railways train thundering down the Nandi escarpment, past Kisumu city on it’s way to Uganda.
At Home With Mother.
Mother is sweeping the small courtyard with a long broom which is about five feet long. She is a hardworking lady. I’ve always loved the way she does everything. Her heart is in the work she is doing and I enjoy looking at her enjoying her work. A leaf from a magnolia tree drops down at her feet but mother doesn’t see it for some time. When she finally notices the leaf, she picks it up roughly then throws it to land neatly on the pile of dirt she has collected. A few flowers from the same tree land down at her feet. This seems to make her annoyed. She then looks up the tree, maybe trying to gauge when the next lazy leaf will come down. But nothing happens this time round. All the blossoming flowers look proud and appear set to remain in their lofty perch.
Today mother has forgotten to ask me whether I managed to get everything she sent me for. I carry my shopping bag inside. I hear mother humming her favourite hymn –Amazing Grace. She hums it all the time but I’m yet to hear her sing beyond the third stanza. It has five stanzas. I use the SDA hymnal.
After arranging everything from the shopping bag in their correct places, some in the old fridge and others in the cupboards which are full of fat roaches, I head to the bathroom for a leak.
The seat is cold on my bum and I feel the biting cold as it caresses my mount, because I’m sitting very close to the front. Some tingling effect makes the hair at the back of my head stand. My other hair is wet and clingy.
I leak a lot and suddenly, I’m worried if I might be coming too soon. When I’m done with the john, I stand carefully so as to avoid my mount touching the cold seat. Before I flush the reddish stuff that resembles a frothing glass of tusker beer, I throw in a good measure of phlegm. Then, and only then do I press down the flush lever. The gurgling sound of the fast disappearing water is very disgusting. And I don’t wish to visit the bathroom again. But this is easily forgotten just as fast as I say it. Just like three months ago when I resolved to never use the vibrator.Every time I vowed never, I’d find myself tip-toeing into mother’s room, opening the middle drawer of her sideboard, then, among her kinky under-things I manage to find her vibrator.
Whenever mother is around and I can’t steal her vibrator, I engage my mind in crazy daydreams filled with thunderous comings. At night, when it’s too cold to visit the bathroom, I slip my numbed fingers of the right hand –as the left hand pulls apart the pouty lips -deep inside the crevice. I rub crazily until a gurgling sound escapes through my flared nostrils like that of a dying girl I once saw in an African Magic movie.
Sleep would then follow such nice moments. But the next morning when I wake up, I look at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and I see patches of my dark deed staring at me squarely in the face.
Elizabeth, My First Love
The first time I met her, she was breathing fire. Apparently, her niece, Beth, had broken her most prized china. At the time of my arrival she was holding Beth by the neck as if about to throttle her.
Beth’s aunt, Magdaline, is such a funny woman. She is either a spinster or a bacheloress whichever term one fancies.
‘You little pussycat! How dare you break my very expensive china,’ screamed auntie Maggie.
‘Please auntie, stop killing me,’ a feeble-voiced Beth said.
Auntie Maggie let go of her throat but then her idle hands found work on the tiny ears. They were pinched to a point I thought they would drop down in pieces.
The telly was doing a repeat of the KBC channel one’s courtroom comedy -Vioja Mahakamani.
Beth’s aunt told me to sit. As usual she gave me a full glass of mango juice which had a sweet taste. Beth, eyes red and slightly swollen from over-crying, came and sat beside me. Her aunt, who always resembled a comedian, had already forgotten about the broken china. She was trying to make up with her niece. She told Beth sweet nothings which brought a broad smile upon my face. I had to stifle a giggle that was unavoidably building up.
Beth’s aunt left us to visit the bathroom. I thought she had gone to shower. But in about ten minutes, she was back in the living room. She looked frightening in her panties and fragile bra. Her crotch appeared like a tiny mound. At the sight of her skimpily attired, I felt something turning crazily in my belly. It produced a tingling effect that traveled through my spine all the way to the back of my neck where it suddenly stopped. I couldn’t figure out what it could have been. My mouth was then dry and I had to lick my lips to be ready for a dialogue with this crazy lady. But the talk never materialized. Without picking anything, she went back to the bathroom.
Left alone with Beth, we talked about nothing in particular .We played games with our fingers until we got tired of it. We were then sitting close, our sides touching. Then Beth touched my breasts lightly. At first I thought it was an accidental brush. But when it was repeated, I became a wee bit frightened. At the same time I felt at peace like I’d never felt before. Beth then sweet talked me into removing my top. Soon we were both topless with our tiny tits smiling with their erect nipples. Beth started massaging my breasts. This resulted into a coolness I’d never before experienced. I felt some unique sweetness engulf my loins into a fiery sensation.
I felt weak with my knees growing into jelly. My back arched even as a moan escaped through my slightly opened lips. She didn’t stop the massage. She started kissing me in a way that felt funny with the tongue fishing down my gullet. Her saliva tasted divine and I felt my pussy become too wet for comfort. My knickers had become too wet and I feared how I’d be able to walk home with my bottom in such a wet condition.
We kissed and fondled until we were out of breath. Then, naked, we made love. Beth taught me how to grind my hot pussy on hers. In their extremely wet condition, they produced a sucking sound like I used to hear in the bathroom as I rubbed myself with a showering cloth. Beth taught me how to use the vibrator which she had grabbed from her aunt’s drawer.
Beth produces a playboy magazine and we giggle as we trace our still wet fingers along the naked contours of the gorgeous people. As we continue salivating over page after page I feel the sweet sensation starting to build up again. We lick up all traces of our first sinful encounter to a point of no-return. Then we laugh gaily.
A warm bath later, we sit in the living room watching a repeat of The Bold and The Beautiful, looking so innocent.
I attend the same school with Beth but we are in different classes. She is in class Six while I’m in class five. But we make sure to be together once classes are over. Once in a while we buy yoghurt during break time. At lunch, we share the same table at the school canteen.
Sharing Primary is the name of our school. We have a headmistress who looks so fragile I fear the wind may blow her away. And whenever she talks at the assembly, her voice trembles so much it’s hard to follow her speeches.
But our class teacher has no tremolo. He is so harsh the desks tremble whenever he saunters into class. Whenever he asks a difficult question and none has an answer, he throws his duster in our direction. He is always hell-bent to strike someone’s head. He rarely misses the forehead.
Sometimes I hate our school. I especially hate the school administrators for hiring such harsh teachers. But I love miss Daphine. She is a petite lady who resembles a Barbie doll. She is so cute I sometimes think of her like a mannequin I once saw when I went window-shopping with mother.
There are rumours at Sharing Primary that miss Daphine likes pinching girls bottoms. She slaps all naughty boys. Why is it that she doesn’t slap girls as well? One day all the girls should revolt and ask to be slapped like the boys. But I already doubt whether she will let anyone disobey her. Why is it that every time she pinches our bottoms she is breathing heavily? It’s like she gets short of breath just pinching our bums.
I’m home again and my stomach is busy rumbling. Mother is busy in the kitchen preparing dinner. I know that supper will be a nice affair seeing as she is preparing chapattis. And the cooking chicken has a great aroma that fills my nostrils with pure madness.
A Koffi Olomide track, Loi, is playing on the stereo and I instinctively sway to the crazy Congolese beats. Mother barks at me to stop the silly- ness and concentrate on doing the dishes. She clicks her tongue and calls me a rascal. She says it’s evil to dance like that. Christians don’t wiggle their bottoms like that. By the way, where did her little baby learn to shake her moneymakers like that? I wonder whether she suspects I know her little secret with the vibrator.
We eat in the kitchen in silence, like we sometimes do when we are busy with our thoughts.
I meet Beth going to the shops one Sunday morning. She agrees to visit later on in the day. I return home to a game of daydreaming which becomes boring with the passage of time. There is no nice programme on the telly. But I get to hear that my greatest news anchor on KTN, Louis Otieno, has moved to NTV.
The radio is playing some crappy music which some crazy heads call hip-hop. I change channels but find nothing worth listening to. So I just sit around staring into empty space. My head becomes filled with fleeting thoughts. I’ve just seen a fat roach scurrying across the room. It’s too fast for my lazy legs. Before I get near enough, it has disappeared into thin air and my crazy mind tells me it was a bad dream. How did such a big thing disappear without a trace?
Back at my normal place on the sofa that is quite old, I slump down and close my eyes as if I’m going to sleep. But do I really sleep? It’s hard for sleep to come to my eyes. So I first pretend to sleep. This only helps in making my mind numb from too much thinking. This thinking has begun to make my head to ache.
My eyes have begun to ache again. I rub them as if I’m mad. Whenever mother sees me doing that, she screams at me to stop killing my eyes. I plead with her to let me rub my eyes in peace. She doesn’t talk back. I think she loves me too much. She loves saying that I’m her best friend and doesn’t want to be at war with me. I agree, laughing.
Now as I’m lounging on the old sofa, feet up on the arms, I think of Beth my girlfriend. I start to feel light- headed and my clit hardens. There’s a crazy feeling in my fingers. I fight the feeling that’s building up. However much I try to stop the weird feeling, my fingers are a law unto themselves. So I see them making their way into the waist band of my jeans trousers. I see the fingers as they unbutton the single button, then slide the zip down all the way to the base where it rests. The restless fingers then come back to the place where my pussy has grown into a soft mound.
The crazy fingers dive under the white panties. And in a sucking sound, they go wild in rubbing, fishing inside and deeper as they search all over the crevice. Certain places seem to be sucking on the fingers which don’t quite reach other places. The pussy is too wet which leads to the fingers sliding all over the place. They threaten to come out but I shove them back in. A moan escapes from my opened lips. My thighs are gyrating wildly so that I resemble a crazy chick. In a moment of sweetness, when the juices have made me crazy to a point of insanity, I have a huge orgasm. A coolness envelops me from head to toe. I zip up and immediately go to sleep.
Raila Odinga went to America, came back with a horrendous Hummer that has captivated the whole country. Rumours doing the rounds are that he is set to hit the Mount Kenya mafia all the way to the calderas of the Menengai crater. Pity! I’ve been reading all the backstreet newspapers with all their typographical errors. Their eye-catching headlines usually turn out into big hoaxes for the inside stories are irrelevant or even non-existent. But I keep on reading them to satisfy my curiosity.
Mother’s visitors have come over for tea. They take mandazis. Some eat with their mouths open and particles of the brown mandazis fly all over. What a disgusting sight. One awful woman with browned teeth talks all the time. As she parrots along, her foul breath hits me squarely in the nose.
Her halitosis is worse than that of my classmate Michelle. She is our class representative at the Sharing Primary. The tea party ends and I escape into my room to change. I’m supposed to meet my sweet pie, Beth. Mother approves of Beth as my best friend so I have no trouble convincing her to let me go out with her. I dress carefully because I don’t want to annoy Elizabeth.
We meet at around five pm when the sun is no longer hot. We hug and kiss lightly. Holding one another, we start walking along the dusty streets. Soon we are at the shopping mall. Dykes’ Place has clothes stores and cinema halls. But we dare not go to the movies because we have less than forty minutes of fun.
We haggle over panty and bra prices. But I don’t have big tits to hold with the bras. I’m helping Beth whose boobs started developing earlier than they should. Every time we hug, I get a cushioning feeling with the press of them. She once told me never to press too hard for they hurt. Whenever I look at myself in the bathroom mirror, I blush at their tiny roundness. They serve the purpose when I’m all alone, no Beth, no mother’s stolen vibrator.
Our shopping done, we head to a kiosk selling soft drinks. We sit down on sketchy benches. We sip our fanta orange sodas with straws as we munch on very tiny samosas which cost ten shillings. I think they are highly priced. We head home holding hands. Beth goes to their place as I head for ours. Tomorrow will be a school day and Miss Daphine will be waiting for our tiny bums to pinch and giggle girlishly. I wonder what Beth is thinking now. Maybe she is bathing or fondling her boobs as her aunt scrubs the kitchen floor. She is always on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor to a fine gloss. But Beth has perfected her laziness with weird thoughts of massaging her pouty lips with the vibrator.
I sit at my desk to finish up my assignment which now appears undoable. Maybe I’m going insane what with all the vibrating going on. But I’ll have to keep my sanity intact whatever it takes.
I’m so distracted I don’t see what I’m reading .My scrawny handwriting has gotten so worse I fear Miss Kate the English teacher will hit the roof tomorrow. I try to better the untidy style. By the time I’m done with the composition, mother calls to say dinner is ready. So I join her at the usual kitchen table where we take our meal in silence. After the meal, I go to the tiny living room to watch a re-run of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Mother is making a racket with the pans in the kitchen. On the telly, Will Smith is threatening Ashley with a spanking as his uncle, Phil, appears carrying a bag.
Three Jealous Girls
The three girls love talking too much. They are ever giggling even though others don’t know why. It seems that they are forever gossiping .I don’t like people who gossip a lot. They make me hate them like I hate all the math classes which are so hard and boring.
There’s Annette who has a medium build, a large sized bust and evenly-spaced teeth. She is from a very rich family because they stay in Lavington. Her plump mother always collects her in the evening in their navy blue Mercedes Benz.
Jane Joyce is not so beautiful and she is the most talkative in the group. She has a tiny figure and her legs are spindly. When she is walking, she looks like one who is about to fall. But she never falls. I don’t know where she stays but she is the best of friends with Annete. Maybe she too stays in Lavington, or Runda or Kileleshwa. One day when she is not too boisterous ,I’ll ask her.
Nina is the group’s natural leader. She is a carefree girl who fears no one. Her brawls with other girls are countless. Once she even fought with Otty, the class bully. He knocked hard sense into her until she had a nose bleed. She is not likeable seeing as she is ever laughing at others. And she doesn’t even know how to whisper. In her shrill voice, whenever she tries to whisper the whole class hears what she says. She is a lazy girl who never finishes up her assignments. She was in the bottom ten in class four.
One day as I was walking with Beth towards the school canteen, Nina the terrible started abusing us. She let flow a tribe of abuse that made me fearful.
‘Look at them ,mmh….they think they are the best chicks in school,’ said Nina.
Beth turned as if to respond but I tagged at her sleeve to continue walking. I didn’t want to get into a fight with the crazy Nina.
‘Daughters of harlots! They resemble rotten pussies. No wonder our class is ever filled with a bad smell. They must be whores themselves,’ she finished. By the time she ran out of steam, we had arrived at the canteen. Beth picked her usual strawberry flavour while I settled for my vanilla yoghurt.
The bell rang to signal the end of break time. We hurriedly left for class. From a distance I could see Mr. Malinga, the master on duty, shouting at us to hurry up. Some extremely fat girls were struggling to catch up with us the slim ones. We laughed softly as they panted the short distance to class.
It was Beth who noted that the three girls were jealous of our beauty and good grades. They couldn’t get at us because they were always picked from school in the evening. We had to walk the short distance home. They despised us for walking to and from school. We always beat them in class and it made us feel good for being triumphant. Their jealousy didn’t touch our hearts. They knew that whatever little nonsense they brought up would never stick on us. With time even the other class members started hating them.
Miss Daphine summoned them into the staffroom where she pinched their rich bums. The whole class talked about this for a few days. There was a general agreement that Annette, Jane Joyce and Nina deserved no good from any one. They were to be avoided like the bubonic plague that was caused by some rats of England. The three jealous girls are like the wind that blows around, billowing our skirts but not quite making our tiny panties to show. It cannot touch our insides. And the three girls cannot touch our hearts because they are so silly. Their heads are full of clans of cobwebs.
At night when I’m in bed, I think about them so negatively I laugh myself to sleep. In the morning when I wake up, I look in the bathroom mirror and see a very beautiful girl with tiny, rounded tits. Soon they will be as big as Beth’s and then I’ll have to start using a bra as well. Beth told me to start pinching them to make them increase in size. Perhaps I should let her do the pinching for me. This thought has never occurred to me when I’m with her. At such times, all we care to think of is nothing but us and our grand secret.
Last night I dreamt of the jealous girls. They were such a horrible sight. They had been playing in the football pitch. Then from nowhere it started raining. It rained so heavily their school uniforms were soaked and they got clamped on them. Their boobs stuck out like Salim who always looks conspicuous in his kanzu as he walks around the estate.
The three jealous girls had to take a bus home because the heavy rain had delayed their doting mothers. That day they had to go home in foul moods as their teeth chattered.
In another dream -before I woke up from the first one -I saw the three doing a funny thing. They had their skirts above their waists and were busy sizing up each other’s crotch.
Perhaps they felt each other’s crevices. I don’t remember them doing that. But what could three silly girls in a dream do? They’ll giggle up to a point when they are too tired to show their teeth. Then they may start thinking of weird things like shoving their trembling fingers in there. And they may get funny feelings with their heads becoming light as a fiery something takes control of their nether regions. But this dream, the last one, I had to create for them.
A Dead Angel
It’s the April holiday. The weather is very cold and I’ve to wear a sweater all the time to keep warm. For two weeks now, I’ve not seen Beth my pet. I’ve missed her a great deal. Mother tells me to calm down, that Beth will come over. I fear to ask her aunt Maggie because we’ve never been good friends.
The days dawn heavily on me with not a sight of Beth, my love. I think of her all the time and I get crushing moments of indecision as to the next course of action. How I wish she were around to lend me a shoulder to cry on. She has always been such a wonderful chick giving me her love unconditionally.
The silence is heavy from lack of her laughters which have always been soothing to my soul. My heart is now aching with the longing of a true friend missing. I long to know where she is or whatever it is that’s keeping her so far from me. Does she ache with love for me like I do for her? I wonder if she knows how great is my yawning desire for her. That bare smile that has always melted my heart is now missing.
If the passing winds had ears, I would have sent them to convey my aching desire for the one girl that caused my heart to quaver with gladness. I would fly around with the southerly winds to bring her bouquets of marigolds and jasmines. If only the winds had ears to hear my words and lips to utter my aching thoughts .But the winds are too silent for comfort. They disturb the maple trees making them sway from side to side like wayward sails. But they are too cowardly to bring solace to my sorrow-filled heart.
Today, I woke before seven, opened the drapes to look at the dull morning. The greyness portended another chilly weather like the previous week. A lone bird was singing a few yards away in a copse of trees that separated our estate from the exotic Banyan forest.
The firs, eucalyptus and pine trees looked neat in their evenly-spaced rows that went as far as the eyes cared to look. I’d get tired just looking up to the farthest row. My eyes would get confused looking so that the myriad rows of trees would start playing tricks with my eyes. If I looked hard and long enough my eyes would start developing an itchy feeling ending with tears. The itch would grow bad with me rubbing the outer lids. But that would not help much since the itching would be located somewhere in the neighbourhood of the retina where my fingers would not dare venture. These trees have become a nice place to lose my mind in.
I’ve just heard the very sad news -my angel of love is gone. She is gone far away to a place where even the gusty winds cannot dare go. Such a sweet babe to go just like that. Why did she have to leave? Why didn’t she take me along with her so that we would continue enjoying life together? How I’ll miss her. My heart will forever have a gaping hole that may never be filled by another human.
Beth was the angel that dispelled fear from my heart. She soothed me to a tranquil sleep any time fear made me insomniac. And I always adored her like a mare. She will forever linger in my heart. All my strength I’ll use in doing the right things that she held dear.
Her aunt Maggie is not talking to me at all. I wonder what’s in her heart. Does she hurt the way I do? She doesn’t realize that we can surmount the big loss together, united for a purpose. But does she care? She is such a heartless bitch she is ever filled with her narcissistic love which I’ve always found queer.
Mother is a bit comforting. She reassures me that one fine day I’ll meet with Beth in the yonder firmaments when all humanity stands at heavens gates for angel Gabriel’s adjudgement.The thought of one day meeting my angel reassures me somewhat. The fear isn’t that heavy as it was hitherto.
Some new and vibrant hope is slowly but surely coursing through my veins. I no longer fear to walk alone for I see Beth in all the dewy leaves early in the morning. The echoes in my footsteps are filled with her soothing laughters.
Perhaps she isn’t really gone. What if this is a big charade that will come tumbling one morning?
Since yesterday at church when we sang during requim, the reality has finally sunk down in my heart. Every one from Sharing Primary was present. Even the three jealous girls sang their hearts out. We sang…. when peace like a river attendeth my way….
Life has suddenly taken another turn which may lead my feet anywhere. Maybe all will end fine some good morning. I’ll have to hope for the dawning of that day filled with clear brooks gurgling sweetly from the high mountains. And the soft hibiscus blossoming in their alluring nature.
I envy the bees as they search for nectar. They will continue making sweet honey which I cannot share anymore with my pet. But I’ll learn to walk softly learning to love again. I’ll have to find me another sweet Elizabeth to cherish.