Celebrating East African Writing!

Weathers of Life by Peter Yieko Ndiwa

Sile furiously knocked on the large iron gate of Bridges High school and staggered drunkenly a few feet back. The gate vibrated with a low heavy vibration like that of humming bees. The sound of the vibrating gate got to his ears in an irritating manner pricking into his inner auditory nerves as if somebody was inserting toothpicks into them. There was no response. Sile heavily moved forward again and gave the gate two strong well spaced bangs and moved to his left. He wondered what was a miss with the watchmen at the gate. It was only a few minutes past nine.

The yellowish light of the enormous bulbs on either side of the gate shone incessantly and he could see the silhouette of his body on the ground spread with gravel. The silhouette was faint but visible. His oversize yellow, woolen, handknit pullover looked dangerously distorted. The sleeves that hang below his elbows looked horribly magnified giving him a feeling of deception like his whole life had seemed now as manifested by his name which had been truncated from teacher Silas to simply Sile.

This was Mr.Sile, a former teacher now a plain Sile after his life was eroded by the weathers of life. He was formerly a high performing high school teacher of science but too much science got to his head rising from the alcoholic concoctions he prepared in the laboratory for his science lesson into the head. That was about seven years ago. Sile had developed a drinking habit that got worse that he couldn’t go through a day without tasting alcohol. It got a better part of him that he stayed constantly on the drink but unfortunately this was against the work ethics. The head teacher of the school he was teaching at tried to make him quit the habit but he got stubborn that he quarreled with him several times.

He was given several warnings of dismissal but this didn’t change him any little. One day he came to school early in the morning but too drunk to go to class. Apparently he hadn’t gone home the previous evening but headed straight to a nearby local breweries station run by a certain elderly woman. He came to school straight from the drinking place and the head teacher was alarmed to find him dozing on top of a table in the staffroom. The headmaster shook the table from the other end avoiding the smell which was wafting from his half open mouth. He startled into life and plunged into a quarrel with the head teacher for ‘spoiling his good sleep.’ That was his last time in school. He was sacked.

After that he embarked on temporary menial jobs just to quench his now rampant thirst for alcohol until a local school which had recently been started employed him from his reputation widely spoken of in the locality. He was now representing the school in the science conference organized annually by some foreign sponsors. Unfortunately due to a nasty incident the previous year whereby a stranger who had sneaked into the school pinched another mans suit with all his documents as he took a shower in the washrooms rules had tightened. The man had been thoroughly bewildered and had strayed to the administration block with the towel roughly wrapped around his loins. The delegates attending the conference had followed him thinking he had suddenly run mad. Fortunately the thief was arrested as he attempted to escape through an opening in the fence. That is when the tough rule of 9:00 p.m with identities was introduced.

Sile checked on his wrist watch again. It was seven minutes past nine. His friend who had taken him to the bar had sent him a head to keep the watchmen waiting a little bit as he cleared the bill.  Now infuriated he turned round and gave the gate three heavy kicks and turned to face the direction of the bar. He wondered where his friend had remained. He debated against going back to the bar for he wanted to return home sober the following morning. The thought was still lingering in his dizzy head when his friend appeared hurrying across the road.

“These men won’t open the gate.’’ Sile shouted to him with an air of impatience. His friend was still some feet away. “It’s only some few minutes after nine.”

The statement was hardly out of his mouth when the small door at the side of the gate flew open and two hugely built men emerged. One of them was Mr. Mwego, the chief security guard or security consultant as he liked being identified. He normally never appeared at the scene of any commotion except on very serious cases. At the sight of Mr.Mwego, Sile’s friend just made an about turn and walked back the way he was coming from leaving Sile rooted at the spot.

“What do you want here?” Mr. Mwego shouted advancing menacingly towards him. “This one here is not one of the delegates!” he added addressing his partner. “Look at his pullover.”

“But …..” Mr. Sile began. Mwego didn’t wait to hear anything from him for in lightning speed blows began raining spontaneously on him as if from a supersonic machine. A kick send him reeling backwards and on seizing his composure, he never waited to be given a hearing. The blows had sobered him. Sile ran at an incredible speed across the road narrowly escaping being run down by an over speeding lorry. His tapering shoes which looked as if the leather had been firmly welded on the sole which had extended outwards seemed perfect shoes for running that night.

That was the end of his rampant drinking habit.


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.


8 comments on “Weathers of Life by Peter Yieko Ndiwa

  1. R.k
    November 17, 2009

    good but im a big believer in show dont tell. there was too much telling, not enough showing. i give it a 4


  2. kyt
    November 17, 2009

    this story is too shallow how can you stop drinking after only one beating!!! 3


  3. Gitura Kihuria
    November 18, 2009

    I agree with Kyt, the last sentence was unnecessary.

    And I was wondering what was the theme of the story was.

    Maybe a 4 for me.


  4. Wacu Kamau
    November 19, 2009

    Too superfluous. I give it a 4.


  5. morei emmanuel
    November 19, 2009

    …the end of rampant drinking, not the drinking itself.


  6. Tabu Bin Tabu
    November 19, 2009

    Why did Sile start drinking? Was it because of weathers of life? are these changes necessary in a life? Do financial problems share the blame? Did the scientific curiosity overwelm his intellectual sense? Questions and questions!!!!
    Tell us more. A 5


  7. Nyawira Njenga
    November 21, 2009

    From the title, ‘Weathers of Life’ i xpected more. It has left me with many unaswered questions. The conclusion is too abrupt. A 5 would do. Keep writing,you learn from practice.


  8. Rotich Patrick Manyorio
    December 25, 2013

    Good that is worth reading it. I can give it a 5


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