Celebrating East African Writing!

Earth days

Written by Michael Ngigi

Earth Day 256, somewhere in the land between two rivers.
He drifted into a deep sleep. When he awoke, he felt like he had been asleep for a hundred years. Something was different in his body. It felt as if he’d been torn apart and sewn back together again. He had wandered for many days and hadn’t found what it was, he was looking for. He couldn’t describe what he felt. At dawn, he started feeling something strange.


He was used to the sounds and smells of nature so he was sure this was something different. Something much more closer to him than the rest of the animals.  Then he saw her. Her hair shone in the light of day and her perfect form eclipsed the rising sun. She was disarming and beautiful.


She looked lost and forlorn. She was seated along the brook gazing at the butterflies and lilies in a trance. She turned when she realized she was not alone. Their eyes met and they sat still and stared at each other. The world stood silent and still. It was as if they were lost for a moment in time. He opened his mouth and breathed one word. Eve. He wasn’t sure why he’d called her by that name, but it felt right.


She smiled shyly. She felt hot and ticklish at the back of her ears. For some reason, she felt like she’d known him all her 3 days of her life. She looked at him and placed her right hand on her left rib. She didn’t know why she did it but it felt like the perfect thing to do at the time. Adam did the same. And immediately, he understood. They both understood.

Earth Day 1654, wilderness of Chalbi

Ayek’s eyes stung from the sandy winds. He pressed himself harder on the boulder, afraid that another arrow would strike him should he move. Dusk was approaching fast and he had to act twice as fast. He was wounded seriously and his enemy was still at large. He struggled to remain conscious as he was losing blood fast. If only he could see the enemy’s shadow or at least catch their body scent.


Conflicts for hunting grounds were common place in this part of the plain. In fact, an encounter with wild beasts was more welcome than a clash with the savage tribes that ruled this unforgiving wasteland. His day had finally come. With nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, Ayek kept still and waited for his death. He believed in Ekniak – if it is the maker’s will, it will happen.


The spear sliced through his tired ribs in a deathly-slithering silence and he fell in disbelief. And as if the nature knew, the howling wind died out and all that remained was the sound of his blood clogged breathing . Then there was a silence so sacred in the universe, that he could not feel any pain. As his sight faded to mist he saw the figure of his enemy. Slender. Petit.  His nose caught the sweet smell of perfume made from wild flowers. Then the darkness took him.

When he opened his eyes, he was in a place he couldn’t recognize. He struggled to get up but was restrained by a hand. He turned and saw her; his enemy. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. There she sat looking at him with the sharp eyes of a deadly serpent. The two ‘foes’ held each other’s gaze. The knew they were meant to be here.

Earth Day 2010, Nairobi

I love Mish-kaki, especially the ones they serve at Steak & Ale. The bar is full and the music is great. I’m meeting up some friends who I haven’t seen in a long minute. I motion to the waiter to serve our table. As we wait, I look across at her. She hasn’t changed in the last two years that she has been away. She’s my good friend. Virtuous  and honest. You can tell a person’s character by their friends. She has nice friends who are constantly smiling. Come to think of it, the all look alike! Well. save for one. This one is captivating and sassy.


I look at her and she looks away in response. I am excited. I can’t really tell what I’m feeling but I can swear she knows what I’m going through. She is magnetic and I fear she might have some cultic connections. For a moment, I’m compelled to ask her to show me the leader of ‘her cult’. I would like to join it.  I smile at her and she smiles back. The butterfly tattoo on her neck seems to come alive in excitement. We know. I excuse myself from the table. I have this nagging feeling this is the first day of many to come.


Love is a silent language. It starts without warning. It is selfish and doesn’t waste a moment to consume. You will know it when you see it. You will feel it when it is near. It appears anywhere it pleases and doesn’t care who you are or what you have. It is the equalizer of men. What good is a wealth without love?  Be warned though, love never makes mistakes. Next time I will report on why Love Lacks Expression in Poverty. Will you be there?

© Michael Ngigi 2011


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 Sunday 13th of February 2011 and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week on Monday 14th February. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.




7 comments on “Earth days

  1. kyt
    February 8, 2011

    philosophical i must add! its a well articulated piece of writing and to me it deserves to be the story of the week, how many are with me in this? i vote a 9.5!


  2. baru
    February 9, 2011

    Am not really sure about the links between the stories here. The problem with the short story is the writer has such a short tym to develop his characters and setting and I felt you did not do that. Having said that, your approach to writing the story is brilliant and I get the feeling you could have done better with more words.
    I give it a 7.


  3. Empress
    February 14, 2011

    Interesting..i like the catalogue technique you have employed..stating 4rm the garden of Eden to Nairobi..very interesting read.


  4. Ken
    February 14, 2011

    Beautiful piece I have to love the breaks….I hope this is an extract of the original because a longer version will do us more good…


  5. Nanjala
    February 16, 2011

    Wow… way to go Class Prefect… much love man!!!


  6. Brian
    February 23, 2011

    Well, good composition. Too short though. Like one comment poses, a more detailed version would do us a little more good ……



  7. Fortue
    August 17, 2013

    I loved the first two parts of your story. I found it quite captivating and the description vivid but the end was disappointing.


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