“I did some of my best writing while waiting in queue at the banking hall that year.
There wasn’t much else to do. So, with one ear listening for the automated teller to call out my number, i’d take out my notebook and begin to write what I saw. The 20-something year old guy in all white and neon yellow high-tops, the bang of windows shutting from my left on the far end of the banking hall. The two AP’s seated at the entrance. The fiber-glass lions on either side of the customer service desk.
And, as it often happens, a story began to emerge around those individuals and circumstances.
For an hour, all I did was watch and write. And somehow, at the end of only two such sessions i’d not only had my banking issues resolved but also walked out with what I hoped was a viable manuscript for the movie.
To see what it’s materialized into is surreal. To join you all here, is unbelievable. And there are no words that I can use to describe the feeling of seeing the award I now hold, made out in my name and titled for my manuscript. All I can say is… thank you.”
To everyone else in the world, ‘Maasai’ was a Kenyan tribe. To me, ‘Maasai was the fleet of trucks that my father owned.
I still remember them, lined against the boundary wall of the company parking lot; short, white corrugated bodies with the ‘Maasai’ name emblazoned in red unmistakably on either side. On the driver’s side, the imprint of a moran warrior next to the owner details on the door. This last touch had been my idea. Dad had been delighted. He always said that I had lent to it a touch of sophistication.
“…Sophie?” called the lawyer, drawing me out of my reverie.
“We’ve agreed to sell the company interests.” reiterated by brother – a slight edge of irritation in his voice – when he realized that I hadn’t been paying attention.
Looking at my siblings seated around the lawyer’s table. It was then that I was finally able to understand, it would be me. I would be the one to continue my father’s legacy.
“No.” came my reply. And all hell broke loose in the room.
The storm clouds made good on their threat and within minutes rain had began to fall.
And as it fell, the waters pooled quietly at the center of the polythene covering overhead. Every now and again, one of the traders sheltering underneath would tilt the edge and a rush of water would come running down to the ground below. Sometimes catching a lone customer unaware as they hurriedly tried to make their way out of the marketplace; their shopping having been cut abruptly short. The clothes now lay in bundles as their owners huddled underneath waiting out the storm.
Umuzi wamagcino – the last village. A term that the old poacher had used to describe the location of the new settlement he had discovered.
Over the years, wild buffalo had been driven further and further into the interior, forcing him and other hunters to go beyond the herds’ traditional grazing grounds. And on his latest expedition, he had stumbled upon an area, previously unknown. And untouched.
One. All I need is just one good slave run. Patterson thought as he made his way through the brush, behind his guides.
Late afternoon sunshine filtered through the fern-like leaves of the Jacaranda tree. In one corner a bougainvillea shrub had wrapped itself around the trunk of the tree from it’s base and now creeped up along the shorter boughs, it’s blossoms hanging like a cluster of red berries.
And in the background lay the unfinished structure of a new apartment building under construction. Studio apartments, fourteen flours high – the third set of apartments she had seen walking up that street alone. And a stark contrast to the picturesque maisonnettes that had once lined the main streets and crescents. The developers had been relentless. Their pace belied their greed.
Ikeno took a deep breath.
August. The eight month. Eight being the number of new beginnings. And it felt good to be home again.
Samson sat shotgun, in the front passenger seat, next to the driver. He still wore remnants of his military fatigue, but no one would have been the wiser. After-all, a combat-print sun hat was a fashion statement these days and not an indicator that we had ex-army special forces man protecting us.
And any further suspicions are sure to be thrown off by that hair. I thought quietly to myself on glimpsing five to six braids of deadlocked hair peaking out just beyond his sun hat. They were blonde in color, a stark contrast against his dark, blackened-brown skin.
“One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team.― from the legendary words of A. W. Tozer.”
The words of the radio announcer ran through William like an electric shock current. And for a while after that infomercial, he remained riveted to the spot. Unable to move for the weight of what had just been revealed. Eventually, he found his way to the bed and sat back down.
Is that what they were? A well organized group?!…
The possibility of that truth would weigh heavy upon him for the duration of the day.