Kang’ethe and the Matatu

Jake ran, his feet treading on a soft cushion of dew-covered grass, down a narrow goat path bordered by heavily pruned pencil cedar trees. Ahead, clad as always in his worn gray suit coat and pants, Mzee Kang’ethe outpaced Jake, easily widening the distance between them. Kang’ethe was 72 years old and smoked 2 packs of Sportsman cigarettes every day. Jake was exactly fifty years younger and had never smoked in his life, yet he struggled to keep up with the older man. Continue reading “Kang’ethe and the Matatu”

Stolen Memories

Here’s a new piece of fiction I just sat down and wrote after work tonight. No idea where this came from. Just a story, I guess. 

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

The old man was sitting by himself, cradling an intricately carved walking stick between his knees. A small leather satchel lay at his feet. He looked as if his body had shrunk with time, as if withdrawing into itself, leaving behind a topographic landscape of brown and leathery skin. His hair, the parts that peeked out from under his VFW uniform hat, was white as snow, as were his bushy eyebrows. His face was smoothly shaven. The gold embroidery of the VFW hat announced him as the commander of Post 2744 of Lawton, Oklahoma. His features were distinctly Native American. I wondered what tribe he was from.  Continue reading “Stolen Memories”

The Hotel Job

This is something a little different. A new piece of fiction, in sort of the international spy thriller genre. Just something I’ve been playing around with, inspired by real events in  South Africa in 2014 which saw a Rwandan former spy mysteriously strangled in his hotel room. 

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

Smith was standing in another bland and sterile hotel lobby. As he waited for the polite but nervous receptionist (Thumi, Trainee, according to her name badge) to figure out the credit card swiping machine, he pondered the complete lack of any identifiable culture that large international hotels displayed. Continue reading “The Hotel Job”

Bitter Gusts: An ode to winter in the city

Bitter Gusts

Bitter gusts beget whirlwinds of leaves.
Minor tempests that twist and course
Along an asphalt and concrete coulee;
Sucking up the cast-away detritus
Of a wintery gray indifferent city.
Ephemeral eddies of air dashing
Themselves quickly to death against
Parked cars and curbs and bushes;
Gone without leaving a mark.
And I, inveterate champion of underdogs,
Wish that one could grow strong enough
To unleash the full fury of a tornado;
Peeling away roofs and ripping off awnings,
Upending trees and overturning cars,
Instead of just blowing around a plastic bag
That inevitably gets stuck on a fence.

Lost in your World

Lost in your world

Supine on the bed with your book,
Brow furrowed in concentration,
You are lost in a world of fiction;
Oblivious to my presence,
And to the din from outside.

Where children, fat and happy,
Squeal and splash with delight
In a pool under lurking gray clouds
That shed sparse plump raindrops;
Falling like tears on the dusty earth.

From my chair by the window
I watch your face translate words
From the pages that have devoured you
Into frowns, incredulous arched brows,
Sudden smiles of gleaming white teeth.

Fiddling with the oversized ring
On your right hand, spinning it
Round and round on a slender finger
While large brown eyes march
From left to right across each page.

Sudden laughter like a cloudburst,
“Oh my god, he did NOT just say that!”
The spell of silence now broken;
“What?” I ask, hoping you will let me in.
“Nothing,” you say. “Just something I read.”

Sex and the Village

Oh god!

Alcohol breath. He has spent his entire paycheck on booze again.

Oh god!

A whore’s perfume. Please don’t let him bring me the virus.

Oh god!

Six children. Will he take care of them if I get sick?

Oh god!

No more babies, please.

Oh thank god!

It’s over.

Yellow Dream

We stood embracing

In a sunflower garden,

Bathed in the glow

Of honey-lemon sunlight.

I wanted to kiss you

But you morphed into

A cottony brown bunny,

With a twitching nose,

And large brown eyes

And whiskers that tickled my face.

Laughing, you hopped away,

Leaving me alone and adrift

In a piss-yellow sea.