Anthology Update and Story-telling Time.

Hello, dearest friend. Hope you’re doing well, or at least pretty fine, as I often say. The week’s rolling on well on my side and, oh my bone-idle self, it’s been to me a month of Sundays since I last checked in at Laminsa Indies to wtite something. Anyone who has interracted with me on WordPress knows I love reading more than writing, but that doesn’t make me tired of writing πŸ˜€. I have a story to share with you, but afore that comes an update on one of our upcoming anthologies.

Tales of a Tearful World: Narrative Poems

The deadline for submissions has now been extended to June 15, 2022 upon requests by writers who pledged for more time to submit. Scheduled to go public in early September, this anthology will be composed of narrative poems that tackle pain and suffering as the main themes, among others.

For submission guidelines and email, kindly click here. We’ve received and started assessing submissions from a number of authors and will send responses between June 15 – 30.

All interested poets are welcome to join us in this journey.

Cow Worth Sermons

Jerry left his churchmates in the middle of a thrilling sermon to return home and salvage something that kept harryng him. He would not concentrate on the preacher’s words however much he tried to. The sky was pregnant with dark nimbus clouds, yet out in the field were his only cow and its calf.

He was the church’s chorister and had such a euphonious voice that could awaken sleeping seraphims, yet his ego and longing to grow rich would not allow him to render his services when they were highly-needed. He kept telling his fellow singers that he was irreplaceable and much-needed for the choir to function properly.

Though he was indigent, he had this one cow that he believed would give birth to several other calves, and that he would raise and sell some of them to educate his kids and put food on the table. So, often, he spent time feeding the two animals and using them as a scapegoat for not being able to attend prayer meetings and choir practices on time.

When he had sprinted forth nearly a kilometre away from the church, thunder roared and suddenly it began to pour down heavily. He had no choice but to shield himself in a stranger’s abode. Two hours later, the rain subsided a bit and so he thanked the owner of the house and left for home.

Just a few metres from home, he saw people gathered on the field stretching in front of his home, around the place he had tied his cow, and wondered what they were up to. His heart jumped and started pulsating abnormally.

It was then that his six-year old son saw him from a distance and ran to him nearly breaking a knee. “Daddy! Daddy!” shouted the boy, drawing nigh.

“Yes Teddy, what is it that you come..,” Jerry began but the kid, seeming to burn with information, cut him off.

“Our cow has been struck by lightning. The calf escaped to…”


The remaining words waned off Jerry’s ears as he fell onto the thick earth afaint. How could God take away his only source of hope?

πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’

Do you think what happened to Jerry was poetic justice, and was it worth blaming God or just possibly a natural occurrence?

The Roaming Old Man

In my village, there was once an old man who loved to greet people, everyone including strangers. He also loved to roam about the village seeking to know about people’s welfare. Some people thought he was a bit nuts while others thought he was just being nosy.

One day, a terror group arrived at the village and wanted to rob the chief. The old man was the first to meet them, and from the look on their faces, he knew they were not good people. So he employed his gimmicks.

“Good morning, sons?” he greeted.

“Morning, grandpa,” replied one of them, evidently the youngest. “What are you doing out here all alone?”

“You know, I was going to ask you the same, but… well, you’re grown ups and it’s already daytime. What time is it, by the way?”

“Let’s go. Leave the effing old thing alone,” warned the eldest of them.

“No. He can help us locate the place,” replied the young man.

“Yes I can. Are my sons lost? Well, I’m the eldest in this village and you can bet I know everyone.”

“Okay,” replied another, moving closer. “Show us the route to the chief’s home. We have glad tidings to deliver.”

“Okay. But, don’t you think it’d have been wiser if you first introduced yourself to me? I’m not going to refuse to show you,” answered the old man.

“Show us the place, you thickhead,” boomed the eldest. He then drew out a knife from his pocket and moved closer. “We have no time to waste. Show us the route to the place or else I’ll slay you with this knife.”

“Oh, okay… no need to fret, my son. I’ll simply show you,” replied the old man, hit with fear. He showed them the direction and they left.

Afterward, he left hurriedly to the chief’s home and found him taking tea.

The chief did not like the old man and would not allow him into his house. He therefore met him at the doorsteps and asked, “What brings you to my house this morning?”

“I come in peace, my chief,” replied the old man. “I’ve met some rough-looking boys out there who wanted to see you. I knew they were up to something knavish and so I gave them the longest direction to this place. You need to prepare your crew, they’ll be here any moment soon, probably to rob you.”

The chief looked at him with a great measure of doubt and replied, “Thieves steal at night.”

“I was thinking, perhaps they want to surprise you.”

“Look, I don’t like you. You’re so naughty and full of sorts, wicked in fact. You are old and know nobody and nothing in this village. Leave my home.” He then turned and walked back to the house.

The old man felt sorry for himself, for wasting his energy to help an ungrateful chief. Why did everyone in the village think he was crazy? He wondered. He turned and was just about to leave when he saw the gang entering the chief’s gate. He quickly walked up to the back of the house and hid in a thicket. From his hideout, he watched with bated breath as the gang stormed the house, and then heard screams and hollers as they descended on the chief’s family with beatings. He stood up and walked away. “If only he’d listen to me,” he told himself and took a safe route back home.

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Click here to get a copy.

The Lizard Son

When Ojwang’ had grown up, he used to go to the lake to swim.

Chon chon gi lala… (Once upon a time),” she began narrating, “there was a man of the lake who said in his heart, ‘When I marry and start having children, I will take good care of my family.’ His name was Opondo. He was a fisherman at Nam Lolwe. So when time came, when he had enough cattle to pay dowry, a thousand bulls and ten thousand goats as it were those days, Opondo searched in the east and west, north and south, and found for himself one beautiful damsel, a daughter of the lake. But lo! A season went by, two seasons, three, four, five… and finally the reality of his wife being barren hit him, and he had to offer sacrifices to Nyasaye to exterminate the curse from his wife.

When his wife finally conceived and gave birth, to their surprise, she gave birth to a monitor lizard. They killed the child and buried it immediately. When she conceived and gave birth the second time, she bore another monitor lizard which they also killed. Nine times she gave birth to monitor lizards and they killed and buried all of them. When she gave birth to a lizard the tenth time, they were tired of killing their children and decided to let the lizard live to see what would happen. They named it Ojwang’. What do you think Ojwang’ ate when he grew up?”

“Leaves,” answered Adhiambo.

“Fish,” said Ochola.

“Chicks,” said Gumba.

“No. He ate exactly the same food that the rest of his family ate… meat, fish, kuon (ugali), veges, porridge, cassava, potatoes… all, everything,” she went on narrating. “When Ojwang’ had grown up, he used to go to the lake to swim. At the lake, he’d remove his lizard skin before he entered the water. And in the water, he’d turn into a very handsome man. A passerby saw him doing this and informed his parents. They followed him to the lake one day and were surprised to see him turn into a handsome man in the water. They therefore sneaked to the shore and stole away his lizard skin, and when he came out of the waters, he remained a human being. The couple desired in vain their nine kids that they had killed without knowing the remedy for the problem. Finally, when days more numerous than hair on a sheep’s skin had passed, Ojwang’ was loved and accepted by the whole community.”

“Wow! What a nice story!” exclaimed Gumba.

“Oh it was so sweet I didn’t expect it to end so soon,” said Otolo.

“Mmmm… dana (grandmother), give us another story,” requested Ochola.

This story is an excerpt from the novel The Long-lasting Tree.

Journey to the Moon

Yey!! πŸ˜€The weekend’s rolling on, everybody. πŸ”πŸΉπŸ₯‚πŸ¨πŸ– πŸ›΅πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈβ›Ήβ€β™‚οΈ As always, it’s time to eat and drink and take a small tour to the moon.Β  Pick your collection basket and let’s go. 🌜😊

Here we go. Below is a brief narrative poem to spice up your weekend. Seems Jason’s grandmother (in this story) wanted to pour scorn on our weekly tours to the moon. Shall we allow her, buddies?

Journey to the Moon

Once upon a time,
in a land full of vines,
lived an old evil woman and her grandson,
a little cute boy – barely ten,
in a lonely hut, in a village in the sun.
The old lady said to her grandson one day,
“Jason, take me up on a tour to the moon.”
“To the moon?” asked the little innocent boy.
“Yes, to the moon –
to talk to our ancestors and to find some fruits.”
“With what road shall we?” asked the lad.
“The long road, uphill and downhill –
through the thick forest,
for what good is on the empty land but dust?”
So they took their baskets and some water,
and uphill they went,
and downhill they went.

And whilst they trudged through,
a fierce tiger came leaping forth.
“Fight the monster my grandson. Save me,
for I am weak and weary you know.”
So Jason stood up wild at the front,
and came forth the tiger, perched and famished;
it leaped onto him and pulled him down,
and the evil woman roared with laughter, saying,
“Now Jason, go ye to the moon
and greet thine departed parents.”
Terrified, Jason screamed blue murder,
but the monster roared in glee, beholding its fine food,
then quickly an idea came to him:
he scooped some sand into his hand,
and threw into the tiger’s eyes,
leaving it struggling to see.
And turning to his grandma said he, with tears,
“Granny, did you want to kill me?”
“No my grandson. I love you and never can.”

So on they moved and found some fruits,
and while they cut with their knives,
the old wicked lady held her knife silently over her grand’s head,
ready to slay her own kin,
but something pounced onto her. Something.
Alas! It was the tiger;
and when Jason turned and looked,
oh no, he was late,
for the spectre had pulled out his granny’s heart
and was feeding on it lavishly, wantonly,
so he turned and hurried home crying
to announce his grandmother’s journeying.

(C) 2022 Lamittan Minsah, All rights reserved.

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Did you enjoy? Kindly like and leave your thoughts in the comments section below. From Laminsa Indies, have a fabulous weekend.

Swallowed by a Red Object

The closer they drew, the bigger the light appeared.

Yey!! πŸ˜€πŸ’ͺπŸ˜€. The weekend’s here, everyone. I hope you’re having a whale of a time. πŸš΅β€β™€οΈπŸŠβ€β™‚οΈπŸ‹β€β™€οΈπŸ§˜β€β™€οΈπŸ€Όβ€β™‚οΈβ›Ήβ€β™‚οΈπŸ›€ As always, it’s time to eat πŸ›πŸ²and drinkπŸ₯‚πŸΉβ˜• and take ourselves on a little tour to the moon. So, let’s pack a few belongings and go. πŸŒœπŸ§‘β€πŸ¦―πŸ‘©β€πŸ¦½πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈπŸƒ.

I remember how on weekends like these we’d have bashes out of campus, go to the movies or watch a tournament (though I wasn’t quite a great fun of football as I was with other games like… do I even know? πŸ˜„). These days, all that’s left of it are just memories. But I still do enjoy a little time out on weekends with friends of the same feathers.

Today, however, I thought of something else, the stories Mum told us often on weekend nights as we sat in front of our main house after supper. My mum, I have to admit, is a skilful storyteller and her stories often seemed real, at least to me.

One Saturday night, she told us a story about a group of scientists that was trying to discover what existed beyond the galaxies.

She said the astronauts left earth in a speedy jet to explore the space. They first landed on the moon and seeing nothing bizarre apart from weightless sand and stones, sprang forth to Venus and then on to Mars.

“At first, they thought there were aliens in the space,” said Mum. “But that seemed not to be the case. So they proceeded to the darkest parts of the space.”

She then turned to me and asked, “Do you think there’s any creature living out there, in the space?”

“Yes. Certainly there is, Mum. How can’t there be?” I answered, feeling almost sure.

“Does anyone else thinks so too?” she posed.

“I don’t think so,” answered Maureen, our eldest.

“Me neither,” asserted Moses, the third born.

“Well, let’s see,” she continued. “After some time of traversing the space, they began to see a blinking red light in the distance. They thought, “Mmm… that must be something noble.” Then one of them suggested that they go see what it was.

“The closer they drew, the bigger the light appeared. It resembled an enormous ember, red and scary.”

“Wasn’t the area around it hot,” I asked out of a full deck of curiosity.

“No. If it were, they’d be burnt up already. The crew decided to draw even closer, just close enough. Then one of them spread out his hand and tried to touch the side of the object.”

“Did it turn out it was hot or what happened?” asked Casha, the youngest then, her bulging eyes indicating the level of curiosity she had.

The space contains strange things like these mysterious debris disk and ring that were discovered around the obit of a star.

“What happened, my children, is that the astronaut was quickly pulled out and swallowed by the object.”

“Holy cow!” I exclaimed. “You see, I said it, there are aliens in the space.”

“Mum, were they all swallowed up?” little Casha asked.

“No. But three more, two women and a man, tried, and they too were swallowed up. Then the remaining, who was a woman, decided to return to earth to reveal what had occured.”

“So it was an alien, right?” I asked.

“Whether it was or not, we still cannot tell, for scientists have been secretly sending away people to check on the object, but all who try to touch it return not. And no picture has ever been released of it too. It’s one of the top secrets and mystery among astronauts, and I’m telling you this just because the information was leaked to my grandfather who narrated it to us.” She then sighed and put in plainly, “That’s all for today. It’s late, my children, let’s rise and go into the house.”

You know, I have been meaning to ask her whether that was simply one of the other stories she made up or it was indeed a top secret among the astronauts. And why would they keep such a secret to date anyway? For fear of being considered failures or did something strange occur and this was used as a cover up? Haha.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and let’s meet here again next weekend for another installment. πŸ˜€

Abominable Love

Opiyo and his companions moved stealthily through the fruticose rain forest in search of Apondi. Instead of wearing their normal royal regarlia, they were barechest and tying animal skins around their groins to conceal their nudity.

They were four and they continued to scour the thick forest in search of Apondi, the beautiful adolescent girl whom the King’s son, Opiyo, had madly fallen in love with. It was while on a short lonely tour to this village that Opiyo had spotted the girl among her friends, standing a few metres from the forest, piling up and tying the firewoods she had fetched. It was then and there that he was taken in by her beauty and modesty and remained staring amorously at her.

When Apondi straightened and luckily caught a glimpse of the person that was staring at her, she first stepped back in shock, and then blushed and smiled winsomely, an indication that she too had been tapped by what she had seen.

Opiyo had then walked away, promising himself to return for her, and so here he was. The girl’s beauty had arrested his thoughts and hounded away his peace, and the only thing he now longed for was to have her forever – as his wife. So, that evening, he had returned in full swing to ravish and take her home as was the marriage tradition.

And lucky they were indeed. After a few minutes of searching, they found her with her friends and seized her amid screams and fightbacks, and took her home.

But Akinyi the queen was not happy when she set her eyes on the lady. She stared at her malevolently and frothed at the mouth. Seeing Apondi gave her the creeps, for concerning her she had an ugly secret that would be a peace menace to reveal to her husband, King Otuol, or anyone in the kingdom.

Courtesy of ShutterStock

“Get this bitch out of mine sight and straight back to the forest whence you fetched her,” she ordered. The palace guards dragged Apondi out of the palace and sent her away.

At this, Opiyo grunted and left her mother’s hut. He would not allow the girl he had chosen to marry to be snatched away from him and rid off his life. He got lost.

In that kingdom existed a mountain and at the top of it a tall enormous stone that no one had ever climbed to its top. Opiyo conceived an idea. If he would not be allowed to marry Apondi, then he would end his life at once.

So for days as the people looked for him all about, he climbed up the mountain and used his tactics to get to the top of that stone. Then someone saw him and took the news to the palace. Elsewhere, news went rife that he had been spotted and people gathered around the mountain to rescue their prince, the only son of King Otuol.

A delegation was chosen and sent to the mountaintop to try to woo him to climb down. But he insisted that he would not, unless Apondi was brought and allowed to marry him. He made it even clearer that if that was not done, then he would throw himself down into the deep valley on the other side of the mountain and die.

Courtesy of Pexels

When King Otuol heard of his son’s demands, he decreed that the lady be brought quickly and a wedding ceremony arranged. But the queen heard of the king’s approval and rushed to his chamber.

She sprawled onto the ground and cried with a loud voice, “I beg thee, oh thine Majesty the King, to allow not his curse befall us. For thine servant, the young lady, is mine daughter, whom I bore after thy son with an outsider while ye tarried in war, and so her I considered to dump. Of my undoung I beg thee for forgiveness, oh my king.”

The king was “uprooted” and vexed at the revelation. “Why hast thou not revealed this to me in days past, woman?” he frained. “How evil hast thou been to consider me, thine master, a douchebag all this while? And how didst ye conceal this matter to all mine servants? Behold, thine undoing sets thee to this suffering that’s yet to befall thee. Arise and face it.”

There was no mercy for such undoings. According to customs, that revelation demanded immediate ripping off of her rights as the queen. She would now be a slave in the kingdom all the days of her life.

The king immediately called off the wedding preparations. The lady was summoned and taken to the mountain at Opiyo’s behest, and when he had climbed down and met her, they were both taken before the king.

“My son, thou canst marry her not,” said King Otuol when the duo had been arraigned before him.

“But why dad?” asked Opiyo, curious of the swift change in actions and seeing his mother seated on the floor in tears.

“Thine mother here is a liar, and a lot lizard. She conceived and gave birth to thine sister while mine soldiers and I tarried at war, fighting for our freedom. This lady is thine sister, my son.”

At first, Opiyo appeared dazed by the facts, but shortly afterwards, he glanced at Apondi and then, looking at his father straight in the face, replied, “I will marry her.”

Decisions were respected those days and so nothing could be done to convince him otherwise. But to avoid the curse that would befall them from spreading to everyone else in the kingdom, the king disowned him and the two were excommunicated.

As the guards dragged them out of the palace premises, Akinyi the ex-queen cried and begged for mercy in vain, and no one could pacify her emotions. She watched with trepidation as her children left the kingdom. Thereafter, she was taken to her new place where she would serve as a slave till the time of her death.

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(C) 2022 Lamittan Minsah, All rights reserved.

This story has been inspired by Mike Utley’s photo-post “Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain“. Mike has an amazing collection of photos he captured during his decades-old journalist work, photos full of inspiration and information. Visit his site to view them.

While this story may not appeal to everyone, it is truly African and reveals the life that existed long before civilization. Some of the cultural practices and lifestyles such as bridal kidnap and the indigenous system of governance have, however, faded and been replaced by formal ones.

A Fat Fall

He had them kept everywhere – in his locker, box and the small bag he loved to carry on his back…

Yay!! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ The weekend’s rolling on sweet, everybody. I hope you’re having a whale of a time. πŸŠβ€β™€οΈπŸ„β€β™€οΈπŸš΅β€β™‚οΈπŸ›€β›Ήβ€β™‚οΈπŸ€Ό As always, it’s time to eat and drink πŸ›β˜•πŸ₯‚πŸ§‰ and to take ourselves on a little tour to the moon. Let’s go.πŸŒœπŸ§‘β€πŸ¦―πŸ§‘β€πŸ¦½πŸƒβ€β™€οΈπŸƒ

Today, I thought about a high-school mate who loved eating like I had never seen before. I won’t refer to him here by his real name; let’s just call him K for now. By the way, it’s only until recently that I came to know that eating too much can be really addictive and so hard to stop.

K was tall and fat, the size of a pregnant hippopotamus, and had a scornful face full of pride and arrogance (ain’t trying to victimize fat people). If he caught you looking at him, even ordinarily as we all know the eye looks at whatever and wherever it wishes, he’d hull a terrible insult at you, probably insinuating that you were mocking him with your looks.

And when it came to food, he was both a glutton and gourmand. Nothing sweet would cross his eyes without him craving for it madly, not chocolates, not chips, not mandazis, not chapattis, not cakes, not sausages, not hums, not juices, not tea, not milk… all… every junk and healthy food. He had them kept everywhere – in his locker, box and the small bag he often carried on his back.

Oh, haven’t I told you yet, the only devil K knew was anyone who dared touch his food. Isn’t that quite snarky though?

So, there’s this evening we had come from the dormitories, everyone holding their plates and rushing to the dining area before the halting bell rang. As usual, K had bought other sweet stuffs to complement his meal and had dismissed anyone who sought to have a taste of them. Strange thing even, he had covered them up in a black polythene bag unlike he did on other days and kept us guessing what they were. The menu that day was rice and beans which most of us happened to love.

I remember it had not even rained for a whole month and the ground was tough and rugged. The pathway to the dining area was often a little sloppy and dusty. K and other students were walking briskly behind me when another student approached from the opposite direction with hot news.

“Hurry up, guys. The principal’s standing near the service line, and the bell’s just about to ring,” he cautioned. “So you risk being heavily punished. Hurry up, y’all.”

At his words, we started running. It was on rare occasions that the school principal positioned himself at the dining area to discipline students. And when he did, it was because he had noticed a particular trend of laziness he wanted to get rid of himself. He was the most dreaded figure in the whole school.

A few seconds elapsed and I heard a funny hiss behind me, followed by a terrible attention-gripping thud. The other students began to laugh. When I turned to check, I too couldn’t contain my laughter. K was all over the ground, his arms and legs spread apart and his food stuffs scattered on the dust.

“Oh my, what a fat fall!” a student from the group mocked and we all laughed, even more.

“Pick it up, K. Arise and shine, for thine light hath come,” harped another. But while we chortled, K remained lying still on the ground.

“Come on guys,” I raised the alarm, “our friend could be really hurt while we’re all here reeking with laughter.”

We moved closer and helped him up. He didn’t want to look at us. So when he had stood firm, evidently physically unhurt, he covered his face with his palms and smiled. He was embarrassed. His white shirt and jungle green trouser were covered in dust. The food he had not wanted to share too was now lying in waste, a bottle of strong tea and a chunk of ugali he had kept at lunch. πŸ˜†πŸ˜…πŸ€£πŸ€£. Oh man, we all broke into laughter again when we thought of it. Why wasn’t it chicken or smokies this time round?

The bell rang.

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Thanks for reading till the end. Have a fabulous weekend.

The Blind Woman and the Gang

“…a gang attacked us here and killed my husband and our ten-year old son. They then took away all our cattle and grains…”

Morris and his fellow thugs were on a monlight flit. They had just robbed a wealthy family in the countryside and were being searched for all about.

They were carrying cash and other luxuries they had seized and had to hide. A fierce group of young men armed to the teeth were scurring the area with the hope of finding and killing them. Besides, they were perched and ravenous and nothing but a lot of food and water could help revitalize their strengthen. So they stopped by one of the grass-thatched huts in the woods and knocked at the door.

“Come in,” a slim voice answered from within. Shortly afterwards, the door flew open and a midle-aged woman who appeared much withered from sickness showed up. “I said come in,” she reiterated and stood aside to allow them in.

As they walked in, she said as if she had just realised, “Oh, you seem too many. Um… I’m sorry I can’t see you, at all.”

It was then that Morris noticed the woman was blind. Her eyes were stuck to the walls as if she was seeing some figures on them.

Morris was the gang’s ringleader – stone-faced, tall, mascular and with an old scar on his left arm. He resembled one of the local statuettes of angry foreign soldiers available at the nearest shopping center. He leered at the woman and then glanced at almost every nook and crany of the single-roomed hut.

On the left handside of the entrance was a small kitchen area with the traditional kiln at the corner and towards the wall, approximately two meters away from the kiln, the woman’s bedding – a mat and blanket. There were few chairs in the hut and so most of the thugs remained standing.

The woman shut the door and said lifting a half-full jug of porridge from a stool, “My name is Lucia. I wish I had more food but this is all I’m left with, and I’d be very glad to share with you, my visitors.” Morris grabbed the jug of porridge, took one gulp and passed it to the next person standing right beside him.

As the jug went round, Lucia continued, now holding her heart on her sleeves, “I live here alone. Fifteen years ago, a gang attacked us here and killed my husband and our ten-year old son. They then took away all our cattle and grains. Coupled with this sickness that’s slowly eating my life away, I’ve found it hard to cope.”

She paused and then added, “May I now know who my visitors are.”

Silence fell as the gang reflected on Lucia’s encounter. It seemed they were all touched by it. After a short while, Morris cleared his voice and said, “I’m so sorry, Lucia. My name is Morris and I am the leader of this group. I am touched by your story. I think all of us here are. We too are a gang and are escaping a persuit following an act of robbery we’ve just committed.”

He stopped a moment to study Lucia who was now visibly perplexed. Then he picked up again, “We knocked to find…”

“No, please, don’t hurt me, I beg you,” Lucia burst out trembling. “Please. Take all that I have and spare my life. I plea…”

“Calm, calm down, Lucia. We won’t kill you or snatch anything from you.”

“Then please leave my hut. Don’t you realize that you are putting my life on the line?”

“We will. Listen…,” Morris continued, now emotional, “I am indeed saddened by your story, and I’m sorry that… that I was among the gang that attacked you and killed your husband and child. I was only fifteen then. Please forgive me.” Lucia was even more shocked at the revelation. Morris continued, “From today, I’ve stopped robbery. Neither will I ever lead a gang. I hereby surrender all this wealth to you. We will be gone. But when morning comes, please give them back to Mr Ogelo and his family.”

He wiped his tears with his right hand and ordered his subjects to surrender all the cash, jewels, clothes and other things they had snatched from the Ogelo’s family. Lucia remained surprised as the gang released the items and left her hut.

(C) 2022 Lamittan Minsah, All rights reserved.

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Never sideline people. Showing kindness to moral reprobates and telling them our own story may help them change from bad to good.

The Herb She Tried

Locals had often used the leaves… to treat a similar condition in goats.

Jolena was winnowing sorghum on the free area behind her house when her son came looking for her. A woman had just arrived carrying a basket of unknown items.

She stopped winnowing and went straight to the house to meet her visitor who, she was slightly amused to find, was a withered grown woman with a clubby nose and an almost bending back. The lady introduced herself as Yuanita and said she had trevelled several miles to arrive at that home.

As usual, after greetings, Jolena retreated to her kitchen to bring some sweet potatoes and porridge.

“Oh thank you so much, but I won’t be eating anything,” objected Yuanita when Jolena returned with the food. She was visibly high with emotions. “I am in great pain and need your husband’s help.”

“Pain? What sort of pain?” asked Jolena, placing the items on the table.

“I have a bleeding womb that has lasted more than five years, and I’ve been directed to your husband by someone he treated many years ago. Look, I carried along some money to pay, um… fifty thousand shillings, if you two won’t mind.”

She was visibly high with emotions.

Jolena did not know how to best respond to the situation. Her husband had died almost seven years ago, and now here was a woman who needed his help. She hesitated a moment, sighed deeply and then replied, “I’m sorry… my husband… my husband is dead… it’s been nearly seven years now.” Yuanita sank back into the sofa in great despair. It was as if all her faith of living had rested upon the shoulders of Jolena’s deceased husband. “But don’t be worried,” continued Jolena, “I will help you.”

Her face lit up with hope all of a sudden. “Will you?” she asked as a confirmation.

“Yes, I will,” reaffirmed Jolena. “I’ll be right back.” She then made as if to leave, but the woman stopped her. “Wait, take this,” she said and handed her the basket. “It is a chicken I carried a long. I guessed it might be important for the occasion.”

“Which occasion? Um… No, Yuanita; I don’t operate like my late husband. Keep it,” Jelena objected. But the woman insisted that she take it, and so she had no choice but to take the chicken to her chicken coop.

If she were a witch like her late husband, she would need the bird in performing her crafts. But she had never practised witchcraft nor herbalism before. Neither did he teach her his work gimmicks. And though she did not know whether her surmises would work, she really needed the woman’s free money for her son’s schooling.

Vegetable gardens like this are adored by most people.

She went straight to her vegetable garden. There was one green she felt tempted to try. Locals had often used the leaves of the black-eyed pea to treat a similar condition in goats. So she plucked a few leaves and pounded with a stone, then mixed the paste with ashes and tied the product in a small polythene bag. Customs demanded that for a medicine to be effective, the patient should not know its content.

She took the mixture to Yuanita. “This should indicate some changes in you within a month,” she explained confidently, handing it to her. “Dry it in the sun and stir a teaspoon of it in a glass of warm water every day to take after your meals.” Yuanita nodded, then paid her dues with a lot of gratitude and left.

A year later, Jolena was weeding her small vegetable garden beside the house when her son beckoned her to the house. She went in and, to her consternation, found Yuanita, looking stronger, healthier and younger than she had appeared last, and carrying a baby in her arms. She smiled at Jolena benevolently and handed her a basket of gifts she had carried along to show her appreciation. She also offered to give her Sh500,000 if she would reveal the ingredients of her medicine.

(C) 2022 Lamittan Minsah, All rights reserved.

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Going to Die

Jerry stood in the moonlit night looking across the valley that stretched behind their home. He was tired and vexed of the direction his life was taking.

The only lady whom he had treasured so much and thought he would build a future with had jilted him, just a few days after he proposed to her.

He was a total orphan who had, but through thick and thin, managed to complete his high school studies and was now raring chickens to raise money for his college studies. Christine was his first love, the beauty that had struck his heart. How so sweet and lovely their relationship had grown!

She was a medium-height svelt dark-skinned lady with a radiantly charming face and a bewitching diastema between her upper incisors. He, on the other hand, was rather tall and fat and had a straight royal face. She came from Kakamega but stayed with her aunt there in Kisumu where she had been schooling. They had both just completed high school and their relationship was barely a year old.

On this particular issue that bothered him, he had bought a ring from the savings he had and taken Christine on a date in Kisumu Town. When he knelt before her in the presence of people and proposed, she turned him down right off the bat, stood and scooted away from the scene.

Two days later, he met her with another boy at the local market. First, she pretended she had not seen him. But when he shouted out her name and stood right in front of her, she hit him hard on the face, spat on him and moved on. He could barely conceive it. Her new form of demeanor left him befuddled. He wondered whether she was possessed or something.

As he stood there behind his hut staring away and mulling over these, he felt a hand touch his shoulders lightly. He turned with a great magnitude of surprise and cast all his scared looks onto the figure.

“Christine!” he exclaimed upon realizing that it was her, and opened his arms wide to amplect her. But she retreated and gave him a cutting stare.

“What? What is it? What’s been happening to you, Christine?” he managed to ask, a tink of fury manifesting in his voice. “Why did you turn down my proposal and… and slapped and spat on me the other day? And who was that nerd you were with at the market?”

She turned gloomy all of a sudden and looked away, then her tears came gushing out like the bursting of a confluence of numerous tributaries, such a great flow that he too was touched. He had never seen her that emotional before.

“What is it?” he asked again, now trying to move closer to her.

“I’m sick, Jerry, and you can’t have me,” she released the secret she had been holding for many days.

“What do you mean sick? And… and… ooh… is it this common incurable bug?” he asked, almost wearily.

“No. I was diagnosed with brain cancer a few weeks ago and I think I am going to die. I’ve been suffering from mental seizures lately. The boy you found me with is my step-brother. He came to visit and was…”

“Oh my God!” His voice went more faint. “That break-up was unnecessary. How would I have known this? Look, darling, you aren’t going to die. No. You should have just told me instead of… Oh, I understand, you must have lost your fettle then.”

He moved up closer and enfolded her. Lying on each other’s chest, they cried for long with huge bursts of emotions, till he felt her bite off a chunk of flesh from his shoulder.

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