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THE MONTH OF MONTHS

My heart sings with joy
The month of months has arrived
For many have yearned for it
But not all have survived

Such euphoria I get
When the warm air of my lungs
Caress my dry lips in supplication
As I pray the taraweh

In this miraculous month
Even the crooked find their way
Rich or poor no eating in the day
What a precious month I say

In it the night of nights
The night to better a thousand months
A night peaceful in nature
In it Quran descended to the greatest teacher

In it mosques fill to the brim
And everyone seems to be in the same team
We share, we care
Satan is chained he can only stare…

Photo Courtesy: https://www.alquranclasses.com/

Do you remember your first Ramadhan? I am talking about those days when fasting to you was for mum and dad’s sake. That is to say; if mum or dad and of course the “reporter” sibling in the family did not see you break the fast, your fast is still valid. You can deny it and I can, but Allah saw you every time you drunk half the water meant for rinsing your mouth while taking wudhu. But of course it was not a big deal, we were young and the thought of staying the whole day without food or water to drink either seemed torturous or mission impossible. I remember thinking to myself that even the adults sneak a sip or two of water when no one is watching because there is no way anyone can stay that long without water. At the age of 7 to 10 years Ramadhan to me was to be able to convince the people around me that I have stayed the whole day with neither food nor water.

Imam Siraj Wahaj puts it nicely when he says, Islam means progress. Right now I can look back at those years and see the progress in my Ramadhan. Maybe the adults around me understood it too and that is why they did not punish me when I broke my fast two hours to Magharib adhan (too dumb, I know that now). I was on training and it was okay to slip here and there, my relation with Ramadhan was still being nurtured. However, I never cease to enjoy the holy month. Apart from the hunger and thirst torture, there was the joy of having the extended family meeting up almost every day and excessive playing with friends (no wonder the unbearable thirst). Having the masjids full during all the swalahs, cooking the best foods and being able to witness the amount of blessings increase in the month. Till date, Ramadhan at my home is known as the month of barkah; not because we were taught so but because we saw the blessings. And then there was the ultimate joy that was Eid. So, in a nutshell, Ramadhan to most of us at that young age was torture from hunger and thirst, good food, friends and family.

When you do something wrong and you know it is wrong but no one reprimands you for it and they all act like it was okay for you to do what you have done, your conscious kills you. Or at least that’s what happens to me. At the age of 11-12 years, during Ramadhan all I could think about is that I got to do better. I have to see to it that I stay true to my fasting. It was a real struggle, reminding myself when it got hard that I can do it, I can stay the whole day with no water. Accomplishing this would make me happier than ever during the time of breaking fast and whenever I failed the enthusiasm of breaking the fast was lost all together. Ramadhan to me then was to be able to stay with no food or water the whole day; and it was enough.

Whenever I speak about Sheikh Khalifa, some people look at me with that eye of “oh she is at it again”. The truth is that given a chance to speak about my high school, I would not shut up. I love my high school. Not because it is the best high school in the Coastal province, though it is a bonus, but because of the role it played in building me as a young Muslimah. It was there that I also learnt that finishing the recitation of the whole Qur’an was highly recommended during Ramadhan. I still remember how people would struggle to finish the Qur’an at least twice while I would be struggling with my one khatm. I admit, I would be disappointed when I could not meet my one khatm goal, knowing that most of my friends had two khatms and others even three. All the Ramadhans in Sheikh Khalifa, my goal was that one khatm. I think I realized it once though I’m not so sure.

One of my biggest dream is to speak Arabic. I once told my friend that the day I would be able to speak Arabic fluently, I would not stop talking. He said that is the reason why I have not learnt Arabic till now. I am sure he is wrong. Being outside sheikh Khalifa my thirst for Arabic became intense; not just so as to be able to speak but I really wanted to understand the message in the Qur’an. My recitation was fluent but apart from a few surahs, I didn’t understand most of it’s message. So I asked one of the local ustadh to teach me Arabic at the same time I found myself a mushaf with the translation. And if you thought finishing a khatm was hard try doing it with the translation. Truth be told, I’m yet to accomplish it and I am disturbed by it. Still I was glad that I not only got to recite the qur’an fluently but I could also understand what it was saying to me.

Every Ramadhan has been different to me with different meanings. I have studied specific surahs, I have used Ramadhan to quit some sins. I have done memorizations of specific surahs, supplications and hadith. I have struggled to make each Ramadhan mean something to me. And it all comes back to; Islam means progress. I have seen my progress in my meaning of this beloved Holy month, and if Allah enables me to see more Ramadhans, I pray that I find more meaning to it.

Now as a 25 year old lady I ask myself what does Ramadhan mean to me and my mind goes back to the verses of the Qur’an that I memorized a long time ago due to how much they would be repeated during this month;
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” (2:183)
In them I get my answer. This month was meant for me to attain Taqwa. To build the strongest bond possible with my creator and as Umar ibn Abdul Aziz (Rahimatullah) said ;
“Taqwa is not praying long into the night and fasting long into the day but it is to abandon the obstacles between you and Allah (SWT).”
In other words, it is to abandon sin.

Ramadhan was meant for me to have that ultimate connection with the Qur’an. Not only by finishing multiple khatms or memorization but to be able to gain the guidance that Allah talks about when he says;
“Ramadhan is the (month) in which the Qur’an was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgement” (2:185)
So yes, Ramadhan is meant for sharing, showing love and compassion to each and every one of us, for the ummah to be united more than ever, but at an individual level, What does Ramadhan mean to you?

RAMADHAN MUBARAK. WA KULLU 3AMUN WA ANTUM BI KHEYR

By: Zale Navi

Photo Courtesy: https://pixabay.com

My friends believe I will be single forever, they are not mean, don’t judge them too early. They have a reason to believe so. The check list of my dream guy, is quite surreal. I made it that way intentionally. The unrealistic check list helps me to dodge their nagging. You see, when most of your friends are married or are in some sort of a relationship and you’re not, they tend to try to give you options of a possible match for you. And so to discourage them from doing so, I make it impossible for the option to exist within their reach, at least until when I would want to find him. Sometimes, I think the reason why they would want me to be in a relationship so bad is so that I would understand them. But I do understand, I understand how it feels like to love someone more than you love yourself. This is what I feel for you.

Everyday you arrive at school at intervals of 8:20 a.m – 8:25 a.m. I arrive five minutes earlier than you, just so that I would be the first person you say hi to. I can only imagine you thinking it is a daily coincidence. Sorry for blowing up your bubble but it is more of a created, calculated and worked hard for coincidence. I pray everyday for a good day and I think The Guy Upstairs already knows, a good day for me means a glimpse of your face.

My friends would probably call me a hypocrite when they find out you are not tall, dark and handsome. They might beat me up for falling for a guy with unkempt hair. They would not understand that I am crazy for that hair and I day dream about entangling my fingers in them. They might not appreciate your smile; the reason for my accelerated heart beat, making me wonder are you the reason for my living or will you be the reason for my death. After all tachys (tachycardia) are not to be taken lightly. In your deep voice my favorite character from Avengers is brought to life, Thor. I don’t know the reason behind your dressing style, whether it is to express or depress, you never fail to impress me.


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Though creepy and absolutely crazy, I sometimes do eavesdrop into your conversations with your friends. Your witty-fullness makes me wish I was one of them. Still, I’m grateful to be among the few under your leadership; which by the way, you make it seem simple. I am in awe of how you manage to maintain respect and peace in the group. Looking at the world in our times, maintaining peace and respect is a great a accomplishment. Convincing me further that you will be the perfect companion in leading my life.

The highlight of my day is when you turn to me after explaining a concept in our group discussions and ask if I have understood. You leave me with a tingling feeling in my heart whenever you say “see you tomorrow or nice weekend” at the end of the day. And the onset for the anticipation for another chance to see you kicks in.
I have had many conversations with you in my head. Don’t worry, I have already done my research on cars; at least now I can differentiate them by other factors than colors. I however didn’t go into engines. I would rather listen to you explain that part to me. I wish you could see yourself while speaking about your love for cars. The excitement in your voice, the light in your eyes, sometimes I get jealous over it. And I hope, one day you will have a brighter glow when speaking about me.

You make thinking seem fun as you throw your pen up and catch it between your fingers in continuous motion. I don’t know if you notice it, but you have an annoying habit of smacking your lips. Well it used to disturb me, until it didn’t anymore. Now I find it cute. Whenever you are having a hard time to understand something and you mumble incoherent statements to yourself and the creases on your forehead increases twice the number, during such moments I wish I could tell you to take it slow and that it is okay to not get it sometimes.

Buddha said, and I’m paraphrasing; when you find ‘the one’, you will feel calm inside. Mostly that is how I feel whenever I’m around you. Serenity, no worries. May be it is because you’re constantly looking out for me, being the silent one in our group. I never stress over what I did not hear nor understand because you have always made sure none of us leave the discussion group empty headed. You care, and that is important trait for any human being.

It is strange and arguably unrealistic to fall in love with someone you know nothing about. To feel so strongly towards someone you only see and hardly talk to except for exchange of few words formally. May be that is so because we think of love as being hard and complicated. But love is not a vocabulary to be looked up in Oxford Dictionary; love is simple, when you see it, you know it, you feel it and most importantly want to be with the one you love.

Husna Lali:

“There are two kinds of people in the world of fashion; those who dress to impress and those who dress up less. Then there is the third kind; the ones who dress to express. They regard fashion as art and their style is nothing compared to what you’d see around. They have an aura of confidence that radiates around them at a 360 degrees circumference. They give firm, hearty handshakes that gives the exact long-lasting first impression they want you to have of them. It’s not narcissism it’s vanity and that’s how self-esteem comes about.
As Marc Jacobs said, ‘clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.’ You could have the most ravishing wardrobe yet how you take yourself makes all the difference.

That said, let us have a peep at how a Moi University student, Abdulrahim Mwalim, recently nominated in the Male Fashion Icon category at the Ultimate Varsity awards, dresses up to express.”


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Abdulrahim Mwalim:

You know fashion…fashion is what you buy; what you decide to invest your money on but style is what you do with it. Now each one of us is unique in our own way; we have different backgrounds, different characters and different preferences too. And style is one of the ways to speak out what words can’t say at the first instance. When you meet someone for the first time and you are shaggily dressed, they form their impression on you right from across the street even before they take a seat next to you. So it does matter how you dress up, only, you should do it for the right reasons and ways.

Here are some things to consider when dressing up:

1. The Occasion: What you’ll wear to an evening event is definitely not what you’ll wear going to the beach. Every place has it’s own specific atmosphere and your clothing should blend with that. Check the weather, check the location, check the theme of the event, the invitees…If it is jogging, get into your running short kit and hit the road. In my opinion, casual yet classy outfits are best for events. I have always preferred simple but significant.

2. Quality over quantity: Several people believe having 10 normal shirts is better than having 3 expensive yet durable ones. The trick here is to choose quality over quantity. And by the way, there is quality in Kongowea and many other second hand stalls, plus they are pocket friendly. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something bought in a mall or boutique for it do the magic. Most of the Kenyan population is earning moderately, i’d advise them to go to the second hand markets…dressing good is not for the rich only. And once in a while, when you can afford it, you may treat yourself to something from the mall.

3. Colours: Now colours are quite sensitive. You need to know what colours suit your complexion. For example, if you have a dark complexion, you’d look good in bright clothings and if you have a light one, dark outfits can suit you well. The colours are many, learn to play around them.

4. Personality: As mentioned earlier, each one of us is different and we have our unique personalities that make us who we are. What you wear or how you dress up, inevitably tells something about you. Your choice of clothing, your shoes, your way of wearing it…all do matter when expressing via style. Low profile people would mostly go for casual clothing, less complicated and less colourful yet bold individuals prefer bold colours with accessories to cream it up.

5. Accessories: Accessories are supplementary yet necessary sometimes. A simple leather watch can go with any outfit, you need to keep time anyway. An official suit or classy casual outfit can go with a classy watch too for example rolex. Other accessories that can compliment your attire is socks, shades, shawls among many other.

To end this, I’d say; Style up, because your personality isn’t the first thing people see.”

To assist Abdulrahim to win in the MALE FASHION ICON CATEGORY in Ultimate Varsity Awards, vote for him in the link here: https://www.uva.co.ke. (kindly DON’T use opera mini for voting) Voting ends on the 21st of this month. Your vote counts!! Thanks in advance.

”I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” — Coco Chanel

“Fashion says ‘me too’ style says ‘only me’” — Anonymous

“People will stare. Make it worth their while.” — Harry Winston

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” — Rachel Zoe

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” — Coco Chanel

“Make it simple, but significant.” — Don Draper

“Always dress like you are going to see your worst enemy.” — Kimora Lee Simmons

“You can have anything you want if you dress for it.” — Edith Head

“If loving fashion is a crime, we plead guilty.” — Unknown

“Fashion is about something that comes from within you” –Ralph Lauren

Please don’t forget to vote!! Abdulrahim at Male Fashion Icon:  https://www.uva.co.ke!! You can also buy tickets for the event via the same link. The awards ceremony will be at the Moi University main campus on 25th of May from 7 p.m.

Photo Courtesy: https://www.reviewtrackers.com

Ever since I learnt this word, sometime back in primary school, a visceral vortex of guilt sends my conscience on its heels, whenever I think about it. Not in a scary way, just in a puritanical way. In a thou-shall-not-let-this-vice-afflict-you-kind of way. So warns my esoteric, philosophical-bullshit laden mind. And who’s being warned over here? Haha those morons; instinctual impulses to be precise .They’re often calm as well bred poodles. And then there are those days they’re hard to leash like sex starved mongrels at the sight of a bitch . Not that they (impulses) listen anyway.

You know that guy you expect to have a great conversation with, only to find yourself gasping amidst their verbal diarrhoea? You know how you listen to that guy right? You assume an attentive facade at first. They notice how keen you are . That’s a great incentive, by the way, for them to go on and on. Your mind drifts, your presence ebbs away like the glow of lifeless ambers. Soon pretence becomes tough and the only rescue is a phone call that will, just, never happen.

That’s how my impulses would listen to some quixotic warnings from my mind . And now it admonishes me against this evil

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It’s a hot afternoon. The sweltering heat cuts right into the flesh so that you feel like a piece of red hot charcoal. There’s a piece I’ve been meaning to write. But what’s one to do wading through a swamp of mind numbing heat? And now I hear familiar sounds. They reverberate through me shaking some sluggishness out of me. I scan for the source. My eyes fall on Tamara. She’s sitting at the far end of the coffee bar . Her animating presence is enticingly sketched out by the sporadic shrills of her laughter. Hell no! I’m, not going to write this piece now. I grab a caramel macchiato, a perfect concoction of expresso, foamed milk and caramel that conspire to produce a heavenly aroma. My attention was long ago sacked by her seemingly; spellbinding story (not quite sure she is narrating a story or arguing). She is with two other friends. They’re all exhausted from laughing. It’s written all over their faces. “It’s the usual jibber-jabber” I think to myself. It’s ordinary but juicy. Today she’s all righteous about how heartless it was for one Abdi to post sarcastic remarks about “Mr. and Mr. blah-blah beauty pegeant. Mind you the other “Mr” is the miss whom he thought didn’t deserve the title. Anyway our madame is taking a swipe at Abdi today . She has turbid brown eyes that are always on to something; illustrating this, pointing at that with the help of the mouth and nose as though she’s about to throw a flying kiss. Her bronzed skin matches well with her dusky curly hair that neatly tucks a buldged forehead underneath the bangs. She acknowledges my presence with a rather, indifferent nod as she always does when shes not yet done with an arguement only supported by her feelings. She’s a creative working with some international ad agency. She abandones her half baked argument to bitch about a project she’s been putting off. Fuck no! She’s reminding me of my unfinished piece.

But wait a minute, I’m growing ecstatic. Adrenaline is coursing through my veins. Suddenly there’s more clarity in my thought . I know this feeling all too well. It means I’m having an ‘ahaa’ experience. It’s as if an angel were revealing scripture. When this happens, as it often does, know that I’m about to piece some obvious stuff into a dry logical explanation. In my previous life, I should’ve spitted a theory. But no, I keep mum. As I was saying, I’m about to uncover that I’m postponing my writing as she’s doing with her project. Similarly, I can recount 3 more, 4 more, no! It’s a multitude of people who postpone stuff. Here’s the interesting bit. They’re all creative or at least most are. What does this mean?


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The steamy excitement is condensed at the surface of a socially acceptable exterior. I’m back on earth squeezing the last drops of attention to listen to Tamara. She’s stopped whining about her project. She’s at them (relationships) again. She will go on a tirade about how all men are dogs. It will feel like she neither has a dad nor a brother. She will reveal stuff about men who were after her. She will express disgust at the jerk,whose aggressive intentions camouflaged underneath a chivalric front. Then she will reminisce the sweetheart who fell on her feet, crying his heart out. She will compare them all to the flighty, adventurous and rebellious play boy, with a twinkle of passion in her eyes. Her voice will turn hoarse! Her manicured fingers will gracefully land on the half empty glass of Ice cold latte. With a characteristic gentleness, she will hold the glass in a way that leaves the dew intact. Her fleshy glossy lips will gather around the straw to sip the contents. She will resume, this time describing the Range rover sport driving honcho who offered to pay a year’s worth of rent in a single instalment. The only problem is that, he had two wives and diabetes. Then, she will notice how bored we’ve grown.

Meanwhile, I will be comparing her to an app on Google play store, she being the app, and the bunch of men she’s mentioned the number of downloads. The more the downloads the greater the appeal. They call it ‘social proof’ in social psychology. For a moment I will gaze into her eyes. I’ll see a young girl struggling to draw attention, perhaps sub consciously. I’ll notice how her words are perfectly weaved to dress underlying insecurities. I’ll smirk as though I’ve discovered a child’s fruitless attempt at pulling a magic trick. She will steal glances at her watch. She will rumble about pulling an all nighter on the project that is due next day. As though I woke from deep slumbr, I’ll be reminded of my unfinished piece.

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“In my tray are 4,500 words that need to be written by dusk. Things that have piled up. Things I have left to pile up. Now they are here and they are staring at me in the eye knowing I will blink first,” writes Biko Zulu. He’s describing that word, the one that soaks my mind with guilt.

Biko has a short goatee that somehow makes up for the missing hair. His moderate dose of melanin constrasts well with the dark rimmed glasses so that it easens your attempt at stereotyping him as a writer . He’s nothing close to what I expected him to be; a dread locked writer, eking out a bohemian existence in the fringes of life.

“I’m sick from procrastination!” complains Biko. And yeah the word is procrastination! “I need to have a doctor look into my eyes with a torch and see how procrastination has sucked up my haemoglobin” you must be seeking camaraderie in his words, huh? At least we’re many in procrastinating. But you know what’s cool about it?

In 1920s, a young soviet psychologist discovered that we have a better memory for incomplete tasks than complete ones. Her name was Bluma Zeigarnik. And so the discovery came to be known as the ‘Zeigarnik effect’ . When a guy is trying to be all mysterious, he wants to remain an ‘incomplete task’. He wants to plant himself in your mind and boy does he reside there with the power of this phenomenon. Ladies! isn’t it fun to act dumb and play along? That aside. When we procrastinate, the task remains in our minds. This is, especially, effective in creative tasks since the project is in your mind and it automatically pushes you to seek information until you complete it. When Tamara and Biko Zulu are procrastinating, they’re actually seeking enough information for their creative activities. So substitute ‘procrastination’ with ‘seeking information’. Notice how the guilt fades.

In yet another study by Jihae Shin a professor at University of Wisconsin, Procrastinators’ ideas were found to be 28% more creative in experiments done in companies. In other words, procrastination is a virtue for creativity. In equal measure it’s a vice for productivity and shouldn’t be extended to chronic levels. But then its not as bad as people make it to be. Leornado da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Bill Clinton, Aron Sorkin, Albert Einstein and Steve Wozniak are but a few, of the famous procrastinators. Next time you’re wondering why most writers are, or have to be , procrastinators you have the explanation right here!

If you enjoyed this piece, just know its a product of procrastination!


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#7. Hell
Flames were on her skin,
Yellow…
Black…
Blue…
She watched them one by one,
As if they were
Tongues
Of a different pleasure,
Consuming sins
Caught on
The oily pores
Beneath her goosebumps,
Straining in an effort
To taste it
With the ferocity of a bear
In bee–spawn hives,
Hungry to fill its carnivorous belly
With honey.
The fire burned
Like a Viking’s requiem,
Drumming
To the heartbeats of gods
As it called on
To its slaves of ash,
Rousing pain
On places that lived for pleasure.
The walls on the hallways
Were ugly,
Molded in the carefulness of
Screams
And fear-shaken hands,
Turning once smooth faces of the walls
Into a grotesque,
While souls hang from roofs
At the depths of
Damnation.
It was then she became
Acquainted
With hopelessness.

*

She was delirious, swirling in galaxies that lay with the sparkle in her eyes. There were chains bounded to the emptiness itself, reaching out for ghosts she couldn’t see, and captors she was yet to see. The place she was in, as her reality finally set in, seemed abandoned… cold even, as if only death brought the living there. Aside from her, nothing else came to the light that spilled into her eyes. She was taken aback by the sound of a muffled noise… as if there was someone else caught in the web of the same spider.
“Hallo?”
She called out, her voice strained into notes that aroused her fears.
“Is anyone there?”

The shadows before her seemed to move, awoken by the disturbance of their eternal night. She tried to move, to find a position that could somewhat provide a meager sense of security, despite the conundrum she was in. It was then she noticed the absence of the floor from the touch of her feet, and the fingers of a phantom breeze on her soles seemed to wake every goosebump on her skin, stinging her senses awake. The footsteps grew louder, as if they carried legs heavier than the tension in the air.

“Please, say something…”

She plead to the silhouette that walked towards her. Grey light from the bulb that hung above her shed sense to her eyes, making out the rags that hung on the girl’s body walking to her…the wounds that bit at the nails on her toes… and a chain that held onto a brace cuffed to a slender neck.
“You’re awake.”

She spoke, her voice as distant as crickets in the dark. She looked old, but indifferent to the effect time tolled on her body.
“They will be delighted.”
She said as she observed Luna with sad eyes.
“Where am I?”
“You’re in Karma’s temple. You called on to the services of Her blade, and now the blade comes for recompense. “
“What? Look, there’s been a big misunderstanding here, I didn’t call for anyone’s help! Please let me out…please…”

She walked closer to her now, enough for Luna to make out the creases that swept over her skin like frozen ocean waves.
“Hush now, child. You are with The Woman of the Temple, Blade to her holy Sword. And I am here to guide you into The Plunge.”
“What are you talking about?! You’re not making sense! I-…”
Images of what transpired before recent events leapt into her mind
“I was with a police officer. Please, call the police, tell them I have been abducted and that-“
“All that is meaningless.”
The woman said, as if Luna was wasting her time.
“In the world you left behind you are a fugitive, an individual thought to had conspired in the death of her sister.”
“What?! No! No it can’t be!”
She walked to Luna’s chains, pulled on a lever that was behind her that brought her down to the floor she was not introduced to since she woke up.
“The ceremony will commence now. I will summon the others.”

Luna remained on the ground, letting her body gather her bearings while her mind adjusted to the reality that was setting in.
“…What the hell is going on?!”

She watched as the woman walked away into the vacuum dark, leaving her with shadows that haunted the grey light above her. She tried standing up, and was partly relieved that her legs could still work. There was dust all over the place, and it felt as if she was being held in some place underground.
“I have to find a way out of here.”
“In a hurry to leave already?”
Tiffany walked into the room, her gait… her poise… her voice unmistakable even to a blind eye.
“The party is just getting started”
She wore a mask, the same one that she remembered having been a disguise during the attack on her & the Inspector.
“Why are you doing this?”

Tiffany seemed different, as if the mask brought out a side of her that she has never seen before. There was a malice about her impression, a blood thirst that left Luna’s mouth dry of emotion. She carried a hunting blade to her grip, big for its size and yet she handled it in a fashion that made it seem as if she could never cut herself with it. She walked closer to her this time, letting her appearance explain the gravity of the situation.
“You were chosen by Karma to enact her fury, and now you are being prepared for The Plunge.”

At the sound of the last words, the place lit up, flames sprouting into the hearts of deathly shadows as it graced the hearth of the room, revealing the nature of the prison she was chained to. There was no way to describe the walls, she wasn’t sure whether it was due to the movement of flames or the looming of ceiling-bound shadows, because each left a grotesque portrait on the face of the wall. There was nothing to make of the ceiling, and where there was to be a bulb above her hung a statue of a 4-armed figure holding all sorts of swords on each hand. At the top of her head was a luminescent material that glowed, despite the respite of fire kindled by The Woman of the Temple.

“It is time. We must begin.”


Luna’s heartbeat leapt a few seconds as she braced herself for the horror that was about to unfold. She watched Tiffany walk toward the lever that had ‘steadied’ her to the ground, and pulled it a different direction from the first time, igniting another mechanism that pulled Luna toward the hollow altar that knelt before the fire around the room.

“We beseech you, O Goddess of the World, Bringer of Judgement, Keeper of the Good, Harbinger of Demise. Send forth you’re Blade, and accept this sacrifice in you’re name.”

There was something that had begun to move from the altar before her, as if it was awakening a spirit. The closer the chains pulled her the more she realized it wasn’t an altar after all, but a well; and the movements she was seeing at its tip were not of shadows, but fingers reaching up to collect the sacrifice. She felt the fear blow in the seams of her being, feeding her with adrenaline.
“No! No stop this! I didn’t want this! Why would I want to kill my sister?! My only sister?!”

She beseeched her observers, but they felt no solemnity in the words she said.
“Be glad, Luna, this is the best death to give to anyone that seeked Karma.”
“But why?! Why would I?”
She was getting closer to the well now, and she could make distinct sounds of roaring over her struggles with the chains.
“Because she took everything you ever loved and made it hers. She destroyed your world out of spite. She had to die.”

Tiffany walked to her now, pushing her to the edge of the well as the chain’s mechanism, came to a stop.
“No wait! Why would I want to kill my sister when she was pregnant? Why would I want to kill a baby as well?”
There was silence then. The Woman had stopped her incantations as well, and shifted her gaze to where Luna and Tiffany stood.
“You killed a child?”

Luna ripped out the mask on Tiffany’s face, needing to see her expressions behind the blankness of a mask. She was distraught, colluded in between anger and fear as if she revealed a secret no one else was meant to know. She looked back at The Woman, noticed the wrath that emanated in her grey eyes.
“Mother! No!”

The Woman approached her now, as if she was even more insulted at the title that she had just used on her.
“You killed an innocent? and didn’t mention it?”
“It was a mistake! I didn’t know about it, I swear on the goddess!”
“Then you will have no trouble convincing the goddess otherwise”
She pulled out the torch she used to kindle the fire, the flame like a crown on the rage in her face. Tiffany turned toward an exit, only to find her path barred by more flames.
“You think you can flee from Karma child? You think because you are my child that she will give you forgiveness?! “
“Mother no! You can’t! Ple-“

A bigger flame erupted toward her and Luna now, forcing them toward the lips of the well, where fingers had grown into two hands now, and a new figure was hoisting itself up into the fray before its reach.
“He’s coming out! We’ve kept him waiting too long. Now die!
The Woman threw the torch toward Luna’s direction onto the surface before her feet, sparking up from what seemed like dry grass & growing anew.
“What are you doing! I’m innocent! I have no part in this!”
The Woman looked at her lazily,
“We’ll let the goddess decide that.”

Before any of the girls could say anything, a roar grew from behind them & they
found themselves facing a ragged man, torn from the fringes of reality and left to the endlessness of his insanity. His eyes were as black as tar, and donned blood all over his body. But it was his screams that were nerve-wrenching, tearing at the remaining shards of silence as he relished on the heat of flames around him.
He lunged forward then, hand stretched toward Luna, who was his closest prey. She fell under his weight, shuddering beneath the grip of his arms as he flashed his yellowed teeth that craved the flesh on her neck. She realized she was screaming now, her voice a song to his ears as he laughed at the madness. She jerked on one of her chains, bringing them into the bite of his mouth. He stepped back, waiting for the pain to subside before he could get to his prey again.

The fire was now growing bigger by the second, devouring everything in the room. She looked back to find Tiffany grounded by the events unfolding before her, murmuring to herself words she could not be able to make out. She got to her feet, steadying herself before the predator in front of her. he lunged forward again, hands aimed at the circle of her throat. She ducked just in time, side-stepping him as he caught naught but air and flame. She turned in time to see the world explode, throwing her into the well from whence the beast came from, and plunging her into darkness.

*
*
*
Epilogue.

There was only silence and ash. Chaos had consumed everything she had built, leaving only shards of a lifetime of work. There were embers still glowing, but none strong enough to raze the inferno she created. And now she was getting what she worked for… what she lived for… what she worshipped…

It had been years since she convinced her daughter that she was a member of the cult, born in the ways of the goddess so she could live out the rest of her life fulfilling her wishes. But it was worth it, thinking of the number of lives that were sated by the rites of her religion, killing what deserved to die. Purging sin from the world, wringing society from murderers… thieves… fornicators… husbands that beat their wives… she had found meaning, at being an avenger. She had become the embodiment of ‘necessary evil’.

She walked over to the bodies, the first of The Beast. His insanity had driven him into his death instantly, dying in the fire he has lived in for years. How many had he dragged into his well, she wondered. How many had been blessed eternity beyond the living? She looked at his crisp corpse, taken by the fire… becoming the fire itself.
“Peace walk with you now brother.”

Her daughter’s body lay a few yards ahead, as crumpled up and destroyed as the first. The hunting blade she had held so dearly since her anointment into the cult when she was 15 still clung on her hands, like loyal fangs to a predator. Even in her death, she was a Blade, a weapon that killed when it was told to. Her only regret, was that her final moments were marred by betrayal.
“May the goddess keep you safe my child. You did everything well. I pray reincarnation is given to your soul.”

And with that, the funeral was done. She watched the smoke flee the death below it, turn the air sour in its wake as the wind took everything in its skies. Silence lipped the world, rain content to fall into the aftermath. She took it all one last time, and finally turned to leave.
“Let’s go.”
“Where?”
The girl asked from the brim of the well that saved her. Flashes of the explosion played in her mine, of the fire reaching out to claim her. The shock wave pushing her over the well and into the Plunge, as rubble of stones and wood fell down to keep off the raging flames from her back.

“A new beginning. You are destined for great things Luna.”

The rest of what happened was marred by the blankness of her unconsciousness. The skulls she woke up to still stared at her, eyes as empty as her mind, disfigured by the events of the past week. She turned to watch her, devoid of any fear or dread that she had before; the fire had washed her from the burden she had been carrying.
“The goddess brought you back from certain death. Your destiny awaits…”
She didn’t speak, didn’t even flinch.
“From now on you will be Jane, wielder of Her Blade. ”
“…yes Mother.”
She smiled then at the word, at the thought of being blessed with a new daughter.
“Let us go my Child.”

Picha: https://www.123rf.com/photo


KE Gif Ge 468X60

BARUA KWA RAFIKI(1)
Rafiki ninapotuma waraka huu,sina uhakika kama utakufikia.huenda uliniblock. Lakini nadhani huezi kuniblock maana mara ya mwisho nilikuacha na simu ya kabambe.Lakini kama ulipata simu ya ndoto zako yenye kila kitu mpaka nailcutter,basi labda umeniblock.Haidhuru.
Barua hii naiandika nikiwa hapa hotelini na kikombe cha kahawa.kama ni zamani na wewe ungekua hapa na kikombe chako cha chai.lakini ulinitenga. Hatuongei tena. Maskani ulibadilisha. Hunipigii simu kama zamani kunicheka timu yangu imefungwa.yule binti uliyekuwa ukinipigania nimpate usiku na mchana,nilimpata.lakini hauwezi hata kumuita shemeji. SABABU YA SIASA. Sababu tulitofautiana kimawazo. Sababu hatuko chama kimoja. Lakini rafiki mbona hawa tunaowapigia kura wanalala hoteli moja,magari yao yamefanana. Kwanini sisi tutengane rafiki?
Nimeishiwa na bundle kama kawaida yangu,na hapa nilipo hakuna WIFI. Nitarudi tuongee nikikopa credit. Rafiki yangu mpendwa,ni mimi rafikiyo wa tangu utotoni. Mapacha tusiofanana.

BARUA KWA RAFIKI(2)
Rafiki naskia umemuoa mchumba wako wa miaka mingi.Hongera.Nawatakia kila la kheri.Japo ulivunja ahadi yako ya mimi kua chandama(bestman) wako.
Rafiki ulisema ukijaaliwa watoto utawapa majina mazuri zaidi duniani. Lakini mbona rafiki mbona unaita watoto wa wenzako majina mabaya mabaya? Mbwa,mjinga,mshenzi,hayawani.Na mengine yasosemeka wala kuandikika? KWA SABABU YA SIASA.
Rafiki samahani,najua sikulishi,sikuvishi wala sikubabaishi
Lakini unapoteza muelekeo.
Samahani rafiki,shemeji yako ananiita.
Wacha nikamsikize.
Nisije nikampoteza kama yule mwengine.

BARUA KWA RAFIKI(3)
Rafiki,kama ungekua shabiki wa nyimbo za Diamond kama mimi,ningesema umeamua ukae kimya kama huyo bingwa.Lakini wewe ni shabiki wa King Kiba. Kibao chenu cha mwisho ni “Aje”
Lakini mbona kwetu pia huji?
Ama ukaniita mimi nikaja na rafiki zangu?
SABABU YA SIASA.
Rafiki,basi angalau na sisi tutoe nyimbo inayoitwa “Chuki”tupate pesa kama Diamond na Kiba.
Lakini kuekeana chuki kwa sababu ya siasa hatupati kitu.
Alafu hii barua muoneshe na shemeji,yeye ni team Diamond.mpe namba zangu angalau nimrushie hii nyimbo mpya.

BARUA KWA RAFIKI(4)
Hongera rafiki.Naskia umenunua gari la ndoto zako,WISH.Natamani na mimi nilijue nambari ya usajili(number plate)kama ninavyojua nambari za usajili za Gavana,Senator na Mbunge wetu lakini haiwezekani.Angalau kama ungetimiza ahadi yako ya kuandika mstari wa shairi langu ‘SIRI JAPO SIO SANDA,ZANGU NITAZIKWA NAZO’ nyuma ya gari lako,pia ningeliona ningelifahamu.Lakini pia hivyo hauwezi.SABABU YA SIASA
Siasa ndo itakayokufanya unipite mimi nikitembea,huku umefunga vioo,na tunaishi mtaa mmoja.
Rafiki kama hio chuki itaniwezesha na mimi kununua gari pia kama lako,maana ndo gari la ndoto zangu pia,basi ingekua afadhali.Lakini hio chuki inatubomoa,haitujengi.
Nimefika kwenye hiki kichochoro hatari,nisije nikaporwa kikebe changu cha simu,ni hiki hiki tangu uliponiacha…

#SIASASICHUKI
#TAHADHARI
#SimulizizaMalenga001

#6: Blade of Karma.

She seemed to have grown accustomed to these moments now. To the voices that arose when she thought of blood and death, screaming to the silence that was forever broken in her mind. She remembered the first time it happened, being completely engulfed in the act rather than her rationality. The machete was sharp, sharper than most of the tools in her uncle’s shed. She admired how it fit in her palm perfectly, like the handle was specifically designed for her. The python seemed asleep, taking in some rest after swallowing an entire calf, all the way up to the horns. It barely moved when she inched closer to it, her heart pulsing with excitement. She had become a huntress, a sword of vengeance, a weapon meant to conquer other weapons, and she wielded herself to the sky, basking in all that was gore & glorious, taking down monsters in the swift of her judgment. Minutes after, the head of the serpent was gone. She sliced down the blade along the length of its body, trying to see if she could somehow save the calf, but was rather disappointed to find it dead.
***

She was 15 when she saw the bruises on her mother’s face, a bloom of purple and red around the bags of her eyes, as she spent countless nights watching stars pass by, the ones into the sky and the ones that lingered in front of her, dining with the ache in her head. She was never around home those days, spending most of the time at the refuge of her boarding school, where she wouldn’t know of the beatings she took from her father. She came home earlier than expected that day, her mother perched on the kitchen counter, nestling vodka in the fragile ends of her lips. Mrs. Diana Lall was beyond her tears…beyond the quake of her anger…beyond the broken and jagged ends of her self that was living in constant pain, both outside and inside. She couldn’t look at her daughter, couldn’t tell her what had happened. But there was no point in saying anything when the eyes could hear anything the body spoke.

It was no easy task with a human. The head is help by stronger neck muscles, and even in death, it fought as hard as it can to keep itself attached to the spine.
“I need a bigger weapon”
She realized, after spending hours trying to cut off her dead father’s head. The revolver she found in the glove compartment in his car was faster at killing than a machete, but it lacked the enthusiasm of killing altogether…of sating the dragons of her anger from tearing at the sanity of her mind…at the desire for vengeance that she lived for.

“There’s an axe at the back…”

Her mother called out from behind, watching in mute silence as her daughter exacted 3 years of pain on her husband. They had planned it out carefully, at least they thought they needed to. But he came home drunk, staggering all over the house while he broke everything he touched. He was in his violent phase, throwing dinner plates at the mother of his child while he branding her all sorts of names. He didn’t hear her daughter come from behind him, couldn’t do anything when the chair hit him from behind, bringing him back from his drunken stupor and into the world of pain he had created. The white of his eyes shone in the dark, fear crushing his pupil down into a small speck.

“NO! Please…don’t do this! I’m sorry!”

The gun weighed heavy on Mrs. Lall’s hand. A little heavier than how she thought it would. But it was no matter, this was a night she wouldn’t look at stars, but send them into the heart of the beast swiveling on the bedroom floor. The gunshot was loud, sparks coming out of the barrel like miniature stars of fury, sending to darkness the ghost that haunted her living life. They cut out his head 15 minutes later, the first 12 wasted on the futility of using a kitchen knife. The remaining limbs of his body followed suit 5 minutes later, and by the hour, they had gathered his pieces together in a trash bag and gave him a solemn 5 minute funeral over more vodka and cigarettes.

“TJ…”
Her mother called at her, relief shrouding the exhaustion in her voice.
“Thank you.”
“Anything for you mum.”
***

She met Luna during her college tenure. She was preparing herself for going into the police academy, and having a friend at the time felt like a good release from the hard training and studying she had to endure everyday.
“I feel like I’m in a boarding student during the day and a military student at night.”
She told her one day through pillows soaked with sleep and thoughtless dreams.
“Why do you want to be a cop?”
She asked then, curious about her choices. She remembered the snake in her Uncle’s farm…the beast of a father in her mother’s home…
“I like the idea of being a defender of the innocent. To exact the hand of righteousness on crime. To be the gavel of justice itself, or the blade of Karma, that sounds like something I’d like to have on my resume.”
“Whoa! That’s deep. I was expecting something like your dad being a cop too but that will do”

She laughed then, so simple…so innocent…she was a butterfly, and daylight blinded her from the bat that reigned over skies she has never flown in. She found herself laughing with her…at her…at the ignorance that was so majestically her bliss…she laughed, at the simplicity of the innocent.
“Well, that’s a story for another day…”
***

She watched her that day, broken…a scattered reflection from the million glass pieces of her mirror eyes as she liquid orbs fell through the blush on her cheeks, tearing the scent of joy she had been wearing for months on the lining of her sky-blue eyes, drowning her world in silver.

“I found Sin with Kat some 3 weeks ago. They seemed to be arguing, so naturally I asked why they were on each other’s neck at the eve of my wedding…
I found out they were having an affair for 3 straight months, and she wanted to confront me saying she wasn’t going to let me have him by myself. What kind of sister says that?! And during all that, he says nothing! He doesn’t even look at me! I couldn’t believe it, so I walked out.

Yesterday I get a message from Kat saying he’s decided to move in with him, and that he’s making plans to marry her now…”
“Hey don’t think on it too much. Look, if you want you can come live with me, stay away from everything else and just focus on your healing. I want to be of help to you…
“Hey! Hey Luna! Are you listening to me? … Lu I know what he did to you was wrong, but you have to let me in, I want to help you. You have to let him go. I have to see you letting him go.”
***

The room was silent, dark under the gaze of moonless eyes. It was no hard task getting into the house. Everything was intact. Pictures and figurines stood next to graying walls, unable to shut their eyes close from the intent that snaked into the tranquil of their world. She found her bedroom, the door refusing to stay closed to her deathly presence…

She took out the syringe in her pocket, put its needle lips on her skin as poison left its mouth and into her bloodstream. She roused from the deep pools of her slumber, her eyes meeting the mask she wore. She saw her scramble to her feet, trying to push her attacker away, but the drug was already settling into the nest of her mind, pulling away the roots of her consciousness.

“Kat!”
Another man walked into the room then, hands clenched to a kitchen knife. She pulled out her gun then, the muzzle tip attached to a silencer that muffled the noise with every squeeze of her trigger. She made her way to the man, taking the knife he dropped and plunging it into his gut…his chest…his neck…going deeper as her rage took the better of her. She stopped when his head rolled to the ground, the body as lifeless as coffin nails.
“You should have stayed asleep, not walk into a girl’s room in the middle of the night. I guess chivalry really is dead”
***

Things started to go wrong when she received a call from Chief Inspector Said.
“Detective. Hope I didn’t bother you today. I could use your help in something.”
She had been feinting sickness to plot her next move with Sin.
“No problem at all Chief. What can I do for you?”
“New information just came up from the forensics…”
*The fingerprints*
“…We found fingerprints in the crime scene. We can officially declare the deaths as a homicide, and right now our lead suspect is your friend Luna Valentine. I’m bringing this to your attention because I know she’s your friend, but I have to take her in nonetheless.”
She saw her sprint off into the rain, her talk with Sin evidently having gone down the drain.
“No problem detective. I’ve just seen her leave, you’ll find her on her walking down my street alone.”
“Alright, thanks. I appreciate it. Also, there’s something else that you need to know. Lab results came back and it turns out Katherine Valentine was carrying a child during her time of death.”
“What?!”
She didn’t know that. She wasn’t told anything about a child. An innocent life, washed off by the sins of her mother.
“Yeah. She was just one month old though. Didn’t she tell you guys?”
A month old.
“No, I wasn’t aware.”
Anger wound a noose around her voice.
“That’s weird. We found message threads between her and her sister. I’ll talk it over with her, I’m already on the way there.”
***

She has never taken an innocent life before… She felt tainted, blemished by the fault. She was in her assigned duty car, driving up to the street she knew Luna would be following after days of watching her take walks around the suburb. She left her car a block away, walking down the length of the remaining distance to where she could see the chief’s car, blade in one hand, gun in the other…
…The Chief didn’t have time to shoot, her blade keen to meet its intended mark, leaving him sprawled on the floor, shock engulfing his sanity in the short burst of seconds…
…Luna met her full blown punch, driving her into the ground faster than she could react …
…Three more stabs at the detective…
She brought out the chloroform-soaked the handkerchief & put it on Luna’s nose as she was about to scream, trying to get her unconscious as fast as she could and carry her to her car. She was out within 15 seconds…

Sin came running from the corner she had emerged from, her surprise slowing her reaction. He was sprinting away when she pulled out her gun and squeezed the trigger, the first bullet hitting the wall, the other whizzing into invisibility as it sailed into thin air.

She reached for the Chief’s radio com
*Officer down. I repeat, officer down. Chief Inspector Said has been stabbed. Suspect currently running down Second Street into Shire Park. Suspect is armed and dangerous. Shoot on sight.”
***

She found him running into the main road, a pack of police behind his trail firing shots at him. He was looking to take out a motorcyclist and run away on the bike.
“Not a chance!”
Ramming him was a clean kill. He was dying before he even hit the ground. She stopped the car between her & the coming officers, temporarily blinding their line of sight. She tucked her mask deeper into her jacket and pulled out the blade that tore through the Chief’s torso, placing it in his hand before the officers got to her.
“Nice work detective Lall.”
An officer said as he came in panting, gun out of his holster and aimed at the corpse in front of her.
“Call it in”

#5 Secrets in the Grave.

The dead lay still,
Dislodged from the moving habits
Of the living
By the scythe of death,
As silence followed the absence of their souls
Into veils of the nether-realm,
Where stars are
Shadows
Of a phantom dark.
They slept on the fields of eternity,
In blade-less grass beds
That never felt
The coldness of the sun…
The dark of the moon…
The storms after summer…
Or the decaying warmth before winter…
The dead remained motionless
As they collapsed from
Time-held shells of their mortal coil
Into an ending of
Bones & dust,
Becoming unnamed figures
Of the non-living
Carrying tombstones
Where they put their crosses,
As nails let coffins
Keep the living away.
She looked on at their becoming,
And like the silence
She saw them off without words,
Or hymns,
Or sorrow,
Or sympathy,
For they were ill-fated bearers
Of her secrets,
Damned
To take it with them
To the hell
Where her demons lay.

***

Sirens wailed into the heavy air as police cars whizzed past him, splashing dead rain onto the walls of curiosity in his mind. Anxiety was as thick as the sky, while the wind plucked leaves from where uneasy butterflies hung on branches, fleeing from the chaos of the world. He could feel his own pulse throb through the linings of his shirt, pleading with him to stop running & keep his feet on the ground. His lungs burned from perspiration, chasing the very air that rushed past his face. He was on a full sprint, looking for turns, alleyways & basements that would throw away the policemen on his tail, but it seemed as if there was no way to shake them off.
***

He stood in the light drizzle, taking in the intoxication of jasmine scents left behind by the empty air where Luna once stood, flirting with the nasal trance as he fought off the urge to run after her, to go down on his knees and beg her for forgiveness. He lost himself in the slow of time, between the seconds that he stole to either decide or let go, but when the pendulum swung once again, he found himself tailing the phantoms in the musk of her perfume.
***

He dashed into a new corner now, where the road narrowed into a bridge. A river roared beneath the walkway, splashing on its stone-soaked banks like a water dragon as it struggled to bring down the wooden aperture to the floors of dead rock beneath it. He looked back & saw five more police officers had joined the chase now, making the corner he just came from and taken aback by the fury of the river.
“No time to think now…”
He made his way up the archway, his footsteps heavy on the aging foothold. The river seemed to grow bigger once he made it through the first few feet across, tumbling every now and then over water from both the ocean skies above & the river dragon below, having to do all he can to keep himself from spraining his legs. A quick glance back and the officers had made it to the footwalk as well, guns drawn from their holsters and aimed at him…
“FREEZE! DON’T MOVE!”
***

It seemed like it was mere seconds ago that he traced the path she had taken, snaking through empty roads of the leafy neighborhood and abandoned play fields, her hair falling off from the shelter beneath the white maven she wore. She rounded into a distant corner just as a police car was steered next to her, but he was still too far off and blinded by the corner walls of the building.
“Must be something to do with the investigation, looks like the Chief’s ride…”
He slowed down his pace then, his instincts telling him she would definitely tell the cops he’s been lurking and he didn’t feel like spending the night at the cell…

***

He almost laughed at the remark, seeing how he ended up with an option he literally wanted to run away from since the beginning.
“Stop and get killed by law enforcers or run and manage to escape them and find a way to think everything over…”
He sprinted onward, the other side of the bridge opened out from the short horizon the arch of the bridge had made.
“I can do this”
He panted heavier now, his breathes coming shorter to him. He could feel his asthma fighting through the wall of sheer will he had built up to keep himself from collapsing.
“No…not yet…”
***

He felt like he had left behind a lifetime of memories now. The spontaneous burst of each moment escaping through his line of sight…the sudden scream…the sound of two bodies scuffling…his realization of the wrongness of the situation…the sound of a man yelping in pain…the sound of his footsteps as he ran to where Luna had disappeared into…the sound of the first gunshot…him making it to the corner…the sound of the second gunshot…him seeing a masked figure over Luna…the surprise that held him to place as he realized what he just stepped into…the rush of bullets past his face as the figure rounded toward him and fired a couple more shots…fear pulling him into a sprint back around the corner again as he dashed to hide his open back from the gun of the attacker…
***

He got to the end of the bridge in time and made for the forest that opened up into an eerie dark. It was harder here to maintain a sprint when the ground rose and fell without his notice. Barks of trees sheltered him from his pursuers’ guns as they fired at him incessantly. His chest however, was burning holes through his torso, and he couldn’t even maintain his speed when he wanted to run faster. In the silence of the trees he could make out their footsteps as they rushed behind him, the thought of losing his life the only reason his legs needed to keep moving forward.
The police cars were suddenly behind him, not to protect him, but to run him over.
“What the hell…”
“Don’t let that murderer get away. We’ve been given orders to shoot on sight”
He had barely made it over a nearby fence when he heard the police guards shouting.
“They think I killed…?”
He had made his way through the flood of wood and branches into open space, the road ahead still busy with cars as they dashed back and forth into and out of the neighborhood. He could feel his asthma rising, drowning him in the heaviness of his own chest as his heart raced to keep blood flowing and his legs running…
“Just a little further…”
He made the steps up to the road when one of the officers fired a shot on his right leg.
“Argh…!”
He stopped then, falling down to the tarmac. He turned to see them coming closer as they made their way past the clearing into the open field. With a monumental effort he stood up then, seeing a motorcyclist come up his way.
“Now or never…”
Before he could do anything he felt his whole body get rammed by what felt like a hundred iron bulls, as he suddenly plunged upwards into the soar sky, then down again on rough tarmac…
Pain…
Too much…
Can’t breathe…
He turned to see what happened, finding a black figure come out of another police car…
Headache…
Images growing more blurry…
Liquid in his mouth…blood?
The black figure squatted beside him
“I got him guys, over here!”
He raised his eyes, saw a mask being tucked into a jacket…
His life flashed before his eyes…Spilling milk on his mum’s carpet…doing drugs in his teens…dropping out of school…the first big money he ever made…his first kiss…
The first time he fell in love…
Luna…
He felt himself ooze away from the world, away from all the chaos that erupted around him, into tranquil nirvana. It was funny how everything that felt so important seconds ago, seemed like trivial issues now.
The dimming finally steered him into a full dark…
Light became shadow…
And he could do nothing as the release came to him as swift as the last words of the living met his ears…
“Nice work detective Lall.”

#4 The Reaper.
Sunburned eyes watched on
From above the peaks of her shoulders
While she pricked the feet of
Pilgrim clouds,
Releasing silver blood onto the
Waiting palms of the
Rising storm.
The world lay at the edge of the horizon,
At the threshold where
A thousand suns
Fell victim
To the endless rage of hell,
Whose fires burn
Black
Over the scarlet blood of
Sin-rich graves.
She watched the becoming
Of her vengeance
Shatter
Diamond pieces of her soul,
As chaos adorned
The fury
That crowned the skies above her with
Lightning thunder,
While the rain rushed forth
To scavenge pieces of her victims below
Like they were grim reapers
Drawn
To the damned.
She blessed their end with the peace in her gaze,
Listened to the silence in their screams
Quench her requiem,
& in the finality,
She discovered new pools of
Satisfaction
Where she could drown
Her demons.

***

He arrived like her pain, unexpected, unwanted, unshakable. The smile beneath his eyes was meant to be soft, but she knew first hand of the forked tongue that sat lazily behind the river of his mouth, swirling in the poison of the words that sat at the banks of his lips. He stood as a representation of everything she ever wanted, and a culmination of the betrayal her desires dealt her, stripping her off the joy of living as she sunk into oblivion.

“You’re a sight for sore eyes. Life is devastatingly taking a toll on you”
He spoke once more, his words like ghosts of the skeletons in her closet.
“What do you want?”
She asked, anger shaking like the silver orbs balancing on her line of sight.
“Can’t I swing by and say hallo? Say I’m sorry? About Kat and everything else?”
“Not if you know whatever you’ll say won’t work on me.”
“Luna I’m not out to deceive you…”
“Ha! Where have I heard that before?”

They stared at each other then, collecting everything that was left between them, taking what they wanted from each other; him a look at how she was doing, her to destroy every bit of him that was still breathing. The knife in the kitchen seemed to be shouting her name now…
“Will we ever get past this?”
“There’s no we anymore Sin. Didn’t you get the memo?”

She walked away then, her legs engulfing stride after stride as she made distance from the devil behind her shoulder…and the knife left on the kitchen counter. She didn’t dare turn when he called out to her, seeking to get the haven of her solace rather than to battle with her anger and the murderous intent screaming in the back of her mind. The wind roared in her ears, taking out strands of her brunette hair into the steady drizzle of rain, turning it darker than the circles around her eyes.
She had been walking for a long time, walking to a direction she was yet to know. The street she blindly took was empty, abandoned by the warmth of human crowds and left to the shallow beat of rainfall on dark drums of the tarmac. There was no tune, no music in the noise, she had walked into a destitute avenues; a mirror manifestation of her memory lane where plagues accompanied her reminiscence. She turned into a corner right as a car pulled up in front of her.
“*sigh* what now?!”

She looked on as chief Inspector Said came out of the car, lips tugged to the waist of a cigarette. He seemed to be too old for his job, but then again she was surprised when Tiffany told her he was just 35.

“Ms. Valentine, may we have a word please? It concerns your sister, Katherine.”

She froze then, taken aback by the fragility of what was being told. It seemed as if the world was filling the void of emptiness inside her with pain, and she was yet to know how to drain it all out.
“What’s going on?”
She asked, tension tying double nooses around her neck.
“Come with us to the station, it’ll be more convenient there.”
She felt agitated then, almost as if he was intentionally letting anxiety crowd her lungs.
“Just tell me what is wrong.”
“We’ve collected evidence that incriminates you in the investigation and we need you to come with us back to the station to answer a few questions.”
“What do you mean incriminates me?!”’
“Our forensics found your fingerprints all over the crime scene, couple that with the death threats we found on her cell phone sent by you last week.”
“Excuse me?! Wait are you insinuating that I killed my own sister?!”
He watched her then, reluctant to draw her away by force, but not at all against it as well.
“Ms would you please come with me?! I understand why you are angry but let’s not do anything irrational that will aggravate the situation any further than it already is.”

She put her hands in her jacket-pocket as she tried to make sense of the situation without having her hands grow numb in the cold. She felt something jab her palm from one of the pockets, a slight distraction that pulled her away momentarily from the officer.
“Ms would you please put your hands where I can see them!”

The Chief looked alarmed, too alarmed. He was walking closer to her as if to apprehend her, and in response she pulled out her hand together with the blade she carried on her hands. The inspector pulled out his gun & aimed it straight at her chest.
“Put that weapon down!”
“What are you….this isn’t even mine I swear!”
“PUT IT DOWN!”

A new figure rounded the corner she came from earlier, blindsiding the inspector with a blade thrown to the space on his chest. She turned to look at the attacker just as she got punched square on the jaw, knocking the gravity out of her feet. In the breath of a second she was down on the ground, her head whirling around as dizziness gripped her where her head had began to ache. She looked up, trying to make sense through the haze in her vision, seeing only a shadow figure in a mask stab the chief once…twice…thrice…the body in front of the attacker jerking with every slash from the knife…
“Someone! Somebody hel…”

The words hushed from her lips as her attacker gripped her mouth, a handkerchief perched on the tip of her nose as she was forced to inhale a bitter substance. Her vision grew more out of focus then…her mind slowly shutting down as the darkness that never left her finally engulfed her. She felt her body grow limb…her head heavy as it grazed rough corners of the pavement…her eyelids shutting her off from the light of the sky…and as she fell off from the world, the masked figure stood above her, sending gunshots into the plunge of her release, reaping her with death-scythe precision into the silence of the unknown.