Where the fuck was I? Oh yeah, I remember. Thank goodness my memory is sharper despite being defiled by substances which are known to screw up your mind for the night and leaves you agonizing in pain the morning after. Why do we still do it! I wonder. Don’t judge me lest you be judged my friend.
The night was dark and full of terror.
It still is. Darkness and terror like never before. It makes you have endless questions about how crazy the world is. The witnessing of an old frail woman being torched. So there I was, wondering whether to believe some shit like that existed or not. Then boom! Have you ever had one of those moments where out of nowhere, probably outer space or something, an idea crashlands into your brain, catastrophically displacing all your neatly-placed memories you had stored in there: the day you had your first kiss, the day you had you witnessed the first hand brutality of some infamous gang in your hood that made you fear darkness itself: among others. It was as if you unceremoniously erased the memory from your mind and out of options, it left. Only for it to go and re-organise itself for a major comeback: one hell of a comeback I tell you. And Tarra! It comes back with all it has and you have nothing else to do but think about it. Giving it one more chance. Measuring whether it makes sense or you were just some idiot to throw it away.
So, the year was, I think, somewhere around 2005 or 2006. Somewhere in between there. You know I’m aging as we speak. Not almost dying, God forbid, but aging. Somewhere in Mtwapa, of course, the story begins. The afternoon sun was killing us. I was not outside but the heat was unbearable and I could imagine how someone who was walking under that sun was feeling. We were five of us. Two ladies and the three of us gentlemen. Scratch that, there’s no way one can acquire such titles at such a tender age. So we were three boys and two girls. We were standing in front of a class of forty five. All eyes on us. Back then, shyness and fear were the order of the day. I was there. All thanks to a teacher I hated most in that primary school. I have no idea what was going on in her mind, but out of nowhere, she called five names and told them to come forward and I was one of them. We lazily walked forward and stood facing the rest of the class. We then looked at each other cluelessly, without a single idea what was happening. Being a back-bencher, all I could think of was her spotting me laughing or as we called it back In the days, noise making. “I want you to sing a song from your motherland “She spoke, with her rough voice that used to give me chills each time she spoke. Then our clueless minds became wise in an instant. We looked at each other and realised: Fuck! We were all from the same tribe. All five of us. So that’s why she chose us. Face it, back then we were slow as fuck in everything.
So, there we were. The Fucked Up Five. We looked at each other. Again and again. But really, my motherland is somewhere on the cold hills of Taita highlands, which at that moment was miles and miles away: so how the hell am I supposed to recall a song which I heard probably in mother’s womb. Seeing no hope in the other four, I remembered a fraction of some song I heard my uncle hym to while he was driving. I decided to take the chance. Either give it a chance or die trying. Just kidding, nothing like die trying. I was dead scared of her beatings. She was a brute when it came to discipline. Her slaps and kicks were my nightmare. I took a deep breath, close my eyes and cleared my throat silently. Kaende venye kataenda! I asserted myself.
Then Shit happens. The floor slowly begins to shake. A slight movement but with lots and lots of vibration. I could feel it. The desks began vibrating at high speeds. Rumbling altogether and becoming more and more intense. I was..I don’t even know which state I was. I looked at the rest of the class and I was better off. The looks on their faces said it all. Never-before seen levels of fear was portrayed in their faces. Then came a loud scream. The type of scream that let’s you know you don’t know. Then another scream. And another one. Soon there were screams all over coming from one particular direction. The screams mixed with the rumbling of the ground seemed like we were in some war torn country. We all rushed outside to behold the sight of what was the main cause of all this. We left the teacher inside the class, speechless, or maybe in shock: but that’s her problem. None of us really noticed. We ran outside the gate of our school and from far, we saw them. A whole lot of them. Scores and scores of children: an endless stampede of children running towards our direction. Their uniform was recognisable by everyone. Shimo La Tewa Primary School. The whole town was brought to an abrupt standstill. Most of them were familiar faces. Everybody knows everybody in Mtwapa. So I spot one of my friends who was also running and signals him to come to where we were. He sees me and heads towards us. His heartbeat was tense. He breathed heavily as we tried to calm him the fuck down so he could give us the whole information.
After narrating to us what he had witnessed at the school which led to everyone, even the teachers, run for safety, I was in fear. Fear that all had believed to be rumours and hearsay all along was the truth. Nothing but the truth. These supernatural shit is fucking real I tell you.
For the night is dark and full of terror.