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Cap'n Write

Flash Features

I’ll Take The Stairs

Life is all fun and games until you get stuck in an elevator, by yourself. At first, you console yourself that it is just a technical hitch. Maybe the power went out. Ten seconds pass by. Nothing happens. Fifteen seconds. Don’t they have back -up generators here? Thirty seconds. Suddenly, the elevator lunges down and stops abruptly, jolting you to the reality that you are trapped in a fifteen square feet metallic cell. Your first reflex action is to press the open button. There is no reaction. You ring the bell. It is as dead as a dodo. You frantically run your index finger on all the other buttons hoping one of them will activate the rest. They are all unresponsive. You grab your phone and dial the emergency number right above the buttons. It is out of service. The elevator briskly lurches downwards again, this time at a jaw clenching speed before stopping instantaneously, followed by a blanket of darkness. The lights have gone out. That’s it, you think to yourself. I am screwed. You have seen this in the movies. The only way to save yourself would be climbing out and scaling down the greasy wires with your […]

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Lifestyle

One Last Time

Death is brutal. One moment you are within six feet of your loved one, the next, they are six feet under. Sometimes there is no forewarning. It just strikes and closes the curtains as if it’s just another play at the theatre. Dreams get shattered. Unions get halved. Futures get disoriented. And the saddest part about it all is that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change the state of affairs. You cry yourself to sleep and pray that it is just a dream and that when you wake up, they will be there. Their bright face smiling down at you. Their familiar voice buzzing through your ears, probably complaining about why you were sleeping for too long. The mixture of their sweat and their cologne filling your nostrils, choking you a little. You wake up and it’s just you. Just you, surrounded by their stuff. Their clothes. Shoes. Handbags. Car keys. Cellphone. Everywhere you turn, everything you touch, reminds you of them. The TV is still stuck on their favourite channel. Remains of their favourite meal are still in the fridge. The bookmark you bought them for their birthday is still peeping from between the pages of […]

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Flash Features

V.A.R Merchants

Nearly every woman has this girl – only committee that vets every guy before he is allowed to hit it off with any of them. It is composed of three or four of her close friends with an occasional elder sister, cousin or young aunt. They call each other words like ‘Sis’ or ‘Mami’. They are spoilers. Cockblockers. Brutally thorough and ruthless, they subject every potential boyfriend to an imaginary interview with a long list of checkboxes. Baby daddy? Mama’s boy? Lives with his parents? Manwhore? Married? Divorced? If divorced, reason for divorce? Has a job? Owns a car? Who are his friends? Is he the alpha among his friends? Physical abuser? Does he have a fashion sense? What tribe is he? Smokes? Drinks? Overly active on social media? Bla bla bla. Men hate them. You cannot blame them though. Imagine meeting a beautiful, intelligent and fine girl, just the way you like them. You shoot your shot, and like the smart handsome chap that you are, you score. Only for V.A.R to overturn it (Ladies, ask any adult male next to you what V.A.R is). You do not even get a chance, simply because you are light-skinned and Shiko […]

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Effervescence

Episode 10 – We Need To Talk

Sometimes when your life turns out to be a mishmash, you just need to talk to somebody. Anybody. It doesn’t matter if they will actually listen or not. It doesn’t matter if they will offer a solution to your muddle or laugh it out. You just need to open your mouth and let it out of your system. Cough it up or it will choke you. But who do you talk to? Your girlfriend left you and is now in a thriving relationship. She was your muse. She used to get you. She knew you so well that she would understand even the words you hadn’t spoken. She would listen to and decode your silence. She would push you to make the right decision whenever you were at crossroads. She knew what buttons to press to bring you back to life whenever you felt down. Yet, you let her go. Lilian, your other close friend wants nothing to do with you. Silas too. You are one lonely mofo. There is nobody in your life close enough for you to trust with whatever is burdening you. It is at such times that you try to reconnect with the only family you […]

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Lifestyle

Bro Code

Yo bro. Grab a cold beer and let’s remind ourselves of some sacred rules to live by. For starters, who is a bro? A bro is that homie you grew up in the same hood with. That ninja that you went to school with. The guys you got circumcised together with. That neighbour who lives in the same apartment as you. That colleague at work. The guy that helps lift weights at the gym. Your barber. Your mechanic. Simply, a bro is any male that you have shared any meaningful life experiences with. Like chasing after girls. Going out and getting wasted. Smoking a joint. Making money. Playing video games. You don’t even need to have known them for long. You don’t even need to have known them at all. Because a bro of a bro is a bro to you. Bros do not need to know much about each other for them to hang out. Sometimes a bro can be chilling with a bro whose name you don’t even remember, or know in the first place. A bro never gets offended if another bro forgets their name. On this note, a bro is not required to remember another’s bro’s […]

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Effervescence

Episode 9 – Lemonade

A brother is like a dog. They never really tell you out loud how much they love you. They just do. And when life has piled a shitload of lemons on your salad, they will know. You do not even have to say anything. They can just tell. Even if they are eight thousand miles away in Atlanta, Georgia. Salim Katana is such a brother. A single phone call to Natasha Baraza was enough for him to know that his sister was troubled. Her voice was muffled and dry, like that of someone suffering from tonsilitis. Her choice of words was obscure. The stutters and periodic pauses in between their conversation told of someone whose mind was fighting a losing battle with their heart. At his insistence, Natasha had gotten it all off her chest. And he had listened. The same way he had listened to her little teenage girl problems years ago as they were growing up back in Kwale. Of course, he reprimanded her and called her all kinds of names. But that was right before heroically turning the lemons into lemonade and making a tasty cocktail out of it. Three days after their conversation, Salim had somehow […]

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Effervescence

Episode 8 – Crossroads

You have never been this vanquished before. All your life, you have prided yourself in the ability to be the one in charge. The one who takes control of any situation no matter how dire, and turns it around. The bold and liberated woman who flashes out her feminine magic and pulls that rabbit out of the hat. The merchant of positivity. The solutions-oriented urban queen that is always the one grabbing others by the balls. Now you are on the receiving end. Nothing feels the same anymore. The wine is sour, like the grapes were rotten. The cigarettes smoke is choking you. The food is vapid and watery. The air is stuffy. The satin sheets are itchy. The time is crawling. And you cannot stand the sight of your husband. The worst part is that you are going through this all by yourself. Your pride can not let a single soul see you in this misery. You have to ponder over the myriad of questions buzzing in and out of your head, by yourself. How did it come to this? How could you have been so naive? How on earth will you get out of this mess unscathed? For […]

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Featured

Financial Madaraka

Is there a more vivid illustration of When it rains, it pours than when you get broke? Your car insurance expires around the same time your monthly postpaid call and data subscription ends. Now you have to take the bus to work and you discover something called Reverse call. The neighbour whom you share the Netflix logins with drops you a text. It’s time to renew the subscription. Is this Netflix thing really worth it? You ask yourself. But how else will you watch those documentaries you love? And is that not the reason you subscribed to Zuku Home Fibre in the first place? This reminds you. The Zuku Home Fibre bill is due in three days. It’s always due around the same time as the rent. And the water bill. And the gym membership. Your wife is not doing any better. Her salary has been delayed, again. She sends you a grocery and supplies shopping list. And a footnote with a reminder that her chama contribution is due. You have never seen the essence of this chama thing. You two engage in your usual monthly fight about it. You complain that the chama is a waste of time and […]

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Effervescence

Episode 7 – Debate

The auditorium at Mount Kenya University can comfortably sit up to five hundred people. The crimson red puffy seats, while contrasting sharply with the smooth ivory white walls, immaculately match the dense woollen carpet spread across the entire floor. The high ceiling coupled with the raised wooden dais gives everyone inside a theatrical experience. The population of the county of Kiambu is well – represented here tonight. Farmers, the business community, youth, women, persons living with disabilities, civil society groups and of course, a few idlers here and there looking to score a free sandwich and a cup of hot tea. Authentic Kiambu tea, grown in the vast flatlands of Limuru and the cold ridges of Riara. The kind of tea that is so rich in colour, it looks like it was scooped from a pool of muddy water. The kind that turns your saliva into a thick slippery brown gel. The kind that can keep your mind alert for two hours, to follow the proceedings of the first-ever Kiambu County gubernatorial debate. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for today’s debate moderator, a globally celebrated journalist and a son of Kiambu’s soil, Mr. Geoffrey Kuria!’ the host hypes […]

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Effervescence

Episode 6 – Lights. Camera. Action.

Michael Wambua is too friendly for an Insurance Claims agent. He is soft-spoken and has that blithe voice that can make a grotesque scenario seem bearable. A grotesque scenario like a car registered in your name getting caught up in a web of police investigations, two weeks to a general election in which your husband is a major contender. He is also very open-minded, Michael. Having handled motor vehicle insurance claims for the past five years, he had come across dozens of such cases. Where men had bought cars and registered them in their names, then gifted them to their mistresses. Mistresses happen to be poor drivers so accidents involving these cars are quite frequent. These men could not risk their names getting mentioned in the claim settlements since it would expose their little dirty affairs. So, for a few thousand shillings, Michael would ensure the names of these men did not come up anywhere in the report. The small amounts he receives from this little side – hustle keep him afloat. He has been able to buy himself a small piece of land in Ruai and is scheduled to lay the foundation of a small two – bedroomed house […]

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