Friday, October 4, 2019

Planet Spyria,
Spyria Year 4720,
Spyria High Council meeting.
The alien High Command took his seat. He looked at those present through his compound eyes, his mouth a thin line.
“We are the guardians of the galaxies,” his voice boomed. “The Multiverse is safe because of us.”
Every council member nodded in agreement.
“Our artificial intelligence was granted to Earthlings generations ago, a mistake by Her Highness the Most Supreme, I dare say. Humans now have made machines to conquer the Multiverse and beyond. We can’t let them.”
“High Command,” one of the High Council members said. “What does the Most Supreme want of us?”
“We must battle to save the Multiverse from aggressive take-over and annihilation by humans. Everything humans do is detrimental to their Universe and ultimately the Multiverse. Intelligence from the Inter-Galactic Intelligence Agency (IGIA) indicate that prototypes are at advanced stages.”
“Their aircrafts can now move between planets, their spaceplanes between galaxies,” the Inter-Galactic Clandestine Operations Commander said. “We need to send in saboteurs to make sure they crash after take-off.”
“Yes,” the High Command said. “Under the intergalactic law, no species are supposed to move across the Multiverse, no matter how advanced or complex their technologies may be. Yet humans are defying this law.”
It was not a discussion but a joint feeling they arrived at: either humans had to be re-educated or eradicated. In their telepathic manner, they decided that infiltrating aviation and space exploration agencies on Earth was the best course of action.
“Send to Earth the Inter-Galactic Clandestine Ops Squad,” the High Command ordered.

Planet Earth,
The Year 2037,
Earth Aviation and Space Council Meeting.
The president of the Earth Aviation and Space Council (EASC) cleared his throat. “Our aviation industry and space programs are the best in the multiverse. It is time we conquered worlds beyond,” he made a sweeping movement with his hand and the wall opposite him came to live.
“This is Galaxtron, Boeing’s 787 MaxSprint Hybrid Spaceplane prototype. The plane has hybrid combined cycle engines that can take off from an airport's landing strip and fly straight into orbit. The engines would use turbofan or turbojet engines to take off horizontally. Once airborne, the engine shifts to ramjet propulsion and, as speed increases, adjusts into a scramjet engine with supersonic airflow. At the scramjet stage, the hybrid spaceplane would enter hypersonic flight in 'near space', the part of the atmosphere between 20km to 100km above sea level. Finally, the spaceplane would use its rocket motors to push out of near space and into orbit …”
He paused. The men and women present looked at the president in awe.
“… What I’m saying is,” he smiled, “we can now go to other galaxies.”

Boeing Aerospace & Autonomy Centre,
Kajiado, Kenya.
Friday 13 May, 2050.
The flight engineer took the elevator to Basement 33 where the 10th Generation Boeing MaxSprint Hybrid Spaceplane was being built. The spaceplane was designed to fly into any galaxy, making stops at multiverses.
When he made sure he was alone, he transformed himself into a grey-skinned humanoid, four feet tall, bald, with black almond-shaped eyes, nostrils without a nose, slit for mouth, no ears, and four fingers ready to make contact with the High Command in planet Spyria.
“Avluk ah Kutak,” he said when he connected to the mother lode.
International Space Station,
Same Day, Same Time;
“Commander Edison,” the young female Science Officer called.
“Yes!” the Commander responded.
“There’s a cryptic transmission from a Boeing Aerospace & Autonomy Centre in Africa.”
“What does it say?”
“The message is ‘IT IS TIME’, nothing else.”
“Not yet established, but the DeciCode machine is trying to triangulate through the Multiverse.”
Year of the Lord, 2060
Earth Aviation and Space Council Meeting.
The intergalactic spy chief, Director Earth-Space Intelligence Agency (ESIA) walked up to the podium. He made a sweeping movement with his hand and the wall in front flashed to life. Images of the multiverse filled the mega floor-to-ceiling screen.
“Aliens in the multiverse now know we have what it takes to grow into a multiversal superpower,” he began. “Our aviation and space agencies have developed technologies that would enable us to explore and conquer the multiverse …”
He paused and looked at the men and women who made decisions based on what he told them.
“Intelligence indicate that aliens are wary of the 10th Generation Boeing MaxSprint Hybrid Spaceplane …”
His hand made another sweeping movement and the screen showed images of humanoid-like creatures gathered round a table.
“They call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxies from Planet Spyria. In 2027, they held a meeting where they resolved to sabotage our aviation and space programs. They activated the Inter-Galactic Clandestine Ops Squad to infiltrate the Earth …”
“Are you saying aliens have infiltrated not only our planet but also our agencies?” asked a diminutive Chinese astrophysicist.
“That’s what intelligence indicates. We believe all the aircraft accidents we have had since the turn of the millennium are caused by the aliens; but just crashing the aircrafts was not enough. They decided to be hijacking the aircrafts to study our technologies and seep our knowledge. That’s why Malaysian airlines Flight 370 was never discovered.”
“Come on Finch, we both know that aliens had nothing to do with that flight’s disappearance. The US of A knows and should tell us—”
“I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I’m an intelligence officer. Those aliens who infiltrated Boeing engineered the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) which activates without pilot input and commands the aircraft nose down and can’t be deactivated. That’s why the Indonesia and Ethiopian Airlines crashes happened; and many others after that.”
“What you don’t know about the Boeing MaxSprint Spaceplane is that it’s capable of harvesting energy from distant stars during its stops at multiverses expanding our intergalactic control,” the President chimed in.
The spy continued, “What aliens are worried of is that our harvesting this energy will make the stars fall beyond the cosmic horizon and become unobservable and inaccessible, thus limiting how much energy could one day be extracted from them. These Guardians believe that they were sanctioned by God to protect the multiverses. They don’t want us to get there. They believe that we will destroy the multiverses if not checked.”
All the eyes in the room riveted on him.
“Planet Spyria is one of the most advanced civilizations in the multiverse. They understand the grim reality of universal expansion, and they wouldn't just sit around idle while our spaceplanes made multiverse stops capturing stars from other galaxies, reeling them in and harvesting their energy and rendering them inaccessible forever. Either we be educated, or eradicated. And they chose to eradicate us.

“That explains why Boeing MaxSprint Spaceplanes have been crashing or disappearing since their inception in 2030. Investigations point to sabotage from within or auto-activation of a device that makes it undetectable by the radar shortly after take-off before the aliens hijack it never to be seen.” 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Lovely People, Readers and Lovers of good stories; 

I know I have been a disappointment this year; not writing as much as I am supposed. I'm sorry, I take the blame. But, I never forgot about you, about our unwritten pact that I should give you interesting stories every other day. 

I have been busy making another baby, born of first love; and here she is: INEVITABLE DESIRES: First Love. It is a story you don't want to miss. 

Hedwig Sanzi Joe, aka Heddie, is an innocent high school girl when she falls in love with a reformed criminal working in the church. When she becomes of age and decided to give the man of her dreams her heart, she doesn't know that she has signed for the greatest hurt, betrayal, and confusion she would ever experience. Skeletons of her boyfriend's past decide to crawl out of the closet and all she ever believed in is shattered. She doesn't know that she is moving from one criminal to another when she makes the mistake of marrying the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance until she learns that her husband is the real criminal, not the boyfriend she let go.

This is Heddie's story, the school girl that Kennedy Maina meets towards the end of Twisted Times: Son of Man.

On 31 October, 2019 - that's when this story gets out and Hedwig spills the beans about her secret life. 

PRE-ORDER today to be the first to get the copy on 31 October, 2019. It's only Ksh. 600 (Paybill No. 909534 - Mystery Publishers LTD; put your name as the account number).

Monday, May 6, 2019

I woke up with a start. The smell of burning flesh congested the air. I did not know it was my skin singeing until I screamed in pain.
I’m dying. Oh God, please no. I can’t breathe.
My body gave to unknown force, and fell into a dark abysmal hole, head first.
“You left me,” I heard a voice say.
Love killed me!
Marline sat across from Eddah on the bed, the bench, where they judged their friends, sentenced obstinate boyfriends to death, gossiped about whose of their baby-mama girlfriends’ boyfriends was deadbeat, and who was trying to snatch so-and-so’s sugar daddy. 
Eddah reached for the glass of tonic water on the bedside stand and gave it to Marline.
Marline wiped her eyes with Eddah’s handkerchief.
“He did not even care,” Marline said. “I needed him, and he told me to leave.”
Eddah watched Marline’s hand’s delicate movement as she dabbed at her eyes.
“I will talk to him?” Eddah offered.
“The worst part of it is that I couldn’t walk, the pain was killing me,” Marline said. “It’s not like I was pretending to stay in his house. I just wanted one more night for the pain to subside.”
“Men are dogs,” Eddah said.
Marline said nothing, as if the silence was the answer. As if she did not blame herself already. What troubled her was not Finnly’s heartlessness, she knew, but the impact of what the man she loved had done.
“Finn,” she said when I picked up. “I wish you pretended you cared; that’s the least you could do.”
That’s not what I expected her to say. She couldn’t understand, see that I cared for her, despite how twisted my idea of caring was.
I exhaled heavily.
“I’m hurting because of love, my love for you,” she said. “I have endometriosis for God’s sake. I just needed you to care.”
Her words were a slap to my face.
I’m sorry, I wanted to say. But the silence was so palpable that I could hear her heart beating and the tears dropping on her lap.
“You’re not going to say anything, that you’re sorry?” her voice trailed off.
“What do you want me to say?”
She drew a deep breath and blew her nose. My heart grew heavy with sadness and grief, and, in hindsight, I hated myself for making her cry. What mattered to her was not what I meant to do but what I had done: me chasing her away from my house when she was hurting, the way I did not care about her.
She got back to Marline’s house in the middle of the afternoon. Marline was still in bed, her eyes red and swollen.
“Marlee, dear!” Eddah said. “Crying yourself to death won’t help.”
When they hugged, Marline’s body did not relax against Eddah’s.
“I’m no longer crying,” she said.
Eddah watched Marline curl up under the sheets, telling herself she was mistaken; there was nothing to read in Marline’s tone. But it bothered her.
“I know it’s hard, Marlee, but you need to forget him.”
“Yes, I know. When love ends, life moves on!”
At that moment, Eddah knew. She knew from the way Marline pulled the sheets over herself, from the anger on her face, from the way her eyes narrowed at something distant, and from the way her lips pursed, that Marline would do something terrible.
“Please, don’t do this to yourself. Don’t hurt yourself. He is not worthy it.”
Marline sat up and looked at her.
Eddah would always remember Marline’s expression, her feral portent eyes, her trembling lips, her hands folding into fists and gathering the sheets and throwing them away; Marline getting out of the bed and stomping out.
Alone, I was furious.
Heartless, an animal.
When I visited him, I was surprised.
“Why are you so nice to me,” I asked.
He said nothing. He reached for me and smashed his lips onto mine. When I did not respond, he pried them with the tip of his tongue.
“Why are you so nice to me?” I asked him again.
“I’ve realized the error of my ways,” he said at last.
I looked at him, resentful of his frail attempts at making up without saying anything, of how sweet it sounded when he said, “You know I love you, Em,” as if his words were the mortar that I needed to cement my life to him.
I don’t love you. I hoped I was not angry and that the anger won’t get back to him because I did not want to pine. But I did pine: I always wore the locket he gave me, slept in his T-Shirt, every day read the poems he had written to me, and listened to the songs he liked.
“Why do you love me?”
“Love has got no reason,” he said.
His words almost changed my mind.
Heart, you may feel; head, you may think, but Marline, darling, you’re showing this animal the error of his ways.
“Love comes first, reasons follow, you know,” he said.
“What?” I looked at him.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “Forgive me.” I rolled every letter in my head.
My mind flashed into the future, when he had hurt me again. I felt like I was piecing together the shards of a broken glass only to have it shatter again.
“I’m here, I’m I not?” I said.
When he went down on me, he flicked his tongue over me but time did not stop like the first time he did it. When he kissed me, I did not close my eyes. I want to carry the look on his eyes forever.
The world did not spin when he was inside me. I raised my hips, moved with his deep thrusts, wriggled like a snake as if I was breaking free shackles off my wrists, exorcising demons, freeing myself with the soft moans that escaped my mouth.
I meant to hold her and never let go of her. Yes, I had told her to leave my house, but it was because I was scared, I couldn’t take care of her. I thought she was going to die on me and complicate my life more. Forbidden love is poison.
Long after midnight, serene in her sleep like a baby in my arms, I listened to her post-coital breathing even out against my chest. She was back in my arms, I was never going to hurt her; bigamy was a crime I was ready to be convicted for.
Unbroken happiness is a bore, the words of Moliere hang like a bad dream on my mind. It should have ups and down.
I was happy.
One minute I was asleep, snuggled in the crook of his arm, his semen drying up between my legs. Another, I stood over him, so gentle in sleep.
You don’t trifle with people’s emotions. No, you don’t get to trifle with my feelings, my heart.
There was no looking back. Your goose is cooked.
For the first time, I smoked, blew the smoke leisurely through my mouth and nose, and dropped the cigar.
The curtains caught fire first.
When he woke up, he hunched over and clutched his stomach. Then he started coughing, moaning, and screaming in that order.

I knew the kind of death he would have, but most importantly, the last person he saw and the voice he heard before he succumbed. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Love was a problem for me. It was a complexity I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need; a combination that had been denied to me by my vocation. In my third year of theology at the seminary I was yet to hear the voice of God calling me to serve Him.
Professionally, I am a soldier. The Chaplains’ Corps was the last army unit I ever thought I could be posted to after my graduation at the Armed Forces Training College. Father wanted to be a military ordinariate. The day he met my mother, he devoured the forbidden fruit and said “Go to hell God with your call”. Remotely, he still believed that it was God’s will he met Mother.
Sister Elizabeth of the Order of Mary the Immaculate Conception was passionate, outspoken, unwavering in her convictions. She listened to no one below the rank of God, and delved too much into the service of the church she loved.
Thoughts trundled in my mind like a train during the ride to Sr. Elizabeth’s convent in Nairobi. When I saw her, my heart whooped. She was in her seven-frilled habit, a snow-white veil swathing her head.
Sadistic, no, sexual, thoughts entered my mind. I wanted to peel every layer of her holy dress and make love to her.
I talked nonsense. Holy crap. The shock on her face was a constellation of her eyes admonishing me and her lips quivering.
“You can’t just leave,” she said.
“How’s so, Liz? I’m not going to live a lie for the rest of my life.”
“Victor, I can’t be with you. What you’re asking of me is impossible …”
“Impossible as it may seem, but I know you too want it. We both were not cut for this.”
“Remember I have taken my vows.”
“Temporary vows, Elizabeth. Temporary. That means you could change your mind any time.”
“That’s trifling with God, Victor. You can’t play trial and error with God.”
I wanted her back. She had once followed me, she could do it again.
“That’s ridiculous, Victor.” Her lips were trembling. Her face dull, devoid of emotions. Her eyes were like gunshots fired at the soul of my soul. 
“What are you going to do?” I asked her when I realized she no longer loved me the way I thought she did.
“Nothing. You know where I belong.”
“Let’s go then.”
“Where to?”
“To where you belong, start afresh the life we left.”
“You don’t understand. I now belong to the Church.”
I looked at her. “What?”
“You heard me. I am not leaving with you.” She paused. “People change. Life changes; but not for life. Vic, you need to live, but not with Sister Elizabeth.”
“Well, I would like to know now that you mention it,” I said.
“What would we, no, you, tell people?” she stared at me with glaring eyes. “What would you tell the parish, your family and friends, the Christians, and the Bishop?”
“You can’t tell people anything. They know too much about you than you do.”
She faced me. “Isn’t this some sort of brewery for sin, Victor? Don’t even try it. You are using the sword that would kill you.”
“God can’t kill me for leaving the seminary. Plus, there’re a lot of things we do not know, Elizabeth. This is one of them. There are others.”
“I don’t want to know about them, what they are.”
“No, you don’t,” I agreed. “Look, what do you want? An apology for telling you the truth? For telling you to break your vows? If I’m sorry is that I have not told you to be sacrilegious, heretical, blasphemous, or to curse God.”
“This is never going to happen, not with me.”
Don’t walk out on me, Liz.
“Look, Victor. Your leaving the seminary means nothing to me, and concerns me in no way. Everybody carries their own cross. Carry yours to God and tell Him that you did not want to be a priest because you couldn’t control your bodily desires. I have left my past. I live for today. The bible says we forget the past, our sins would be forgiven for those who repent, and our failures would be perfected.” With that she rose to go.
I stood up and blocked her way. “Elizabeth, stop being disillusioned. This wasn’t part of our plan. You just shut me off when you came here. What happened to us, Elizabeth?”
“What exactly do you want?”
“I want you. I need you because I love you.”
Were I firing a gun at her she couldn’t have reacted such smartly.
“I am sorry, Victor.”
A tight feeling rose from the pit of my stomach and blocked throat.
“I am sorry too, Elizabeth,” I said, my hackles beginning to rise. “You don’t see the depravity in your so-called church. Which is better: live with sin or in sin?”
“That’s not what you told me is why you’re leaving.”
“Well, it’s part of the bargain.”
She said nothing.
“Elizabeth, stop playing naive and blind. You know what I am talking about. You’ve seen it. All we’ve in the church is Romeo & Juliet garbed in albs and cassocks and frilled convent dresses.”
She was silent for a long period. “I am not leaving,” she said at last. “Period.”
I knew that her mind was made up. I took a step towards her and she stepped back. I put my hand on her shoulder. She didn’t pull it away. That encouraged me, but I didn’t pull her to me.
“Do you remember that day?”
“How can I forget?”
“What you told me?”
“Everything is as fresh as morning dew in me, but it’s all gone, Vic.”
We were in the convent chapel. I didn’t care when I kissed her. Her mouth was cold and soft. I smelt her hair, ran my hand through it. I kissed her cheek, felt the softness, salty with tears I hadn’t seen or known where they had come from.

Slowly, she pushed me away; her hands between us where I had felt the rubbery of her breasts on my chest. She stared at me, deathly pale, disapproving what I had done. At last she pried off me without even a word.
Liz, who do you think you’re? You don’t belong there. You’re just a fucking slut, not a nun. You were never a nun. Not chaste ... I thought as I watched her walk away from me.
“You are going back to the seminary, Victor,” my father boomed. “I am your father and I know what best is for you. You’ve got no right whatsoever to question my stand on certain issues. My mind is made up.”
Who the hell does he think he is?
My heart palpitated as adrenalin coursed through me. I stood up, halted before him and gave him a mock salute.
“Even my mind is made up,” I said, and with that I about-turned and marched out.
We were huddled in bed, cuddling. Mariah Carey was singing to us We Belong Together. Her cell phone rang and she picked it up pronto. Her expression changed as she screamed in joy, laughing. Whoever the caller is must be making her ovaries go off like fire crackers, I thought as a pang of jealousy stung me.

“Guess what, babe?” she said when the call ended.
“Honey, you know me. I’m not good at guesses.”
“Come on, babe. Try pleaaaaaaase …”
It’s a trap. Never try it. So I didn’t fall for it.
“It’s Val, babe,” she said. “She’s coming over. She’d stay for some time.”
“Wonderful. She’d even help you with the shopping and all.” Being dragged to our wedding preparations was the last thing I wanted. So, the prospect of someone else being there for her was my exit from the whole brouhaha.
She giggled.
“And watch her like a hawk, I am not ready to be seduced by your best friend.”
She gave me a light slap on my arm. “I believe in you. You’re not that slippery. Moreover, Val can’t do that. I trust her, I know her well.”
Valerie was Elizabeth’s best friend. We all came from the same ‘hood; grew up together. Valerie was the kind of friend parents warn their children not to keep. ‘She’ll teach you boys,’ Elizabeth’s mother told her. But Valerie and Elizabeth were inseparable. The beating and the castigation didn’t separate them, then Elizabeth’s mother stopped trying to keep them away from each other.
My father was a good friend of Elizabeth’s. They were more than just business partners—they were Brothers, had influence in the church all the way to the Vatican. Rumours had it that they were Freemasons. Dad was a good friend of the Pope, it was the Pope who allowed Father to marry. Insider information had it that the Pope was even considering allowing priests to marry, but Dad was not patient to wait for the time to come. For all he knew, it could be black smoke from the Sistine Chapel.
Elizabeth and I grew up together; our families shared moments: birthdays, religious and national holidays, family prayers. When our parents went to Rome on some church errand for the church in Kenya, they took us with them. My most memorable moment was when Pope Francis took Elizabeth and me in his arms; he was so strong for his age. I cherish that photo to-date.
Elizabeth was her family’s candy, and the lily of our family. Mom loved her so much that it hurt she did not have a daughter of her own. When we came of age, Mom and Dad fought: she wanted me to be a family man, to continue the family line, perhaps with Elizabeth, Dad wanted me to fulfil his military ordinariate dream. However, I had set my eyes on Elizabeth.
After high school, Elizabeth went to the University of Nairobi. Dad got me into the army.  
It was the shock of my life when I was posted to the Chaplains Corps, the first ever General Service Officer in the history of the Kenya Defence Forces, all Dad’s doing. Priests join the army when they are already serving priests as specialist officers and undergo a four-month basic military training course.
The Chaplains’ Corps sent me to the seminary. I said goodbye to Elizabeth. She cried a river. “Wherever you’ll go, I’ll follow you,” she told me. I doubted she would join the convent, but she surprised me.
I was not meant to be a priest. Many are called, but few are chosen. I had a serious chat with God. We agreed He could as well make use of the ones who were joining it to make money. So, I left. I asked Elizabeth to go with me—wherever you’ll go, I’ll follow you, she had told me—but she refused.
So, when, a year later, she called me and told me that she had left the convent, I welcomed her back to my life. I’d had other women in my life, flings that didn’t mean anything, but none took me to the heights Elizabeth did.
Valerie and Elizabeth worked together at the Nation Media Group: Val was an investigative reporter with the Daily Nation, Elizabeth was an anchoress, with NTV.
Now that Elizabeth and I were about to wed and Val had moved in with us, I watched them closely. There was something strange about them: they did not seem get enough of each other.
In the afternoon of this day, Elizabeth’s Buick and Val’s Honda were in the garage. I cursed the senseless fiend for invading our privacy. The front door was locked, so I used the back door. As I entered, two floral bikinis caught my eye on the sunbathing decks at the swimming pool. Soft music played in the house and I was immediately aroused.
Halfway up the stairs to the bedroom I heard low soft moans and whispers. The door was ajar.
I came to an abrupt halt and peeped, hypnotized. 

When I couldn’t take any more, and before I made a mistake I would regret the rest of my life, I mentally counted from one hundred backwards. Stealthily, I snuck out as I had come.  I half ran half walked to my car and drove to nowhere in particular. I needed to think.
At last I made the decision: Val had to go.  
I ignored all the signs, the signals. I’m such a fool.
When I arrived home later in the evening, Liz and Val shone like diamonds. Dinner was served, and we ate, ambivalent.  
I wanted to go to bed early. Liz said it was OK. “I will join you later, babe.”
No way. Not today. I wanted to be with her. I reached for her. Time to go, babe.
“Good night, Val,” I said.
“Night too, lovebirds.”
“And Val ... ahem … I think Liz and I need some privacy,” I said. I squeezed Elizabeth’s hand. “I mean, give us some space because you know we’re planning to wed soon.”
Valerie’s face turned from bright to dull in a fraction of a nanosecond, but I pulled Elizabeth before Valerie could say anything and went to our bedroom.        
“I’m coming back. I want to talk to Val,” Liz said once we were in the bedroom.
Not this time round. I am the boss.           
“You are going nowhere!”
“What!? If that’s what’s in your mind, Val is going nowhere.”
My heart skipped a beat.

“She goes, I go with her,” and with that, Liz stomped out.