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Deaths of Right - Part 1

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Growing up regaled with chronicles of humans who willingly compromise their comfort and stand guard, put their lives on the line, to protect the country, I was not insane to admire the military. I have been a certified military brat ever since I opened my eyes, and I’ve never entertained the silly thought. My father knew all the faraway lands more than his family as his father did. Once it hit me, I asked them “why”, to which they smiled and replied, “so you could live a better life”, which I did. The army biscuits, corned beef, the CamelBaks, military rucksacks, Swiss Army knives I stole to show off to kids at school, and the military T-Shirts were the evidence of a better life. Not to mention the truckloads of food Father came home with. Soon, Mother opened a kiosk. And that was my epiphany, which made me realise the pain behind the good life. *** The soldier’s face was impassive in the hot afternoon sun, waiting for the light to turn green. When he moved, he was as agile a

Imara Angani

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The crew room at Laikipia Air Base was a flurry of activity and a cacophony of telephones ringing off the hook. Fighter pilot Major Ahmednasir Ramah sweated copiously inside his flight suit as he waited anxiously beside the telephone, glancing every few seconds at the crew-room clock. Deep in his bones, he felt that either this mission would pass as a blip in his military career or it would be his last. Ramah held the telephone handset tight, raised it to his ear, and listened. “Interdiction mission,” the voice on the other end said. The Air Force Commander never issued mission orders to pilots, only through the Chief of Operations and Ops Room. But this was not a regular mission. “Yes, sir,” he said. Of all the times he had been on ‘Red’ standby, nothing had ever happened for him to respond. He held the receiver with both hands, but still, it shook. At the cockpit of the F5, he felt trapped, restless, and angry, and it seemed hours between each pre-flight check. When he lower

Kutupwa na System

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Major Stanley Ekuton sat ramrod straight on the senior passenger’s seat in the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) manoeuvring along the winding motorable track eight kilometres beyond the Kenya-Somalia border, his throat dry with agitation. His Commanding Officer’s last words were still fresh on his mind: OC, do not cross that border! (Source: intelligencebriefs.com) Ahead, through the dust, the enemy was escaping. “We should not be sitting ducks in the camp when al-Shabaab come to attack us,” he had replied. “We, too, should take the battle to them.” And with that, Officer Commanding Bravo Company, 80 Airborne Battalion of the Kenya Defence Forces, imposed radio silence on his battalion tactical command headquarters. “We are pursuing the enemy to the depths of hell if we have to,” he had told his platoon commander. “Order the platoon to cross the border—” “But, Afande, we are not supposed to cross the border. The rules of engagement—” “Officer, adui ni yule unamwangalia akito

Isolation in Intimacy

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Dear Love(s), I know you are hurt. If you weren’t, I wouldn’t be writing this. It is painful not to be loved back. I don’t even love myself. I am lying in bed drinking in your smell, my nose laments on the scents it is unfamiliar with — lavender; jasmine; and patchouli, earthy and musky smell, sweet yet smoky, a balance of sweetness and romance. It’s barely two hours since we made love. I took you to the stage. I kissed you amid calls by touts to board their matatu. I watched you settle in, and the matatu leave. I got back to my apartment. It smelled like you. I stripped off my clothes and got under the covers. I am sleeping in your scent. I am making love to you now, more passionate than when you were here with me. In my fantasies, you’re a goddess. It feels too real, hands on my skin, a hungry mouth, the warmth between your legs. In my isolation, I love you the most. Not when I am with you. I don’t touch you when we sleep, even when awake, and no cuddling. Only when we