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This is my submission for Friday Fictioneers. It’s been two years since my last submission :-/

You can read about Friday Fictioneers at the end of this post.
Join us.

Below is the picture prompt for last week and below that is my story.

Copyright - John Nixon

Copyright – John Nixon

Picture copyright John Nixon.

Introduction
Good music always came from the piano when Roch sat before it. Beautiful music. Tom knew this because everyone clapped when Roch sat before that piano. Tom wanted people to clap for him too.

One day, Tom sat on Roch’s chair before the piano. He tapped the keys as he had seen Roch do many times before, but the music that came out of the piano was not as nice as when Roch sat there. He tried again. Still not as nice.

Maybe the piano did not like making music for strangers. Tom decided to introduce himself to the piano.

—-
100 words

You can read pieces by other participants here.

I read all your comments and I appreciate them, even if I take long to respond and even if I do not respond to each comment individually.

About Friday Fictioneers
Friday Fictioneers is a group that works as follows:
Every week a picture is put up at the Rochelle’s blog.
Prompted by that picture, you write a piece of fiction that is 100 words long (or as close as you can get).
You add a link to your story on the Fictioneers page, and read the (excellent) stories by the other Friday Fictioneers.

Feel free to join us! Everyone is welcome.

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Tout

Hello readers! I have not been a good blogger. I know I say things like that from time to time, when I realise how long it has been since I blogged. It’s not that I don’t have things to blog about, especially since this is a more-or-less anything goes kind of blog, it’s just that I don’t get round to typing it out while the stories are fresh in my mind.

Anyway, now that I’m here, here is a story I wrote months ago:

Tout

He should have left an hour earlier. He never seemed to learn. He was annoyed with himself. He had dilly-dallied in the house until past noon. Now he was going to be late and he may have to push some of the things he had planned to do to his next visit to town. Oh well. Nothing much to be done about that now.

He sat in the matatu- the small Nissan van that was authorised to seat fifteen, including the driver and the tout who called for passengers and collected fare, in five rows of seats. The Nissan may actually have been a Toyota, but for some reason people called them all Nissans. Peculiar Kenyan habit.

The arrangement of seats was the same in most of the matatus: the driver had two pasengers to his left. Behind him, was usually a partition of some sort. Some matatus had speakers installed there, some just had metal rods. This matatu had some sort of board behind the driver’s row. There may have been speakers within that board, but if so, they were not on. The row immediately behind the driver usually sat three passengers – sometimes four when demand for matatus exceeded supply. The tout’s traditional seat was on the third row right next to the vehicle’s sliding door. This seat was separated from the other two seats on its row by a gap that allowed passengers to pass to and from the last two rows. The fourth row was similar to the third.

He sat on the fourth row, moved his fare from his wallet to the more easily accessible shirt pocket, then settled to continue reading the Ruth Rendell mystery he was currently on.

The matatu set off. There were the usual activities – the tout collecting fare from the passengers, row by row, issuing change where necessary, tapping the vehicle to signal the driver to stop to drop or pick passengers and so on. He was engrossed in the novel and was not paying too much attention to the goings-on around him.

Usually, the conductor asks one of the passengers on the second row to collect fare from those at the front. Actually he does not really ask – he simply taps the passenger’s shoulder then points at the front-row passengers. The selected passenger in turn taps the shoulders of the two and they pass the money backwards to him or her. In this case, The board behind the driver’s row made this ritual impossible. The conductor therefore had to lean out of his window and reach towards the front passenger window to ask for fare.

From his seat on the row behind the conductor, G saw the conductor lift his right leg. This curious sight drew him from the mystery world to the real one he was in. Before he fully took in what was happening, he wondered what the conductor was doing – trying to step on a passenger? Oh, he’s just collecting fare. But why has he lifted his leg so high? He first recoiled as he realised what was happening, even as it unfolded, then lunged forward to try and save the tout.

The tout’s left foot that was on the floor of the vehicle lost balance for some reason (a discarded polythene bag, it later turned out). The left foot slid towards the right, making the tout lose balance. The tout’s body was mostly out of the window and this offset made his upper body now lean downwards. In panic, he tried to better grip the area above the door, but his hand was holding money and was therefore not fully available.

G tried to grip the tout’s leg, but gravity won and the tout fell out of the window and onto the tarmac. Inertia carried him forward, which was both a good and a bad thing. It was good because it saved his arm from being run over by the back wheel of the matatu, but it was bad to have one’s face and body scraping on the tarmac.

The driver stopped the vehicle almost immediately. The shouts and screams from the passengers reduced as they got out of the vehicle and cautiously looked at the tout, who was still lying on the road.

G didn’t look much, not wanting to see grisly scenes that would stick in his mind for long. In fact, he stood there for a few moments, looking at the backs of the small crowd that was standing around the injured man and debating what to do, just so that he would not seem callous if he just walked away immediately. After what he considered a respectable time, he walked back to the nearest bus stop to wait for another matatu.

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Part One is here.

——
First stop was a slide. In my estimation, it was maybe 10 metres high. That is about 3 floors up.
“How much?”
“200/-”
It sounded like a lot
Someone must have asked if that price was per slide (as in the child slides down just once) because the man replied and said “No many times.”
Ah, that’s not bad. Indeed the number of times a child could slide was unlimited. In fact, as I stood there, it was some parents who were telling their children to leave.
I later thought it was a self-limiting thing.
For each slide, the child has to climb maybe 50 stairs, then slide down and climb up again. Naturally, the child gets tired of climbing.

After sliding a number of times, Amor finally said she had had enough.
“Utaenda mara moja ya mwisho ama umetosheka?”
(Will you go once more or you are satisfied?)
“Nimetosheka,” she said.
(Enough).

Next was the small Ferris wheel. Pretty basic. Maybe 4 metres high. And manually operated.
When I say manually, I mean people make it rotate and stop by hand (and leg and whole body). It started drizzling as Amor was waiting to get onto the Ferris wheel, so I gave her her jumper/jacket and my hat.

Do not be misled by my quiet description. The place was noisy! Children yelling, music, some shouting. Particularly prominent was a man inviting people to his booth to see allegedly amazing things. If you look in the background (on the right hand side) of the video above, you will see some of the drawings outside his booth – a bodiless head, a pygmy, mermaid…
“Mbao! Mbao!Mbao! Mbao!Mbao! Mbao!
Mbao mtu mkubwa shilingi kumi mtoto,” he said.
(“Twenty shillings for an adult, ten for a child!”)
“Wewe! Umeleta pesa yako?”
(“You! Have you given me your money?”)
(He was not too big on politeness).
“Nyumba ni ndogo lakini maajabu ni kubwa!”
Later, I heard him now saying “Mbao kila mtu. Nimesema mbao kila mtu.”
(“Twenty shillings per person. I have said twenty shillings per person.”)

On a side note, ‘Mbao’ is a corruption of the word pound. It means twenty (usually shillings). I hear that it came into use when the British pound was worth twenty Kenya Shillings. It is now worth about 140 Shillings.

We went to the mini-train, perhaps the very same train that my dad took me to when I was a kid. Or maybe not. We also went to one of the merry-go-rounds, and after that Amor had a camel ride.

There were very many secondary school students in uniform around. Many were taking photos at the many photo booths around. These booths had backdrops consisting of photos of people that looked like the actors in those Mexican soaps. A number also had pictures of the Jamaican artist Konshens who recently visited Nairobi. I contemplated taking a photo in one of the booths with Amor, but thought that years later she might not see the joke and might think her dad was shady.

Later, we visited a few of the agricultural stands and saw some cows and sheep and vegetables, but soon it was time to leave. Buses were charging 150/- per seat, because of the rain. Kenya Bus was charging a bit less, but for that you’d have to queue in the rain. It should have cost at most 50/- on a regular day. The rain ensured that the buses got passengers despite their extortionist fare. I finally got Amor home at about 8:30, I think.

 

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This is my submission for Friday Fictioneers.
You can read about Friday Fictioneers at the end of this post.
Join us.

Below is the picture prompt for last week and below that is my story.
Picture copyright Sandra Crook

Picture copyright Sandra Crook

Picture copyright Sandra Crook

Like A Lamb
“I think we should go back.”
“Why?”
“There is something wrong up ahead.”
“And you know this how?”
“The sheep, of course.”
“Sheep always walk in herds.”
“Yes, I know but these sheep are all running away from their homes.”
“Oh, so you recognise the sheep now, eh?”
“Yes. No. I mean no sheep live on the farms behind us.”
“Hah! I’m not following sheep like, well, a lamb.”
“I’m serious. There is something bad ahead. Animals sense such things.”
“Maybe. But we humans have developed technology to detect danger. We are superior to – Turn back! Turn back!
—-
99 words

You can read pieces by other participants here.
I read all your comments and I appreciate them, even if I take long to respond and even if I do not respond to each comment individually.

About Friday Fictioneers
Friday Fictioneers is a group that works as

follows:
Every week a picture is put up at the Rochelle’s blog.
Prompted by that picture, you write a piece of fiction that is 100 words long (or as close as you can get).
You add a link to your story on the Fictioneers page, and read the (excellent) stories by the other Friday Fictioneers.

Feel free to join us! Everyone is welcome.

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I attended Amor’s school’s prize-giving day.
I arrived and sat just a few minutes before the guest of honour arrived. Good thing for me too because chairs ran out. There were tents that had been set up and decked approximately in the schools colours. After the national anthem, the guest of honour inspected a guard of honour of the scouts and girl guides. Pupils from various classes made various presentations: songs, poems, dances.

Guard of honour

Guard of honour

I noticed two things: One was that the pupils presenting were mainly girls, especially in groups from the upper classes. I think the ratio of boys to girls presenting was around 1 to 7 or more. In fact, I noticed one group had three boys as they came onto the front singing. Turned out the boys were there to crack some jokes as part of the presentation.

The second thing was that the songs sung were predominantly Christian songs. These were sung even by groups that had girls wearing hijabs in them. I wondered if the teachers who taught these songs thought about this. Maybe they consider it a form of ministry. I also wondered what the hijab-wearing girls and their parents thought about this.

The pupils were supposed to share a microphone, but in many cases, the one holding the mic hogged it, so that it was predominantly her voice that was heard.

Amor received a prize for her performance last year. I noticed that we are indeed still fairly British. I think every person I saw carried their prizes still wrapped, as opposed to the American way where you open presents immediately upon receipt.

After the event was over, parents went to collect report forms and marked exam papers from the class teachers, and also to discuss the pupils’ progress. Amor had topped her class again this term, and was third in the entire Standard Two. The teacher said she loves books and is always doing something book-related. Amor told me last month that from 3:10 to 4:30 p.m, pupils in her class draw, while some do modelling using plasticine. She herself does revision because she does not have a drawing book and she does not like modelling, because some of the plasticine is soft and sticks to the hands. I bought her a drawing book that day.
———–

“Do you know what an ATM is?”
Amor shook her hed.
“Do you know what this is?” I asked showing her my Visa-branded ATM card.
“Yes.”
“What is it?”
“Visa.”
“What is it for?”
Kama huna pesa unalipa nayo.
(“When you don’t have money you pay with it.”)
(Visa’s advertising seems to be working).
We went to an ATM.
“See what is written up there?” I asked pointing at the large letters ‘ATM’
We waited as the lady at the machine finished and left.
I put in my card and keyed in my PIN.
Amor was ready to extract the money. She seemed to know what to expect.
Then she put her had ready for the receipt.

We went to the bank and got a ticket.
The number on it was 1699.
“Can you read this number?”
“No,” she said.
I covered the first three digits, showing only the last.
“What number is this?”
“Nine,” she said. That one was easy.
I then showed her the last two digits
“Ninety-nine,” she read.
“Good. What comes after ninety-nine?”
“A hundred,” she replied.
“When you count up to one hundred and ninety-nine, what comes next?”
“Two hundred.”
She correctly read the ‘699.’
“Good. Then when you count up to nine hundred and ninety-nine, what comes next? When you count up to five hundred, then six hundred up to nine hundred and ninety-nine, what comes next?”
“One thousand.”
I showed the whole ticket number
“One thousand, six hundred and ninety-nine,” she said.
“Excellent!”

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My wife, son and I were driving from seeing a friend.
The engine temperature indicator started flashing red. We stopped for lunch.
After lunch, the car started okay. We drove maybe 2.2km metres then the car stalled, just behind Junction. I pushed it to the side of the road, which was quite a task, because the middle part of the road was raised higher than the sides.
Get a new battery? Call a friend for help? Stop a car to jump start?

Jumper cable

Jumper cable. Free pic from http://morguefile.com/creative/cohdra

A pickup drove by and my wife, being the one who is more inclined to talking to strangers, asked them to help.
The pickup turned and parked next to our car, partly blocking the one lane of the road.

We successfully jump-started the car.
We gave the helpful men 200/- and drove off.

The car stalled again near The Junction, not very far from where we had jump-started it.
I again pushed the car about 140m into the mall’s parking lot.
I called our mechanic and spoke to him about battery specifications, so we’d know which battery to get.
We went into Nakumatt and bought new battery.
The car started nicely and we drove off again.

We had gone maybe 3.2km (two miles) when the indicator started flashing again, and, sure enough, the car stopped.
We paused there a few moments.
I started the car and drove off the road.
A cop came to complain that we should not park on the road.
Really, Mr Officer? You think I just decided to park on the road?

I took a matatu (public transport minibus) to a petrol station about 1 km away
How much is coolant?
600/- said one attendant.
650/-, said another.
I paid 600/-
There was a paper on one of the pumps that indicated that coolant was 510/-
Back to the car.
Added coolant. Started again and drove off.
2.5 km on, the car stalled near another petrol station. We managed to get it into the station.
An attendant said car was overheating. He seemed surprised that we did not know this.
He added water to the car’s engine. We waited a bit and finally went home well.

Lesson firmly learnt: When the engine temperature indicator flashes, just add coolant or water. Better still, check coolant levels in the morning when the car is still cool and top up as necessary. (Opening the cover when the engine is hot usually results in the release of lots of hot steam and hot water, hence the morning time).

http://www.freemaptools.com/measure-distance.htm

Related

http://www.savvykenya.com/2014/04/15/embarrassing-moments-are-made-of-these/

Car Trouble 1

car Trouble 2

 

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This is my submission for Friday Fictioneers.
You can read about Friday Fictioneers at the end of this post.
Join us.

Below is the picture prompt for last week and below that is my story.
Picture copyright Danny Bowman

Greener

2014-03-07lengai_summit_from_crater-danny-bowman

Picture copyright Danny Bowman

“Hey look! There’s green grass on that hill!” he said.
“Grass is greener on the other side, eh?” she replied.
“Yes! We can finally graze our animals properly.”
“When the grass is greener, it’s because someone’s watering it.”
His smile faded. “You mean there could be people living there?”
“Yes, and I don’t think they’d welcome our tribe, especially when they find out we’ve finished the grass on our hills.”
“Well, I’m going to find out” he said, starting down the ridge.
“No, wait!” she said. “It could be dangerous.”

The arrow that flew into his chest proved her right.
—-
100 words

You can read pieces by other participants here:

I read all your comments and I appreciate them, even if I take long to respond and even if I do not respond to each comment individually.

About Friday Fictioneers
Friday Fictioneers is a group that works as follows:
Every week you get a picture.
Prompted by that picture, you write a piece of fiction that is 100 words long (or as close as you can get).
You add a link to your story on the Fictioneers page, and read the (awesome) stories by the other Friday Fictioneers.

Feel free to join us! Everyone is welcome.

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Some background.
I got a Samsung Galaxy Y-Pro Duos in Sept 2012.
In May 2013, I won a new phone by cracking a cipher.
—–
After several delays (the friend who was giving away the phone lives outside Kenya) I finally collected the new phone from our mutual friend George (of Half-Marathon fame). It was a Samsung Galaxy SIII.

IMG_9852
After getting home and taking a few pictures, I opened the box, looked at the quick start guide and opened the phone to put in my SIM Card.

IMG_9861Alas! My SIM card did not fit. The quick start guide had said that the phone takes a microSIM card only. What to do, what to do? I Googled and found that you can cut the SIM card yourself. Or buy a SIM cutter on EBay. I called my wife to ask her to pass by a phone shop and ask them if they cut SIM cards to microSIMs. She said she would call a friend who also has/had an SIII and find out what she had sone about SIM cards. She said the friend got hers cut at a Safaricom shop. Another friend also said they got their SIM card cut for them for 100/-.

After watching a video and reading a few articles that gave the dimensions of a microSIM, I went ahead and cut the SIM card myself. After a few attempts and further trimming, I successfully slid (shoved?) it into the new phone. Yay!
I switched on the phone and ‘No SIM card,’ it said.
Tried again. No SIM card. Pushed it further in.
No SIM Card…
Sigh!
Looks like I will have to wait for tomorrow after all.

I put the SIM card back in the Y Pro and got varying results as I moved it from one SIM card slot to the other – sometimes the phone would ‘see’ it, sometimes it would not.

Transfer of contacts.
I finally got the YPro to see the SIM card. I copied all the contacts that were on the SIM card to the phone.
I Googled again and found that there were software applications that allow you to easily transfer stuff from one phone to another. Having once downloaded Samsung’s own Kies software, I tried installing it on my computer to transfer via my phone. The installation could not continue because the computer did not have an Internet connection. Bah.

Then I remembered seeing ‘Send Namecard via’ on the Y Pro.
I went to it and saw that one of the options was via Bluetooth. What’s more, there was an option for Select All! I did not need to send the contacts one by one.

I connected the two phones via Bluetooth, shared the contacts and voila! All the contacts were transferred! I had feared that it would take a while since I was transferring many contacts (over 400, I think), but it took only a few seconds.

I got a microSIM and an adapter from Safaricom for KShs 100/-, I think. The adapter is to be used if I want to use the microSIM with a phone that takes the larger, regular-sized SIM cards.

160MB to 16GB
The SIII has 16GB memory, while the YPro has 160MB (excluding the memory card that some apps do not use). That is 100 times as much space! No more warnings that I am running out of space. No more having to choose which apps to delete to install a new one. Now more having to uninstall and reinstall apps just to get an updated version (Updates used to fail because of insufficient space). Naturally, I was elated!

Some things I was now able to enjoy:
I installed Handcent SMS

  • allows you to attach a contact as plain text not business card
  • has the option to delay sending a message lest you spot an error or decide you are being rude and want to rephrase

Calendar

  • I liked that you could set a repeating event to something like ‘Every third Sunday’ instead of the calendar picking the same date every month
  • It also offers customised reminder time, instead of forcing you to select from predetermined options

Tells % of battery charge remaining
The Y Pro Duos would only tell you the percentage when charging.

IMG_9936
Cover
Now, I wanted a cover for the new phone.

Phone shop at Karen
Flip cover – KShs 2,500/=
Base cover – 1,000/= (the kind that covers only the back and sides of the phone)

Phone shop inside Nakumatt Karen
Flip – 2,500/=
Base – out of stock

Bright Technologies, Kimathi Avenue
Flip – 2,500/=

Moi Avenue near the Nation Couriers office
Flip – 1,500/=
Base – 700/=

Discount? 1,200/=
Of course I took the cover.

How much to put protective film on the face of the phone?
200/-
There was another client present who was lamenting about bubbles on the film that had been put for him. It was being redone for him. I asked if I would get a well-done job.
The shop guy offered to put the film put for free!
So I got a flip cover and film for 1,200/- only!

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On his birthday last year (2013), a friend of mine posted a cipher in a group to which I belong. He said whoever cracks it would get a prize worth a bundle.

The cipher was:

Ism mgyc ksg g Gcwmo 4 Ougcaemsgc! Cugyi ———@augyi.esu osc ismc eccocga

(I have replaced his email address (which was known to me) with ‘———‘)

He said: The only clue is this: the letters used on fast-forward buttons on old tape recorders.
1. How old am I?
2. Museveni, a third.

Then he said we would need a tool to crack the cipher.

I Googled cipher tools and eventually landed on:

http://www.simonsingh.net/The_Black_Chamber/substitutioncrackingtool.html

This changed the code to:

Ism zglc kst g Tcjmo 4 Ougpnrzstc! Cugyv ———@augyv.esu bsp ismp rpcoctn

LOm mAIE kOA A AEwmo 4 OMAEGCmOAE! EMAIL ———@GMAIL.COM oOE LOmE CEEoEAG

LO* *AIE *OA A AE*** 4 *MAEGC*OAE EMAIL ———@GMAIL.COM *OE LO*E CEE*EAG

LO* *A*E *O* A *E***  *MA****O*E EMAI* ———GMAI*COM *O* LO** **E*E**

YOU HAVE WON A NEXUS 4 SMArtPHONE EMAIL ———@GMAILCOM fOr YOUr PrESENt

Yup! I won a Nexus 4 smartphone! Beating out a number of other competitors who were trying to crack the code. (One friend cracked it in seconds and was barred from participating).

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Another story based on actual events.

—–

“I’m glad we finally got this shopping out of the way” said Cathy.
“Yeah,” replied Millie “now we can relax for a week.”
“I really don’t like going to that Mwimuto market.”
“Why?”
“It’s full of idlers and shady characters.”
“They are just guys looking for work.”
“Yeah, I know, but when they don’t have work they just hang around.”
“And when you pass them you feel like everyone is just looking at you.”
“Around Christmas last year I saw two men fighting there. I don’t know what they were fighting about. Other guys were just watching and cheering.”
“Of course – free entertainment.”
“I asked the woman who was selling to me: ‘Are they not going to stop the fight?’ She laughed. ‘Stop it?’ she said. ‘This is nothing. Last month, November, people beat a guy here to death. He was caught stealing from a woman. And that wasn’t the first time someone has been killed here. This one you are seeing is a small fight.'”
“Eh!” Millie exclaimed.
“I just go there coz the food is cheap.”
They walked a few steps in silence, Cathy carrying the basket of shopping.

“Please hold this strap we carry this basket between us,” Cathy said.
Millie transferred the paper bag she was carrying to her left hand and took one strap of the basket with her right hand.
Cathy held the basket with her left hand and her phone with her right.
They walked on down the path, Millie’s paper bag brushing against various shrubs that were growing against the perimeter wall of the estate that was on their left.

The sound of the running footsteps behind them made them turn and look back. They saw a young man running towards them. They moved to one side to let the man pass.
As he passed, the man struck Cathy’s right hand. Instinctively she drew it to her chest, dropping her side of the basket. The man stopped and lunged for the phone in her hand.
“Millie! Catch!” Cathy yelled.
She tossed the phone over the mugger to Millie, who had now also dropped the basket.
The man turned towards Millie and again lunged for the phone, slamming into Millie.
Millie tossed the phone in the air as she fell.
Cathy caught the phone mid-air and threw it over the estate perimeter wall. The man paused momentarily, then, to Cathy’s surprise, went after the phone, pulling himself over the seven-foot wall.
“Thief! Thieeeef!” Cathy started yelling as Millie got up and started dusting herself off.

The mugger, in his zeal to get the phone, had not evaluated his circumstances appropriately.
Nearby guards who had heard the commotion quickly apprehended him before he could climb back out of the estate.
Pursuing the phone over the wall had apparently been a bad move for the mugger.

Basket1

Cathy and Millie, again carrying the basket between them, walked to the estate gate, about 20 metres away. The man was dragged to the gate between two guards, each holding him by his belt and hitting him with their clubs repeatedly. He already had a swelling above his right eye and his teeth were blood-stained.

More people gathered, many eager for some violence.
One man slammed the mugger’s jaw with the sole of his boot leaving a partial shoe-print. Millie, being a soft-hearted person, winced.
A young man came with a stick and landed three solid strokes on the man’s back.
A lady drove up in a shiny Audi, stopped and got out of the car.
“What’s going on?” she asked no one in particular.
“This guy is a phone thief,” someone said.
She moved closer to the mugger, who was half-standing between the two guards, his head hanging.
“You are a thief, eh?” she asked him.
He did not reply.
Two resounding slaps, one on each of the mugger’s cheeks, left the crowd stunned in surprise and tears trickling down the mugger’s face.
Without another word, the lady walked back to her car and drove off.
A few people laughed.
“Someone must have robbed her.” Cathy said to Millie.
“Has anyone called the police?” one of the guards asked.
“Yes, someone went to the station” a man standing nearby replied, before punching the mugger on the nose.
Millie winced again and Cathy looked away briefly.

The guards let go of the mugger and he fell to the ground as more kicks and blows landed on him.
“He will run away!” said Cathy.
“Let him try,” said a man. “We will see who is faster.”
It seemed the mugger thought attempting to escape would only worsen his situation, and he only lay curled up on the ground, doing his best to use his arms to shield his head from blows.

“Take him to Mwimuto!” someone said.
This suggestion elicited an immediate reaction from the man on the ground.
He scrambled to his feet and aimed towards a gap in the crowd.
The man who had dared the mugger to run kicked him in the chest and sent him falling backwards. The mugger raised some dust as he landed on his back.
“You think you are clever, eh?” Mr Dare asked the fallen man, kicking him yet again, this time on his ribs.

“Forgive me please!” the mugger said. “It is hunger that drove me to steal!”
“Hunger?” said Mr Dare. “Then why did you not steal the basket of vegetables?”
A punch to the mugger’s temple.
“Why did you not ask for money?”
Another punch.

“What’s going on here?” an authoritative voice said, coming from behind Cathy and Millie.
Two armed policemen had arrived. The crowd parted for them.
“This guy was stealing a phone from these ladies.” said one of the guards.
He pulled the phone from his pocket and gave it to the policeman who had spoken.

The mugger moved and crouched at the policemen’s feet. Cathy thought of a cat rubbing against its master’s legs.
“This is your phone madam?” the policemen asked Millie.
“It’s mine” said Cathy.

“Let’s go, said the policeman.
The other policeman cuffed the mugger’s hands behind him and stood him up.
The policemen, their captive, Cathy and Millie set off towards the police station.
The rest of the crowd dispersed, except for two or three people who trailed the policemen, perhaps hoping to get another chance to beat the mugger.
Cathy and Millie again carried the basket between them.

“We took our time,” the more talkative policeman said to Cathy, “hoping you would finish the job.”
“What?” Cathy looked at him, not understanding.
“You could have taken him to Mwimuto and finished him. These things of going to the station and to court are a hassle.”

————

I Googled ‘lynch mob Kenya’ Images. The images in the results were quite graphic.

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