A red colored Ford Cortina 200E slows and stops at the parking of a 3 bedroom townhouse in Bat-crest Gardens Kileleshwa – the house that bares a huge sign FOR SALE by its driveway. A black man comes out from the driver’s seat leaving the car door open. He’s three sheets to the wind and about 5’’ 9’ tall with a weight that’s close to 129 pounds; almost triple the emotional weight he carries from city casino. He staggers back and forth then back to kick the front ream of his old fashioned vintage car with frustration cursing the wind, the air, the stars and all the crazy creatures of the night. He props against the car, gulps from his long bottle then wobbles to the faint darkness. The estate is a safe haven enclosed with 20 spacious units each with a self-contained servant’s quarter and only a few meters away from state house residence.
The lady of the house is Lesley; she has a two year old daughter named Ensley. It’s the two of them against the world fighting awe with smile and fright with cuddles. It’s a few minutes to 4 am; the neighborhood is still asleep or maybe not. Mr. Perkins, an early bird– wakes to smoke bare chested in his balcony, his wife doesn’t mind as long he doesn’t come back to bed cold and smelling of moist weed smoke, which he always does then their loud fights ensue.
Lesley wakes to the fling of her door and a thump of mahogany to hardwood frame; a farfetched blast that sounds like an electric transformer’ and absolute darkness – blackout. She freaks holding the kid close to her breath and tight on her arms so she can feel her wriggle for a better sleeping position – boots crunch in the living room then follows a thud to the tiled floor and dead silence.
She instinctively sneaks out of her room and locks the door to Ensley who’s deep asleep. Blindly creeps through the dark hallway and stops to stoop over the banisters with partial confidence and fake bravado inculcated in her by the hollow rod she holds on the right hand. Her left hand however portrays extreme cowardice, she is betrayed by her red illuminated thumb that is hard pressed to the flashlight on her phone – she hides her scared face from ghoulish creatures of the night (hypocrites, parasites and spirits alike).
The dense abyss of darkness reveals nothing to the naked eye, but blur and blotch of a silvery chandelier hanging royal like her probable golden noose. Though she doesn’t realize it, she’s stood here longer, frozen with a fixed gaze to the foyer as if expecting something to crawl past the steep ram towards the guest room door. Her sharp ears stretch to the entire house harping clicks, squeaks and flaps of moody bats nesting under her eaves or worse; echo-marking her curvaceous body to predate on – tissues, blood and arteries molten from the awful scare – the click sounds that steam pee inside her.
A loud generator kicks in numbing her ears to the crazy songs of cicadas, crickets, pasalidis, robins, blackbirds, the chaotic chaffinches. Her row stays dark. Street lights flood the estate and from the top view, she vaguely sees her 88 inch monster QLED TV intact to the multicolored wall; the painted portrait of Karen Blixen, Charlie Grey Snr and other heirlooms held in place; the dim light illuminating her house from outside shows the living room decor just as modern, tidy and clean as a castle should be. She walks down the wood finished spiral stairway convinced that the bang wasn’t her door and open to the possibility of it being Mr. Perkins’ or maybe another of her immaterial dreams and the blackout, a coincidence.
With the dim settling light, she gains a grit unmatched by many a young woman, it shows on how she swiftly swings her body down to the tiled viscid floor that hastily gets her drawback the sticky foot to wood and turn on the lights from the wall above her right shoulders, to the opulent kitchen, oops!!! It’s still out. She flashes her phone to a pool of red fluid spread out to the grey rag and a shard of glass, some, under the body of a fat faced man buried to the bloody floor.
Assuming him dead, she screams a top her voice and the fat faced man (Her husband. Charlie Jr.) Wakes from his stupor to a sweet scented Musigny Burgundy red wine snare, ‘’did you just drink all my whisky, and wine?
Did you pour it all on me? Witch!!!
Roll, roll back upstairs… I will be with you in a moment.” he slurs and closes his eyes to the drunken sleep.
Lesley shrugs and replies, “whatever!!!” then turns her back to the man who gambled her house away swirling upstairs to her wailing awaken child.
She lives and let live