The Shades of War – 9

‘If he were to be okay as you have said, he would have replied my letter by now.’ Hot tears escaped in single streaks from both eyes. She had closed her eyes so hard to keep them in, but with the pressure they had amassed, there was no stopping them. Her voice was also crackling now and thick saliva extended from one lip to the other as she let the burden in her heart escape through her mouth, but they never finished. Her heart only got heavier and hotter with every speech she made. ‘I know him. I know him.

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The Shades of War – 8

It was so appalling, so disgusting and any other word one could use that expressed a feeling of irritation. What on earth was the meaning of what Lt Rikan had told Major Richard? He had done it to kill tension or maybe protect the Captain’s heroic image. That was what Captain Achor would have expected him to do. To say something that sounded as though they were fully in control of the situation. It was going to be a blame game should he have opened up that his Captain and six other able bodied men were missing. Not dead, but missing. Continue reading

The Shades of War – 7

‘It is 2am sir’ Sgt Philip alerted Achor. He had been told to watch the time. Achor stood up with such agility like he had not been lying down a few seconds back, and as he stood the rest of the soldiers in his platoon stood also. They were to crawl on their bellies while only one man, the man with the binoculars, stood occasionally to view their destination. Continue reading

The Shades of War – 6


Knock knock! Knock knock! Captain Achor reluctantly rose to his feet to get the door. He would not smile to his intruder. He had snatched him out of his house in Kuruma where he had his daughter in his arms and Ngolo, his wife, sang his favourite song sonorously as she prepared pepper soup with the bush meat he brought home from hunting. He hadn’t dreamt in a long time. The unceasing knocks he had first ignored wouldn’t let him dream further or sleep no matter how he ignored. He slung his door open with more of something that was like aggression and battled the forceful entrance of light into his eyes. He saw no one, until he heard a voice that rose from below his waist.

‘Good morning sir.’ It was a very young boy of 6 that helped his father at the military camp’s post office. He was on a green cap and his voice resonated like metal. He saluted the captain in some style, stamping his feet hard and almost tripping before reeling out his message in high notes, ‘A letter for you sir!’ and held out an envelope, his hand high and body stiffened, waiting for Achor to respond. He’d make a good soldier. Achor smiled, but was too serious to flow with a joke. These men never tired in giving instructions. He didn’t read the address but just tore the envelope. His eyes caught ‘Dear love’ Continue reading

The Shades of War – 5


‘Great one boys! You guys were awesome!’ Captain Achor hailed his boys as he walked a little distance away from their gathering to clear his head. He may have survived this attack and even turned it into victory for his team, but certainly there was a very big problem that gave him great concern. He had a traitor, a traitor amongst those his men that were celebrating. It seemed awkward. He had walked through every single soldier, stealing a glance on their faces but detected no facial expressions that he perceived as disappointment. He took regular roll calls so he was sure no soldier had sneaked out of camp and returned. It all had to be a crazy set up. Who would get involved in such a thing with Achor and wouldn’t be very crazy? The thought made him smile with some smugness. He was good, feared for being good at his job and his proficiency as a Captain was no longer news.

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The Shades of War – 3


Shades of war

‘The real men’, he sighed at his thoughtlessness in referring to them as ‘real men’. Could any of these men qualify for real men? They were all men without pride and honour. His rage heightened in his hiding place. He had zoomed through his hiding place in the speed of light and unnoticed, and in slow motion, stabbed all those ‘real men’ in their hearts one by one, switching the dagger from his right to left as he deemed fit, and twisting it with every stab to ensure every artery, vein or tissue were left disjointed and irredeemable. He stared with bloodshot at their wasted bodies lying in the pool of their own blood and was gratified. He opened his eyes and it had all happened in his head. Continue reading

The Shades of War – 2


Shades of war

…He turned on the torchlight and held his breath as the rays flashed at the suspicious spot. The creature peeped behind a branch, exposing its ugly head.

‘Mtchew’ he hissed, it was only a chimp. Wait a minute; with some surprise he flashed the torchlight at the now airborne chimp. It was the mythical flying monkey, Akuke. His mother told him a lot of stories about Akuke as a young boy. It had flaps attached to its limbs like the bat and it could so jump it seemed it flew. Seeing the flying monkey to the people of Kuruma, meant good luck and they often celebrated it in anticipation of something good to come. Sometimes it took years, generations for the good thing to happen, and sometimes it happened so quickly. But the celebration of the good luck to come was usually done in high spirits. If one didn’t know, he would think the celebrant had hunted down an elephant. Achor hadn’t witnessed any of such celebrations, they rarely occurred anyway. His mother often told and retold him of the two she had witnessed, and described them so dramatically, with keen enthusiasm, he almost got offended. He couldn’t enjoy the sight of the mythical creature well enough before it disappeared, but he kept pondering over the creature as he walked on. Did he even see it? He must have been very drowsy and maybe was simply hallucinating, or maybe not. He never believed in myths. He had concluded everything was just a mere old woman’s tale told to young boys to fascinate their imagination, but he had seen one for himself today. He wished he could follow the Akuke and maybe trace it to its abode. That would clear his doubts completely and who knows? There could be a family of flying monkeys just within reach. But he had a mission at hand and should not be jeopardising it for any Akuke or any other thing. Continue reading