Maureen Wakarindi – EAFF Profile

The EA Friday Feature is a circle of five writers who write 1,000 word flash fiction stories every Friday and post them on their blogs.  This week, we feature these authors, as we get to know them better, and learn what inspires them to write their stories.

Maureen Wakarindi from Nepenthe

Maureen joined the EA Friday Feature group in September, and she’s blog2added a great new set of stories to our little circle.  I have especially enjoyed reading her story, Some Kind of Love.  Here’s a short glimpse:

 ….As for technology, the villagers were a simple folk. They were used to relying on what they could see with their own eyes.

Last year, Waiguru, a daughter of the tribe, had gone out to the world in search of education and come back with many new things, including a mobile phone. As was customary, she had presented it to her father as a gift and showed him how to use it to call his brother who lived in another country. The whole village had gathered to witness this strange phenomenon.

When the brother’s voice came over the speaker, Mzee Ayubu having not known what to expect, had reacted with fear. He had declared that, as the spiritual leader of the community, Ngai had told him that they were evil spirits. He also declared that the devil had decided to pitch tent in his daughter and therefore, the only way to get him out was to beat the hell out of her. That said, the next hour was spent publicly flogging his daughter while the other villagers simultaneously prayed for their souls and encouraged him to beat her harder.  To get out the devil, of course.  As if that wasn’t enough she had to watch as her precious phone was thrown into the communal fire and burnt to a crisp. Henceforth, she was known as the girl who had brought the devil to the village to feast on everyone’s souls ( the gossipers had exaggerated the story a little bit to make it more interesting). It was no wonder that when she next left the village she did not return. Neither did development….”

Read more of this amazing story at her blog.

Author Profile:

I am Maureen Wambui, God fearing, intelligent and an observer of
people. I love cars, heights and sarcasm. I can be loud, opinionated
and stubborn, but you’ll love me anyway. I am a lover of words and
nothing gives me greater pleasure than being able to use those words
in my story. I have two blogs, and I also write for the Storymoja blog
using the name Maureen Wakarindi. Please feel free to stalk my work,
and tell me what you think.

1. What has it been like to write for the EA Friday Feature?
Writing for the EA Friday Feature has been a great experience. Apart from meeting and knowing other amazing writers, it has really pushed me to write something that my readers will love and can relate to.

2. What inspires you to write fiction?   Have you always written? Do you share your work elsewhere?
I have always written fiction. I find it easier to bring out my thoughts and feelings when it’s in a hypothetical situation. I share my work on my personal blog, wakarindimaureen.wordpress.com.

3. What type of characters inspire you?  When you read books, what kind of stories leave you feeling like you’ve really changed, or been inspired?
I love characters that are real,characters that have a certain human flaw or are endearing in their very nature.When I read a book, I am drawn to the stories within the story. That is why I mostly look for series.

4. Tell us what fun thing have you done this year?  Do you think you’ll do it again?
I was an intern and blogger at Storymoja Festival this year. It gave me the opportunity to learn from and interact with many well known literary personalities and they really helped me to be better. Given a chance I would definitely do it again.

From Maureen:

When I write I use my words to paint a picture of what I want to
say. My only wish is that the reader feels and can relate to the
emotion I portray.

Thank you, Maureen for agreeing to do this short interview. Look forward to the next interview from the Super Annemarie of Child of Destiny

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 6

6 – Longing for Cupcakes

“Keep the library,” Nicholas said, surprising himself. Renovations at the Villa were underway.EA 2

“Nick, you wanted to divide the library and turn it into two bedrooms,” the contractor in charge argued,

“I’ve changed my mind,” Nicholas said sitting back in his office chair.

He couldn’t forget the sight of Nalia standing by the windows, sunlight dancing on her pretty face. She had looked like a goddess with a golden smile, designed to turn him into an idiot. Why couldn’t he stop thinking about her?

“Nick?” his contractor said, cutting through his thoughts. “What about the books? They’re not exactly the best—

“Box them,” Nicholas said. “I’ll collect them this weekend.”

He knew a man who could restore those books.

“Whatever you want,” his disgruntled contractor said. “You’re the boss.”

Nicholas sighed.

“Keep to the schedule, Tony. We’re not working on this house for six months.”

“I promised one month, Nick,” Tony said.

“Make sure you keep the promise,” Nick urged ending the call.

The trouble with renovation and construction, no matter how many deadlines the contractor had, they always went beyond those deadlines.

Nicholas stared at his phone, ignoring the pile of files on his desk. Legal papers to notarize, cases to work, requests from his bosses to fill, today, he’d be stuck in his office until midnight.  His finger slid over his phone’s screen and he tapped on a two-month-old message from Nalia.

She’d paid the five hundred shillings through Mpesa. Her accompanying message read, “Thank you, Lifesaver.”

Nicholas smiled. He should have cleared the message by now, instead…he stared at the little smiley face she’d included and wondered how she was doing.

Nicholas wanted to reply to the message, had even composed replies, close to a dozen, but he never sent any. Exiting his messages, he placed his cell phone on the desk and shook his head.

This was no time to daydream about a woman. Nicholas reached for the folder on top of his pile and got to work. He had no time, he decided, no time to worry about a woman he’d met in the dark.

****

Two days later, Nicholas stood in line at a bakery opposite City Hall buying chocolate cupcakes. The aroma was delicious, but not the same one he remembered. He dreamt about that sweet scent of chocolate cupcakes every night it seemed.

His phone buzzed and Nicholas smiled when he saw Eli’s face on the screen.

“Come to my office,” Eli said in greeting.

“That’s in Westlands, you mad man. Traffic is killing right now,” Nicholas protested.

“I have a present for you,” Eli said. “If you don’t want it, fine, I’ll just eat Nalia’s cupcakes alone.”

Nicholas gaped. “What?”

“Cupcakes, chocolate,” Eli said with a laugh. “We have them at my office—

“Whose cupcakes?” Nicholas asked.

“Oh,” Eli chuckled. “Nalia. Remember her? Two months ago—

“I’m on the way.”

Nicholas dashed out of the bakery forgetting the order he’d made. The drive to Eli’s practice took one hour and that’s with reckless driving and angry horns from innocent drivers and pedestrians.

Traffic at two o’clock was no joke.

Nicholas drove into the Medical Plaza on Waiyaki way and parked at the front parking. He dumped his sunglasses on the dashboard, and got out of the car, his gaze roaming the three-story building that housed Eli’s medical practice.
Seemed as if business was good, what with the packed parking lot, Nicholas thought as he locked his car.
Nick went into the building and hurried through the lobby to catch the elevator as the doors closed.

“Hold,” he called out and cursed when the doors closed anyway.

He sighed and started to press the button to call another one. The doors opened and he stared at the woman carrying a cake box in the elevator.

“Nalia,” he whispered.

An older woman pushed her way past him into the open elevator, and Nalia gave him a frown.

“Are you coming?” she asked, her expression blank.

Nothing there to indicate she knew him, or she’d even been thinking about him. He scowled and entered the elevator, turning to punch the number to Eli’s office. The number three was lit, already pressed. His scowl deepened and he leaned on the wall, his gaze on Nalia.

The elevator stopped on the second floor, and the old woman exited. The doors closed and Nicholas crossed his arms against his chest.

“Hi Nalia,” he said. “Are you ill?”

She graced him with her smile.

“Hi, Nicholas,” she said. “Are you ill?”

“You can’t answer a question with a question.”

“And why not?”

“Because it’s going round in circles,” Nicholas said.

“Do I look sick to you?” Nalia asked.

Nalia looked great. Fitting silk green blouse, dark slacks that hugged her hips, her feet in green flats, no excess make-up, though her lips were a pretty red.  She was pretty.

“What?” she asked, when he didn’t comment.

Nicholas cleared his throat. “You look well.”

The elevator doors opened.

Nalia led the way out, Nicholas followed amazed when she got a round of hellos from the nurses at the reception desk. She got a very warm welcome, which was surprising. He’d never gotten that reaction from Eli’s nurses.

“How long have you been coming here?” Nicholas asked as they walked to Eli’s office.

“A while,” she said with a shrug.

He frowned. “Are you really not sick?”

Why else would she visit Eli so much?

Nalia shrugged and opened the door to Eli’s office. Nicholas followed, his frown only deepening when he saw Eli grin from ear to ear at the sight of Nalia. They greeted each other like old friends. He was jealous.

“Nick,” Eli said, glancing at him. “Come on in and close the door.”

“What’s going on here?” Nicholas asked, afraid of the answer.

Eli was single after all.

Eli took out a chocolate cupcake from the white box Nalia had set on his desk. He smiled and held it up.

“I promised you cupcakes, didn’t I?”

Eli took a bite and groaned with pleasure.

“You’re magic, Nalia. These are delicious. Your customers must be going crazy.”

Nicholas stopped in the middle of the office, his gaze on Nalia who sat in an armchair, that maddening smile on her lovely face.

“You own a bakery?” Nicholas asked.

“I do now,” Nalia said. “I’m also a teacher.”

“Sit down, Nick,” Eli said holding out a cupcake to him. “Nalia and me, we have a favor to ask you.”

Nicholas took the cupcake and sat next to Nalia. To think he’d been dreaming of these cupcakes for weeks. He smiled because in truth, he’d wanted to see Nalia, wanted to know more about her.

“Nicholas, Nalia needs a lawyer,” Eli said, shocking him. “Can you help?”

Nicholas turned to look at Nalia.

“I’m divorcing my husband.”

****

Thank you for reading. ^_^

Previous Chapters

Girl with a Golden Smile – 5

Other EA Friday Feature Stories:

The Restaurant – Waiting on Tables

Some Kind of Love

Porn with Plot

The 9th Circle

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 3

Prompt #1Friday Feature1

Risk: What is your interpretation of Risk: A gamble on something

Life Outside the Box

Nalia.

Nicholas bit into the chocolate cupcake.

She was a temptress, how had she known he liked chocolate? They tasted good, heavenly.  She passed him a mug of coffee and he stared at the steaming liquid.  She was a magician too.  He hadn’t done grocery shopping yesterday.

“There’s a shop at the end of the road. I bought instant coffee there. I took money from your car.”

She grinned.

“I think it’s funny you have a jar of coins in your glove compartment.”

Nalia seemed to have gone exploring while he slept. Changed her clothes too…or her blouse.  She wore a clean white t-shirt that read ‘Wishing for the stars’, and the blue jeans she’d worn yesterday. They had water marks. She’d tried to clean out the mud. Her braids fell around her face, hiding the bruise that had turned darker than it was last night.

“I borrowed this too,” she said tugging on the t-shirt. She sat on the chair across him and leaned her elbows on thebreakfast table. “Found it in a closet on the second floor. Do you live here?”

Nicholas sipped the coffee, it wasn’t the best, but it was hot and sweet. Three healthy sips and the sleep cobwebs dissipated.

“No.” He looked around the kitchen. The previous owner had left a lot of things hanging around. “This is my first time here.”

Waa,” Nalia’s eyes went wide. “You’re one of those people, aren’t you?”

He didn’t like the tone she used, accusing…judging.

“What people?” he asked.

“You own a country house and an apartment, and a hut in the hills, and a bungalow by the beach.” Nalia counted his imaginary houses using her left hand, she shook her head. “No one lives in these houses but the rats and the stray cats. So, why own them?”

Nicholas chuckled. “You have a wild imagination. Do I look rich enough to throw money away that way?”

“So, are you a penny saver then?” she asked. “Ah…but the coins in a jar should answer that question. You know I noticed you don’t have proper furniture around here. There’s only that one mug you’re using, and I had to use a rolling pin to mix the cupcakes. Do you know how hard that is?”

“No.” Nicholas sipped his coffee. “You talk a lot.”

“It’s not my fault.” Nalia sighed and sat back in her seat. “I hang out with kids all day. When I meet adults, I get excited and try to use all my words.”

Nicholas laughed then.

She smiled.

“Finally,” she said. “I was a bit worried you’re those people who frown all the time. I feel better now. I wanted to thank you when you’re smiling.”

“Thank me?” Nicholas asked, reaching for another cupcake.

“For being my life saver last night,” she said, her tone changing. “You took a risk taking in a strange woman in the night.”

“You jumped out of nowhere,” Nicholas accused. “You could have been killed, what were you thinking?”

“I don’t think I was.” Nalia rubbed her arms with a sigh. “I wasn’t in the best of places last night. You must have been shocked.”

Nicholas studied her face. She had one of those slender faces. Clear dark brown eyes, and a ready smile. She was pretty, in a plain innocent way. The bruise on her left cheek bothered him.

“Did you get that bruise running in the woods?”

She reached up and touched it, her fingers trembling as they touched the tender skin.

“I got it from a bad habit.” She sighed and got up. “I’m sorry to have bothered you. I’ll leave now.”

“Wait,” Nicholas said surprising himself.

She paused, giving him a frown.

“I made you coffee and chocolate cupcakes. I don’t have money to pay you—

“That’s not why I’m asking you to wait.” Nicholas waved her worry away. “Please, sit down for a minute. If you stay a bit, I’ll drive you home.”

“No.” Nalia shook her head, the cheerful smile disappearing. “I—

“Fine, I won’t drive you home,” he said, wanting that ready smile back. “I’ll take you to the bus stop.”

“I don’t have money.”

“I’ll lend you bus fare.”

“How will I pay it back?”

“You can pay me with Mpesa.”

“I’m—

“Hey, it’s a Saturday.” Nicholas sat back in his seat and folded his arms against his chest. “Everyone takes a break on Saturday morning.”

“Yeah, not me,” Nalia clutched the back of her seat, looking out the window at the rising sun. “I need to get going. I did something last night.”

“Something bad?” he asked, curious as to what would make a woman go running in the woods so late.

“Something outside the box,” she said with a sigh. Her hands were shaking. She let go of the chair, and crossed her arms against her chest. “I know I look like I’m smiling right now, but…I’m a bit insane.”

“Should I be worried?” Nicholas asked.

Nalia stared at him and when he lifted a brow in question she burst out laughing.

“You can’t possibly be afraid of me, can you?” she asked.

“You said you’re insane,” Nicholas countered.

Nalia studied him for a moment, and then nodded.

“Yes, you’re right. I’m insane. I’ve gone crazy. You are the first poor soul I ran into after my descent into this state, so you’ve taken a risk I tell you. Who knows what I’ll do next.”

“My friend is coming over,” Nicholas said then reaching for another cupcake.

“What does that have to with this situation?”

Nicholas bit into the delicious chocolate cupcake. “I’m just letting you know someone will worry about me if I go missing.”

Nalia laughed again, and she pulled out the chair she’d vacated and sat down.

“I thought you were leaving?”

Nalia reached for his mug of coffee and made a show of taking a sip. She took one of the cupcakes and made a show of eating it too.

He frowned.

“I’m eating too, in case you think I’ve poisoned them. This way, you’re sure your friend will find two bodies.” Nalia swallowed quickly, and sipped his coffee again. “Mmm…these are really good.”

Nicholas chuckled and wondered what fate had decided. It seemed his risk taking last night had awarded him with a crazy woman who loved chocolate cupcakes.

What was he going to do with her?

***

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 2

Read other E. A Friday Features here:

 The Cursed Blessing

Fear of Falling

Rosemary

Bitch Better have my Money