EA Friday Feature – September Prompt #3

EA Friday FeatureFriday Feature1

Write a story of only 1,000 words using the prompt given.  Post it on your blog on Fridays and share posts from fellow bloggers participating in the feature.

September Prompt #3:

A Quote: There is, No One in the World, That Lives without Sin…

quote

Previous Prompt Responses:

The Red Kanga

Read the EA Friday Feature August Issue for Free.

The Red Kanga

Friday Feature1Mystic woods

Prompt:

The Mystic Woods! What story do you see here?

The Red Kanga

Do you remember…?”

Kuria glanced at the woman perched on the stump in the middle of the clearing. She had a new red kanga tied around her hips. Her green blouse, made of soft silky fabric, clung to her curves. She’d covered her hair, that glorious long dark mess, hidden with a green headscarf. He couldn’t see her face because she was staring at the green grass at her feet. She held a stick, poking at the ground as though searching for answers in the soil nourishing the green blades.

“Do you remember we used to come here when we were kids?”

Nostalgia clung to her words; brought back memories.

“I remember,” Kuria said with a wistful smile. “I remember you never covered your hair those days.”

She chuckled, poking at the grass faster.

“I had time to play with a comb then. These days I’m too busy.”

“Busy is a state of mind, Shiro.”

Kuria shifted, pressing his back against the rough trunk a tall tree. Hundreds grew around them. He stuck a blade of grass between his teeth and stared up at the waving branches above. The sun sifted through, rays of light falling on the stump in the middle of the clearing, highlighting Shiro. It looked like a natural spotlight.

She paused in her poking to glance at him.

“Are you going to tell me why you called me?” she asked. “I left githeri cooking on the jiko.”

“You always have githeri cooking.” Kuria scowled. She never invited him to eat it. “Who are you cooking for this time?”

She shrugged.

“The house is full of people. Stop worrying about my githeri. What do you want to tell me?”

“I went to the shopping center to get charcoal earlier.” Kuria threw the blade of grass on the ground and crossed his arms against his chest. “I heard you were seen there with Chege. Are you two together now?”

Shiro scoffed.

“You’re like a woman. Why do you listen to gossip?”

“Is it true Chege bought you mangoes from Mama Nora, or not?”

“The mangoes looked good.”

Shiro tossed her stick and sat up straight, a frown dancing on her forehead.

“So he bought you mangoes?”

“Ah ha,” Shiro said with a nod. “What’s wrong with eating mangoes?”

“I bring you avocados from my mother’s tree and you sell them, but you ate the mangoes, didn’t you?”

“Chege paid good money for them,” Shiro said as though that should make sense.

Kuria frowned.

The woman was going to drive him insane.

She just didn’t see the point.

“I don’t want you to eat anything Chege buys you again.”

Shiro gaped.

“Did you hear me?”

Shiro stood up, her hands on her hips.

“You’re going mad, Kuria. You can’t stand there and dictate what I can or can’t eat. Who died and made you my master?”

“I’m warning you.”

“Warn away,” Shiro said. “Keep going and I will go find Chege and tell him to buy me all the fruits in the market.”

“I’ll kill him.”

“Then you’ll go to jail,” Shiro said. “Anything else you wanted to say?”

Kuria fumed, annoyed by her innocent expression. She had no idea how mad she got him. How angry he was that she dared talk with that Chege.

Why couldn’t she see how he felt about her? Why didn’t she care?

He thought about the avocados he took to her house. Three afternoons ago, he’d climbed the avocado tree behind his mother’s house and spent two solid hours picking each fruit with care. The trick with avocados was not to drop them from the tree. They bruised easy. Bruised avocados turned to rot.

Yes, he’d carefully picked each fruit, and hauled two large baskets down the tree. He’d taken one to his mother, the other he’d kept for Shiro.

She’d thanked him with a smile. Ah that smile…, he glanced at her face now. That smile was missing. She didn’t grace him with her smile too often, so when she’d smiled at him that day, he’d felt like he had won the lottery.

Yesterday, he’d gone to take milk to the dairy and he’d heard the women there talking about Shiro’s avocados. Shiro had sold all the avocados he’d given her. It had hurt to know she hadn’t even tried to eat one.

“If you’re going to scowl at me, I’m going home.”

Shiro’s irritation was clear and he pushed off the tree when she started to leave.

“Why did you sell my avocados? I brought them for you and your siblings to eat. Why sell them?”

“You brought a basket full. They would have gone bad in the house.”

“They weren’t ripe. You could have divided them and—

“I don’t like eating avocados.” Shiro sighed. “Don’t you have a fruit you don’t like?”

“No.” Kuria fumed. “You used to eat them fine when I gave you a slice over at our place.”

“That’s because I didn’t want to disappoint you.” Shiro shivered. “I don’t like the taste very much.”

“What kind of excuse is that? If you don’t like something just say it,” Kuria said confused. “Did you sell all the avocados?”

Shiro nodded. “I sold them all.”

Kuria scoffed and shook his head. “So much for my efforts.”

“Don’t look so disappointed. I used the money to buy this kanga. Do you like it?”

Kuria looked at the red kanga.

“My old one was fading.” Shiro smiled and his heart jumped the beat racing. Shiro’s smile had that effect on him.

“What do you think?” Shiro prompted, touching the red kanga.

“It looks good on you,” Kuria said, clearing his throat with a slight cough. He liked this pleased smile on Shiro’s lips. He wondered what else he could do to bring it back. “I can bring you more avocados if you like.”

“Will you?” Shiro asked in surprise.

“Yeah,” Kuria said thinking his mother wouldn’t notice one basket missing.

“Are you going to get mad if I don’t eat them?”

Kuria shrugged.

“No, as long as you don’t sell to Chege.”

Shiro laughed and turned to leave.

“I’m going to finish cooking my githeri. You’re welcome to come and eat it, if you like.”

Kuria grinned because that was the first time she’d ever invited him to eat her githeri. She left the clearing in quick strides, glancing back once to wave at him. He stared at the stump where she’d sat, and smiled.

Yes, he remembered. He remembered every time Shiro met him in this clearing. Every laugh, every smile, and every argument they’d had.

One of these days, Kuria thought, he was going to propose to Shiro right here, and she was going to say yes.

****

githeri – popular beans and maize traditional dish

kanga – colorful wrap

Read other Stories in the EA Friday Feature:

The Human Shrine

Never Complain, Never Explain

Dear Michael

The Haunting of Mystic Woods

*****

FREE READ – Download the EA Friday Feature August Anthology here.

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 2

Prompt: mail.google.com2

Use “Chocolate Cupcakes” in your 1,000 word story this time.

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 2

Wewe,” Nicholas said when he got out of his car. “Do you have a death wish?”

The woman in the rain didn’t speak. Her face was bruised, and there was blood on her pink blouse. Nicholas frowned, peering into the dark trees on each side of the road.

Had she been mugged?

Lord, was she a decoy?

He’d heard stories of hijackers making a plot to deceive unsuspecting drivers.

“Help me,” she said, before his paranoia could take root.

Nicholas cursed when she started to fall and he reached out to catch her before she hit the muddy ground.

“What the hell are you doing?” Nicholas asked as he drove through the rain.

His clothes were soaked and muddy thanks to the passed out woman in the passenger seat. Instead of driving back to the main road, and a hospital, he was headed to the villa, against his better judgment.

Shaking his head, Nicholas decided it was the rain. The thunder, the mud, the fucking non-visibility…he’d never been happier to see the shadow of a house as he was when he saw looming dark gates ahead.

Nicholas stopped his car, running out in the rain to go open the gates. His loafers slid on the grass, he ran back to the car, double soaked. This night was turning into a shit fest.

Thirty minutes later, Nicholas sat on an old armchair, watching the strange woman he’d saved. He’d found an old faded red blanket in a closet, and covered her with it. She was beautiful, in a rustic sort of way. He was used to women who valued looks: high-end style, down to fake eyelashes. It was interesting to have saved a woman who looked like she didn’t know what lip gloss was. She shivered under the blanket, and gave a soft sigh.

The bruise on her left cheek shone in the light.

His phone buzzed, and he reached for it like it was a lifeline.

“What am I reading?” his best friend asked. “You have a woman in that old creaky house? How is that a bad thing?”

“She jumped out of nowhere, in the rain,” Nicholas said. “She looks beat up. She has a bruise on her cheek.”

“Why didn’t you drive to the hospital?” Eli asked.

“It’s raining.” Nicholas thought that excuse sounded hollow, but it was the truth. He didn’t want to drive in that mess outside. “You’re a doctor, advise me what to do.”

“Ah ha,” Eli said with a chuckle. “You’ve always been impulsive. This falls under shit Nick would do.”

“Stop making fun of me. What do I do now? It’s almost ten o’clock at night.”

Eli sighed on the other end. “I guess you keep her overnight. I’ll drive out there in the morning and check on her if you like.”

“Would you?” Nicholas asked. “You’re the best, Eli.”

“You’ll owe me.”

“Yeah, add it to my tab.” Nicholas sighed. “What do I need to do? She’s shivering.”

“Keep her dry and warm.” Eli laughed. “That shouldn’t be too hard.”

Nicholas ended the call and dropped his cell phone on the table. He hoped Eli was right about keeping the woman dry.

That was all he could do for her, he thought.

Getting up, Nicholas stretched his arms above his head, the muscles on his shoulders protesting. He was tired. The day was too long already. He dropped his hands and looked around the old house. The electricity was on, thank goodness for that. Despite the complication on the couch, he’d managed to purchase a damn good looking house.
Nicholas decided everything would be fine after a shower and a good night’s sleep.

****

Nalia woke with a start. It was the chirping birds. The last time she’d heard chirping birds, she’d been in her mother’s house in the country. Nostalgia filled her, and she lay still staring at the unfamiliar ceiling.

Clutching the thin blanket over her, Nalia winced at the familiar sting on her left cheek. Malik’s gift last night when she’d tried to explain why there was no meat in his plate. The bastard was obsessed with meat. He didn’t taste anything else, but meat. Nalia sat up to escape her anger.

She’d lost her mind last night.

Crazy, she thought.

She’d taken the stew she’d been cooking and flung it at Malik in anger. When he’d screamed in shock, she’d run outside in Art 5the pouring rain and started running.
Right into the angry man with the black pickup truck, Nalia remembered, swinging her feet to the ground.

Nalia shook her head, and rubbed her eyes. She sighed and got up, looking around the elegant living room. It looked straight out of the movies, nice neat chairs, wide windows, everything seemed so…expensive.

Straight out of her dreams, Nalia sighed.

Her gaze dropped to her stained shirt, and her muddy jeans and bare feet. She was seriously out of place. Her insanity had taken her down a rabbit hole she didn’t quite understand.

Smelling her shirt, she decided to wander, and find out if the elegant house had a place to clean up before she met her rescuer.

****

The sweet scent of baking cake woke Nicholas. His stomach rumbled; reminding him he’d skipped dinner in lieu of travel. He’d eaten one sandwich before he’d gotten on the road. He threw off the sweater he’d used as a blanket and got out of bed.

His clothes were dry and wrinkled. He needed to get his suitcase from the car.
Remembering the woman he’d rescued in the pouring rain, Nicholas left the bedroom and followed the scent of baking. His stomach felt empty, it was humbling, the need to run into the kitchen and get a bite of whatever smelled that good.

He paused in the entrance to the kitchen at the sight that greeted him. Chocolate cupcakes on the counter, the source of the scent, they looked welcoming. Nicholas grinned and walked to the counter, reaching for a cupcake. He stopped when the woman he’d saved last night straightened, closing the electric oven, she was holding a fresh batch of chocolate cupcakes.

She held back a gasp, and he stared at her clean, freshly scrubbed face. A slow smile tugged her lips and she held out the cupcakes she held.

“Morning,” she said. “I’m Nalia. I hope you like chocolate.”

***

The Girl with the Golden Smile 1

****

Read other EA Friday Feature Posts:

The Birthday Killer

You’ll Hear from Me

EA Friday Feature Week #4 Prompt

The EA Friday Feature:

Friday Feature1

Write a story of only 1,000 words using the prompt given.  Post it on your blog on Fridays and share the posts of fellow bloggers participating in the feature.

Participating Bloggers:

  1. Nilichoandika
  2. Flashes of Vice
  3. Children of Destiny Books
  4. Love in Nairobi

Week #4

mail.google.com2

Use “Chocolate Cupcakes” in your 1,000 word story this time.

The story is due on Friday, 28th August, 2015. 

This is an open entry Feature.  If you’d like to participate, simply write the 1,000 word story using the prompt, and leave a comment on this post to let us know to share your story.

Week #3 EA Friday Feature Responses

1. Father’s Love

2. The Man in the Rain

3. The Girl with the Golden Smile-1

The Girl with the Golden Smile – 1

Friday Feature1Prompt:

Rain, Rain, Rain: mail.google.com

The Girl with the Golden Smile

Thunder rumbled, dark clouds rolled in, large drops of rain drummed the iron sheet roof.
Nalia wondered if the creator was starting a band. The drops kept falling in fierce beats on the roof, like a doomsday rhythm.

She kept chopping onions, her eyes stinging. Tears slid down her cheeks.

Nalia wasn’t sure where the tears from the onions juice and the ones caused by sorrow met and melded.
Wiping her arm over her cheeks she finished chopping the onions and put them in the cooking pot. Adding oil, she turned on the fire on the gas cooker and banged the pot on the stand.

No one could hear the noise anyway.

Taking a wooden cooking spoon from a drawer, her gaze lingered over the chopped vegetables laid out in bowls on the counter. Carrots, potatoes, green pepper, cilantro and tomatoes…she sighed.

There was no meat today.

He wasn’t going to be happy.

Nalia shrugged a short elegant movement of her slender shoulders. Yet, instead of relief, a heavy weight settled in her stomach.

Malik liked his meat.

The onions started sizzling in the pot and she stirred them, her gaze barely seeing the browning onions. Her thoughts were on her husband, Malik Kanda. They married early.  She’d been eighteen, Malik twenty.

Children really, none of them had known much about life then.

Seven years going and Malik had turned into a stranger. He’d grown distrustful, edgy and over-ambitious.

It was his new job, Nalia thought.

The one he’d gotten a year ago.

Malik was managing a construction company for her uncle. The job paid good money. Her uncle had told her Malik was paid almost sixty thousand shillings every month. Twice the amount he’d gotten before.  She’d been happy for Malik then, thinking their home would grow, benefit from the good fortune.  But no, their lives were deteriorating. The money had gone to Malik’s head, making him prideful. He paid for nothing in the house.

Nalia sighed and started adding vegetables to the onions. The peppers first, then the tomatoes, followed by the carrots and potatoes.

“What to do?” she asked the sizzling vegetables.

Reaching for a container of mixed spices, Nalia sprinkled the right amount over the mix in the cooking pot.
Her thoughts returned to her latest dilemma.  Malik’s indifference to the well-being of their house worried her. He never had money to contribute to their expenses, yet he wanted to eat and sleep in comfort. He wanted neat clothes in his closet, good food and a clean house.

Her funds were stretched.

She was a primary school teacher. She taught English in class six at the local primary school. Her salary was a quarter of what Malik made. Yet she paid rent, the house bills, water and electricity as well as bought food for the house.
The end of the month was pure hell. She could barely afford things in the house yet Malik’s standards had to be met.
Covering the stew, Nalia picked up the plates and spoons she’d set aside earlier. She went to their small living room and started setting the small table they used for dinner.

There was no meat today.

Nalia’s hand shook as she placed a spoon on Malik’s plate.

Thunder rumbled in the distance and she pressed a hand to her chest.  She didn’t want a beating tonight, but the harder it rained, the more the rain rapped on the roof, the faster her hopes vanished.

Malik’s bad temper thrived on nights like these…rainy nights when no one would hear her scream.

The front door opened and she froze, her gaze flying to the man entering the house. He was soaking wet.
Malik slammed the door closed and Nalia’s heart squeezed tight in her chest. The moment his dark gaze settled on her, her blood ran cold.

****

“Damn it.”

Nicholas slapped the steering wheel and peered out the windshield of his car. He couldn’t see in the thick rain. For a moment he wondered if pulling over was better. At least then, he’d be sure of not taking a wrong turn.
The wipers on his black Isuzu pickup worked overtime, trying to keep the windshield clear.

The clock on the dashboard said it was almost nine o’clock in the evening. The map on his phone said he had thirty more minutes before he would arrive at the Villa Matiga. The sixty year old house he’d bought from a retiring expatriate. He wanted to renovate the villa and put it up for rent. His third jaunt into the real estate industry. So far, he hadn’t gone wrong, but this late night trips were murder.

“I should have started out earlier,” he murmured.

He was a lawyer by profession and worked for a successful law firm in the city of Nairobi. The pay was good the lifestyle exhausting, but he was happy. At thirty-two, his life was on the right track.  To a point, he thought when he remembered his girlfriend had gotten married a week ago to one of his wealthy clients.

The bitch, he thought.

She’d strung him a long for three whole years while she worked hard to hook a bigger fish. She was now a Runda estate housewife. Nicholas couldn’t help hoping she got fat and ugly soon. He cursed under his breath.

She’d turned him into a bitter bastard.

He drove over a bump too fast. The map on his phone said he needed to make a right turn soon, but where?  Peering outside, he frowned when all he saw were trees and bushes.

Great, Villa Martiga had to exist in the middle of nowhere.

Well, it wasn’t really nowhere; the Ngong area was turning into a prestigious area to live.

He braked hard when the dirt road he was supposed to take appeared to the right.  Thank God there were no vehicles behind him. He was driving like a maniac tonight. Taking the right turn, excitement swept through him and he pressed the gas pedal harder, eager for warmth.  A dark shadow streaked onto the road, and he hit the brakes in panic, afraid he was going to hit the woman ahead.

Read other EA Friday Feature Entries;

  1. Father’s Love
  2. The Man in the Rain

EA Friday Feature – Prompt Week #3

The EA Friday Feature:

Friday Feature1Write a story of only 1,000 words using the prompt given.  Post it on your blog on Fridays and share the posts of fellow bloggers participating in the feature.

Participating Bloggers:

  1. Nilichoandika
  2. Flashes of Vice
  3. Children of Destiny Books
  4. Love in Nairobi

Week #3 Prompt:

mail.google.com

Rain, Rain, Rain….be inspired by the rain…

The story is due on Friday, 21st August, 2015. 

This is an open entry Feature.  If you’d like to participate, simply write the 1,000 word story using the prompt, and leave a comment on this post to let us know to share your story.

Last week’s prompts responses:

  1. Sex on the beach
  2. My Favorite Place to Be
  3. It’s not all Strippers and Burritos my Friend
  4. The Changing Tide

The Changing Tide

Places:Friday Feature1

Beaches, Mountains, Forests or somewhere else you like…Write a story inspired by the place you like most.

The Changing Tide

Enya loved her hometown. She’d lived in the same stone ranch house all her life, with her mother and siblings: a nice three bedroom house that she loved to bits. Her hometown was situated in a semi-urban area, one could hardly call it Nairobi but it was; the roads were bad, the infrastructure unsexy, and any one bringing a Mercedes to this street was just inviting midnight visitors. You know, those late night callers who came to give the new Merc in town a spin while y’all slept.

Yes, her little world had once received those late night callers. She’d been eleven or twelve. She was jerked awake from a deep sleep to discover strangers prowling the house, taking the television, the radio, the cups, mugs, spoons and pots. She’d been scared, but her mother had put on a brave face through it, talking to those strangers so they wouldn’t hurt her children. Her mother had fought a big fight that night, with words, and cajoling…the memory was fading…but she couldn’t forget her mother’s valiant effort to keep her children safe that night. That week, that incident had been the talk of the town.

Enya doubted anyone would remember that incident now.

Gossip was like that in her hometown. Every week something new…the rumor mills were sleepless on Ndwaru Road. It was the one reliable intelligence source in the country. You just needed to know the right person to talk to. Find that person, and you’d never be out of the loop on the going-ons of the people living on this street.

Enya smiled. The trick was not to share the source. Peaceful living and all poke a beehive and the bees will sting you and all that…no, she’d never reveal her sources. But it was good to be in the know. Part of being in the community, one of the people…

pretty treeNow Enya stopped to purchase milk for the evening tea. Her gaze on the changing tides sweeping the street.

When she’d been young, she’d wished for more people living on Ndwaru Road. She remembered her home being isolated by forests and bushes, people hadn’t believed her family could bear to live so alone. Now, the place had changed. More people building, more people moving in. While this was a good thing, the isolation ended…the influx of the human population was taking away the charm of the street. The green was gone. The fresh air ended, replaced with trash, instances of sewer on the road and dirty water.

The neighbors were changing; no longer familiar faces from childhood. There was a time she’d walk on the path to her house and know who was coming toward her. Know where that person belonged, and if they were friend or foe.

These days, she just had no idea who was walking on that path anymore. Too many new people, one couldn’t keep up.

Enya sighed. It wasn’t a bad thing. In terms of growth, it was a good thing; she just wished the growth was happening in a moderate and elegant way. The street was changing, but she rather thought it a violent process. A clash of those who understood why moderation was needed in progress, and those who wanted a fast growth, a quick one…and in their haste, ended up with the trash, and dirty water on the road.

But she was digressing…..

Enya refused to think of these negative aspects of her home. This place she’d loved all her life. The good parts were that she remembered the familiar faces from her childhood. There was nothing more welcoming than having someone pick you out in the sea of new faces with a smile.

“Hello,” they’d say. “How are you? Greet your family.”

Small words, little words, but so full of connection, Enya understood while the conversation might not be longer, the recognition was all that mattered. It felt like she belonged.

Enya walked along the path to her house and smiled. A few days before she’d come home in the rain. She’d taken the bus from town, and it had gradually gotten dark on the way home. Her friend had worried for her.

“Are you sure you’re safe?” her friend asked.

Enya had smiled, and nodded. Getting off the bus, in the pouring rain, she’d crossed the street and felt relief as she walked along the familiar path.

Ah…I’m home, she’d thought. Once I’m here, I can’t get lost.

Like running a race and you reach that last stretch with no one able to catch up…the best feeling in the world.  Enya entered her gate, and smiled. Yes, the best part of this hometown was her home.

The old tree that grew by the gate, it was older than her and she was atleast thirty. The mango tree her grandmother hadIMG_0095 brought all the way from Nyeri, to come and plant it in their home. She’d been six years old…her grandmother was long gone now…but the tree remained. Every year, they ate mangoes and remembered their grandmother planting the tree.

The farm was where she’d played hide and seek when she’d been young. She’d also tried her hand in farming. She’d planted sixty cabbages once and all of them had died. She’d cried with disappointment, even though the season had been all wrong for cabbages.

This place where her father was buried, Enya visited his grave some days to talk about particularly bad days or very good days.

Enya paused beside a bush of lavender. She picked a branch and breathed in the scent. Before the lavender, there had been a tree growing there. When she and her siblings would do something bad, their mother would threaten to tie them to the tree and beat them on that tree. Not that their mother had ever done it but Enya had been glad when that tree was cut down. Enya smiled at the memory and entered the second gate.

Their house was lighted, her mother singing inside as she cooked dinner. Her siblings lost in their own activities. Enya stood outside and stared up at the sky. Despite the tides of change sweeping Ndwaru Road, this place would always hold a special place in her heart.

After all, it was home.

****

Please Check out other EA Friday Feature Stories:

It’s not all Strippers and Burritos my Friend

Sex on the Beach

My Favorite Place to Be

EA Friday Feature – Prompt Week #2

Friday Feature1

The EA Friday Feature:

Write a story of only 1,000 words using the prompt given.  Post it on your blog on Fridays and share the posts of fellow bloggers participating in the feature.

Participating Bloggers:

  1. Nilichoandika
  2. Flashes of Vice
  3. Children of Destiny Books
  4. Love in Nairobi

Week #2- Prompt is:

Places:

Beaches, Mountains, Forests or somewhere else you like…Write a story inspired by the place you like most.

The story is due on Friday, 14th August, 2015. 

This is an open entry Feature.  If you’d like to participate, simply write the 1,000 word story using the prompt, and leave a comment on this post to let us know to share your story.

Last week’s prompts responses:

  1. It Started with a Bump at the Busstop
  2. Holy Desire
  3. A Tail of Tissue Paper

A Tail of Tissue Paper

A Tail of Tissue Paper

Helena adjusted her ponytail, tugging on a wayward braid to set it right. She’d slathered on lipstick today, staring into the mirror, Helena wished she’d chosen the pink instead of the cherry red.

Oh well, she shrugged her shoulders and washed her hands in the sink. Drying her hands off, she adjusted her handbag and left the bathroom, adding an extra swing to her hips, now that she felt fresh.

The Nakumatt Junction was buzzing with activity. Saturdays, Helena thought. 83898869_d385d56d18_oEvery woman, her children and man were out shopping for the week. Helena sighed and walked into the supermarket with a wide smile for the luggage carrier dudes. They smiled back, their gazes sweeping over her figure with appreciation. She grinned, and ran a hand down her hips.
She’d bought the skinny Levis at a whopping two thousand five hundred shillings. She loved them. They hugged her butt to perfection. She’d refused to mourn the use of the money. Not that she’d ever tell her friends the price. They’d call her a vanity whore, so she kept it to herself. 

Helena smiled as she got a shopping cart, rolling it down the aisle. She’d told her friends she’d gotten the jeans at a sale in the market. Yeah right, as though faded jeans would give the definition her Levis afforded her.  Shaking her head, she paused in the coffee aisle to get her stash of dark roast. Nothing could beat a good cup of dark roast coffee in the morning.

Putting the package in her cart, she continued down the aisle to the milk aisle. Her mother was coming over later. The woman lived and breathed tea with milk. If Helena didn’t have milk in the house, her mother would think it a sacrilege. Helena rolled her eyes as she grabbed two packets of milk and dumped them into the cart. She loved her mother, lord knew she did, but they differed in so many things…Helena sighed.

“She’s your mother,” Helena said under her breath, walking past a mother struggling to control three rowdy children. All of them held their own packages; they wanted their mother to add them into an already overfilled cart.

Helena shuddered at the disruption they were making. She quickly walked down the aisle to the pasta aisle, promising herself to get one kid. She’d get only one, not because she hated kids, but because one was ideal in this crazy modern world. The cost of living was too high to even contemplate three.

Her mother was eager to hold a grandchild in her arms. She’d probably mention it later when she came to visit.
Helena studied her choices, noodles, shells, elbows…suddenly she felt lost. She wasn’t sure what she wanted. Noodles bored her, the shells were okay, but the elbows, well the elbows were bland sometimes.

“This is why you’ll never get that kid,” she murmured staring at her pasta choices. “Can’t choose pasta, can’t choose a man.”

Helena sighed and decided on closing her eyes and choosing what her hand touched first. She came up with shells. She put the package into the cart with a shrug. She could always find a good recipe online for them. Mmm…she’d liked the one she’d made for that guy she’d met at the gym a month ago. The relationship had died after two dates, but the Zucchini Pasta, that had tasted good. She was suddenly hungry for it, so she made a beeline for the vegetable aisle. She didn’t want to detour to the market to get the zucchini might as well buy them here.

She got the zucchini, and got sidetracked by the sight of huge strawberries in their packages. Well, the strawberries were good looking, but the tall handsome man checking out the carrots was distracting too.

Helena picked up the strawberry package and feigned rapt interest.

Damn it what was a good line.

It would need to be perfect; he looked too refined for a comment on the weather. Her mind was blank. Her gaze followed him as he shifted to the herbs, studying cilantro as though he knew what he was doing. He had to be a keeper. A man who could cook, her insides trembled, just itching to go over and talk to him.

She couldn’t help the scowl when a pretty blonde-haired lady came up to him with a wide smile. Jealousy flooded her as returned the smile and leaned to brush her cheek with a kiss. Dumping the strawberries into the cart, Helena quickly moved on from the vegetable aisle.

She needed Parmesan cheese and chicken for the zucchini pasta recipe. This time, she kept her gaze on the chicken when a great smelling guy stopped beside her to get beef patties.

Helena wondered why it was so hard for her to approach men. The ones she did approach turned out to be married, in relationships or had commitment phobia. She chose her chicken, and decided to tell her mother that she was going to die a spinster.  A chuckle escaped as she got the Parmesan cheese, and a lady walking by gave her a confused look.

Yeah, keep wondering, sister, Helena thought. I might look great, but my heart is in a dozen pieces.

Recipe accounted for, Helena headed to the lotion section. She was running out of her favorite coconut lotion. As always the many varieties on the aisle had her salivating.  She knew the one she wanted already, but damn if she could afford one of each on the aisle, she’d buy them all.

Helena curbed her impulse buying gene and reached for the bottle she used daily in a faithful regime. Coconut butter did wonders for her skin. Putting it in her cart, she glanced up in time to see another guy standing a few feet from her. What was it today with all the handsome men?

This one though was smiling at her with interest. She blushed when he moved closer.  His smile was captivating.

Her heartbeat raced.

“Hi,” he said.

Helena smiled. “Hey.”

“I just wanted to tell you that you have a tissue stuck on the back of your jeans.”

“What?” Helena stared at him in horror.

“A piece of tissue,” the man said, pointing to her back.

Helena reached back fast, her cheeks flaming, when her fingers touched a soft paper. She tugged at it, as it was lodged in her waistband and it came off easily. Good lord, had she swaggered through this whole supermarket with a tissue for a tail?

“Lord, sink me now,” she said.

The handsome man chuckled and walked away.

****

Please check out these entries from bloggers in the EA Friday Feature:

It Started with a Bump – Nilichoandika

Holy Desire – Flash of Vice

E. A. Friday Feature

Friday Feature1What is the E.A. Friday Feature?

–          Write a story in response to the weekly prompt given of only 1,000 words.  The story can be a stand alone story.  It can also be an ongoing story to which you’ll write chapters every Friday for the feature. You post the story or chapter on your blog on Fridays, and at the bottom, you link your post to the other blogs participating in the E. A. Friday Feature.  There is no restriction on the type of story you create.  The story is all up to you.  The only restriction is the limit on words. (1,000 words).

Who can Enter?

– Anyone willing to show the commitment.  The first Feature Starts on August 7th, 2015.

What you get out of it:

Free readers, for example, if we’re three, you’ll get three new readers to read your story.  Two, your links on the other participants’ blogs could get you new readers.  It’s a win-win for all of us. Every month, the stories are compiled in a free ebook called the East Africa’s Friday Feature, and we’ll publish it on Smashwords for free.  You can use this as a platform to advertise your other work if you have it published.  Share the Free ebook with anyone you please.

(Kindly note, the EA Friday Feature ebook is free, I’ll compile it on my own time, with no charges to you, so don’t ask for payment for your stories.  I’m not going to sell it in hardcover, it’s all going on Smashwords for free download.  Hope you’re familiar with this publishing platform.)

Not Accepted:

– Kindly don’t be late with your post.  Try to be punctual so that everyone can have their links to your post on time. Please show commitment.

– Don’t use an already published story.  This is a creative writing exercise.  Make your feature story original. Don’t plagiarize.

– Remember to follow all the other participating bloggers, if you want to get some love back too. ^_^

If you have any questions, just leave them on this post, I’ll help out however I can.

Have loads of fun with this guys!

 First EA Friday Feature Prompt:

Due: August 7th, 2015

Prompt Is: Caught Red-Handed: Write about being caught doing something embarrassing

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