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Keyan Tales (The Republic of Doom)

The author is a writer of captivating short stories. He teaches English and literature.

The Independence Day

"Good morning Dave," Peter greeted. "Good morning Peter, how is everything on your end?"

"Quite fine, friend. I thank God I'm able to be on my feet once again. The wound I sustained during the war of liberation, almost made me meet my maker, do you remember?"

"Yes, I do, I remember vividly as if it were yesterday. That day 'devil' aimed at you using his lethal evil weapon. But you finished him. He is no more. His brothers have gone back to their country. But you are a daredevil, brother!" Dave said.

"Of course brother, Dave. Cowards die many times. I would rather die once, die on my feet than live on my knees forever, begging the 'devil'. Peter responded.

"All is well now." Dave continued. "Sure? No, these people are likely to regroup and come back to attack us if we relax. We must be more watchful even more than we were before. I know we have seen some light at the end of the tunnel but we are not yet out of the woods. That is just a part one." Peter concluded.

Peter and Dave were trudging up the inselbergs of Kitesh, engaged in a deep conversation about how they had fought for their independence. They were going to celebrate the Independence that they had boldly fought for, leaving some of them with scars and deep wounds. The function would take place in a small city, then known as 'The City in The Sun'.

Peter was a resident of the Highlands while Dave was from the Plains. Before their country (Republic of Doom) was invaded by strange foreigners from an unknown country, there had been constant wars between people of the Highland and the Pains. Both claimed to own the city ( The City in The Sun).

This went on for a long time. The war had escalated when people from the Highlands started advancing to the communal land of the Plains, putting up tall buildings, consequently displacing people of the Plains. However, when the foreigners entered their land, they had to unite, or otherwise, they would easily be defeated by the foreigners and take their land.

It was not long before they reached the venue. It was already midday and the sun was very hot. There was a beehive of the activity. People from all walks of life had come to witness the events of that special day. A bevy of girls was dancing vigorously swaying their hips side to side. The women who had thronged outside a magnificent tall building made their way to the compound. Behind them were men who followed them singing patriotic songs. Finally, a dark-skinned man appeared. He wore a black suit that matched perfectly with his skin complexion. Probably, he was the new prime minister.

Dave and Peter sat on one of the logs in the compound. The sun was blazing hot. A whirlwind blew strongly making some rags dance in the air vigorously. The aroma of palatable food being prepared wafted up in the air from the ancient kitchen. "It's half past one and nothing important has commenced," Dave said. "We have to be a little bit patient for the prime minister has not yet had his lunch," Peter responded. No sooner had Peter concluded than a troop of soldiers in a pair of shorts marched past the crowd and stopped at the dais. Close to them was the man whom people thought was the prime minister. He inspected the guards of honour and then released them. A public Address System was brought close to him. Without further ado, he cleared his throat noisily and started his long boring speech.

"The distinguished guest, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. My name is Mzee John. I'm as happy as a lark to stand in front of you this evening, to inform you that I'm your proud president. We have fought tooth and nail to keep the enemy at bay, therefore, we have all reasons to celebrate.

I beseech you to be loyal to me and my government and together we shall prosper. Remember the old cliche: United we stand divided we fall. Unless we work together, we will never succeed. Unless we support our brothers whose family members died during the war, we shall perish. Let us honour our fallen soldiers by living peacefully for they fought for peace. They succumbed to deep cuts fighting for peace and harmony.

Moreover, let's be our brother's keeper. If your brother doesn't have land to put up a hut, share with them what you have..."

The moment the speech ended, most people especially from the Plains were bored. They wondered how the so-called President John had become their president. No one had chosen him. The elections had not been announced. So, who had made him their president? Both Peter and Dave had fought boldly in the forest, but they had never seen John. How could he declare himself a president? Many endless questions whirled through their minds.

Abruptly, there was a disturbing sound of a whistle. All people gathered under a tree in the shade. Then there was an announcement. People from the Plains were ordered to go home, without food. The Highlanders ate to their fill, laughing like hyenas. Even Peter didn't see Dave and other people from the Plains leave for their abodes. He remained there with his fellow tribesmen dining and wining. He had betrayed his friend and ally, whom he had fought alongside against the white foreigners.

People of the Plains went home grumbling. They had been denied food and water. Dave was in his world of thoughts. As they neared their home, he diverted to a small path that led to his hut. He couldn't imagine how Peter had been left at the party when he expected him to be with him. "This world is wild," Dave whispered.

All of a sudden, he heard shuffling of feet behind him. On turning his head to find out what was there, he was given a hefty slap that left him sprawling to the ground. He was flogged and clobbered severally and badly before he was allowed to stand. When he opened his eyes, he saw Peter with other four well-built men, with red eyes. "My president says you must die," Peter, Dave's friend blurted. "Why? Brother Peter. "Your evil plans brother. You want to overthrow him. He eavesdropped on a conversation between you and one of your tribesmen. Now, you must die!" Before Dave could say anything, his head was chopped off by another man. Blood oozed from his body profusely. He was no more. He had tasted the bitter cup of his demise.

The five men, led by Peter disappeared among the thickets of the Plains after executing the duty from their self-proclaimed president.

The corpse was left in the bushes to be eaten up by the scavengers. The eerie evening was cold. The birds that were fond of chirping merrily on the treetops could not be heard. The bleating of goats and bellowing of bulls filled the air as the herdsmen took their herds home. Dark clouds scurried in the sky as the sun rays disappeared gradually. The night was creeping in. Soon, afterward, it was pitch dark. It was not until morning that folks in the Plains learned about the demise of Dave...........

The City in The Sun



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