Amateur writer: I've been working as a freelance writer for the past few months. These are some of my works of fiction.
"So, where to next?" Sani asks as soon as they step out of the store - His hands entangled in the camera strap
"It hasn't been much of a tour, huh?" She makes a funny face
"Well, I haven't given up yet" He leans closer "What do you say? Don't quit on me now"
"Alright" She concedes "Come, I know some places" She walks before him
"How do you like it here?" Sani inquires as they casually stroll down a two-lane street
"Jeez… I've been trying to leave for as long as I can remember" She responds - doing a silly walk in the process "This city drains you; right down to the bone"
"It is a beautiful place... and vibrant" Sani remarks "I could walk around this place every night. Just to take it all in"
"Of course you would" Betty smiles "You're a tourist... “
“You can also leave any time you wish... Back to real-life" She continues
He remains silent, unsure of what to say
"So what exactly are you looking for in these parts?” She inquires; slowly walking backwards to face him - feeling a little more comfortable and free
"Nothing in particular" He explains "Just a passerby...” Attempting a melody “then I came across you"
"Ah, so a tourist" She smiles
"I guess I am"
"I don't think I'll make it out" She explains "feels like... like this is it for me"
"Sure you can... you just need to know where you're going"
"Mhmm... that's the question, isn't it? I wonder where everyone else is headed"
The road back
The two continue their stroll down a narrow, meandering road until Sani spots a marshlike site with some characteristics of a moor
"What's going on there?" He inquires, walking towards the marsh: Croaks, rabbits, and chirping sounds among many others getting louder as he approaches.
"It's still up for development" Betty explains. "And they're taking their sweet time too if you ask me" But she won't dare approach
"Come" Sani suggests "I've never seen this many fireflies... they almost light the whole place up" He attempts to take some pictures
"Not a chance" Betty replies, standing all the way on the other side of the road
"Don't tell me you're scared" Sani lets out a chuckle and turns towards her "Come on... It's quite a site"
"Nope" She stands her ground. "Who knows what's in there" She shouts “That’s how people disappear"
Amused by her wild imagination "Alright..." He concedes and goes to her. "At least let me get a few pictures of you with that background" He motions her to stand somewhere in the middle of the road
"Uh... fine!" She finally gives in
With her left hand, she slightly pulls her hair away from her face and takes a pose: "How's that?"
"You're perfect" He replies... Seemingly dazzled by her inscrutable countenance
Betty smiles and lets her hair down as Sani takes a few snaps – Getting her in as much of the background as possible
With the last photo in the books, Sani goes to her and hands over the camera.
As she swipes through the pictures, he again finds himself studying her face with a strong desire to run his fingers down her rosy cheeks – An opportunity he takes full advantage of as soon as she raises her head and their eyes meet
Betty smiles, unsure of how to act…
This, however, is rather abruptly interrupted by a honk as a truck forces them off the road
"We should be heading back now" Betty suggests, handing him back the camera "There's nothing interesting down there anyway"
"Ooh" He complains, "Hoped I'd get to see more of the place"
"Trust me” She explains “There's nothing down there but more clubs and Casinos... besides, there's still more to see on the other side"
She then starts taking small steps backwards and Sani follows; gingerly holding her hand as they make their way back
Life's for the living
"How am I doing so far?" She inquires as they walk past some stores (admiring whatever is on display)
"So far? Not bad at all... I’ll give a solid eight and a half for now"
Rolling her eyes "You are way too modest, my friend"
"What can I say, no complaints here" He continues with a reassuring smile
"We should get some coffee or something... I am freezing" Sani suggests as Betty nods her head in agreement
This, however, is not to be as they spot Jesse quickly approaching them with two other nefarious-looking goons behind him
"Well, well!" He shouts as he approaches, "What a night we're having"
Sani, however, is not fazed and stands in wait
Realizing the danger they are in, Betty thinks of making a run for it but immediately decides against it, choosing, to stand between Sani and Jesse and negotiate a way out of the situation.
This heroic gesture is met with a violent shove, causing her to hit the back of her head to the ground as the two goons grapple with Sani.
Despite taking a few hits, he soon overpowers them and goes to check on Betty as she lays there; seemingly unconscious
"Hey" He whispers as she stares at him, a rather blank stare
"Hey" She whispers back, coming to
"Can you get up" He inquires, holding her hand
"I think so"
As she struggles to sit up, Sani takes notice of some blood on her hair but keeps it to himself
"We have to go now" He suggests as one of the goons starts coming to "Think you can stand?"
"Yeah, I think so, yes" She whispers
He then helps her up and they slowly make their way down the road
Jesse and his men soon get to their feet and follow, taunting and making all sorts of threats in their pursuit
"I'm so tired" Betty cries "If I could only lie down for a second”
"Don't give up on me now" Sani urges, holding her up "…just a little longer"
"OK, Prince-man" She returns, trying her best to keep up the pace
(They eventually make it to the marsh)
"We'll have to cross over to the other side, they won't bother to follow us there" Sani suggests as he helps her lean back against a log
"I'm so tired…" She tries to make herself more comfortable "I don't think I have any energy left in me"
"Look..." Sani points at the marsh. "Just a couple of feet to the other side... We won’t give up now, yes?"
"OK" She concedes after some back and forth - Jesse's rants get louder and closer.
Having helped her to her feet, Sani jumps into the marsh, sinking to his waistline in the water. He then motions her to get in – Reaching out with open arms
Betty, however, changes her mind and starts backing away, all the while struggling to keep on her feet
"No, no… Come on" Sani urges in a low but reassuring tone "There's nothing to be afraid of"
"I can't" Betty cries "I just..." tears flowing down her cheeks
"Look at me… just… you can do it" Sani whispers, his hands still reaching out to her "Trust me…"
“Beatrice…” He utters, getting her attention “Trust me, you can do this”
With some convincing and Jesse approaching, Betty gathers up the courage to approach the marsh: Taking his hand, she carefully hops in, firmly holding onto him as soon as she realizes its true depth
“See?” He gets a good hold of her “Nothing to be afraid of” The variety of sounds and thickness of the marsh; however, prove to be a little frightening to her
He then takes hold of her hand to guide her through the marsh but immediately sinks as the ground collapses under the weight – vanishing from her sight
Her wild imagination getting the best of her, Betty is thrust into a state of panic; screaming and wailing in horror.
This attracts the attention of Jesse and his goons who waste no time jumping into the marsh after her.
In a chaotic fashion (holding on to whatever she can) she attempts to crawl through the thick marsh but again the ground collapses below her
Everything turns dark as she steadily sinks to the bottom; no proclivity to fight it on her part
“Vouvant” She whispers to herself with sudden clarity
With every ounce of energy left in her, she pushes through the debris to the very surface. She then opens her eyes to find herself on a small bed, snuggled in a warm thermal blanket, and some beeping machines beside her
“Well, hello there” A tall, well-groomed character in a white coat and a pair of stethoscope around his neck approaches. “How are we feeling today?”
© 2021 Kimani Maruge