Posted in Short Stories

Twilight: My take & idea for the next movie

I’m late to the Twilight party. A decade late actually. Although my friend Kui is a fan of the books and told me how much she loved them ages ago, I only got around to watching the movies and reading the books two weeks ago. And what a ride it’s been.

I fail to understand where all the vitriol about Twilight comes from. The books are a riveting read. True, a little editing would have reduced Bella’s endless descriptions of the minutiae of her life, but that doesn’t detract from the story. I watched the movies first – the first three, then read the books, finishing one each day. Yeah, I’m a binge reader. Once I’m hooked, I find it hard to put a book down till the story ends.

Since then I’ve been obsessed with all things Twilight. I’m not likely to read the books again; once was enough for me, unlike so many people who read them over and over. But I can’t get enough of the movies, which are way better than the books. That almost never happens as movies hardly do justice to the books they are based on. Case in point – Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, his best book in my opinion.

Twilight is pure fantasy so Stephenie Meyer can get away with a lot. I couldn’t wrap my head around a couple of things though, like Bella and Edward consummating their relationship. His skin is like marble so how on earth could they make love? She really should have left out that bit (stone skin) and still have the vamps every bit as unbreakable.

The pregnancy is another thing. In what universe is that possible? The kiss with Jacob, two days after Bella said yes to Edward’s proposal just pissed me off. Not to mention Jacob imprinting on Renesmee. Like seriously? Six billion people on the planet and he just had to fall for a baby? She probably needed a reason to ensure the wolves allied with the Cullens in the non-existent fight with the Volturi in book 4, but still, messy…very messy.

The idea of a 108-year old vampire attending high school beggars belief. If she wanted to create a setting where the two main characters meet, there are lots of alternatives in a small town like Forks. The mall, bookstore, even on the street.

Anyway, enough of the plot holes. Like most Twilight fans, I’d love to see another movie. So I started thinking about it and the plot started writing itself in my head. So here goes, my two cents…

Movie No 6

It all starts with something Aro said in that non-battle in the fifth movie. That humans have the technology to develop weapons that could kill vampires, hence the need for absolute secrecy about their existence.

The story picks up from there, a decade…or five…later when Aro’s worst fears have indeed come to pass and the humans discover the existence of vampires. Fuelled by fear about this hitherto unknown predator, whose awesome powers makes them difficult to capture, let alone kill, humans launch an all-out war to eradicate the vamps.

The war is kept top secret of course, to avoid triggering hysteria in the human population about this “new” threat. The top world powers (USA, Russia, UK, Germany, France and China) combine forces and create a secret army to launch attacks against the vamps. The army is led by a US marine, played by Theo James (who else? Did you see him in Divergent? Dude is a great actor and drop dead gorgeous).

Members of the black ops unit are recruited from the US marines, Britain’s Special Air Services (SAS) and Special Boat Services (SBS), as well as Israel’s lethal stealth warriors, the Sayeret Matkal. The unit also has intelligence sleuths recruited from the CIA, Mossad, Scotland Yard and the KGB.

The humans quickly discover just how flammable the venom in the vamps’ bodies is and design special hand held rocket launchers, which incinerate vampires on the spot, leaving a pile of ashes. The mini rocket launchers have a range of 5km and once they lock onto the target, the vampire is pretty much toast. Continue reading “Twilight: My take & idea for the next movie”

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Posted in Short Stories

Encounter with the GSU

I went to great lengths to avoid the GSU during my 4 years at the University of Nairobi’s Lower Kabete Campus. We called them the ‘fanya fujo uone’ squad because of the damage they could inflict on your body, and the enthusiasm with which they went about their task of breaking up demonstrations, leaving broken and bloody bodies in their wake.

While many students prepared for demonstrations by collecting stones and other missives to hurl at the cops, my preparations were of an entirely different sort – to facilitate immediate flight should the need arise, by the shortest and most direct route out of the campus.

The official policy was that the police engage rioting students outside the gate with the primary goal of driving them back into the school compound and clear the road to facilitate traffic flow. The first responders, the Administration (APs) and regular police, usually adhered to this rule. But after a few hours of battle on the road, the GSU would be called in and then all bets were off. The fanya fujo uone squad chased their quarry right into the university hostels, determined to beat them to a pulp. The administration couldn’t stop the GSU from entering the premises and everyone knew it.

Well not everyone. A few geeks who spent most of their time in the library clearly never got the memo. They were always caught napping when the mayhem found them. I’m all for chopping, but for Pete’s sake, books never protected anyone against teargas.

For the rest of us, the minute we got wind of a riot – half the time we didn’t even know what it was about, having been decided by the student leaders at the main campus – we started by dressing appropriately. T-shirt, jeans, ngomas. Comfortable for running and with no laces to get entangled in weeds or trip us up if they got loose. No handbag. Your national ID and some cash in the back pocket. A handkerchief or tissue went into the other back pocket. A tube of lip gloss or Vaseline tucked into the front pocket. Hey, a girl needs to maintain her appearance. Getting caught in the middle of a riot is no excuse for chapped lips. Hair wrapped securely in a ponytail. Perhaps a light sweater tied around the waist in case it got cold.

Preparations complete, it was now just a matter of monitoring the situation on the front line and getting ready to flee at a moment’s notice. We called it kukaa radar, chonjo. We passed time playing cards or just horsing around in the dorms. Then a war cry would rent the air. “GSU wameingia. Run!”

The light hearted play ended instantly and the exodus began. Like rats from a sinking ship, everyone headed for the exits and from there, the quickest route out of the campus. Those on the ground floor didn’t bother using the door, just jumped out of the window and took off like a rocket. The main gate was a no go zone at this point. As any university student will tell you, one of the first things you must do when you join campus is find the panya routes out of the premises should the need arise.

My friends and I just followed Moses Mbugua, who was raised in Wangige and knew all the back routes out of the campus. We fanned out like grasshoppers into the maize fields of the surrounding farmers, making a bee line to Mwimuto, the nearest road where we could catch a mathree to the city centre and safety. Continue reading “Encounter with the GSU”

Posted in Short Stories

I rugby tournament, 6 beers and a pastor named Johnny

I was thrilled when veteran writer Oyunga Pala agreed to host me on his popular blog (oyungapala.com). Oyunga pioneered the controversial Mantalk column in the Saturday Nation which he wrote for 11 years, developing a cult like following. He is now a satirical columnist for the Crazy Monday magazine in the Standard writing social commentary, political satire and gender issues. He is also the Creative Head at Spielworks Media Ltd.

Below is an excerpt of the article I wrote for his blog:

I received an unexpected call from an ex who I hadn’t seen in years the other day.

Leo* was the quintessential bad boy. Over six foot tall, ebony skin, perfect white teeth, chiselled jaw line and a physique sculpted from years of playing rugby that made women swoon. A busted knee took him out of the game but he still looked good. Years before the bald head look became trendy, Leo wore it with panache. He was also cocky as hell.

When we spoke recently, he sounded a lot more mature. Getting kids will do that to you. The cockiness was still there though. I found it endearing while we dated. Now it sounded contrived and mildly irritating. Clearly I too have matured and what I find attractive in a guy is very different from 18 years ago.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Photo by Fredrick Omondi

Posted in Short Stories

A scream in the night

I think about that little girl a lot.

It all started on a dark, stormy night one month ago.

I had ignored the persistent, irritating knocking at the gate, but sat up abruptly as screams shattered the night five minutes later. A quick glance at my phone showed 9.45pm.

I muted the news on television and walked swiftly to the small window at the end of the corridor that overlooked the courtyard at the back of our compound. Cautiously lifting the latch, I peered out into the night. Continue reading “A scream in the night”