Maya (Synopsis)…


Maya (Synopsis)

MAYA, a novel, is a narrative about ordinary people, with human flaws, caught up in the constant glare of life. They discover they only can cheat about, run or hide from, or ignore the flaws at their own peril.

Maya Boone faces a legal quandary over a death she has witnessed from her hideout on Eagle Street, Harmony, New York. First, she watches Raul, the troublesome husband from whom she is hiding, kill a bulldog. She then crosses Eagle Streetto enquire whether the dog’s owner (Mike) is suing Raul, but she instead falls in love with the heartbroken man, lures him to her bed, and even contemplates witnessing against Raul. The brief affair ends quickly as Mike falls victim to an enraged boyfriend’s arrow of passion. Wounded and helpless, Mike is at the mercy of a stalker named Booker, a moonlighting evangelist he, Mike, previously unmasked while the preacher waited tables at Bar Delirium.  No mercy for Maya, only a slow death.

Maya soon confronts her past. Also witnessing the murder is Officer Jimmy Depuy–a child from Maya’s selfish past. Neither Raul nor Maya nor Officer Depuy knows this. Then Detective John unearths the blood knot, and soon District Attorney Hess is advancing criminal motives against the Rauls and Officer Depuy.

Harmony streets already sing a disharmonious tune from economically depressed youths and the elderly, and Captain Depuy and his officers are edgy. Now, Captain Depuy has a personal battle to fight, for the line between suspect and witness to a murder has become blurry.

Maya fits the murder-mystery-thriller genre, but like recent novels penned by this author, it has a strong literary fiction aspect to it. MAYA should appeal to those readers who seek to understand, in human character, matters beyond the mundane of life.

Sunset on Polygamy: A Tragedy: Cultural practices and Disease Epidemics


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In Joseph R. Alila’s first novel, Sunset on Polygamy (ISBN 13: 9781495402135) , marital cultural lore and spirituality combine to breed a tragic confusion in a land faced with a deadly new disease epidemic, with public debates raging as to whether the killer is ancestral chira (curse) or Acute Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

I this work of fiction, Joe Ochom, a young man testing his verbal skills in the art of seduction, soon realizes that corralling an educated girl (Megan) requires more than adorning his high school blazer in the marketplace. He proves indecisive and cowardly in the battlefield—a weakness his principal competitor, polygamist Jim Kokech, exploits to the fullest.

Having crushed the young bookish competitor for the attention of Megan, suddenly faces a revolt from his four wives. Felicia, the first wife—exploits the situation to punish her “wayward husband”; she locks him out of her bedroom just when they must celebrate the planting season as the principal “spiritual co-owners” of the home. Jim’s pastoral calendar comes to a sudden halt—reminding him that Luo marital life indeed is a complex “religious journey” with the first wife as the center of worship. Suddenly, the spiritual battle among the women, symbolized by the clearly demarcated hallowed boundaries between their farms,  reaches their bedrooms. The home enters a conjugal lockdown that Jim and any of his junior wives could only breach at the risk of dire spiritual consequences. The crafty second wife, Milka, engages Jim in a believable romantic ruse that fools even Felicia. Wrought with jealousy at her archenemy, Milka, Felicia yields to Jim—prompting a stampede among the women for access to him. Jim’s male folly still thinks he’s having fun.

Baby boom! A year later, Felicia looks from the sidelines as the home welcomes three newborns, with Maria, Milka and Nyapora presenting a child each to their shared husband. Felicia has reached menopause, but instead of embracing her new physiological reality, and aging gracefully as the matriarch of her home, she becomes angry at Jim and her co-wives for “breeding like rats.” Struggling with a broiling bout of jealousy at her co-wives and nursing unpredictable desires of her husband, Felicia brews one immoral “romantic” mischief after another and nearly kills her husband while trying a cultic solution to her marital problems. Depressed, Felicia flees to the Big City to escape the shameful spectacle she is among the women of Korondo Ridge.

But Korondo Ridge has no rest; Exit Felicia, and tragedy brings home Gina—a beautiful young widow who has just returned from the Big City with the body of her late husband, George Amolo. Now, to the utter dismay of elders, Gina refuses to receive any man into her bed, arguing that her husband died of “a strange new disease”. The elders refuse to listen, asserting that George died of his father’s “chira” (curse), which only the very wise among them could cleanse. Amolo protests, saying that Malaria killed George. Concerned for the spiritual health of their Korondo House, the elders eventually convince Gina to enter a one-night “marriage” with a “Jakowiny” (a vagabond) “to settle George’s restless spirit.”  Reacting to the “technical marriage,” men troop to Gina’s house to proffer their applications, believing the vagabond (like the Biblical scapegoat), has wandered off with “chira” that killed their fellow warrior.

Tragedy! The killer malady the elders call “Chira” is AIDS—the killer the Luo aptly nickname “Ayaki”—I loot you. Gina soon develops loose morals and dispatches one man after another to his grave, their wives in tow. Tragic: Ayaki kills people and “chira,” with which it shares symptoms, gets the credit. Gina’s misleadingly healthy look, beauty, and longevity only add to the tragedy.

Felicia returns to Korondo Ridge amid the Ayaki epidemic in the land, but even the epidemic has not changed people‘s ways:, men still embrace polygamy; men still inherit sick widows, and sure, her Jim has married young Megan, capping his conquest over Joe Ochom the narrator. But as the Luo of old said, the ferocious buffalo provides the hide for a brave warrior’s shield—Jim dies holding a toxic jewel in his hands; leaving teaching lessons in vanity and immoderation.

MAYA (A Novel)


Maya (Synopsis)

Harmony City suddenly is disharmonious, catching her administrators on unsure footings. Hard economic times have dumped the old and young into Main Street. Police officers have their hands full fighting members of the Occupy Harmony Movement (OHM)—an amorphous group funded by grumpy rich men, with scores to settle against Wall Street.
Amid the OHM-engineered chaos, Officer Depuy suddenly has a personal battle to fight: he is a witness in the killing of one Mike—a man with a dubious sex life—and his dog. Then history suddenly springs a surprise—a nosey police detective discovers a blood knot that tethers Officer Depuy to two dysfunctional wealthy people of interest in the murder, but who don’t even know that he is their son.
A runaway woman, Maya Boone, has watched Raul, her troublesome husband, kill Mike’s dog. When she crosses Eagle Street to spy on Mike’s intentions against Raul, she meets a heartbroken man. They mourn together, before her empathy quickly turns into intimacy and shared lust. But tragedy befalls Mike on his return home—he encounters an enraged boyfriend’s fatal arrow of passion.
Even as District Attorney Hess has two self-confessed killers behind bars, she still is advancing criminal motives against Maya, Raul, and Officer Jimmy Depuy—a child Maya gave away at birth. Maya and Raul run to Florida, where she intends to nurse her late-life pregnancy, of controversial origin, in private. She leaves a Judge Lit and attorneys debating the merits of a full murder trial.
In MAYA, the author weaves through a modern city’s cultural fabric, gently touching every social issue of the day, to present a narrative that is steps ahead of its time. Maya should appeal to readers who seek to understand in human character matters beyond the mundane of daily life.

NEVER AGAIN, EVER


Fellow Kenyan,
Didn’t we all sing
Change is in the air
As the wise ones
Stirred the magic pot:
Divining, praying and prophesying in search
of the way forward?

Fellow Kenyan,
We all sang
And yearned for change,
The third liberation
Appeared to have been on course:
We hoped it would be
The liberation from tribalism;
We hoped it would be
The liberation from corruption;
We hoped it would be
The liberation from sycophancy;
We hoped it would be
The liberation from the politics
Of kickbacks and rewards.

Fellow Kenyan,
All that would not be,
Even as the people had willed
Change at the ballot-box
Because an evil cabal of oligoks
Would subvert the people’s will,
Yet again;
And turn you against me,
And I against you,
And wife against husband,
And doctor against patient,
And turn our ballots
Into weapons of mutual death.

Fellow Kenyan,
Wake up, my brother
Wake up, my sister
Do not be cheated into bearing
Arms ONE AGAINST ANOTHER.

Fellow Kenyan,
Wake up, my brother;
Wake up, my sister
Never again ever
Shall we allow ourselves
To be played ONE AGAINST ANOTHER
By a manipulative, powerful
Cabal of evil elites.

Fellow Kenyan,
Wake up, my brother;
Wake up, my sister,
Lest we again become
Mere expendable pawns
In this war of a manipulative cabal
of voracious, evil-and-powerful elites.

Fellow Kenyan,
Wake up, my brother;
Wake up, my sister,
Never, never again should we
Allow our ballots to be turned
Into child-killing
weapons of death.

Fellow Kenyan,
Wake up my brother;
Wake up my sister,
There is only one mother
between us, and that mother
is our Dear Kenya;
And we must not allow her
To go to these manipulative
Crows of Nairobi.

Source: RATENG’ AND BRIDE (a poem)
by Joseph R. Alila, June

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002QD5TDM

The Thirteenth Widow (A Novel): The Story (Part 2)


                                                                                                                                                     

  You, Tom Okoth, accepted your new circumstance as a two-woman man, and you drowned the sounds of protests and disagreements from your friends and family in alcohol and more alcohol, and before you knew it, waking up in houses of widows, near and distant, became a habit; before you knew it, waking up in emergency wards with stitches across your face became normal; before you knew, it inheriting widows became a habit; before you knew it missing school became a habit. With a few years you lost your job: first as the headmaster of Soko Intermediate School, then as a teacher. Chief Omolo, your “friend,” chaired the school board that sacked you. At a local bar, he fed you some beer then hired a cyclist to drop you somewhere behind your home. What a fried you had in Chief Omolo! You left home the day after, never to return for another three years!

You never returned home the day after the sack, not because of your shame as the man and headmaster of a school who had drank away his job, but because you met a jewel bedecked, pearly mermaid in a Homa Bay hotel. Yes, you met the mythical mermaid, except yours was not a myth. She was a real woman with flesh and blood: She was intelligent, ingenious, and beautiful, and apparently wealthy. That was your mermaid. The morning after you met, you thought she was not real; she had suited you and dumped thousands of shillings on you. Her name was Luna Green. She hence gave you the name Mr. Tom Green. You were her new husband, and more. You had found yourself in Luna’s arms in a classy hotel in Homa Bay, where you’d landed the day after the sack, having filed an appeal against your dismissal by your school’s board at Ndhiwa KNUT (your local teaching trade union) office.  Well, you had filed your case, then visited Homa Bay to drown your shame—once and for all—in the may many bars in town. Then you met the mermaid known as Luna Green. By midmorning of the morrow, you (now Mr. Tom Green) were touring the waters of Lake Victoria in Luna’s personal motorized boat, The MV Lunar Rock.

A week later into the whirlwind of a tour, dazed, dazzled and believing that you’d met a mermaid out of the Lolwe, you wedded Luna or she married you (if you get my Luo sense of the verb ”marry”) in Ahero Town—some bishop presiding. A day later, you were in a dreamy mansion in Ngong—that famous land of the Maasai. You would lead a dreamy three-year life as the husband of Luna the Gemstone Dealer. By the end, that came, suddenly, you’d a degree in business administration.

Then your life with the gem dealer known as Mrs. Luna Green came to a screeching halt, when she disappeared while in advanced pregnancy with your child. Within a short order you watched and listened as Green Gems Inc crumbled. The mansion you called yours was put on sale by creditors of Green Gems Inc. Apparently still controlling events from her hideout, Luna, willed that you be paid 39000 shillings, and that you left home immediately. In no way were you to leave with any other clothes except the ones on your back.

Scared, you scampered off with your life after a brief enquiry with Nairobi Police let you know that there was no person in Kenya known as Luna Green or Tom Green. Even you didn’t exist. If you had suspected that Luna was a genie or mermaid, you’d no more reason to doubt. You’d be back to Korondo Village to your longsuffering wife and your children, never to use the name Tom Green again. In three years, you, Tom Okoth, had travelled to hell and heaven and back to another round in hell.

The Thirteenth Widow (A Novel): The Story


What if you woke up one morning with a broken arm, a broken rib, and six stitches of some fiber across your heavily bandaged face, and you were in a room you couldn’t see, except it smelled like carbolic acid (excuse my archaic language);  you knew that you’ve been badly banged and your body ached generally.

Sure there was a feminine voice in the room, and the voice was saying that you’ll be okay; that you were worse a few days before; that some people she couldn’t talk about in public nearly killed you. “You’ll live, Mr. Okoth,” she says, walking out of the room before you could tell her that you were thirsty. Regardless she couldn’t have heard your mumbled words, and she couldn’t have obeyed your need because you were a Nothing-by-Mouth case.

You walked out a month later with a part of your life left behind. You move on back to your life as the headmaster of Soko Primary School, knowing quite well that a middle-school foe had been behind your ordeal; that the woman you remember having shared beer with; the woman you spent a night with, had been a police bait placed on your alcoholic path by friends of your middle-school foe—a bait that would deliver you to hungry intelligence dogs looking for Mwakenya sympathizers. Don’t worry if you never heard the word Mwakenya. Those who lived through Kenya’s politics in the 1980s know that Mwakenya was an underground movement whose sole agenda was to bring down KANU’s one-party state. You were beaten senseless because someone—your middle-school foe—claimed that you were Mwakenya agent, yet you were not, and you had nowhere to complain.

You, Okoth weren’t that lucky, for a few years later, the same foe now was the chief of your location at a time when Kenyan location chiefs wielded much power and directly answered to the President of the nation. You remained a mere headmaster of a Middle School. You drunk together with your chief, call him Chief Omolo, and the chief could insist that you escorted him home, and you did so because no one ever said no to the chief. Along the way to the chief’s abode, you sampled chang’aa (an illicit brew) and the chief did the buying, and you did the drinking. In fact, he only sniffed the bottles of chang’aa you shared. You felt happy as you ambled your way deeper and deeper into the chief’s village, sampling chang’aa as you went. To an observer, the two of you were just two buddies walking shoulder to shoulder. But you were drunk and he wasn’t, and the chief was up to something sinister.

What if you woke up early dawn on a strange headache, singing in praise of your wife Jane, except you were not in your home? You were two ridges away to the south in the house of some widow left behind by a distant cousin. She had been asleep before you sang, and your strange song ticked her off, and now she was ordering you leave her house before sunrise. In her deal with Chief Omolo, who had delivered you to her, the sun was not supposed to rise with you still in the home in mourning; your mission was supposed to have been so secret that even you, the drunkard, wasn’t supposed to have known that you had been in the home of curses. Now you understood the joke. You knew that the late Otieno died a strange death, a fact that had kept his brothers away from his beautiful widow. Your situation stunk: In your drunken stupor, you had inherited the spiritual burdens in your late cousin’s home. If you were a scholar of the Old Testament, or if you had read Apostle Paul’s Letter to Hebrews, you understood that you had become what the people of faith called the scapegoat—the goat that left the sanctuary with communal sins for an uncertain journey into the wild desert where predators roamed.

To continue . . .)

http://www.amazon.com/Joseph-R.-Alila/e/B002QD5TDM