By Patrick Ngugi
“Ouch!” Travis Sakame muttered under his breath as the razor cut into his finger while he trimmed his nails. Unconsciously he put the finger in his mouth and started sucking the blood.
“Travis! How many times have I told you to stop sucking your blood!” his mother, Venus asked, her eyes burning with fright and anxiety, rather than anger.
“Aaw, Mom. But its soo soothing. It removes the pain,” Travis said as he withdrew the finger and waved it in the air.
“It’s not healthy, and… and… ” she said hesitating.
“And what mom?” the 16 year old son asked with a childish grin. He knew that his mother never really had a good reason to stop him from sucking his own blood. There was nothing wrong with sucking your own blood, after all, you were putting it back into the system aren’t you, he always argued.
“It’s not healthy… and you are not supposed to drink blood,” was all Venus said, standing up from the couch where she had been knitting, walked to the wall unit and removed a first-aid box. “Come, let me fix some elastoplast on that wound,” she said.
He obliged and extended his hand to his mother as she wrapped the plast around the finger. He loved these moments when his mother administered first-aid to him whenever bled after wounding himself. The feeling was ecstatic, taking him to other realms which were full of spasms of bliss which would last eternally albeit for a minute or two.
“There, be careful as you cut your nails. You’d better use a nail cutter instead of a razor, she had told him as she continued her knitting.
He grinned childishly behind her back but obediently went to his room to get a nail cutter… wow the blood… the feeling… that feeling…
Sometimes I think he does it intentionally, Venus thought, with her heart still trembling as she tried to knit, watch an Indian Soap Opera, and worry about her son at the same time. God forbid, she though as she shuddered when she remembered one or two incidents in which she had caught her son doing with blood. It seemed like Travis was mesmerized by blood.
He tiptoed through the dark silence
It was pitch black but he did not need to switch on the light. Whenever he felt like this, he loved the darkness, and he could walk through it as if it was high noon.
He hoped his mother had left some uncooked meat in the fridge, since today he did not feel like going out to chase stray dogs and cats for blood.
He tiptoed through the dark silence. The only sound that could be heard was his own heartbeat, his breath and the tick-tock of the old grandfather clock in on the wall. Far into the dark horizon you could hear the wolf howl, the cricket chirp or the owl hoot or the fluttering of the bats in and out of their hellish caves.
The low humming of the refrigerator at this ungodly hour of 3.33 am amplified his lust for the raw flesh and blood as the thoughts of the smell and taste of blood in his nostrils and taste buds increased.
His heart thumped even harder as he stretched his hands as he neared the cold box, got hold of the door and yanked it open. The dim light in the refrigerator was a loud and sharp scream that pierced the thick darkness that had encompassed him.
Damn! There was no raw meat. His mother had fried everything.
No, he could not leave it here. Whether he liked or not, he had to go out and find some warm flesh and blood to quench the ravenous lust that was burning him up. He did not want to cause suspicion by opening the front door because he knew that mother would hear and call out.
He had to get out of the house through his window.
He had done it before and no one ever noticed.
A few sheets tied from end to end and attached to his bed did the trick, acting as a rope that he would use to descend the two floors down.
At 4.44am he was back, energized and now he could sleep, if he wished, and if the new found zest would allow him. It was easy, after all it was just a kitten. A little helpless, but delicious all the same. He had never eaten a kitten before.
They are asking whether you have come across their cat
Late afternoon two days later, Travis was seated in the couch engrossed by a horror movie as his mother prepared dinner. He had headphones on and did not hear the knocking on the door. Venus came all the way from the kitchen after hearing the knock, saw his son gripped by the movie. She shook her head and walked to the door, and opened it.
It was Maggie, the woman next door, with her ten year old Timmy. After they talked a bit they all turned to Travis who was still in his own world. His mother walked to him, snatched the headphones from his head, stunning him back into reality.
“Travis, we have been calling you so many times but the movie seems too gripping.”
“Hey, sorry… I didn’t hear,” he said sheepishly as he stood up.
“Obviously with these things on your head you can’t hear anything, and am sure the volume was too high.
“No mum,” he said shuffling his feet. “Hi, Timmy, hi Mama Timmy,” he said smiling when he noticed that they had visitors.
“We are fine,” said Mama Timmy.
“Good,” said Travis and excused himself to go to his room.
“They are not staying,” said his mother, ”they are asking whether you have come across their cat.”
“Cat?” he asked genuinely surprised.’
“It’s my kitten… It’s lost. I have not seen it for two days…” Said Timmy almost in tears. “Have you seen it Uncle Travis?”
Kitten …. The moonlight … the meowing behind the dustbins… the slit throat… the warm succulent blood… heavenly … The smelly manhole…
Have you seen Timmy’s kitten?
“Travis!” his mother called for the third time, afraid that his son was losing his head. Why was he staring at the ceiling and say nothing, she wondered
“Yes mum?” he responded…
“Have you seen Timmy’s kitten?”
“Kitten… No… No I haven’t seen the kitten today.” he said.
“And yesterday?” Timmy asked hopefully.
“No even yesterday.”
“Too bad,” said Timmy’s mother… “Sorry to bother you Venus… we’ll keep looking…” She said and they went away.
At the back of his mind Travis thanked God that they didn’t ask about two days ago. As soon as they left, he went back to the couch and put headphones back on, and continued enjoying the movie.
Venus gave her one look, shook her head, and went back to the kitchen.
©Patrick Ngugi 260515