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It could be that she dances through life carelessly, never pausing to consider the consequences of anything or that maybe sometimes discretion is the better part of valor sensibility. It could be that she just doesn't care about the consequences or anything else associated with what could happen tomorrow. It could be that she just really, really wants to prove her worth to you and she'll do just about anything to do so. She needs for you to notice her, needs your approval, and oh!

Sorry about that. Cold water. Not meant for you, but well, at least you're clean now? Things like apologies and asking permission don't even occur to this flighty female, and she sure as hell isn't about to plan anything. Why would she go and do that, take the fun out of things? Wouldn't you like it better if she showed up with breakfast in bed -- a still-peeping songbird of some sort, only slightly mangled, and how does something as intelligent as a Familiar consider that proper? Surprises are good, and you can't surprise somebody if you ask questions. Definitely the gawkiest of her siblings -- and that's saying something -- this gangly Ariel will forever be knocking things over.

Whether with that too-long tail or an accidental trip over her too-large paws, it doesn't matter, really. She is a pretty thing, colorwise: cerulean along her spine and sides trails gently off to sea-green along her belly and paws. The green blushes across her face, but the intricate markings of warm gold are most obvious there, standing out vividly against the blue-green of her coat.

The spots, smaller than you'd expect, continue down her neck and back, haphazard and almost smeared in some places. You think she'd put a lot of effort into looking the perfect part of her form? Yes, those gentle coffee brown eyes are laughing at you. A bit. Just a little. But I do know one and one is two And if this one could be with you What a wonderful world this would be Form: Saharan Cheetah Font: bold italic 37b Well, you were doing something productive. You might even forget about it, however, since you're yanked from reality with all the finesse of being bashed over the head with a railroad mallet.

At least there's none of the pain?


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Tumbling through the ether has to be disorienting, however: it twirls tilt-o-whirl style, if the tilt-o-whirl were set on 'centrifuge' instead of 'salad spinner', anyhow. At any rate, the voice stops the whirling, and abruptly you're catapulted facefirst into It's gauzy and cool and when you look up, it's into a pair of curious brown eyes. This could be either good or bad: gawky and awkward even under the pretty gown, the owner of this hallucination has a pretty good poker face. Eventually, she tilts her chin up, shoves a flyaway hank of curly reddish hair behind an ear.

Her cheeks flush just a little , and aw, teenaged awkwardness. She scuffs a bare foot in the debris of decaying leaves, then tugs you up with what looks to be a rather winning smile. Wanna explore? You added to it. How'd you do that? Are you magic? Do you create rooms wherever you go? It's almost definitely a disaster waiting to happen, but it doesn't break under her weight or yours -- up and up and up, far past the first flush of tree limbs and suddenly ending in a rickety platform. The platform shifts a little under the combined weight of both of you, but the girl is oblivious, adjusting her skirts with a cheerful flounce as she gestures grandly to a haphazard collection of tree house and forest-top catwalks leading to lookout posts, nests, and who knows what other buildings up in the sun-dappled gloom.

Hey, do you know what nails are for? Comforting, this one. Still: the day is warm and the sun is not too hot, and this young lady doesn't seem to see anything more fun in the world than showing off her own personal wonderland to you. Can't be all bad, right? And if it tilts a little haphazardly or sometimes looks like you're both going to end up cracking your skulls on low-hanging branches, who cares.

Until you fall through one of those loose floors, anyhow, and wake up covered in incredibly awkward limbs and vividly colorful fur. Sheepish brown eyes match those of your treetop playmate -- as does the voice, high and just a bit more playful than she looks , all droopy-eared and big-eyed. It's not an apology, but she extracts herself from your person with some care, then happily butts her forehead against yours, affectionate and playful. Hey, now that you're awake, let's go dive off the cliffs into the ocean! Doesn't that sound great? No, she doesn't introduce herself -- the gawky cheetah is too busy bounding off into the jungle, evidently seeking out a cliff, and shouldn't you follow her?

Ayla is yours, you're hers, and A certain degree of warmth lingers around her siblings -- but there's little of that to this brisk Familiar. Her mind moves too quickly for pleasantries, is too full of the minutiae of life to really bother with things like gossip or story time. If you interrupt her manic studies, you're likely to get an earful; if you're lucky. If you're not lucky, she's been known to lash out, rage barely withheld. Her studies, after all, are the most important thing in the world. She's a busy creature, always busy, always frenetically researching something undoubtedly very important.

To be fair, she's an innovative one, and in her lifetime she will probably make many contributions to the Weyrd on the whole. Improvements for everyone! Woe betide those who won't listen to her when she finally starts talking, explaining her detailed plans to those who must surely obey her every command. Do you think that she has to be an Illumina to be enlightened? Best listen to her: her ideas, at any rate, are generally actually very smart. If you can ignore her less-than-charming manners.

Go figure, this impressive specimen for Imp-ness is quite the shiniest of her sisters. To be fair, she is also maybe a little bit of a drama queen, so her shiny fur goes right along with it. She's certainly the largest in form -- a towering grizzly bear, full of teeth and claws and hard blue-green-grey eyes. Best not question her, after all. Her fur glints in the sun, pale gold flashing towards platinum all along her longer guard hairs.

Faint grizzling of bronze and copper ticks across her shoulders and back, and in soft markings at the corners of her eyes and behind those sharp ears. Mind those graphite claws; they don't just look sharp. Font: bold italic F3F0E2 Color. It jumbles and flashes and screeches discordantly and madly for what seems like entirely too long for your brain to cope with.

It hurts , but abruptly it all solidifies, leaving you with only the taste of mild disdain in your mouth. Blue eyes. Brown eyes. Grey eyes. None really match up; sharp features won't seem to come into focus. It's not really all that worrisome, though. Not here. There's too much to focus on, anyways, to worry about your companion.

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Dimmed down just for you, heart of mine," There's something like bitterness there; an inescapable truth in the sarcastic moniker. Well, better her heart be your heart than bother her with all of that nonsense. Half-contemplated theories and to-be-tested hypotheses skirt the edges of your vision, a strange jumble of thought and jotted notes. The unsettled figure sighs again, and suddenly, there is silence. The shimmer of a busy mind collapses in on itself, and for a moment at least, it's quiet.

The light is still too-bright, clinical and cold, and it still feels a little like you're an ant underneath a looking glass, but so it goes. Maybe reading between the lines will get you somewhere, but mostly, she just seems really, really uncomfortable with all this. You get the sense that this place is private , so private, but Sort of.

It may take an adjustment period or two. Maybe she's trying to come up with something to say, or maybe she's contemplating which lever works best for a hydroelectric pump station situated on the river. It's not really clear in her hard, blank gaze, until she drops it to the floor. You'll sort it out eventually. And it's likely that she'll only release you to your homeward-bound trip once you've satisfied her apparently-new need for a second mind to help her process things.

Maybe it won't be so bad. Then again, that's probably only if providing the Village with stable river-run hydroelectric power is something that interests you. Otherwise, you're Not that she would actually care. It could be the vividly obvious curiosity in his bright blue-green eyes, or the way he wiggles whenever he gets really excited about something. It could be the fact that he can't help but question everything, every little detail of everything that goes on around him; that's certainly never going to take him away from the limelight, at any rate.

Even as he grows, he'll never lose the slight naivete -- the wide-eyed curiosity that somehow doesn't flinch in the face of hideous monstrosities or even the injuries you deal with. Oh; yes, Mrs. Margery sure did tear open her spine, didn't she? How'd she do that? How's it going to heal? Why does it need that many stitches and drainage tubes? Maybe he's not squeamish, but this Fjord sure isn't a fighter. He's more apt to hide behind you or Ceizlye or Quinn when the tough get going; he's just not cut out for the whole big bad protective thing. Which could account for his form; no strong war-horse or highstrung hotblood is he, but a short, rotund Fjord.

He barely scrapes 15hh, and he looks like he swallowed a barrel -- deep-chested doesn't even begin to describe this Imp! His fur is a rich gold, positively gleaming in the sunlight, while his slightly-feathered legs are dusted in tempered silver to match the outer hairs of his profuse mane and tail. A line of antiqued copper divides him in half, starting between his ears, taking over the center hairs of his mane, and continuing on down his back to his tail.

He may not look like much, this bright-eyed fellow, but it doesn't matter what others think of him. Just you! A brush here, the mental fuzz of memories flashing awkwardly, before receding with sheepish frailty. Days would pass of silence, but at night, when things were calm, the presence was there; curious, childlike in intent and in form.

For a while, there was nothing. No curious explorations. No sleepy consciousness. Had it receded completely? Not quite. Not when he knew where he belonged, already! His voice trembled with fear; but not for long. Before you can even articulate a proper negative on the denial front what, are you going to deny him?

Some are obvious -- a small girl with black eyes and too much resemblance of Saiph to be anybody but that younger sibling -- some are only sort of, dreams of dreams in days past shared with Ceizlye -- warmth, comfort, endless rolling green fields and a girl in a blue-checkered dress with blue-green eyes -- but neither vie for dominance, instead coexisting in a harmonious jumble of wondrous chaos.

The chaotic joy only works itself further into a gleeful swarm, flashing any number of small memories before your eyes until finally, they all stop. Suddenly, the world contorts, contracts, squishes and squashes in odd contortions and permutations of reality. When she reminded him again, he told her to forget it for a while. Hamurungi pressed, threatening to withdraw her sexual involvement with him.

He responded with a defensive attack, and reminded her that his children had to have their school fees paid in Lincoln International School, his shamba boy's wages were unpaid for pruning the flower gardens, and he still had to book his business trip fares first class by British Airways. His wife also had to go to the sauna and massage parlor. What did she want him to do? Hamurungi's sugar daddy made his stand.

The disappointed Hamurungi shed tears of frustration and regret. Why did she ever get sexually involved with such a crude and mean pig in the first place? She thought of how desperate she had been at the time Kimira proposed a sexual affair. She had just been expelled from school, having been found pregnant. Although she later managed to have an abortion, she could not face the prospect of returning to school.

Despite her bitter experience, Hamurungi had tasted the dangerous freedom of going out to sell herself on the streets of the city. She stole from home one night, after her mother revealed a plan of taking her to another school to repeat senior three. That night, she escaped from her home, and went to spend a night at her friend's place, who earned a living by selling herself on the streets. Hamurungi remembered clearly how she had to jump over stinking trenches of the Kisenyi slum, before she reached her friend Suzy's one-roomed house. Suzy was not working that night, so she welcomed her with high spirits.

She went on to reassure her how her troubles of restrictive institutions like school would soon be over. I wish I could go back home, but I can't. My mother wants to take me to another nuns' school, where they check girls every month for signs of pregnancy.

Oh, Suzy, what can I do? Suzy comforted her with prospects of being able to get herself a reliable customer. Her troubles would certainly end, if she was lucky enough to land on a generous buyer. Suzy and the other girls usually got their luck whenever they landed on a muzungu or a foreign worker. These groups of people were the best customers, because they always paid in dollars. Unlike local buyers, they paid in cash, whether for short or long. The ekisiraani or bad luck normally came from local buyers, who were always in short supply of cash. If you were lucky, they paid half the amount negotiated, or else they used you for a longer time, and then beat you up afterwards.

Such men were really a cruel type. Hamurungi spent the first days of her escape from home confined to Suzy's house. She had to first learn the secret ways of street life. The most important thing on the initiation list was to change her skin color. It looks as appealing as ripe oranges," Suzy intimated. The skin-lightening rituals included washing her body in a concentrated substance, made out of two or three bottles of JIK detergent, mixed with strong corrosive soaps. The other ritual was to smear the whole body with skin bleaching creams, mixed with strong whitening lotions.

It was important for the person still undergoing this bleaching process to perform these rituals daily, or else the skin would fail to change color evenly. Most likely, the results would be like those of a half-cooked meal of matooke. It was also important to collect large packs of color make up, because the buyers preferred different shades of color on the faces of their products.

If you met an Asian, he most likely preferred green shade around the eyes. If it was a European, he usually wanted light make up, but with deep-red lipstick. With all those finished, a girl had to buy very large amounts of Vaseline, to keep oiling her legs smooth.


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You must keep shaving off the unpleasant growth," Suzy said. The secret behind shiny legs was that they were good at reflecting light from the head lamps of vehicles. If a possible buyer approached a girl in his car, the first thing to attract him would be shimmering legs and thighs, tantalizingly peeping out of her miniskirt. It was an absolute convenience to wear short skirts, because they revealed enough to arouse the buyer's interest. And for cases of short treats, these skirts helped a girl to supply her goods to the buyer without much delay.

For a girl who had a slight dislike for miniskirts, she found a convenient skirt with a small zipper fixed at the front and at the back. When a buyer came, she would be able to unzip the side of the skirt the buyer wanted to approach her from. The other very important thing was the size of the girl. She had to make sure that her figure kept a maximum flesh of about fifty kilograms.

Some buyers, especially the whites, have said that the nearer to the bone, the sweeter," Suzy further explained. Hamurungi took about three weeks to fully master the art of a street girl's life. She woke up every morning, boiled water from a sigiri, and poured it in a large basin. She then added the JIK mixture into the hot water, and proceeded to the small ramshackle shed which served as a bathroom. The shed was constructed using crooked wood planks, whose lower edges threatened to get uprooted from the soggy surface of the earth in which they stood.

When she reached the shed, Hamurungi removed her thin lesu tied to the upper part of her breasts, and reached for her strong corrosive soap. She rubbed the soap vigorously on the sponge, which had a rough scratching surface. She dipped the sponge in the hot water, and lifted it to her face. She scrubbed and rubbed her face vigorously, until frothy foam formed on it.

She rested the soap in a make-shift soap dish, made from a tin perforated with small holes at the bottom. She bent forward, cupped her hands, and gathered water from the basin. She splashed it over her face. She did this several times, before she started scrubbing the rest of her body with the rough sponge soaked with strong soap. After bathing, Hamurungi's whole body tingled with hot sensations caused by the strong brew of the JIK substances, and the strong chemical soap used in her bath. She then proceeded to smear herself with the mixture of skin bleaching creams and lotions, carefully kept in a large bottle.

The large bottle occupied a permanent space on a small bedside stool. She started with her face, down to her shoulders, until she reached her feet. Her friend Suzy helped her smear the part of her back which her hands could not reach. At the end of the third week, Hamurungi's skin was as yellow as a ripe orange. Nobody could guess that she was the same girl who came to Suzy's house a few weeks back, with an even dark skin. Her cheeks were a bit overdone, and they looked like raw meat hanging up on a butcher's stall. It was going to be Hamurungi's first night on the street. She felt little streaks of fear creep through her stomach, and she abruptly fell onto the bed.

She had been leaning against the wall, exaggeratedly applying make-up to her face. Suzy was checking through her miniskirt collection for the most suitable color and design for the evening. When Hamurungi fell onto the bed unexpectedly, Suzy looked up with questioning eyes. She then told Suzy about her fears. It was as if small butterflies were running up and down the insides of her stomach.

Suzy laughed a small devilish laughter. What was she really afraid of? It is true the first night on the dark unfriendly streets is really frightening, but a girl has to toughen. If you allow feelings of any type to visit you, then you are soon out of business," Suzy replied. She told her that the business of night life needed someone with the toughest mind and the stoniest heart.

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She also told her of the terrible ordeal that one of their friends once suffered, when she landed on a crude Nigerian. For instance, if they want to say the word 'hurry', they always call it horry instead," Suzy explained. So when the Nigerian approached the girl, they negotiated and agreed on the amount. The man wanted her for a long treat at his house, and he showed her the tempting dollars peeping out of the pocket of his agbada. The girl immediately knew she had landed on a big harvest that night.

She entered the man's Mercedes Benz car, and they drove away.

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When she reached the man's house, she found there a group of other men, including an elderly man of about sixty. The group spoke in very high pitched tone, and they were just completing a meal of yams served on a big silver platter. The man who had brought the girl told her to sit in the big sofa, placed in the left corner of the house.

He sat in another corner, and lit a long cigar. He told one of the men to bring the girl some wine. The girl wondered whether the man had brought her for business, or for a tourist visit. Before she could have time to sort her thoughts out, the man who had been told to give her some wine planted himself in front of her. He stamped his left foot against her right foot, and squeezed her breasts. It happened too quickly for the girl to realize what it was all about. The group surrounded the girl, and started shouting obscenities at her. The rest of the group now descended on her, and ripped her clothes off.

They raped her in turns, until she passed out. They then threw her out of the house for dead. She could have died in the cold windy night, had it not been for the local defense guards who found her lying groaning on the veranda, in the early hours of the morning. They picked her up and took her to the Police clinic. The Police said there was no doctor in their clinic, and threw her limp body on their vehicle for Mulago Hospital. They put her on the doorstep of emergency ward, and drove off. She was admitted to intensive care ward, and she stayed there for three days.

She did not have the money to pay for the bill, and she escaped from Mulago Hospital in the middle of the night. When she told her friends about her story, some girls feared and spent two days off the streets. However, the bite of poverty became too much for them to bear, and they returned to the streets the third day.

So as Suzy was saying, the business required the toughest mind, and the stoniest heart. When Suzy finished her story, Hamurungi was too distraught to speak. What had she brought herself into? Supposing she met a similar fate, like that met by the girl who went for a long treat from the Nigerian?

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She turned her face sideways on the pillow, and started to cry. Tears freely flowed from eyes, and traced lines on her heavily made up face as they slid down to her chin. Suzy put her arms around her, and tried to comfort her. Such incidences were a nasty part of the business, and they happened to the girls during the days of misfortune. BOOKS 1. Labels: Published works and dramatic productions WriterRK. Songs of the Third Life is a highly inspiring book, in its vivid examination of the corruption plague. The first story, Hollow Victory questions the accepted practices of harsh punishments in schools, where the pupils are pushed into dangerous situations, with little or no chance to thrive intellectually.

The main character, Mr. Rwaata, cuts a picture of the most disciplined educationist, yet turns into a lying villain for his own selfish ends. In a related story, Notorious Agendas exposes the mushrooming con artistry activities you will encounter on an ordinary day in Kampala city. In these astounding stories, archetypal figures take to the deadly vice without reservations. Haven of Fools and Express to Heaven highlight the misery of religious hypocrisy and psychological manipulation, with allusions to modern cultic horrors and the dramatic experience of the apocalypse. Gifts of Flesh is a stark description of the social evil of prostitution, discreetly embodied in contemporary beauty contests.

In an ironic yet political twist, the story opens the debate as to whether the female species women are, or should in fact be considered part of the national flora and fauna. While Nyarumaga poignantly narrates issues of institutional decay and exploitation of student activism by selfish authority figures, The Master Players and Songs of the Third Life expose both the failings and excesses of misguided political power. On the whole, the stories present a classical example of socio-political struggle, aggravated by recourse to shocking underhandedness.

On many levels, the book reflects the reality of contemporary societies, communicated in satire, wry humor, yet simple enough language for ordinary comprehension. The author enriches the stories with song, proverbs, and local language adaptations. As a creative analysis of corruption, Songs of the Third Life short story book is highly involving, with a striking sense of originality. It is a must read [1] for both the new and the seasoned reader.

Echoes of Her Voice comprises eight short stories of varying length, all linked by one strong theme: concern about the condition and predicament of the Uganda woman and girl-child. This includes the last story in the Anthology, Katuregye , titled after a famous male diviner. Thus, rape and defilement crop up in the stories. In Secret Path , Kengeiga, the village beauty, is raped by one of the brutes, who lust after her. In a sad irony, her father tries to kill her and her baby girl, a product of the rape, to whom she gives birth just as in-laws arrive for a feast.

Longtime Nightmare is a starkly realistic description of child defilement. The insidious violence inherent in macho societies is delicately treated in Echoes of Her Voice , and in Leodina. As if to underscore this, Leodina is a grim account of a plucky lovely little woman, who is, literally, killed by her husband in a trail of domestic violence. In Lost in Darkness , a young woman, Bafokuzaara, is driven from home by ill-treatment only to find herself trapped in a nightmare of urban domestic slavery, and eventually on the street. Yet all is not doom and gloom in these stories.

Some of them, like Her Decision , and Welcome Home! Keti, in Her Decision , does not only assert herself by building her own house, but also by bringing to book the male chauvinistic agents of backwardness. Welcome Home! However, even in the sad stories, the women display a touching and moving streak of courage, which signals their potential for the liberation struggle. Kengeiga, the raped girl, with her naked baby, walks resolutely down her secret path to the roaring river, Ekyambu.