So before I tell you about my old town, I tell you it has changed, let me tell you about the journey here.
We decided we wanted to come down by train. We, being my writing team mates, Linda, Beth and I. Adventure was in our minds, maybe even some ideas for the novels we intend to finish while we are done here. Great idea, right?
Well, checking in was smooth sailing. Then we waited. And waited. And waited. Soon it was dark, and our minds – rich with fodder for creative horror – started to create terrifying scenarios about everything that could go wrong in a train standing in a dark railway station. Did I mention – the lights inside the train are very very dim when the train is stationary?
And just like our minds summoned him, the boogey man shows up. He walks into our cabin – I thought the door was locked! He walks into our cabin, his skin dark and shiny, wearing an oversized cream jacket over everything else, and carrying a paperbag.
Lins, Bee and I had been keeping ourselves occupied on our laptops while we waited for departure. Soon as the boogey man walks in, we all pause, look at each other, at him and each other again. He has no worries. He doesn’t even say hello. He just proceeds to settle into Linda’s berth. I look at Lins, her eyes are wide open, probably wider than I’ve ever seen them. Bee’s face is contorted somewhere between confusion and terror. It looks like I’m the only one left with my voice, so I ask:
“Excuse me, what do you want?”
“Niko kwa hii cabin,” he says.
To which Lins and Bee nearly yell at him,”They don’t assign men and women in the same cabin!”
He looks truly perplexed, reaches for his paper bag and I wonder if there is a dagger in it. And then he sighs,”Kapteni ameniambia niingie tu kwa kabini yoyote nikae.”
Lins says,” A-a,” shaking her head so vehemently it is clear to the poor boogey man that there will be no further negotiations. He slowly rises and walks out. I jump up and lock the door. Bee double checks to see that it is really locked.
Two and a half hours after we were supposed to depart, the train finally budges, and then chugs, and then roars to life and we are heading out.
By this time we have scripted, gone to dinner, had our little episode with the boogey man, and then settled in to scare ourselves cold with made-up horror stories. Lins and Bee have even started on a collection of scary shorts – serial killer on a train, to serial killer on the cab – will tell you about the insane cab guy tomorrow. In the meantime, a few pics to tide you over till tomorrow.