The extraordinary gift

Flash Fiction Friday is back!

Last night they came later than usual.  They gathered at the foot of my bed to deliberate.  They did so in low tones.  I strained my ears to hear.  Suddenly, I awoke to one of them shouting angrily, “he’s no exception!  The wrath is upon him who disobeys!”

I started screaming and banging my head and fists against the wall.  My neighbour fisted the wall from his end amid shouted, “shut the fuck up before I call the police you loon!”

With pleading eyes, I looked at the gathering at the bottom of my bed.  They seemed to take pity on me and promised to leave soon after.  The instructions were very clear, and failure to carry them out meant certain death.  I nodded my head so much I felt like Churchill the dog’s bobby head on a car’s dashboard.  Finally, I fell asleep.

The next day I woke to the police knocking hard on my door.  It was 11 am.  I was horrified when I realised, I had slept through three alarms and several phone calls.  The police were shouting warnings about breaking down the door.

“IN A MINUTE!!! …… P L E A S E …!” I shouted.  It went deathly quiet.

No sooner had the door opened than they swept in, tackled me to the ground and handcuffed my hands behind my back.  I was very confused.  Several policemen were speaking at the same time.  What was clear was one of them saying they were detaining me under the mental health act or something,,,, “for your protection and that of others.”

“What the hell is going on?”  I demanded to know but no one said anything.

Three days later they told me that I was schizophrenic and that I had threatened my neighbour with a serrated machete.  That I had delusions and demented dreams that detached me from real life.

Ati kizo nini?” I asked.  No one responded.  I mumbled a few curse things in Kiswahili.  Luckily, this is England, so I was treated with fine delicacy.

They brought in an interpreter.  She explained and seemed to agree with them.  I could not understand her.  She may not have been from my tribe, but she was Kenyan and as thus should have known.  In our culture, there is no such thing as ‘mentally ill’ people.  Only people blessed with extraordinary gifts: like communing with the spirits of our ancestors.  Or our ancestors using parts of our bodies to commune with others less blessed.  I had the gift and it was being labelled an illness.

She looked at me like I was a leper with open sores all over the body.  Or a freak of nature who needed a fence round it.  Her contempt was clear, she couldn’t comprehend that our ancestors (hers too), visited me every night with instructions for various assignments.

“Sometimes they come during the day – I see their faces on my fingertips and palms!” I said and demonstrated.  There was no convincing her.  She’d decided I was mad.

She colluded with the white-coated tall balding men with serious vitamin D deficiency and the wig-wearing black-robbed ones.  Now I’m being force-fed orange/red capsules and forced to stay in Bethlem.  And that’s not the worst part – I have a deadline to meet.

I gnash my teeth as I swallow these pellets because I know they are the reason I am no longer sacred.


A few things I want to bring to your attention: –

As most of you know, Things I hear is in the running for a spot in the prestigious UK Blog Awards 2019.  We’ve been nominated in the first instance and we are now in the public voting stage.

Please Vote here for Things I Hear – this link will send you to a page, please scroll to find my blog’s name – Things I hear – just click on the red heart and spread the love.  Please note the page number may shift, if you can’t find it on this page please check the next one.  Voting ends on 21 December 2018.

We want to feature inspirational stories of triumph.  If you know anyone with an exceptional story, please ask them to contact me here.



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