Previously, From my mother’s kitchen – the fire
The dark room was now choking with thick smoke as the fire scorched every item on its way. It was spreading fast.
Waweru and Maina huddled at the corner of the room coughing as they choked as the smoke engulfed their “bedroom”. On the other side of the room, their parents lay on the floor in confusion.
“What would they do?” they thought.
A large flame was now separating them with their sons as it became evident that there were minimal chances that they could save them.
A now sober Muchiri stood up calling out his boys’ names. Waweru and Maina were now in tears as they struggled to breathe and think of what to do next.
“How will we get out? Are we going to die?” Maina asked his brother.
“Dad, mum (cough)… save us… help!” Waweru shouted.
A small crowd of onlookers had started to gather outside the house. Water was a scarce resource in this neighbourhood and so none of them had carried any.
Large pockets of smoke bellowed out of the house as confusion raged inside. Muchiri and his wife did not know what to do and stood helplessly as the fire spread towards where Waweru and Maina were.
“Bring your hand,” Waweru told his brother as they jumped out of bed towards the other side of the room where their parents were.
Waweru managed to get past the flames of fire but his brother tripped and fell hitting his head on one of the stools. Muchiri rushed to pick up his son as Wambui yelled in sharp tones; “God please, don’t let my son die.”
As the confusion raged, bare footed Waweru rushed out of the house asking their neighbours to help them. No one was moving as they shivered in the cold night wondering whether Muchiri, Wambui and Maina could make it out of the burning house.
“There they come out,” one person shouted as the three staggered out of the house whose roof was now collapsing.
Wambui was coughing hard as Muchiri carried his unconscious son in his arms. Their faces, clothes and bare feet were black with soot as they struggled to move farther from the collapsing house.
Sirens could be heard from a distance as the town’s only fire engine tried to make its way to the scene.
But for Muchiri the greatest concern was his unconscious son and how he would get him to the health centre. None of his neighbours had a car and the only available bicycle belonging to a vet had a flat tire.
To be cont’d