because you never forget that funny smell

The Master’s Garden

…….later that afternoon when the sun had slipped lower the Master came out for a stroll in his lush gardens. Being so late in the season the trees were heavy with fruit and the air thick in natural fragrance. A small stream chuckled nearby as it flowed under the bridge. The hum of insects as they flew between the flowers accompanied the sweet birdsong from up above in the tall trees. Over in the fields the cattle and sheep swung their tails merrily as they grazed in the deep green grass .The Master saw all this and smiled. It was good.


The Master walked on a bit further and came to the edge of a vast escarpment. The Master did not come down this far very often. Down in the valley below a herd of humans were known to have a settlement. It was said that nobody knew where they had come from but they were from all parts of the Masters realm.

The change in the atmosphere down here was palpable. It was as if a big dark cloud hovered above encampament. It trapped the air which smelled of stale breathe, old dirty ashtrays, unwashed bodies and centuries of stupidity, peverty and ignorance. The Master noticed that the stale air was filled with the same old discordant notes of hatred and suspicion and the hysterical shrieks of racism and tribalism just as it had been when he last visited in the first millennium. Amidst claims and counter claims the human herds supported, proposed, opposed. They then claimed to understand, professed tolerance, fought wars, strove for peace, adopted new laws and constitutions but as far as the master could tell they were still as lawless and disorderly as when they first came there.

The Master pulled out his cell-phone and placed a call to his valet.

“Al- Zawahiri, It is me. Things are bad bwana. Come down to the human encampment at once. Bring me my staff and my shield and a PA system. And please Zawa, do not make me wait”

In a short while the valet came down to the escarpment accompanied by two male angels. The master took his staff from one of the angels (the one with an earing) and climbed onto a cliff that overlooked the human settlement. The other angel finished setting up the PA system and handed the wireless mike to the Master. The Master cleared his throat once and then called down in a loud booming voice to the herd people below.

“Oh hear this ye lowest of the lowest creatures in all my dominions. This is a sad day in all the universe. You have made your home on my property and still you disobey me. You have brought dishonour and wickedness to my realm because your lust for evil is greater than your love for peace. Why don’t you live in harmony like my ants and termites whose social skills you will never attain as long as you live? Why don’t you pool your resources to better all your lives instead of having a few wealthy humans beating your sister wanjiku into the ground in poverty?

“It is now rumoured that you do not consider yourselves animals anymore. But lo I say unto thee that you are the most ignorant in all of creation. Some of you book educateds call youselves higher mammals. I have bats living under the eaves of my roof that are far more developed than you shall ever be. I know that the conceit that you have developed as a herd is down to the gifts that I gave you when you first came here.”

The Master called his valet up to the makeshift podium. He said ” I will ask Al-Zawahiri here to remind me of one of the gifts that I presented to you when you first arrived.

Al-Zawahiri, never comfortable in a huge crowd was nervous. He greeted the crowd in a shaky voice. The master looked at him encouragingly and smiled. When the valet caught his master’s eye the master winked and confidence was restored.

He said

“master of masters ye are the greatest and the best. We do not deserve you but we couldn’t do without you. Never forsake us oh Master you who are primus inter pares. I will tell you what gifts you must withdraw from these ungrateful hordes below.

You gave them the gift of sight. Rather than use it to remark at the wonder and glory of your creation they notice their individual differences and primitive as they are they set about going to war. Take away their gift of sight. We shall come back in another millennium to see if they still sqaubble…..”

Maria woke with a start. She had fallen asleep on the couch and the same dream of the night before had come to trouble her. What did it all mean? She went to bed. Tonight she would sleep with the light on.

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  1. Before I comment, tell me, was the Al-Zawahiri mention deliberate or unfortunate coincidence?

  2. The characters and events here are purely fictional and any resemblance to real peeps living or dead is pure coincidence. Your comment, however, is most valued and I should like to hear your take on him

  3. I love this post, its part fantasy, part satire, reminded me of Ngugi for some reason, probably the irreverence (ha!). Its dark, and funny, and when you describe the valley my skin was crawling in disgust, that’s how vivid it is.

    This is damn near perfect writing Woolie, absolutely brilliant.

    As for the meaning I took, I asked about Al-Zawahiri, because the post takes on a whole other dimension if you assume that your Al-Zawahiri is the real person (the ‘terrorist’). Where before it was simply divine retribution, taking away the sight we’ve abused, throwing in Al Qaeda raises Pat Robertson type issues of God getting back at us for our sins and such like extreme right nonsense. I know, I’m overthinking this, but that’s what good writing does, no? 🙂

    You should write more, especially more short stories. Please write more, I’m done with your archive, and now I have nothing more to do but wait…

  4. Alex! you have a good eye. If Ngugi had wanted to adopt a child……….well I was a Ngugi fan almost as soon as I could read a sentence. Al Zawa in this piece is clearly very close to the The Master perhaps in another post we discover that they may even be related but he…. is definitely not Osama’s buddy. Stll I see now how using that reference can lead to an inference totally different from what was intended…….I’m off to http://bit.ly/10KaMaO to read some more

  5. Really? Excellent! I thought I was imagining it, or forcing it, but something about the tone… I’ve been a Ngugi fan since campus, the man tells a story like no other (not that I’ve read too many others, unfortunately).

    As for part 2 (yes please…), I think Al is his son, better yet nephew, the master’s pupil. I’ve just started playing out scenarios in my head, trying to guess where it will go. Hahaha…

    Write more, please. This gift, and I don’t say gift lightly, must be shared (if only so word junkies like myself can get our hit every so often).

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