Rotten Minds

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


Miss Pelt. When you looked at her, you saw a determined look with busy eyes. Her dressing code gave your heart a good feeling. A feeling of respect. Everyone looked at her with respect. And her efforts in revamping the hidden power in the English subject at school made you love her. She was neither beautiful nor ugly. Her looks and look told you she was not a good entertainer of jokes. Her lessons were, however, full of humour as she failed not to tease any student who looked misplaced. She was a spinster in her early thirties though she looked somewhere thirty-six. Again, it is not easy to predict a woman’s age.

The boys' boarding school she taught in claimed various honours in indiscipline. The whole region knew how the boys misbehaved during events. Especially events where boys and girls shared a platform. It is not against nature for a boy to throw one or two romance lines at a girl but it looks absurd for the gentlemen to use his hand to drive a point home. In the event when a hand is tempted to touch the untouchables. Perhaps that is why many girls’ schools failed to attend functions that the boys’ school invited them to. Worse, no girls’ school was interested in inviting the morons for events. Who wanted their backside spanked by narrow-minded dude? In the eyes of every Kamau, Wafula, and Onyango!

Nobody ever spoke of the same in open. That Jangili High School was brooding skunks. They talked of how well they played rugby and football. How well their drama club was. Not how well their lack of academic base looked. However, the boys’ schools around could not hide most of these things. Their cheering squads threw them as they wished. Furthermore, they even had guts to say how Jangili High School was minute in terms of performance. That the school’s academic manhood had shrunk. With all literary politeness.

Miss Pelt. The story should now begin. In her mind, lay a whole different person. Nobody knew this for it was only in her mind. But some upcoming psychologists in that school had read her mind. Maybe misread it but the chances of reading right were somewhere very close to one hundred percent.

“Where is the school headed to?” asked Dylan during supper.

“Where?” Kimani, a friend, had no clue what Dylan was yapping about.

“Don’t tell me you’ve not heard what’s in the grapevine.”

“What’s in the grapevine?” asked Matuma who had just joined the pair at their table.

“Look at her, Dylan pointed at Miss Pelt using his mouth. She was standing next to the head boy in the school dining hall. “The two have a thing!”

“What???” Kimani and Matuma almost jumped out of their skins.

“Yeah,” Dylan had his audience under his spell. He threw his eyes at the head boy and the teacher. They were chatting animatedly. Oblivious of the students who were digging their teeth into the imbalanced diet.

“Yeah?" Kimani wanted to know.

“You see,” the story teller went on. “She is among the five female teachers who …”

His speech was cut short when he saw Mr. Jeuri, the boarding master, advancing. The trio pretended to be engaged in delving through the taste-but-tasteless supper. He was checking whether everyone was eating with a folk and spoon… oh! And a knife.

“Dylan, where’s your knife?" he bursted like a punctured tyre.

“In the dorm,” the narrator said in a whisper.

“Go fetch it … and remember no food in the dormitory!”

“Yes, sir.”

Dylan left his food and audience unattended.

“What five female teachers was he talking about?” Mutuma wanted Kimani to take the stage. Yes, after Mr. Jeuri had moved to the next table. And he said it in a whisper.

“You don’t know Makelele, Sugar, Tamatam and Fanto?” Kimani called out the list, carefully using their monikers.

“But you’ve only mentioned four. The pentagon is incomplete."

“She is the fifth.”

Just then Dylan came back. A rusty knife with no handle in his right hand.

“Yes, the big five,” Kamani said in anticipation.

“You know,” Dylan after he was seated. ”Each of them has a pet student. All are leaders, those pets. And Miss Pelt has several.”

“How does she manage?" asked the attentive Mutuma whose food was not as tasty as the gossip.

“Where does she get the money?” Kimani clarified Mutuma’s question.

“You also don’t know she is also Honourable Kizito’s mango wa side?”

“Aaaa? Where do you get these things?” Kimani was beginning to doubt.

“Last December holidays we were told to remain behind for rugby practice. You know Mr. Kandevu is my relative. So I preferred sleeping at the teachers’ quarters during the whole session. One night Mr. kandevu came to the house drunk. He wasn’t alone. In his company was Honourable Kizito. Miss Pelt was with the minister and they were so close.”

“Only that?" Mutuma.

“Not only that,” objected Dylan. “The following morning I went to pick my jersey from Mr. Kandevu’s bedroom and guess what?”


“You just made up the story,” Elias, a new member of the audience, said. He had joined the three only to find Dylan mid-way in putting facts right.

“You can go ahead and fail to believe," Dylan was not pleased with Elias’ remark. “One day you’ll find for yourself.”

“I doubt,” Mutuma was one with Elias. “How can one find out for himself yet these things happen in clandestine?”

“Mutuma, I’m also told that you and sugar are very intimate,” Kimani teased provoking guffaws.

“No,” Mutuma was not for the idea. “She’s just a good friend.”

The quartet laughed.


"Wow! That’s the sweetest kiss I’ve ever had,” said Miss Pelt. “One more, please.”

Okwemba, the head boy, was not to deprive her. From his perspective, she was the most beautiful woman ever born. A lie.

This was not the first time their lips had met. In fact it was nothing. They did more. Yes, that which you have guessed. Their hips also touched. The venue, you may ask. Right in the teachers’ quarters. In Miss Pelt's house. Oh, my goose! What about her husband? She was a miss, you know. And she did not mind getting things amiss. She was better than Sugar. Sugar did it in the comfort of her office with any student as long as they were willing. Even the Form Ones who knew not what leg to put where. Pelt knew that clinging on the prefects and counselors was better since they were the eyes of the school. Once the vision was blurred, nobody would suspect.

“Don’t tell,” she said.

“I won’t, ha-ha-ha!”

Weekends were very romantic to the two. If at all what they did was anything with a spelling close to romance. And who cared? The principal, Mr. Jambazi La Nazi, was busy nursing his wife and children. Other married teachers were either at home with their wives or doing rounds in the clubs to get what they missed at home. Students busied themselves thinking of how they would sneak out unspotted then back before Monday. Female teachers who had no husbands to cook for were either raving or having a good time with willing students. Lust is blind and love its twin.

“What if one day we’re caught?” Pelt declared her fear.

“Who catches who?”

“Oh! You’re so clever, Okwesh. I’ll never forget you for this.”

“Thanks, baby. Me too.”

“Me three.”


A very confident lady was making a concept clear in 3G. She was teaching something to do with nouns and pronouns. Students were following closely with their eyes. Some even nodded to claim that the points were sinking right. But if only Miss Pelt knew. All the students were far away in the clouds of fantasy. Those who listened only listened with external ears. Biologists call them pinnae, don't they? Some students were clubbing while others were dead asleep with their eyes wide open. Pelt, in her brown silk suit, did not know that she was teaching zombies. The beings were not with her.

“Are you with me?”

“Yes, madam,” they said in a sleepy chorus.

Those who were genuinely with her either gazing at her hips, which were nice, or her chest which was not bad either. During one of the boys' chats, one had pointed out that if only her head was cut away and replaced by Tamtam’s then she would be one beautiful miss. With her head, she looked like a lion, he had observed. All had laughed.

“So, James, give me two examples of pronouns?” she called out. She had spotted James’ head playing yoyo.

“Who, me?” James , who had just awoken from slumber asked.

“Correct!” she said. So James was not asleep at all. ‘Who’ and ‘me’ are pronouns, is it not so?


“What example are you showing the juniors?” barked the principal. He was not pleased with the demeaning behavior the two boys had shown.

“I can’t believe that you, Dylan and Kimani, could think of me in that manner,” Pelt said in I-am-about-to-cry voice.

The two boys’ eyes could not be lifted from the floor in the principal’s office.

“Probably, this is wrong, you know,” said the principal. “You cannot go about writing silly notes concerning madam. She is a dignified woman and everyone knows that.”

“We‘re sorry, Mr. Jambazi La Nazi,” whispered Dylan.

“Sorry is all you can say?” he was not ready to forgive them. “Your parents have to know about this. Two weeks’ suspension for both of you.”


Mama Kimani was a mad woman. The suspension had not ended yet but she had gone to Kimani’s school. Hand in hand with her dear lovely son. The staffroom was a stuffy room. And hot like a furnace.

“You want to tell me, the students can just come up with baseless stories?” she breathed fire.

“They speak ill of the teachers!” Jambazi La Nazi tried to extinguish the flames. Among the five members of the disciplinary committee, he spoke most.

“What teachers?” Mama Kimani threw a punch.

“The female teachers,” the principal bounced it back.

“You don’t have female teachers, you short fool!” she brayed. “All these things you call female teachers are but predators. Our sons have fallen prey of these silly women with girlish behaviours. And you watch with your eyes closed. Now, write me a transfer letter. I’ve thought of a more sensible school to take my son to.”


Adapted from
Man of The Cloth and Other Stories
An Anthology of Short Stories
by Brady Kenya
First Edition

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