Mambo Banda II
Copyright 2015 Mambo Banda II
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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A subdued breeze calmly awakens the surrounding landscape to animate the surrounding vegetation to a sedated rhythm. The dancing plants are an overture of a grander view that flirts with all the senses to create a natural scene that beautifully illustrates nature’s majesty. The sun hovers directly above the small lake and paints it with an assortment of radiant colors that move with the rippling waves off the water. The air is pure and refreshingly clean; each breath is unique, providing a different but barely noticeable aroma from the surroundings. The place is quiet and is only disturbed by a few people walking up and down opposite the lake. As the vegetation gets closer to the shore, it gets lighter and thinner until it blends into the bordering park. Directly in front of the body of water is a man made path that stretches along the shore line of the lake, it is a concrete path with huge square tiles snaking into the horizon. Further away from the path is a park; there are seating benches littered through it, but the ones overlooking the lake are the most popular, however, today they are empty, only a few people are making use of them. One particular individual seated on one of the benches stands out.
The man seated on the bench looks to be in his late thirties, he is donned in very smart classical attire. His feet rest comfortably in a pair of brown leather slip on shoes that are barley ankle length, his lower body is in a white double threaded wool trouser that’s kept in place with a black tarnished leather belt. While his upper body is draped in multiple layers starting with a white plain shirt that’s beneath a stylish thick brown blazer with a black neck, the final touch on his outfit is a black bowtie. He takes up the whole bench as he relaxes with both arms stretched out on either side of the bench, while his right leg rests on top of his left knee as he seats quietly taking in the view.
After the man has taken in the view he decides to make his way to his appointment, he gets up slowly and gently brushes his blazer and proceeds to a path further into the park. After following the path for several minutes he finds his way to the end of the greenery, revealing several buildings in the vicinity, he makes his way to a church. The church is simplistic in design; it is rectangular, is painted in a very light yellow cream color and has a bronze crucifix above the pyramid shaped entrance canopy to let everyone know this is a place of God. He briskly makes it up the stone steps and in to the church which he finds mostly empty, he consults the first person he meets and is directed in to a congregation hall, there he finds the preacher. He casually makes his way to the preacher who has his back turned as he practices sermons loudly in the empty hall. ‘Good afternoon reverend Peece, sorry I am late, but I got side tracked on the way here, you are situated in a beautiful location.’ The man grabs the reverends attention; the reverend caught unaware turns around and stares at the man before smiling, he reaches out and greets him.
‘Welcome Solomon, no worries, my whole day is free.’ They lock hands and shake before the reverend asks for a few minutes to finish rehearsing. Solomon makes his way to a bench and seats while he watches Peece preach to an empty room. Once Peece is finished he makes his way to Solomon. ‘I am done, we can make our way to my office, I gather you are in no rush?’
‘No, I have the whole day to myself; we can have the meeting without any obstructions.’ Peece starts off for his office, Solomon follows behind. They make it to a generously decorated room with a very minimalistic design; there is a huge desk in one corner of the room next to window overlooking the park from a distance. Solomon scans the room for a place to seat but all he see’s is a couch opposite the desk; he waits for Peece to direct him.
‘Come now Solomon, please have a seat on the couch, there’s no need to stand.’ Solomon treks across the room and makes it to the couch and plants himself in it. He slowly sinks in to the unusually soft chair slowly as the cushions adjust to his body mass, he shakes his body a little to get more comfortable, he is impressed by the uncanny comfort of the chair. Peece coughs to catch his attention; ‘Sorry for the informal setting, I find people talk more when they are comfortable and relaxed. I had the couch handmade; the old man that made it said there was no other couch like it. I cannot backup his claim but it is the most comfortable couch I’ve ever owned, what do you think?’
‘It is superbly comfortable even though it doesn’t look it, my complements to its maker.’ Solomon leans back in the chair and gets comfortable as he waits for the meeting to begin.
Peece stretch’s out his hands in a welcoming gesture and smiles at Solomon, but Solomon is confused. ‘Speak my brother what brings you hear to my humble dwelling, the floor is now yours, please say what is on your mind.’
Solomon takes a moment to think, he chooses his words carefully before replying. ‘There is a lot on my mind but before I continue I must first ask a question. I am under the assumption that everything I say will be between you and me, is that correct?’
‘Correct, everything we talk about here is confidential; this is a confession after all.’ Peece holds his chin and glares at Solomon to intensify his point.
The response calms Solomon’s nerves; the tenseness in his body starts to go away as he relaxes and starts to compile his thoughts. Peece waits patiently while leaning forward on the desk with his elbows on the table. Then Solomon begins his story; his memories flow vibrantly through his mind and the first thing he says is something that nearly knocks Peece of his chair. Solomon noticing the disbelief on Peece’s face reaches into his pocket and pulls out some pictures and some plastic cards. He gets up and makes his way to the desk and places the items on the smooth brown wooden surface and makes his way back to the couch and continues his story. ‘So you see reverend, I have an identical twin brother and Solomon is a false persona we both use as a conduit to different classes in society.’ Peece’s obvious skepticism does not stop Solomon from continuing his confession; with every word Solomon’s memories pour thicker, allowing him to tell his tale with more confidence.
Solomon recounts a time long ago when he was a little boy, when he was known as Kenneth (shortened to Ken), he stands next to his brother under a grey gloomy sky with the brown-maroon ground wet from an earlier light rain shower beneath their feet. You cannot tell the two apart as they talk amongst themselves in their navy blue school uniforms while waiting to be picked up. They are eight years old; they are not alone, other school children congregate in the same area while they wait or socialize before going home or attending extra lessons. Abel the younger of the two by eight minutes is the quiet one, Ken rumbles on about his day in class and how he got on the teachers nerves and learned something new. Ken talks for several consecutive minutes at a time before Abel can get a word in and when he does he doesn’t say much. A hulking cargo truck growls around a corner and up the road and grunts its way to the school grounds. Ken noticing the truck stops talking and jumps up and down in excitement, they both run to the truck ecstatically and both jump into the front passenger seat. Their father looks at them waiting for them to greet him as he seats idle in driver’s seat of the truck, Ken greets him and Abel does the same. He then puts his hand on the gear stick and puts the metallic behemoth into gear and feeds it gas, the truck immediately jumps to life. Their father fits the truck nicely; he is also huge and somewhat terrifying to look at, he is very rugged and he never seems to smile. The brothers continue to talk amongst themselves; their father listens quietly at the stories, he finds them strangely amusing since he never got the chance to go to school, it never bothered him since he never got the point, but it is important for his children to be educated, he wants them to live a less laborious life.
Once they get home they spend a few hours with their father before he heads out to work. They never knew their mother, according to their father she run away with some younger man, hearing this always infuriated Ken, he vowed such a thing would never happen to him, but this didn’t stop him from worshiping his father. When they sit for supper Ken always bombards his father with questions about his job and his father always humors him with grand stories of his adventures. Abel also loves listening to the stories but he is less enthusiastic about it.
Ken always tries his best to entertain his brother when things get boring; often they play imaginary roles of what they want to be in life when they are adults. Ken is always the optimistic one; Abel normally plays the cynic, Ken always assumes Abel has never gotten over the fact their mother abandoned them. Ken believing Abel is his responsibility always does his best to protect Abel from negativity and abandonment especially when it comes to their fathers vices. Their father is a good man but like all men he has his own demons; which are mainly alcohol and women, he personally doesn’t have a moral perspective on life, his principles are simple, if you can get away with it then it is perfectly fine. Ken always studies his father’s actions and behavior, but he never tells Abel about any of it fearing his brother will become even more cynical. As they get older, Ken hears many rumors about their father; he is notorious but fiercely respected amongst his peers, though they are only rumors.
One late evening after the two brothers are fast asleep Ken is awoken by whispers of innuendo in one of the rooms in the house. At first Ken ignores the sounds mistaking them to be ghostly remnants from his uneasy slumber, but he soon hears his father’s voice. He does not wake his brother; he quietly leaves his bed and slowly creeps towards the shallow voices with great care. He puts his ear near a door and tries to make out the commotion to no avail, so he quietly inches the door open and peeks through the gap. His father is boozed and not alone, in front of him stands a girl a quarter of his age wearing a very small tarnished white dress. She mutters a few inaudible words and moans at the touch of his father’s rugged hands. His right hand slowly caresses her toned thighs continuously as his left hand explores the tenderness of her bosom. The girl is draped in sweat; she is soaked and her flesh beneath the dress embraces and exposes itself through the threads. He flips her around, effortlessly lifts her and places her on a table and parts her legs in one motion. The intensity of the scene arouses Ken and makes him light headed for a second, this causes him to trip forward and fall face first into the door and onto the floor. The girl catches a glimpse of Ken and then pushes away his father in order to conceal her partial nudity from Ken. The commotion catches his father’s eye; Ken’s stomach knots up, he is at a loss for words and stands by the door waiting for his father to erupt. His father moves away from the girl and makes his way to Ken and squats in front of the boy. Sensing Kens fear he doesn’t say anything at first, he looks at the boy and waits, but Ken doesn’t say anything. Ken is paralyzed by fear; the smell of alcohol doesn’t make it any better. His father reaches out with his right hand and places it gently on Ken’s shoulder. His father gently shakes him to grab his attention. ‘What are you doing up so late, did we wake you up? I guess you’ve seen a lot and what can I say, it is what it is. If you have questions I guess you just have to wait till you’re older to get the answers. Now hurry up and go back to sleep. ’ Ken is relieved that he is not punished; he quickly rushes out the room and runs to his room and buries himself in his blankets.
Solomon’s voice slows down as he comes back to the present; the reverend listens with care as he analyzes every word. ‘I believe that’s a turning point in my life, the seed was planted that day, what I saw intrigued me and later on drove me to indulge in darker desires.’ Solomon reaches out for glass of water by a side stool.
Peece unlocks his hands and strokes his chin in enthrallment and responds to what he has heard so far. ‘That is fascinating; so there are really two of you, I hope that is not the end of your story, if that is all there is to confess then you have wasted your time. ’ Peece weaves his fingers once and waits for more.
‘In order to remove a tree stomp you must know how deep the roots go, I’m just laying the foundation so that you can understand why I did the things I did. After that incident me and my father got closer and I took an interest in his work, I would beg him for a chance to be his wing man. I had this idea in my head that one day I would be just like him.’
Solomon continues his tale; his memories skip several years in to the future, just after his high school graduation. Their father does not show up to their graduation but he promises to pick them up on time, but he breaks that promise. Ken and Abel stand patiently conversing amongst themselves for what seems like an eternity. Much later a modern small utility vehicle, not the latest model creeps up the road and stops near the brothers. The window rolls down; their father is sat in the driver’s seat with the biggest grin on his face. He looks very different; the rugged look is gone; they can smell the perfume float off him like a scented candle. His dress code has been upgraded, but it is still shabby and unintelligent, he still doesn’t know how to dress. ‘What are you two looking at? Pick your skulls of the floor and get in. How do you like my new car, cost me quite a bit of change. Things have changed my boys; life has smiled upon us.’
The brothers later find out the true nature of their fathers work, mainly about his secret partner. Their father is a part time smuggler for a very ambitious gentleman who through luck manages to secure himself a high post in government. After working many years with their father he has come to trust him, so he makes him a partner in his biggest scheme ever. Overnight life becomes a fairy tale; the world changes into something completely different, for the first time they taste real freedom. Eventually their father decides that they are better of pursuing their higher education in another country. The brothers go with the flow of things, they quickly begin to adjust to the new way of doing things, but Ken starts to notice they are losing touch with their father. They may see more of him but he never opens up to them like he did in the past, now his mind is always on business and affairs relating to his new colleagues.
While abroad the brothers learn how to fit into their new role in society, they soon discover that the world works differently for people at their level. They learn they have to know their place too, since they are not at the top of the hierarchy, they may be wealthy but they are not the wealthiest. They both learn the ins and outs of their new lives; five years pass and they eventually go back home. Not long after their return tragedy strikes, while on a business trip their father passes away in his sleep, his death is a shock and a blow to both of them. They never imagined a life without their father and they are quickly thrust forward into his world, they have to secure his wealth. Their education abroad proves useful; their father was a secretive man but they eventually manage to piece his business activities together.
After his death the brothers see little need to stay in their home country, they reconcile their wealth and move to another country with a more favorable social climate. They quickly invest a big portion of their wealth and quickly find their money working for them, but they soon get bored.
Ken comes up with a ludicrous idea; one that Abel finds very amusing, he doesn’t take his brother seriously until he catches him shuffling some of their assets around. After a little digging Abel finds out what Ken was up to; when Abel confronts Ken about the issue Ken simply pushes the issue to one side.
Solomon pauses for a second and reaches out for the glass of water on the stool in front of him and takes a few sips. ‘That was my first major sin reverend and in a way the father of the ones that came after.’ Solomon places the cup back on the stool and crosses his legs again and continues. ‘I created the Solomon persona; at first my brother was against the idea but then one day he changed his mind, I never found out why.’ Peece coughs and interrupts Solomon mid sentence; Solomon pauses and waits for a response.
Peece seats back in the chair and places his hand on either side of the chair and looks up at the ceiling with a puzzled look. ‘So you got bored and decided to create a fake identity to cheat the world, why didn’t you just use your wealth to pursue other distractions.’ Peece calmly leans on his left elbow and waits for an answer.
Solomon caught off guard uncrosses his legs and quickly crosses them again, revealing the question makes him uncomfortable. He takes a moment to ponder; he rubs his forehead with his index finger. ‘I always thought I and my father got along well, we always talked, me more than he did with my brother but in the end he favored my brother more. I discovered this while restructuring the will he left behind, he left nearly everything to Abel. Not that he left me with nothing; it was more than enough to get by. I always thought we were close, I understood the man and he shared a lot about his life with me, my brother never cared about that. He could have left both of us an equal share; but he gave my brother more, that hurt me a lot. After that I couldn’t stand him, I grew distant, he didn’t even notice, he is always clueless about people’s feelings.’ Solomon continues to rub his forehead.
‘Have you resolved this issue with your brother? What did he have to say about the will, how did he feel about it.’
‘He never saw the will because he was too traumatized, even the lawyer couldn’t make him read it. He told the lawyer that I was in charge of everything relating to my father’s estate, so I did what was right and amended the will, he signed for the changes without even reading the conditions.’
‘That sounds very deceptive, don’t you think you ought to let your brother know what your father really left for him.’
‘You have never met my brother reverend so I will forgive your premature assumptions about him. If I had done nothing our lives would have been in turmoil, he is weak reverend, he is not like me.’
‘Maybe that is why your father left more to him, because you are the strong one.’
‘Maybe Abel went behind my back and turned my father against me, or may be my father saw more potential in him. My point is that the reasons are many but my brother will always be who he is, I can never trust him.’
‘That is huge leap; you will never know until you talk to him. Please continue your story, I am intrigued so far.’
Solomon drinks more water but this time with less care, his composure has slightly diminished but his mind begins to rethread his memories. ‘In the beginning it was a simple routine that we both performed effortlessly, but slowly I noticed things started to change.’ Solomon recalls his fifth year as Solomon; it was his brother’s turn to manage the masquerade. It is a late afternoon; Ken waits patiently in the seating hall of their mansion, Abel is late again, it has been eight days and his brother is still making excuses. It is not until the evening that Abel decides to show himself; he has already changed into the role; he doesn’t even give an excuse for the lateness, instead he makes light conversation and retires for the night. Ken doesn’t know what life Abel lives outside the world of Solomon, his guesses always amuse him, but he has never found the time to find out.
When Ken is not Solomon he is pursuing his first passion purely through nostalgia, he is a truck driver just like his father. It is an intensely laborious profession but he has enjoyed every minute of it. He imagines his father performing an activity in a previous life and then attempts to recreate that image to the best of his ability. This is how his secret life goes; he is content with it, he always looks forward to it but this one time he is too vexed to enjoy the experience. His brother’s behavior has gotten to him; thoughts start to run around in his head. Memories flood his mind and the devil takes a hold of him. Thoughts of his father’s debauchery start to haunt him as he races down the highway in the truck, then like a omen he spots a girl by the side of the road in very white dress, she is very young and beautiful. Ken has picked up many girls in the past, mainly professionals looking to make some quick change purely for his own enjoyment. In that moment he gets an epiphany; he finally understands the difference between him and his father, his father always took what he wanted. His instincts take over as he brings the truck to a full stop and waves the girl down in the distance. Getting into the truck proves to be a mistake, because after a few miles Ken has his way with her; he shows no mercy and as he performs the deed images of the night he caught his father with a girl in a white dress fuels his cruel passion. After he is done with her he drops her off at one of the closet towns and warns her never to speak about it, he leaves without even giving her a dime.
The reverend moves around uncomfortably in his chair not knowing how to react to Solomon’s confession. ‘Well now that is a very bad indeed, all this because of your differences with your brother. Have you asked God for forgiveness; you cannot confess your sins without first confessing them to God.’ Peece pushes his chair slightly away from the table and leans back in his chair.
‘Not yet reverend; that is not why I am here, there is another time and place to confess that sin. I am here to ask forgiveness for what I am about to do, I will bathe my hands in blood, in my own brothers blood. I see things clearly now; I understand why my father left things the way he did, he wanted me to claim what is rightfully mine, to be a man like him.’
‘What you tell me is very sad; premeditated murder is frowned upon by God and society, I implore you to rethink your decision. Do not be rush; the world is not as straight forward as you think, God works in mysterious ways.’
‘My mind is decided I just needed to clear my conscious.’
‘I understand, you still look thirsty, please help yourself to some more water.’
Solomon uncrosses his legs and reaches out for the empty cup near him and then gets up from the couch and makes his way across the room to refill it. He doesn’t realize something is wrong until he takes his first step, for some uncanny reason he cannot move his other leg, his vision also starts becoming blurry. He places his right hand on his head to rub it hoping it will help clear the headache, but that does not work, neither does rubbing his eyes. He loses control of his left arm and the glass falls though the air making a brief but low piercing sound before shattering into smaller pieces. Finally he stops trying to move and stumbles backwards and falls onto the couch. He cannot move, his body is paralyzed neck down, his mind is on fire, but he still has his senses and speech. ‘What have you done to me; why can I not move?’ matters Solomon in a drunken stupor. Peece does not say anything or make any movement while he stares at Solomon; he simply stares on with a look of pity. The sound of the office entrance opening and shutting echoes through the room, the sound of footsteps ensue. Solomon with the little control he has left over his body forces his head into the direction of the footsteps, and at first he sees himself walking. Remembering he has been drugged Solomon tries to clear his mind but the figures appearance does not change, then reality slowly sinks in, Abel has just entered their meeting. ‘Help me brother; this mad man has drugged me, thank the lord you are here it is a miracle.’ Solomon stammers as the words barely escape his mouth.
Abel does not respond to Solomon’s plea instead he casually walks over to the couch and seats next to his brother and puts his left hand around his brother’s shoulders. ‘Oh my dear brother, can you not see that I cannot help you, neither can that fiend across the table. I thought this was going to be hard, honestly I thought I was selling my soul to the devil, but after hearing your conversation, you’ve made it clear and I know what I have to do. We are two predators born from the same womb, cursed with the same face and caught up in the same masquerade we engineered. Who knew our fake lives would eventually become our real ones’ Abel embraces his brother tightly.
‘Don’t do this evil thing Abel, it was a confession, I was mad at you and I just needed to share my feelings with someone. I know you; you will not be able to live with yourself.
‘Patronizing me is not helping your case.’ Abel reaches out and starts toying with his brother’s bowtie, he pauses for a moment to decide if his brother is being genuine. ‘I am sorry, this is for the best, surely you didn’t think this was going to last forever, it was going to fall apart at some point. Here you are confessing your heart; you don’t even know this man, it didn’t take much to bribe him. I know what you did to that girl, I had you followed, and I never thought you were capable of such a thing. It got me thinking, and I knew it was going to come this at some point, you or me.’ Abel reaches into his pocket and pulls out a razor sharp scalpel and rubs it against his face while he stares into his brothers eyes. In one blinding motion Abel makes one clean incision across his brother’s throat, it takes a few seconds for the skin and veins to separate. Abel gets up and quickly walks for the door before his emotions overcome him, but before he closes the door behind him he can barely make out the words that bubble from his brothers slit throat. ‘I love you’ are Kens last words in the form of a howling symphony through his exposed wind pipe.
About the Author
Mambo Banda II comes from a humble background, he has been writing for over 10 years. He has a bachelor of science, during the day he is a serial entrepreneur, businessman and author. He is fascinated by people and the inner workings of society; he uses fiction to explore these areas, and he uses his experience in life to ground his stories in reality.
‘I Am Lion’
He dreams of death, he has skills of destruction, and he doesn’t remember who he is. Was he a monster or savior?
Only the truth can redeem him.
He calls himself Lion because he is a man with no past or identity, and he roams the streets of Pathos City living like an animal. Strange things have been happening to Lion, he’s been having dreams of being a killer and he has suddenly developed skills that make him a very dangerous person. Then there’s the small fortune he has just received from an unknown donor, and soon Lion realizes he has always been different from the people he has lived with on the streets. When Lion tries to find answers he accidentally meets Penelope, the daughter of the city’s most powerful crime boss. Penelope swears she knows Lion, and just before Penelope reveals what she knows Penelope’s nearly assassinated, but Lion saves her and it nearly costs him his life. Lion finds himself bleeding to death and alone in a dark alley, but he refuses to give up on his past. Half broken and with the odds against him Lion moves forward even though the truth could kill him.
‘Forever Evil & Loving It’
“Azrael, like the angel of death, because you find no solace in your immortality, the only thing that seems to satiate your anger is the sound of the reapers sickle.” – His Maker
Azrael hates the stereotypes, sure he’s got the sharp teeth, and he likes a pint of blood instead of beer, but that’s where the similarities end. He’s got a normal job like everyone else, he’s a lawyer, and a damn good one. However there’s always that one voodoo priest who needs a favor, and this time Azrael can’t say no. After a painful encounter he seeks out Eva, a mysterious girl with a grimy bar on the edge of town. He needs her help, but she’s not interested in helping unless she knows who he is, what he is and where he came from. So Azrael tells his story, from the very beginning. However, only at the end of his tale will he know if it’s enough to convince her to join him.
Two twin brothers live through one identity, as far as the world knows, there is no Ken or Abel just Solomon a rich socialite.