‘Kidolopia’ by Edward Musisi

But wait, is that even possible? Can anyone leave ‘the castle’? How does she even know about it? I guess I was not the only one learning more than was being taught by The Maker!

“I know you are not going to like this,…”, and indeed I hadn’t liked quite a number of things the past few months, “I am leaving the castle. I am not sick Trufolga. I am just not a clone. You, TA and I are normal people. We are so different from the others…..”.

So there are others? Woooow! How many? Where? Outside the castle? So there is a world outside the castle?

“So I am going to stay with the others. I am going outside, outside the castle. There must be other others, that are like me and you. Trufolga, I am not doing this to get away from you … but rather to save you and our kind. To protect what is inside me …”.

Inside you? Now she has something inside her? Oh gosh. How come there is something inside her? How did it get there anyway? Inside where? Is that why her belly is growing bigger? Hey, how did that thing get in there anyway?

Now I was feeling like a child. Too many questions and yet no answers. No leads. And the emotions! Things in my throat… the Adam’s apple was too large for my throat.

“… Trufolga, you are a brother to me, you have been there for me, cared for me, loved me, kept me warm, helped me laugh and even died with me…”
“… am a woman, just like that idol TM had. He was in love with her, but she died. Truf, I guess TM knew he would die too. He watched while we met to discuss the ‘sickness’… so he started teaching me about me. And our kind, and his dream, and the lessons he had learnt, his regrets…. He was a man, Truf, just like you. And we fell in love…”

Whatever that meant.

“ I wanted so bad to comfort him. I needed to bring him happiness. And I determined to do so. Sometimes, Truf, we do things on impulse. Those times you touched me, hugged me, rubbed your nose against mine, that was affection. Seeing TM vulnerable brought out the affection in me. I reached out to touch him and he coiled. He coiled, Truf! He was human! Very human. I felt the extent of his naturalness. He is so deep, Truf …”

I had to remind her, he was dead – was deep.

“He said I was like idol. He let me see her. She was beautiful…”

Then I felt a lump in my throat the size of a volcanic mountain with all its effects! Heat, magma and all.
Why was I feeling this way? What is Zigona talking about?
Suddenly Zigona looked like a trophy I fought so hard for but yet it slipped right out of my reach. For no justifiable reason I felt betrayed, like she owed me something so colossal all the time in the worlds was not enough for her to pay back.

But if she was burdened by this debt, the look on her face did not agree. She was so lost. Lost in whatever it was she felt inside. It must have been a really nice thing because the shine on her skin simply got more radiant with indulgence. So enchanted that she didn’t see the water drops that came from somewhere in my eye.

“Truf, the gentleness of TM after the quake and fire of macho-ism is like no other. The touch of compassion is all consuming. Have you ever submerged in the pool? Being completely surrounded by cool goodness? When you can not breathe but it’s okay? …”

I have to go

“Truf, are you okay? Why, you have pale linings on our cheek!”

The volcano in my throat could not let me talk, so I just walked away. Walked away really fast.

The silence

The talk with Zigona had lasted no more than 20 minutes but it felt like a lifetime. Since that moment I stayed away from her.
The body has a tendency to stay away from all that bothers it aware or unawares. Ziggy and I did not cross paths for a while. And that’s exactly what I needed; time to myself. I needed time to find myself so that I could have time to myself. The situation was confusing and I was a child of the circumstances. Confused, just like the times.
TA complained that I wasn’t eating enough! The food didn’t taste any good anymore anyway. I got by just fine with all the glucose in my room.
I always liked sweet things, but these weren’t sweet time, even the glucose tasted stale.

For what seemed like eons there was no talking. My head though had its own speakers saying all sorts of things. Things I did not understand. Things I still do not understand. Trying to shut my ears to the silence outside and the noise inside was pretty much all I did all day. A few physical exertions in the name of exercise took the horror away but brought only temporal release. If only Zigona could stop saying all those things from within my head! Was the noise in my heart? I hated hearts, hated silence, hated noise; hearty silent noise. Disgusting feeling of confusion!

The noise inside was deafening but the sound of chaos one morning shadowed it! My door was kicked in with so much force I thought the castle foundations had been uprooted. Then the sound of a trillion questions, too many hands pulling me in different directions! Almost tearing me apart, but I didn’t care. If only they could stop saying that name. I hate it
And no, I did not know where she was nor care. She betrayed me.

I was dragged to TA. This time though, I could not see him, I only heard words. Talk of rebels and rebellions, deserters and the like.
Then a quick judgment was passed and I, found guilty of something I do not quite know, was sentenced to expulsion and 300 strokes of the electro cane!

I shall not talk of the pain, but it helped to drown the one inside. The many hours spent toughening muscles in physical fitness helped a great deal.
~
I had never known cold, never known lack or need. All I wanted I got in the confines of my quarters. Light intensity was always the same, save for when I turned off the lights to sleep.
The only clothes I ever needed were my robe. Temperature controls were always set at 27 degrees centigrade.
I had a small space full of everything I needed and now I was in a vastness of nothing. My teeth rattled. They knocked against each other for so long it’s a miracle they did not break.
I opened my eyes so many times but still saw nothing. The only thing around me was blackness. My feet stuck in some sticky, slimy wet things, could not move with ease. Some times the sticky stuff was up to my knees some other times it was bare ground and I could lie down to rest my limbs. The blackness created a fear in me that subdued all other emotion and feeling. After many hours, I got used to the darkness. Then I could feel the real pain in my bones and a hunger so intense in my belly! The surge of feeling could power up the cosmos.
How was I to find food without my eyes? The stench of the place: unbearable! Where was I? I needed to get out.
As my mind raced I thought I heard a sound, a gushing sound. This place was a pipe? But why all the violent speed? What was it that was so much it had to rush out of the castle so hard? As though by instinct, I felt the walls of my confines for support. Then the weight of submersion hit me. Violence so great even all the extremes I had been through could not measure up!
The stench!!!! Soon though, there was a more bearable smell and before long the water was clean. The dirty stuff had been washed away. In the depth of despair I decided to drink of this flow. The times were desperate and desperate measures were called for. The survival instinct in me had risen to its feet, in so many days I had not had any constructive thinking… just impulsive actions.

Where is this going to, somewhere free? Or perhaps to another place of bondage? I would swim with the tide. Daddy (TM), had always said to me; ‘son, when things against you are overwhelming, to overcome them, sometimes it is better to seem to be on their side. Move with the flow till you get an opportune time to break off.’ rather than fight it anymore I’d go with the flow. After all, my strength had deserted me.

The end was uncertain but even now was not confident. I could end up in a huge reservoir full of sticky smelly stuff or somewhere more pleasant. Either way I was between a rock and a hard place. Left or right uncertainty loomed. Front or back, unforgiving darkness loomed, and here in the center, where I hung holding onto a thing that was my only survival it seemed, the condition was precarious. My own desire to hold on had seized to exist. A man tired of living yet strongly clinging onto life. Averse paradox. I let go of my grip and embraced the black. the ferocious flow of fluid surrounding a body of torn apart sinews didn’t do much good to an already depleted morale, but like daddy had said “meet defeat with dignity, even when you must be be-headed let the last picture people have of you be a head held up high… Well, that is save for that of a head rolling freely!”
I was going to die, I had died so many times before. All this death had occurred to me in a couple of weeks. Something inside of me had died when Zigona and I last talked. A pain struck my chest at that thought; still fresh, still potent the time that had passed hadn’t helped me forget. My body had been murdered many times too! 300 electrocanes, starvation and self pity; are a very lethal combination. And now at last I could let go, give up my struggle to live. After all there was no more to live for. Though I had never really cared much for T.A, it was better when we were brothers. Now I had no one left to live for. No one.

It had been five months since I last saw Zigona, she must be dead. Who cares anyway, am as good as dead too. So I closed my eyes not so much so that I could blot out the light but so that I could transcend in peace. For a while I felt the violence but embraced it like a sister, picked up the stench and hugged it like a brother. Got hit onto the walls of my confinement, felt the pain but respected it like a father. I missed T.M, missed T.A and Ohh goodness me, missed Zigona too

Then my knees hit the base! The flow was reducing, and something blinded me. Even with closed eyes the light was too much to bear.
Suddenly I fell into freefall, I dared not open my eyes… not so much to avoid seeing the death of me as to not getting blind while I still lived. The rough change from cold to pleasantly warm felt like rebuke! Good, yet annoying!
For forever I fell through space… surrounded by my now protective fluid.
Then I hit the ground with an unexpected softness. But even with all the ease, the stench was unbearable. Weak as a dry stick, but as disgusted as a disturbed bee by the foul air, my muscles catapulted into movement crawling furiously to get away from the odor.
Like as though under a spell slowly I opened my eyelids with delicacy, trying to accommodate the light intensity. Save for the nose, all other organs of sense seemed to be enjoying this new found land.
Quick perception dictated that it would be best I moved upward onto higher ground. I had to get away from the stench.
Never having been one to know of others, than self and daddy, for help it was a strange sensation when there seemed to be some super force coming to my aid.
For suddenly the sky above opened up and released rains washing away the stench. Then I knew of the thirst in my throat. Looking up I opened my mouth to receive of the gift of fresh water. Water never tasted so vital; so good.
But then the urgency of hunger hit! How I had survived the sewage pipe is a story of despicable eating habits I would rather not go into. So the taste of earthworms came as a relief.
Now fully equipped with food and water it was to life again. It must have been the rainy season, for just when I would begin to get hungry the sky would open up and quench my thirst. The earth in its turn would release to me its worms. By and large there was no vegetation to talk of but the few sweet leaves provided much needed refuge from the worms. As my strength returned, so did my emotions
Nights of coldness; not so much the physical coldness but the inner coldness. Nothingness, yet surrounded by so much.
This was entirely different from when I had just talked to Zigona though. Surrounded by nothing yet so full of ill emotions! Now I felt a lack of purpose. Did not know where to go or what to do. I had to stop, take some time and rediscover the real Truf.
More than anything I wanted a home, to be with a purpose greater than my own life.

In the dark of the night my eyes twinkled at the thought of her. TM had said that if you think truthfully and hard enough, believe until your thoughts grow into words, then you would surely get what you thought of. Now, all I thought of was Zigona but she did not come to me. She could not come to me. And now the burden of being a man was too much to bear. “to be a man is to be able to suffer in silence. To not pass over the burden of your own sorrow to others”, daddy had said.

All the life lessons daddy taught me were coming back so much lately. I wondered whether he knew about ‘outside’ the castle. For the umpteenth time in a short while, I missed him.
When you think of the same thing, see the same thing and do the same thing, time losses meaning. I can not say how long I walked but it didn’t matter.

Beautiful

The only beautiful creature I could attest to was Zigona but one day I got to the top of a hill and beheld a sight!

A large collection of water! Well, at least to me. Green trees with branches swaying in the wind, circling it! Something I had never seen before, save for the pictures I saw in the Library! The place exuded a serenity so thick it did not seem real!
~
My name is Trufolga. I always thought The Maker (TM) was my dad and TA and Zigona my siblings. We lived peacefully in The castle, with lots of other beings to help us. TA always called them clones, I always thought them just like us. They did after all look exactly just like us.
Dad had secrets, and we never really tried to find them out. Well, I never tried.

Zigona and TA were curious though.

So one day the peace in our world ceased. And I sought out a world of utopic proportions. A world I called KIDOLOPIA. And now I tell you my story, as I remember it.

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