26 February 2012

The Puppets of Maramudhu by Dilman Dila

The rains refused to come. Forest fires scarred the little mountain that towered above the town of Tororo. Detective Zed and his boss, Inspector Okello, escaped from the heated police station to quench their thirst with local brew in an open air bar. On the way they ran into a ghost.

“La!” Zed said. “That man’s still alive!”

Okello turned to see a pygmy emerge from a plume of dust, dragging a two-wheeled, black box cart the size of a pickup truck. The dwarf had no beard, hair, or shoes, the soles of his feet looked like charcoal, and dust painted his rags red.

“Why does he wear blankets in this heat?” Okello said.

“He’s supposed to be dead.”

Though they were thirty meters away and dust clouds swirled between them, Zed could see the dwarf’s face clearly. At time it didn’t seem odd, but later, it puzzled him. “Maramudhu!” he shouted at the dwarf.

“Eh! I’m back,” the old man replied. He had only two teeth left, both were rotten. His cart squeaked and danced as though it moved on flat tires when he passed them....

This story was selected for African Roar 2013.

Copyright © Dilman Dila 2012.

Dilman Dila is a Ugandan writer and film-maker. His short stories have appeared in several online and print magazines, and book anthologies. One of these stories, 'Homecoming', received a nomination at the 2008 Million Writers Awards: Notable Online Stories of 2007. He makes documentary films to give voice to forgotten and oppressed minorities. His fiction films are redolent of the African oral storytelling tradition. His short film, What Happened in Room 13 won him accolades at various international film festivals. Currently, he is making his first feature length fiction film, The Felistas Fable, which will be finished in the middle of 2012. For more about his life and works, please visit DilmanDila.com


barbs said...

What an enthralling and refreshing read. This is the epitomy of creativity. Very well done.

Unknown said...

Lakini we jama, Abemuchibuga didn't hurt people!!! Nicely knit piece I must say!

Zino A said...

A very easy and refreshing read. Lots of characters tied together in a neatly bound plot

Zebb said...

A very captivating tale. Dila packs a lot of action into the story which gives it good pace.

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