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Of Love and Insects by Muthoni Garland

She aimed. Pressed. 

With a shriek, Bob lifted an elbow to shield his face.

Waving her long arms about, Philo entered the room. “Dori, Dori, stop. Stop…”

The directors from next door rushed in behind her, flapping their hands in front of their faces and coughing in an exaggerated fashion.

One of them grabbed the icy jug of water, forced down Mr. Cartwright’s elbow, and splashed his face with water and ice cubes.

Tears streaming down her face, Philo wrapped an arm around Doreen’ side and gently eased the Doom from her grip. 

“Madness,” the marketing lady declared. “Did I or did I not say there was something wrong with this woman?” She dialled for an ambulance. And security.  Just in case. “Did I or did I not say?”

The sales director guided Mr. Cartwright to the bathroom to wash out residue.

“Oh dear,” The elderly operations man said of Doreen to Philo. “I think this young lady needs help.”

Doreen coughed to clear the air.  “Nairobi Eye.”

From the tips of unvarnished fingernails, she dangled the delicate red and black insect that caused a particularly painful form of conjunctivitis and corneal inflammation. It glimmered like a gem, light and dark.





Per Contra Spring 2007