Anti-Exam Fever Vaccine

By Gideon Mutai

All preparations were in place that day
Except for parasitic fear which wasn’t at bay
She sluggishly trudged to the exam room
As they prayed and wished her the best of luck
Hesitantly, she waved back and went in


Papers were issued out to everyone
You can bet the colour had not changed from the usual
“You have two hours to attempt all the questions.”
Roared the no-nonsense exam invigilator
The parasite forgot the symbiotic relationship with her
He breached the contract and started devouring her


As the invigilator paced up and down the room.
FEAR relished on that little activity
Small beads of sweat started forming on her brow
Her eyes were swelling progressively
She suddenly busted into tears as she turned over the first page
The bladder seemingly enjoyed the ordeal
How it suddenly got filled up I cannot tell
It also gave way following his accomplice


Who would have known she was expectant
If not for the end of year exams?
We saw a little bouncing baby lying on the floor
And dangling from her pelvic region a cord
Exams had to be interrupted
‘Twas not in vain anyway
As my colleagues found it opportune to consult
While few assisted in carrying her way


The reports later came
That the doctor diagnosed her with exam fever
That precipitated all the events
And she was given anti-exam fever vaccine IV BD X 4/12
The baby was just a result of injurious exam fever
Which has since time immemorial been pandemic
I was left wondering if he was a real doctor or just another quack


Either way, I also want anti-exam fever too but dread the pain
Yes, the pain of daily injections for four months every year
Can’t it be made to be easily swallow able?
Or coated with chocolate?


What did you say are the side effects of the vaccine?
Bosom friendship with books in and out season
But how about my allergy for books?
It runs in our family
The mother of my grandfather to the uncle of my niece had the same problem.
He used not to pass well in school
It has manifested in me again
But just give me the vaccine, I will deal with the consequences later.

*BD–Twice a day


Another Paper

By Gideon Mutai

I look up for inspiration
I look down in desperation
And sideways for information
But the invigilator hates the sideways look  

I scratch my head in hope
And look at the paper in despondency
I don’t have malaria
But bouts of unexplained chills
My hand can’t stabilize the pen
And sweat wets my paper
My doctor would call this hypocontentinemia
It happens during exams time
Has no relieving factors
The sequela is post exam disorientation  

“Another paper please!” Shouts my friend from the corner
“What the hell are you writing?”
I am tempted to think loudly
Are you writing an exam thesis perhaps?
But this is only a one hour cat!  

“Give me a ruler and a protractor.” Requests my exam neighbour
I wonder why she wants them Everyone else is having them
And seemingly busy using them  

Indistinctly, I hear “Time’s up!” Everyone else is on their feet Invigilator is standing beside me
“Are you sick?” She asks sarcastically “Oh sure! Thanks for noticing
I want another paper
This is wet of tears and sweat.”