Bananas were Marvin's thing at first. "It reminds me of home," he said, "the places I've been and conversations I've had when eating it in the past." After a few months of having dicussions with Marvin over a bunch of bananas , they became Doctor Mwitu's thing too. Together, they would sit at the empty kibanda outside the hospital and eat some while talking about issues they found interesting.
Marvin had shown up at Doctor Mwitu's hospital seven months ago after hearing of the man's professional and affordable healthcare. He was a struggling journalist, unable to pay for medical covers in private hospitals, sickened by the half-baked treatment the government gave but in dire need of someone to check his persistent cough. Like most people in his neighbourhood, he survived on luck hoping that he would not fall ill because getting relief was a luxury that only the rich could afford. He was really impressed by the doctor's professionalism. While in the diagnosis room they discussed about the nation's welfare and what led them to pursue their respective careers. The doctor wanted to be part of the solution in curbing diseases while Marvin went freelance because employed journalists did not enjoy some fundamental freedoms. The two realised that they had the same grievances, acknowledging the strides being taken by their government but wishing for more. Within no time, Marvin rented an office next to the hospital in Industrial Area making it easier for their afternoon meet. Rates were becoming increasingly cheaper at the 'factory city' that was once famous for producing local goods but business was destroyed by international players.
They found themselves talking a lot about how the rich and powerful deal with competition. Marvin was working on a story about Betty Wap, a former politician, and the alleged conspiracy to murder her business rival, a Mr. Wytte and the doctor could tell that he was passionate about it.
Mr. Wytte had come across a poster that showed Positive City as a positive place with positive people and positive vibes. He knew that would be a good place for business. He quickly relocated to Positive City and found everything to be just as the poster said. Upon retiring, he set out to start his own production company, an industry that Betty Wap was already involved in. Betty was an angry woman who lacked a left eye. When she saw how quickly Wyte's company was rising against hers, she had to get him out of the way. Her company was the best, unbeaten in many years but given the threat she gave her rival one could only wonder if the methods she used to get to the top were noble.
Rumour had it that Betty Wap was a pirate in her former life. She stole ships worth billions carrying loads of gold and jewellery. Life there was not easy and she lost her eye during one of the encounters with the authorities. Once she heard about Positive City and how easy life was for powerful people she decided to resign early and become a politician there.
This conversation wore the doctor out. He could not understand why Marvin was stuck up on the murder conspiracy while that was something that happened everyday. The rich committed crimes to benefit themselves and always get away with it. It was inevitable that Betty Wap, like all the rest, would get acquitted. "This is Positive City. Bad things happen all the time and you can't change that. All you can do is focus on the good stuff."
The case against Betty was strong. There was enough evidence to convince anyone that she was guilty. Phonecalls, text messages and receipts showed that she wanted Mr. Wytte dead. Were it not for the greedy assassin she hired who approached Mr. Wytte to ask for money her wish would be granted.
Marvin was in the library when the earthquake happened. He had just received news about the Betty Wap case. The files and evidence against her had suddenly disappeared. He was drafting his rant when all of a sudden, he noticed the ground was shaking. The intensity and effects increased as he saw the library shelves started moving. By the time he got up to run, the history shelf fell on his legs. Two other shelves landed on either hand and the pain was unbearable. He was sure that it would be his last day on earth but was glad that it happened in a bookstore where wisdom of many men before him could be found.
When Doctor Mwitu did not hear from Marvin that day and didn't see him at his place when he stopped by, he knew something was off. In the morning he decided to check up on his friend at the local library where he loved to spend time. It was a quiet place since people were not much readers in the city and Marvin found it a serene place to write his work.
He brought Marvin to the hospital when he was still unconscious and when he woke up he found himself in a strange place with Doctor Mwitu examining his leg. The painting on the wall and the nearby sounds of a factory suggested that they were at the hospital but he had never been to that room before. The doctor explained that he found him unconscious in a poor state with books and shelves all over him. It was unexplainable how he was still alive. His hands had never seen before markings that looked like a million words when seen under a magnifying lens.
Later Marvin was feeling a bit better and they were able to go outside for their bananas. They talked about the earthquake and the many patients who streamed into the hospital with numerous injuries. By then, the hospital had acquired more doctors to meet the demand but it would take months before everything could go back to normal. The radio they had in the kibanda announced that Betty Wap had been set free due to lack of evidence against her.
The anger that rose in Marvin frightened the doctor a bit. His hands started shaking and the veins in his hands became more and more visible by the second. Right then before the the doctor's eyes, he ran out of the kibanda and flew up into the sky. All that could be seen was a green streak moving rapidly into the sky.
Betty Wap was still outside the courtroom telling the press that it had all been a plan by her enemies when a man appeared and slapped her. Everything happened too fast for any camera to capture and all the recorders noted was Betty screaming in pain and disbelief. A few seconds later, the magistrate who had ruled over the case and was still inside the courtroom was also slapped by a man who ran outside immediately after.
Back in Industrial Area, the doctor was still trying to figure out what had happened to his friend. Marvin had just walked in lying with burns on his hands and immediately figured that he was the man who had slapped Betty and the magistrate. He then became even more curious about what exactly happened during the earthquake.
Even before the press had time to fully cover the slapping story, reports came that Betty Wap had confessed to the crime and was ready to face the consequences. The magistrate also apologised for a compromised ruling and admitted that Betty was guilty producing the documents that were allegedly stolen.
Betty did not know what had come over her and it was never her wish to cause harm. It was like an extraordinary thing had happened and now the two culprits suddenly acted with reason. Had the wisdom from the library books transcended into Marvin's arms?
"Has he become some sort of Slapperman that could slap sense into people?"


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