“Are you looking at me”
I start violently. The kettle tips and spills hot tea on my cousin’s foot. She shrieks and glares at me.
Am I the only one hearing grandpa’s booming voice?
We’re in his bedroom, or more accurately, what used to be his bedroom. You see, we’re at his wake. His corpse lies in the front room, in a home-made wooden coffin, atop three stools placed in a neat row. Continue reading
Sometimes you wake up feeling exhausted. Your limbs ache, you’re feverish with indistinct memories of a nightmare.
If you examine your skin carefully enough, what you thought were mosquito bites turn out to be light puncture wounds. The truth dawns on you.
The thing that flitted past your kitchen veranda last night was not a shadow. When you thought you heard your dog growl and then whine in fear, you heard right. The single tree outside your window, whose leaves were rustling in the wind, well that was not the wind. Something was in the room with you last night.
I’d known her all my life and I knew that she couldn’t write to save her own life. Not if someone held a gun to her head. Mind you, it wasn’t for lack of words. Nelly simply had too much nervous energy to let two words fuse into a phrase. She even talked with a stutter. Continue reading
Otto is dead. Four of his hairy legs fell off. I figure he was male, because he was constantly marking his territory. I first spotted him one month ago, on my bedroom floor, behind the couch by the window. He was so large I thought he was a rat. I sprinted out of the room in alarm. He disappeared for the next two days.
Needless to say, I was quite nervous. Until I saw him peeking out from under the dressing table. A spider, not a rat. Small comfort, but definitely better than a rat.
He was sensitive to sudden movements – a trait that helped him escape missiles and insecticide sprays. He always came back. He was everywhere – on the wall above the television, under the kitchen sink, on the book shelf.
Today I found him under the storage container. He’s been missing for a week. A peaceful week. I think I murdered him. I swept up the legs and threw them away. I couldn’t find the body.
As I was making myself a sandwich a few minutes ago, something crawled out of the fruit basket. A smaller version of Otto. Otto Junior is now hiding behind the fridge.
Nakhumicha rounds the bend and races towards the hut, her Christmas present in hot pursuit. I watch her agility in amazement. It probably serves her mean spirit right. After all, hadn’t I expressly instructed her to slaughter that goat and share the meat out to her children and their wives? God only knows those children could do with some meat on their bones.
Nakhumicha would have none of it. No, that goat is too nice, look at how shiny his coat is. I’ll keep him until January. Anna needs school fees. Maria needs a new pair of sandals…
Can one he-goat fulfill everyone’s wishes? Can he make the whole family rich overnight?
Miser, that’s what Nakhumicha is. That black shiny he-goat was destined for the market alright, but not for Anna or Maria. Nakhumicha has had her eye on this Black Mamba bicycle for months. That’s where the money was going.
There she goes, careening round the hut one more time. The children are gathering in alarm. Thomas, my brother-in-law runs in front of the agitated goat. I turn away before the resounding ‘thwack’ and corresponding yelp. Idiots. We’d better have goat stew tonight.