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.
There goes the woman who killed my uncle. The black widow. Today is his funeral and she’s in a white dress; I think it’s her wedding gown. The whole yard is covered in thick, red mud. For the last three days, the mourners have been coming and going, churning up the ground like they were ox ploughs. The small funeral procession is making its way from the gate through this mess towards me.
Now the church service is over, they’ll be wanting tea. They’ll expect me to serve it to them I suppose. The black widow is not looking so smug now, is she? From my vantage point at the window, I can see how the pouring rain is cleaning off the gel that had held her hair together. It’s stuck all over her face. The hat that stood proud now slumps on the sides of her head. With every step she takes, her high heels, which she must have thought so elegant this morning, keep sinking into the soft mush. The hem of her dress looks like it’s soaked in blood. Clearly, gravity is winning. The smug smile is gone, but in her eyes, that fire is still burning.
My father has brought home a second wife from the city. There she is, perched delicately on the passenger side of the company car.
A bag of bones. That is the phrase that comes to my mind when I see her. She looks pale and hungry. So there they are, an unlikely trio, sitting in the Toyota Hilux, seemingly unable to muster the strength to disembark. My father has brought home a skinny wife and a fat, yellow child.
I stand in the shade of the verandah and contemplate the scene for a moment. I can understand my father’s hesitation. I had nothing to do with it, yet I can already feel my palms getting sticky with sweat and my heart rate accelerate. This is bad. This is really bad.
The apocalypse is coming. The chickens have already taken cover inside the Kai apple fence. Our dog Pixie is just lying under the tree, wagging his tail lazily. Then again, Pixie is used to getting kicked. Mama’s humming voice fills the air as she approaches from the cow pen. It’s about to rain drama. I give my father a quick wave and run behind the house.