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The Highly Recommended Witch Doctor

"A young man investigates a curse being used to rob him of his youth."
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The Highly Recommended Witch Doctor

It was ugly, possibly the ugliest tattoo I had ever seen. The colour didn’t do him much justice either. A dark red ink ran across his face. Clearly some kind of animal but one could easily mistake it for a large scar.

Maybe he intentionally got himself an ugly tattoo? 

It would be befitting of a witch doctor, create an environment that made the visitor think about death and violence. I thought of the possibility of being manipulated by crude tattoos and ornaments and actually gave him credit. His distastefully decorated hut was a Halloween event organiser’s dream.

The wall to my left had had a ‘blood and bones’ theme. A series of tiny broken bones were laid across the wall, connected to each other by string like a child’s macaroni necklace. Just below the wall were series of short by wide dishes lined next to other hugging the wall. Each dish filled with a thick dark red liquid, blood I assumed.

The theme of the wall to my right was a bit more subtle. It had a small and simple table leaning against the wall. The objects on it were far more pleasant than the objects on the left side. Roots in jars, Kwacha notes on a plate and a few bracelets made of brightly coloured beads. Each bracelet had a tiny piece of paper in the middle.

K195.00, K259.00, K180.00; It seemed a bit much for bracelets. His sales pitch must’ve involved their magical properties. I wondered what sales pitch he would use on me. How much was he going to charge me for the white powder he was pounding with his miniature cooking stick?

Then it struck me.

One deep and painful cough, blood spouting onto my fist shaped hand. It was the same blood I coughed up the night before, dark red almost black. It had my attention as well as his. He stopped what he was doing and grabbed my wrist aggressively.

“Uvu Va Iche!” 

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It’s a very rare and powerful curse.” 

“What sort of curse is it?”

“You are the one suffering from it, why didn’t you tell me.”

“Fine. It all started yesterday. I woke up at 10:00 hours feeling weak. But the thing is I went to bed at 23 the previous night. I got out of bed, and I felt a short wave of frailness in my legs as if they could no longer handle my body’s weight.

After the wave had left my body everything was just fine. Or should I say fine for the meantime. After spending the whole day doing what I usually do every day, going to work, driving home, watching the ZNBC news and so on. Next thing you know I’m in my room brushing my teeth before bed and it hits me hard.”

“The cough?”

“Yes,” I replied. “There’s something else. At random times during the day, I feel weak, especially in the knees. I start to feel shaky like I can’t carry my own weight.”

He nodded his head, implying that the curse was in fact as he suspected, Uvu Va Iche. He pulled my hand close to him, taking a closer look at the blood. Keeping hold of my wrist with one hand, he used the other to pick up a teaspoon. He used the teaspoon to collect some of the blood. He didn’t collect much, but he seemed satisfied with what he had.

Finally, he let go of my wrist and walked out of the hut. I kept a close look at my phone using it to keep track of the time. He was back in close to ten minutes. He had a small pot with him, its boiling contents unfathomable. He placed it on the floor right in front of me. Hastily, he dropped the blood from the teaspoon into the pot.

The reaction reminded me of my lesser moments in the high school chemistry lab. The pot’s contents went from boiling to exploding. I jumped up from the stool I was seated on to avoid the splatter. But my new doctor of the dark arts was as calm as an eagle’s glide. When the smoke had finally disappeared, I sat back on my stool.

“Can I explain the curse now, young man?” he asked.

“Yes please.”

“Ok, as I mentioned earlier this is a rare and powerful curse. Someone out there is using the dark arts to steal your youth.”

“My youth?”

“Yes, young man. You are probably too immature to know this but in the world of dark arts, there are two things that are deemed to be the most valuable.”

“Youth and Love?”

“Ah, so you do know. Curses involving affection and youthfulness are more powerful and more expensive. So the individual who has placed this curse on you must be doing well financially. 

I once knew a man who falsely claimed he could perform this curse. It was a terrible idea because it’s such a powerful curse. He even charged the proper price in an effort to seem genuine. Because you see, if the price is low the customers know it’s fake.”

“How much did he charge?”

“Let’s just say when the curse didn’t work, and the client found out the money was used, and the false prophet found himself tied up and bleeding in the trunk of a Mercedes S500. But anyway I’m sure the question on the tip of your tongue is ‘how can I reverse it?’ and for that, I will tell you something. The cure to this curse will cost you more psychologically than it will financially.”

“Could you please explain,” I pleaded, disappointed in myself for giving away my level of desperation.

As I expected, he was coy. He pointed to the plate on the table to my right. I got up reluctantly and placed two notes on the plate; one K50 note and the other a K20. I wasn’t sure if I was overpaying or underpaying, I had simply heard that witch doctors often charged between K50 and K100.

When I returned to my stool, I was relieved not to have found any objections to my choice of fee. I must’ve overpaid. After that, all it took was a simple hand gesture, and I convinced him to proceed.

“The curse may be fatal, but its logic is simple. Once the spell is initiated, the victim starts to age rapidly. All the perpetrator needs for the spell to be completed is for the victim to die.”

“So someone wants me dead?”

“No, someone needs you dead.”

“So what happens if I kill the culprit before he kills me?”

“Then all of your youth will be given back to you. That’s what I meant when I said the solution will cost you more psychologically that financially.”

“That’s my only option, are you serious?”

“Unfortunately, for you, Bwalya...murder is the remedy.”

He caught me off guard by using my real name; I didn’t remember giving it to him. Still, it wasn’t enough to distract me from dreading the prospect of taking another human being’s life. I was still haunted by the tears of the kids my friends bullied in grade 7, how would I handle the sight of life leaving a man’s eyes.

He returned to the white powder he had mixed earlier. He rubbed it on both his palms and then stretched out his hands; the gesture being that I should stretch out my hands as well. As soon as I did, he rubbed the white powder onto both my palms to the point he had none of it left on his.

With his hands dry, he stood up and performed a dance. My guess was it was a ritualistic dance, but he seemed to enjoy it. He danced vibrantly for an old man. He stopped for a second and powdered his hands again. Then it was back to his dance, and it seemed twice as vibrant, he seemed to enjoy it twice as much as the first time.

“What is the purpose of the dance?” I asked.

“It is M’puno Ya Imbwa, a location spell. When I perform the dance, I can use my own spell to track the person who’s put a spell on you. Now that I have used the powder on both you and myself it will be easy.” 

He couldn’t have been more convincing. Once he was done with the dance, he walked over to the table and picked up a piece of paper and pen. I wondered how I didn’t notice them earlier. He spent what felt like 5 minutes writing a simple note. He passed the piece of paper on to me. His handwriting was clear and attractive. It amused me because I always thought of conventional doctors as having ugly handwritings.

Name: Musiwa Munshya

Gender: Male

Address: Flat 13 Malwa Flats Northmead, Lusaka.

Vehicle: BMW M310

It was surprisingly neat data. I never expected a witch doctor to be so formal in his presentation of information. It definitely wasn’t what I expected from a man of his profession, from a man of his appearance. He was a disastrously decorated and dirty man, but his information was clean. Now all I needed was a clean kill. I wondered if I actually had it in me. 

Obsessed with the new information I had just gathered, I forgot my manners and walked out of the room without a word. Totally absent minded I walked out of the hut and entered my car. When I turned on the ignition, the engine gave a loud rev. If I was going to stalk this individual, I needed an engine a little more subtle than that of a Subaru Impreza.

As I drove home, a million questions ran through my mind.

Am I capable of killing?

Should I kill him in the day or night?

What weapon can I use?

Is it possible to completely dispose of a dead body?

When I finally escaped my absent mindedness, I had already arrived in Northmead. I parked the car at a gas station across the road. I walked a dual carriageway and entered a fenced plot with two blocks of flats. 

I walked towards a large banner made of metal letters spelled the words ‘MALWA FLATS’. It was impossible to miss. Each floor consisted of seven flats, so I walked up a flight of stairs to the first floor. 

Flat number 13 was the second flat on the first floor. To my relief, the flat seemed empty and so did the other flats around it. It felt like the perfect time to have a peek. I stood close to the window and got a better look at the kitchen. 

The dishes were done, and the floors were shining. It was clearly empty. No footsteps, no swinging doors, and no TV accidentally left on. Next to the kitchen was an opening to the living room. The TV stand had two large photos right above it. One was a girl and the other a boy, but I couldn’t tell from where I was.

“Excuse me!”

It was a woman’s voice. I looked to my left and saw two women, both about early forty’s standing at the door of flat 14. One of them had an expression of curiosity and the other suspicion. I knew the next question was going to be ‘can we help you with something’ so I made an attempt to steer the conversation my way.

“Hello there, can you help me?” I asked.

Neither of them spoke, but their expressions both told me to go ahead and ask my question. I tried to buy myself some time by pointing at the flat and pretending I had the number system confused.

They saw right through me.

“Who exactly are looking for?”

I hesitated.

“Just tell us the name, we know everyone here.”

I went into a silent panic, looking around the entire plot for a conversational escape route. And after looking around for less than a minute, I found one.

“Ida!” I shouted as I waved at a young woman standing in the parking lot. Then I waved at the two women condescendingly and headed to the ground floor. Ida stood right next to her car struggling with a few groceries. I froze for a moment to admire it. It was a BMW M310, and I wondered if it was a mere coincidence.

“Let me help you with that,” I said. “So how have you been?”

“I’ve been great as you can see,” she said with a cocky but friendly smile. “I see your sis already told you what my flat number is?”

“No, but she gave me the floor.”

“Anyway, you guessed right, and it’s 13. And I had a talk with your sis about you, so you and I have a lot to talk about, don’t we Bwalya?” 

“Ya we do,” I replied, knowing full well I didn’t have a single thing to say to her. I didn’t even know she lived in the Northmead area. I wondered if she knew the person who was renting her flat for her had put a curse on me. 

I had always despised Ida and her affinity for older men. It reminded me of my sister’s affinity for middle-aged white men. They both chose their men based on the needs of their social lives. What I hated most was that when they were together, the two were unstoppable. Finding married men to buy them phones, clothes and even help them with rent. The dynamic gold-digger duo.

Once we were in the flat I put the groceries on the dining table. She went on about some party she was excited about and what dress she wanted to wear to it. I can’t remember a word of it, just the gist. I was too busy working up a million theories until she said something that actually got my attention.

“Do you know who I live with?” she asked.

“No.”

“I live with my brother, Musiwa.”

“Really so where is he?”

“Mhhhh....,” she gave me her cocky but friendly smile again, “Why don’t we talk about what you’re really here to talk about.”

She sat on one of the dining chairs and suggested I do the same. She looked deep into my eyes as if she expected me to start the conversation. Since it wasn’t about her brother, I was baffled and more importantly speechless.

“Since you don’t want to start,” she began, “I will start. Your sister told me about how you feel about me. That you ask about me all the time. I know about you liking me. But your sister told me that you were worried about the rumours you’ve heard about me.”

It was rather typical of my sister to make such wild assumptions. She was always the egotist, assuming her and her closest friends were irresistible.

I had no doubt in my mind that they were more than rumours. One of the married men she slept with was a friend’s dad, and he told me everything. What I wasn’t sure about was why she was desperate to defend herself in front of some guy she believed had a crush on her.

But I had quite the conundrum on my hands. If I denied the crush, I’d have no reason for being at her flat. If I acknowledged my sister’s delusions, I would either be risking a relationship with a woman I hated or allowing her to add me to her ‘guys I rejected’ trophy cabinet. Just thinking about the latter was infuriating.

“It’s true,” I said. “But my concern is how incompatible we are on paper. I’m a reclusive white collar boy, and you’re an outgoing uhm...”

In the midst of my lie, I realised I couldn’t remember what she did for a living. The word model was at the tip of my tongue, but if I were wrong it would contradict my having asked questions about her.

“Anyway, you get what I mean right?” I asked; a desperate attempt to hide my error. 

It seemed to work, but not necessarily in my favour. Ida looked deep into my eyes and gave a sympathetic look. She leaned towards me and held my hand like a concerned mother.

“I’m sorry to tell you Bwalya, but you’re right about us. We would never work. We’re just too different.”

“I have to agree,” I said hoping the conversation was towards its end. “I think I should go.” 

I escaped her embrace and rushed to the door. I had just at that moment remembered that Ida had two siblings. She had a brother only a year older than her and a sister who was twice her age. I began to wonder if Musiwa was the actual perpetrator. 

But then again he could have put the curse on me out of a fear of age?

It’s farfetched, though.

I stood at the door and looked back at Ida, her expression of sympathy made me sick. After consideration, I probably didn’t help my pride by rushing out. I can imagine she thought it was an emotionally motivated action. I felt I needed to soften the blow.

“Hey Ida,” I said as I held the door open.

“Yes.”

“Thank you for letting me down gently. You’ve handled this maturely, and I appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome,” she said with a smile on her face. Unlike most of her smiles, this particular on looked kind and honest.

As I looked nonchalantly at her smile, I noticed the fridge behind the door. It had a picture of Ida, and a young who I assumed was Musiwa. He was light skinned with a round jaw line putting a finish to a baby face. I was told he was my age, but he looked younger.

Am I wrong about him or is that the effect of the curse?

I said goodbye to Ida and left in a hurry. I had a lot of thinking to do.

* * *

My time at home gave me no greater clarity. No matter the problem I always assumed a canned beef was the solution. So I went into the pantry and grabbed a can of beef, opening it as I walked into the kitchen. When it was open, I went through the knife drawer looking for something to slice the meat with.

Butter knife, Steak knife, Bread knife, Chef’s knife?

I wonder which one of these would make a good Murder knife?

I sat at the dining table with my sandwich and a cup of tea I hadn’t notice had gone warm. I had a clear view of my sister. Linda sat in the living room in what looked like loose cotton trousers. I wanted to be angry at her but I couldn’t. She was the one who noticed my symptoms and recommended a witch doctor. Her genuine concern for my well being made her blunder with Ida seem like a forgettable little joke. She turned around and noticed me staring at her.

“How did everything go?” she asked.

“With your recommendation or with your bestie?”

I kept a smile on my face hoping to keep the conversation as light-hearted as possible. She followed my lead and gave me a puppy-eyed look.

“Sorry about Ida,” she said. “I didn’t know you’d go to her place and tell her how you feel.”

“It’s not your fault. I rushed into it. Maybe it was because of the way I’ve been feeling. My symptoms must’ve had me thinking about stuff like romance.”

Her expression lost its playfulness, and she now had the look of a sister who’d been told her brother would die. She walked over to the table and sat as close to me as she could. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her how dangerous the curse or what I planned to do into revere it. I gave her a censored version of the story.

“It’s quite bad,” I said. “Someone is trying to steal my youth and if they succeed my coughs might get far worse.”

“No!” she whimpered.

“Yes, but the same guy you sent me to said he’s working on a spell to find the guy.”

“Don’t worry dear,” she said. Her ability to comfort me was amazing, almost motherly. “The guy I sent you to is good. Last month Ida and I had love potions put on us, and we went to him. By the end of the week, he caught the guys who tried to do it. Did you give him your personal information?”

“No, I didn’t,” I said. I was worried I had made a mistake that would cost me my life.

“You should give him your personal information. He works better that way...Oh wait...maybe he got enough from me the time I consulted him?”

“I hope so,” I said.

For a second, I felt a sense of relief but whatever I felt at the time quickly went away. My phone began to vibrate, and I pulled it out of my pocket. It was a text from Ida.

IDA: Hey Sweetie.

The text caught me off guard. What amused me was that it caught Linda off guard as well. She leaned over to make sure it was who she thought it was. Once she was sure both her eyes and mouth were wide open.

“Eh Eh!” she said. “I thought you and Ida is a finished story?”

“She’s probably texting out of sympathy. She probably just doesn’t want her best friend’s brother to hold a grudge against her.”

“Makes sense. It would be so difficult for me if the two of you became enemies. I hope you don’t hate her for rejecting you?”

“Of course not,” I said as soon as possible. I was bothered by the fact that Linda used the word ‘reject’. It made me wonder if texting Ida back was actually worth it. I had already left her flat, so I didn’t really need her anymore. On the other hand not answering her might have come off as the story of another young man turned bitter after being turned down by a sweet young woman. I couldn’t have that.

ME: Hey there, what’s up?

IDA: Nothing just wanted to know how ur doin

ME: I’ll live

Lol

I was just telling Linda that you n me are still cool.

IDA: You told Linda I hallad at u?

Y would you do that?

ME: She was right next to me when you texted.

Is something wrong?

IDA: I just wish u dint have to tell ur sis erthing

ME: everything?

IDA: It’s ok just 4get about it

ME: Ok no problem. I just thought u and her tell each other everything.

IDA: ya we do

ME: so?

IDA: we just don’t need to tell her our stuff.

ME: fine then. Shud ther ever be stuff, I’ll keep to myself

Cool?

IDA: cool

I found the conversation to be rather ambiguous yet somehow enjoyable. It brought me a shameful excitement. I wasn’t sure, but I thought I just had a secret flirtation with my sister’s best friend.

However if it wasn’t flirting the alternative was quite clear. Linda had always been a social butterfly, charming all who crossed her path. Ida was just as friendly but in a more subtle manner. She was the girl who gave an interesting answer but never the girl who asked the interesting question. Linda had a dominant personality. It was possible Ida just wanted to talk to the only person in the world who would give her more attention than Linda.

I left the conversation hanging and took a look at the time. It was 20:30 hrs. A little early for me but I decided I’d go to bed. My hope was that sleep would relieve me of some of my anxiety. 

I thought about Musiwa and how he couldn’t be the culprit. I thought about the witch doctor and questioned his abilities. I thought about how beautiful Ida was. I thought about how much her and Linda’s lifestyle annoyed me. Then I thought about how beautiful Ida was. Then I slept.

* * *

I awoke at 02:40 hrs. ‘Almost devil’s hour,’ I thought. My room was pitch black, so all I could grasp was my vest being slightly damp with sweat and the sound of metal clanking coming from the kitchen. I got out of bed and turned on the light. I walked over to the kitchen. The lights were off, but the translucent curtains allowed the moon to illuminate the room. To my relief, the noise was just a few pot lids that had fallen from a drawer. I wondered why they fell out of the drawer in the first place. The drawer was adequate in height and didn’t have many lids in it.

I went to Linda’s room and found it vacant, her loose cotton pants lying on the floor. She probably left for one of her night clubs in a hurry and that’s why she left the pots carelessly. It was a closed case. I put the lids back in the drawer, and I put Linda’s pants in her washing basket. 

It was only after I turned off the lights to my room that I felt the force of his baseball bat across the left side of my face. It was a poor swing and merely grazed the left side of my torso. The succeeding swing was far more accurate, a deft and brutal blow to my face forcing me to the floor. I lay on the floor with numb lips and bleeding nose, the only motion I was a capable of was turning myself over and looking my attacker in the face.

It was Musiwa. To my surprise he didn’t have the demeanour of a malicious attacker, he actually seemed frightened. Like a psychotic little boy aiming a gun at a vicious bully. He prepared for another blow but kept about half a meter away. It was as if someone had told him I was contagious or perhaps he thought of me as a mighty leopard, more vicious when wounded.

His stance changed when he noticed I was motionless. He came close to me and lifted me from my collar with one hand. He hoped to achieve it without dropping his bat. Before I knew it, my head was placed on a tiny traditional stool. He held my neck firmly as he prepared for a one-handed swing. I shook my body and mumbled pointlessly like a chicken right before its slaughter.

But the final blow never came. The firm hand that had gripped my neck was now soft and shaking. I turned my head, so my face was flat on the stool allowing me to get a clear view of a now fragile Musiwa.

His hand had wrinkles on it like it had aged for decades in the space of a second, his knees were weak, and the baseball seemed too heavy for him now. It was the symptoms of the curse. I knew from experience what he was going through, and I knew what was next. And just I expected he fell to the floor and coughed up an ounce of blood, dark red almost black.

* * *

I awoke once more a few hours later. It was dawn, and the room was lit with a beautiful light orange. An excruciating pain spread across every corner of my head. It was a confusing combination of numbness and pain, numbing pain I believe they call it. I looked up and noticed someone had moved both me and Musiwa into the sitting room. Whoever it was that moved us sat us up against opposite walls and made sure we were the only things in the room. 

I had no interest in the whereabouts of my furniture. I was more interested in who it was that moved them. A well-dressed couple walked into the room. He looked my age, two years older or younger at best. She was clearly older than him, but only slightly, no more than by four years. He walked over to Musiwa, and she walked over to me. 

She leaned over to me and cleaned the blood on my face. At that moment, she looked like nothing short of an angel to me. Her skin was quite dark but extremely smooth. She wore plain blue jeans that brought out her slim but surprisingly curvy structure. She spoke softly, only using phrases that encouraged me to relax.

Musiwa, on the other hand, received no such treatment. He was still unconscious, and the guy who attended to him stood over him and blurted out condescending sighs. Eventually, he grabbed a piece of tissue and collected some of the blood on Misawa's face. He walked over to me and showed me the blood up close.

“You must be the smart one Mr. Bwalya?” he asked rhetorically.

“But isn’t this one’s blood a normal red?” she asked.

“This blood isn’t from the curse it’s from Musiwa hitting me with a baseball bat,” I explained. “Now back to you bra, so because I was the one who was attacked I’m the smart one?”

“Yes,” he said as he smiled. It seemed he found joy in my question. “If Musiwa is the one attacking you rather than you attacking him it means you realised he isn’t the culprit. I’m not particularly interested in your health, maybe my colleague here is. Compassion comes naturally to the fairer of our species. I, on the other hand, am more interested in knowing who you think is the culprit.”

“It’s the witch doctor my sister recommended,” I said. “I’m assuming my fellow fool on the other side of the room was given the same advice I was given when he went to see the guy. Our sisters are best friends, so he tricked them into giving him their personal information as well as ours. Then he rubbed some powder on my hands.”

“What was the colour of this powder Mr. Bwalya?” he asked.

“White.”

“Of course.” He smiled.

“But why would he send me to kill Musiwa and Vice verse?”

“The curse only needs one young man to die,” he said. “However if the murder is committed by the perpetrator of the curse, it weakens the curse.”

“So if the young man dies by the hand of anyone other than the perpetrator, then the curse is stronger?” I asked. 

Once again, he seemed to find amusement in the question I asked. He took the stance of pompous lecturer and smiled as he explained.

“Yes, but the young man must die in the hands of another young man. Then the curse is at its fullest.” 

It meant the witch doctor was playing a numbers game. If he instilled the adequate amount of fear into just one of us, whichever one that was would go after the other. Then he can kill the survivor himself. One fully performed curse to satisfy him and one poorly performed curse as chuck change.

But what about Musiwa?

If both Musiwa and I were alive, it meant that both the curses had failed. The only logical option left was to convince her to take us to the hospital. I figured she would have a better time convincing her partner. After a look at Musiwa and then the two of them I slowly came to realize that I misjudged the situation. Despite her clear expression of sympathy, she didn’t seem to be doing much other than clean my face. No effort to lift me up, no inquiries as to my well-being and no effort to wake Musiwa up. It was like they had given up on him.

“I haven’t introduced myself have I Mr. Bwalya?” he said. “My name is Kuna Mubanga. I am an Ostrich Level Spiritualist or in layman’s term a Low-Level Spiritualist. The man who wants you dead is an Eagle Level Spiritualist. Just to be clear, the Falcon Level is the equivalent of High Level. Eagle is the Elite Level and out of thirty spiritualists, Lusaka only has two.

So the reason we’re not trying to save you is because I’m too scared to go up against your enemy. However If I were to face a more complacent version of him I might be able to stand a chance. He’s expecting two dead young men, but if he finds just one, he might decide to call it a day.”

“Me?”

“Quit the false humility.” He raised his voice. Her reaction showed that it was uncharacteristic of him. “Miss Nandi over here will be just fine, but you and I both know for us to survive Musiwa has to die. If I had my way I’d ask you to kill him but I know Nandi wouldn’t allow it. So we’re all letting nature take its course and letting Musiwa die how he would have died if you and he hadn’t crossed paths.”

Kuna walked over to me and pulled a small and colourless bottle filled with a purple liquid. He placed it just under my nose making sure I got a good smell of it. It smelled vaguely like Sprite. 

“Sprite?” I asked knowing it was the wrong answer.

“Try again,” he said.

The second time I smelt, I still got a whiff of Sprite, but there was something else, something that reminded me of a visit to the chemist. It was cough syrup, and I knew what cough syrup and Sprite were mixed for.

Lean. The infamous ‘Purple Drank’.

If Musiwa had Lean in his system when he was coughing up blood, it's possible he had a seizure The loss blood with a seizure at the same time would be enough to kill him. But that would make it suicide. Was it still a young man killing a young man if a young man killed himself? Even if it wasn’t it was a basket Kuna seemed ready to put his eggs in.

“So tell me, Kuna,” I asked. “What if suicide isn’t the equivalent of murder and this Eagle Level chap decides he still needs my youth?”

“Then I’ll have to use you as a human shield. You see he’s after me as well but for different reasons. Though I’m sure, if he gets his hands on you, he’ll be so excited he won’t care to hunt me down. 

But take solace, my dear Mr. Bwalya. If you do die you will die with a little bit something that most people who die young die without.”

“What’s that?”

“Clarity.”

Out of nowhere Nandi ran to the window and looked outside. When Kuna noticed it, he was equally as frantic. Naturally the contagious disease that is panic spread to me as well. I tried to get up, but I was still quite weak. I could hear the loud revving of an SUV coming from right outside the house. Nandi rushed out of the room and into the hallway, but Kuna stayed right where he was. He was just as frightened as I was and he made no attempt to hide it. 

When the revving stopped, I could hear someone opening and closing a car door and then walking towards the door. Kuna gave me an ambiguous expression. He looked at me, looked at the door and then looked at me with a sarcastic smile. I assume he meant ‘this is it’ or ‘let’s do this.’ Either way, I felt the need to brace myself. A knock came at the door, but Kuna wasn’t ready for it. He stood a meter away from the door and wiped the small amount of sweat off of his forehead.

As I stared at the door, I felt my phone began to vibrate. I struggled to pull it out and when I did found a text message. It was Ida.

IDA: Hey sweetie, you need to get back to me as soon as possible.

Your sis is worried, and I miss you

I wanted to ask Kuna why my sister was out looking for me and didn’t bother to check her very own home. But I knew he and I had run out of time. He walked over to the door and placed his hand on the knob.

“Your sister?” he asked.

“No,” I looked over at Musiwa, “his sister.”

“What’s the story there?”

“I have no idea.”

He smiled and took a deep breath as he turned the knob.

“Well, Mr. Bwalya. One can never die with absolute clarity.”

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