Friday 15 May 2015
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An African Tale chapter five continued

Because of his father’s position, Bosenyi mixed only with the rich and powerful. It was within this circle that he met and married a girl named Naledi. Her father was not at all keen on the marriage as he did not like either Bosenyi or his father. He had a very uneasy feeling that there was some underlying evil there. However, as Naledi was an independent, modern lady, her father’s wishes were ignored and the wedding went ahead. It was an enormously lavish affair with all the most important and influential people invited. Bosenyi made sure that his rural family weren’t invited. Only his aunt Matilda, who was now posher than posh, attended.

Soon after the wedding the rot started to set in. Bosenyi was lazy and lay around the house all day drinking beer and watching television. Naledi was getting really fed up with him and wondering what she should do about it when his father, Kilo, decided to move in with them. He was a strange man and she felt very uneasy around him. She had thought of herself as a modern woman with no silly superstitions or unfounded fears but now she couldn’t shake off this sense of evil and creepiness every time she entered the house. Then odd things started to happen.
One morning Naledi woke up feeling that something was watching her. Bosenyi was not in bed next to her, which was unusual as he never got up early. She sat up, looking in the mirror that was at the foot of the bed, and froze in absolute terror. Draped across the headboard above her head was an enormous snake. Its head just above hers with its hood spread. She opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out. Just then the door opened and Kilo came in. She stared at him her eyes wide; she opened her mouth to scream again but still no sound came out. The strangest thought crossed her mind. The snake was probably preferable to Kilo. He stared past her at the snake, and his eyes looked like whirlpools; she had seen that once before and it had terrified her. Then he turned and walked out, closing the door without a word. She carried on staring at the door, numb, and then forced herself to look back into the mirror. The snake was gone! She should have been relieved at that but no, this was worse. Now she didn’t know where it was; she hadn’t heard or seen it move. It could be anywhere in the room. Under the bed, in the bed! She lay still and didn’t move the whole day.

Naledi was still lying there when Bosenyi came home in the late evening and stormed into the bedroom demanding to know why there was no dinner for him. She started to babble and cry and try and tell him what had happened. He listened to her and then shrugged his shoulders. She had had a dream. There was no snake in the room and anyway there hadn’t been any big snakes in the city for ages—she was behaving like a hysterical woman.

That was the first incident. There were others, all while Kilo was there. One day Naledi opened the lid of a pot in the kitchen. Inside was the largest scorpion she had ever seen, its tail arched. She threw the pot and lid across the kitchen, smashing cups and glasses along the way. Again she found she could not scream. She opened her mouth and nothing came out. Again Kilo walked in, stared at the pot, his eyes whirling, and then walked out. She looked down, and there was nothing there.

There were incidents involving chameleons, frogs, and even a monitor lizard that Naledi found in her car. Every time, Kilo would appear and the object of terror would disappear. She gave up telling Bosenyi about these incidents; he would just tell her she was imagining all this nonsense and tease her about going to see a witch doctor.

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