By Fungai Chigumbura, Zimbabwe:
I open the bedroom door to a scene that would be right at home in some horrible attempt at a horror movie. My assistant is in some form of leather get-up that defies explanation. He and his woman are standing close to the wall to my left, filming the silently sobbing little boy who is curled up in the opposite corner of the room. They are both initially unaware of my presence, so engrossed are they in their activities. It is only when the little boy turns a tear filled face towards my general direction that they realize I'm there. My assistant's girlfriend turns to me and smiles. My assistant, on the other hand seems less pleased to see me there. I have the cutting knife concealed behind my back as she beckons me to enter.
“Couldn't wait, could you?” She teases, “Don't worry; the real fun hasn't started yet”.
She nods her head, motioning her boyfriend towards the boy. As he makes his way across the room, he unfurls a very long, studded, black leather belt. His first lash misses, but the second one catches the child square across the shoulders. I expect to hear wailing, but aside from a whimper, the child makes no noise. He doesn't even make any movement to try and avoid the belt. Instead, he curls up into a tighter ball with the tears free falling down his face. My assistant apparently takes the boy's reticence as an affront on him and increases the force and frequency of his lashes. On the sixth lash, the child's fortitude gives way and he screams in agony. This draws a glee filled laugh from my assistant who increases the brutality of his blows.
I look beside me at his girlfriend. Her curves are sharp and defined, and her skin has a halogen like glow to it. She has a heinous sneer across her face that would be scary were it not so enthralling. I wonder what might have been, had I met her first, had she not been blackmailing me. Perhaps, in another life, she and I could have shared so much more. I reel myself back from that train of thought. She is the enemy, I mumble to myself as I slowly draw the kitchen knife to my side.
In one deft movement, I step in front of her, cup her beautiful mouth with my left hand and sink the knife deep into her heart. Shock spreads across her face and her eyes run over with pain. I draw the knife and plunge it deep into her abdomen several times. With each stab, I see her life exit her and by the time she crumples to the floor, there is almost no light in her eyes.
I regard her face a while longer, confident of my safety in the fact that the belt is still stinging the air and drawing more and more agony from the child with each lick. I lean close to her face, and our lips brush briefly as she tries to spurt something through the gargling blood in her throat.
“Shh… Rest and I will see you in the next life,” I whisper, as the last breath leaves her body.
In that moment, I realize that the room has gone abruptly silent. I stand and look at my assistant, who has a look of absolute terror in his eyes. He looks at me, then shifts his eyes to my knife and down to the corpse of his bride. Then a new emotion registers in his eyes, one of survival. He lunges for the door, but I cut him off with a timely shoulder tackle that sends him to the floor. He starts crawling backwards, towards the wall where the child is still sobbing, his eyes looking down. I advance on him, knife in hand.
“P-p-please don't kill me,” he chokes
“I'm not going to kill you,” I reply levelly, “You are.”
I take advantage of the confusion my statement causes him and grab the belt from his hand, straddle his torso and cinch it around his neck. He sputters for breath, but I grab the slack in the belt and tighten the leather noose around his throat. He writhes on the floor, and kicks out at the air. He gasps and chokes, until finally no more fight is left and he goes limp on the floor. Another thirty seconds of holding on, and I know he's gone. I waste no time in celebrating; I hoist him onto my shoulder in and throw the slack end over one of the roof planks and grab onto the end that flaps onto the other side. Painstakingly, I hoist his body up and only when the belt threatens to snap do I tie a knot, leaving his body suspended in mid air, several inches from the ground in a perfect hangman's repose. I search the house until I find a small wooden stool which I place on its side right under his feet.
I stand back and admire my work and it is only then that remember I am not alone. I look at the boy, but his eyes are downcast and staring at the floor. He is a loose end and though I don't like it, I cannot have any of those. Not after I just resolved these two problems. I sigh and begin moving towards him, not relishing what I must do. At the sound of my footsteps, he looks up at me with grey, filmy eyes that seem to be unfocused – at least not on anything in particular. It takes a second for me to recognize what is wrong: he's blind. I wave my hand in front of his face to confirm it, barely believing my fortune. He obviously senses my presence, but seems unafraid. I consider the situation: a blind witness cannot identify me, which makes him much less of a threat. Even if he heard everything that happened, I have a feeling he won't be too sorry to find out that these two are dead. And without any visuals, his assistance to the police will be minimal. It's a gamble, certainly, but the alternative is not appealing to me. As if sensing my thoughts the child speaks, for the first time:
“I won't tell anybody,” he squeaks.
I don't know if I can take that chance…
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