Not Thy Tears

Zachariah and the Boy receive an anonymous letter with piece-meal quotes; the first
one being:
“They will assist and strengthen as the light Lifts up the acorn to the oak
-tree's height..." then came the note: “That which the up reaching spirit
can achieve The grand and all creative forces know…”;
Who is the sender of these short notes? Their gaoled friend Jethro? But how? As the
two lonely rascals try to solve the magical notes; the old order seems to come back for
their lives. Is the communication a trap to expose their secreted dwelling place; or is it
divine intervention to make them know what they must do next? What looks like
innocent notes ends up revealing wonders they have never seen before.




Copyright: © Mazuba Mwiinga 2017

Disclaimer
In this work of fiction, the characters, places and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or they are used entirely factiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.


Published by ™DipThink Group
Lusaka, Zambia


Condition of Sale
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.







“The devil doesn't come
dressed in a red cape
and pointy horns.
He comes as everything
you've ever wished for ”

Tucker Max, Assholes Finish First










To my son
Mazuba Mwiinga Jr








1
There's a Good Book about goodness and how to be good and so forth, but there's no Evil Book about how to be evil and how to be bad. The Devil had no prophets to write his Ten Commandments, and no team of authors to write his biography. His case has gone completely by default. We know nothing about him but a lot of fairy stories from our parents and schoolmasters. He has no book from which we can learn the nature of evil in all its forms, with parables about evil people, proverbs about evil people, folklore about evil people. All we have is the living example of people who are least good, or our own intuition.”
          Zachariah read a passage from a queerly thick novel Casino Royale. He paused and looked at me with the most pitiful eyes I have ever seen. Since the capture of our dear comrade Jethro three months past, Zachariah had developed a high sense of insidious appetite for intricately written material. His latest addiction to Ian Fleming’s fictitious thoughts was becoming so worrisome to me. I couldn’t figure it out; how a man, once as cool and humble as a cucumber had all of a sudden become such a bookworm in a split of a second. Were the seeds of one Jethro the jerker, germinating in a man who was once aloof with life? A man who once thought thinking deeply about matters of society was unhealthy and brain damaging? For three months now, Casino Royale was his sixtieth book to read. Whether he understood everything he got from those thick and thin paperbacks, only his memory could tell.
          We sat in our new home located in the middle of a smelly scented site, ruminating over nothing but ourselves and the future of our land. With the crisis that exposed our land, we had no doubt the arrows of the devil were upon us.
          “Do you think they managed to break him?” Zachariah remarked as he put the book on his chest, his eyes gazing to the roof above lying on a three sitter sofa.
          “Improbable Zach; very improbable”, I responded with the deepest conviction I had ever harboured in my entire life, since setting foot on this globe they called earth. I looked at our bookshelf and I noticed the improperly arranged stacks of books on so many schools of thoughts. Two days ago he just read me a paragraph from a book Deeply Odd by Dean Kootz, saying, “Listen, child—if you’re at a party with a hundred people and one of them is the devil, he’ll be the last one you’d suspect.”
          “Where do you get these books?” I interrupted his thoughts. Zachariah turned his head from the roof to where I sat enjoying my roasted sweet potato slices. His eyes were so bloody shot like those of a parrot drunk with dobo.  The selection of his latest reads had much to be questioned, but what concern of mine was it to plod my nose in someone’s choice of acquiring knowledge? Was I the barometer to use in measuring the intensity of the humidity of his humanity? I felt like a traitor. In the first instance I had always wanted him to be like our brother Jethro – vocal, independent minded and sometimes foolhardy, and when he now became like one, I wondered why he went that way. Was I the one with a disease of indecision in my life; that I failed to see exactly what I needed to be, such that all I saw were holes in others?
          “Leave your life Boy and live your real life” Zachariah spoke, his voice mellow and relaxed. That was even more worrying. I knew that when a person who once lived with so much fear, and eventually became fearless, the enlightenment was easily felt, more than seen. His transformation was strong and warrior-some. I knew he didn’t just pick books from somewhere anyhow. By the look of the stacks in the bookshelf, there seemed to have been a smartly devised consistency in the kind of books he read. The man was seeking some understanding of something.
          “It’s not where I get the books that matters, but what the books contain. Only a demon would prevent a person from saving lives or fulfilling their life mission, because there is no reasoning with the devil. Stand with pride because your heart is filled with the goodness of helping others, while theirs is filled with helping themselves; you can check that with Shannon Alder”, Zachariah uttered, slowly and surely as if trying to make me absorb every word he spoke. I realised the battle of Mlatuse was just beginning. Indeed there was no fight won by immoral ruses, because every good soul that got eliminated in the process, still reincarnated into something stronger and fiercely unbreakable.
          “Are you upto something I needed to know Zach? You have kept me at bay all these months, imbued yourself with a strange love for reading. Since when did you get fond of reading by the way?” I asked, lifting myself from the sofa, my hands akimbo looking at him expecting a pitiful reply for me. But at least for three minutes, Zachariah went on reading silently from Casino Royale as if I never existed. I paced around the living room, gathering all my past memories in an effort to figure out one that may have told me my iniquities against him; but the more I drifted back in time, the brighter and happier the times I came to remember being together with the lost one.
          “If my memory serves me right Zach, there has never been a time we stayed together like this. We are daily becoming strangers in a strange land. Is this, what holiness is all about?” I saw him lift his eyes off the page and looked at me. I stopped walking and engaged his eyes too. They were flickering like some ripples on a still pond of fresh water. Zachariah had tremendously changed; for the better? I didn’t know for I could not define what goodness meant. Everything in the land had gone in a reset mode. Definitions had acquired new meanings, and meanings of things we knew of as unlawful had become legal; and there I was exchanging piercing glances with my old friend, yet I could not know the status of his change.
          “Bring me that book over there”, he instructed me to a lone book at the television stand, whose TV set had been almost off for three months, for none of us was so much interested in watching anything on it. I walked to the stand, picked the book and handed it to him.
          “Open it where there is a bookmark”, he advised. Loyally I did as asked and without asking what he wanted me to see, my eyes got attracted to the underlined sentence, ‘the Devil can quote scripture, after all. And monsters can say "please" and "thank you" same as any mother's son.’ I closed the page to look at the front cover; Karen Memory written by Elizabeth Bear. The word memory struck me with fear. I looked at him, asking myself whether or not I was staying with the devil himself. How did he know I had gone back in memory of our past times, for him to refer me to a book titled Karen Memory? Was he able to read my mind?
          “I am lost”, I managed to speak out.
“Ask Gandhi and he will tell you things Boy”, Zachariah responded.
“Gandhi is dead, Zach”, I strongly reminded him.
“Well I don’t know that; what I know is that sometimes even the dead can talk”. I knew what he meant.
“What did he say Zach?” I calmly asked.
Satan’s successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips
“Are you judging me? I have never hypocritically spoken the name of God in vain and you know that”.
“You tell me Boy. Peruse The Stand my friend, and Steven King will tell you that, ‘show me a man or woman alone and I’ll show you a saint. Give me two and they’ll fall in love. Give me three and they’ll invent the charming thing we call “society”. Give me four and they’ll build a pyramid. Give me five and they’ll make one an outcast. Give me six and they’ll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they’ll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.’ Grow your own seeds of the mind and you will yield fruits that have never been tasted before”, Zachariah seriously and madly spoke; looking at me like anytime soonest he would strike a blow on me and instantly die. He went back to his silent reading and I stood there swallowing sweet streams of saliva trying to cogitate the seemingly pernicious moments of our lives.
Then there was a slight tap on the door. Zachariah swung his chest up the resting arm side of the sofa. He looked at me with a contortedly questioning face. I had no explanation to make. At least from our full knowledge of existence, no one knew that, the place we stayed in ever existed. It seemed we were deeply wrong. We kept our stare at each other for a long while, waiting for another tap to sound. Our normal birth taught us that a knock should have sounded three times before you could answer it. That, it was normally said; was a clear proof that the one outside knocking was a human being like us; breathing the same air that gave life. Our upbringing emphasised that a knock that sounded once, was to be ignored, because normally such knocks were the actions of the devil himself, who took advantage of the unsuspectingly naïve victims to pounce on. So we waited to hear two more taps, but the more we waited the longer the time it took, and the more furiously our impatience built up.
I folded my arms across my chest like a child waiting for a slap from her mother after being caught fingers-deep in a pot of cooked beef. Zachariah aversely dropped his legs from the sofa to the floor and stood on his feet; his left arm akimbo, the other one stretched downwards holding the book he was reading. The living room was so silent that I could hear my breath. The wind outside too seemed to have obeyed the strange environment. It suddenly went deadly quiet, so much that we could hear even the sound of the tiniest insect like a termite chewing grass in the lawn outside.
We stood there staring at each other like first time lovers trying to peal the beans of their sexual innocence. As was our upbringing; such times of indecisions and dilemmas, it was so imperative that we never made any slight noise that may have suggested human habitation inside for any intruder outside. So we stood there silently, using both our ears and our minds to detect any intrusion that may have been there. But for forty minutes nothing rang a bell to our minds to be able to make sensible guesses. Then doubts started streaming in our minds. Maybe it was our minds playing tricks on us. But could it have been the fooling from the mind when we both heard the tap on the door. Could it have been a grasshopper that jumped on it before flying away? Or a Woodpecker that perched on it and realised it wasn’t a mere tree but a door? Then Zachariah made a movement towards me as cautiously possible as he could master his steps. He stopped right at my nose, trying by all his naughty efforts to control his breathless sighs. Without saying a word he stalked past me heading to the door, but I immediately clutched his left hand with my right arm. He stopped and looked at me over his shoulder without turning his body. We sized each other up with the battle of fighting stares, and slowly he slid his hand off my grip.
“Ignorance and fear can transform a live electric wire into an engine of destruction and death”, Zachariah whispered as I let go of his hand. Like a beast energised by the confidence of green pastures in a territory of weaker preys, he all of a sudden casually walked to the door, opened it and slightly jerked back gazing at his feet. I felt a tremor of internal surge rush round the inside of my bowels. I looked at him in an effort to try to calculate the mathematics of guess work as to what might have been his shock. He beckoned me without looking back. The fact that he didn’t want to say anything, clearly told me that he still revered silence at that moment despite his foolhardy decision of carelessly walking to the door against my disapproval; I tip-toed to where he stood and stopped just behind his buttocks struggling to get a glimpse of what he was looking at. He slightly shifted his body to the door side to give me a small space to see what was there. I swallowed a mouthful of saliva that made so much noise as it slowly pranced down my gullet, before I gave out a deep sigh of insecurity. We couldn’t do some more staring at each other there at the entrance, lest someone was watching from an impregnable position. I swiftly picked up the envelope lying on the floor addressed to both of us, and quickly but cautiously closed and locked the door behind us.
“What’s the meaning of this?” Zachariah asked as we sat on the sofa.
“There is only one way of knowing”, I remarked holding the envelope in my hands unsurely. 
“Do it then”, Zachariah, sounding so impatient commanded, looking at the white envelope with dire suspicion.
“What if it contains poison powder?” I reasonably asked.
“There is only one way of knowing”, he mockingly stated. I looked at him and saw that he was damn serious.
“You can’t be serious Zach!” I chided.
“Why can’t I …?” he calmly asked, bending over to me, with crystallite eyes.
“I don’t want to die Zach. So are you” I told him.
“Who told you?”
“Who told me, what?”
“That I don’t want to die?” he asked. I looked at him with a puzzled mind. I couldn’t understand him any longer. The brother man from his own mother wherever she was, no longer sang my song. Whatever demon had possessed him had all its family tree in him. I could not understand how a man just three months ago was as timid as a rat, could turn 360 degrees into being of a wild beast that never saw danger lurking over any other situation.
“When you drive the belief in disease from your subconscious mind, you will drive away the pain and all the other symptoms with it”, he calmly with a suppressed smile on his face said. There was no doubt, his books had messed him up. If books could change a man as weak as him into a courageous and composed soul, then there was magical mystery in books, I told myself.
“Well, you better open it yourself then”, I challenged him handing him the envelope, which he gladly accepted.
“Robert Collier once said that, ‘the only reason that people succumb to sickness or disease or injury is because you tell them to”, Zachariah commented looking into my eyes.
“How is that so Zach?”
“We don’t have time. Let’s put that for another day; but Collier tells us that men have taken the most deadly poison without harm. Others have fallen from great heights without injury. Others have gone through fire and flood and pestilence without a scratch to show. And what these men have done once, anyone can do them again” he said and looked at the envelope with a beautiful smile I have ever seen on his face in a long time. He behaved like weather; very unpredictable. He opened the envelope and fished out a white plain paper; and written on it, was a neat and carefree handwriting.
“It looks like a letter” he announced.
“What is it saying?” I impatiently asked.

Surprise comes only to those who live their lives expecting nothing more than their rigidity and stagnation. For the revolver, life is never a hiding place for forces outside our aura. We all choose to die, whether we are prayer warriors or we are prayer worriers. We choose to die. Listen:  

“...They will assist and strengthen as the light
Lifts up the acorn to the oak-tree's height..."

Chao…

“Is that so?” I asked, my heart racing profusely.
“That’s it my friend”, Zachariah responded, his face appearing brooding. We kept quiet for a while, wondering what could have been behind the letter.
“The Devil dances”, Zachariah remarked rather absent minded.
“I hope you are not accusing the devil of being behind this Zach?” I chipped in.
“Who knows we are here? In this house planted in the middle of nowhere? And if this letter means well as it sounds, why would the deliverer not want to be seen?” Zachariah questioned.
“It could have been Jethro. This letter sounds just like him. I think he is sending us a coded message” with a convinced mind, I assertively put it across. But Zachariah was nonchalant about it.
“There is no way Jethro could have written this letter Boy. In the first place, how will he even know we are here? And if he knew we are here and he is out of the gallows, why not come; knock, wait for our response and then get in. Why would he tap, drop the letter and leave?”
“Don’t speak as if you don’t know Jethro, Zach. Do you remember how we met him? Don’t you?”
“What’s your point Boy?”
“What if his arrest was all staged?”
“That’s silly”
“Think about it Zachariah. This is a guy who appears from nowhere, he is so intelligent, knows almost everything, he owns safe havens everywhere, is always ahead of the security wing and all of a sudden he gets caught; and for no reasons? If there was a case against him, why didn’t they come after us too? They knew we were always together: the three of us. Why would they target him alone? He has never even appeared in court”
“You may be right, but if he was just using us, what could have been his mission? He never was at any point on their side. You know that”.
“Remember deception is master to physical strength? He often told us so”
“Suppose you are right, why would he write us then, in such a queer manner, after three months of his capture?” Zachariah asked.
“To warn us I guess. Or to tell us to do something that is not being done”, I suggested.
“Warning us against what? Or doing what Boy? This is the work of the devil”, Zachariah adamantly spoke as he threw his back to the sofa.
“There is only one way to know Zach” I suggested. He looked at me with petrified eyes.
“Don’t tell me you want us to start inquiring which gallows he may be?”
“No. What if he is not even in the gallows?”
“What then do you want to do?”
“What I want US, Zach. Not ME, to do?” I pointed at the letter he was holding.
“Damn! Boy. Don’t tell me you want us to……”
“There is no better way to spend time in this house than doing justice to time itself Zach”, I enthusiastically interrupted him as I stood up and walked to the kitchen to come back with two bottles of lagers that I placed on the small table in front of us and asked him to place the letter on the table as well.
Surprise comes only to those who live their lives expecting nothing more than their rigidity and stagnation”, Zachariah loudly read out the first sentence of the letter, his face so brightly beaming with callous momentum.
“Is it making some sense to your thoughts?” I asked trying to figure out why he was smiling so broadly.
“The key word in this sentence is ‘surprise’” he stated looking at the piece of paper with a titter of scorn at the corner of his lips.
“What of ‘rigidity and stagnation’?” I suggested.
“If it’s a warning as you think it is, then ‘surprise’ is the key word. Is there someone trying to ambush us? Or is it that the letter is just a mere hoax surprise to see how foolish we are?” Zachariah fretted. I took the letter and silently went through its contents again. The deep set of its reasoning appeared more illuminating than before. There was no way the piece of paper could have been a hoax just to cower us into jitters of mute boiling rascals. Inside me, grew a mixture of confusion and confessions of sins yet to be done. Why would one want to scare us, as Zachariah thought the note was a scare-crow?
“If ‘surprise’ is the key word Zach, then someone is asking us to stop being rigid and stagnant”, I contemplated. Zachariah peered at me with a characterless face. Whatever there was in his mind was something not encouraging listening to; at least in connection with the mystical letter. 
“I always tell you that in books lie the mysteries of life ever unknown to the most intelligent man who likes watching movies”, Zachariah reprimanded me.
“I don’t understand Zach”
“Eskify said, ‘unless you’re an elderly person or citizen of a third world nation, letter writing is dead. Instant messaging is just easier. But the electronic footprint compensates for a lot too. Without it, many of history’s strangest and mysterious events involve letters’”.
“I know who Eskify is”
“Of course you must know. Every seeker knows Eskify unless his searching is based on snobbishness and self-aggrandisement”.
“Now, tell me more about Eskify?”
“Have you ever heard of The Zinoviev Letter?” Zachariah asked. I swallowed a bit saliva to be sure I said the right thing. Zachariah was becoming unbecomingly weird with the level of his knowledge in almost everything. What I didn’t know to that point was that he had this nag about letters. That mystified me.
“In 1924 there was an important British election” he begun talking without waiting for my reply to his earlier question. I knew he realised how ignorant I was to the matter at hand.
“The socialist labour party were in power for the first time ever. But in this election the right wing conservative party won by a landslide. Four days before the election the Daily Mail published a mysterious letter. The letter was supposedly written by Soviet officials and implicated the labour party in a plot to overthrow Britain’s political system, and introduce full blown communism. The letter seemed so authentic that voters swung towards the conservatives”. My mind begun to reel; I could picture myself seated before the man I knew almost all my life, yet with so much little knowledge about what he knew about letters and alien history. He looked at me with so much serious a face as if telling me that, ‘you unlearned fool, just shut up and listen’. And like an obedient dog salivating for a piece of the master’s bone, I slightly nodded and he continued talking with the most valour and confidence I had ever seen in him.
“The letter was leaked to the press after MI5 and the government decided to keep it secret. But some believe the letter was deliberately leaked by the establishment as they knew it would guarantee defeat for labour in the election. The origin of the letter is also unknown. It was said to have been written by Zinoviev, a leading Soviet official. At the time Anglo-Soviet relations weren’t great, with the Bolshevik’s being seen as demons”. There he went again talking about the devil and his angels. Was he becoming a recruit?
“But Zinoviev denied writing it and the authenticity of the described plot. He said it was a fake. And then, shortly after the election, it became clear MI5 believed the letter was a fake. Most historians today believe the letter was forged to guarantee a conservative election. In those days no one knew how far communist revolutions would spread. MI5 would have been scared of violent revolt. So that would explain the forgery. But some historians still believe the letter to be genuine and say if it were not for its interception; capitalism may have been overthrown in Britain”.
We both kept silent thereafter. Something sensible beamed into my memory. Such a story was in fact not aptly new to students of medieval history. I recalled having read, years back in high school a story about the ‘Society Hill Treasure Map’. The only difference was that the map in question that still existed in the custody of Pennsylvania’s historical society was a mysterious letter, written in Jamaica 300 years ago.
I remembered reading that the letter told of a fortune of Spanish gold and currency. It gave directions to where a large chest containing the wealth was located. The letter ended with the request that the reader burnt it immediately as to make sure no one else learned of the treasure.
“This reminds me of the Society Hill Treasure Map”, I commented, and Zachariah giggled.
“Unfortunately that letter was never destroyed”, I remarked, feeling there was something new to talk about.
“It simply means something went wrong” Zachariah replied. “But that gave hope to a local treasure hunter who thought it meant the treasure was never discovered. He also thought he knew where the treasure was located. He claimed the letter lead to Philadelphia’s Society hill neighbourhood, where the treasure may have been buried” Zachariah explained.
“But it’s unclear how genuine the letter was, it’s origin, or how it ended up in Pennsylvania” I added wondering.
“Just like our letter here; cony and evil maybe” he remarked sounding rather doubtful. Something seemed to have been swirling his thoughts. I didn’t know what to say. The two examples of mysterious notes put me off guard, yet of that letter before us never felt ominous. There was something so good about it, only if I could discover what it was and convince him that we needed to focus on the goodness and forget about what may have been the other side of things.
For the revolver, life is never a hiding place for forces outside our aura”, I read out from the letter. I could feel my lungs arching as air fought for space to settle down. It seemed my chest was as tiny as my brain; probably too tiny to combat the size of combustion that was rustling inside.
Revolver and aura are the key words there Boy”, Zachariah remarked sounding so unhappy about it. I didn’t like the tone of his voice. One thing that came to my mind was a gun and a feeling. How the two could have been connected as to mean revolver and aura, so that they made as much sense in that sentence as it could have been understood easily, was getting so painfully frustrating than I saw it at face value before. It was deeper than hell.





2
The morning breeze from the open window of the eastern side of our sitting room was so cooling and refreshing. I was feeling so energetic and with a high IQ as I walked into the living room, a cup of tea in my right hand. I couldn’t understand why the habit of drinking tea had suddenly become a pattern of my life style. Coffee had been my aficionado since the time I became of age enough, to experiment on imbibing alcoholic fluids of any calling. The morning that would come with a bitter and hurtful hangover would be relieved off with a cup of black coffee with no milk. But precipitously as age raised its status on my dwelling, the devil too appeared in details. It sweet-talked me into the aroma of tea bags, unconsciously making me behaving more so like people from the lift valley who grew so much coffee but fed so little on it and preferred so much of tea. I went round our smartly dressed living room, which was not much of it any way and drew down the curtains that allowed the windows letting in so much light inside.
“Are you sure that’s necessary?” A voice bellowed on the other side of the room, making me jerk up with so much unexpected fright. Zachariah stood there by the dining room entrance leaning against the door frame examining me as I opened the dull coloured curtains. I was too jovial to answer him, so I summoned my beleaguered strength and continued to rearrange our picture frames and curios placed on different places in the living room whistling as I walked about. For the first time in three months, I discovered that the picture frames had photos of Jethro with Mufasazi Mudenge the man who showed the land how power strengthened the soul. In the pictures the two either posed or were having a meal or just walking on a pavement. And that rang a strange bell down my spine cord. I stood at one of the picture frames and looked at the photo inside. I didn’t know whether it was the morning reverie of last night’s sleep, or what I was presumably seeing was rightly so. I pulled down the picture frame and held it in my hands, my heart already knocking hard on the chambers of my chest.
“Do you now believe me that the letter is not from a living soul?” Zachariah commented. I could hear his footsteps approaching me from behind. He was always ahead now. It was like the spirit of our comrade Jethro had reincarnated in him. I guessed he already had seen what I was peering at. Behind the postures of Jethro and Mufasazi on the photo stood a figure I could not humanly recognise. But by the look of my mind, the figure appeared to have been watching the people on the photo from a hidden perspective.
“It was not supposed to be there”, I heard myself commenting, as I turned to face Zachariah who stood so close to me. His eyes were shimmering with sweat. He looked tired and sleepless.
“No. It thought it won’t be seen on the photo”, Zachariah responded with so much certainty in his tone. I understood his appearance; it was still morning.
“There is no way someone can stand in front of a camera and think it won’t capture him. Whoever stood there knew exactly what he was doing”, I differed in thought with him.
“Look at the photo again Boy. Where was it taken?” It was then that I rewound my mental camera. The shock of my eyes sent a pulling wave of nominal paralysis on the side on my ribs. The photo was taken at Mufasazi’s home on the night before he was nabbed. The figure showing behind was actually a reflection on the mirror build on the wall in Mufasazi’s living room where they posed for a photo.
“But why is the photographer not seen in the reflection, if we are able to see this mysterious figure that was standing apparently behind the photographer?” I asked, my face trying to fake a normal form.
“You were there in the living room that night Boy” Zachariah reminded me.
“Yes I was there Zach”.
“Who else was there apart from Mufasazi, Jethro, You and me?” I couldn’t believe what Zachariah was bringing on my head. The load was getting heavier to comprehend. If there was no-one else that night, how else would have the photo been taken? I looked at Jethro with furiously scared eyes.
“It can’t be Zach” I muttered as I walked to the seats. I needed to put my bottom down and use my mental calculus to add one and one in order to find the one behind the two pictures on the photo. Zachariah joined me, looking so unworried and unruffled.
“What’s beating you Boy?”
“Who took the photo Zach? And why didn’t his image reflect in the mirror as well since him too was facing the mirror on the wall” I needed to know.
Miro Miro on the wall, who is the fairest of them all” Zachariah sang out. I quickly reminded him that we were staring on a matter that needed serious consideration.
“The only difference between you and me Boy is that you worry for the wrong things with all the wrong reasons”
“Meaning…?”
“You want to know the person who took the photo. That’s petty isn’t it? Why don’t you worry about how these picture frames came into this house?” Zachariah damply challenged me. I felt like I would let loose, my urinary canal. I could feel my splinter muscles too losing the most revered strength. Thank my heavens; I had not eaten breakfast yet.
“We never came with these picture frames that are on the wall Boy. Not until yesterday, our wall has been as cleanly vacant as the face of an egg” Zachariah explained in short but deep details. And it was then that things began to appear muddled up about the letter we had no knowledge of the sender.
“Have you read about the Sprengel Letters?” he asked. And I looked up to where he sat.
“Don’t take me there again Zach”, I confusedly refused going into another rectangular conversation of handwriting communication.
“Golden Dawn if you have heard about it my friend isn’t just a Greek political movement. It’s also the name of a secret occult society who engaged in black magic rituals towards the end of the 19th century. They experimented with all kinds of spells and supposedly legendary objects. One of the sources of their beliefs was a series of letters from a German woman called Anna Sprengel” Zachariah lectured me. And I had so much little options from which to make decisions on. All what was so necessarily useful was to listen and try to understand his topsy-turvy thoughts for me to find loopholes on which to defend the logical inclining of life.
“The letters contained various numinous claims which raised so many questions. But one of the most important questions was whether she even existed. She was described as a mysterious and worldly countess – daughter of the king of Bavaria. It seems that she wasn’t a real person though. She was most likely invented by Golden Dawn members to give their wacky ideas some legitimacy. So the letters were probably just false”
“But still, maybe this wise esoteric countess did exist and shared her knowledge of magic” I countered.
“Either way it’s a great story anyway” Zachariah blushed my thought as if he was actually in my support.
The whole episode was like the famous or was it infamous story of the Ripper Letters. Those who knew the politics of blood and coercion of that time could recall the Dear Boss letters, presumably written by one Jack the Ripper. A story was told that while investigating Jack the Ripper, police received hundreds of letters; some of them claiming to have been from the ripper himself. And although most were dismissed as fake, others were carefully looked at and still in later days, historians wondered if any of them genuinely were from the Ripper. There was however two letters and a postcard in particular that were said to have been genuine: The “From Hell’ letter that was delivered along with half a human kidney. It said he ate the other half after killing the woman it belonged to. The letter was addressed to Geroge Lusk, head of the neighbourhood watch. The obvious question was: if not from the ripper how could they have explained the kidney, and why was only half of it sent?
The ‘Dear Boss’ letter, openly taunted investigators; it was full of mockery for the police:
“I am down on whores and I shan’t quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now?”
It went on to be signed:
 “Yours truly, Jack the Ripper.”
In the letter the writer had promised to cut the ears off his next victim. So when the body of Catherine Eddowes was found with an earlobe removed, police took the letter very seriously. They made it public, hoping someone would recognize the handwriting. But that led to nothing.
I looked at our short letter before us, my mind flying back to the days of Black Mamba mind games, and made me to think we were in the same era, though the tactics revised. What could the writer have been alluding to by saying; “We all choose to die, whether we are prayer warriors or we are prayer worriers. We choose to die”. It was so head splitting and much more confusing. I tried to relate the picture frames on the wall, and the one in my hands to this sentence, but every time I would think I was almost there, the last connecting string of thought would elude my right line of thought.
“When you lose your way” Zachariah spoke, “What do you do?”
“You get back to where you started from”, I replied, remembering Jethro’s advice whenever we used to get stack in our puzzle passage.
“Where do we start from then?” I asked, greatly incomprehensible of what he might have suggested.
“Stay still and mentally, travel back to the living room in Mufasazi’s house. Get as much information as you can master. Somewhere in the journey you might find the answer” Zachariah advised.
And for the next thirty minutes or so, we went silent; both of us imbued in the mirages of mental hocus-pocus in our efforts to recollect as much data as we could use in that time of need. The mental picture vividly appeared before me on that night when the photo in the frame was supposed to have been shot. I moved my memory from the tiny piece and corner of the room to the other in search of the photographer, but all I could see were the four of us in the room. I stilled my mind for a second and silently breathed out a gush of friendly air before I went back to my mental quest. This time I started from the entrance at the gate, went round the house, to the night gathering in the lobby and looked at each reporter’s face who came there to cover the night press briefing; no-one matched the appearance of that image in the picture. Could someone have had hidden in the lounge waiting for the opportune time to come? But why didn’t we see him take the picture? And in no time did Jethro and Mufasazi stand in any posing manner during that night visitation. How then was that picture in the frame taken that way: Jethro and Mufasazi standing side by side facing the photo shooter? Was it the art of photo-shop?
Suddenly a wasp of reminiscence, sprout out of the deep seat of recollection. I was the last person on that night to ask Mufasazi a question:   
“So are you telling us that you have proof on this matter?” I had fearfully asked, my heart totting profusely against my chest.
“Where I come from there is a saying that; he, who refuses to come when called to appear before the wise men to answer questions on something, then knows something that he doesnt want people to know. Come tomorrow after the public meeting and I will show you what we have on this matter. Its very overwhelming, Mufasazi had unequivocally stated, looking at me with a responsive and sociable smile that had cooled my heart and left me wondering and anxious to see that proof he was unable to avail during his supplication.
And that was the last but one moment we had ever seen and heard of him, for the following day, he was nabbed and caged; gone with the truth of his heart that he was supposed to avail to us later on the day of arrest.
          “It can’t be the devil’s work”, I announced as I opened my eyes.
          “Have you gotten the answer?” Zachariah calmly asked.
          “I think someone is trying to play tricks on us. That night Mufasazi promised to tell us the proof he had….”
          “But he never because someone locked him up”, Zachariah interrupted me.
          “Yes” I happily replied. “And whoever was responsible for that, overheard our conversation that night”.
          “So these pictures are meant to threaten us?” Zachariah queried in a deep mellow tone.
          “Exactly Zach”
          “Just like the Zinoview letter gimmicks?” I didn’t want to go that line, but the letter in mention now made a lot of gibberish sense.
          “Do you know that even the devil can behave like a man of flesh?” Zachariah pushed his idea further. Surely I knew, but I didn’t want to admit my educated senses to that kind of crap.
          “But how do we choose to die?”
          “You tell me Boy”, Zachariah intimated. It was so callous to me, for someone to suggest that all those who died, decided so. The natural gist of creation was to live, and have life to the fullest; reason everyone felt indebted to value life so much that they would not decide to die. Even traditional folklore from my homeland looked at someone who took his life as having had done so due to the possession of a demon, not that he decided in his own normal sense to die. But the note before us said, ‘we all choose to die, whether we are prayer warriors or we are prayer worriers’, how cunning! I went round and round the mirages of my grey matter, searching for answers that seemed to have hidden somewhere in the skull. Yet the more I plodded my medulla, the distant and sneaky the answers appeared to be.
          “What’s the distinction between a prayer warrior and a prayer worrier?” Zachariah asked as if reading my mind. I snappily looked at him, but quickly reversed back to my mental problems. I knew a warrior was a fighter; a modern day soldier. A worrier was a neurotic, a pessimist; an irrational and fearful person. And the note suggested, both of such people chose to die, meaning they weren’t supposed to die if they chose so.
          “Choice is the key word Zach”, I blurted out. And he laughed queerly. It wasn’t amusing to say the least. On the other hand it felt so disturbing and worrisome that a person who all this time was as serious as a horse, suddenly felt amused over something that was mundane.
          “How is ‘choice’ the key word in the letter?” he asked, sitting upright as he peered into my eyes.
          “Literary speaking the sentence is just telling us that, regardless of who we are in life we choose the result of our being”, I pronounced my trending thought.
          “I feel we are missing the point. There is something we are not connecting right. Every gift is wrapped in an attractive cover”, Zachariah replied, his face expressing a deep-thinking decoration. I realised he was not taking the matter lightly.
          “And what could be the meaning of that?”
          “First paragraph is less important to us in this note. It’s just a cover to distract us from the real gift that we need to be looking at”. I read the note again, but I couldn’t agree with him. How else could the first two sentences of the note be useless, when they contained the most outstanding message in the note?
          “That word ‘Listen’ is the beacon to the note. It’s asking us where to spend our energies on”. I now strongly couldn’t agree with him less. I grabbed the note and skimmed through it:
Surprise comes only to those who live their lives expecting nothing more than their rigidity and stagnation. For the revolver, life is never a hiding place for forces outside our aura. We all choose to die, whether we are prayer warriors or we are prayer worriers. We choose to die. Listen: 

“...They will assist and strengthen as the light
Lifts up the acorn to the oak-tree's height..."

Chao…
          “The quoted words in the note are our problem” Zachariah announced. And I was agape with overwhelming siding. The puzzle, I rallied along was in the quote and we had to find what it was all about.
          “We can’t find the answer in this house Zach”.
          “I know, and that’s why this letter was sent to us”, he remarked. I was perplexed until he added, “They want us to reappear, so they could find an excuse to rub us off”. He then majestically stood up, and walked to the wall bookshelf where was placed a CD music system. He rummaged through a pile of CDs and after a few minutes decided on one of them and pulled the cover from the pile and opened it. He removed the compact disc, switched on the CD player, opened the CD loader and placed the compact disc. Momentarily, a nagging mellow tone came out of the hoofer and tweeters of the sound speakers. I couldn’t ignore the lyrics of the music that filtered through the room. I stopped what I was doing: wandering thoughts; and paid attention to the magical message. It was touchy and soul feeling.   
          “Who is that?” I asked, a rim of smile cycling my mouth. Zachariah looked at the CD cover and shrugged his shoulders, like the choice of the CD was a mere happenstance.
          “Johnny R Cash, The Man Comes Around”, he reluctantly replied. The name never rang a bell, but the musical lyrics sounded so familiar: 

"And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder
One of the four beasts saying,
'Come and see.' and I saw, and behold a white horse"

There's a man goin' 'round takin' names
And he decides who to free and who to blame
Everybody won't be treated all the same
There'll be a golden ladder reachin' down
When the man comes around

The hairs on your arm will stand up
At the terror in each sip and in each sup
Will you partake of that last offered cup
Or disappear into the potter's ground?
When the man comes around

Hear the trumpets hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singin'
Multitudes are marchin' to the big kettledrum
Voices callin', voices cryin'
Some are born and some are dyin'
It's alpha and omega's kingdom come
And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree
The virgins are all trimming their wicks
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree
It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks

Till armageddon no shalam, no shalom
Then the father hen will call his chickens home
The wise man will bow down before the throne
And at his feet they'll cast their golden crowns
When the man comes around

Whoever is unjust let him be unjust still
Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still
Whoever is filthy let him be filthy still
Listen to the words long written down
When the man comes around

Hear the trumpets hear the pipers
One hundred million angels singin'
Multitudes are marchin' to the big kettledrum
Voices callin', voices cryin'
Some are born and some are dyin'
It's alpha and omega's kingdom come
And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree
The virgins are all trimming their wicks
The whirlwind is in the thorn trees
It's hard for thee to kick against the prick
In measured hundredweight and penny pound
When the man comes around

"And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked, and behold a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him"
We listened to the song in deep silence. I knew from experience and lessons of the past that nothing happened by chance. The song was according to me, divine intervention. I knew deep down the aorta of my bodily cells that the choices we made in life determined our destiny, rather than the chances we took on the way to our destination. The ineptness of those, whom we thought were our shepherds, was greatly and amazingly and annoyingly so huge. We wondered where they had gone to, at a time when the land of our forefathers needed them. The fear that encroached into every tiny nerve of our residents was like a scotching heat of the sun in a desert. Someone needed to stand up and show his head to the gods of life and liberty; crying out to the eastern winds asking for a breeze that should have beckoned the western monsoons to bring rain that could quench our dry throats. Was it the message in the knock? I had heard of religious pedagogical that, ‘many were called but few were chosen’. My heart was blistering with horns of indecisions. Were we the chosen buds? The petals of roses stack to stalks full with thorns?
          “Why us?” I thought out loudly.
          “Who else did you expect to be in for it as a replacement?” Zachariah casually asked; and it was then that I realised I exposed my mental quagmires. Who else indeed, did I want to fight for me? Was it the reasons the lot of us were such a rot? Because we all expected someone to come to our aid; waging wars in which we were supposed to be in the battle front ourselves? Yet we decided to be bystanders, who stood on the fence waiting for the crumbles that would be left after the storm was over? The sockets of my eyes began to itch. Beyond the river of Makoye, went the fire flies of thoughts that I had never before seen beaming the path alight. I smelt gun powder.    
 “I once asked him why he smoked the world's most expensive cigarette, and he told me it was because he was a man of wealth and taste, at least according to Mick Jagger” Zachariah commented. I knew he too was swimming on the rivers of mindedness. His face always beamed with the whiteness of a corpse whenever he was so much deep into matters that were beyond his own comprehension.
“Tell me more”, I asked him, yet still minding my own business.
“That’s from The Devil Dances” he replied uncaringly. I didn’t need to strike any more debate that may have brought horrors of spikes that could have stabbed my skin and bled my soul. Time for devils and demons wasn’t any longer titillating my brains. But I still knew in due course the man with a mirror in the eyes would show up again and take me back to the reflections of the moments.
“This land has its own rules; bad rules and good rules”, Zachariah pronounced, sounding as a matter of an after-thought. I had resigned from the interludes of questioning his capillaries of thoughts, for doing so had never brought any satisfaction to my curiosity let alone more open gullies begging for filling-up.
“And you know, just as I do that, any nation has such” I tried to make the whole chat look objective.
“Rightly so, but the evil that men do lies in the pain they carry. To relieve themselves of those burning embers of pain, they hate men and women simply because their worst was being reflected in them”, Zachariah spoke. He was deep. I tried for a moment to examine his words, but my rumbling pot of mind was so much disorganised to harvest the logic of his thinking that I found his utterances meaningless. What was the use anyway, for one to ponder over something they could not easily put together? I hated people who always liked to complicate things when they could have chosen to be simple and straight forward. Why should one talk in the language beyond the normal semantics of humanity; to sound special or boast that they knew better? What was a message anyway if it could not be understood by those it intended to inform? But I knew; that’s how our world had come to. Everyone wanted to appear superfluous so as to gain advantage over others, even in areas that they knew nothing about, and that planted a seed of estrangement among the masses.
“Such people are always the sources of all that is bad in others. By corrupting them, was their own pain extinguished and their existence made more endurable, yet they have no greatness, either grace of which humanity is capable of surviving happily”, Zachariah continued, as if talking to himself. I guessed he realised that I was in my own journey trying to transform the unbearable likeliness of how things seemed to be, into what they were supposed to be.  
Those few who still had the balls to stand on the roof and sounded the horn, often times received rebuff from the same people they stood for. It couldn’t make sense to me, seeing the most desperate of the people; starving and surviving by the grace of the strength of their mind, condemn and rebuke the same people who made them feel still being loved and cared for. How would one beg for food from a neighbour whom he later rebuked for standing up for his suffering? Was it so normal and allowed? Or maybe the beggars had their memory replaced with robotic dry cells. From the time our brother Jethro was taken away from us, a huge din of jubilation came from those who beseeched for a better life from the same people whom our brother Jethro questioned their lip service to them.
“Why would a slave praise his master for the mistreatment and not his fellow slave who tries to show him a pigeon hole on which to escape?” I asked; not knowing really how that thought came about.
“During slave trade that question would have cost you a death sentence”, Zachariah replied, not minding to look at me.
“Why?”
“A pigeon hole is worse than living a hell of a life”, Zachariah answered. It was philosophical, or was it theological?
“Your question Boy can only be reflected on by those who dare detach themselves from their blood relations” he continued.
“I am trying to follow you”, I said.
“It takes only twenty-eight days to create a habit. This land believes in kinfolk. It thinks family first before nation. A man would rather suffer with his family, than escape through a pigeon hole to serve the whole land. It has become an established pattern that no sane resident would choose an escape to suffering in the presence of his family”, he explained. “Yet they forget that when they are born, they come out as individuals, and when they die they go without their families. They die leaving the atrocities of the land to the same people they tried to protect them from” Zachariah added. He was breathing fire.
“Liberty from aliens was acquired because those who fought for it looked for posterity’s joys and not their own happiness. Men went into battles while their wives cooked food for them so that they would have more strength to fight. These wives did not cry for their men, urging them to stay home and look after their families, no; they rather marched to the imperial headquarters and rebuked the imperial heads to give them what belonged to them; liberty, while their men were busy fighting in the streets and in the bush”, Zachariah emotionally sparked out his greatness.
“But today, every man is a coward and every wife is egoistic. The land of their forefathers is treated like a loo, where every filth-filled belly goes in and relieves itself and comes back on the sofa and sits watching alien Tv. Those with little guts of passion left for their land get soaked into tragic cries from their women, ‘if you love me stay home and look after us’. And this has ended up making the land being evaded by liquor-filled demons”.
I thought he had a point to drive home on. If one loved his family, would he lose his balls and chose suffering so as to protect his family from danger, or would he go through the pigeon-hole and fight for better conditions so that when he is gone to the other side his family would remain in the fruits of the joys he brought about? Indeed silence I came to agree was actually violence. Shedding tears, while doing nothing was a sheer waste of emotions. Then a ray of ingeniousness rippled through me. I looked at the note we received and read the quote again:  
“...They will assist and strengthen as the light
Lifts up the acorn to the oak-tree's height..."

Zachariah curiously looked at me as I silently murmured to myself.
“Anything helpful?” he asked interestedly.
“The three dots before and after the quote means there must be something written before and after the quoted passage” I confidently remarked. Zachariah reached for the note and went through it as well. The corners of his lips curved a slight smile. I knew he agreed with me.
“So this is not a complete quote; it’s part of a passage”, he said holding the note in his right hand as he gazed in the air.
“That’s the real letter sent to us from which we need to get the message”, I added.
“I wouldn’t say that” he recanted. I was spooked. He seemed to have had agreed with me earlier on, but there he was repudiating my thought. Was he suffering from a superiority complex?
“I don’t understand” I lamely inquired.
“Things that are too good to be true, needs a deeper eye to see what is beneath the face of it” he explained.
“But sometimes answers are hidden on ordinary things that can be seen even by an ordinary eye”, I replied. My nose was getting blocked. My eyes itching even more. I knew it was because my heart was running furiously fast. I seemed to have disliked the turn of events and that changed the metabolism of my internal physiology. The drama with Zachariah was getting nervously on my neck; or maybe I was just too anxious to compete with his sudden change of sharpness.
Then Zachariah stood up and walked to his bedroom. Suddenly my itching nostrils got worse and my vision unexpectedly went black. For a few seconds I could not see anything, neither could I feel a thing. All what appeared were bright stars in the blanket of darkness. When I came back from whatever world I was, I found myself lying on the floor, face down, Zachariah shouting to me, his nose wrapped over by a wet cloth. The back of my neck was wet as well as a wet piece of cloth he had put on me dripped water on me. With panic he dragged me to his bedroom and closed the door once inside. He brought a basin of water and told me to wash my face.
“Drink some. Here, take”, he offered me a glass of water, which I hurriedly grabbed from his hands and gulped the contents unhesitant.
“Is it what I am thinking about?” I asked, feeling more relieved and aware of what was going on.
“Yes. Someone sprayed some odourless intoxicating gas in the living room”, Zachariah hushed up.
“Is it fatal?”
“I don’t think so. We would have passed out a while ago. I think it just weakens someone” he explained and my mind instantly went to the incidence in my bedroom three months ago. I had woken  up  from  slumber  that  morning  with  a  heavy-head.  I had been able to feel the tunes of music in my head playing like I had still been in the pub.  The bedroom  was  bright with  light  from  the window  and  I  had known  without  question  that  I  had been late  for  work.  I had lazily stretched my hand to the bedside table trying to grab my mobile phone as it had always been my tradition, but my hand had landed on a glass cup. I had moved my hand all-round the table but I had not been able to feel anything that had resembled a figure of a mobile phone. My heart had missed a beat and I had immediately forced my itching head up the pillow. With all my disgustingly hard efforts, I had opened my eyes to locate my mobile phone on the table.  All I had been able to see was a half-filled wine glass.
That had been very unusual.  The  table  beside  my  bed  had been my  mobile Phones  resting  place  all  the  time  regardless  of  the  state  of  mind  I could  have been.  I  had woken  up;  tried  by  all  means  to  balance  myself  from slumping  back  and  had removed  the  beddings  from  the  bed  hoping  to find  my  mobile  phone there,  but  to  no  avail.  I had walked to the living room believing that I had tossed it on the table, and oh boy, there it was. I had picked it and checked the time – it was forty-five minutes past 8a.m. I had needed to make  an  excuse  at  work,  and  Jethro  was  the  only  partner  in  crime who would have been the best defence force. I had pressed my phone on the dial register, and immediately I had felt my whole body freeze like I had been dipped in ice water.  On the screen had appeared a blue-tooth message, “contacts copying successfully completed to unknown device”.
That had been hell in heaven. The copying had happened five hours earlier. According  to  my  poor  arithmetic,  it  could  have  been  around  03:00hrs, and presumably my soul at that time, had been in planet nine.
Deadly as it had been at first, the notorious hang-over had instantly faded away.  I  had known that the  previous night  I  had  drank almost  one  glass  of wine too many, but it had never before made me wake up that late. Something had been awfully amiss.  With a deep disposition, I had walked to the front door and without unlocking it, had pulled the door handle, and the door had opened. It hadn’t been locked. Before me had been a grill-door wide open and padlocks lying on the veranda professionally cut in half.  Whoever had done it hadn’t had cared to throw them to give me a doubt state of my mind, on whether I had locked the grill-doors or not. But he seemed to have had enjoyed the whole spectacle knowing that I would discover that I had been out-witted. I had then called my crazy colleague Jethro. It was not until later in the week when I was told someone had wanted to poison me by spraying gas through the ventilator into my bedroom that I had realised how the whole spectacle had been seriously on the edge of our lives.
And now there we were in Zachariah’s bedroom battling for survival from the attempted gas poisoning again. I was more furious than frightened.
“What next?” my adrenaline was at war.
“You know the drill”, Zachariah remarked.   


3
It was such a great nutriment to be out of an enclosure after such a long time frame and be in a noisy public place. Though the change was so dramatic and ominous, the choices at our beck and call were as slim as a twig of a grass. Despite wearing a momentous smile on my face, my heart inside the lungs was grievously taunting. I could not understand or maybe I understood so little, as to how a land that called itself noble and unitary was so bent on stimulating schism, odium and bigotry in the best of its ways in the name of amity. The house incidence left me with a great deal of rage, reprisal and mettle, unlike the miscalculated motive of instilling distress and apprehension in us.         
We walked into The Boss pub my hands stubbornly dug into the side pockets of my trousers as I peered around trying to figure out the unfirmed. My mind was totally melting; it was so sentimental that it was ready for anything – bad or good; depending on how one defined the two. I could feel my bladder asking me for a dish-out, but my mind was busy urging me to let it go of the sassy urine just there where I stood in the middle of the splash first class pub. My muscles were flexing, as my lips continuously twitched. That was a verge of a point of no return. I had no doubt about it; I was on the peak of the hill, seeing everything underneath as weak and incomprehensibly bullish and detrimental to the onus of our lives.
Zachariah and I sat at the counter as usual; hadn’t after all someone once said that old habits die hard? Who were we to change the status quo that we didn’t even know? A few people around the pub stole stares at us as we pulled out the stools and made ourselves comfortable. We never bothered, actually I wanted everyone to stare at us, and ask us questions, because I had so many sacramental answers to offer, and so many blows to release. I had already unpacked my uncouth dictionary; ready to press the nook buttons and let the scud missiles fly.
“A shot of tequila please”, I commanded. Zachariah gazed at me and without a word gave a sign to the pub lady that he too needed the same. The old odd days were back. I could feel my blood warm as it trespassed into my libido and momentarily awakened up the sleeping snake. Alcohol, libido and fury were rare combinations; times when they met no one was able to discharge the inhibitor until the carrier themselves decided so. It was more dangerous to have a mixture of stupor, libido and rage and then drive, than just drinking and then drove. I totally believed so much that, alcohol was not the cause of road traffic accidents due to drinking under the influence. Drunken people were as normal as any other person that never took even a drop of Jameson, and could drive home without any incidence on the way. But let a man drink while his libido was high, and then was aggravated and later given a car to drive home; the brain would get so many needle pricks to sooth, before blood clotted inside making him demented.
Two small cylindrical tots were placed before us, filled half way with tequila; on either side were two side plates with slices of lemons and salt sellers. I felt very agitated and fooled. There was no way I was going to take a half-filled tiny cup of alcohol costing me that much money without reprisal. I gaped at Zachariah with questioning eyes, and he nodded slightly.
“Excuse me”, I directed it to the pub lady who immediately gave me the attention I urgently needed.
“I am not exchanging this liquor for papers”, I added. She looked at me with a puzzled constriction on her face.
“Excuse me?” she blurted out with confusion.
“Kindly fill it up. That’s why it is this high”, I instructed.
“But this is how we fill it all the time”, she courteously answered.
“We don’t steal the money that we spend on liquor. We work for it”, I responded. “Fill it up”. I could see that she knew I meant it. Without consulting her colleague, she turned and came back with a bottle of clear tequila and filled up the tots.
“Is it your first time here?” she asked trying to paint a seductive smile on her heavily painted lips.
“Why do you ask?” Zachariah took over. And by the look of his face the lady realised her seduction wasn’t working. She walked away leaving the bottle of tequila on the counter.
“She wants us to finish the bottle”, Zachariah commented.
“Looks deceive my friend”, I breathed out and called her to fill us up again. The heat was gradually getting on my blood stream.
We shot our tequila down our throats for the third time, and my sight began to get weaker, but my mouth more voluble. My brain was sending heavy beams of waves that made my head feel like anytime sooner it would fall off my neck. The music was ornamental; not too loud and not too low. A ball patterned with cicadelic lights was rotating above our heads producing flash lights of various colours exchanging turns in dancing on our faces.
“We should find another place to spend our night”, Zachariah suggested, his head bowed like he was offering a prayer of confessing his sins on the eighteenth day of October.
“Are you high already?” I asked him, trying to look so soberly strong, yet my eyelids already as heavy and itchy as one struggling from paper spray.
“They will visit tonight and it’s not safe for us”, he warned as he ordered a Mosi and a Castle Light lager. The pub lady despite busying herself with sales, I could feel she was furtively staring at us. I was however more attracted to her charming looks than anything else that may have signalled calamity. Zachariah’s sentiments warmed my forehead even more. I could feel tiny drops of sweat forming on my nose. My arm-pits were getting greasy and smelly too. It was a sign that my mind wasn’t for the idea. I thought down to the tiny bit of my sensible logic, how long we would continue running like rats whose sanctuary was built in someone’s home. I couldn’t master the reason why those who proclaimed infallibility at the helm of its people, on the side line would choose to be mask wearers in day light to hide their true selves and be true to their skin when the sun bent down the horizon in the west.
“No we shall get back home” I casually responded. And he knew I was serious. My tone was smooth and piercing. There was no hesitation or a tremor in it.
“You know what happened back there”, he insisted.
“Cowards live by the hand of fear. They control others by threats and feel they are in control when others are drenched into fluids of abnormality of jitters. And I am passed that level”. Zachariah’s face was stunned. He surely didn’t know there would be a moment in our zombie lives when I would smack my ego and coerce it to be alive. He seemed to have adored the turn of events for whatever reasons he was concealing in his strident head.
A short while later, a dark handsome young man joined us at the counter. He was casually smartly dressed and cleanly shaven. In a bold move, which we instantly knew was a daring act; he pulled a stool and placed it in between mine and that of Zachariah. He smelt fresh and pervaded a scent of Musk deodorant. I had worn that kind of perfume several times before and could easily recognise its scent. He ordered himself a glass of wine as I closely observed his manners.
“This is one of the best places to hang around from”, he breathed out heavily like a farmer from a long day in a field.
“Sure I can see, the reason you pigheadedly position your bottom here knowingly so well that we need to be close to each other for a better conversation”, I tested his fortitude. He gazed at me shrugging his shoulders in an act of ‘who cares’ and Zachariah sniggered.
“I am Zach”, Zachariah introduced himself to him, and the young man brightly turned his head to him, responding “Jeff”, and as if a matter of an afterthought he retorted, “Have we met before?”
“No we haven’t, and we don’t care”, I replied, taking a long sip from my Mosi lager.
“Actually I was asking him”, Jeff remarked pointing at Zachariah.
“Does it matter anyway?” I asked our eyes locking into a blizzard gaze of notoriety.
“We may have met, I don’t know”, Zachariah interfered.
“Sure we could have been. May be in one of these political gatherings where the learned ones resolve to chart their ways into power” Jeff replied.
“Maybe so for sure, though there is nothing praise worthy about all this inclining”, Zachariah added.
“Of course there is; every political grouping has an agenda for the people. It only takes one thinker to pick the naught and throw them away, and keep the progressive ones for bettering this land”, Jeff expounded. I listened to the two of them chat, trying by all the filth means jogging in my head to keep away from such kind of a content.
“Everything that paints itself patriotic isn’t as it says it is”, Zachariah reacted, and I lifted up my chin and looked at him. He wasn’t uptight. I knew the tequila was brewing in his head.
“Well I don’t know about that, but every ideology was created for some cause to be fulfilled”, Jeff argued. I looked at him and my mind was sensing something unusual about him. He seemed very careful as to what he would share and what he would not.
“I didn’t know patriotism is an ideology” I cheekily said, supressing a naughty smile. Jeff eyed me with a hateful glare but seemingly decided to hold his fire.
“It isn’t” Zachariah came in. “It’s just like nations whose names have a ‘democratic’ tag attached to their names, are actually autocratic”. I laughed and Jeff could not hold his fussing dislike any longer.
“Anything fun?” he blubbered as he ordered another glass of wine without looking at me.
“Of course there is something fun. How can you name your nation for instance the Democratic Republic of Congo, yet you run out of money to hold an election that is meant to end your mandate? Isn’t that a mockery of the ideals of the founders of the democratic creed? Just like you call your grouping Rainbow, yet all you get in the group are three people from your own house hold” I stated, my head buzzing with intoxication.
“Exactly..!” Zachariah exclaimed, adding “For instance how do you call yourself united if you had never before been divided; unless of course you are giving us the impression that you were once a divided team. Or why call it a movement when you are such a stinking static kind” Zachariah spoke almost on top of his voice, making a few regulars who sat nearby turn their heads to see the one who was rumbling behind them. Miraculously Jeff went silent. Zachariah continued blurting out his theatrical metaphysics of the human mind, but Jeff seemed uninterested. He instantly became more of a stranger than when he first arrived, and that did not impress me. Pub incidences of three months ago started to rewind themselves in my memory, and the pain of fear and anxiety started dripping in. I vowed to lock them out of my soul.
“It’s time Zach”, I announced as I dropped down from the stool and started walking out. Zachariah took a long sip from his bottle, paid the bill and trailed me behind. I could see Jeff from the reflection in the mirror gazing at us as we walked out oblivious of anything risky. I called out for a cab and in no time we were on our way back home.  
The night was pitch-dark. Despite pockets of street lights that were dotted along the various streets and main traffic roads, one would still be able to acknowledge the fact that it was a night with its own silhouette. I shared the back seat with Zachariah in a Spacio driven by a man in his late fifties. He looked more of an early retiree whose retirement package could have sunk down the drain of city high life, than one who would have wilfully gone into night cab pirating as a means of earning a living. He wore a very deep-thinking face and spoke softly like one ashamed of what he was doing.
“Is it safe for you doing this kind of work in the middle of the night alone?” I curiously asked as soon as the car started moving.
“There is only one steering wheel in the car” the man remarked with a loud chuckle. Zachariah burst out into spasms of uncontrolled quick laughter as I joined him in my effort to let the embarrassment pass off quickly.
“That’s a smart one”, Zachariah cocked in between fits of giggles.
“Jokes are good when you are driving in the night. They lighten up a portentous mood” the taxi driver commented light-heartedly. I reminded him that he had not yet answered my question and he giggled before telling us that everything that everyone did for a living was a risk. We all momentarily kept quite as we digested his words down our brains.
“A risk not to risk”, Zachariah hushed out. With that, the atmosphere in the car suddenly changed. There seemed to have appeared an invisible breeze of familiarity that connected us to the taxi driver. It was so contemptuous. Then Jeff from the pub became the centre of our conversation.
“I have seen him before”, Zachariah revealed, his face contorted into wrinkles of reflection, trying to figure out where he had met him before.
“Maybe it’s an issue of memory loss Zach” I disagreed.
“No my friend; I have a photogenic memory. Moreover it’s not only the memory but the feeling as well that is very incisive on him”, Zachariah responded, his tone more serious and authoritative than before. He reminded me of his changed natural habits; the ones that had put him on the verge of better reasoning than I thought I was. That evening he was even more silent than usual. He made me think his thoughts were bowling over something overemotional.
“Intuition I guess”, I replied, trying to sound smarter and in control of the environmental nightfall.
“It’s not normal Boy; for someone to come, squeezes himself in between strangers, strikes a conversation and eventually decides to keep quiet”, Zachariah reflected.
“Lunatics do that, mind you. Moreover we were new comers to that place, so chances of being bullied were high” I said. Then I saw the taxi driver repositioning the inside mirror and cleared his throat. I never minded, for it never occurred to me that there was anything unusual with his actions. Every driver did that if the mirror wasn’t positioned well enough for them to view the incoming traffic from behind. I went back in memory lane of the pub incidence with Jeff, revolutionising my mind in an effort to catch a train of his motives if at all there were any. But much as I suspected him, my dislike of his manners were more voluble than my suspicions of his presence.
“It’s easy to smell a rat when it passes next to flames of fire”, Zachariah stated, and again the taxi driver tilted his head towards us, like he needed to cup his ears to accurately hear what we were chatting about. My concentration and resolve was so much into Zachariah’s way of thinking than the silent dramatic antics of the taxi driver, that I could not lay my skin-thought on his trending manners.
“Is this where you are coming to?” the taxi driver asked, as he pulled off the road and stopped the car. I felt my hair saluting, sending a chill down the nerves of my nape. I looked at Zachariah; he sanctimoniously stared at the driver with puzzled eyes. I could not understand, neither could I religiously convince myself that what was happening was indeed taking place in real time. We just met him a few minutes ago through a random selection of the taxis, and we had never used a taxi going home in a very long time, but there we were driven to our home without giving him directions. I could not even notice the time he took a turn from the main road into the street road heading to our place. There was no way we could have just forgotten him, if at all we ever hired him before. We didn’t tell him where we were headed to but how he figured it out was not a matter of night intelligence, but something beyond what the eye could see.
“Sure, this is us”, Zachariah said as he opened the door of the car and stepped out. I followed suit. Zachariah paid the fare and immediately the driver drove off the car leaving us by the street side gazing at the disappearing car at a distance. We could just see the tail lights of the car as the driver slowed down to take a turn to his left as headed into the main road. Suddenly my suspicions were enlivened up. The driver’s repositioning of the mirror and tilting of his head earlier was not normal. I turned my head and looked at our house a few meters away from where we stood and thought Zachariah’s earlier suggestion that we spend our night somewhere else made some more sense.
“He is just a taxi driver who is well informed” Zachariah interrupted my ill thoughts.
“It doesn’t make sense Zach. We have just come out into the public after a very long time of being out of the limelight. Before we went under, our mode of transport was not taxis. You know that. How does he know where we stay?” I worriedly queried.
“Taxi drivers know a lot of things that no one would expect them to know. They have the most deadly secrets on earth”, Zachariah replied, appearing so relaxed and sure of what he was saying. His nature seemed to have come back, and I nearly agreed with him, on the taxi drivers’ shrewdness and crookedly innocent associations. However our Spacio taxi driver seemed to have held more than just social street secrets, for there seemed to have been a smartly calculated strategy to pick and drop us at our home.
“It’s an organised pick-up Zach”, I told him. Zachariah stared at me without a word. He seemed unconvinced, yet a complexion of doubt flashed on his face. He seemed to have been in a quagmire of confusion. Suddenly like an afterthought occupied his skull, he started walking towards our house. I looked at his back as he walked away reluctantly like any time he would stop and walk back. But the more he walked, the quicker his steps became, and I realised he had managed to conquer the worst of all enemies – fear. Ruefully, I followed behind; striding my steps in an effort to catch up with him but Zachariah was already standing by the door his hands akimbo, staring at something on the floor. It was an envelope.
“Someone is playing with our minds”, Zachariah with a tremor of fury in his tone, remarked.
“Look at the better side of this as well. There might be something positive about it”, I suggested. But Zachariah would not be dared. He picked up the envelope and unlocked the door and we shoved ourselves in closing and locking the door behind us. He quickly opened the envelope as he hurried to the sofas where he instantly made one side of his bottom resting on the seat while the other dangling in the air. I stood next to the sofa watching him restlessly remove a piece of paper from the envelope.

“…That which the up reaching spirit
can achieve The grand and all creative forces know…”       

Zachariah read out almost whispering to himself. I impatiently waited to hear more, but he threw the piece of paper on the small table before us. I could see from where I stood that it was just a two sentenced note. I walked closer; sat on the other sofa opposite the one he sat and picked up the note. I went through the words silently and found myself lampooning. I could deduce from the way Zachariah looked like, that he was hurting, and his thinking was demonic at that time.
          “What do they want from us?” I asked, just as a matter of lightening up the atmosphere.
          “Who..?” Zachariah asked, as if he would let all his anger on me to get that which he wished for.
          “I don’t know. Whoever is writing us notes that does not mean anything”, I lamented.
          “Up reaching spirit cannot be anything good Boy!” he raised his voice with visible anger. But I told him that a ‘spirit’ could be anything good or bad, and we were not to suppose something bad yet.
          “We meet a strange boy in the pub and later get picked up by a strange man in a taxi and then we find a strange note at our door step, and you still call all this ‘good’? Are you bewitched?” Zachariah critically thought out. I didn’t know what else to say. He was convincing; so definite that I could not see any other way to explain what was getting around. Earlier that afternoon we were attacked by chocking gas, hence our leaving the house to the pub. The chain of events was nothing much to be cheerful about. We needed to figure out what the hell was happening. I read the note again:

“…That which the up reaching spirit
can achieve The grand and all creative forces know…”      

Spirit and creative forces stabbed my heart. The note was so much of a threat than an encouragement, as far as my mind could master to comprehend. In my thoughts, it appeared that whatever evil one wished to do to someone, its powers stood ready to come in and act.
          “This land is so much soiled than we knew. It’s so complicatedly mastered that no one is able to see what is going on”, Zachariah commented. But my wonder was why we were the target.
          “How can’t you be a target when you can jovially and stubbornly walk in a demon infested pub your hands in your pockets and help yourself with tequila?” Zachariah charged at me. I couldn’t understand how I was the one to blame in that whole game of fame and fury.
          “It’s not a game you rascal! Have you ever seen the devil come to you and say, ‘hello I am the devil, so get ready because I want to do you harm’. Have you?” Zachariah was like losing his mind. I strongly protested to him that, his innuendos and accusations were uncalled for and blatantly devilish themselves, unless he had something else better to offer.
          “Are you that scared, such that you let it out on me?” I asked him. He tilted his head up and looked at me like someone about to give a farewell statement before crossing to the other side.
          “I am not such a soul that easily get coward by little brains. I am so upset because you are too myopic to see the holy grail of the matter. Have you inherited someone’s chicken brains?”
          “Wait a minute!” I angrily interrupted him. “So what am I not seeing Zach? What is this holy grail that I am so blind to see?”
          “Think Boy; think!” he shouted.
          “I am not uncouth! I am not a maniac! I am thinking” frustrated with his accusations, which I knew deep down my heart had something wise about them, I yet shouted out; not at him, but more so at myself for failing to add up the pebbles of the puzzle.
          “Think harder. Don’t let your abilities swim away the course of the stream. You will get drowned”. That was proverbial. His heightened levels of master planning were reaching the boiling point. In such times, he was more of a bully than a bull dozer.
          “Do I look like I am dozing or lazing around Zach? Why are you trying to make things hard for me when they are already messed up? Why don’t you fix it if you know what to do?” I calmly but emphatically called on him.     
“These letters are not a good sign of what is coming ahead”, he calmly remarked. I could feel his tone; it was tense and unpromising. It got me worried. The note just like the first one was too short to be taken as a mere salutation note; someone was communicating to us. And the message must have been so important. If the message was for our goodness, then whoever was sending the notes was under the eyes of those who shouldn’t have comprehended what he was communicating to us about. If it was a message of ill-fate, then whoever sent it made sure the message confused us before we faced our fate? Whichever way it was however, the pivotal thing at that time for us was to decode the message and do as it said.  
There we were, sitting on the sofas like confused mongrels waiting for its master to feed them a meal of rotten beef. We knew we needed to do something as quickly as possible, or else, anything out of all the options we had lined up would have happened. Out of reflex, I took the note again and read it, this time loudly:

“…That which the up reaching spirit
can achieve The grand and all creative forces know…”    

          “What is an ‘up reaching spirit’?” I asked; sure of getting a positive answer from Zachariah. He was the read one. I looked at the stacks of books in the bookshelves that he had read all this while and got convinced he had the answer. Somehow he needed to provide it.
          “You think the answers are in those books?” he chuckled.
          “There is no way you cannot have the answer Zach. You have read a lot. What if the sender of these notes is actually challenging you to see how much you know?” I suggested, totally out of my own mental league. I had no idea what I was talking about in the first place. Zachariah gave it a thought by taking time with a long silent staring at the books like he was summoning some unknown powers to search within the books where the answer was. But his reply was shocking.
          “I don’t know Boy. Look, this matter is intricate and I don’t think it has anything to do with my reading habits. Our land is under siege. ‘Up reaching spirit’ may mean anything as you said earlier. It could be a spirit from above or a spirit within something” he spoke, sounding so disappointed and weakling.
          “Within something, like what?” I probed him to awaken his deeper self. Zachariah’s face lightened up. There was a twig of hidden smile at the corner of his lips. I knew something to talk about had hit his medulla.
          “Have you read or heard of the book The Magic Word of Seeker?” he asked. I turned and looked at the stack of books in the bookshelf. I had seen it there sometime back, but being so much apathetic with reading books I had done nothing about it despite its captivating title. I stood up and walked to the bookshelf; and it did not take me a minute to fish it out of the stack of books. I came back to the sofa and handed it to him. Like he knew what he wanted to share, Zachariah just turned the pages once and paused, I peeped and saw he was at page 43; and then he started reading from a passage to me:
“Far in the past ages, there were men who delved into darkness, using dark magic, but they were conquered by masters and driven below to the place where they came from. But there were some who remained, hidden in spaces and planes unknown to man, lived as shadows but at times they appeared among men
          “In the form of man they lived amongst men but in the eyes of men, they appeared just like men, yet they were Serpent-headed if one looked at them through the eyes of the soul. They crept into Government and Councils, taking forms that were like men. They killed the Chiefs of the Kingdoms and took their forms and ruled over men. Only by magic could they be discovered. Only by sound could their faces be seen. From the Kingdom of Shadows they came to destroy man and rule in his place
          “But the Masters were mighty in magic, able to lift the veil from the face of the Serpent and send him back to his place. They came to man and taught him the magic – the WORD that only a man seeking the truth can pronounce. And swiftly they lifted the veil from the Serpent and cast him from the place among men”
          “Wow…that’s deep. Is it the reason the book is called by that title?” I asked, as intrigued and curious as to why he was reading that particular part to me.
          “It surely sounds like the title comes from this particular part here” he replied and continued reading:
          “But beware; the Serpent is still alive in a place that is open at times to the world. Unseen it walks among men in places where the rites have been said. Again as time passes on ward it will take the resemblance of men”.
Zachariah breathed out deeply. Something rang a disturbing bell in my mind. Was he right what was happening was just like it?
“Is this symbolic or a straight out message for the future?” I worriedly asked.
“I don’t want to sound disrespectful Boy, but read between the lines, can you?” Zachariah cautioned. He was convincing.
“All of the future is an open book to him who can read” he added a remark that sounded more of a quote than his own thinking; and there was nothing more to detest his knowledge with. The brutal man had facts on the tips of his fingers, disputing his arguments was like using your tiny faith to move Mount Kilimanjaro with your bare hands, practically impossible. But our puzzle still lay on the table unsolved. What was the ‘up reaching spirit’ the note was talking about?
“But we should as well figure out what ‘the grand and all creative forces know’…is” I stated, feeling so ignorant and less helpful in finding a solution.
“What else if not the embracer of all evils?” Zachariah replied.
“And that’s what?” I asked.
The Magic Word book calls it the serpent that appears in form of men”. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe Zachariah was so bent on fiction writings and posited them as reality.
“So if what you are saying is true, then what are we supposed to do? We don’t know this serpent which is in the form of men, because we don’t know these men either”
“That’s where we come in; to find them”,
“Then do what?” Neither of us knew. We were stuck. If they were after us then they knew where to find us, and we didn’t know where to find them. We were like trapped locusts in a mesh wire waiting for harvesters to come along and catch us for a diner’s roast. But yet again, one thing kept boggling my mind. If they needed us out of the way, they would have already done it. The fact that they delivered notes at our door step, meant that they had easy access to our home; evidence being them going as far as placing picture frames on the walls of our sitting room at a time when we never left our home; meaning the job was done while we slept at night. That was more befuddling.
Then there was a loud bang from outside. We both jerked out. Immediately another one rang out, echoing the whole area. I looked up at our wall clock; it was 02 in the morning. We stood up and briskly walked to the windows, and stealthily opened the curtains and tried to peep outside. A third one went out again, but there was no sign of any moving figure outside. We were sure now; gun shots were enjoying the feel of the morning skies in the hood. I didn’t realise we had spent so much time from the pub, debating over the note we found outside that we could go into the morning of another day. Suddenly there were shrieking noises from a distance. We didn’t know what to do. We walked about the house, anticipating a knock or break in anytime. The noise got louder and louder. It was like the neighbourhood was asked to wake up and witness something tragic happening. Zachariah walked to the TV set and switched it on; but there was nothing newsworthy as usual to spend time on, on the land broadcaster. He then switched to other local channels; late night X-rated movies were showing.
“It’s too early for them to get wind of anything at this time of the day if there is something unusual going on” I reminded Zachariah.
With little options at our beck and call, we sat watching Cassandra Blue on Vusi TV anticipating that anytime sooner there would be a break off transmission to bring breaking news. But knowing the media in our land, live TV broadcast was kind of a lame duck for the half-baked self-styled long serving amateur journalists. The erogenous acting from the movie actors gradually started getting hold of my enzymes as each soft spot of my lunatic voluptuous part of my body was being stripped off of its innocence. The memories of Mimi, years back as flawless young adults beamed back in the cup of my romantic experience. She was the first hold of my knowledge in sensual taste. Not as naked as I came to know it later in my years, but those moments where one would catch cold that sent me into shivers just by seeing her stiffly-pointed coned horns on the smooth chocolate chest. I didn’t know then why I felt like that, but the experience was maddening to say the least. She had allowed me to smooth them with the tips of my fingers and ignorantly on my part, she would appear more beautiful than ever before on her face as she would close her eyes with her lips slightly open every time I moved my fingers on the cones. To me it was a game of connection. It was only later in my older years that I realised she knew more than I did what was taking place at the time. After all she was always the initiator. Unfortunately by the time I grew up to know what erotic outlooks were, Mimi had already gotten so intimate with a town guy who had visited the village and I hated her for the rest of my young adult life. But to the shock of my being, on a day I was about to leave the village never to return, Mimi had come home and before I knew it, she had placed her lips on mine and placed her tongue in my mouth and ran it round my tongue like one who was searching for something.
Before that day, I always had known the taste of saliva as tasteless and watery, but that day, her saliva was a mixture of salt and sugar. I didn’t know what to do; all what had come to my mind was the reflex action of going with the flow. I learned that certain things did not need schooling for one to know how to do them. And stupidly that mood had swept through me when she had held my hand and placed it in her blouse on one of the warmest body parts I had ever felt before – her left stiffly pointed cone just like a ripe cucumber. At first instance, I had thought she was blazing in fire, but seeing her closed eyes, with her slow breath as she snaked her tongue in my mouth, I realised it was that game which used to make our dog Bingo, to stray from home for weeks, and only to reappear with a skinny body later. And after all was water under the bridge, I had hated the idea of leaving the village. Unluckily for me, that evening I had gotten in my uncle’s car and headed for the city. That was the last time I had heard of Mimi.
I was in that state of memories as we silently watched the movie, seeing only Mimi in all the female actors that show cased their erotic skills on the screen, asking myself what if it were us sharing those moments together. Our lives now, had their own schema. Romance wasn’t a larger part of it, but that didn’t mean we never wished for it or encountered events of such nature. We had just decided to ignore it most of the time, because we knew, mixing business and pleasure was the most dangerous adventure one would go for.
Gun shots rumbled outside from the near distance, but my mind was too calm and romanticised to be scared now. All it desired to make out for the night was a peaceful time with Mimi running my mind. I could however not figure it out the time Zachariah and I went into amorphous’ hands, and slept deeply on sofas, leaving the movie with its antics playing on.     






suspense continues......


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