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Do not open episode 16

DO NOT OPEN – Episode 16
© Brian Ngoma
Eyes open. Locked in a room. He looked around and saw dead bodies. From the other side of the room stood his sister, Bufweme weeping bitterly. s£nzo stood up and walked to her jumping the dead bodies. He helped her up as he wondered how he’d gotten there. The room was freezing cold. The only thing he wanted was to get out of there. With Bufweme by his side, he started looking for a door. He saw something that resembled a door and walked to it. From the other side, he could hear little boys voices screaming for help. He looked at Bufweme who couldn’t st©p crying and then stared back at the wall. The voices were of two boys. He started ban-ging on the wall but nothing happened. When he tried to check where Bufweme was, he couldn’t see her. She was gone. He called out for her but there was nothing. He then started hearing voices whimpering all over the place and the dead bodies in the room started moving. He turned around to the wall and kept ban-ging.
“No one can st©p me,” a female voice said behind him.
He turned around and saw a woman rising among the dead. Her eyes burning with fire. The little voices behind the wall even got more loud. s£nzo motionlessly stood awaiting the woman to claim him.
***
[email protected] heavily, s£nzo woke up from the nightmare. He quic-kly jumped to his feet and turned on the lights. He looked around breathing heavily. “What was that?” He thought out loudly.
He checked his watch and it was 5:23 AM. He knew he would not sleep again. He sat on his chair and started thinking of the dream. It didn’t make s-en-se. His mind was on the little boys voices. He remembered what Bufweme told him about a dream where they were kids but all boys. The two boys asking for his help. Did this mean anything?
The woman with fiery eyes rang a bell to him. He remembered the night he saw an unknown figure dragging his mother to the other room. That was her in the dream. Without hesitation, he knew what that dream meant. She was back. After all, 6 years was due.
***
By 8:21 AM, s£nzo, Manda and Boice were in the office. They all couldn’t deny the fact that Nikiwe’s abs£nce was felt. At the same time, they all felt outshined by her determination and willingness to follow a case 700km away.
“You gotta give her that,” Boice broke the silence. “She’s a tough one.”
“There’s just a way she handles cases. She doesn’t try to be like a man or anything but she just does it her own way. She’s one of the best detectives,” Manda added and looked at s£nzo.
s£nzo looked back at him. “What do you want me to say Manda?”
“Give her the credit or something,” Boice chuckled. “You’re always [email protected]£d by her.”
“For someone who is married and has children, you gotta give her that,” Manda sighed. “How she handles all her roles, only she knows.”
“Does Nikiwe have children?” s£nzo was interested.
Boice and Manda both looked at him and laughed. “Wait, you thought she’s single?” Asked Boice.
“Are you in love with her?” Manda laughed.
“Come on!” s£nzo was getting pissed. “Answer me, damn it!” His hands ban-ged the desk.
Manda and Boice were startled.
“What’s wrong with you man?” Boice angrily asked. “Yes, she has children, 2 boys. What’s your deal?”
Bufweme dreamt we were kids but both boys. I had a dream where two boys were asking for my help, s£nzo thought. What was the meaning of this? And why would they be Nikiwe’s children of all people?. Is it because she’s handling these cases? s£nzo’s mind felt like it could explode. He couldn’t make s-en-se of all this. Why weren’t things just so simple and clear? Or was it just a dream?
“s£nzo!”
“s£nzo!”
“s£nzo!”
s£nzo’s thoughts were interrupted by Ngoma who had been in the office for a while now. s£nzo looked up. “Oh, sorry sir, morning!”
“Are you alright, detective?” Ngoma asked.
“Yes I am fine sir.”
“Okay,” Ngoma looked at Boice and Manda. “I received a call from Detective Nikiwe saying she wants our help.”
“Okay, what is it?” Boice inquired.
“It has something to do with her case. When she called she was freaking out saying her family is in grave danger.”
s£nzo’s eyes and ears were glued to Ngoma.
“I know why she freaked out. I am scared too. I want one of you to go to her house and check on her family. She cannot get throu-gh to her husband. All she needs is confirmation that her husband and the two boys are fine. Who can do that?’
Without hesitation, s£nzo responded, “I’ll go there. Give me the address.”
Ngoma and the two detectives were shocked. He was the last person in the room they expected to agree.
“Oh okay,” Ngoma checked his phone. “There, s£nt!”
s£nzo checked his phone and the address was pinned to him. He got up and left the office. As he walked out, he didn’t un-derstand what the hell he was doing. He just felt like he had to do it. For the first time since his parents were murdered, he felt like he was back to that time but now, he would do something unlike last time. He kept telling himself that he was just being paranoid. Then again, with what he had been throu-gh, paranoia was a sign of bad things.
***
Detective s£nzo has volunteered to go, echoed Ngoma’s words in Nikiwe’s head. Why? She thought. Of all people, him? She didn’t want to think much. Her family had to be checked on even if it meant s£nzo doing it. It had to be done.
“plea-se drive fas-ter!” She shouted at the driver. She checked her watch and it was 10:21AM. She would be in Lusaka at 11 PM. “God plea-se protect my family,” she silently said un-der her breath.
***
The previous night, Jackson was awoken by a constant ban-ging of the walls. In his little mind, he thought he was dreaming but they kept ban-ging till he woke up. “Mommy!” He shouted forgetting his mother was not around.
“Jack what is that noise?” Zindaba asked.
Jackson quic-kly looked at Zindaba who seemed to have been awake for a long time. “Can you hear it?”
“Yes, I am scared,” Zindaba started crying. “I want mommy.”
Getting off his be-d, Jackson walked to the door which was opened. The noises kept getting louder. He pu-ll-ed the door and headed into the hallway.
“Jack,” Zindaba cried. “Don’t leave me.”
“I’m coming, stay,” Jackson said. “Daddy,” he shouted.
Following the noise, Jackson reached the living room and found Clarence on the floor holding a couch.
“Daddy what’s wrong?” Jackson cried.
“Jackson run!” Clarence shouted. “Get out of here!
“St©p fighting it you fool!” A female voice angrily yelled. “Let it be done so that you can be free!”
“No,” Clarence yelled back.
“Daddy who is that?” Jackson saw a scary face on his father’s face.
“For how long will you keep doing this,” Chenga’s voice could be heard too.
“Shut up!” The wizard yelled. “For as long as I want!
Clarence suddenly let go of the couch and stood up facing Jackson. There was a grin on his face. He started walking towards Jackson while the boy stepped back. That wasn’t his father, Jackson could tell. Clarence’s pace started increasing and so was Jackson’s. The boy quic-kly turned around and ran to the hallway and dived into his be-droom locking the door behind him.
“Jack what is it!” Zindaba cried even more.
Jackson couldn’t reply. He was breathless. He kept staring at the door.
“Jackson,” Clarence called. “Open the door my boy. It’s daddy.”
Jackson didn’t move. His little legs were trembling. He peed himself. The boy had never been this scared in his eight years of living. Whatever was behind the door was not his father. He saw two faces and heard three voices.
“That’s daddy,” Zindaba said walking to the door. “Open the door for him,” he sobbe-d.
To be continued

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