Do not open episode 3 | Dapalace
June 20, 2021

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Do not open episode 3

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DO NOT OPEN – Episode 3

© Brian Ngoma

It was on Christmas eve, 1989, that the unspeakable happened at the Chipandes farm. Like any other Christmas eve, the Chipande family spent it together. During this time, all of their four children would be around and for Mr. and Mrs. Chipande, this was a little piece of heaven for them. Watching their kids happily moving about the farm was priceless. When the sun set, three of their kids entered the house whilst the youngest remained playing with a puppy.

As Mr. and Mrs. Chipande sat on their porch proudly watching their youngest boy and reminiscing on the year and what they would do the coming year, they both saw an envelope flying over their land. At first, they both thought it was the kids playing but they had all entered except for the youngest whom they had full view of. A couple of minutes, the envelope kept roafing about in their eyes. Mrs. Chipande thought it wise to get on her feet and see what it was all about.

“Do you have to?” Mr. Chipande asked.

Without responding, she walked to where the envelope laid and picked it up. Mr. Chipande saw her waving it to him. He watched her as she laughed at whatever was written on it.

“Can you believe

it?” She yelled at him.

He couldn’t get her clearly. “What?”

“It says DO NOT OPEN,” She yelled again.

“Come here we see,” he said and directed his eyes to their youngest child. He envied the innocent boy. He didn’t have to worry or think about the next year. So long as he had both his parents around, he was content. Many times, Mr. Chipande wished he would be young again but that was stupid, he thought. As he was looking at the boy, he felt a strange timid air. He turned to check on his wife and saw her coming towards the verandah with the envelope in her hands. “What is inside?” He asked.

She said nothing nor look at him. She passed him and entered the house. He didn’t think of it as strange because last time, they found their 13 year old daughter with a letter from her admirer and he thought that was another one and his wife was upset. He relaxed and continued rocking his chair.

An moment later, his wife was not back from the house. He got bored and called for her but there was no response. He got up telling their youngest child to follow him but

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the boy refused saying he would join them later. Mr. Chipande opened the door and something felt wrong. He was met with dead silence and a staunch smell. He couldn’t wrap his head around it but if asked, he would have said his house smelled death.

He called his wifes name

but there was no response again. He walked to the kitchen and found some plates on the floor and a broken glass cup. What happened here? He thought. He called for his daughters name but silence again. As he turned around, he saw a knife holder on the floor and one knife was missing, the big one.

“Dad!” His youngest child screamed.

Startled and confused, he ran outside because that’s where he had left the boy but he wasn’t there. The scream came from the house. He ran back in checking the bedrooms and what he found, was a view of horror. Blood was everywhere in their daughters bedroom. The girls were laying lifeless on the bed. Their mother was standing before their youngest child with the knife in her hands about to swing it. Following his instinct, Mr. Chipande charged at his wife and pushed her to the bed. He picked up the boy and ran back outside locking the door.

“Dad, mom wanted to stab me,” the boy cried.

Mr. Chipande was confused at what he had seen. That was not his wife. All that blood. Those were his daughters laying with stab wounds all over their bodies. What the hell happened? He couldn’t even breath properly.

“I found her stabbing Annabel, dad,” the boy cried even more. “Mom killed them.”

As he stood watching the house, he saw a white thing coming under the door like it was being pushed from the inside. Looking closely, it was the envelope his wife had picked up earlier. The wind blew it and it flew away.

***

“Excuse me,” Niki was interrupted by a Man’s voice. The man was knocking on her car window motioning her to roll it down.

Looking around, it was dark already and she had been at the mall for hours now. She rolled down the window. “How can I help you?”

“You’ve been parking here for hours, is everything alright?”

Niki cleared her throat. “Yes, everything is fine. Thank you.”

She drove the car out of the mall thinking about the horror she had just read. That was the witness statement and this case is old, unsolved obviously because she figured it was stashed somewhere at the station. How did it find itself on her desk? She thought. She looked at the file as she drove to her house.

***

“Mummy!” Jackson shouted at Nikiwe during dinner. “Zindaba is fighting.”

“Boys, eat your food,” Clarence ordered the boys and looked at Nikiwe. “Babe is everything okay?”

Nikiwe looked up at him and responded. “Yes baby, what is it?”

He looked at her plate. She too looked down and realized hadn’t touched the food not even once. Her thoughts were on the case she read. She had a lot of questions but she knew the answers wouldn’t come to her unless she looked for them. She stood up.

“Mommy eat your veggies,” Jackson innocently said.

“Awww my boy,” Niki walked to the boys and kissed them goodnight. She turned to Clarence whose face read worried. “I am fine baby,” she assured him. “I just got a case today and it’s been on mind. Do you mind tucking the boys in?.”

“No babe,” he said.

She walked to him and kissed him.

“Eeeewwww,” Zindaba expressed disgust. “Our teacher says kissing is bad.”

Clarence and Niki laughed.

“They are wife and husband,” Jackson said smiling. “Right?” He looked at his parents.

“Yes baby,” Niki responded. “Goodnight my boys,” she walked to the door.

As she walked to the car, she kept thinking at what was through the boys mind as he saw his mother murdering his sisters. What happened to that family? She thought. She opened the car and grabbed the file and went back inside. Standing at the door, she saw her husband and sons clearing the table laughing hysterically. These people were her life. They meant everything to her.

She went to the study room and relaxed in the chair. She opened the file and went direct to where she had left off. Flipping the page, she saw

CASE 95_ Witness Statement

“Another one!” Nikiwe exclaimed. “Lets see.”

To be continued

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