Craft & Wine Fair

Craft & Wine Fair
Craft & Wine Fair

COLOUR DARK

short story : colour dark
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Colour Dark

Matthew K Chikono

Maybe or maybe not, the truth is something we will never know. Either if she had refused or failed her exams  we would be singing a different melody now. It's now all in vain and it doesn't matter anymore they are both dead. He drove into the river whilst she cheered on the passenger seat, rumor has it.

After our father's funeral Uncle Paul visited, for the first time in a decade. The whole village flocked to see our visitor who had came driving a Benz. They were shocked, we couldn't hide our pride. The only time we had seen a Benz was when we were still going to school and one of our classmate had came with a motoring magazine. And that Sunday afternoon a real Benz was parked in front of our three huts.

At first no one recognized the bald man who came out of the car wearing a brown suit. He reminded us of our deceased father except he looked young, healthy and was not in rags. He walked to the kitchen with so much confidence that Mejuri, our elder sister, thought he was from the Ministry.

Although our mother was sick she came out of the house running, well almost running. She greeted the man with ululations and songs of welcome. We tried to play dump at the scene but our mother commanded to us to come and greet Uncle Paul. She barked at sisi Mejuri to start preparing a meal for our guest.

As far as we know Uncle Paul left the village a decade earlier. He did not get in touch or keep in contact with anyone. Our father had safely concluded that Uncle Paul was dead. Two weeks after our father's funeral Uncle Paul was now in our presences. The story we heard was that when our grandparents died our father had a dispute with his older brother, Uncle Paul, over the inheritance. Even with the intervention of the village Chief the two could not agree on anything. Then one day Uncle Paul got fade up, he left the village with nothing except the clothes he wore and some few dollars in his pocket.

"What I did was wrong. I should have not disappeared for ten years the way I did." he said after a heft and delicious meal. Our mother had slaughtered one of her only three remaining hens and Mejuri had done it miracles that we started believing she was destined to cook for the Minister. She was a great cook. Recalling a few years back when the real Minister first came to our village, he gave us food and farming things. We did not know what most of the foods were but our elder sister prepared it and it still remained the best meal we ever had in our lives.

Uncle Paul rumbled on how guilty he felt for not fending for his younger brother's widow and three children. Our mother listened chipping some sentences here and there. The man looked well. Although he had left with nothing he had came back rich, instantaneously he became our role model. Although our father had took over everything our grandparents owned he had died leaving in sufficient grain to feed the few people who came to his funeral.

"I heard Mejuri passed her ordinary exams last year and I am really proud of her. I am offering to stay with her whilst she studies her advanced level in the town," the man said with a simple and honest smile," but I can't take those two." he said pointing us.
"The twins stay with me. They are still very young to wander away from their dear mother." Our mother said pulling us towards her. Mejuri was asked if she wanted to move to the city with Uncle Paul and she hurriedly agreed. So it was settled, Mejuri left the following day to live with our uncle in the town.

They were swallowed by the city. It was almost six months later when we heard about them, not even from them. A young man from our village had gone to look for a job in the same town. He had found it tougher than he expected and he decided to try his on luck of fortune on his half an acre field. Whilst in the city he had read a newspaper about a man who had the same name as Uncle Paul. He explained that it didn't matter much as the man was dead.

He said Uncle Paul drove his car in to the river, not the Benz another one. They said he was been haunted by ghosts of innocent people he had killed. One witness said that he wasn't drunk on the night of suicide, he had a very young female passenger cheering him up and encouraging to drive into the river. When help came an hour later the female passenger was nowhere to be seen, there was no sign that she ever existed.

Yes, our mother cried. She could not make herself ask about her daughter. The young man did not know that Mejuri had moved to the city to stay with Uncle Paul. He assumed that she might had been the female passenger but the police declared the seat was never occupied.

"When they were investigating the cause of suicide at his house they found a body buried in his garden!" the young man suddenly recalled with a jolt. The town was a very small one and no one had been reported missing. The body was in late stages of decomposition that they could not assert the identity of the victim except that it might have been a teenager female. He did not know what happened to the body but since six months had passed he was sure they had somehow disposed of the body.

As to what happened to Uncle Paul's body he knew not. He had only heard that the gentleman was filthy rich but without a family. He repeated the rumour we had heard for a very long time,"Uncle Paul was in the occult. They used teenagers' body parts to make money charms. That's where all their money came from." Our mother had once eyed the young honest man as a potential husband for Mejuri and she believed every word he said. He continued speculating,"I heard that he wanted the Mayoral post next year so he needed a stronger charm hence he chose a blood relative teenage body parts. I am sure the police never noticed that some of her organs were missing."

It was a bitter winter. Our mother cried for her daughter whom she had lost. We tried to comfort her but we were just little boys who understood little. It took us years to accept that Uncle Paul had not came back to help but revenge and simultaneously feeding up his selfishness and greedy too. He had won but Mejuri had fought her own battle, even after the end.



Matthew K Chikono is a younger writer from Chitungwiza. He has published numerous short stories on the web

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