Celebrating East African Writing!
The image of Jack did not register in her mind as she made her way to the kitchen, humming away happily at the prospect that her husband was finally agreeing to talk about moving house. And she learnt the hard way the Jamaican saying that ‘chicken merry, hawk de near’ when she came face to face in her own kitchen, lurking in the shadows, the rapist who had made his escape, munching away food as if he was in his own house.
That’s why before her shrewd mouth could hang open wide enough to allow in a swarm of flies, he was already dragging her roughly back to the sitting room. Warning her, threatening her, daring her with a kitchen knife, pointed now at her neck, now at her jugular vein, that he would do his worst if she dared to shout. And before the husband could shout or call for help, Jack the Raper was warning him, pointing out the knife he held, that he would hew out any itchy tongues. He dropped his pen and begged desperately, nodding his head submissively and in agreement that there was no such pressing need neither to hew tongues nor to slice throats.
‘I’ll give you all the Mooney present in this house. Just don’t hurt us.’ The words had barely come out when the intruder asked politely for a rope. It was so gentle that he could have been stopping by to ask for a glass of water. But he still managed to frighten them, as a madwoman frightens those believing themselves sane.
The husband produced one from one of the drawers in the corner. ‘Now listen carefully because I never repeat my instructions. I really don’t want to hurt anyone. I just want to do my thing and leave you in peace. I’ll be on my way if you cooperate and don’t delay my voyage.’ He briefed the astonished couple. ‘I’m not a bad thief. I only hurt those who make my life hard.’
‘Let’s start with you.’ He said to the husband, cutting a piece of the rope and handing it to him. ‘Now lie on the bed and tie your legs.’ He ordered, still holding the knife against the wife’s neck. The husband obliged without dally. Once he was done tying his legs, the intruder tied both the wife’s hands and ordered her to standby. He proceeded to tie the husband’s hands to both sides of the bed. Untied his legs, spread them across the two sides of the bed, and then tied them again making him to face upwards.
He then dragged the wife into the sitting room. Looked around for a convenient and a long sofa set, then bundled her into it. She got fidgety and let out a scream. He became mad at her and slapped her. He roughened her, tying her feet as well into the sofa. ‘I told you, silly goose, I don’t like scenes except on the stage! Who do you want to call? I’ll do my worst—starting with you if you make more noise.’
‘Please don’t hurt her!’ The husband pleaded and admonished her to stop screaming. ‘She’s a scared little rabbit. Tie her and put her where she can see me.’ He urged from the bedroom.
‘Tell her to stop wailing like a small kid or I’ll slice her throat.’ Jack warned.
‘Don’t mind her. Women are like that-always wet with sentimentality.’ The husband defended. The intruder pushed the sofa set near the bedroom door so that the couple could see each other.
With only the compact mini-skirt and a see-me-through bra, she cut a sexy frame. And for the first time, the intruder seemed finally to be interested in her looks, for after tying her, he took longer in studying her geographical features in spite of himself.
Who couldn’t? Especially when strongly attracted by such a magnificent loveliness – and almost stark naked? Had the price of looking been blindness, he would still have looked. She felt a desire to spit upon him as his eyes brushed slowly over her body. Her dairy farms were firm and round- the domes of the Far East temples. A small rose flower was tattooed upon her belly and her excellent transport facilities formed a capital V.
He bent mechanically as if drawn by her feminine hydraulic power. His lips moved towards her. He kissed her-on the left cheek, took a bit longer, then stood up, pocketed to adjust his bulging trousers and smiled as if he had conquered the world. His majestic look alone could only describe how and what he had felt at that moment. It seemed to him that all his life had been narrowed to one perfect point and time – like he had escaped from prison just to make that award-winning kiss!
He took off his prison shirt and pants and threw them at the foot of the sofa.
‘Where do you keep the towel?’ he asked standing like the David Statue in torn underwear. A rainbow tattoo peeped out in his groin.
‘In the bathroom.’ The husband informed, and added almost immediately, ‘The soap, shampoo, Gillette machine shaver and toiletries are all in there- second door from the kitchen.’
‘Am I clear that no squirrel squeals until I come back from the shower?’ he menacingly asked the scared couple.
‘Yes! Yes! Just do your thing and leave us in peace.’ They exclaimed almost a in unison.
‘Okay-wo! Me nuh be bad tief-man.’ He sang as he headed into the shower. Smiling his mean smile, he opened the creaking bathroom door and breathed alas! When he found that, the water was warm and a bathroom, that he had never seen outside his prison life, was all for him.
‘Here is a likkle song, dat I wrote
You may want to sing it note for note
Baby don worry, be happy
Coz every likkle ting, a guo be awright-o
Di gunman will be in di house tonight-o
Baby don worry, be happy.’
He went on singing in the background, in a hoarser, dry tone, the well-known hardcore gangsta-rap anthem. The rasping sound and the phrasing enchanted the couple. They saw mutilated bodies and other horrors that are normally confined within bounds of a scary movie. And she cried, like a great baby does half the night, and made the husband cry too to see her cry.
‘Are you alright? Don’t cry honey.’ he whispered, peering at her from the open bedroom door but not feeling so much alright as a man sleeping out in a hailstorm or curling up in a wasp’s nest.
‘What a question!’ she could barely stop herself from spitting fire. ‘All this because of you and your miserly life. We should have moved long-time man! Now you asking me “am I alright” ain’t-I-owright-o indeed?’
‘Hey.’ He pleaded at her. ‘I’m just asking you to stop that crying nonsense.’ He regretted opening his mouth because her sobs rose in a crescendo.
‘I-am-just-scared! What-are-we-gonna-do-o-o?’ she cried. ‘Do you think he’s gonna…you know…going to…’ And she cried more, just thinking of the worst.
A handful of minutes fell like leaves from the tree of time. The husband had made a quick calculation. ‘Hey honey, I’ve a plan. It’s the best option we have for our survival.’
‘Honey, he may use force on you. So listen to me. When he comes to you, please and please and please, don’t try to make it hard for him by resis…’
‘Ress-ssist? Are you out of your mind?’ she could barely control herself. She tried to move her fastened and separated feet, which she couldn’t, of course, under the fetters fit to tie a zebu bull.
‘Listen to me you silly goose.’ The husband went on wheedling his wife.
‘Why must I listen?’
‘This is no time for more bloody nonsense. It’s serious.’
‘When you want somebody to listen to your stark and raving mad ideas, it’s serious.’
‘My dear wife, that’s the easiest way. You’ve read about Jack the Raper. Believe me; you don’t want an open skull. Please darling. Accede to his demands. This is such unfortunate. I wish I could do something for you.’ He pleaded.
‘How can you ever say that to someone you claim to love? Is this how deep your shallow love can go? You normally said that you’ll die for me.’
‘But that’s right honey.’
‘Then why are you still alive, you cowardly fool?’
‘There has never been a chance to prove myself. Believe me.’
‘Then this is your chance to prove what you assure me.’
‘I’ll do anything for you.’
‘Are you willing to lay your life for me, then, to show how much you love me?’
‘Anything my squander bird asks. I love you in spite of yourself.’
‘Here is you chance to prove yourself a man who can stand up for his squirrel.’
‘What do you mean?
‘Did you see him bending to kiss my left ear?’
‘Yeah. How dare he planted his filthy kiss on you?’
‘He wasn’t kissing me. He whispered something.’
‘What did he tell you?’
‘And did you see the rainbow tattoo poking out of his grey area?’
‘What is that to do with anything?’
‘That’s what you are just about to find out. But first assure me of your undying love.’
‘Believe me darling. I’m ready to sacrifice my life.’
‘When he whispered to me, he told me that his taste for women was lower than that of men.’
‘Yes my darling. He told me he actually admired you.’
‘No monkey business.’
‘That after all, there were no women in prison.’
‘Way, hubby! And so, please and please and I beg of you, if he comes in your direction, don’t try to resis…’ he could not allow her to finish the phrase.
‘Me? Are you out of your mind?’
‘See? I knew. I knew. You can’t stand up for me. I always knew that. You can’t sacrifice yourself for me. Your love for me is so lame.’
‘Don’t say that. Put yourself in my shoes. That is so weird and unnatural even to think about. Who can imagine it? And in the presence of my wife?’
‘You mean, it’s natural the other way round, huh?’
©Gideon Chumo 2010. Read Part 1. Intruders Part 3 Next Week.
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