The Veil Chapter 18 - Mzansi Stories

Tuesday, April 19

Wizzy

The Veil Chapter 18

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THE VEIL
Chapter 18
The golden cast of the sun upon the bare ground, gave it a lifeless appeal that something could never grow on it.
Alick sat down, his legs crouched. He slumped his arms on his knees and held his head in his hands. Hopelessly and helplessly.
He sat against the high prison walls that seemed to stretch higher than his eyes could see as the days progressed.
The shadow of the walls was giving him little comfort apart from shading him from the scorching afternoon sun.
His left eye still ache. Last night his cell mates had gave him a hell of a time. Beating him up as their own way of welcoming him. They had asked why he was there and him thinking it was an honest chat, he had earnestly stated his crime. Too bad for him, he had been beaten blue black for having no respect of human life.
The cell was so overcrowded it was almost impossible to stretch one's body in a comfortable position. His whole body had been aching from silly tease that usually involved fighting. The moment he had thought he could be able to take on one of the strongest in the crew who were teasing him, he was surprised to see close to ten people coming for him.
His branket had been taken from him the very first day he had arrived in this condemned place. He had once thought sleeping on a bare reed mat was hard not until he had felt the pain of sleeping on a cold and bare floor. With only his prison shirt shielding his body against the cold. He scratched the soles on his skin from the scabies that were revolving around the prison like wild fire. Not mentioning of his ribs that were aching that breathing was becoming a luxury too good to afford.
The two weeks he had been here already felt like forever. This must have been the hell that is mostly talked about. It was another world, totally different from the one he had just left which his heart was still desiring and would give anything to have it back.
They seemed to be people, totally forgotten by the outside world. Who either seemed to ignore them or leave fate to deal with them as it seemed fit. He hadn't been here long but he had already met prisoners who were left to rot for the sins they never committed. It left one faulting the judiciary system yet it seemed a universal plague. Some were confined in these walls without trial for as long as ten years. It left one wondering what strategy was used to subject prisoners to such unfairness.
Not far from where he sat under a make shift shed that was being used as a classroom, were fellow prisoners. He envied the seven plus scholars whose minds seemed to be totally engrossed in what the teacher, a fellow prisoner was saying. The small blackboard reminded him of primary school children from his own home who didn't know the luxury of learning in a classroom until they reached the last class of primary school, Standard eight. They had to endure the cold and rain that would usually mark the end of lessons. If it rained for more days, it meant no classes.
These prisoners were taking another bold step in life, trying to prepare for the outside world once their respective sentences came to an end. Alick didn't want to take that leap of faith, it was already too late. He doubted if at all he would get out of this place alive for every passing day was harder than before. More prisoners were coming and it was getting flooded. The number of prisoners dying overnight made one realize how short actually life is. It made Alick bang heads with the reality on the ground. It was the survival of the fittest and a test of one's faith in almost everything.
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Naomi and her father were on their way to Brian's office. Ever since her father had met Brian, he made it his business to tag her along to all his visits. It wasn't funny to face Brian twice every week for the past fortnight. She had tried refusing but it didn't work and it seemed like he was on a mission to match them for he had turned down good offers from many customers. Naomi had to ask if he had changed his mind about selling the house to which he replied that he wanted someone special to buy his house and when he meets that person he would Know. It was becoming frustrating for Naomi and Brian too.
What sort of client wanted to meet the buyer himself when the deal was just startin. Wasn't it the money he wanted? He was only tolerating him because of Naomi. He gazed at his watch and knew that any minute they would be walking in. The potential buyer this time was an old woman who had only uttered few words since she had been in his office. She was offering more and hadn't bargained like the others before her. She owned a hotel and a car hiring business.
Seeing Naomi frequently had done little favour to his heart. He vowed to himself to man up and ask to talk to Naomi again and they could start again. He must have been losing his appeal to be such a bundle of nerves.
He was deep in his papers when his secretary walked in and announced the arrival of Naomi and her father. She ushered them inside.
As the meeting was about to start, a thought snapped through Brian's mind which he thought of mentioning it later. Would Naomi like to work for him? He knew he wouldn't offer her much but it could still be something. He didn't like what staying idle was doing to her and she looked like someone who would do with some company, his company to be precise.
As the meeting progressed. Naomi's father seemed to be impressed with this woman, Mrs Kambewa. Just by looking at the interior and exterior pictures of the house, she was offering a higher price than the other customers before her. She seemed to have an air of authority about her that called for respect even if one didn't feel like doing it.
She spoke every word confidently and at last they agreed to go and take a look at the house and see if it needed some renovations. For Brian it was a positive step ahead for Naomi's father had abruptly been refusing anyone to view the house even him as an estate agent for the past three months. He had been so close to telling him to look for another agency because he was getting fed up.
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Joseph pulled up the collar of his jacket tightly against his neck to shield from the cold. They had been out half of the night shifting the maize from the warehouse to an abandoned garage in another location for the police were sniffing like dogs with rabies. He had heard from one of their reliable police informant that there was a special force deployed to look into the maize robbery.
From the eight men he normally worked with, he only chose three who he could trust in this special escapade. Trust was crucial at this point for one risked blackmail from those he could consider reliable and loyal.
He took a glance at the time on his phone 02:30 A.M. He was tired. The job had been completed and he supervised as one of his men locked the old garage as the other two were pulling two old cars to shield the entrance and make it look like the place hadn't been touched for ages.
He wanted his bed so badly but tonight he was sure he would have the rash of his wife's tongue. He had ignored her ten calls before he decided to switch it off completely. This job wasn't for his wife's knowledge. If he just made the mistake of telling her this secret, he would be in police custody before dawn and the keys thrown in the middle of the sea. She just didn't know the meaning of secrecy. That was the reason he constantly did things behind her back for she always misinterpreted him or read his actions wrongly. This secret only would follow him to the grave even if it had to before it got within her ears.
He gave the men wads of money before dropping them off to their respective homes in the three tonne truck he had hired only for this . No questions were asked, they knew better and only waited for their next orders.
He drove to his house and wished he had a spare key to let himself inside without disturbing the whole household. He switched on the phone and dialled his wife's number. It wasn't available. He got out of the car and knocked on the door, it wasn't opened and nobody answered. He then went behind the house to the master bedroom window and knocked until he felt his knuckles hurting, yet nothing. He still knocked and realized that his wife probably was doing it deliberately.
He continued knocking until at last the curtains were set aside and a window was opened. He had to face his wife's wrath.
"What do you think you are doing?" She asked him.
"Just go and open the door. It's so cold out here."
"Where are you coming from?"
" Open and I will tell you."
"No you won't telling me anything. Not when you switched off your phone. How was she tonight? Better than the last time I guess or better than me?."
He could feel the mockery in her voice and he swallowed hard to control the temper which was rising within him like bile.
"I don't have time to listen to you. I'm asking you nicely to open the door for me." He said it calmly in contrast to what he felt.
" You go back to where you are coming from. I won't open the door for you."
She spoke every word emphatically.
He thought she was joking when she closed the window firmly back and closed curtains.
He went to stand at the door but thirty minutes passed and still the door didn't budge. The kitchen next to the house was full of ash for him to lie down.
He went back to the car and tried to sleep but it was too uncomfortable. He then decided to drive away.
He knew the perfect place to go. It was Loveness' house. After all she owned him so much, she couldn't refuse him a place to sleep and even warm arms around him. He smirked to that thought...

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