FROM THE KIND KILLER BY ACHIRO PATRICIA OLWOCH ACT I Scene 1 This is a one man show…Nata tells her story… NATA I sat in a small dilapidated latrine clutching my small child. I was pregnant with my other child. I was so worried that at any one time the latrine would collapse…but this was the only place that was safe for my child and I. She moves around the stage… NATA (Speaking slowly) My husband had been cut down, right before my eyes. Let me tell you the story from the beginning. She sits in the middle of the stage… NATA You see…his friend Kabalata from next door came and knocked at our door. We were watching cartoons with my little son. Well, I was the one watching, my husband was seated with his laptop typing away like the world was about to end. (Slowly) In a way, I guess it did end for him. When Kabalata knocked at the door, I jumped up to open it. What I saw… …he was holding a machette in his hand. It was bloody…there were people running all over the place behid him…there was chaos and screaming and death…I was so confused. My son came behind me and started to cry…Kabalata put his finger to his mouth…silence…he was saying. I stepped back and picked up my son. Kabalata entered the house slowly…weilding his bloody machette. My husband stood up from where he was seated and walked up to him. He said nothing…he just gestured to me to leave the room. He faced Kabalata…that was the last time I saw my husband standing and alive. Nata is in the middle of the stage…craddling her child…and humming a tune…it is as if she is rocking her child to sleep. She lays the child in the middle of the stage and covers him with a ’lesu’ piece of cloth that she is wearing around her waist. She watches over her child like a hawk as he sleeps… NATA Kabalata killed my husband…he cut him down in cold blood. The he came to the room where I was hiding…he had tears in his eyes. I was terrified…his machette was dripping with blood. Blood I knew was from my husband. He just stood there…tears…a bloody machette…there was screaming everywhere else around…but not in my house…right at that moment there was such a silence…such a cold feeling it was like someone was rubbing an ice block all over my body. Even my child would not cry. He tried to but all that came out was a muffled sound…it was as if the sound had gotten stuck in his throat on the way out. There is silence…deathly silence… Nata continues to speak slowly… NATA Now we are living in his house…we hide in the out door latrine during the day and in the night, he collects us under the shadow of night and hides us in his house. It is a hut actually…you see he used to be our shamba boy. He used to come and cut the grass around our compound. Now I am at his mercy…I live in his hut and sleep on a mat on the cold muddy floor…and I hide away in his latrine during the day. Saying that tables turn is an understatement. Nata walks around the stage… NATA I did ask him once…why he took my husband and left me and my child. He said that he had to prove that he has ’worked’ that day. Work! That us what they call the killings…the massacre…work! They equate it to clearing a shamba…cutting away weeds. Weasals…that is what they call us, just because we belong to another political group…or because we do not follow their political group. My husband worked for the government…he was their enemy. Why did he save me? Why didnt he cut me down too? Nata picks up her child and cradles him… NATA They meet in his hut. The killers…they meet in Kabalata’s hut…they are so many. Sometimes they are too many to gather in his hut so they sit under the mangoe tree in his compound. I can hear each and every word they say…the latrine is behind the mango tree. It is an old broken down latrine…no one uses it anymore. That is why it is the safest place for me to hide. It is smelly and full of all the flies the world has to offer but it is safe. It is either living in filth or dying like a dog. Some days, I think that it would be better to die. Better to die than watch my child sit and be covered with flies amidst the stench and all the filth.
Enyo will be published and available for free download on Arts Lounge, on the 20th of December, 2020.