Monday 16 May 2011

The Death of Benny Blow: Vigilante Tantrum

Black and moist dirt breeds the fattest worms that squirm and wriggle underneath it. The epitome of obese amongst all wormkind. Thick pus filled sausages whose bodies are marked and divided into small rings, bearing resemblance to intestines. Digesting all the corpses the earth ingests and squelching in its muddy belly. Hundreds of bodies decaying under the supervision of their worm masters, some past putrification. The cadavers becoming a single mush with the soil and wood from coffins. They fertilize the soil and bring forth new life through the germinating grass and shooting plants. From death emerges new life. But some things refuse to follow the conventional circle of life. Perhaps it bores them. Perhaps it is some cosmic joke disobeying the laws of creation. Who knows? Some things are better left unexplained.
Tonight the earth spreads her legs to grant life to something that denies staying buried and fertilizing her plant life. The full moon hovers above the dirt and illuminates the delivery. The dirt cold and calm on the surface, but below something festers and  bubbles. Dirt on the grave bulges. Something burrows beneath it and a small crater begins to form from the bulge. Clumps of soil and stones sink as muddy hand thrusts through the soil. Blood streaks thinly down the liberated arm. Tooth and nail literally fighting the muddy placenta-less womb. Digging. Clawing .Scratching. A head protrudes. BEHOLD, he takes his first breath. A dog howls in the distance. O’ mother earth! What have you unleashed unto the world?

“Ndiye kuti muni settinga? Enh, are you playing a joke on me?”
“Iyayi mdala, we’re not playing a joke on you. We just want to know exactly what happened.”
“Then why are you here with him?! Are you wizards of some sort, enh? Because if you are, I’m telling you now, I am protected! My uncle practices witchcraft and …and…”
The old man spoke with a typical Zambian accent, I couldn’t tell from which part of Zambia though. I never could. Chibale had been trying to reason with him for what now felt like an eternity. What the man was saying was just plain insane. But with what had happened over the last week I shouldn’t have been too surprised.
“We are not wizards mdala. We just want to be clear, because what you are saying is just not possible. “Chibale told him. The caretaker explained again exactly what he had seen. He spoke in Nyanja and went on in length about the events of the other night, his story unchanging. He talked again about how he had been roaming the grounds because he felt he did a better job than those loafers from the security company. He said occasionally some small-time witches would slip past the gates and perform rituals on the graves of the deceased rich inside the grounds. Why just last week he had evicted two of them. But this one was different. And he swore to us that he doesn’t drink. He had been right at the grave when it all began to happen.
A cat running from the grave had caught his attention so he decided to investigate. He claimed an eerie feeling overcame him when he’d reached it, and then it all unfolded. An arm protruded from the ground and began to dig out. Another arm emerged from where the first one had. They struggled with the dirt until a head thrust though the dirt and took a deep breath. The person gasped for air and coughed for a bit and then stared at the caretaker. The old man said he froze and almost even soiled himself. The man from the grave freed the rest of his body and buckled a little when he stood. The old man said nothing to what he assumed was a zombie and their eyes locked. Then the zombie gave him a thumb up and left. Of course the old man was too frightened to do anything, who wouldn’t be? He said he ran home and prayed.
“And you are sure of whom you saw?” Chibale asked.
“Yes! It was this same man you are with here today! I cannot be mistaken; he has the same eyes the man from your grave had….”
When we had inspected the grave and left the old man I thought deeply about what had been happening recently. Was this all some messed up dream? Id had plenty of those over time, but why hadn’t I woken up by now? I had always wanted some variety in my life, but this was just too much. From the funeral to the mental hospital and now this? A zombie?! Maybe it was just one of those witchcraft guys the caretaker had mentioned. But why Benny’s grave?
“Balito! Do you believe that man?” Chibale said breaking the silence.
“I don’t know what to believe anymore bra…I may have really lost my mind, escaped the asylum and did all that shit. But even if I did manage to escape, how did I burry myself?” I said.
“I think we should never speak of this again,” I told him, “Maybe if I just ignore it, it might all go back to some normalcy. I’m not even sure if I remember what normal is anymore.”
I spent most of the rest of that week sleeping and watching T.V. I avoided anything that stretched the imagination just incase I flipped. I watched a lot of news and read the papers everyday. There had been funny articles about people being set on fire, DJs getting beaten up and being threatened not to play certain songs, sneakers getting stolen and burnt…a whole lot of weird stuff had been happening. Made me wonder if I was dreaming still. Until my friend Grandson called me. “Exe! Switch on your radio and tune into Radio Phoenix right NOW!”
I rushed to the bedroom and tuned in. The signal wasn’t so good,”…..might die! This is dangerous and criminal behavior! The government must do something….” More typical Zambian accents. These people liked to call on the government for everything. “….Yeah, this guy beat up my friends and I and stole our sneakers!....Reports allover Lusaka have been coming in of similar events. Some have even been so unfortunate as to be left tied upside down and robbed of their clothes. Victims say the attacker doesn’t take any valuable items like money or jewelry, just clothes and shoes, mostly sneakers. DJs have been afraid to play some popular songs for fear of being attacked by this dangerous night man. We have with us here a man who claims to know the attackers name and has even written a poem about him…..
‘Beware all ye with rainbow coloured Supras
Ye who claim swag and act super.
Ye with fake weaves and bleach-ed skin
Ye that ramble on like an empty tin.
Beware for he will rob you naked and string you up
For your ignorance you will cry and whimper like a pup.
He stalks the night for the fake and unreal
His vigilante justice swift, you will have no appeal.
Cool and calm as the cold wind blows
Beware all ye, of THE BENNY BLOW!’…….”


  1. The worm-shit was fucking intense, had me trippin' like that maggot-item in Resident Evil, but this was way worse, like a bad dream where I was having missionary sex with it. Keep it comin'!

  2. And three cheers for Grandson!- how do I sign up to follow this thang? Chuckster.