While we were sitting quietly and watching the evening news on TV, we heard a hard knock at the front door.
“Open up! Open up!” said a voice of a man that sounded unfamiliar. I quickly grabbed the remote and adjusted the volume so we could all hear the man, clearly. My mother looked at the big round watch on the wall and it was almost eight in the evening.
“Who are you?” my mother asked in confusion.
“It’s me, the prophet,” the man replied.
“Yes, I was sent by the holy spirit to deliver some good and bad news, but not too bad”.
I immediately wanted to order him to leave and come back at least the next morning. But my mother seemed eager to hear what the man had to say. My father came out of his bedroom wearing his black silk pyjamas and stood right next to my mother. My father always used to assure us that when we were with him, we were protected.
You could see that he was still sleepy but I knew he wanted to show us all in the house that he was a man. And it is his responsibility to deal with perpetrators.
“Who are you?” said my father, loudly.
“He just said that he’s a prophet sent by the ‘Holy Spirit’” answered my mother.
My father took a few steps to the door and let the man in. He was having a long beard and black hair that were uncombed. He was wearing a brown trouser that looked so big, the colour of his shirt was fading slowly but you could tell that it was originally black.
His shoes were dusty as if he took a long walk on a gravel road. He looked so exhausted. My mother offered him a glass of orange juice and he took it with his shivering hands. It was cold outside I assumed, he drank it without taking a break and, the glass was empty in a blink of an eye. He took a deep sigh of relief and looked at us with vivid happiness in his face. At first he wanted to sit on the couch but for whatsoever reason he hesitated and grabbed the plastic chair that was positioned near the door.
My father looked at him suspiciously and said
“So you say it is the Holy Spirit that sent you to my house?”
“Yes” the man replied.
“But why at this hour?”
“I have come all the way from Swaziland. So as a grown up man you will understand that it’s not like a ten minutes’ drive, especially when you are using public transport. I am a popular pastor in my village, do you believe in God’s miracles?”
He looked at my father straight in the eyes, then he opened his suitcase and took out a dead snake that was covered by a newspaper. My mother jumped and screamed and squeezed herself to my father. She was very terrified. The man asked her to calm down and relax, he told us all that the snake will do no harm. He only wanted to show us miracles, he said.
“Wait a minute, are you a prophet or a traditional healer or maybe you practice witchcraft?” asked my father.
“Let’s just say both a prophet and traditional healer, I don’t know about witchcraft. The reason why I came here is to protect you. The Holy Spirit came to me in a form of a dream, and told me to give you this snake. You will bury it in the centre of your yard, by so doing you will defeat your enemies. Someone wants to kill you, he doesn’t sleep he’s always looking for you. He is jealous of the success of your taxi business.”
My father looked at the so-called ‘prophet’ and laughed lightly. Then the man continued
“Once you have done that, your business will grow and make more money. That will happen before the end of this month, but under one condition. And that is, you deposit ten thousand Rand into my account, I will leave my bank details with you. Do you understand?”
My father didn’t answer but instead he felt angry, then he went back to his bedroom and came back with a long thick stick in his hand. For sure he wanted to beat him up. Then he said, angrily
“Look old man, I don’t have taxi business and I don’t know what you are talking about. And I suspect you are nothing but a thief, please leave my house, now!”
He opened the door for him and the man went out slowly, he could see that now he was in danger and might lose his teeth anytime soon if he refuses to go. Outside, he went in a zig-zag direction, kicking stones and swearing at no one for his plan didn’t go well.
His cell phone rang unexpectedly, it was his boss who sent him to that family, but not the Holy Spirit.
“Where are you?” said another man on the other end.
“They chased me out, so our plan didn’t work and that man isn’t a taxi owner” he answered.
“The house is painted purple, right?”
“No, it is painted blue.”
“You entered the wrong house, idiot!” snapped the man on the other end.
“But I thought you said…”
The call was ended before he finished his explanation.