My body went numb. I wanted to scream, but my voice wouldn’t come out. I stood up as Ledimo entered the hut, a knife dangling in his hand. I backed away.

“Ledimo … you’re back?”

“Yes … I’m here to finish this once and for all,” he fumed.

“What? There is no need for that. Look … she is here …” I pointed at Tebatšo.

“What are you talking about, idiot?” he asked, stepping towards me. “Who are you pointing at?”

“Tebatšo, here she is.”

He chuckled, shaking his head. “I knew you were mad from the moment I saw you, wena mfana. There is no-one here.” He looked around.

“What? No! She is here,” I paused, confused. “OK. Ask her grandmother then. You saw her outside, right?”

He burst out laughing like a mad man.

O a hlanya wena, Gift. You’re crazy. I’m telling you, boy,” he sniggered and kept quiet for a second, thinking. “Wait a minute … I see now. She is back to haunt me, right? Yes, like the sangoma said when I went to get rid of a dark omen. She said she wanted to come back and torment me, but she is scared to face me. The muti is caging her in a dark, cold place,” he paused, spreading his arms. “You evil spirit! I’m gonna keep you here forever! You won’t escape!” he turned towards me, fuming. “So … You are a messenger of ghosts now? Hmm!”

“She’s not a ghost! She’s alive!”

“Stop talking nonsense. There is no-one here. It’s just us and this grave,” he pointed at the bed.

“What? A grave?”

“Yes. This shallow grave I dug myself. I killed her myself and buried her here,” his face was painted with anger. “No-one knows about it. And today they nearly found out because of you,” he laughed. “For that you’ll pay with your life.”

“What? No! That can’t be true,” I swivelled around and stared at the terrified Tebatšo. Was she a ghost? I couldn’t believe that.

“You’re seeing things, wena boy. And I don’t like that. You’ll land me in trouble with this crazy talk of yours. I think I should just finish you off. Just like I did with her two years back,” he stepped forward towards me, waving the knife in front of my face.

He tried to stab me in my neck but I managed to grab his wrist. I pushed him and he staggered back and fell to the floor. He reached behind and grabbed a stone and was up on his feet again hitting me on my head.

I covered my face with both my hands. He jumped at me and started pounding my stomach with his knee. I stepped forward and sank my teeth into his chest. He screamed and pushed me back.

I looked around for something to defend myself with as he reached for his knife. I grabbed a piece of wood from the fire place and hit him on the head. He fell down, but he was still conscious.

I jumped forward and grabbed his knife.

“Why did you do such a cruel thing? She is your sister, mos?”

“My sister? Mxm,” he frowned, shaking his head. “She was nothing but a thorn in my future. I don’t regret killing her. Look at me now. I’m the manager in her parents’ business. They even adopted me as their blood son, like I’d hoped. What more can I ask for? I’ll surely inherit most of their wealth when they die,” he said, standing up with a smirk.

“Sit down if you still value your life!” I ordered, flashing the knife.

He sank back down, sighing.

“Now tell me everything! How did you kill her and why?”

He smiled as if it was a joke. I stole a look at Tebatšo. She was still scared.

Then he began to speak in a voice without any feeling as he recalled a shocking story of cruelty.

***

Tell us: Why do you think Ledimo would tell Gift what happened? Why isn’t he scared that Gift would tell other people?