Blood Lives Here – Episode 7
© Brian Ngoma
Ludo entered a room. From a distance, she saw a round table. A voice called her to sit. She hesitated but another angry voice ordered her to sit down. As she walked to the table, she saw four people sited but couldn’t see their faces. She felt sweat on her forehead but couldn’t wipe it, her hands were suddenly tied. She looked at the figures in front of her but the moment she sat down, she stopped hearing their voices but could only see their heads move. There was a blood stained knife on the table. She felt something move behind her. She wanted to shout but couldn’t. One of the figures in front of her stood up and started walking to her. She felt something hairy on her shoulder. Her body was filled with Goosebumps. She slowly moved her head to check it out and it was a tail. The figure coming towards her picked the knife from the table. She heard a silent roar and knew there was an animal behind her; not just any animal but a vicious one. The animal lurked behind her. Using her side eye, she saw green eyes glowing. She closed her eyes in anticipation to either be stabbed or be devoured.
There was silence. She heard a door been unlocked from a near distance and it opened. Ludo opened her eyes to Elise standing in front of her holding a tray of breakfast.
“Bad dream?” Elise smiled.
Ludo looked around. She was still in the beautiful guest bedroom she had been put the previous night.
“Yes,” she wiped her sweat.
“You need to bath. You are sweater.”
“I know,” Ludo sat upright looking at Elise.
“Well bath and eat. I’ll be in the garden with my husband. You’ll find me,” Elise smiled and left Ludo alone.
Ludo took time to get out of bed. She was hesitant to eat the food. She didn’t know these people and the way the children mistreated her the previous night, she knew she didn’t have to trust anyone. She finally managed to bath. When she came out of the bathroom, she found some clothes on the bed. She didn’t change into those, she decided to remain in hers. She went downstairs and found Erica and Evan arguing about something. They stopped when they saw her. She stood looking at them.
“Go to the garden,” Erica told Ludo rudely.
“I don’t know where the garden is,” Ludo said.
“Take her,” Evan said.
“Why me?” Erica looked at him.
“Let me deal with the whore in my bedroom,” Evan left.
Erica told Ludo to follow her. They got out of the house and went to the garden which was located on the right side of the backyard of the house.
“There they are,” Erica pointed Ludo to her parents.
Ludo walked slowly to the garden.
“You’re up now,” Elise smiled at Ludo.
“Take a sit.”
Ludo sat on a garden chair.
“My garden gives me peace of mind,” Elise said inhaling slowly. “This is my favorite part of this house.”
“What do you want from me?” Ludo asked. “I want to go home.”
“Aww. Look at you. You miss your parents, right?”
“It has come to my attention that you have a condition. Is it true?”
“Yes I’m epileptic. Been here makes me vulnerable to the seizures because I’m not taking my meds.”
Elise looked at Ludo with a sad face. It was as if she understood and felt what Ludo was saying.
“Look at my husband,” she turned around. “Nalishuwa Humuumbu. My Tonga Bull.”
Ludo tilted her head to see him. She saw him on a wheelchair staring at some flowers.
“That is my husband of 47 years. We got married when we were teens. We were madly in love,” Elise looked at the blue skies. “He got sick 11 years ago.”
“What is his problem?” Ludo asked.
“Stroke; the doctors say. We have had several operations and treatments but nothing seems to work. He doesn’t even speak now.”
“He built everything from scratch. Everything we are today, my children and I owe it to him.”
“Why are you telling me all this?”
“You see my child. When you are charged with the responsibility of taking care of people who you truly love and a threat comes from the outside, you tend to do anything to protect them. Wouldn’t you do the same my child?”
Ludo was confused.
“So let’s talk about the manuscript,” Elise moved her chair to Ludo’s. “Tell me, who paid you to write about us?”
“No one. I told your children the same thing.”
Elise took a long breath.
“Yes they told me. Unlike them I believe you,” she smiled.
“Yes my child,” Elise answered.
Ludo was surprised. How could she believe her just like that? She asked herself.
“Are you letting me go?”
“You are not a prisoner here my child,” Elise said. “I’m just asking for a favor.”
“What?” Ludo asked feeling her heartbeat race faster than usual.
“Don’t tell anyone about what happened here. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to do or say anything that would put your parents in jeopardy. Would you?”
“I thought so. And one other request. Whenever I need you here, you are required to come without hesitations. There is so much we have to talk about; me and you. I like you. You remind me of me when i was young.”
There was something about Elise that Ludo couldn’t figure out. It was in between friendliness and dangerous. Whatever it was, Ludo didn’t want to bring it out.
“I agree,” Ludo said.
“Melanie will take you home. Oh and one other thing, you spent the night at Melanie’s. You two were catching up after a long time.”
Evan and Melanie showed up in the garden. Melanie was glowing. She couldn’t hide the smile on her face. Evan was disgusted with her, he couldn’t even look at her.
“Melanie child, how are you?” Elise asked her.
“I’m fine madam,” she answered.
“Don’t call me madam. Call me Elise,” she smiled.
Evan looked at his mother in shock.
“Alright Elise,” Melanie said.
“I’m sure my son has told you everything, right?”
“Alright. Then we are settled. Take Ludo home, she misses her parents. Ludo you can now go.”
Ludo couldn’t believe her ears. She was being let go. Melanie called her and off they went.
Evan and his mother stood watching the two girls go.
“Did you give her the car keys?” Elise asked.
“Why did you let her go?”
“I didn’t let her go you fool. You almost blew this up.”
“It wasn’t my fault. It was Erica’s.”
“You and Erica are both stupid brats. Just one simple task and you want to cost me everything have built.”
“Mom I told you I’m not good at this kind of work. I’m called Brains for a reason. I don’t like getting physical, that is for Ethan.”
“You have to learn.”
“No mom. Where is Ethan by the way?”
“Taking care of more important matters. Did you take care of your little mess?”
Evan faced down.
“Tell me you took care of it.”
“She’s gone mom. I think she’s dead.”
“Well, good. She was a distraction. How about the man she was working with?”
“My men are still looking for him.”
“They better find him and take him out,” she paused. “I want you to go and meet Mr. Richards from Bank of Zambia. You should leave the manuscript with me. I haven’t read it. Its time I read it. ”
“Finally, something interesting,” Evans face flashed.
“Go now,” she dismissed him.
Elise walked to her husband. She stood in front of him while he stared at her expressionlessly.
“I will take care of it I promise,” she directly looked at him in the eyes.
Kate reached her house worried. She had a strange feeling about Melanie. She was glad that Ludo was back home with her parents.
“Did she come back?” Kent asked Kate.
“Yes I left her at her place,” Kate answered. “I told you she would be back.”
“Where was she?”
“She was with Melanie.”
“Who is Melanie?”
“My former pupil. They were in the same class. I used to teach them both.”
“That’s good. Then she’s safe.”
“Something is wrong; I can feel it. Did that man come again at your office?”
“He didn’t. I pray he never shows up again.”
“So what will happen to Ludo’s manuscript? You have to tell her,” Kate advised.
“I will call her to my office tomorrow so that I talk to her.”
“Good. Let me take a bath now,” Kate went to the bathroom.
Zamiwe left Ludo’s bedroom door with sadness written all over her face. She saw Ludo was crying but couldn’t let her talk to her. She went straight to her bedroom and sat on the bed looking at a portrait beside the bed. She thought about how simple everything was before Ludo’s sickness started. She was happy with Joe. She had a good job working as a journalist until she was forced to stop and study nursing to take care of her daughter. The situation at hand, made her feel even worse. She didn’t know what happened to her daughter.
Joe entered the bedroom talking on the phone with the police officer. He was reporting to him that Ludo had come back safely. After finishing talking, he put the phone on the table and sat next to Zamiwe. He could tell that she was sad.
“What happened?” He asked.
“She slammed the door on my face,” Zamiwe responded.
“She need some time. I’m glad she has a friend. At least she won’t be in doors that much. Outdoors is good for our daughter.”
“I’m worried Joe. She was crying. I hope nothing bad happened to her,” she rested her head on his shoulder.
“What could possibly happen to our daughter?” Joe smirked. “She’s fine. She was just having fun with her friend.”
Ludo woke up the following morning feeling tired. She just wanted to spend the whole day in bed. She was trying to make sense of what had happened to her. It all seemed like a nightmare that she had woken up from. For a minute, she wanted to believe it was but when Melanie called her, she knew everything that happened was real.
“Hi Melanie,” she answered the phone.
“Hey Ludo, how are you today?” Melanie asked.
“I’m fine thanks. What can I do for you?”
“Evan told me to call you and check up on you.”
Ludo felt a sharp sting in her heart.
“Is that so?”
“Yes. I don’t know what you were doing there but it was a blessing finding you there. Evan told me they had found you wondering their street lost and they decided to take you in. He said you also had a seizure.”
“I didn’t know you still have those. I’m taking the car; would you accompany me?”
“No Melanie I’m resting. I’ll talk to you later,” Ludo cut the phone.
Melanie had been lied to. She couldn’t even think because she was pampered and she liked Evan to comprehend the situation. Despite Ludo whispering in her ear that she needed help, Melanie didn’t even suspect a thing. Ludo got out of bed and went to the living room where she found her parents obviously waiting for her. With them was the police officer that had talked to Ludo’s father.
Hunter waited the whole night in a club for the owner but he didn’t show up. He had been tipped that the owner was in town. Been in Madagascar had made him to start looking for people who owed him because he didn’t have much. The man he was waiting for had given him a job a year ago but didn’t pay him.
“Sir cleaners are here; would you mind?” The bartender asked Hunter.
He looked at him.
The bartender stepped backwards.
He got up from the chair putting his shades back on.
“You say your boss didn’t come back?” He asked without looking at the bartender.
“No sir,” the bartender answered nervously.
“He didn’t come in sir.”
With Hunter’s experience, he felt lies in the bartender’s voice. In that moment he forced himself into a passage which he was denied entry the whole night. He walked straight into it while the bartender shouted from the distance to come back but he ignored him. He reached a door and kicked it.
“So you’re here?” Hunter said clenching his fists.
“No I just got here,” a man responded. “I have your money,” he opened a drawer.
Hunter looked at him furiously, “You kept me here the whole night waiting for you. Your men couldn’t let me come here.”
“I just got here Hunter please, here is your money.”
Hunter walked to the man, grabbed the money from his hands and counted.
“It’s not enough,” he stared at him.
“You can come next week for the rest.”
Hunter grabbed the man by his shirt and pulled him. He lifted him up and gave him the devil’s stare. The man had known he was facing death in its eyes.
“Give me one reason I shouldn’t break your bones now.”
“Please I have a family.”
“Is that a reason?”
“I know something you might be interested in.”
“What could that be?”
“I know you escaped from Zambia.”
“There’s a rumor circling around that there is manuscript about the Hamuumbu’s.”
“Yes. It’s a story about them but not only is it a story but everything in it is factual. Apparently, all their enemies want to grab the copy of it. It is believed that it exposes them.”
Hunter dropped the man on the floor.
“Are you certain?”
Hunter picked the notes on the table and walked to the door. He turned around and said, “If I ever find out you are lying to me, I will kill you and your whole family. Do you understand me?”
“Yes,” the man gulped.
Hunter left the office.
To be continued