DO NOT OPEN – Episode 6
© Brian Ngoma
Nikiwe sagged in her chair staring at the file on the desk with her chin resting on her left hand. She swallowed hard at the thought of what she had just read. She had mentally gathered all the pieces she had read from the witnesses statements from the 89′ to the 07′ case. All cases had a mention of a white envelope. Regardless of what happened, the envelope was seen by all the witnesses. What could that mean? Could the envelope have anything to do with the murders? She sighed, NO, her mind refused to believe that. It didn’t make sense and if something didn’t make sense to Nikiwe, it was nonsensical, but in this case, something was telling her to be open minded. Was there some supernatural element involved in all of this?
Thinking about the murderers behind these crimes, there was one thing common. The murders were all committed by women. Why? She asked herself. It’s only the women who found themselves killing their loved ones and from the witnesses statements, these women seemed like they wouldn’t even hurt a fly. Was the envelope behind it all? She shook her head. She felt like she was going insane. Perhaps, this is the reason Ngoma didn’t want her to have the file.
She looked back at the file and sat upright. She started counting in her head from 89′ to 07′. There was 18 years in between and 4 similar cases. Her mind was stuck. She knew she was onto something and then it cleared.
“6 years after each case!” She exclaimed and stood up. “I guess if i check the next case, it should have happened in 2013 and committed by a woman,” she grabbed the file and flipped vigorously and her heart almost stopped when she saw;
CASE 13_ WITNESS STATEMENTS
She closed the file and threw it on the desk. She knew these cases were bigger than her. Then again, she figured for her to come around the cases, she had to finish going through the witness statements. Will she pursue it to the end? Was it worth it? Did the families deserve justice? Did the convicted murderers really commit the crimes?
The constantly burning question though, Who brought the file to her? The person who did this had a motive. But what?
A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts. She looked up and saw Ba Yaba waving at her wearing the same weirdly smile. Nobody knew where Ba Yaba came from but nobody asked. He did his work and that satisfied everyone.
Nikiwe looked at her watch. It was a few minutes to 12pm. “Hello Ba Yaba, can i help you?”
“Your husband is outside madam,” Said Ba Yaba smiling. “He said he’s been calling you for a while now.”
She reached for her phone and found several missed calls from Clarence. “Damn!” She stood up grabbing the file with her. In her mind was what could have made her husband visit her at lunchtime? “Thanks Ba Yaba,” she walked past him.
“You’re welcome,” Ba Yaba’s eyes were on the file in Nikiwes hands.
Nikiwe sprinted to the car park and found Clarence and the boys. Strange, she thought. What were they doing here? When she approached them, Clarence hugged her. She looked at the boys and they were facing down.
“Boys what’s wrong?” She looked at Clarence.
Clarence shrugged, “They will tell you.”
“We didn’t start it, they did mom,” Zindaba responded.
“What didn’t you start Zindaba?” Nikiwe asked.
“The fight,” Jackson answered and looked away quickly.
“So, you boys were fighting again?”
“Mom, they were beating Zindaba,” Jackson said defensively. “I had to do something!”
Clarence chuckled. Nikiwe looked at him and he looked away. She knelt down before the boys and brought them together. “What do I say about fighting?”
“It’s bad,” they both answered.
“Do you see the police station there?” She pointed at it.
They boys nodded.
“What happens to people who fight?”
“You catch them and bring them here,” Jackson answered.
“Do you want mommy to catch her own boys and bring them here?”
“I don’t want to be brought here mom,” Zindaba responded with tears in his eyes.
“So, from now onwards, what are you boys expected to do when your friends start a fight?”
“Walk away,” Jackson replied.
“That’s what I always tell you to do, Isn’t it?”
“Yes mom,” they answered together.
Nikiwe stood up looking at Clarence. “Boys, get in the car.”
They both walked passed them and went into their fathers car and sat at the backseat.
“I didn’t know what to do with them,” Clarence smiled. “I received a call from the principal complaining about them. He said lately, they have been involved in a lot of fights. And since their school is closer to here, I decided we pay you a visit.”
“Did you see the way Jackson said he was protecting his brother,” Nikiwe excitedly said in a low tone.
“I know right,” Clarence agreed.
“We are bad parents,” Nikiwe laughed.
“I knew if i brought them here you’d give them a lecture of catching them and stuff. They are scared of prison. Were you so busy? I have been calling for almost an hour.”
“Not really, I was just going through the case I told you about.”
“Is it a cold case?”
“Have lunch with us.”
“Ohh baby no, my boss is on my neck. I left early yesterday so I have to knock off the usual time today.”
“Okay you will find us home,” Clarence kissed her goodbye.
She watched him get into the car and waved at the boys. As soon as they left, she walked to her car and sat in the backseat and opened the file.
My name is Kainga Siwale. In 2013, the unimaginable happened to my family. It all started on a dusty day in August. My wife had just given birth to our first born, Charlie. Upon getting the news, My mother in law came to visit us so she could help my wife nurture Charlie. All was well until that fateful day.
We had decided to go out as a family since my wife’s mother was not very conversant with the city. She had pleaded to show her around. After having a pleasant time, we decided to drive back home as this was Charlie’s first outing as well. When driving back home, the car had a tyre puncture and it was in the middle of nowhere.
“What do i say about checking the cars fitness before you leave the house?” My wife asked concerned as it was getting late.
“Everything was okay when we left town,” I responded to her. “Let me see what I can do.”
“The only thing you can do is change tyres or call for help. I suggest the latter,” My wife’s temper was rising.
I had to do something. I got off the car and went to the trunk but I didn’t plan for this so there was nothing of help. I called for help but they said they would reach in thirty minutes. I could not wait that long, my wife would have been on my throat. So, I did what every man could have done. I decided to walk to the nearest shop. I had seen one our way.
“Don’t take long,” my wife said.
“I’ll be back soon,” I assured her. “Mom,” I looked at my mother in law. “Take care of these two.”
As I started walking, I stepped on something and felt a strange wind blow in my face. I looked down and saw a white envelope stuck on my shoe. I bent down, removed it and flew it away. I started off. As I walked further away from the car, my heart kept beating faster. I should have listened to my guts.
I returned a few minutes later with a rented car. Upon arrival, I found all the car doors were opened and there was no sign of anyone there. Could my wife have left because she was upset? No, I didn’t think so. I got to the car but there was no one. Everything in the car was scattered. It looked like there was a quarrel. I went round the car and saw a drop of blood. My heart was now racing. I followed the trail of blood into the grasses and it kept getting bigger. I started trekking and it led me to my dead wife and Charlie. I couldn’t believe what i was seeing. My wife was covered in blood with Charlie wrapped in her arms. She died protecting Charlie but unfortunately, they all died. Where was my mother in law? I heard her crying and when i saw her, she had a pliers covered in blood and curled into a ball on the grass bitterly weeping.
“I knew it!” Exclaimed Nikiwe. “Another woman committing the murder. Could it be that these women were framed? How about their side of the story?” She went to back to the initial case and flipped through the pages to find if there was anything concerning the perpetrators but there was nothing. “Strange.”
She checked her watch and it was 2:44 pm. She decided it was time to get back to the station. She needed some answers from Ngoma. It was obvious he knew more than what he let out about these cases. She left the file in the car and walked away. As soon as she left, the file flipped open on its own and directly went to;
CASE 19’_ WITNESS STATEMENTS
An envelope lays on a busy highway with words imprinted on it in caps lock which reads ‘DO NOT OPEN’. The breeze blows it up and directly gets stuck between a 2019 White Range Rover Evoque’s windshield and wipers.
“What’s that Dave?” A woman in the passengers seat asks the man driving.
The previous day, as the sun rose slowly over the eastern horizon and so was the white envelope that appeared from nowhere. It had been six years. It was back. As the wind blew it vigorously, it moved across the skies with urgency like a Lion that has spotted it’s prey. Wherever it was headed, blood will be spilled.
To be continued