The cramps began to topple each other and each spasm more intense than the last. Lying on her side, Melissa squeezed the steel lamp-stand and until her knuckles were white. Her face contorted in a grotesque expression of pain, a blood-curdling scream escaped from her throat. The baby wriggled in the birth canal unaware of the hovering dark force thirsty for her blood. Sasha kicked and pushed the door but it did not budge. “Fuuck!”, she screamed from frustration and ran to the kitchen door. She slid the latch from its inlet and the door swung open. She wildly scanned the yard looking for a heavy tool that could knock down the door. She noticed a shadow approaching, someone was coming, she back paddled into the kitchen and ducked, hiding behind the kitchen granite island. Mukoma Simon stood still in the middle of the driveway listening to the screams in the house and it sure sounded like Mrs. Matavire. He walked to the front door and knocked but there was too much commotion from inside for anyone to hear him. He walked around the house to the back and found the kitchen door wide open. He cautiously tip-toed into the house not knowing what to expect, ” Mrs. Matavire?!” He called out as he moved slowly to the passage entrance. A piercing scream cut through the air and Mukoma Simon rushed to the door at the end of the passage. “Mrs. Matavire! It’s Mukoma Simon!” He knocked on the door and tried to open it but it was locked. Melissa, listened tentatively, “Mukoma Simon?!” She crawled to the door, using the door handle as leverage she pulled her self up to her knees, quickly unlocked the door and sank back to the floor. Simon stood there for a moment wide-eyed unsure of what to do. She was in labor, he noticed. Melissa grunted still clutching the lampstand, “Get me out of here now Simon!” She screamed. Simon jolted to action, took her arm and put it around his shoulder so he could lift her up while supporting her weight in a pivotal position. With her left hand, Melissa gripped the edge of the bed for balance. Sasha stealthily walked in the corridor with both hands on the machete, Simon and Melissa did not see her as she stepped into the room.
Nerudo ransacked the entire apartment looking for his money, his life savings. Where could Sasha have hidden the money? He threw himself on the couch and stared at the ceiling, thinking of possible hiding places. In a spur of a light bulb moment, he jumped up and smacked his head, the ceiling! It must be on the ceiling! He remembered the trap door in the kitchen, he climbed the countertop and gently pushed the ceiling board to the side. With both hands he groped blindly on the edge of the boards and felt the cold leather, he found it. Nerudo pulled the bag out and punched the air in stifled victory. He quickly unzipped the bag and sighed in relief. All of it still sealed in plastics, untouched. He walked out of the apartment for the first time in weeks, squinting his eyes in the sudden brightness of the sun. He had to go home to Melissa and explain everything to her, he had to convince her even if it meant surrendering the money to her. He would deal with Sasha later.
Sasha swung the machete at Simon, slicing through his neck and his head fell forward landing at Melissa’s feet, his cold glazed eyes staring at her. The rest of his body fell backward tumbling on Sasha while the stump of his neck squirted blood, spraying the room like the canvas of an expressionist. Melissa fell on the bed howling and horror-stricken. “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!”, she cried before puking her entire lunch right on top of her belly. Sasha fell under the weight of Simon’s trunk, drenched in his blood, she pushed him off with all of her might. So much blood, she could hear her heart pounding and threatening to leap out of her mouth. She tried to get up but she slipped in the pool of blood and fell on her buttocks. Melissa hugged her stomach in pain, the cramps intensified she could not move. Sasha stood up, using the door frame for support, maneuvering around the blood spills, she grabbed the machete from the floor and slowly walked towards Melissa.” Sasha, please don’t do this…I am begging you”. Melissa pleaded as she inched backward to the headboard and her face scrunched up in pain. Sasha stopped for a second and whispered, “I am sorry.” Melissa shook her head in terror, ” Please!” Sasha heaved the machete over her head and hacked right on Melissa’s belly. Melissa fell back, a deafening scream emanating from her throat, her hands on her belly while squirming like a baby eel. Without thinking twice Sasha raised the machete over her head to take another swing and that girl appeared again in front of her. This time with a half decaying face with a deathly pale of grey hue. “Leave!”, the ghostly girl shrieked, her voice wailed like the voice of a thousand gods. Sasha dropped the machete, turned on her heels and ran out of the house. Tearing across the yard headed for the gate. She stumbled and fell, got up and kept running to her car. She jumped into her car which was parked across the street. She looked back and the girl was standing by the gate, ” I said leave!” She reiterated in the terrifying thunderous voice. Sasha took off, she checked the review mirror and caught a glimpse of a white Range Evoke arriving at the gate.
FJ jogged to the front patio unlocking the door in panicked haste. He walked in to the living room and immediately knew something was terribly wrong. He stopped in the hallway grasped by terror. There was a headless corpse in the doorway. He tiptoed deliberately towards the door, trembling with fear and as he got closer he saw Melissa lying on the bed, legs wide open and the head of baby crowning her vagina. Instinctively he ran to her and almost fainted when he saw Simon’s head on the floor. “What the fuck!” He shivered. Melissa made a grunting sound and the shoulders of the baby came out. She was giving birth! Immediately FJ snatched a towel from the dresser and placed it under the baby, one last grunt and the baby was out. Limp and silent, a stillbirth. Melissa collapsed on her back and passed out. FJ looked at the baby, a full-term well-developed baby girl. With shaky hands he wrapped the baby in a towel, umbilical cord still attached. FJ stood up and discovered the ugly deep gash on Melissa’s abdomen. “Jesus Christ!” He shuddered. He promptly grabbed the other end of the bed cover and pressed it on the bleeding wound. FJ gagged, and closed his eyes, the blood and the gore was more than he could bear. The loud sirens announced the arrival of the ambulance. “Help! In here! hurry up and save my wife!”, he cried out. The paramedics had Melissa and her baby in the ambulance in minutes. A sheet was thrown over Simon’s corpse. FJ sat in his car in stunned silence, petrified and traumatized as he waited for the police to arrive. He ran his hand over his bald head and broke into tears.
Sasha burst into her apartment covered in blood. ” Nerudo! We need to go now!” She shrieked. Silence. She rushed to her bedroom and he wasn’t there. “Nerudo?”, she called out urgently as she entered her kitchen and gasped at the missing ceiling board. ” No, no, no, no!” Sasha climbed the kitchen counter and probed the edges of the boards with her right hand. The money was gone. She instantly punched Nerudo’s number, ” Where are you?!” She screamed into the phone, “Bitch you thought you could have me under your spell forever?” Sasha hung up the phone close to tears. She rushed to the fridge, took out a vial of sperm and emptied into a glass. She slit her finger with a knife and squeezed her blood into the glass. She poured a grey liquid into the glass and mixed it with a spoon before gulping down all the contents. Sasha closed her eyes and whispered, “Come back.”
Nerudo was frantic, no one was answering their phone. Melissa was obviously not at home. He floored the accelerator along Simon Mazorodze headed at his inlaws. As he approached the ZBC traffic lights he felt himself fade into a familiar abyss. “I will be damned”, he said to himself as he slowly lost control of his body. He watched in horror as he made a u-turn by the traffic lights heading back to town. He found himself parked outside Sasha’s apartment. Sasha waved at him from the entrance and walked to the car, throwing herself on the passenger seat. She leaned forward and kissed him on his cheek, ” I thought I had lost you for a moment there”, she smiled. “You got the money?” Nerudo nodded, ” Great! To the airport baby!”
Tererai waited for the doctor in the hospital foyer. She prayed in undertones, “She will live and not die, in the name of Jesus” A middle-aged doctor walked up to Tererai, “Mrs. Vhungo?” Tererai nodded her head, “Yes that’s me, is my daughter going to be okay? The doctor smiled at her reassuringly, ” She lost a lot of blood but she is in stable condition, unfortunately, the baby didn’t make it.” Tererai slowly sank into the hospital bench. Surely the fruits of her womb were cursed.
8 months later…
FJ walked into his penthouse with a bouquet of flowers. Melissa sprawled on the couch sat up and smiled at him, “Flowers every day?” FJ flashed a toothy grin, ” The best, for the best.” He kissed her on the forehead. He knew she was going through a lot after the Sasha ordeal. She had resigned from her job and attended therapy sessions three times a week. Melissa spent most of her day crying, the doctors had to remove her uterus and the thought of not having children ate her up every waking moment. Paida was staying with her mum while she found solace in FJ. Melissa looked up at FJ, “I don’t think I will ever be okay.” He sighed and gathered her in his arms.”One day all of this will just be a dull ache.” FJ blamed himself, he should have never left her alone that day. Sasha and Nerudo disappeared from the face of the earth. There was no record of Sasha Anderson in the system, not even on eco-cash, the bank, anywhere, nothing. It’s like she never existed. Nevertheless, she was the most wanted fugitive with a bounty of $10k US dollars. FJ made sure of that. All that mattered now was to be by Melissa’s side every night that she woke up from the reoccurring nightmare.
Tinashe Katava also known as Sasha Anderson sat on an easy chair by the balcony looking over the ocean. She had picked a new name for herself, Natasha Peters. Nerudo brought her pineapple juice and placed it on a tiny wooden side table. She had everything she ever wanted, she smiled as she rubbed her big belly, she was due anytime soon. She reflected on her life, from the orphanage to the psychiatric unit, to a brothel, to renting out her own apartment and now? Now she lived on an exotic island, owner of a beachside condo, happily pregnant and with the love of her life by her side. “Can you rub my feet babes, they are awfully swollen.” Nerudo knelt down and began to gently massage her feet. She closed her eyes, thoroughly content.