Photo credit: Molly Haggerty via Flickr.


For Vista & Unathi Slasha


When the Pastor was killed, people got sick. We are chilling at his house, when Chief tells me about this. It’s not the first time he has told me this story, he whines. Often, I’d doze off or transmute into unimaginable horizons, he jeers. Calmly sleepwalker-like, we traverse the house—taming the tedium. Chief’s holding the Chalice with one matchstick, stirs out the dirt. I’m at the window pondering, the oily violet sky pending . . . Chief, engrossed in the cup, stirring and sky churning; a concoction of cats and dogs. How does he do that . . . using the Chalice?

Back to the couch, eyes bloodshot, my stomach churns too. Each time Chief stirs the thing. Again, we are at his house. Often times, I’ve been taunted on the streets, that one of these days ‘your Chief will ruin your rectum!’ Sick people mock me, coughing blood and mucus. The whole town is sick, except for women and dogs and cats and flying things.

Chief stuffs the cup with ganja and more of this red ganja I’m stranger to, for he strictly maintains I come alone all the time, that I never complained about his red ganja and am always compliant. At last Chief lights—we puff and pass. The ganja hypnagogic slaps my eyes with such heaviness on Chief thinking am too large a wet blanket to doze off during story-time. Pass and puff. I’m entranced by his whole house. Suddenly, think of the Pastor in his house now full of smoke. I look at Chief who’s afloat on the smoke, drawing on the wall opposite. Don’t bother to ask; instead gawk at the sky, cooking cats and dogs; feel pity for myself, thinking of the torrents. Roof rattles!

Startled by a thunderous laughter coming resounding from Chief’s mouth, Hahahahahahahah, rolling on the floor. Chief has drawn yet another animist caricature and dragged it out from the wall. Standing there, the man-fish-caricature. Under the red-ganja. Dumbfounded. Sick-people-who-cough-blood-and-mucus have said about Chief, ngu Phuncuka, infamous for his elusiveness and craftiness. Townshippers have it that, one night at his prison-cell, he drew a car on the wall and told his mate to ride out with him. The mate thinking, he must be crazy, was left shocked and choked to death on the exhaust-smoke.

Lounging in the couch, the three of us, puffing and passing. The invader, man-fish announces that he now lives in the Pastor’s house. Spellbound, I want to go in search for belief. Truth, I find no relation between sick-people-who-cough-blood-and-mucus and Pastor’s death.

What’s with this fucking Pastor, anyway? Burst out! Whoever can hold back a loud thought?

Chief staring cold, now brazen-faced as ever. Stupid Chief for not sketching this thing’s face. When is a fishlike thing sad? Can’t deduce in its case. However, soon relieved when it begins to cavort; jumping up and down in rhapsodies, relating the tale about the Pastor.

This Pastor was an outsider, iTshanage from eNtshona S’khonkwane, God-sent to establish some Church. Makes sense. Recall my indecorous callow brother embellishing along with fellow bastard friends about the Pastor’s astonishing crotch – the size of an infant’s arm. Remember laughing this with my old girlfriend uNoPlate. I love pussy. I cannot express myself simpler than that. I love fucking. To even decode that Pastor came down furtively for the same cause makes me want to listen more to this stupid caricature.

Nightmarish nights for disgruntled husbandry in bed. Whole-night prayers after another. Frustration accrued. Hell broke loose. Then one hell-hot day, embittered men ganged up into a throng to his house. Pastor was fucking the wives. Moment’s silence, for man-fish to catch breath, to touch his crotch, feels it bulging.

Look away at Chief, still stern, tinged with visceral sadness with borrowed brooding air of Death. I’ve forgotten about the window, the sky and what it’s fixing. Chief, thinking . . .

The night before this, in a dream, I escaped Death with a whiff of breath. A knock, I opened. She sat down casually and relayed the news—my time has come. Indeed, said the list: No. 50 Mthunzi. Thinking, Jesus Christ! Can’t be now with so many books I haven’t yet read. Curb the thought with cunny gallantry. It works. I make Death tea and ill-muffins. She fast falls asleep. So, I begin to scamper to the room, come back fast like a rolling stone crashing into her thighs, Death. She shakes but not wakes. Spasm makes the list fall right between her thighs. Fucking Death to doze off my couch like a haggard drunkard-tramp with legs wide spread out. Makes me forget all about the eraser in my hand, plan was to fix the list. Enticing the vagina of Death with its sup-oozing succulent lips. Out my mind. Prodding the thing. Pining. I’ve always wanted to eat this kind of meat. Can’t believe I’m to fuck Death.

Truth, for Christ sakes, I don’t really know what made Judas despicable. A friend has it, he got sick of being beleaguered by Jesus who would come over his house demand roasted fish, command him to wash his feet, meanwhile talking shit which made the tasks excruciatingly painful. I can only imagine HIM, rolling – reduced to sadness, is Judas – with strident disheartening laughter, mouthing, Hahahahahahahah, you stupid acolytes, I tell you to jump and you ask, How High. What a joke!

For fuck’s sakes. Hectic here, I’m fingering the vagina hard. Roof rattles, Death panting, breathing heavily; she hardens my crotch. Tongue deep, wet, with pus all of my face. Ndixhaphile. She shrieks. The delight coincides with uMthondo bursting out the trouser. I want to laugh. Believe me, not simple thing to suppress a laugh just like fart, because, when I glance up, couldn’t finish that; with one moerse klap, she sends me rolling like a stone, smashing against the television set. Whole house in a tremendous tremor. Flinch when I think of Mother’s dispiriting rebukes.

Fuck you, Death! And wipe my bloody mouth. Scoot to the toilet. Shut the door. She recovers her consciousness then goes after me. She bangs the door, cracking it. I clutch the toilet paper, break the fucking window; use it, as rope and climb down, impressed by the strength of this paper. The ground below is vast and shiny black like a drove of buffaloes or River-Fish at night. Land, look up. It’s my friend, Chief, head stuck out, eyes far apart, with yet another widest grin of mankind like a cartooned horse. Where do you think you’re going, buddy? Coupled with a cranky cackle.

I’m still at chief’s place, riveted and gripped by the red-ganja, he’s been feeding me since when. Hold tight onto my elephant amulet hanging loose around my neck. I want to break free from this enchantment with Hermes’s swiftness. Condemn the thought – without the helmet, wand and wings. I miss fucking uNoPlate wam. Man-Fish finishes with his fetish. Stubborn still thinking—there’s no way the Pastor could have caused sick-people-who-cough-blood-and-mucus.

The enraged throng stood aggrieved outside the house. Pastor purple with heat came out. Tried to reason. Didn’t see it coming, showers of stones poured like cats and dogs. Strong cries smothered by stones. Temple bloodied by torrents of stones. Pastor stoned to a soupy mash of bloody pasta. Same bloody stone, but different hand, struck, grabbed and flung; and then again and again in the same manner, till these men’s hands were drenched in blood.

It begins to drizzle with stitches of lightning zig-zagging. Stand up. Chief wide-grinned insists he draws a crow to fly me home. Fuck you, Chief! Pissed to have wasted my time with this pig-shit no-moral-tale, slam the door behind. At the gate, I finger the elephant around my neck. We ride home quiet. Unfulfilled on my elephant’s massive back, thinking nothing but the Pastor’s disturbing death. Killed simply for enjoying worldly pleasantries, pussy. The vagina now is too much for the dying men. Give thanks, I salvaged uNoPlate from this miserable mess. Feeble foolish men of this township to kill an innocent man. Doof- boof-doof! Elephant thud for each thought . . .

Why these witches are not sick anyway? Who was the first to get sick here and spread it all over? Could it be the Pastor? Through those bloody stones clamped in cracked hands . . .? The thoughts terrify me. Home is a long way, my elephant.



About the Writer:

Xolani Mahe is an Mthatha-born and Cradock-based writer, Eastern Cape. He is a full time student, reading Masters English Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Fort Hare. He likes yapping nonsense, carousing and dreaming. Facebook: Eccentric Ntsundu