Mambo

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Courtesy: The Balance

“Forgive me Father for I have sinned. Forgive me Father for I am sinning right now. Forgive me Father for I intend to keep sinning from sunrise to sundown. Forgive me Father if I am a blemish on this earth. I just pray that I am the least evil blemish and that my purpose on earth is really to clean out all other blemishes. This I pray, believing and trusting in thy Holy Name. Amen.”

He rises up, does the sign of the cross and kisses the crucifix that’s always lying around his neck.

06:00h. He takes a cold shower, hot breakfast, puts on his uniform, and leaves the house. His name is Sergeant Mambo of the Kenya Police Service.

06:30h: There is a small structure at one corner of the police station from where he serves. That structure is a church and at the moment, there are about fifteen officers in there engaging in a heated praise, worship and praying in tongues session. One of whom is Mambo.

Later he reports to the inspector’s office to discuss a case he’s been investigating.

Inspector: Where are we on the Amos’s case?

Mambo: Well, we know where he lives. We know that he kidnaps young people between the ages of 15 and 29, mostly ladies and we know that he kills them and disfigures them so that their bodies are hard to identify.

Inspector: I thought you had something new for me Sergeant.

Mambo: Well, currently I have a team of plain clothes officers sitting on him at his house. We intend to have eyes and ears on him at all times till he makes another move.

Inspector: We better catch him this time. You don’t know how many asses I had to kiss and for how long to get that surveillance authorized.

As Mambo passes by the reporting desk on his way to the cells, he receives a call. A colleague needs to extract information from a suspect with some urgency. Could Mambo kindly lend a hand?

And Mambo drives to an off the books site in the outskirts of Nairobi. There is a structure that is several miles away from any other buildings. In that structure is the suspect. A suspected bank robber whose crew killed a pregnant lady during their last robbery .

Mambo’s assignment; could he kindly find out where the rest of the gang is holed up?

Mambo: I live to serve.

Armed with a hammer, Mambo requests his fellow officers to allow him some alone time with the suspect inside the structure and the officers oblige. Nobody likes being around when Mambo gets to work with his tools.

The suspect is tied to a seat. Although he looks a bit roughed up as evidenced by his torn clothes, swollen eye and cracked lower lip, his eyes still look quite defiant.

Mambo: (Cheerfully) Hi. I am Mambo. What’s your name? (The bound up suspect stares defiantly at him) Oh, it’s OK if you don’t want to tell me. I probably wouldn’t tell me my own name either if I asked. Lord knows I’d only end up forgetting it.

Suspect: You know my name and I know yours. Our reputations precede us I guess. I know you’re going to torture me. I know you’re going to kill me. Most importantly, I know I am not going to divulge anything to you. Shall we get to it?

Mambo: (Chuckles) Yeah. Sure. I don’t see why not. (He positions himself in front of the suspect and flattens his nose viciously with the hammer then screams above the suspect’s painful yells) I don’t know why I did that. I guess I have always wanted to break someone’s nose with a hammer. (The suspect continues screaming. He is also bleeding profusely) Ahh! Stop your whining. It can’t be THAT painful.

Mambo fetches a dirty rag from a corner in the room and ties it roughly around the suspect’s face to cover his nose and reduce the bleeding.

Mambo: (The suspect is not screaming anymore. But he is breathing heavily) It is a fact that I am going to kill you. Slowly. You know that and I know that. What you don’t know is that if you don’t tell me what I want to know, I’ll visit your mama upcountry and I’ll tie her to her bed, douse her in petrol and light her up. Then I’ll move on to your sister and her three kids, then your cousins, their children and though it might take me a while, by this time next year, I will have murdered every known member of your family. (Holds the suspect’s chin and forces him to look at him) Look me right in the eye. Tell me you think I’m bluffing. Because this is a “cross my heart and hope to die” promise from me to you.

Suspect: What kind of a human being are you?

Mambo: The worst kind. I believe in God and I believe He has reserved a special place in hell just for me. And that’s OK. Because I have earned it. So you better believe that I will enjoy killing your family.

And so the suspect spills everything. Names, dates, future plans, everything. And Mambo has invited his fellow officers in for the confession. Which is all recorded on tape. Once the spilling is done, Mambo requests one officer to fetch a Jerry can of fuel from the car. He drenches the suspect in Petrol and asks the officers to back away.

Mambo: (Holding a match in his hands) Do you want to pray? Ask God for forgiveness maybe?

Suspect: Yes. If you’ll give me a minute

Mambo: (Smiling) Good choice. I’ll give you five minutes. Do you mind if I pray for you also?

Suspect: Yes. Yes. I mind that very much in fact.

Mambo: That’s OK. I’ll pray for you anyway. (Closing his eyes and lifts his hands up to the ceiling) Father Lord God, I’m about to claim this man’s life. This man who has led a life of sin. Who has killed, raped, pilfered, masturbated, slept with whores, lied, judged and even killed some more; Lord Almighty I’m about to kill him. So in a few minutes, send your humble servant Peter to meet his soul at the Heaven’s Gate. As for me, when my time comes, I will understand if you decide to punish me for all I have done. This I pray in thy Holy Name, Amen.

When he open his eyes, he finds all the officers plus the suspect staring at him strangely.

Mambo: And now may the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,…

And when he is done leading them in a word of prayer, he strikes the match and steps away. A ball of fire engulfs the suspect, whose screams would scare even the hardest of men.

And the officers leave the site, some vomiting. But not Mambo. He sticks around to watch. To listen to the screams of the dying man. To inhale the smell of burning flesh. To watch him die.

In the evening, he changes out of his uniform and into plain clothes then joins his surveillance team. The team that has been watching Amos all day. That’s been watching him for over three weeks now, determined to stop him before he makes his next kill.

But they have been too focussed on watching him and who he contacts to notice her. A lady in her thirties who has also been watching Amos. Malik’s wife.

And she too has been too busy watching him to notice them.

When Amos leaves the house after night fall, the police follow in their unmarked car and Malik’s wife follows them all.

Right to a restaurant where at around 22:30h, Amos checks into. In pursuit of the lady in the corner reading A Thousand Splendid Suns. Malik’s wife knows that she is the only reason why Amos visited the restaurant. She falls in the profile of his victims. Young, isolated, (preferably) female and without a hint of company nearby.

She had also been following Amos longer than the cops and she is sure that he is after the girl. Now Malik’s wife’s plan is to wait till he leaves the restaurant with or without the girl, take him and do bad bad things to him.

The cops intend to wait till Amos leaves with the girl, then grab him, take him some place quiet and kill him. If he doesn’t leave with her, and if he doesn’t follow her home, then they will keep watching him for as long as resources allow. But Mambo won’t be making any arrests. According to him, God put him in this world to rid it off vermins like Amos.

It is during the act of waiting for Amos that Malik’s wife’s phone rings. It’s her man. Her king. Her everything. She’d do anything for him. She’s Haley Quinn and he’s The Joker.

When he summons her sounding a bit unnerved, she drops the sting operation and heads to THE apartment. And Malik assures her that he’ll take care of Amos himself.

In the meantime, Mambo and his surveillance team keep eyes on Amos. Later in the night, Amos is seated at the counter making eyes at the girl in the corner reading a book.

Mambo: (Watching from the car. The restaurant is mostly made of glass. He’s getting impatient) Go to her already you creepy fuck. You know you want to.

Inside, Amos decides to approach the lady right after visiting the washrooms. And right when he decides to go, Malik chooses that exact moment to walk in.

Mambo: (Frowning as he watches Malik approach the girl) Who’s this asshole now?

And later when The Girl leaves, Mambo sees Malik follow her and Amos follow them both. So the police follow them all. And when Malik kidnaps Amos, Mambo sees it all. And instead of intervening, he keeps following. Watching.

And in the morning when Malik and his wife go home to their children, Mambo follows them there. He knows that Amos didn’t make it out of that apartment alive. And his attention now is focussed on Malik and his family 100%

(Read Also the Malik story here: http://www.chanchori.com/2017/03/28/malik/)

Malik is driving to work in the morning when he hears the news about a suspected bank robber who is said to have disappeared mysteriously after being arrested by police officers.

He changes the channel to an all music and no news or commercials or morning gossip channel because nothing does it for him like music.

He parks the BMW X3 in the basement, grabs his briefcase and hurries to the elevator where two of his colleagues are holding it open for him.

He slides in and stands between them at the back of the elevator.

Colleague 1: (As the elevator doors slide shut) Did you hear about the bank robber who was kidnapped by police and has since pulled a Houdini?

Colleague 2: These fucking cops in our country. For all we know, maybe they did to him what they did to Willy Kimani and the other two guys.

Colleague 1: Hey! Boss on board. What do I keep telling you.

Malik: I believe enforced disappearances are worth saying “fuck” about. (He reaches his destination and the elevator doors slide open for him) This is me. Have a productive day gentlemen.

He steps out of the elevator and into the huge hall where employees are busy being employees. Clanking on computers, making phone calls, paying a visit to the water dispensers, passing a quick hello and a quick “did you hear” gossip before getting buried in more work.

Malik walks past as he passes a hello here, a smile there and a wink over there. Some say he’s friendly. Too friendly maybe.

He stops at the door to his office and pauses to read the sign as he does everyday. “Malik Ahmed. Director, Legal Services” The sign reads.

He pulls the glass door open and the secretaries outside talk about him as they do every morning. To them, he’s Donnie Draper without the bad attitude.

Malik enters his office, takes off his coat, hangs it, opens the window to usher in some air, sits in front of his computer, switches it on and makes a call.

Malik: (Over the phone to his secretary) Get me Maraka at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

And as the secretary makes the call, Malik grabs the day’s newspaper as a lady brings in a cup of tea and a couple of pancakes. He smiles a thanks at her and she smiles back and leaves

The secretary informs him that Mr. Maraka from the DPP’s Office is on the line for him. And Malik requests the prosecutor to bring their earlier on scheduled meeting an hour earlier.

After that he holds internal meetings with his technical staff to see how their project mandate implementation is going and the way forward.

Then that meeting with the DPP’s office takes place.

Malik: My office was very instrumental in the drafting of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (POCAMLA) and it serves the needs for this country. And now you are what, sponsoring amendments?

Maraka: We are not sponsoring any amendments. But we’re receiving heat from politicians and high placed lawyers who benefit from corruption and money laundering.

Malik: What do you need to make sure that that doesn’t happen?

And over lunch time, Malik has lunch with colleagues at a restaurant in Karen. It is during this lunch that Mambo joins their table and greets Malik cheerfully.

Mambo: Oh hello Malik. Fancy bumping into you here.

Malik: (Flabbergasted) Do I know you?

Malik’s colleagues are looking at Mambo curiously and following the conversation with a comical look on their faces.

Mambo is not in his uniform and he has been following Malik all day waiting for an opportunity to have a word

Mambo: (Feigns hurt) Oh don’t tell me you have forgotten about me. (Whispers to the closest guy but it is a whisper that’s loud enough to be heard around the table in the silent and fancy restaurant) We went to serial killer school together.

And scattered chuckles are heard around the table. Malik freezes for a second then collects himself very fast.

Malik: (Laughing) Oh. Yeah. I remember you. The backbencher who wouldn’t stop asking questions during the “Killer Instincts” lectures in first year at campus. Ain’t sure I remember your name though.

Random Colleague at the table: (Laughing) You guys are insane.

Mambo is watching Malik cautiously and Malik is watching him right back. Like they’re trying to outwit each other.

Mambo: Can’t say I’m disappointed that you forgot my name. I hope you haven’t forgotten how to grab someone off the streets and kill them at your secret apartment.

Malik: (Brushes Mambo off with a joking brush of his hand) Ah nah. We never forget some of these things. Or we wouldn’t be around to tell about it.

Mambo: Touché. And you were one of the best, weren’t you? I bet you still are.

Malik: Well, what can I say? Hey, do you remember fourth year when we studied “Psychology vis-a-vis Psychosis in a Killer’s World” .. What was the lecturer’s name again?

Mambo: Uuum… I hated that guy. Damn, I can’t believe I’m forgetting his name. He had the most annoying shrill of a voice ever. (Excited) Thandara! (Laughs uproariously and Malik joins in and so do everyone around the table)

Malik: Thandara. The man whose voice resembled the sound of glass clattering on the floor. Well, (He has shifted his gaze to his colleagues now like he’s telling a true story) Well, Mr. Thandara – and that was his nickname – informed us that if a killer is to have a longer life, he should be able to smell a cop’s stench from a far. (Shifts his gaze back to Mambo) especially dirty cops who smell like greased money, dirty feet, armpit hair and ear wax.

And his learned colleagues around the table join him in laughter. And though Malik is laughing, his eyes remain unchanging. There’s a deadly caution around them that only Mambo notices. And it scares him. It is the look of danger. Of a very thinly veiled threat.

Mambo: (Once the laughter dies down) What say you I whisper in your ear for a minute old friend?

Malik: Yeah, sure. Old friend. (To his colleagues) Just a minute guys.

Mambo: (To Malik’s colleagues) It was nice meeting you gentlemen. Sorry I have to pull Malik away. I’ll make sure he gets back momentarily.

And Malik and Mambo step outside the restaurant.

Malik: I know you. I know your type. But I don’t know your name.

Mambo: What type is that?

Malik: A cop. A torturer. A murderer. There’s a stench of blood about you. And a hunger in your eyes for more murder. You’re worse than I am.

Mambo: You caught all that from what? It is not like I gave you my palm to read.

Malik: Well, you came to my table where I was busy handling important things with colleagues and you told them all that I am a killer. But you also told them that you’re one too. Curious, huh?

Mambo: You and I will not have a conversation about psychology. You’re a criminal and I am a cop. That’s all there’s to it. I had actually planned on luring you to the washrooms where I was then going to slit your throat, but I decided to instead give you a chance to live the country.

Malik: Oh. (Chuckles) Like a “get out of town in 24 hours or else…” order?

Mambo: More like a “get out of town in two hours or else I will kill you and your trophy wife and your two children tonight” order.

Malik: (Smiles sweetly, takes a step closer to Mambo and rests his hand on the cop’s shoulder) That’s OK. Of course I’ll leave town. Don’t worry about it, yeah?

Mambo of course doesn’t trust the smile, but two hours are two hours.

And Malik does exactly as Mambo expected him to do. He goes on about his business as if a psycho cop hadn’t just threatened his life and that of his family.

And when Malik leaves the office at 18:30h, he takes the elevator down to his car in the basement. Which he unlocks and gets behind the wheel. He’s about to start the engine when a cold hand yanks his head back and a cold steel presses against his skin at the throat, penetrates and cuts deep into it, slicing it wide open.

And the last thing he hears as his hands grope around his throat to stop the blood flow, as he gurgles in a cold panic and as struggles not to choke on blood, the last thing he hears is the back door of his vehicle open and bang shut. He doesn’t even catch a glimpse of his killer.

23:00h – Malik’s wife has tucked in the kids and is now in bed herself, but she hasn’t switched off the lights. She tries calling Malik one more time but the call goes unanswered again.

She decides to read a book as she waits. She decides also to call again in twenty minutes after which she’d start calling his friends. She is getting visibly worried.

However, she dozes off before the twenty minutes are over. And only wakes up when something cold and hard is pushed into her mouth roughly.

She wakes up to find a strange guy pushing a gun into her mouth.

Mambo: (Places his index finger on his lips) Shh. I’m only going to shoot you once. I hope it won’t hurt.

Mrs. Malik: (Opens her mouth to allow room in there for the gun. Her eyes are on her assailants and there’s not even a hint of fear in her eyes. She let’s Mambo push the gun deeper into and then out of her mouth) Was it all you hoped it’d be? You pushing your gun into a woman’s mouth?

Mambo: No. I have to say no. But I’m dying to see the look on your face when I tell you that I cut your husband’s throat open a few hours ago.

Her eyes widen and freeze with sudden terror.

Mrs. Malik: You’re lying.

Mambo: (Pointing at her) That look right there, that is all I was hoping it’d be. Even more I daresay.

She’s shaking visibly. Terrified. Angry. Helpless.

Mrs. Malik:,Are you going to shoot me or are you going to kill me with boredom?

Mambo: Neither. This is my final warning to this family. Your man is dead. Take your kids. Leave the country. Go start life elsewhere.

Mrs. Malik: And if I don’t?

Mambo: Well, one night you’ll wake up and find me standing beside you like I’m doing right now. I will shoot two bullets into your tummy. They won’t kill you immediately but they’ll hurt so badly, you’ll wish you were dead. And as you lay on your bed in agony and fear and as you bleed to death, you’ll see me leave your room. You’ll hear my footsteps on the floor as I head to your children’s room. And you will hear their screams as I cut them open with a machete. Then you’ll hear my footsteps as I collect their dying bodies and bring them back into your arms. Then as you all bleed out together in pain, I will douse you in petrol and I will light you up. Then I’ll leave you all burning and screaming and I will swing by the local butchery for dinner. (He moves closer and holds her chin to ensure she’s looking at him) Do you believe me?

Mrs. Malik: Yes. I believe you.

Mambo: Good. Sleep tight tonight, then tomorrow morning, get some money and leave with your kids. All the best in your future endeavors.

And with that, Mambo leaves the room and she takes this chance to breathe deep. It’s like she has been holding her breath all along. Her hands are shaking and there’s a cold sweat seeping down her armpits.

But then Mambo walks back in.

Mrs. Malik: Did you forget something?

Mambo: No. Not really. I guess I just changed my mind. I don’t have a machete or petrol on me right now, but I’m a resourceful guy. I’ll figure something out.

And he shoots her twice in the stomach then leaves her screaming in pain

Mrs. Malik: Kids! Run!

But they don’t stand a chance as Mambo bumps into them and puts a bullet in each one of them. Gut shots only. Then he carries their bleeding bodies back to the dying mother in her bed.

When he leaves her, she’s cradling them in her arms. Crying. Screaming. Cursing. Crying some more.

He makes his way to the kitchen where he turns on the gas and leaves the house.

Outside, he gets inside his car and drives a safe distance away before shooting into the house.

And the subsequent explosion is what prompts him to open his eyes.

He sits up slowly, swings his legs off his bed and does a sign of the cross.

Mambo: Forgive me Father for I am a sinner. Forgive me Father for I am sinning now. Forgive me for I intend to keep sinning. I know that I’m a blemish in this world, but I pray that I’m the least evil blemish there is. It is in thy Holy Name that I pray and believe. Amen.

He does the sign of the cross, kisses the crucifix that’s always around his neck, takes a cold shower and a hot breakfast.

He leaves his house and unleashes himself into a world he shares with Malik and his wife. Both blemishes he intends to wipe off soon. In the name of the Father.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I am glad this story was a dream. Because that would have been a disappointing end to the Maliks’ story. Quick question though, did Malik really kill Amos, and if yes, is that when the dream begins? Or is Amos still alive? In that case, when does the dream begin?

  2. I live the twist. That dream is wicked but the psychological tag of war between the two self-appointed cleaners of the world of vermin is on point. Brilliant.

    I would like to say mambo gani haya but we all know what it is

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