The Great Reckoning



In the village where I come from (we all come from a village somewhere), there is this woman called Mary. She is the neighbor to our right when you are facing the river. Last December, during the flawed elections (don’t you just hate the over-used expressions: post election violence, IDPs, flawed elections, eminent persons etc), we were all in shagz. I particularly noticed the absence of Mary. You see, we go a long way back.

Way before we moved to any town, before class 2, we lived with my grandmother. Every Saturday, my aunts made sure we were clean, smeared us with Vaseline and up the hill we went with our shiny faces for Sabbath School. Our teacher was none other than Mary. I can’t remember any particular lessons, but there was much singing.

So I asked grandma what happened to Mary, and she broke down the story into juicy details. I shall give the summarised version.

Mary’s husband lives away and comes home once in a while. So there is this time he came loaded with all manner of stuff, from sugar, to flour to clothes for his children. Of course the whole village knew when he arrived and what he carried long before he had set foot in his compound.

One by one, neighbours came to greet him and for the cup of tea that comes with such visits. Though Mary was not known for being generous, some days are an exception.

In the night, Mary’s husband woke to a cold bed. Looking around, he could not see his wife anywhere, and he proceeded to the outhouse wondering what could have happened to her. Fearing something might have happened to her while he was asleep, he raised the alarm. Let’s not get carried away, ‘something’ here does not mean kidnap or thieves. Kidnap is unheard of, and as for thieves, well, they were a modest family. The cows were safe in their shed and nothing looked the least disturbed. Something here means abduction by….witches.

He woke up all his neighbours, and together they proceeded in search of his wife. There was safety in numbers, and people could not miss sensational news like those. The crowd was huge. I asked my grandma if she woke up. I did not need to ask, as if she could miss.

The trees around the river and at the top of the hill having been searched, the thickets in some farms having been slashed down, and all suspicious places having been searched and nothing found, there was a general feeling of despair. She had disappeared without a trace. Neighbours trudged back to his house around 3 am, and kept the worried husband company while they waited for morning to come. They remained huddling in groups, speculating wildly.

Around 5 a.m., she appeared. Not looking rugged or beaten. Not in the least bit hurt, nor wearing a dazed expression like one who has had an encounter with the forces of evil. Rather she was wearing..nothing clothes-wise and a look of pure rapture on her face. There was shock and wonder on everyone’s face, including hers when she realized there was a gathering at her home.

The truth was laid bare before everyone’s eyes. Everyone knew you were a witch if you went out running nude in the night, and came back at the crack of dawn. My grandma told me she had always suspected her, there was no way someone can be that strong in the church; she never missed even once. She must have been hiding something.

So what happened next?
She was so embarrassed, she packed her bags and left. Nothing has been heard from her since.


11 Responses

  1. Haiya! For real? And there was no lynching or whatever people do to witches? She got off too easy! If she was in Kisii land, that would be a different story altogether.

    She was in Kisii land, I have no idea why they did not lynch her.

  2. ‘a look of rapture on her face’..i like that line.

    praco for my poetry!

  3. No,stop kidding,yaani you have seen a witch?And more so she was your Sabbath school teacher?Ha ha!
    By the way what’s the difference btw a witch and a night runner?If she did not ‘roga’ anyone,then she is not a witch. In a documentary,they said that thing is inherited,huh?Is it true?

    Witch, nightrunner, no difference. Of course there was no shortage of poeple who came foward with all manner of complaints “Remember that time we quarreled? I had a headache, kumbe it was her all this time…”. About it being inherited, from the stories I hear, it is either inherited or learnt. If you want to learn, you have to sacrifice someone close to you, for the initiation ceremony, I guess.

  4. at least now i know you are a kisii! lol

    How did you figure that out, you must be a genius…

  5. As I read the story I kept thinking Kisii land the hills, sabbath school and finally witches.
    There is a difference between a witch and a nightrunner. Night runners are generally a nuisance and get off with very light punishment when discovered. Witches are more dangerous.
    So Mary’s hubby did not know these thing and he’s been married to her am sure he was just pretending.

    we’ll never know for sure, but why did he raise the alarm when he found she was gone? I think she must have been a night runner then.

  6. gooooooooooooooooly!!

  7. wow way to go the truth is always bound to come out one way or the other right and for Mary it was so sad for her….
    you only get what you give and Mary look what you got

  8. a witch who was teaching sunday school?! that is so wrong…

  9. I’m with @Sybella. How do the 2 spirits reside in there. If my mum was around, she’d suggest a prayer session for all the witches students to cast out deamons cast by the Sunday school teacher.

    So she used to hepa when the hubby was asleep? Are her children still around?
    I’m still confused about night runner vs witch.

    runner is a nuisance but does not hurt anyone, witch has malicious intention, most likely to finish you off. The children stay with the grandparents, I guess the husband never used to know coz he was away so much.

  10. LOL… I must say that picture up there is bewitching

    Glad you appreciated it…

  11. I so agree with KK above.

    Well, witches can be bewtching so be very careful… 😉

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