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Sunday, 13 September 2009 02:00

A Sister's Promise

Trust, like a bird's wing broken at birth, left you open to the terrors of the sky, and the cravings of the earth. And for that, they will die. Brother, an animal like you I had never known; your instincts only obeyed the call of survival, serving you like the eyes of the cat when there is no moon. Your will, by its ferocity alone, freed you from God and the rule of men. A heart built for hate beat dirty blood into the eyes of a man with nothing to lose. Eyes tinged with a vacant recklessness; eyes that had never beheld beauty and never looked for it.

Brother, a boy now stands in the place of the monster life made of you. And for that, she will die. You saw her for what she was, and so you grew restless; a wild thing agitated by the confines of a new enclosure: pacing, scowling, grunting. Scenting freedom, you would not be still and finally, you broke away only to return to your captor. When did she tame you, Brother? I can only imagine it to have been a struggle that you lost; caught in a snare that gave no quarter. Faced with your own weakness, you relented, giving yourself over to the forces that shaped you.

My beautiful Brother, when you died I was born: fathered by vengeance, mothered by scorn, baptised in your blood. I have come on behalf of those for whom there is no God. And I will forgive nothing. For every lie there will be a lash, until the truth is written on her body. My ears, deafened by the shrill of your suffering, will not hear her cries for mercy. My eyes, burnt by the sight of your crumpled remains, shed tears that streaked my face like oil; your tears. To be of single mind, I have sacrificed it all, for unlike you Brother, I am not strong. The God you were unto me I shall be unto them and they will call me by my name, both she and he. He will know why I have come and if he is wise, he will not fight me. For his fate is etched into my palms and his life is no longer his own. His blood will answer for your tears: his mourners' heads bowed over a closed casket after I have reduced him to stains; traces of his existence. That I promise you.

They played their little game, did they not Brother? And for a while it seemed the world was in on it. I was not. I watched as your honour was taken from you. I watched as your pride was wrestled from you. I watched as your faith was pissed on. I watched as your manhood was trampled on. I watched as your heart was stomped like a cigarette flicked from the lips of a dirty whore. Brother, there are things of which you do not even know. Yes, your secrets are no longer your own. They are mine like their time in East London was theirs. They are mine like their fucking at PGV was theirs. They are mine like their lives and the lives of their friends. They will die too when I play my little game. The one with the limp shall be the first to go, I'll tear out that Achilles he's been so desperate to heal. The fat one will join him in a shallow grave as liars lie in death as they did in their waking days. Brother, a joke: I hear they are believers, believers in Christ, a god they have not seen. Where is the Good Shepherd as the wolves circle his flock? The very same sheep over whose eyes the wool is pulled. They will die. Lord willing or not.

When it is done, his car will be towed into the dam – where they had so many good times – with his girl neatly strapped in up front. Her room will be razed and torched, the ashes of her pictures the only testament to her existence. Since I cannot erase memories, Brother, I will violently hurl them into eternity. Driven by your disgust, I will dispose of them like the condom he used. They will not live to raise bastards. They will not live to have another pregnancy scare. They will not live.

Brother, I go to do your bidding.
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Lumumba Mthembu

I am a PhD candidate at Rhodes University.