This is an excerpt from my upcoming maiden novel. The title is not fully determined, but it will be published later in the year. It's a journey through politics, romance, history, Malawian mysticism......
An hour later
The high-class BCA suburb residential area was getting dark quickly, a cold breeze was sweeping through the night from the Thyolo Highlands. Reverend Dr MacDonald Chando was feeling cold, in spite of the cardigan he was putting on and the log fire chuckling at the fireplace. And he felt rather restless.
He drew a Revised Standard Version of the Holy Bible from the bookshelf and went to sit by the fire. The Bible always restored peace in his mind.
The press conference that changed the course of politics in the land had gotten to his head, though he had been silent for the greater part of it.
Throughout the afternoon, he had made so many silent prayers, calling for the success of their cause. But still, something at the back of his mind told him something could go wrong.
He had tried to see if there were any loopholes in the set up. The worst that could come their way was incarceration. He did not fear that, he had been in Dr Banda’s Mikuyu Prison. Could he fear prison now, when prisoners too had their democratic and human rights? All the same, did not Joseph, Jesus, Paul, John face prison in Biblical times in their pursuit for truth?
He chose to defy the cold to clear his mind. He walked out of the house, into the garden, his sanctuary. As he strolled down the garden, feeling the cold breeze bite his face, he watched the blue moon sail through the evening sky. His nose caught the sweet aroma of the Queen of the Night.
He recollected the events of that afternoon. Ever since he had joined mainstream politics, a little before Roman Catholic Bishops wrote their Lenten Pastoral Letter in April 1992, he had never really known how it feels to be in the political limelight. The cameras: still and motion, microphones, notebooks, and all such paraphernalia that reporters use, had dazed him to dizziness that afternoon.
He walked on, stopping after several steps to caress a rose flower. Still, he wondered: “Why had Chikoti, his president, not wanted to be with his surbodinates when they made the revelation? What would happen if the whole thing backfired? Certainly, he would deny involvement.”
Chando recalled how indifferent Chikoti had been when he reported to him how the press conference had gone. Chando had wanted to ask his superior some questions, but Chikoti had cut him short, saying he would call later to discuss what steps to follow.
“Good evening right Reverend. I guess you are having a wonderful time,” a voice from behind him disrupted his trail of thoughts.
He turned around, to see a man, clad in a black polo neck, jean trousers and boots. He was pointing an automatic pistol at him.
“Who are you?” Chando asked, for the man was standing against the security light.
“That would change nothing, my dear Reverend. Today should be the happiest day of your life: you are going to meet your Maker,” the man said, his voice coarse.
Chando recognized that voice. It belonged to Chikoti’s chief bodyguard, Gilbert Wilima, better known by a corruption of his name: Gibo. He was renowned for beating up anyone who dared stand in his boss’ way.
Chando made a hopeless sign of the cross, although he was not Catholic, as he said a silent prayer for the umpteenth time that day. This time, he was begging the Lord to receive his soul. Before the bullets from the silenced pistol reached his chest, the Reverend had already surrendered his soul to God.