I heard Njoro had put out 8Kg maize flour reward to whoever could find us, and bring us to him. To most people in Churo village even a bowl of maize flour was a reward worth its weight in gold, so you can imagine what 8Kg of it could do.
In the days that followed, I had ears and eyes behind my back. I would hear or see someone foreign and decide that Njoro had sent his goons to get us. I slept with one eye open and woke up frantically to every noise. Even today, I sometime hear footsteps and decide that someone has finally come to collect their bounty.
But that day would not come until after some time. “Come on Katana, don’t be shy. We have done it before,” Beatrice repeated herself with slurred speech while removing her headgear which signified that she was a married woman. “Look at my hair, video vixens in Nairobi have long hair like this, do you want to touch my hair, Katana?” She added while doing a jig on top of the table.
“Announce yourself before I cut you down,” Njoro barked. I tried getting up. I stood momentarily and fell back on the dirt. “Look at my breasts, video vixens in Nairobi have round breasts like mine, do you want to squeeze my breasts, Katana?” Beatrice was saying while removing her blouse to reveal a black, tattered brassiere.
“I won’t say it again,” Njoro barked. “Reveal yourself and meet your maker with dignity,” he added. I heard his heavy footsteps coming toward us before his bright torch shone on my face—the only torch in Churo village that used a rechargeable battery.
“Look at my hips, video vixens in Nairobi have wide hips like this, do you want to hold my hips, Katana?” Beatrice continued and rolled down her leso to reveal her tiny waist and white kamisi. “Disco lights, God, I love disco lights, they make me want to dance,” she added and did a vigorous jig as Njoro’s torch burnt my eyes, the light caught the sharp steel of his panga on his other hand which was coming down at me with lightning speed.
I had thought I would meet my maker that day but a soft voice behind Njoro intervened. “Baba Linda, there is nothing out here, you are sleepwalking again,” Mama Linda chirped.
“Sleepwalking, are you sure?” Njoro asked confused.
“Yes, there is only the moon, your chairs, and crickets out here,” she added matter-of-factly. “Let’s go back to bed,” she said while taking the panga from Njoro’s hand and they started walking back to the house.
As they did she looked back at us and gave us a look that said, “I have just saved your asses and now I own you.” It would take some time before we got fed up with her blackmail, and before everything unraveled, and then we would be running, with a bounty of 8Kg maize flour on our heads, ready to be collected by whoever found us first.