Fiction

The Ultimate Claim

Moses Mwansa

The Ultimate Claim

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Prologue

‘And this is how you are to proceed,’ coached Divine. ‘As soon as the plaintiff asks you if you were potent or impotent, and argues that in fact you were impotent, and remember, this will inevitably be before the summation and eventually the jury recesses for making verdict, you will pretend you still haven’t heard anything. But in the heart of your hearts visualize Mr. Sikazwe having sex with your wife, and she not only enjoying it and moaning but muttering these words, “Please don’t stop, you are just sweet, oh yes sweeter than the sweetest thing under the sun, yes! Yes! Yes! Sweeter than all the sex I ever had with my husband.” Be in this world where fury is not only faked, but it will come as natural as we normally behave when we have the urgent need to attend the call of nature.’
‘I think you are exaggerating. Do you really have to remind me of this, because that is what happened? And I am sorry I can’t bear hearing you repeating it as though your intention is to cause further humiliation to me,’ said Elvis with a pained expression on his face.
‘That is precisely what I am doing, to activate that fury in you, for you are about to go to jail for not less than 20 years unless I win you a positive verdict. And as your lawyer, I have vowed to do anything that will make the jury and the judge not only sympathize with you but also understand your situation. So, do as I say,’ emphasized Divine with those big luminous eyes.
Divine paused as though to give weight to her words.
‘The plaintiff will repeat the question, and then when I come in, I will not only plead with you but even shout at you, telling you that if you didn’t say anything you will have sent yourself to Hell. It will be at this time that you will rise as fast as a hurricane, not giving a chance to the police to intercept you. Rise with pure instinctual anger, pain, and jealousy. You will see the impact your little act will carry,’ concluded Divine.
As Elvis listened, he started appreciating the intelligence. ‘By George, or I mean by God, she has not only the vivacious face of a goddess, but also the brains of Aristotle and the rhetorical tongue of Cicero,’ he thought. ‘I think it will work.’
‘You know this case has attracted a lot of attention, therefore there will not only be many people, but also there is interest in the verdict. Don’t fail me and I will defend you adequately,’ she surmised.
As soon as he was dismissed, he was taken back to his cell. ‘What a world! I mean the humanity. Did I ever think such a thing could happen to a person like me? This world is indeed bitter. I wish I was under the state of ataraxy, and then I wouldn’t mind what is happening around me.’
By the time he reached his cell, he found himself shedding tears of self-pity. He did not feel like eating anything at all.
‘I think I am going to have emotional behavior disorder (EBD),’ he muttered to himself. And he broke down and wept uncontrollably as he remembered what had really transpired on that fateful day.

***

Chapter One

The nemesis of the incredible and by that it means, a righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent, personified in this case by an innocent victim – Mr. Elvis Chileshe. He, a newly appointed ZESCO Branch Manager of Kapiri Mposhi, was a very hard-working married man. He was only 34 years old. He had a beautiful wife, Jessie, aged 29 and a 4-year-old lovely daughter by the name of Yande Softness. Jessie was a nurse by profession – a Registered Nurse. They lived in the North Park area, the area of the well-to-do in Kapiri. Everything seemed to be going well both at home and in the work place. As a new branch manager, he was constantly moving out, going on workshops. The funny thing was that his accounting officer at work, Mr. Derrick Sikazwe, a very handsome young man about four years younger than him, seemed to be happy whenever he, Elvis, was going out and always asked when he was going to come back. At one time he thought there was something fishy about this inquisition. But then he would forget as soon as the thought had entered his mind.
He recalled his co-workers laughing behind his back, and he had wondered what it was all about. He then had felt like an opulent figure, an object of universal conspiracy. But then, he thought ‘almost all the figures of authority were held in disdain by their juniors’, thus it would be possible that he was just rationalizing. The very same day, one of the secretaries at the station had looked at him with compassionate eyes, as though he were an object of pity.
He had asked her why she was looking at him in that manner and all she had said was, ‘We women are funny creatures; just make sure that you check on Jessie.’
Before he had been able to ask her the meaning of those words, she had walked out of his office. With an avidity of an auctioneer at an estate appraisal, he too had walked out of the office to prepare for his journey.
As the saying goes, ‘Nothing under the sun can be hidden for long.’ Elvis’s mind started racing, but as he was a courteous man, he had gone home and as usual had prepared for the trip to Lusaka. He also had informed his wife that he would be back the following day. And for the first time he had noticed that his wife had seemed very happy. Why? He could not tell.
After packing, he had told his wife once again that he was ready to go but as used to happen sometimes, he would use the company vehicle. This time Elvis had remembered to take the spare key to both the bedroom and the outside door. He also had remembered to do one important thing he had had never done before. As he said bye to his wife, little did he know how significant that farewell would prophetically turn out to be.

***

It was past 20:00 when he decided to go back to Kapiri, home, without anyone’s knowledge. As he drove home, he had hoped that he would be proven wrong and all his fears would go away. At one time he had even suspected that jealousy had been the fuel of his fellow workers’ palpable attitude towards him because he had risen so high so quickly in his career. And yet those words kept on resounding in his head. ‘We women are funny creatures; just make sure that you check on Jessie.’
‘No, not my Jessie. That faithfully meek and gentle woman could never be involved in anything so egregious a conduct as to disturb his career let alone their marriage, no God. She is the best woman there is under the sun,’ he kept on reassuring himself.
And yet those activities at work, such attitude, Sikazwe’s interest in his going out and his own wife’s attitude this morning, spoke of a fundamental connection!
‘Oh, come on, Elvis, you must be a resounding flop with that commodious brain of yours, because there is nothing here to make you come to such a preposterous conclusion,’ he rebuked himself.
After a two and half hour drive with thoughts almost driving him insane, he arrived in Kapiri. He left the vehicle at the famous motel and gave an excuse that it was a company vehicle and therefore, he could not risk taking it home. He tipped the watchman.
As he walked home, he had become more and more convinced that something was amiss. He had felt a premonitory quiver and as if from nowhere, a strong feeling that he had been right struck him like a leap in the dark. And when he had reached home, so much had gone through his head that he had not had the time, energy or intelligence to ponder what he was likely to do should he find what he had dreaded happening. Silently, like a viper about to inf lict its deadly blow on the prey, he opened the front door and went straight to the bedroom as the sitting room clearly showed no human presence. But before he could open the bedroom door, he heard a voice. No, specifically it was someone moaning, either in pain or pleasure – love making.
He opened the door and behold! The man as naked as sunrise, on top of his wife, and as the bed lamp was on, he clearly could see that the man was … Jesus wept! It was Sikazwe. The vision was with such clarity that it defied the warp of memory. His breath became spastically short, his mind raced with such incredulity that his body shook to the point of fainting. Elvis saw darkness at noon. Sorrow, anger and stress, all rolled in one, engulfed his very soul. The party concerned did not hear him and even if they had, they could not stop because they had just reached the point of no return. His wife, no! Jessie was moaning words, sweet words to Sikazwe as the partner’s member accelerated its thrust in and out of her. ‘Please don’t stop, you are just sweet, oh yes, the sweetest under the sun, yes! Yes! Yes! Sweeter than all the sex I ever had with my husband. I love you, come on, yes! Yes! Oh yes!’ Her buttocks shook as her crotch rose to meet his thrusts challengingly.
Further than that, Elvis could not go. Tears of sorrow fell freely from his eyes as though he were a charity case; he felt himself at the junction of epilepsy and paralysis. He lost the vision of both senses and reason. Meanwhile, the duo, unaffected by his presence, continued with the love making and it seemed as though they had had not had it for a long time, as the orgasmic/ejaculatory period seemed to surpass the normal or had they taken some such drug to assist in their love making. This, only God, the devil, or anyone who had read enough Karma Sutra episodes, could sufficiently explain.
All this happened in not more than f ive minutes, and yet it seemed like it was simply seconds or ages. Like from sleep, the silent and the hurt Elvis, awoke to reality, and filled with a buoyant sensation of vengeance, walked to his drawer and silently but quickly drew a six fully-loaded revolver. “Lex tallionis” – the law of retaliation,’ he muttered. With the deadly intention to pare to the bone the paramour’s sexual capability, he aimed. It was at this time that the duo became aware of another human presence or chose to react? Just as Sikazwe was coming out of Jessie, his member f laccid, Elvis shot two good bullets; the first removing the victim’s member from its master, and the second went straight to the equally f laccid testes which turned to so small pieces that even the greatest German medical doctor would not find it easy to account for them. As Sikazwe cried out with excruciating pain, Jessie tried to rise while screaming but Elvis was as specific. He shot her, aiming for her organ. The bullet buried itself in her sexual organ. He shot again but this one hit her on the left leg, and she fell down with louder screams. On the other side Sikazwe had not only lost his consciousness but on his face was a mask of surprise, fear, sorrow and most of all pain. Elvis walked out of the room,took his cell phone, called the police immediately and with the same hurry, called the hospital for immediate attention. His aim had been to punish not to kill. Now whether he was successful, that again lay with the hospital’s response and God. He was shaking badly. Was it fear or anger?
Luckily the hospital staff responded quicker than the police and as soon as they saw what lay there, they asked no questions; it was self-explanatory. They administered first aid and left the police to come and do the interrogatory part. Soon the place was swimming with the police who, after few questions, took Elvis with them. The hospital, on the other hand, took the duo. By the time they arrived at the hospital, Jessie had passed on.
Will Derrick Sikazwe live to recount these deeds?
Will Elvis live with his conscience?

***

Chapter Two

The complexity of the case, its subtlety and indeed its sheer sophistication brought sublime embarrassment to everyone in the small town of Kapiri as Mr. Elvis Chileshe was a wellknown figure and so was his accountant. This story was not only in the Post newspaper, the Times of Zambia and the Daily Mail but was on the ZNBC 07:00 news brief. The hospital was swimming with reporters and newspaper journalists wanting to see the man that had just lost all his sexual organs. On the other hand, the parents of Sikazwe, being very affluent, not only did they arrange Derrick transfer that very morning to UTH but they had already contacted their lawyer who had already started compiling the case. And since the case had attracted so much attention it was transferred to Lusaka. Some people strongly believed that Elvis had done the right thing and it should be a lesson to other homewreckers. Others still believed that he had overdone it. He had no right to take the law into his own hands.
As for Derrick himself, he was in such pain that he could only whimper. His pain was not only physical but psychological, a deep realization that he would never again in his life have sex, and neither would he ever have a child. This drove him insane, nuts and he felt an emotional meltdown.
‘If only the man had killed me, he would have judged me better,’ he cried to himself. And it seemed to him that the nurses and doctors at UTH found him a piece of work to watch, a story to tell and a memory to treasure.
Whereas Derrick came from money, Elvis came from a humble background and hence could not afford a decent lawyer as Derrick afforded. And so he had decided that he didn’t care what happened to him for what mattered most to him was lost. As he sat in the cell in Kabwe – Mukobeko awaiting his fate, he started remembering the nice things he had actually done, that he would present before God. He also remembered that the only person who could help him be bailed was Davie Mulenga, his cousin. However, he was out for studies in London doing a master’s degree in Educational Psychology. He was expected to come back the coming week. His poor mother was somewhere in Kasama – in Musa’s village. His father had long died. He had three sisters who were married to peasant farmers in the same village, Musa. They would soon hear about his case anyway. All they could do was come and see him, weep and pray. But then even God could not forgive him, because he himself had failed to forgive Derrick when he found him with his wife. Touché. Because of these thoughts, the first day passed quickly despite the discomfort of the cell. But the warder seemed very understanding and therefore, treated him with compassion.
Elvis woke up the following day after 08:15, only to find the warder, Kapalangoma, calling his name. He was given his breakfast which was so poor that he hardly had much of it. At 08:30, he was informed that he had a visitor and was taken to the visitor’s parlor. When he entered the room, his eyes were greeted with a well-dressed vivacious woman. She introduced herself as his would-be lawyer, Divine Nkhoma, should he choose to accept it. He wondered who had sent her, and how much he was supposed to pay or if at all he was being supported by some nongovernmental organization When he asked, she just smiled showing her dental formula, even her teeth were perfect. Good God! She was the living witness of physical perfection. But then Elvis had lost interest in any woman in the world. She summed up her point by saying that she was just there to help him and therefore, did not need his money.
‘I thank you very much for your concern, but as you can see or have heard, for me this is heaven compared to the world out there. To me, the rest of my life is a charade to be endured and so is this place, I don’t need your help,’ he surmised his bitter thoughts.
She looked at him for some time and then said, ‘Well don’t mention it, but I will not allow you to enter into self-deception. The fact is that you at least feel you have done something wrong and looking at you, you don’t look like a person who can commit suicide.’
‘You know what? For once you are right. I don’t have the courage to commit suicide and I hope someone else will kill me. And, yes, I am waiting for the verdict. I hope I will be charged guilty. So, go home and attend to people who matter,’ he responded, developing a dour mood towards her.
‘Like I said, I will not allow you to do that to yourself. I meant it and believe me, am a very stubborn woman. And remember, in life there is no such a thing as happily married; it’s an oxymoron like happily dead. Am not married for the same reason and am at least contented. You will get over it, believe me, time is the greatest healer!’ concluded Divine.
And abruptly she stood to go without waiting for his reply. She had walked two meters when she turned and said, ‘Tomorrow then, at the same time.’ And she walked out.
‘Women, weird creatures, one puts you in this state while the other comes to rescue you!’ Elvis muttered to himself as he rose to go.

***

There was so much commotion about the case of the complainant, Mr. Derrick Sikazwe and the defendant Mr. Elvis Chileshe, that the government urged the court to set up a judge and jury where people believed the case would be well judged. And so, having set up a wide range of jury candidature, both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s counsels participated in the jury selection and a fine set of 12 jurors were selected. It was made up of seven gentlemen and five fine ladies. Two days before the trial, the jury was sequestered out of Lusaka and their phones monitored so they could not be influenced in any way by any person. Chileshe waited. The world looked forward to the trial.
Divine went to sleep.
The world slept.

Format: 13.5 x 21.5 cm
Number of Pages: 176
ISBN: 978-3-99064-378-5
Release Date: 05.11.2018
USD 21,99
USD 13,99