(This post is a sequel to part 1 of Civil War. If you haven’t read part one, you can read it by clicking here)
Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win. Stephen King was right. Sometimes they do more than win. They gloat and they taunt you. They laugh in your face when you stand at the brink of the death and the eve of utter gloom. They mock at your helplessness and they deride your efforts to stay alive. Ghosts and monsters were alive in the Subaru as Wendy I drove back. The ominous silence between us was the sound of fear. Even Rocky in the back had gone quiet. Dad drove fast. Wendy, who had just completed her driving school, burned the fuel as she accelerated to 50 struggling to shift to a higher gear in order to catch up with father’s Nissan. I didn’t blame her. The anxiety we shared was enough to rip out that blasted gear lever and toss it out the window.
Dad slowed down as he reached the roundabout in the Cul-de-sac. He took a different turn from the one we came from. So we were going to outrun the mob. That was dad’s plan. There was no sight of the mob yet. But their chants filled the air from a distance. They were still coming.
We tailed dad as he drove to the sports club. He knew Johnston, the bartender. To outrun the mob was suicide. Hiding was the remaining option. Dad was thinking fast. The place had a cellar if I remembered correctly. Going underground was the safest option at any rate. Our anticipation of desertion of the premises was undone. As we turned into the sports club compound, there lay the most comforting sight. People. Lots and lots of people all huddled in
groups, seated on the grass and on the tarmac, most dressed in pajamas and night gowns. We parked the cars and stepped out.
“Oh, thank heavens you’re all alright!” came a familiar voice.
I knew the lady from church but couldn’t place a name on the face.
“It’s them,” another said, “They betrayed us! Now they want to kill us cause we’re not their tribe!”
No one responded. They all knew she was right. This was a tribal and personal. It then dawned hard. All these people were from three common tribes. The children were kept indoors the sports club. There was a plan to hide them in case the mob came this far. They were the future. If we died, we left a remnant.
“Ernest,” a voice called from behind. I whirled.
“You’re okay. You made it.”
I reached out to hug her. She hugged back. I could tell she was stunned.
“Ernest we made it here on foot. We were sleeping when our gardener rushed into the house and grabbed the baby. He cried out to follow him saying they were coming. We followed him here. All my siblings are safe.”
“Eva, your parents?” I insisted.
“They’re in the Rift Valley. We lost communication with them.”
Words failed me.
Abruptly, distant gunshots colonized the air. The mob was armed? It destroyed the last sliver of hope anyone held on to. The people scampered away from the gate. Death was grinning today. A green Land Rover vehicle poured into the gate with two men armed with rifles.
This was it.
No, it wasn’t. This was the army. Hope resurrected! In the Land Rover was the area MP, two army men and a police officer. The crowd gathered around them.
“Do not be afraid. We have dispersed them.” The MP addressed us. “You can go back to your homes.”
“Go back to our homes!” bellowed one man from the crowd, “What will stop them from coming back?”
The crowd joined in one bawl.
“We’re staying here! And you must protect us!” cried a frustrated lady.
“There are other places that need our help,” one of the army officers said. “We have helped you. There’s only much we can do. Now please go home.”
Discord began to brew. The MP and the officers grew weary of assuring us of our safety. They put a few trustworthy men among us in charge and left to save more souls in the constituency. Still here we were without protection. Needless to say, they revamped a shred of hope; time. They had bought us time to live and time to think a bit more clearly before the mob returned.
“Kids quick, get in the car. We’re going back home.”
“What! Dad, no… I’m…I’m scared.”
“Come on! You heard the police. It’s safe. We’re going to pack and leave.”
Either dad was not cognizant of the rumours or he had seen us die in one mass grave if we remained here. Rumour had it that the highway was blocked with debris. Rumour had it that the mob was no ordinary mob. It was a famous sect whose specialization was head decapitation. Rumour had it that they had been paid a prodigious amount of money to start the killing spree here and then head to Naivasha. Dad was not debating. We got into the car and drove back home hoping to use the time well to pack and drive out before the mob regrouped. Timing was everything. Even for the mob, it was all about timing. The moment we got home, did the real scare begin. Outside the gate of our house stood a few men on the
road. Civilians. What in blazes were they…
It didn’t take rocket science to tell who it was. They shot first and spoke later. I threw myself flat on the ground staying clear of any windows that could betray our presence in the house. It didn’t help. The tumult of bullets sounded like little bombs exploding in my ears. There was a scrimmage and we were in the middle of it. Whatever they were shooting at, I did not know. The bullets pierced the air and cracked thunderously. I promised myself to stay strong. It was a promise I was going to break. Tears flowed freely down my cheeks as I cursed the decision dad had made. We should never have come back.
For the Final Part 3 click here.