The Devils Own
By Lawrence Kadzitche
Everyone said Jonah was destined to be a great pastor in the church. In a few years he had moved from an assistant pastor to a full pastor of the church. At that speed he could see himself being consecrated bishop before he was forty.
But now one thing blocked Jonahs meteorite rise. The behaviour of his wife. People were not yet aware of it but he was fully aware that his wife was messing with his garden boy.
If this got out, it would negatively affect his image. Eyebrows would be raised. A rich man may be people could understand. But a garden boy? They could think maybe there was something wrong with him.
And divorce was strictly out of question. The family unit was at the core of the teachings of the church. There was no way the church could countenance the divorce of its pastor. He would be quietly asked to resign.
Jonah could pretend that he knew nothing of her infidelity but it would still come out one day. He was better off doing something now than when the matter would be out of his control.
But the million-kwacha question was: do what?
Even before he started seriously considering the options, he knew deep down his heart the options wouldnt be savoury. It would require silencing his wife for ever. And only the dead were people who couldnt talk.
So Jonah settled on murdering her. It was all her fault. In this dog eat dog life, it was eat or be eaten. If he didnt eat her now, she would eat him later.
His mind made up, the only thing that remained was how to do it. He considered hiring someone to do it. But doing that meant he would have to live with the possibility of the hired killer talking.
No, he had to do it himself. Do it in such a way that her death would appear accidental. That was the best way out. The death of his wife would even boost his career as people would have nothing but the deepest sympathies for him.
He already knew how he was going to kill his wife. He left the vestment and made his way to his house whistling his favourite him.
Jonah found his wife sitting on the verandah knitting a doyle.
“Honey, we need to take a holiday, he said dropping into an arm chair beside her.
Was it a shadow of suspicion he detected on his wifes face or just his imagination, Jonah wondered. But it was gone.
Thats a good idea. It has been years since we had a holiday, she said.
True. I think I was dedicating to much time to the work of the Lord neglecting you, my dear.
Again Jonah thought he saw the shadow of suspicion cross his wifes face. No, he was wrong. For his wife was hugging him happily.
Well go to the lake, she told her. Enjoy ourselves.
They left the following weekend. Since he had told her about the trip, love had descended into the family like mist. They walked hand in hand, hugged each other and the words honey or darling never left their lips. Even their flock did not fail to notice the renewed love.
It all suited Jonah perfectly. When he brought the news of his wife accidental drowning at the lake, no-one would suspect him. They would only remember him as the husband who doted on his wife.
“Tomorrow, well take a ride on the lake on a cruise boat, Jonah told her.
Thatll be great, she said kissing him on the cheek. But you know I cant swim.
Jonah laughed. You know I also cant swim. Thats why well be in a boat.
They hugged and laughed; a couple much in love.
The following morning, they took the cruise boat. Jonah purposely made sure that they were not wearing life jackets.
When they had gone where they could not be seen from the beach, Jonah said suddenly, I know all about you and the garden boy.
If he had expected to see fear in her, he was disappointed. Of course I know that. Why else are we here?
A frown creased his brow. What did she mean by that?
But she was continuing speaking. I loved you, Jonah. But to you what mattered was to rise up in the church hierarchy, spending all your time visiting the frock, in this or that charitable work, reading books…
Im a pastor, thats what Im supposed to do, Jonah defended himself.
I could have put up with that if you did that because you had a kind heart, because you wanted to spread the word of God, she said in a voice tinged with self pity. But no. It was all to advance you career. It didnt take me time to realise you were the devil in disguise.
He took a deep breath. Well, youre right. And I cant allow you to ruin my career. It all ends here.
Certainly, she said and suddenly lashed out at Jonahs groin.
Jonah doubled up with pain, clutching at his loins. She pushed him violently and he toppled over into the water.
As he hit the water, he wondered how she could have outwitted him like this. But she provided the answer.
You were blinded by your ambitions, Jonah, she screeched. Fool, you suddenly change and you thought I would not notice?
Open mouthed, he watched her standing arms akimbo, and legs spread on the boat, a devilish smile on her face. Desperately he tried to swim but he could only beat at the water until the water had filled his body and it went limp.