This story is a reprint of one of my favorites from Torsion. It is a semi-true story from a young man from Uganda. You can read his bio here and it is rather powerful. Without further ado, I bring you a story about a man who was pushed too far by the forces of darkness…
Nyabur The Night Witch
by Michael Owuor
At about the age eight, something happened in my village that is still fresh in my mind. There lived an old woman called Nyabur. She walked alone and her back curved like a question mark. It appeared she couldn’t take even the smallest of steps without her walking stick. She never dropped her walking stick. She had large squinted eyeballs, and a very tired back. One would wonder how she managed to terrorize the whole neighborhood at night. But she was a known master at the art of night dancing and witchcraft. Her night design was an outfit-dress of ash powder that she designed to cover her scaly body when on duty. Tell no one, my friend, for I saw this myself one evening.
That evening we were done with supper, and had hardly closed our door when we heard a cat-like scratch on the door. That evening I borrowed the courage of my late great grandma. I looked through a tiny hole on the cracked wall; the moon was generous that night and I saw the woman. She was without her walking support. She was upright. Hanging on her dry chest were two sock-shaped features that rolled down to her loins. In her ash outfit, every feature on her was loud. In fact, the ash made her look like a guinea fowl. She made several revolutions round our house, struck the windows, and sowed grains of sand all over the old roof. My heart pumped and I felt a stream of adrenalin down to the toes as my bro cocked and ran out with the two tongued spear; the weapon of mass destruction, that was inherited from our great grandpa. I picked a mingling stick from mother’s millet pot and followed him into the madness. My bro came panting; the elusive and outwitting creature had disappeared into thin air.
One day, my cousin Otewa, who was about fifteen, came home; he was the most playful creature I knew and he my favorite cousin. We narrated to him about the night goddess and how she had terrorized the neighborhood; but Otewa did not seem much touched by the story; he instead told us more horrifying stories about his place and vowed to catch Nyabur. He worked on his Catapult, the AK47 of the time, and tried several targets to ensure it was well zeroed. Night came and my cousin, accompanied by my bro, lay ambush under the millet granary with the new launcher at the ready. They had with them magazines of cycle-nut missiles for the deadly mission. I was very eager to see the outcome; I tell you no scrap of sleep dared to cross my eyebrows that night. I listened keenly for the slightest sound outside. Fortunately, her time table was favoring; she came trotting, and, as usual, went about her business: she checked the windows, the doors, and then went about baptizing the roof with her grains of sand. She had hardly gone quarter way her business when I heard the missile and then a loud moan. Shortly after, the two freedom fighters were at the door beaming with smiles of triumph. The mission was complete, the missile had blown off a fraction of her face, but she had managed to slip away.
At dawn, everyone woke early to confirm the job well-done. And at the scene was something like Nyabur’s squinted eyeball that had sprung out from its orbit when Otewa released the trigger. Nyabur was surely wounded. I put the eye in my pocket. I’m not sure why I did it, but it felt right. We then followed the trail of blood up to her hut, whence she lay… resting at the door step, a pool of blood under her tiny hard body, never to wake again.