Hi! I’m Heinrich. I’ll thumb my diary to January 1st, 1924. Please read along.
“Come closer,” says grandpa. The slender man twists on the welded wire bed.
Shortly, I skip inside and wipe the dripping sweat from his forehead.
“Peace has returned to the Waterberg,” grandpa says, and spit reddish mucus into a discoloured tin.
“What?” I say, rubbing his sunspot hands. “Let’s go back,” I say, and pat my single-barrel handgun.
“The Schutztruppe have been crushed,” grandpa says, punching his lined fists in the air.
“Let’s claim the familial land,” I say, and quickly overhear his purring chest.
“I’m too weak,” grandpa says, smoothing his white hair. Then, he rubs his puffed-up beard.
“What should we do?” I ask.
“Take this,” he says, snatching a rusty nail clipper.
“Cut them,” he says, and raise his yellowed toenails.
I stood up, and cut his cotton hair and stiff fingernails.
“Put them inside,” grandpa says, pulling out a threadbare pouch under his sweat-soaked pillow.
Then, I grab the thin sack, and overstuff it with locks of hair. “Get the women to door-plaster the hut.”
“What?” I ask.
“Sprinkle the pieces where we’ve buried your great-grandfather.” As the sun burns my head, I collect mid-brown cow dung and watch the women plaster the door-less and window-less hut.
Thenceforth, we abandon the skinny beloved man, and roam toward the mountain. It’s been a week; now we catch sight of a signboard saying, ‘Farm 041911’.
As the sun nose-dives behind the mountain, we follow the dirt road. The sign, ‘Privatgrundstuck’ grows big and bold. Soon, we run into a cast-iron farm gate. There, a curled-hair man surrounded by egg-shaped head dogs and two dark-skinned natives charges towards me.
“Sie sind privatgrund,” the hairy man says. “I’ve returned home,” I say.
“Beware,” a gatekeeper says, tapping the silvery picture of a dog, which swings above his head.
The muscular dogs bark at my wife and children. Soon, the gatekeepers rub their long legs. Instantly, I stomp towards the coiled-hair man.
“I’ll drop this at the foot of the hills,” I say, as tears drown my eyebrows. “Gehen tun Ihre dumm ritual,” the farmer says. I squeeze through the half-opened gate and this yawning dog sniffs and licks my heels. With a pack of dogs following me, I glide down the mountain. There, I empty the tresses, and return to the padlocked farm gate.
Soon, the police chain my hands, and dump me into the back of a ‘Waaaahhhhhh’ car.
* Ruben Kapimbi is a language teacher at Eros Primary School, and writes fiction in his free time.