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By Wisdom Mwale

Before I relieve my burning throat of these hefty words, I wish to hold this mighty stuff before my rotten father's grave, and swear that lies are a sweet portion but never should they be swallowed.

As such, I will not attempt to feed them to you, honourable comrades, who have chosen to waste your time on the offensively unpleasant stench that I have bunched herein. I imprecate evil to render my lungs airless should what I preach before you pervert truth.

You and I are well aware of some hoi polloi who believe that misery, and the fear-inflicting tales around it are mere myths told to some hopeless toddlers, still sucking on their ragged mothers' breasts, for such seizes to exist in their nirvanas.

Mine has been a life of a two-legged chameleon. I have hobbled back and forth while being toasted up and down. But I crawled my way to where I am today.

Not so long ago, misery had buried the better part of my then ragged life, deep down this rough surface. Luck dug me out of that hellhole and sent the evil creature packing. It fled. I will not refute that it pays me a visit once in a while. That is why I will never stack my thoughts away and stupidly imagine for once, that such nightmares are a thing behind my dorsum.

Enough of this empty sermon! Let me not waste my time meandering in these deathly hills of Chiweta. Let me not shock my thirsty horse with the unforgiving dusts in these rough and fierce Ntchenachena paths.

For my journey carries me to the caves of Chimbongondo where little Masuzgo's life wastes away, buried in every form of negativity, worse than a tale can tell.

 When my ignorant being was awash with the rare cognition about the pits of torment in the Holy Scripture, some countable moons behind us, I buried every doubt that this place is not anywhere close among us, until I saw Masuzgo and her siblings.

One does not have to ask to know that this little girl lives in the most extreme realms of misery. As her age mates fill their minds with ink and pave paths for a greener tomorrow, little Masugzo wets in showers of salty drops oozing down her bony flesh, under the hot August heat.

She digs out what remains of some drying sour cassava roots to feed herself and her two young siblings.

An ever-flowing stream trickles down her cheeks from her weary and pale eyes, as drops of mucus exude down her nose.

 She wipes her face with her only once white dress,  which has now turned into a brownish rag, while she sings away her numerous sorrows.

 Masuzgo lost both her parents to the incurable wiper five years ago when she was only 9. She now shoulders her two siblings.

One of Masuzgo's younger sister Ukavu, hangs in bones as she struggles to balance the weight of her heavy head. Rumbles in her minute belly swiftly squeeze away her life each rising sun.

Tafwa, the youngest, can barely move his feet. He stumbles as he struggled to get up from the the little piece of torn mat they rest on.

What remains above the roof of their hat are pieces of grass on one side that their father thatched before he gave up on breathing.

Tafwa is covered in house flies. He makes a pin latrine of his rags, as stools percolate down his legs.

To Masugzo and her siblings, life on earth is inferno's elder brother. They were born to die while still living.

They are convinced that there is no place, above or beneath, east or west, that is so tormenting and full of perpetual fire than the one she her siblings, perhaps undeservedly,  found themselves in.

But still, the three continue to wait and hope, with their eyes glued to the little path that leads south.

They wait for a day when their bread winner to be, Pacharo, will come home to wipe off the stains of the tears that have flooded their faces.

Three moons ago, Pacharo refused to let the death of his makers define his path and that of his siblings. He fought, rolled off every obstacle that stood between him and his thirst to create a brighter tomorrow, and won.

Yesterday, the only thing that stood between him and his burning desire to save the lives of his dying siblings are some two moons. 

Today, Pacharo’s future and that of his siblings hangs by a loose thread. His dream of wanting to bail his family out of the unforgiving pits of hell has been shattered.

His ears went deaf as they refused to conceive the terrifying news that his university fees has been raised beyond his reach.

The last wave of wind that somehow seemed to have been blowing towards his direction has selfishly been vacuumed.

Now comrades, help me uncover this disturbing mystery, why should they still dream of a future when their tomorrow has been slain?  MY CRAZY SHORE TALE