Portia Ngwenya couldn’t believe that she was finally in her own house; her husband and two children had moved in earlier while she went to work. She got back late from work and switched on the lights, taking in the feeling of home. The five-bedroom house with ensuite bathrooms, an open plan kitchen, a patio and a garden leading to a lake was beautiful and spacious. They had gotten it at a steal as the real estate agent said. As Portia made her way to her bedroom, she felt a chill travel over her spine and paralysing her entire body with fear. She had a feeling if she turned around she’d see something behind her. When she got hold of her body she hurried to her bedroom and found her husband snoring. She changed and quickly snuck into bed, willing sleep to take over instantly. She kept her eyes tightly shut because if she opened them she saw a shadow moving around the walls. As she was struggling to sleep she could feel herself being lured by a distant voice singing lullabies. It drugged her senses and she nodded off only to be woken up by a strong gust of wind coming in from the sitting room.
Sibusiso was fast asleep. He didn’t wake up as she tried to get him to get up so he could go and close the window. The room was ice cold; it felt like she was a freezer and as hard as she tried to ignore the wind she couldn’t. She rushed to the sitting area and closed the window she found open and rushed back to bed with her heart beating like crazy. She could feel a sensation at her back like someone was watching her.
Chanel Naidoo got back home from a wild party; she put her keys into the keyhole but couldn’t get the door to open. Her father must’ve changed the locks again, she thought as she rushed down the garden into the backyard shed near the lake. She got the stepping ladder and put it up against the house, climbed up and fiddled about until she managed to open a window. She slithered in and ran to her bedroom when she saw the light on in her father’s bedroom. She threw herself on her bed; when she turned she felt someone sleeping next to her. As she dozed off she made a note to tell her sister to stop sleeping in her bed.
Portia was woken up by the alarm early the next morning and she rushed to get ready for work. She kissed her husband thinking that she should really free up space in her schedule so she could spend time with her family. When she got to the office she could barely keep her eyes open. She was woken up by a knock at her door. Nosipho Sithole, her receptionist walked in with a cup of coffee.
“Morning boss lady, are you ready for the big day in court?” she asked.
“Morning Nosi, I’m feeling so sleepy that I haven’t had a chance to even go over my notes”, Portia yawned as she leaned over for the coffee.
“I’m sure that will refresh you. Did the family keep you up?” enquired Nosi.
“If only. I hardly see them anymore. When I got home they were asleep, but I hardly slept because a ghost or some spirit roamed around the house. I think the house is haunted”, replied Portia as she drank her coffee.
Nosipho hurried forward and sat on one of the two chairs in front of Portia.
“I know a good sangoma who can make all your problems go away”, she whispered.
“What? Isn’t that like witchcraft?” asked Portia, mortified.
“No, it’s witchcraft when you go to a witchdoctor and practise bad spells on people. Cleansing your house of lurking spirits is like a traditional house warming with the ancestors. Or you could ask for holy water from a pastor. You don’t know what happened in that house before you got there or who lived there, it makes sense to do a cleansing ceremony just to be on the safe side”, said Nosipho getting up. “Think about it. I’ll be in at my desk if you change your mind”, she said on her way out.
“Nosi, please ask Ma Gesi to come see me when she has a moment”, said Portia.
“The old crazy lady, you’ll ask for her advice?” exclaimed Nosi stopping in her tracks.
“She’s been a great help to me before. You didn’t think much of her helping me before”, replied Portia.
“That was before she accused my husband of cheating on me and being a common criminal”, snapped Nosi.
“Nosi, I’m sure she was warning you about something she felt you had to know”, said Portia cautiously.
“She’s crazy, maybe her forte is law, business and cleaning. She must get personal issues meddled up. I consulted with my sangoma and everything is okay”, retorted Nosipho.
“Your sangoma is on your payroll, Ma Gesi isn’t. She’s been helping you with your business without wanting anything in return. You could put out filters to see if Lonwabo isn’t being dishonest”, she advised Nosi.
Portia thought back to when Ma Gesi, one of the cleaning ladies warned her of a dark cloud over her family. Ma Gesi claimed to be from a family of prophets, oracles and sangomas, meaning she could see things. She had helped Portia unofficially in some of her cases by hinting at the unseen or what lay ahead. Portia figured if anyone could help her in this situation it had to be Ma Gesi.