what does it all mean?

Day. I am in a large conference room with a number of colleagues. They are talking among themselves about a current engagement. I walk to the front of the conference room and sit down in one of the chairs in the front row of twenty-four chairs arranged in eight rows, theatre-style.

The conference room is actually a motor car. I am in the left front passenger seat. Three colleagues are in the car. They are on their way to visit a client. I don't know why I am there. I don't speak, and nobody speaks to me. The emotional atmosphere in the vehicle is friendly, cordial. My colleagues talk about the client: the executor of the last will and testament of a very high net-worth individual.

I think to myself that I will jump out of the car at some convenient spot, such as a train station, and go on my way. I don't know my way. We continue up and down the streets of the City (it looks like Johannesburg) but unfortunately we do not pass a spot convenient for me to jump from the car, so I remain in the vehicle with my colleagues all the way to their destination.

The destination is a large and imposing domestic residence in a salubrious suburb. We all get out of the car. My colleagues walk up the long driveway to the front door of the house. I walk away from them, away from the car, down the street to the next block. My idea is to get my bearings and then walk to the nearest train station and be on my way. I don't know my way.

Twilight. Suddenly the street is dark and menace permeates the air. Night. I stand on the corner. I hear angry shouting. Then about forty people of mixed race appear from around the corner, shouting and swearing and drinking from bottles concealed within brown paper bags. Many of them are waving knobkerries. They mill and jostle on the pavement. To me it seems as if a riot is about to break out.

On the opposite side of the street, about ten policemen in uniforms are crouched behind perspex shields. Most are carrying guns. One or two are talking into their police radios. I don't know what to do. I am afraid, but I don't want to run away for fear the rioters will notice and run after to catch me.

Then a plain-clothed policeman is at my side, gently leading me away, explaining in a quiet, gentle, patient voice that it is too dangerous for me to be where I am. We walk away from the scene of the impending riot. The policeman seems nice, friendly. He leads me back to where the car of my colleagues is parked.

Suddenly, it is daytime.

I explain to the policeman about my colleagues and the client. He laughs, seems very amused. "Your colleagues are being taken advantage of," he tells me. According to the policeman, in the domestic quarters at the back of the house adjacent to the house of the executor, lives an old black woman, a shaman, who is the person who is really in charge of the money of the high net worth individual who has died. And the nominal executor is really a tokoloshe created by the old black woman for the purpose of frustrating the evil intentions of consultants such as my colleagues. Who are at that moment giving free financial advice to the executor (who is really a tokoloshe) in the misguided hope of winning the account. And the old black woman has no intention at all of paying consulting fees.

It strikes me I have a conflict of interest. Do I tell my colleagues what I have discovered? I feel inclined not to---the policeman has been so friendly and helpful I don't want to betray his confidence. "Why don't we go inside and meet her?" the policeman suggests. I am uncertain. What if my colleagues see me going inside?

Suddenly it is night. The policeman seems less friendly. Sinister. Two dogs come running towards me, their eyes glowing... What does it all mean?

Copyright © S R Schwarz 2007. All rights reserved.

wicked and sick (refresh/home)