Besieged by Vultures II-By Edward Maroncha

(Continued from Besieged by Vultures I)

“I don’t know what has gotten into you, Janice. But you can take this to the bank. You are getting nothing. Your inheritance is the education I gave you. Go out and make your own money. I want to enjoy my retirement in peace.”

“You are such a cold hearted witch. No wonder dad left you!” Janice says. Eva wants to hit her but she restrains herself. She knows that her daughter is intoxicated, and although that is hardly an excuse for her rude behavior, Eva is trying hard to understand.


Eva has known for years that her daughter takes alcohol, but she did not know the extent of the problem until Janice came for the funeral. The girl is an alcoholic, just like her husband or boyfriend, or whatever it is that they are to each other. Eva knows that they live together, but beyond that she has no idea what kind of relationship they have or what kind of man he is. She does not even know what the guy does for a living.

If she had known, she would have been disgusted. Like Adriana, Farouk is a social climber with no known source of income other than Janice’s purse. He and Janice met at a gym in Westlands. Farouk is one of those guys who hang around gyms, impressing women with their physique and being all helpful especially to them. As a newly employed doctor, Janice had taken to the gym to shed weight. She had figured that since she now had a decent pay cheque, she could afford to do something about her weight.

Janice has always struggled with her weight since she was a teenager. After her parents’ break up, she had found solace in food. Of the two children, Janice is the one who was most affected by her parent’s break up. She had always been daddy’s girl, and the removal of daddy from her life destabilized her. It did not help matters that they still lived in the same town as Fredrick. Six-year-old Janice tried to remain close to her father, but she was always met with brutality by Joanna and cold indifference by Fredrick. Fredrick chose his second wife over his daughter. The erstwhile doting father suddenly became cold and distant, leaving Eva with no option but to firmly reign in her daughter’s desperate need to reconnect with her father. She forbid Janice from ever going back to their old house, because Janice would always come back crying.

Janice became withdrawn after that, keeping to herself and shutting out everybody except her brother Sam. Sam has always been the only one able to get through to her even in the darkest seasons of her life. As she approached her teens, Janice got out of her cocoon, but instead of returning to the bubbly girl who had thrived under the doting attention of her father, she came out as a rebellious girl who was always looking for trouble.

In High School, she was suspended two times and expelled twice (each suspension followed by an expulsion in each school) in a space of two years, meaning she went to three schools between form one and the end of form two. But it was Sam’s failure to secure a government sponsored university spot that seemed to jolt her to reality. Sam had always been the more grounded one, and his grades reflected that. He was always in the top ten of his class. But something happened and he only managed a C+ in KCSE, being number 91 in his class of 102 students. Before KCSE, the worst position he had ever been in that class was position 12, and that had happened just once when he was in form two.  His regular position was between 5 and 7, although once or twice he made it to the top 3.

Nobody knows for sure what happened as he did KCSE. Even his teachers were stunned. But Sam stubbornly refused to talk about what had happened, and brushed away all queries with non-answers and his characteristically disarming smile. That had hurt Eva, because she had been her son’s confidante for years. But she did not berate him. Instead, she took yet another loan and sent him to Daystar. Sam’s academic prowess returned at Daystar, and he graduated with a first class honors degree.

After seeing Sam’s KCSE results, Eva took time to talk to her daughter. She warned Janice that if she did not style up in school, she would end up as a dressmaker at Ganga market. That touched a nerve in Janice’s heart, because if there is anything the girl wanted the most, it was to get out of the dusty village. For two years she summoned her academic juices, concentrated on her books with laser focus and slowly saw her grade rise from a D+ in form three term one to a B plain in form four second term. Janice was by far the best student in the school with the B plain, because after two expulsions no top school would touch her. She did her final two years at Ganga Mixed Day Secondary School, a school where a C+ was a grade to be celebrated. As Janice’s grades improved, Eva relaxed; she knew that if her daughter maintained the same focus in the final term, she would grab a B+ and make it to the university as a government sponsored student. In those years, you could not get government sponsorship in the university with anything less than 67 points.

But just like her brother, Janice shocked everyone. Except that it was in the opposite direction. When KCSE results were announced, Janice had a straight A of 83 points, and she was the top student in the entire district. Everyone in Ganga celebrated; the school principal even did a TV interview where he bragged about knowing that Janice would do great, in spite of the fact that he had to be arm twisted by the BOM (then known as the BOG) chairman to take her after initially refusing to admit her. The wealthy and influential BOM chairman was a friend to Fredrick’s father Geoffrey. Janice being top of the district meant that Eva wouldn’t worry about university fees; Janice was sponsored by Equity Bank.

Janice was admitted to the University of Nairobi’s School of Medicine. The only fear Eva had was that Janice would return to her wild and rebellious ways, and be unable to cope with the demands of medicine. But Eva remained focused and graduated second in her class, one of the only two first class honors graduates from the School of Medicine that year.

Janice mended her relationship with her mother when she was in campus. They became very close and talked about everything from boys to medicine. Eva was happy; both her children were doing well.

Until Adriana and Farouk happened.

Sam has never been disrespectful to his mother. He just kept his distance when Adriana came into his life. But Janice seems to have rekindled the anger that had been fueling her teenage years. In her teenage, her anger was directed at anyone with authority: Eva, school teachers and even the local parish minister. Now it seems to be directed at Eva alone.

During the three days she has been in the village, she seems to be getting along with everyone, except Eva.


“So what are all of you doing in a witch’s house?” Eva asks furiously. “Why don’t you leave before I bewitch you?”

“This is still my land, Eva. It was given to me by my father,” Fredrick replies.

“The title is in my name, and your father Geoffrey wanted me to have it. So if you think you are going to blackmail me into taking you back, you are seriously mistaken. You go and find Joanna. She is the one who helped you to squander your inheritance.”

“Janice is right,” Adriana says. “You are a witch. No wonder Sam didn’t want to come to this village ever; you are such a toxic human being. I wouldn’t want my son to be brought up in this environment.”

Eva is desperately fighting tears now. She did everything for these children. And this is how she is getting repaid? And to make it worse, the very person who abandoned them is the one Janice is defending? The person who pushed her away when she desperately needed his affection?

“Okay fine. I am a toxic human being and I am a witch. In fact, I am Lucifer himself. Now please get out of my house before I light the flames of hell.”

“Why don’t you want father back in the house mother?”

“He has a wife.”

“Yes he does. You are his wife. Or did you two get divorced?”

“You know what, I don’t have to explain anything to you; just get out of my house.”

“So is true. I have heard the rumors, but I did not want to believe them. But now I can see they are true,” Janice presses. “Even Father told me and I refused to believe him. But now I cannot help wondering, why are you so opposed to taking him back?”

“What in God’s name are you talking about?”

“Stop mentioning God’s name in vain mother. You always taught us that. But for Christ’s sake pretending. I now know that you have been sleeping with old Geoffrey. How could you do that to your husband-my own daddy-mother?”

Eva bolts from her seat and grabs her daughter by the hair and pulls her up. She slaps her twice in quick succession. As Janice screams, Fredrick comes to her rescue; but he is caught up in the storm. Eva grabs him by the collar and gives him three rapid slaps.

“Are you the one who has been feeding the children rubbish about me and your father?” Eva growls at Fredrick.

Janice, Joel and Adriana flee from the room, leaving Fredrick alone to face his estranged wife’s fury. She is a strong woman, while his strength has over the years been wasted away by alcohol and the lack of adequate food.

Eva pushes him out of the house and he scrambles away like a frightened mongrel.

Left alone, Eva breaks down and cries. What did she do to deserve all this? One of her children is dead, and the other one has turned against her. Did she wrong God without knowing?


The mourners have long gone when someone knocks on Eva’s door. She is having a headache, but she hasn’t had the strength to walk to the kitchen and take a painkiller. But she uses the last ounces of her energy to walk to the door. When she opens it, she is surprised to find two police officers there.

“Good evening Mrs. Wakenda.”

“Good evening officers. What can I do for you?”

“You need to come with us to the police station.”


“You are under arrest for assaulting Mr. Fredrick Wakenda and Ms. Janice Wakenda.”

(Continued Here)

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay:


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