Was it witchcraft or sleep paralysis?

Was it witchcraft or sleep paralysis?

Someone was riding on my shoulders. The more I tried to get up, the more I felt a horrible weight on my shoulders. I tried to scream, but no sound escaped from my mouth. My nostrils felt jammed and breathing was suddenly difficult. I was slowly suffocating. I flailed my arms like a drowning man, but it was all in vain. No help was coming. I was choking and that really was the beginning of the end. Then all of a sudden, pressure was released and I gasped and suddenly woke up hissing.

“What is it?” Mai VaMaidei  woke up. I had startled her. I felt weak and exhausted.

There was a witch in the house, I was sure of it.

“I am sure there is a witch in the house, this is not just an ordinary nightmare," I said. I felt sore all over my body. I stared at the walls, expecting to see some grotesque shadows dancing on the walls.

“Let’s pray, the devil is a liar,” said Mai VaMaidei. We knelt down on our knees and prayed. When I checked in the next room, the children were sleeping soundly. My pastor always said that the devil does not rest, when people go to bed for the night, the devil is hyperactive, harvesting innocent souls.

I took my Bible and began to read the book of Job. I never slept a wink again that night.

When I woke up in the morning, I tried to reflect on the nightmare of the previous night. Was there someone trying to harm me? I wouldn’t want a recurrence of the nightmare again.

I suddenly remembered a friend of a friend who once worked in Sierra Leone. One day as they were working in the shipping yard, two guys had a heated argument and a fight almost broke out.

 They were from different tribes, one was a Limba, the first tribe known to have inhabited Sierra Leone. During the 16th, 17th and 18th century many Limba people were shipped to North America as slaves.

The other guy belonged to the Temne tribe, the largest group and are predominantly found in the northern province and the areas around the capital city, Freetown. Most of them are Muslims.

The  Limba guy chillingly warned the temne guy that, “by this time tomorrow, you won’t be here.” People did not take this seriously.

Come the next day, by midday the Temne guy suddenly became sick and was rushed to hospital. An hour later, he was pronounced dead. And according to Muslim religion, he had to be buried on the same day. It was at the funeral, that the Limba guy boasted that, “I told you yesterday, that this guy will be dead and buried by this time today.” A chilling statement, that carried no remorse.

When Baba VaTata called me in the morning at his house, I thought all was well for him, I was still preoccupied with the terrible nightmare. When I arrived, he was fuming to himself.  He had his own problems. There was a lot of rotting garbage in his yard. It was unusual.

“Do you see this?” He said pointing with his thump at the garbage.

“It’s my neighbour, he is dumping rubbish in my yard,” he said. This did not surprise me. There was bad blood between the two, even though,  this behaviour was not necessary. Lucky for him though,  he could identify his enemy in broad daylight, not some witch in the dead of the night.

“What do you think I should do?” Said Baba VaTata.

“I suggest you call him and have a man-to-man talk,” I said.

“He will obviously deny this garbage is  from his yard, he is pig-headed,” said Baba VaTata.

Just at that moment, his neighbour, Baba VaRonica appeared in sight. He wore a heavy woollen jersey despite the soaring temperatures. He once  played rugby in his younger days and his jersey failed to hide the rippling muscles in his body. He carried a small plastic bag  and as we watched him, he walked across the road and threw the small plastic  in a ditch. I could not believe my eyes.

This was evidence enough that he was dumping rubbish all over the place.

“Look at him, I don’t think this is the right moment to confront him, he is spoiling for a fight,” I said.

To be honest, I did not want to get involved.  I am slowly learning not to involve myself in other people’s business. Better that way, you avoid dodging bullets  from different directions.

I have learnt in life that you have to live in harmony with other people. Some things are not taught, for instance you can’t dump your rubbish next door. That is not being neighbourly . And if you have tree branches overhanging next door, cut the branches. The neighbour might secretly enjoy the low hanging fruit like mangoes, but he won’t be happy about that tree.

Some people can never play their music for themselves, rather the music will blast from their stereos and shut down the neighbourhood, even in the dead of the night. That’s the problem of the ghetto and to make matters worse, there is no one to complain to. You have to put up with everything, whether you like it or not. If not, you will forever be fighting and sadly at the expense of your health.

*Onie NdoroX@Onie90396982

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