Mr N’Zambi

Mr N’Zambi works alone by candlelight in the back room of his shop.  The light is poor, and he squints, trying to thread the end of the thin leather strap through the eye of the needle.  People might subconsciously walk on the far side of the footpath when they passed him on the street, but everyone knew where to find his shop if they needed his services.

Some of it is mundane: a child’s fever that lasts a week, something to ease an aching back or an arm that needs to be set.  Others have problems of a more specific sort, and these are N’Zambi’s speciality.  A restless spirit that hovers over your bed as you sleep?  A lover whose attentions wander?  A rival in business?  Mr N’Zambi’s shop has what you need, for a price; after all, anything worthwhile has value.

Not everyone is willing to pay, and sometimes they change their minds.  Sometimes they wait with a .45 when Mr Nzambi and his assistants come to collect.  Sometimes, they shoot one of his assistants as they come in the door.

The end of the strap slips through the eye of the needle and Mr N’Zambi turns back to his work.  Candelight flickers over thick crystals of salt, welling up over slack, pallid lips.  He doesn’t mind, there’ll plenty of time to pay off the debt.

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~ by Electro-mechanical Man on April 19, 2011.

One Response to “Mr N’Zambi”

  1. A sketch of a character for the book, though I don’t think I’ve found him yet. I expect we’ll see him again here as a consequence.

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