Since today is the last day of May Monster Madness, I have something extra special for you…
Disclaimer: This story contains adult themes, and is of the horror genre, if you are sensitive to these things, please keep that in mind.
by Jason Hes
Unathi, as usual, is woken up by the squawking of hadedas that unfortunately, a couple of months ago, decided to invade the large evergreen tree outside her bedroom window. She watches them lazily from under the covers of her bed, silently cursing the loud diseased flock as they cry, peck and bite one another. Every morning it’s exactly the same, but it never ceases to annoy her and drag Unathi from her dreams. She hates those fucking hadedas. One day she’ll tear them apart.
Unathi shaves her long slender legs and runs a bath. While the tub fills with boiling water, she makes herself a cup of coffee and smokes a cigarette. She turns on the television and watches a nervous eTV news presenter mumble about recent leads in a strange case that has rocked Johannesburg for weeks now. Bodies are still piling up, and all SAPS* can show for it are a handful of grainy CCTV images of an enormous ugly dog-like creature, what some “experts” believe to be a hyena, feasting on its victims.
Unathi’s cats purr at her as they leave the flat for the morning, as the news presenter shyly fumbles with his collar and warns people to stay indoors at night and not be too alarmed. Unathi clicks her tongue and switches off the ancient TV as she stubs out her cigarette in an ashtray. The presenter was as wrong as he was self-conscious: some people needed to be worried.
With traffic being at its peak at this time of the morning, Unathi decides to walk to university rather than take her car. “Exercise is awesome!” She keeps thinking to herself over and over in a cheesy bimbo American accent, the type you hear in Verimark adverts. “Exercise is great!” She thinks miserably, every time her lungs feel like they are about to cave in. She shouldn’t have smoked that cigarette this morning. It’s bad enough the habit was overly-expensive, but Unathi was slowly starting to notice its effects on her day and nightlife as well. She’d quit soon, she thinks through sharp breaths as she makes her way up Empire road. But only after this box.
The University of Witwatersrand is buzzing with students making their different ways to lectures, chatting amongst friends excitedly about the drugs they’ve tried recently or the people they’ve fucked. Some sleepily slouch against one another, unable to muster a coherent sentence this early. Others are far too awake, gesturing wildly, their eyes steroid-wide and dancing. Energy drinks sell like crazy at this time of the day on campus. Unathi buys a Red Bull and eavesdrops on a conversation between a geeky fat kid and a plain girl with a pizza face. They had to be BSC students, those studying the arts always make an effort to look good and stay clean.
Pizza Face sips her coffee loudly as Fatty mutters in a serious tone about the recent killings, in particular the one that occurred on campus a few days ago.
“What exactly is going on though? That’s the part I don’t get,” Pizza Face states between painful slurps.
“What’s not to get?” Fatty asks and folds his arms over his chest, “They say some hyena escaped from JoBurg Zoo and is now making a meal out of every dude it sees…”
Pizza Face frowns, “Only men?”
Has this girl been hiding behind too many physics text books to see the Daily Sun headlines (DEMON BEAST SLAUGHTERS CROOKS!), the write-ups, the news? Unathi frowns. This hyena thing is big, she thought everyone knew.
Fatty nods at Pizza Face and dramatically states, “There’s even been a death here, in the Wartenweiler Library! Some dude in third year was torn to ribbons… His stomach was ripped open and people are saying some of his intestines were stuck and hanging from the ceiling!” Pizza Face brings a hand to her mouth and gasps. Unathi rolls her eyes tiredly and finishes her Red Bull. Seriously, where has Pizza Face been?
Developmental Psychology is cancelled today, something about a memorial service for “the dude in third year”, also known as Eddie de Kock. Unathi didn’t like him, and there’s no chance she’d attend the service. She hates seeing people bawling their eyes out, looking like blubbering retards over someone who wasn’t worth the tears to begin with. Unathi makes her way to the Psychology department and picks up a thick collection of notes and readings bound into one massive volume, that almost breaks her back when she shoves it into her bag. As she leaves the department, Unathi sees Kagiso Mbeki in the distance, sitting on a carpet of energy drink green grass rolling a joint. She smirks and makes her way over to him.
Unathi could care less about how Kagiso is coping after the death of Eddie, his best friend, she just enjoys seeing him in pain since he caused her so much grief in the past. He looks up at her with dead eyes as he sees her approach. Perfect, Unathi thinks. The hardest part will be trying not to smile.
“Unathi… Hey, you’re not going to Eddie’s service, are you? I can’t be sober for it…” Kagiso speaks slowly, thinking too hard about each and every word. Or maybe he’s hit the bong early this morning and is having trouble communicating. Unathi grinds her teeth but just shakes her head. Kagiso should know her better, why would she go after what they did to her?
Kagiso nods sadly, focusing on the fat joint in his hands, “I guess you wouldn’t, after what’s happened…” He pauses and lights the joint, the sweet smell of marijuana tickles Unathi’s nose. He sucks the joint and releases a cloud of smoke from his lips, “I thought that fucking animal was just a rumour… So did Eddie. Now… Jesus, Unathi! That thing ripped him to shreds! They had to replace the carpets afterwards it was that bad… I’m sorry, so sorry about everything…”
Unathi nods, but does not care for his apology. Kagiso attempts to stand up, but he’s giddy and falls on his arse in a pitiful heap. Don’t laugh, Unathi pleads with herself, the giggles bubbling up her throat. Whatever you do, don’t laugh. There will be plenty of time for that later.
It’s after lunch when Unathi realizes there’s a make-up Anthropology lecture she completely forgot about. Her late nights are starting to take their toll on her, Unathi’s memory isn’t what it used to be. She sneaks into the lecture ten minutes late, but the lights are dimmed and the lecturer is caught up in her own slideshow presentation to even acknowledge Unathi as she sidles into the nearest empty seat she could find. The lecturer clicks a button on a remote control in her hand and the projected image changes from an elderly skeletal sangoma* to that of a ferocious and demented-looking beast.
“This, ladies and gentlemen, is a Kuri… A mythical South African monster said to be half man, half hyena- think of it as South Africa’s personal werewolf.” The class whispers amongst one another, shifting uncomfortably in their seats. Unathi hears a girl in front of her squeak, “Pretty ballsy considering what’s just happened here at Wits…” Another, a few seats away, gasps, “This lecturer has no respect! Poor Eddie…” Poor Eddie indeed.
Unaffected by the whispers and hisses, the lecturer continues, “The Kuri are said to have been the most beautiful people who would charm and lure innocent victims with their good looks, only to turn into a hyena and…” The lecturer hesitates as the class sits in awkward silence, as if only now she realizes how controversial her lesson has become, “…would eat them…”
The class looks at one another, some students grimace while others stare wide-eyed. A jock three rows away from Unathi laughs and raises his hand, “Ma’am, does that mean that guy was lured into Wartenweiler by a Kuri?!” Someone clicks their tongue disapprovingly. Unathi cocks an eyebrow. Too early for jokes, you dumb jock, way too early. The lecturer answers the crude question and continues with the lesson, but Unathi takes out her phone and starts texting friends, wondering why she bothered coming to the make up lecture when she knows all this stuff by heart. Unathi doesn’t complain though, for once her independent research will guarantee her a sure pass, at least for Anthropology.
Unathi arrives home just after five. As she walks into her flat, she sees her cats stretching and cleaning themselves. Unlike most cats, Unathi’s are more than satisfied to stay in at night, choosing to rather go out and explore during the day when Unathi is at university. When they see her walk in, the cats approach her enthusiastically, rubbing themselves against her legs, purring softly, she feeds them as they wrestle with one another, playfully biting each others’ ears and paws. Unathi lights a cigarette and watches them play. She smiles. If only humans were more like cats, maybe then she wouldn’t be driven by vengeance on a daily basis and may actually lead a peaceful life. It’s an idyllic idea Unathi finds herself thinking of regularly, she doesn’t do “peaceful” all that well, and although she’d never admit it to anyone, Unathi finds herself enjoying her nights out more and more with each passing evening.
Unathi decides to run a bath and while waiting for the water to rise, goes onto Facebook and studies Kagiso’s profile. She looks through his photos and carefully memorizes any physical detail she finds relevant. The amber in his eyes, his broken nose, his chiselled jawline. She tries to remember how he smelled today- was he wearing Hugo Boss? Just because she recognizes Kagiso during the day doesn’t mean she’ll recognize him tonight. The last thing Unathi wants is to make another mistake and end up wiping out another gang… Not that it was the worst thing she’s done.
Unathi soaks in the bath and waits for the night to take over. After a while, Unathi gets out and dries herself off. When she emerges from the bathroom, she feeds her cats quickly, assuring her own groaning stomach that she’ll eat more than enough in no time at all. Sometimes, after a night out, she’s so full she can barely make it back to her flat before sunrise. Those are always the best (and worst) nights.
Unathi opens her bedroom window and peers at the moon which looks as if it has been dyed a sickly yellow. Her cats bound into the room, wanting to play with their owner, but Unathi simply shakes her head, distracted while she tries to pick up Kagiso’s scent. The only thing she’ll be playing with tonight is Kagiso.
“Don’t wait up for me kids,” she tells her cats affectionately as she gets up and sits on the ledge of the window, “Mommy won’t be back ’til late.” Unathi giggles to herself. Why shouldn’t she admit it? She loves to kill her prey. Hiding in the evergreen tree, a hadeda squawks. Unathi narrows her eyes. Those bastard birds better enjoy their last night on earth tonight.
Thick black hair sprouts from her back and arms. The bones in her hands and feet click and contort into clawed paws. Her teeth become large and jagged. Her face stretches and her nose becomes a black snout. Her giggling becomes uncontrollable and wild, her excitement building at the thought of ripping Kagiso apart slowly. She’ll get him for what he did to her. Just like she got Eddie. Just like she got all of them.
Amber eyes. Broken nose. Chiselled jaw. Hugo Boss. Right- remember that.
Unathi’s cats watch the Kuri from inside the bedroom as she cackles one last time and ferociously lunges out the window into the cold Johannesburg night.
*SAPS: South African Police Services
*Sangoma: traditional witch doctor
“Unathi Kills” is Copyright © May 2012 of Jason Hes
Do not reproduce this story in whole or in part without express permission from the Author, Jason, who can be contacted via Twitter
Follow Jason on Twitter @Gospel_of_Jason
Jason here:) I’m an English student at university and I enjoy writing. I love Sci-Fi and horror, and I am currently in the process of writing an epic novel!
I’d love to thank the wonderful Annie Walls for allowing me to participate in this blog hop and I’d like to thank Little Gothic Horrors and Ked as well as Annie for organising this blog hop. It has been incredibly fun, informative and a great way to meet new people. I’d of course love to also thank Jason for participating in this blog hop as well. As you can see he is a brilliant writer, and I hope for more guest blogs from him in the future!
To check out the other monster blog hoppers click the linky below