The Tokoloshe Voodoo Doll

You know how easy it is for an argument to reach epic proportions, where deep-seated grudges, fears and anxieties surface and where memories that are best left in the deepest and darkest recesses of the mind suddenly come to the fore — memories that once awakened unleash legions of rage-filled demons?

My wife and I were having such an argument.  Our voices were raised.  We began to shout abusively at each other.  I could see the loathing in her eyes.  Her face grimaced with repugnance and disgust. 

Like most arguments it started off with something petty but then, like a wildfire, it quickly flared into an inferno.  Talk about inflamed passions! 

We were close to strangling each other when a piercing scream stopped us in our tracks.

Turning towards the television, we stood spellbound as we watched a terrified young housewife struggling to fend off a demonic doll-like creature that had gotten into her house and was attacking her.  She was beating it back with a broom.  The tokoloshe — an African voodoo doll — had cornered her in the kitchen, and kept leaping up and trying to sink its teeth into her throat.

We stood in silence as she wrestled it towards the microwave, the creature spitting and hissing and wriggling its hideous body in an effort to escape.  Using her hand and the bristles of the broom she managed to cram it into the microwave, then quickly slam the door shut. 

The camera zoomed in. 

Through the glass, you could see the creature frenziedly leaping at the walls and trying to smash through the microwave’s door, its sharp teeth gnashing and its hostile eyes burning with loathing. 

The woman turned the heat to maximum and quickly switched it on.

The tokoloshe screamed as lethal streams of microwaves seared through its body.  After a couple of minutes all that was left was a pile of smouldering ashes.  The woman cautiously opened the door and prodded the carbonised remains with a spatula.  Nothing moved, except a haze of steam and foul-smelling smoke which swirled out into the atmosphere.   

The woman inadvertently breathed it in.

Suddenly she stopped short.  Her eyes slowly rolled up into her head.  Possessed by the tokoloshe’s spirit, she turned like a robot and grabbed a large butcher’s knife from the kitchen worktop.  Dropping to her knees, she plunged the knife repeatedly into the floor, the point piercing through vinyl floor-lay.  All the while she stared with menacing eyes at the kitchen door, saliva oozing from the corner of her mouth and trickling down the side of her face.

My wife and I were transfixed.  We thought our argument was horrible but it was nothing in comparison to this short film.

The camera cut to the front door, which was opening.  In stepped her husband.  “I’m home, darling …”  The camera cut back to the kitchen with the wife looking up, her eyes blazing with hatred.  Clutching the knife, she quietly stepped forward and opened the kitchen door.  Slowly she moved towards the passage where her happy husband was hanging up his coat.  His back was turned towards her.  She held up the knife as if she was about to plunge it into him.  That’s where the film ended.  It was short and sharp and wholly mesmerising.

Suddenly our argument was over.  We turned and looked at each other, amazed at what we had just seen.  Instead of harping back and blaming each other for passed misdeeds we both talked about the film.  Just when you think it’s all over — when arguments and bitter resentments threatened to destroy one’s life, something comes along to resurrect it.  I shall never forget the horror of that film.  It is indelibly imprinted in my mind.