“Are you telling me that the last time this ministry went for inspection of this out station was 6 years ago? This is incredible!” The commissioner frowns his face and at the head of the monitoring team in his office.
“Sir, we do try our best. The staff in that place are all ghost workers. I hear they only go to work once a month”
“What? Ghost workers? But do they collect monthly salaries?”
“This nonsense must stop today! I am going to sanitize and overhaul the system. I will pay them an unscheduled visit! Give me their address now!” The commissioner glares at his subordinate, and adjusts his thin rimmed glasses perching precariously on his nose.
*****Monday Morning. 8:45 pm*******
Commissioner parks his car at a safe location and begins marching towards the office located at the end of the street.
“Good morning sir” two women sweeping the long veranda with long brooms greet him with a questioning look on their faces.
“Who are you people?” Mr commissioner asks in his most authoritative and official tone.
“We are cleaners. We open the office and sweep the floor every morning”
“Are there any staff around?” The commissioner asks as he glances at his wristwatch.
The women shake their head.
“Alright, you people should go away now, give me the keys of the office. I am coming from the ministry headquarters!”
The commissioner paces around the building and walks into the different offices, muttering to himself with righteous indignation.
“This is gross negligence and abscondment from duty! It is 9 am and no staff has reported to work! I am going to deal with them today. I will issue queries! Immediate demotion and sack letters! Where is the time book? Do they even have something like that here?”
He roughly pulls out a drawer and brings out a dog eared exercise book that serves as the time book. Immediately, a lizard jumps out of the drawer and lands on the floor with a thud, and scampers away.
“Can you imagine a lizard in a government office? They have not opened that drawer in years! Oh, they have not been signing the time book, no wonder” He opens the book and furiously scribbles a little note with his black pen.
“Let me wait here for a while. They would come and meet me here. The system has to be cleansed!!!”
He pulls a chair, gives it a disdainful look and sits down at the edge while tapping his foot on the ground.
“Good morning sir” a loud unearthly voice sounds over the commissioner’s head. He looks up….
“Jesus Christ!!!” He screams as he sees two skeletal beings standing before him. The skeletons have red ties hanging around their bony necks.
A third object in the image of a lady shrouded in white veil appears and stands besides the two skeletons.
“Oh my God! Abasi mmi o!” the shocked Commissioner wails. He quickly jumps over the table and runs into the inner office. These are ghost workers in the real sense of the word!
“Why are you running sir?” the voice calls out as footsteps suggest the ghosts are advancing towards the inner office.
Mr commissioner wildly gazes around the room for a hiding place or weapon. The only thing he sees is big black bucket with a lid in the corner of the room. He swiftly gets inside the container and hastily places the lid over his head. He crouches in the tiny enclosure, peeking out from time to time.
“….The lord is my shepherd I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…he restoreth my soul…he shall keep his angel charge over me, lest I dash my foot against a stone…” The now sweating commissioner mouths off random Bible verses as goose pimples develop over his body.
A long rustic and bony hand yanks the lid off from the bucket, exposing the terrified man inside.
“Come out sir, we can see you. We are your staff and you are our boss”
The frightened man crawls out of the container on all fours and hastily makes a sign of the cross.
“Sir, you are welcome to our station. This is the first time in years that someone from the headquarters has cared to visit us, so we are happy. Why did you visit us today?” The tall ghost asks in a surreal voice tone.
“I…i, I came to say hi and appreciate you for the good work you are doing here and en…encourage you to do more work…”
Mr commissioner is slowly backing out….if only the ghosts would move away for him to run out…who would have thought it that a government office harboured real ghosts as workers! It was a grave mistake not to have come with the police escort….
“Sir, when are you going to pay us leave grant?” The female ghost asks in a demonic tone that reverberated around the building.
“Today! It has been keyed into the system already. You will get the alert today, I promise you…” Mr commissioner replies….just say anything to buy time to run out…
“Sir, we have not collected our promotion arrears up till now, why?” The tall ghost pulls his tie angrily and begins advancing towards the hostage.
“Please, you will get it soon, before the month runs out, I swear to God who made me!”
“We did not collect Christmas rice that was shared to all staff of the ministry last year. Why?” The second skeleton snaps, baring its hollow eye socket.
Mr Comissioner’s knees are wobbling….the rice…didn’t they bring it here?…
“The rice…err, I am sorry, it was not enough for everyone, i myself, I didn’t get even one cup”
“Lie! You think we don’t know what you did? You and the permanent secretary collected the bags of rice meant for all workers and kept them in your houses, and sold them for cash! Why are you lying to us, sir?” The angry ghosts yelled in unison.
“I am…I am sorry….” hot urine is trickling down the legs of mr commissioner.
“Please forgive me, I will make it up to you this Christmas….and…but you are ghosts and ghosts do not eat rice…”
“Ghosts do not eat rice? Whaaaat?” The angry ghosts scream in unison and throw themselves at the commissioner….but just before they make contact with him, they suddenly disappear into the thin air.
“Edi enno oooo” commissioner screams and takes to his heels.
He hits his legs on a log of wood at the entrance of the building and tumbles to the ground. The unsettling laughter from the ghosts behind him is chilling. He staggers to his feet, gasping for breath and races away….
……run son of man run…
All 56 years of him is invested in the race as he runs the race of his life on the road….
Run…man…run for your life….Usain Bolt style…Kenya marathon style…..
“Ghosts do not eat rice abi?” The scornful and booming voice of the ghosts sounds once more behind him.
Mr commissioner is out of breath as he tumbles to the ground…his fatigued body can’t take it anymore…
“Leave me alone! I resign! I am no longer commissioner! Governor, I resssssssiiiiiignnnnn!”
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