The wizened old lady, sat with a copy of the newspaper in her wrinkled hands and studied the obituary columns intently. “He, he, he,” she suddenly giggled to herself, “she’s dead, she’s dead. Oh, thank you, Lord, you’ve done it again!”
“Who is it mom?” shouted a voice from inside the house as her daughter came running and stood by her mother.
“That Mrs. John is dead at last,” laughed the old lady and slowly got up from her chair, “let me go and scratch out her name from the Lord’s list. My Lord the avenger has retaliated again!”
“But mother, she died an old woman,” said the daughter wearily. “The paper says she was eighty-seven years old.”
“Ah I know, I know, sighed the old woman. “I did have to wait a long time for the Lord to act, but I knocked on his door every day and finally he heard my prayer!”
The daughter watched as her mother pulled out an old yellowed paper and carefully blacked out a name.
“Vengeance, is the Lord’s!” her mother used to say, “and it is our duty to guide the Lord to where vengeance is required.” She had also watched her mother become a bitter person as she prayed day and night for the Lord to strike her foes.
The old lady pulled out the list, which she had preserved for many years and waved it at her daughter. “The list is getting shorter,” she cackled gleefully, “now there are few who will dare cross my path, they know God stands beside me with the sword of revenge!”
“But mama,” cried her daughter sadly, “how can you live like this, watching and waiting for death, destruction or calamities to fall upon your enemies?”
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“Be quiet, my child!” hissed her mother, “I do not fight with my fists or nasty words, I wait for God to strike. You remember our first landlord? Remember when he wanted to raise the rent?”
“He slipped on a plantain skin outside the gate,” said her daughter dully.
“The Lord acted,” said the old woman quickly. “Why, what about Asha, the maid servant, who left us suddenly last year?”
“Don’t tell me you blame the Lord for making her pregnant? You were left without a cook for one day!” said the daughter shaking her head, “and you are happy the poor unmarried girl has gone and got herself pregnant?”
“The ways of the Lord are hard to understand,” said the wrinkled old woman.
“Then it is not the God I worship,” cried the daughter, “You have spent your life praying for revenge instead of forgiveness and love!”
“Ssshh,” said the old woman glaring at her daughter, “do you want the Lord to strike you dead?”
“He won’t,” said the daughter walking away, “Even if you include my name in your list…!”
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