By Lilian Momanyi

Detective Inspector Max Njagi lies asleep on the

couch in his living room. He mildly snores. A

bottle of Tusker rests on a scuzzy coffee table.

On it are also bottle caps of beer, a nail-cutter,

dried streaks of soup, and his government-

issued glock. On the floor is another bottle of

Black and White whiskey, a quarter of the liquid

remaining. He sleeps prostrate on the couch, a

hand dangling on the edge, hanging close to the

bottle of whiskey. On the T.V. mounted on the

wall, a petite lady in a black suit and pink

blouse is behind a news desk, reporting

breaking news.

In bold red a highlight keeps crawling through

the news bar at the bottom of the screen: Killer

Nanny Strikes Again, Butchering Woman and

Ten-year-old Child

The newscaster is saying:

In yet another shocking killing at the plush

estate of Kilimani, a mother and her ten-year-old

boy were today found dead in their living room.

Early reports describe the crime scene as gory.

Investigators say that the killer wanted to leave

a statement of terror.

They found the woman naked with her throat

slit, and the boy was lying on top of her, face to

her breast in a suckling posture. They found the

bloody hilt of a kitchen knife protruding from

his back.

Directorate of Criminal Investigation boss

Samson Kulei identified the missing nanny who

allegedly killed four of her employers in the

suburbs as the prime suspect. A manhunt has

been underway for the past ten months since

the killer nanny of Kilimani first struck. She is

still at large, however. The police are advising

the public to remain vigilant as the killer

nanny’s M.O. is to use witty disguises when

seeking her next victim.

While the report goes on, the door to Max

Njagi’s living room creaks. Outside, wind howls

with a supernatural effect. Someone steps in

stealthily and carefully locks the door behind. It

closes with a drawn out creak that jolts Max

Njagi, a highly trained DCI investigator.

He instinctively goes to the side of his waist, but his gun

is missing. Shocked, his eyes fall on the coffee table and

he makes a try for the gun. When his hand closes on the

gun, she speaks, and he freezes. 

“Max Njagi. I must tell you you’re making this

game uninterestingly drab. You could not catch

me, but now here I am.”

It is the voice of a woman. The overhead light

splitting through his eyeballs, Max Njagi

squints, raising the pistol in a two-handed grip

to the figure standing on the other side close to

the coffee table. His eyeballs adjust to the

lighting and he sees her.

The killer nanny. Hands covered in black gloves,

the right one holding a six inch serrated blade.

There are dark red splotches of blood on her

white shirt, half-way buttoned, exposing her

deep cleavage.

Her dishevelled hair looks thin and grey under

the white light, and when she laughs, it comes

out terrifyingly sweet. Low, musical voice but

with an unmistakable touch of terror.

“I killed them all. I will kill them all, and then I

will kill you too, honey.”

She makes her way to him, and he squeezes off

a shot. Tense silence. The trigger clicks. His

finger shakes in the trigger guard. The killer

nanny laughs even harder, brandishing the

magazine of Max Njagi’s firearm in her left


Max Njagi shoots up from his bed, pushing

himself to a sitting position. A film of sweat

covers his forehead and his white vest clings to

his skin like a patch, soaked. His head throbs

with a terrible headache. Squinting at the

cutting rays of the morning sun slanting

through the cracks left by his curtain, he places

a hand on the back of his head as though it will

calm the ache.

This isn’t the first time the killer nanny of

Kilimani has tormented him in his sleep.

Taunted him. Demeaned his ingenuity. It has

been a month now since she last struck, but as

lead investigator, every lead has come to a dead

end. Kenyans are questioning the skill of the

DCI, and his boss is breathing on his neck. His

boss had written off Njagi’s initial theory that

this was a serial killer. But now, they are all on

the same page, it’s clear they have a serial killer

on the loose.

Up to now, the killer nanny has remained the

greatest mystery in the history of mysterious

serial killers ever entangled in the daunting

game of wits and dares with the DCI.

Max Njagi reaches for the bottle of whiskey on

his bedside table, takes a drag directly from the

bottle. He grimaces as it burns down his throat.

He then goes to the bathroom.

Later, he sits in his untidy living room with a

cup of coffee he’s fixed. And he misses his wife,

Keziah. Five years down the line, though the

pain of her sudden death still is a fresh stab in

his heart. Five years ago, Al-Shabaab, a jihadist

fundamentalist group terrorizing East Africa,

struck a mall; West Gate Mall. On Max Njagi’s

birthday. This thought keeps fleshing his


Keziah, eager to get a surprise gift for her

husband, went to the mall. Their unborn baby

kicking in her stomach. And then an explosion

erupted at the main entrance. Followed by a

shower of bullets pinging off walls. Screams.

People scampering to all directions, unsure

whether they are running to safety or towards

the terrorists. Keziah didn’t even get time to call

her husband, though they found her phone in

her hand and had to pry it out of her icy fingers.

Three bullets had struck her. One went into her

throat, another to her ribcage, and the one that

gives Njagi throaty breaths went right into her

stomach. Post-mortem results revealed

disturbing news. The bullet hit the baby too.

While driving in his old Toyota Auris to DCI

headquarters, he’s held at a crawling traffic

snarl up along Lang’ata road. Insistent hawkers

try to sell him steering wheel covers, towels,

fruits, appliances and stuff, but he waves them

away. His clammy hands restless on the wheel,

Max glances at his reflection in the rear-view. In

his eyes, he sees the darting loneliness of a

man who misses his wife, and his daughter,

Angel. High on the joy of having a baby coming,

Max and Keziah had gone as far as naming

their unborn.

The traffic eases and vehicles pick up speed.

Just as he steps onto the gas, his mobile

vibrates in the glove compartment. He fishes

for it and, controlling the wheel with one hand,

sees that Nelly Wairimu is calling. His car eats

up the road ahead as he picks the call. He has

no regard for the law banning drivers from

using their mobile while driving. Whether the

traffic police stop him, he doesn’t give a toss.

He is DCI, and he has bigger things to care

about, like the killer nanny. And the news Nelly

is about to break to him.

When Max Njagi gets to Nelly’s, Nelly and Harry

have moved from the dining table and are now

on the couches in the living room, watching the

1 P.M. news. Nelly had left the door unlocked.

When the haunted investigator raps on it, she raises her

voice and asks him to come in. He

leaves his shoes at the doorstep.

Max walks up to them, stands for some

seconds to look at the young man in a sparkling

white shirt, well tucked, hair well-coifed.

“Goodness, always the investigator, Njagi. Are

you ever off the clock? Meet Harry, poor boy.

Jackline is his girlfriend and now he is anxious

like we all are. He’s been keeping me company.”

Harry gets to his feet and offers a hand. Max

Njagi takes it firmly, letting the handshake


“I know you’re going through a lot, my boy.

Thank you for also being here with Jackline’s

mother. I promise I will find her.” The boy smiles


“Thank you, sir,” he murmurs.

Njagi then walks to Nelly, who stands to receive

him, and they fall into each other’s embrace. For

a moment, the investigator in him fades out and

even Nelly can feel that this is Njagi, her

husband’s most trusted friend and Jackline’s


As they embrace, the boy looks at them from

the couch, the voices in his head congratulating

him for finding himself a worthy opponent. Now

let the games begin. “I promise I will find her.”

That’s what the investigator has said. The boy

thinks to himself, yes you will find her body, but

you will never find me. His lips pull back into an

evil grip.

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