Finally the crocodile surfaces in his lair. The sangoma is not dead yet, but he is in agony. Most of his leg has been torn off in the death roll, and he is just barely clinging to consciousness. The crocodile drags him onto a muddy sandbank surrounded by reeds.
All around him, the sangoma can see the bodies of the other victims. They are lying in horribly mangled positions. As far as he can tell, he is the only survivor, and he plans to stay that way. Again he fakes death, and the crocodile returns to the rushing water below the bank.
The sangoma lies there for days on end. The stench of rotting meat fills his nostrils, and he is feverish with the loss of blood and the pain. He is unsure why he is still alive, but unable to move away from the sandbank in the middle of the river.
Thankfully, the rain has stopped its deluge, and the hot African sun adds to his misery. He feels as if he is being fried alive. He has not seen the crocodile since it has unceremoniously dumped him, but others of its kind came to feed during the night. He could hear the crunching sounds as their massive jaws bit into decomposed flesh and bone.
Each time this happened, he tried to make himself invisible, barely daring to breathe. If one of the creatures had to take notice of him, he would be defenceless against their assault. He truly fears being eaten alive, and feverishly prays to the spirits to let him die before that happens.
Time goes on, and the sangoma finds to his surprise that he is ravenously hungry. He stares at the bodies in various stages of decomposition around him in distaste. His stomach rumbles loudly, and he is doubled up by cramps of hunger. Slowly he drags himself over to the nearest corpse.
Shutting his eyes, he bites into the leg of the dead man. The taste is horrendous, and he fights the urge to vomit. He needs to eat if he is going to survive, and he has always been a survivor, regardless of the cost. Forcing back the bile in the back of his throat, he tears rotting chunks of meat from the man’s leg. He barely chews, swallowing the meat nearly whole.
After a while, he is satiated, and he closes his eyes in exhaustion. The fever still rages on, and he has hallucinations about all the people he has sacrificed over the years as a sangoma. The young children he mutilated to make muti, the enemies he slayed to ensure that he stays in power. Then there are the women, accused by him of witchcraft each time his spells failed.
A huge crowd of victims, grey and accusing, move towards him with their arms outstretched and the threat of death in their dead eyes. He screams in spite of himself, tries frantically to move backwards, dragging his stump behind him. There is no escape, they keep coming for him, and he has his back to the river. The river, where the crocodiles are. The river, which he never wants to enter again.