When the African night is at its darkest, he hunts the very men who hunt him.
The killer hunts man, for man is the easiest prey of all.
The term “Man Eater” is enough to strike fear into anyone and Piet Van Zyl finds himself being drawn into the darkness of the night where he must confront a killer lurking in the shadows, called “Devil” by the terrified people it preys upon.
The village is made up of thatch and mud huts. Half naked children run around in the dirt playing, while chickens scatter in front of them. The women busy themselves around the cooking fires, while the men folk sit under the great tree smoking and drinking homemade beer.
On the horizon, the massive storm clouds gather, the wind whipping the corn fields into a frenzy and sending up dust devils into the darkening sky. The villagers hurry to the shelter of their huts, and huddle together to wait for the storm to pass.
Night is dark as the thunder rolls across the sky, flashes of lightning turn night to day and the heavy rain pelts down through the canopy of trees as the killer moves silently towards the village.
No-one will hear the screams tonight as the thunder drums out across the sky, and the killer moves steadily through the forest in the direction of the sleeping village. He pauses as he breaks through the thick foliage that surrounds the village.
Slowly he surveys the area, his eye moves over the mud huts, he smells the wood fires that burn inside, and hears the sound of people sleeping as he steadily moves across the muddy open area towards a hut closest to the edge of the forest.
He pauses at the door to the hut, his sense of smell tells him that the people inside are sickly and weak. He tries the door, but it is wedged shut firmly from the inside, so he moves around to the back of the hut, and standing, tests the mud wall.
He applies his weight, and the wall starts to crumble. Terrified voices ring out from within, that the Devil is here, and the sound of their fear drives him on, and with a lunge, the killer enters the dark interior of the hut.
The terrified screams of the occupants are unable to penetrate the night as the thunder and lightning drown out all sound, as the killer grabs an old woman by the shoulder, and drags her through the broken wall, out into the darkness followed by the screams of terror by those left behind.
Lightning flashes, the lion stands with his victim between his forepaws, looks back at the hut, towards the cowering people inside, issues a deep growl as if challenging them to follow, reaches down and drags the still screaming woman into the forest.