In ESSAY on November 26, 2010 at 8:36 am


It was midnight. He did not know how he got find himself he was right now; all alone on the long dusty windy road that led to his parents’ house. He sauntered down the road, shaking his head left and right as if in some rapture. It is either he was oblivious of the darkness or he was not scared by it. He apparently was enjoying the eternal silence and privacy the impenetrable night offered.


He began whistling pleasurably as he walked on the silent shadowy street. Suddenly, something took shape behind him. He felt he was no longer alone. Someone else? Something else? Who – what- could that be? Angels watching over me? Or, the mighty mai-guard trailing my steps? Or…his endless thoughts trailed off as he kept on pondering in his mind. Yes, he knew he was no longer alone on that lonely road.


A figure surfaced behind him. In sharp reflex, he ducked as the figure stretched out his hand toward his shoulder. Instinctively, he took to his heels. The figure pursued – doubling his pace; drawing closer. He tripled his pace leaving stretch gap for the figure to cover. He took a quick glance backward to figure out what or who was chasing him. Could it be my shadow after all? Who or what is trailing me? O God uncover this gloom! His heart raced with thoughts. He was scared stiff. Gripped by fear he decided to scream for help…mouth agape, no sound came forth from his mouth. He had only exhaled.


Have I become so fear-stricken and exhausted to yell? Or, was my tongue missing in my mouth? Perhaps, my tongue was too twisted to utter any intelligible audible, sound…he thought as he ran for dear life. Overtaken by a great measure of fear mixed with curiosity he glanced back again. And there was the figure! Just a breath away from him. He accelerated pace. The figure did no less. On and on he kept running, as the figure pursued him fiercely. And the figure was closing in on him. As he ran the road appeared to stretch even farther.



Every step he took, he took it in pains. He had been running bare-footed. His almost naked body had been severely whipped by the harmattan wind. O help me God! He cried without tears. The dust was gathering in thick dark clusters high and above his head. The harmattan dust seemed to be suffocating him as he coughing with all his nerves. The figure kept drawing closer and closer. If only I had the light-speed legs…if only I could fly. So he wished.



He needed help – urgently too. People in the neighbourhood were dead asleep at this hour. What about angels? He asked in his mind. The cherubs? The seraphs? Could they be sleeping? Riotous queries riddled his fragile brain as his naked body seemed to disintegrate in the heat of the fiery chase. It was race for life between the chased and the chaser.



For ever the chase seemed. Farther onward the road stretched. The figure, soaked in sweat, was catching up on his prey. The figure could hear the prey’s heart-beat throbbing. He was getting him…but there was a corner. He swerved. Before he could negotiate the bend the figure dived after him.


They both crashed in the dust. Some time elapsed. They both passed out. There was darkness.




And there was light. He was stunned by what he saw after he came to. He was turbaned with a wrap of bandage on his head; his left hand bulging with plaster of Paris. Beside him was someone he recognized as his mother. Opposite his bed was a figure groaning and murmuring. The figure was wrapped from head to toe in bandage like an Egyptian mummy. Who is that? He thought.


“That is your father!” her mother said with anger rising in her voice.

“See, after you leave here,” she said sternly. “We will be chaining you to your bed when you sleep!”


“Do you want to kill my husband for me?” his mother asked. “Or, you want me to lose you, my son?”


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