Monday, April 25, 2016

The devil is a bastard Amadi yelled in mild tones. He had eaten nothing, hung on his lanky frame an old white t - shirt and a black jean trouser underneath the only one with an undamaged zipper. He had not cleaned the bus; sweet wraps littered the seats behind him. The loose tongued girl who had bleached her original identity into an irritable outlook of coloured veins and an extremely dark knuckles had left them there the day before. She had said too much for the petite frame she possessed all in a bid to condemn Amadi’s inability to round up her balance. “common ten naira,” he had yelled. “thief! he goat, foolish man , nincompoop…” She had called him all sorts while he beckoned more passengers. Then he began “Your father thief, your father he goat, your father foolish man…” The girl’s father was every wild curse that flew out of her pink coated lips. Now he sunk into his seat, tucked the two hundred naira notes he had carefully stolen from his mother’s safe and with loud disco music, he began his day. He stopped at Rumuokoro to convey some passengers. “Hold your change ooo now na morning” he howled as they boarded his bus. From Rumuokoro it had been a speedy uninterrupted ride to Chakiricha, and as he headed towards Rumuigbo his nightmare awaited him. On seeing the lengthy traffic, he tried vainly to suppress the growing urge for lawlessness, swerving to the opposite side of the road. He sped cautiously and was more excited discovering other defaulting drivers on the one way path he had veered to but the stupidity of his heroism ended faster than he had envisaged. Like the speed of lightening, the bus ahead of his landed in a parking space and the driver flew out leaving his car door wide open, passengers fled in the same manner flies would at the scent of kerosene. Amadi realized what this meant, only he was not as swift as the other driver whose shadow could not even be invoked by the most powerful medicine man in Isiokpo where Amadi hailed. He heard the long gun against his side mirrors, the determined footsteps behind him closer and closer but he ran still. Luck had failed him and his prayers could not penetrate the high heavens. The devil is a bastard! He yelled again as the last footstep of the soldier ended the chase. Punches followed in quick successions which denied Amadi the sight of the folds on the soldier's face before deciding he was a brutal one. “You dey craze?” he asked, dishing more blows and an angry stare in his blood shot eyes affixed on a robust face which he hung in the air like the left palm of a newlywed bride. Now he unintentionally gave Amadi some time to catch his breath as he wiped his face from his forehead downwards with the index finger on his right. Amadi had no answer, pain robbed him of words and strength yet he thought the soldier man smelt of what he could liken to a compelled obedience such that if their lives were swapped Amadi could bet he would have plied his bus in the same lawless manner that had fetched him this trouble. Then Amadi’s guts heightened and he forced a frown which as he intended was acknowledged by the soldier only that it had earned him more beating and the last punch had left him lifeless as the money he had stolen from his mother's safe fell off his pocket.