Drink­ing One’s Own Poi­son (2)

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - SHORTSTORY -

Con­tin­ued from last week satur­day.

SHE was rag­ing like a wounded bull. It was her nat­u­ral dis­po­si­tion to be hot-tem­pered and an­gry ev­ery time. Even the Yoruba god of thun­der and light­ning, Shango, that spewed fire from his mouth like a vol­cano, wasn’t as vir­u­lent and wicked in tem­per as Mama Aro.

“Grandma, to be sin­cere with you, I haven’t eaten any­thing this af­ter­noon and I have done all that is re­quired of me,” Aro replied, “when I am hun­gry for long it gives me headache mama, please give me my meal,” he said gen­tly.

“That very headache you just men­tioned is what will kill you! You rot­ten, bad and naughty boy!” Mama Aro roared in a harsh, high-pitched voice. She was fum­ing with un­mit­i­gated anger.

“I said you’ll die of headache, you nasty numb­skull! You’ll die of headache, I re­peat by the power of the evil So­pona!”

Mama Aro cursed and was boil­ing with rage.

Within the next few min­utes, Aro put his hand on his head and started scream­ing of pains in the head. The young boy moved closer to his grand­mother in tears, and he was cry­ing of ex­cru­ci­at­ing headache. Mama Aro shrugged her shoul­ders, shunned the young boy and looked the other way. Aro cried of per­sis­tent and painful sen­sa­tion in his head for two ag­o­niz­ing hours but his grandma turned deaf ears to him as he con­tin­ued to wail mis­er­ably. Sud­denly, the boy col­lapsed and died a painful death while foam­ing through the mouth.

Mama Aro didn’t sym­pa­thise or show any sign of re­morse. He called the at­ten­tion of the boy’s mum, Ajibike, and the poor boy was buried like a hunter would bury an old, use­less dog. No one dared protest. Who can dare face the lion in its den? Ajibike had re­signed her­self to fate. There was noth­ing she could do. She was to­tally afraid of Mama Aro, as if she was a demigod.

The fol­low­ing week Mama Aro started threat­en­ing her ten­ants to va­cate all the rooms and pack out. It’s not an easy thing to get a new ac­com­mo­da­tion just like that; so all her ten­ants begged her to give them more time to look for ac­com­mo­da­tion. This didn’t go down well with the hot-tem­pered woman. She had made up her mind to force­fully eject them out of the house.

“If all of you won’t pack out in the next few weeks I’ll show you pep­per,” she hollered that sunny af­ter­noon. When­ever she was an­gry and had some­thing bad in mind to do, no one could pla­cate her. She con­tin­ued: “I’ll let you all know that I can be very mean and poi­sonous like the scor­pion and the Puff Ad­der,” she fur­ther threat­ened and she meant ev­ery bit of what she said. Her ten­ants lived in ut­ter fear of her er­ratic and war­like na­ture. Mama Aro was def­i­nitely the queen of wicked­ness and her heart was full of poi­sonous venom.

Two weeks later she started dump­ing buck­et­ful of hu­man fae­ces or shit in­side the well the whole ten­ants were us­ing for do­mes­tic chores and for cook­ing. Life be­came un­bear­able and hard for her ten­ants as they re­sorted to walk­ing long dis­tance to get wa­ter with which to cook, bathe and for other do­mes­tic pur­poses.

To be con­cluded next week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.