A short story by Ike®de barrister
I HAVE BEEN VICTIM
The twilight, as usual, at it hour descended the atmosphere to the west, smiling and glittering its colourful rays through bars of clouds and penetrating through roof tops and tree branches its announced the hour of eventide.
The awareness of the approaching darkness created abrupt change in the environment and consequently, turned the whole of Kitale town into a busy place.
It changed countenances, gestures and foot steps were on the other hand hastened.
Parents and guardians yelled out to their children to conceal themselves behind closed doors.
People who were relaxed and appeared careless were stared with strange eyes.
Businessmen and women pushed their way through crowds and vehicles to seek shelter from elsewhere in order not to avail themselves to the announced atrocity to befall late sleepers and night wanderers.
I would declare this day “protect your head day” if i were the president.
The news of The Bukusu clan’s antiquated tradition of burying the bodies of their kingsmen with the heads of people caused great fear and panic among the inhabitants of the kitale community.
That time when every head was at stake was due; A royal was deceased and required burial. Therefore the fear of losing one’s head was the order of the day.
I left home early that wednesday morning to Moi University campus.
I wasn’t spared a long warning talk by my mom and uncle before leaving but as a brave person as i am i just couldn’t allow myself to be throded on with traditional folktales: I had an assignment needing completion so i couldn’t allow this false alarm hinder my plans.
I just assured my mum i would return home with my head intact. We all laughed and i left very delighted and confidence written all over my countenance.
The school was partially empty when i arrived.
I saw none of my mates around so i just found myself one corner, erected a nice desk and made myself comfortable on it and started to get busy.
After some hours passed, the rest of the students who were present on campus with me already had their backs to the school.
Meanwhile, i was still busy working my accounting assignment and ignored all indirect warnings from friends and others around- prompting me of the approaching night. I smiled to those who got vocal with their warning and told them to take their cowardly lead for i will follow later.
Actually, where i was sitting was prone to more light than the other corners, so it was quiet difficult to depict the hour from the atmosphere.
I was only called to awareness after a long period of burying my head in the book; the feeling that usually told me i was actually working sense in accounting overwhelmed me and stole my awareness.
Some mates who lived in the school’s hotels were still around and they looked at me with strange eyes which i mathematically replied them with a teasing smile; like i never cared.
They only took me for a joker, and i will not object, i even took myself for a joker.
But later, only providence could suffice how the darkness caught up with me.
It looked as if nature herself hated the way i was bragging and speaking highly of myself in repect of courage. But seriously, it was out of my plan to let the darkness catch up with me- who dont love life?
I knew i had not wronged King Mompusa II and his deceased mother but then the feeling of fear seemed strangely dawned on me.
Though i didnt know why i had to be scared, it’s just a myth or just traditional folktale as i said earlier but….
Moreover, i have not even heard of any headless body anywhere since i began to understand tradition.
For a moment, i was busy
contempleting and arguing with myself within my faculties ’cause i didnt know what to do.
I tried all i could to look composed and fearless but still fear was written all over me in capital letters.
That was when i began to hear whispering voices in my head; filling my faculties with undesired and scary statement.
As i stood there thinking about how to get home, i felt wet substances come out from my skin which i deemed touch of sweat.
It was but for a moment when that brave and boastful disposition vanished and the remaining was only a scared wretched and shaking skeletal structure.
I touched my head and examine it. It was intact but very hot and wet.
I cant tell how i packed my books in my bag, but was glad i did.
I took my bag, hanged it behind by back and set off to catch a troski at the nearest lorry station.
As i got nearer to the lorry station i was glad to see from a distance, many vans parked in a line as usual waiting for passengers.
I hastened my steps as i was gradually feeling lonely. The one or two people around were disappearing.
No sooner had i reached the station had i realized there were no drivers present. I became very scared and disappointed.
Eglon lorry station was as quiet as a cemetery, deserted by it inhabitants.
“Ei where are all those busy people always seen walking hither and thither this place.” I questioned myself. I wasnt amused at all.
“Hmm today be today” a word i said with an inaudible voice which even my ears couldnt catch the sound.
This is where i begun to hear so many options transcending my mind,
“no find a place to hide until the night is over, u can even hide in one of those vans”
” thats risky why dont u go back to campus”,
” hey dont make that mistake oo ’cause you wouldn’t meet the gates opened at this time” These combobulation words left me confused and afraid.
The more i realised i was the only person to walk the entire kitale town the more fear grew in me but then i was run out of options.
I had only one on my mind;to survive , and that would mean to protect my head with everything i had.
But frankly speaking, i had nothing on me for defence, just myself, my bag and the only hard enough material was ruler and pen.
Stabbing any predator with my ruler or the pen was the only option i was left with.
But that was quiet a lousy ideal to fight people who carry guns and machetes with pen or ruler…
The fun is yet to begin watch out for next episode
To be continued…