Finally at the end of this series. Yes, the title also had me in stitches. So why don’t you read yourself and find out what it’s about.
Please read, share and enjoy this awesome piece.
“Brethren, open your bibles with me to the book of Daniel chapter 1, and I read; In the 3rd year of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it… and he took the vessels… youths without blemish, well favoured in appearance, competent to serve… and the prince of the eunuchs gave them names… Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego…” and my mind trailed off…
Kaene ‘The Cat’ was a proud man, he hailed from a long line of proud men. He himself was renowned for his prowess in the ring; his back had never touched the ground in a wrestling match. He was also an excellent farmer and the barn shed was always stacked racks upon racks of enormous yams. But of all things prideful, his pride could not have been more proud than the pride his pride felt for his son, Ineme. Ineme was stout, Ineme was strong, Ineme was a real boy.
But one day, as they worked in the farm together, Kaene heard the thud of many hooves coming thick and fast, he recognized the chatter and shrieks of the men from across the great Obolo River, he looked and saw a white man galloping with the others. He immediately reached for his cutlass, he had heard the stories, if they wanted him or his son, he would show them that he was Kaene ‘The Cat’! But suddenly, out of thin air, the white drew out a short black stick and without warning the black stick roared. Kaene cried. Ineme screamed. Blood oozed from Kaene like palm oil from leaking calabash, and Kaene’s back touched ground. They had placed the cat before the horse. The last thing The Cat saw was his son being dragged away…and he thought of his yams…racks and racks of yams.
- SHED – To divide, to part with…
- RACK – A frame on which to hang various items… A device used to torture victims by stretching them beyond their natural limits.
Ineme woke up to the acrid smell of piss and shit, he could feel the strap of the rack against his wrists. He had been under torture for two days now but somehow he felt lucky, the pain was only for about three hours every day and for the rest of the day he got to be alone. Unlike the rest, the rest were lying on top, beside and inside of one another, squeezed together like sardine, men from different parts and tongues, some allies but some enemies, all living together drinking in the smell and taste of each other’s sweat and piss as the little shack swayed beneath them, pulled and shoved by the dancing waves that caused the urine and what not to play hide and seek amongst numb black limbs. He thought to himself, this is life now… this is home… this shack… me shack.
The other side of time, the white man examined a map of the Niger area, his hand laced around a mug of hot, steaming tea. He liked the way the warmth spread from his fingers into his body as his pointed nose captured every wisp of aroma from the mug. His eyes roamed over the Obolo River and the two tribes on either bank, he knew them well from his earlier years of raiding the area, they were big tribes, in native jungle terms of big that is, and they were sworn enemies. Slowly, a conspiratory smile slowly spread across his thin lips a dark mischievous gleam appeared in his cold blue eyes. He picked up a pen and circled the whole area as one tribe, folded the map, placed it in tote bag just as his friend Lugard walked into the room…
- SHACK – A crude, roughly built hut or cabin… (also) to live with or in
A BAD NEGRO
Ineme sat with his back to the pole, his hands shackled together behind him, his back, or what was left of it, peppered him like no man’s business. His master’s words as the whip lashed through the air hurtling towards wounded bone and flesh still rang in his head “Bad negro, boy! You’re a bad negro!”
They had arrived over six months ago, strangers by birth, now brothers by circumstance, forced into a new and strange existence. They had been sold to their masters and for six months had been trying to escape. But today was the day, he was the distraction. He hoped his brothers remembered his instructions “Go shed rack, carry iron cutter come cut me shack, then run! Run like a bad negro!!”
The other side of time; Bello glanced impatiently at his watch, as he wondered what was taking Chukwubikem so long. There was a zip in the air, everybody was excited, all roads led to the independence square… it was October 1st, they had made it, they had escaped from the grasp of their colonial masters, and they were free! Strangers by birth, now brothers by circumstance, forced into a new and strange coexistence… but they would celebrate it, Oreoluwa his girlfriend was already there waiting for them and Chukwubikem was making them late! He watched as Kaene, his neighbor from across the street entered his okada and drove off… “Chukwubikem Abednego!!!” Bello yelled!
“…and if you follow me down to verse 15 you will see that; ‘…at the end…their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. And the king communed with them and found none like …Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego.’ HALLELUYAH!!!”
Written by Jones Ayuwo
Follow him on twitter: @jones_ayuwo