HUNTERS AND THE MAD MAN

 

Lucky was on the balcony, of his house, a fine bungalow, taking in the cool evening view of the not so busy street. A bus stop right beside the house was his primary focus. It was empty; no yellow buses, no okada (motorbikes), nobody. Suddenly, out of nowhere, three apparitions like waifs drifted into view, looking more like three head on the same tall body. He observed as the tall body placed itself at the most conspicuous spot at the bus stop, then began to separate from an illogical hug into three distinct persons. One was an average height, slim woman dressed in the local Yoruba hunter’s regalia of tiny dansiki over a long trouser, complete with a gun in her right hand; the second  was a younger, taller and more heavily built girl dressed in dirty white hunter’s regalia of same description with a very tall huge axe in her right hand. The third man seemed to separate last from the three in one trunk, as he seemed to have suddenly emerged, standing on a raised platform attached to the building behind them, right beside Luck’s house. He too was cladding hunter regalia, holding no weapon. The three waited, obviously for the ubiquitous yellow bus, keke or okada. The slim woman was in high spirit, chatting and cackling as she conversed with the taller silent girl on her left. The man behind was silent.

Again out of nowhere an okada, fully laiden with goods and persons emerged at the bus stop, and responded to the waving hand of the slim chatty women. The tall heavily built okada rider took in the scene and put the okada in motion again having realised he could take nobody else on the fully loaded okada with himself, a passenger and some tall heavy load behind the passenger having totally filled the okada seat. As the okada moved, the slim woman got more agitated and as she waved more vigorously, she started shouting ‘’wait, wait, wait now‘’. The okada was now in motion, as the slim woman pursued it from behind, oblivious of the restraining effort of the taller axe girl and the third man. Lucky could not help observing the ludicrous scene as it was obvious that the okada could not take the pursing women in addition to its heavy burden. — the slim hunter-woman pursued the okada, the third man with gun in hand and the tall girl pursued her trying to reason with her and restrain her.

Lucky changed his viewing point from the shorter side balcony to the longer side, parallel to the street, as he unconsciously warmed to the chase. As the okada gathered more speed and sped away from the slim woman, the woman got more and more agitated and her behaviour because more and more manic; she was running after the okada, but not looking in the direction of the okada, only looking sideways towards Lucky, and the expression on her face was oscillating between crazy laughter and sudden anger. It now dawned on the hunter-man that their companion was not normal again. The duo doubled their speed and caught up with the now-openly-crazy woman, wrestling her to the ground, where she continued to giggle, laugh and wave at no one in particular.

The okada was long gone and no longer in view. Lucky was straining his neck, trying to see what was happening at that fairly distant spot in the street, as the hunter-man and the girl pinned the crazy woman to the ground, in the middle of the street. By now it had gotten quite dark and vision was getting cloudier. Yet Lucky strained himself to see the unfolding drama to its conclusion. Lucky could also make out the lazy outline of another separate scene just a little distance from the manic woman drama scene. With the corner of his eyes, he saw closer to him a tall ragged heavily built man assaulting a young girl of about 10 years, right in the middle of the road. Lucky was confused as to why the two scenes were unfolding right before him. He was feeling for the 10 year old girl and the manic woman, and was engrossed in his empathy, oblivious of any other thing.

Suddenly, he heard a voice from across the street, a strident warning saying ‘’ look out, he is coming’’, at the same time he saw the mad man get up from the top of the prostrate little girl and charge at him at a terrible speed, with a huge stone in his hand. Lucky was totally taken aback to see the heavily built, tattered mad man rapidly gaining on him, stone in hand, raised to smash in his skull. Hands raised protectively above his head, Lucky woke up, drenched in sweat, on bed in his air conditioned room.

Morayo

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