She said “I want to vote”. Like I was the ballot box.
I looked up, and I saw the sun. Slowly, its rays crept into my carefully inclined lids, and I saw the day had began to ripen, like the contrast of banana peel; ripening, but too early, for boole*.
Then I looked down, and I saw she had, again, entered the house. The sound of a wailing baby, was faint, and I knew where she went. I opened the newspaper to page 28:
Ten People Killed In Renewed Election Violence in Olute.
One of them was my son.
That was a month ago. The paper was a month ago. Three months before, my daughter, the apple of my old eyes, a youth corper, was killed in Imuo. She died, while registering people to vote this same vote. She left a young son, the cry of which I hear now. And they consoled me, the government people. They said I must cast my vote, so that my daughter and son would not die, in vain.
Say, I will vote, I told myself. But I must avenge the death, of my children, inflict mortal wounds, on those who would not allow this my one vote, to count. I would use my gun. I told myself, the one from my army days.
Right here in Olute, we voted, I and my wife.
Then the young thugs, some of who I know, and who are present in this court, to now sympathise with me, they came. Your lordship, they brandished cutlasses and chanted war and party songs.
They said “we want your vote”. By crook.
i looked up, and I saw the sun. I also cocked my gun. Then I looked down, and shot them. I did not know the one that fell, even now.
Your lordship, be merciful. You should not kill me, because I killed the same humans, the ones that killed my children. They have taken the gun, and clasped my hand, in handcuffs. For the past one year, I have slept in jail. I have suffered enough, as you can see, even in the way, the way I speak.
My lawyer has told you. I am the father of the dead ones, on the front page, of those newspapers. All of them.
The old man sat down. The court was silent.