Once clear of Downing Close, Pastor Bart made an end of tempting the Tundra. As the nose of the truck ventured into the beautiful Akanu Ibiam expressway, he eased his foot from the gas pedal, and watched the speedometer needle ebb down to a respectable fifty kilometres an hour.
God! Was that close? Sister Jane, of all the lot of them in his church! Pointing a gun at her pastor? Now that was really something. Feeling the missing steel return, he came to himself once again. He breathed a prayer of thanks to his God, and he relaxedly felt the growth in his groin recede considerably. The next gadget to serve him, faithfully as always, was the Sony Xplode CD player to his right. The smooth baritone of Byron Cage serenaded the interior volume of the car in minutes, and he steadied his hands on the wheel, as he cruised home gentlemanly. Whistling and singing intermittently along, grateful for this narrow escape, he thought it was over. He was wrong.
He got home, parked the truck in the lot. What he saw in front of his house as he prepared to step in shook his victory-littered track record of five years of ministry, and he became really afraid for the first time in the fifteen years he became a Christian.
Outined in the frightening shape of the head of a cow, were ten large old Peak Milk tins standing authoritatively, oozing thickly of the methane gas and some unbowelling putrefaction from what was obviously some freshly delivered excreta, filling the tins to the brim. The flies buzzed around in their hundreds.
The resultant olfactory reaction in the suffering pastor’s system took just three minutes. Barely being able to climb the second step to his door, he collapsed backwards and fell, paralyzed in half his body. Waiting to make double sure the deed had been done, some red smoke then coursed lazily upwards for some seconds.
At that very instant, his i-Phone 3 rang.
Osinachi, Pastor Bart’s eldest daughter, had just returned from the mandatory Community Development Service in far away Ammasoma, Bayelsa State. Still clad in her smart corper outfit, she had begun preparations for a sumptuous Ijaw dish she had just been properly briefed about.
There was an insistent knocking on her wooden door. She opened. Her friend Stacy.
In the next five minutes the little room was brimming with friends, Ossy being sociable and friendly.
The meal completely abandoned, the jocular bantering and discussions graduated into games, and it just had to be Whot, the popular game of cards. The venue was changed to her balcony, being more spacious. It got interesting as more and more people joined in. By the time they were on the fifth round, it was ten minutes to 7p.m. She suddenly felt an urge to urinate. She tore herself from the game, and rushed to the bushy mound right behind her house.
For a full hour, her absence was not felt. Ebi, tapping Oja’s lap, when it was her turn to deal, and mistaking her for Ossy, called impatiently, Ábeg Ossy do make I check….no time joor…..’
Like it was synchronized, realization of her absence dawned on all twelve of them. In unison, they rushed to the backyard, the male corpers in the lead.
There was an uneaten and broken arm, her carefully removed corper sneakers, and one of the largest pythons they had ever seen in their entire average nineteen years , heavy and unable to move a muscle, with glistening eyes, to tell the rest of the story.
One of the boys rushed to the house, quickly recovering from the shock, and took hold of her mobile phone. He dialled the last dialled number. It was ringing. No one was picking.
Rushing out to inform the others, he tripped over one of Ossy’s large pots, filled half-way with water.
It is not over yet……watch out!
Ogbonna Nnaemeka Henry.