Up NEPA!!!!!! A tiny voice shouted from the next door and I sprang up immediately from the where I lay with a burst of energy. You know that rush of happiness that courses through you anytime that phrase comes alive, bearing in mind the many pleasures it holds. The excitement from it quickly activated my small puny legs and I ran very fast, towards the big parlour. Strangely enough, no one was there, it was deserted. Had no idea where the rest of the blood line and everyone was. But I disregarded that.

I was driven by something a lot more interesting. It was the TV. Our old black and white ‘National’ 14 inch TV. Fifteen minutes before the light went out, the TV screen was expressing a movie ‘The seven lucky stars’ (if you can still remember. Where a group of seven karate kids dealt with a bunch of bad guys). Nwanne, I never got enough of that very screen play no matter how many times I watched it. It had that refreshing feeling each time it played. It’s been over a decade and some years now and am sure it still holds its freshness.

To my disappointment, someone had removed the TV plug from its socket. Probably when the light was taken. Dad always advised. I bent down, the wire was thrown inside. I grunted as I stretched, but my right pudgy little fingers and small hand failed to make a connection. I employed every smart move I could brainstorm to bring the wire closer, but it was all in vain. While I tried, time ticked and it bugged me. One of my favourite movies was enjoying air-time and there was light, yet, I couldn’t watch it. Frustration and vex attacked me. I dashed out to the balcony ozugbo, scanned around for help, but no one was close by. Where has everyone gone to? I wondered to myself, pushing my small neck further into the yard.

Unable to bear it no more, I zipped into the room, got in front of the TV and began to give every idea inside me head a try until finally, having squeezed my little frame into the back of the room-divider, my small soft palm was able to latch unto the black cord. I was happy. My face instantly held a big toothy grin. I found the socket and tried plugging it in but it would not fit. The round mouth of the TV plug was incompatible with the rectangular outlet of the extension socket. Something small and befitting was needed to push open the mouth of the outlet to accept the TV plug. I cursed under my breathe immediately and ran into the kitchen. The plates and utensils jangled violently as my right hand groped blindly inside the big blue basket. Finally, I found a metallic fork.

Nwanne, ebe’a ka film gwuru!

In that state of already pumped adrenaline, I ran into the parlour, and threw myself down, towards the socket. I reached out to the wall and turned on the switch. With the black cord in my left hand, I slowly inserted the metallic fork into the small rectangular opening and ‘kpowai!’, na so the light SHOCK ME. There was ‘pitch darkness’ for about three seconds. The next place I found myself was at the other end of our small bedroom, under a heap of books and clothes that had tumbled over me during my shocking exercise. My eyes bulged from its socket as it darted about while my breathe was very erratic.

People scrambled into our bedroom in numbers after having heard my crashing and burning. I half sat up and stared at them like a mice that was smashed against the wall, my eyes all beady and shifty. Curiosity sat on their various faces. I could not utter a single word. All I did was shine my eyes and breathe through my mouth. The electric shock must have taken my tongue and senses with it. E come be me like say I dey ‘Senegal’. Everything for my eyes just dey ahow ‘improper fraction, improper fraction. You dey laugh me abi? Well, na me cause am.

As calm gradually came over me, I began to feel stabs of pain. Every part of my body felt sore; my legs, my hands, my neck and my nether region. The banging inside my small head was like the vibrations a moving train brought to a rail road track. I staggered to my feet eventually and was led to sit down.

One of them held my shoulders, shook me vigorously and shouted right into my right flappy ear “Uchenna, wetin happen?!” I no even remember wetin happen again, e come be like say the shock format some part of my brain join. From no where I just heard myself say under my breathe “MILK na MALT”. Biko, ga gotere’m MALT na MALT.


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