I was 11 when the Queen’s Army finally arrived. In a matter of hours armed women had sprung up around every corner, exit and defensible point of the little town I called home. As I ran errands from one end of town to another, to my jejune mind it was easy to sense there was something in the air where even the keenest adults would fail to notice. Alas what was strength there became weakness here; I was too much of a child to know what most adults would have; the taut emotions that precede violence I could only perceive as excitement. I got home and barely slowed down to drop the packages I had with me in the kitchen.
“Baba! Baba! Baba!”, I screamed as I ran past the kitchen door dodging imaginary projectiles and nullifying armed assailants with all the needless flourish of roundhouse kicks and flying uppercuts.
“Akin, I’m behind the house.” Though father replied quietly his gravelly tones reverberated through the house. I raced on to the back of the house where father would be reading a book.
“Baba! The soldiers are here.” I slammed through the back door harder than I meant to and it slammed against father’s chair on the back porch.
“Akin faraburuku bale”, my father grimaced as though the insult tasted unpleasant as it slipped from his mouth.
I bulled ahead my excitement unassailable, “Will we get to see them fight?”
Father lowered the book he was reading and raised his eyebrows,”War is nothing to be excited about, son. Only a fool is eager to see war. I’ve told you countless times. Pray never to see fighting while you live.”
I could barely contain my laughter since the book he was reading happened to be the Art of War by Sun Tzu and from the twinkle in his eyes the irony was not lost on my father.
“Why then do you trouble me with learning how to fight?” I rolled my eyes because even as I spoke I could guess at his response already. Father laughed and he replied, “Both the man with an umbrella and one without, pray that the rains don’t fall.”
“Who said that one now? Plato?”
“That’s yours truly, Baba Akin”, Father replied with a huge grin smeared across his hard face.
“Enough Akin. Since you’re restless this morning, let’s put all that energy to good use.” Father stood and stretched as he walked to the middle of the yard. I joined him and when he was done he took a warrior’s stance. As father led me through the familiar forms of the *Mad Man’s Riposte, I couldn’t help but smile, it seemed as dancing to my toes.
Mad Man’s Riposte – Fighting Technique for combating a trained, armed assailant when one is without a weapon.
This is the first fiction piece in my new category: Boro & I.
Boro is not an actual person. No really like the stuff she does I’m just like “and it’s the same God that made us sha”. She was my classmate in secondary school. Now she’s not my mate. I’ve been begging her to be my mentor since but she’s like super busy and stuff.
Anyway, we’ve had this thing for a while where one of us sends the other person a random phrase and a deadline. Both of us are then required to cook up an article on that topic and turn it in before or on the deadline. It has been lit.
So my Boro & I articles are basically my own submission. Like this one; I came up with the ridiculous topic and gave August 26th as the deadline. Obviously I’m way off the deadline but Boro is a merciful somebody. And somehow we made use of the same pun, but I know no one will believe I didn’t copy her. You can check out her submission here.