Writer: Promise Asu
It was a windy morning, all villagers staying in their huts to avoid disaster that came with the wind. Pots were carried away by the wind, clothes in the air and the trees dancing vigorously. The wind was so hard that it could lift people ; the villagers knew better than come out during such storms. They believed it was an evil spirit visiting the land.
Becky had gone out in the early hours of the day before the wind started. Determined to finish her chores earlier than usually, she woke up very early and headed for the stream . she was returning from the stream for the third time that morning, when the storm launched out. She ran for a while living her pot at the foot of an orange tree , but the wind came harder. Realising that she wouldn’t make it far before the wind started lifting things and people ; she left the path walk and went into the forest . she held unto the trunk of a ree and started screaming for help , in spit of her doubt that anyone could hear her amidst the noisy wind , she persisted . kneeling by the foot of the tree , she held unto it and began to sob with her lace bowed to the ground as she thought of villagers who had been carried away by the wind. Some were found dead, and some were never seen again ; she sobbed hysterically . suddenly , a branch fell from the tree and hit her hard on the head.
Anny paced the room with her hands on her head as she begged the gods to save her only child. She looked through the window and could see nothing but dust ; she quickly closed the window and withdrew.
“Woman I have told you not to look through that window again , we know that there is no way she can walk in the wind” her husband scolded.
“I know , but how can I help it , my only child is in the storm “.
” well pacing around is not going to bring her back , so sit down”. She quickly sat on the stool at the center of the hut , knowing he had lost his patience with her. Being a man who rarely let his emotions show, he remained calm. At moments like this when he was at the height of his emotions, he would rather withdraw and remain quiet than show how worried , scared he was.
The storm went on strongly for an hour, and gradually subsided, but the villagers waited a while before they got out of their huts.
“Remain inside” Mr Ben ordered as he swung the door open and headed for the stream. She remained where she was without a word as she watched him leave the hut . she desperately hoped he would find her , although she knew Becky didn’t stand a chance of surviving the storm.
Several minutes passed by , with Anny still on her seat and unable to stop the tears from rolling down her cheek
“Anny” she heard her friend calling her by her first name.
“Yes” , she replied quickly wiping the tears from her eye
“Please come in Elizabeth”.
“What’s going on?” Elizabeth sked as she came into the hut
“How do you mean” Anny asked
“What do you mean by how do you mean? See how swollen your face is, and I just saw Ben running towards the stream like a wounded lion and calling for Becky ”
“My sister look at me ooooo.Becky woke up very early this morning , insisting that she must go to the stream because she wanted to make it early for her dance rehearsals.”
“What’s your point Anny”
“She had gone to the stream for the third time to fetch water when the storm started”
“Ahhh” Elizabeth screamed at the top of her voice placing her hand on her head. ” Chi bring down your voice so that we don’t call the attentions of the villagers. We can’t say if anything has happened to her until Ben returns ”
“What do you mean by can’t say ? Anyways let’s pray that somehow the gods will show us mercy this time ”
“Good morning” .Mr. Ireck greeted as he came into the hut.
“What’s going on, I heard someone scream from here. Where are Ben and Becky ?” He asked looking around .
“Becky went to the stream before the storm and Ben has gone to look for her” Elizabeth replied, while Anny stared into the air, not blinking an eye
“What ! No, this is not good . Anny , I don’t want you to worry , we will find and bring Becky back. Elizabeth keep an eye on her ,”he ordered and left the hut.
“People of irummba……..! People of irummba…….!,”. Mr.Ireck called at the top of his voice , as the young men of the village gathered together. “Listen everyone , Becky , the daughter of Mr Ben went to the stream before the storm began……”
“Chia!! Bad thing!,” the young men screamed as some shook their head in pitifully.
“This is not the time to morn,” Mr. Ireck continued
“We are going to the stream; we will search it environs for any trace of her. We will find her and bring her home to her parents. Is that clear?”
“Yes……sir” they all replied in a rhythmic chorus. As they all dispersed calling out to her.
Mr. Ben stood by the bank of the stream, looking across, and all around it. But neither Becky nor her clay pot was in sight. He turned around and walked.
He was quite exhausted from calling out her name. As he walked back, he kept looking into the forest.
Everywhere around him was quite except for the soft music made by the trees .
“Ben,” he heard a familiar voice call out to him. Turning around he saw Mr. Ireck walking towards him,
“Ireck, what are you doing here ?”Mr. Ben asked
“I heard about Becky , so I summoned the youths , they are all over here now”
“Thank you ireck ”
“You are welcome my friend, I think you should go home, you look exhausted”
“Hmm” Mr. Ben sighed” there is no chance I’m going home without my daughter”
“I know how you feel Ben, but we both know how capable our young men are”
“I don’t care how capable any one is , I just want to to find my daughter”
” its OK then, let’s keep searching”
“Thank you” Mr. Ben said as they went on calling her name and searching all over .
How was this episode?