Powa was not really a tall man. Infact, it would not be out of point to say he was a little taller than a dwarf, and his height was truncated by his knocked kneels which both went their different ways beneath his waist. Powa craftly rescued you from the lynching hands of the crowd, and the blood dripping down from your forehead did not provide you with enough sight to see his face, but from the voice you heard, you were so sure that your saviour would be above 30 years old. "Are you OK?" He asked you. Even if you wanted to talk, even if you wanted to reply him that you were not fine - that your body hurt as a result of the several kicks and punches. "Yes" You lied, as you nodded to convince him of your answer. The look on his face made it known that he didn't believe you. He didn't even ask you the question with the intention of getting a response in the first place. "Oga, stop us here" Powa said. The tricycle came to a halt, and Powa motioned to you to alight from it. All the while, guilt and unworthiness made you keep your head down, and the only time you raised your head was when the tricycle almost fell, and you had to hold something in order not to fall. Like an Ileya ram, you followed Powa without questions. If at all you had any question, it would be to know where he was taking your to, but because you have to remain grateful to him, you didn't ask that question, and he didn't say anything about it either. Your stomach complained and rumbled because nothing has gone in since the previous night. Infact, it was the need to please your stomach that led you to picking an old man's pocket, eventhough you sensed it was dangerous as the place was not so populated.
The sight of a man stretching his left hand to you, brought you back from your reverie. You looked at the left hand, and what it housed – a hundred Naira note. The note was fresh and neat - the very type people call, "untouched", even though it might have passed through several hands and bras. As you look at both the giver and the gift, you could not help but wonder why people give alms with their left hand. Some would even rub the money on their body, and say a lot of terrible things on the money before stretching it out to their "unfortunate" receiver. The man before you did not say anything on the money, neither did he rub it on his body, atleast, not in your presence. But, you were so sure that such a man cannot be generous enough to give such an amount of money to a madman in a harsh economy if he doesn't intend to derive more from his charity. You grabbed the money with both hands, and abused the giver, instead of showing appreciation. "Were (madman)" You said, with a serious frown on your face. As the man turned to leave, he held his head in appreciation to his Creator, as if you collecting the money was a miracle. It was then it occurred to you what was happening. The man must have performed a very powerful charm on the money he gave to you, and no madman would have collected such money from him because they would have seen beyond the physical that the money was enchanted. But, you did not see anything. You did not know anything. You didn't see beyond the physical. This is because you were not really mad. You only pretended to be mad so as to avoid something from happening. It was the only way you could be safe from "him".
(c) 2016. Austus Ofmat Nwanne
I must apologize for not bringing more than two episodes to you last week. It was due to situations beyond my control. But not to worry. This week, we shall progress the story greatly. What could have happened that would make you seek refuge in insanity? Can I usher you in, as we start a journey on how "you" got to that situation. I'll bring the next episode to your doorstep yet again. Don't forget to vote for me in the ongoing Nigeria Writer's Award. Voting would end next week.
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VOTING ENDS ON THE 4TH OF NOVEMBER, 2016, and you can vote as many times as possible.
OFMAT AUSTUS NWANNE
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