“How many wraps?”
A bus stops. I enter.
The conductor beckons on more passengers with so much enthusiasm. The driver honks intermittently amidst French. Two men enter. A lady follows, she sits beside me. Her hair whiffs strong cologne. It smells well but I don’t know the smell; I used to know the smell of perfumes; a gift I got from my dog when I was four until it died. Poor me.
The noise outside is crazy. I look outside, the world is in haste. Same for vehicles. The only people not in haste are the policemen. Night is their set time for games. They have caught some. Three touts held by their pants. They are pleading loud. Handcuffs!
I remember my anger.
Three kids had earlier played on my intelligence because their parents are rich. I spoke my thunder. I said five thousand words in five minutes. I broke them into thousands pieces. They were quiet until I left. But I am angry.
My eyes are clearing now. I have seen enough of the world. I turn them to my left. I am stuck on the lady. She is calling. I can hear her from my mind. My eyes run over the exposed nether part of her breasts. I raise my left hand. The ring reminds me that I am married. Perhaps, this is the temptation my father told me about. I give myself sense. I cannot come and have a date with knife. I look away. The men sitting adjacent to us give me a bad eye. I return a wan smile.
I pull out my phone. The screen is smashed — it reminds me of my own thunder. But the calibration is still intact. Facebook App. I open.
RAIN IS FORECAST. STAY DRY.
I hiss. Since morning. Fake forecast. I stroll to my music player, I pick an old song. COOL IT DOWN. UNKNOWN ARTIST. I block my ears. I raise the volume. Two beeps. My phone warns me. I blow my ears. I look up. The bus is filled. The driver ignites. Two bees fly.
A bee flies towards me. I dodge. To the lady. She let out a shrill. I play hero. I catch it. It stings me in two places on my middle finger. I let go. I muffle a groan. I begin to perspire. The sting grows intense. My eyes well up. The men exchange smiles. A bee flies towards them, they move convulsively. I see it disappear into one of the men’s shirt. Shit! He is done for.
The light in the bus is erratic. 9 p.m. Thunder.
The driver speeds. The man is tearing his shirt. The light goes off. It comes back on the next minute. The second bee is gone. The thunder comes again. The rain follows. It is heavy and I know why. It is because of our president; for the remission of his many sins. And if you take this as a comic relief. You are on your own.
The thunder again!
Everything is happening so fast. The thunder swallows us. A boulevard. Dark. The driver is no more behind the wheels. The bus is on motion. High speed. Everyone is gone. We are only four now in the bus.
The man. His friend. The lady and I.
The man contorts down from his neck into a thorax and two little wings. His face bursts into bladed tentacles. Bloody. The force makes the bus creaks. It is going to break into two halves. We are thrown into air. He eats the lady. And next, his friend. I am going to be next.
Three important things flash my mind.
My mother. My wife. And the carrots in my bag.
He dashes towards me. I beg him to at least allow me to take my carrots. I take them and throw some in my mouth. He takes me.
A resounding slap follows. And in the beginning, there is light.
I fall. In real life, the conductor is standing over me.
The passengers alight the bus. They are laughing. They are saying I had been munching the conductors’ fingers when he asked for fare.
That I called him. Carrots.
Ayoola Goodness © 2017