Happy new year guys! Unfortunately things have been less than happy in the country recently but hopefully we’ll get a welcome result soon. So I’ve been in a terrible rut where writing is concerned and I stumbled on a writing competition on a friend’s blog in December last year that looked like just the thing to get me out of my rut. We were to write and submit a piece with the title “This Christmas”. I wrote two pieces and basically sent the piece with the smaller size seeing as the deadline was barely seconds away and we all know how naija internet is. Ok I’m rambling. Anyway, I don’t know if I sent in the right piece but what you are about to read is the piece I didn’t send in. I’d say “hope you have as much fun reading as I had writing” but to be honest, my head was killing me when I wrote the piece so the fun kinda got lost in-between. Ok I’ll shut up now……lol. PS: we had a 1000 word limit.
My name is Uche and this Christmas was like none other……
It all started many suns ago. My ancestors allowed themselves to be captured by the big ones. Rumour has it, they deceived us with food. Yes it is humiliating to even admit but we are a gluttonous race and because of gluttony, we now live in captivity and answer to them. They feed us and we in turn act like total imbeciles. Smiling and running whenever they go by. Why we have reduced ourselves to such dimwits is beyond me. Christmas for us is a period in time when a lot of us are released from captivity. I think Pa Alfred coined the word and gave it the definition but I think he stole it from somewhere. The guy is just a seasoned thief and besides, he is really not that intelligent. The word is too “fancy” for him to have thought of by himself. This Christmas started like any other. The big ones came for their usual inspection. Imagine disgusting creatures sliding their disfigured hands all over your body. Last time they came for inspection, one of them sexually harassed me. I cannot mention what was done in detail without being sick but I still have nightmares. It took all my willpower to stay still as they groped and fondled their way through my body. I had prayed to rooku the sun goddess that morning so I knew I was not going anywhere.
WRONG!! I was lifted out of the cage like a bag of dung. rooku had failed me. I struggled but my body was subdued effortlessly. I sometimes marveled at their incredible strength. I was a fighter but even I knew I was no match for the big ones. I decided to stop struggling and live to fight another day. I was also scared of breaking something. They threw me into a foreign cage. I was not alone. The smell hit me before I saw him. “flesh of rooku! Haven’t you heard of grooming?” I exclaimed. “What is the point? We are all going to die soon” he replied. I knew I was definitely going to die soon if I did not find fresh air. I stayed as far away as possible as if for some reason his stench could be controlled with distance. An act whose futility he was quick to point out. “What did you mean when you said we were all going to die soon?” I asked as the impact of the stench began to fade. “Exactly what the words imply. This is the last cage before the executioner’s knife. I have tried to make sense of everything but all I can come up with is that they are a sick and evil race that hold no regard for life.” he replied. “How do you know all these things?” I asked. “I made it all the way to the executioner’s knife yesterday before I was thrown back in here for reasons unknown to me. Everything we are told in the clan is a lie. There is no utopia after the cage; at least none that I know of” he replied.
That night was the longest night of my life. I thought of everything I had known to be true and how if my less than sanitary cage mate was right, my life was about to end. I cursed my ancestors that had let gluttony enslave their generation. I cursed rooku for forsaking me when I needed her the most. I cursed everything I could possible curse till Stench(my nickname for him seeing as I never got his real name), asked me in more colourful words to shut up . I was not surprised. His mouth was bound to be as dirty as his person. The next morning, I did not pray to rooku. The big ones came for us that morning. They bound our feet and carried us to where Stench called the place of death(very unoriginal). I looked around and for the first time in my life really saw what the big ones looked like. They were very strange creatures with features whose purpose I could not begin to imagine. They sounded strange and spoke gibberish. Stench went first and as I watched, his head was severed from his body as he twitched. I wondered why he did not put up a better fight. I was next. From nowhere, I felt a surge of energy as the big one came for me. Using every part of my body, I struggled. I felt myself break free as I heard a loud bang. Later, I would say I escaped because of my own strength but I know whatever caused that bang startled the big one. It saved my life. I fled amidst shouts of gibberish which sounded very much like “catch that cock”.
The outside world has been quite interesting. I have come to realize that almost everything I learnt in the clan was a lie. Apparently there are many other clans that look different from us and are bigger than us. There are also other members of our clan that walk free. I have tried approaching a couple of them but they all seem stuck up and claim to have never heard of our clan. I wonder if Christmas is still going on in the land of the big ones. I found utopia some days ago. It is as beautiful as I imagined it while in captivity. Someone needs to tell the clan that the big ones will not set them free. They need to break free to find utopia. I have contemplated being the one to go back and inform them but I do not think I know my way back. Even if I did manage to find my way back, I doubt I would succeed without being caught. I do not want to let my generation down by attempting chivalry in the face of obvious failure.