November 04, 2017 Elijah Ogidi-Olu 4 Comments


The following story you’re about to read is not in any way fictitious. This is a true life account of the writer. Names, Characters, Places, and so on are NOT the work of the writer’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is pure reality.
I wasn’t sure if I was running or levitating. The adrenalin injection must’ve switched off my brain and allowed my legs do all the thinking. Sh!t had hit the ceiling and it was about to go down! The wind was apparently blowing against my body and I could feel it flap against my ears. It assured me my ears were still stuck to my head and I had not outrun them. There was no one to calculate my speed but surely Usain Bolt could’ve been watching and taking notes.

It was a matter of life and death and I was running like a mad man. “God! How did it come to this?!”
The second leg of my slippers went up in the air. Now I was running completely barefooted. The compassionate part of me wanted to look back to check the fate of my accomplice but I just couldn’t. I could hear running footsteps closely behind me. “If I can get back into my hostel unharmed lord, I won’t wait till the chapel prefects came to chase us to the chapel on Sunday.”

I heard one loud swoosh closely behind me and with one last frantic grunt, I accelerated!

********15 Minutes Earlier********

“Elijah!... Elijah, wake up!” Someone whispered loudly into my right ear

“Wuyi… What are you doing awake?” I tried to keep my voice down.

“There’s water at hand-pump. Let’s go fetch.” Wuyi pulled out my bucket from under my bed.

“Are you crazy?!” I checked my watch and saw 1:20am “You know those ‘Eboode’ guys would be out by now; right?”

Adewuyi had resilience written all over his face. I must’ve over-pumped confidence into him from our conversation earlier in the afternoon. We were in JSS1, and Wuyi was the last person you’d expect to take these kind of risks but desperate times called for desperate measures.

It was the dry season in Federal Government College; Ikirun. Water hadn’t really been our best resource and dry seasons only made things worse. Junior students practically dug up the soil to get water in a valley we called “Stream” (it was actually just a reservoir). Those who could, travelled with two buckets. Why? Simply because seniors had their buckets strategically placed along your way back and through your donations, you could easily leave the stream with a full bucket of water, and return to the hostel with an empty bucket.

Two days had passed since I last had my bath and trust me, I was among the few lucky ones. Some had gone a week. To drink water, we would simply collect “any” water in the typical 5-litres keg, place a clean white singlet over the mouth of the keg and drink up (You’d always see a brown circle on the piece of clothing when you’re done). A bush animal had died inside the reservoir for about a week now, but rather than thirst to death, boys drank with faith.

We had had it up to here, and I told Wuyi that if not for the Vigilantes that patrolled the wide school premises at night, ensuring that we observed “Lights Out” I would’ve gone to fetch water in the dead of the night. I wasn’t sure which one students were more afraid of – The evil Bush-Babies famed for carrying a magic mat and hypnotizing students to do their bidding, or the evil Vigilantes (or “Eboode” as we called them), famed for carrying about, a long charmed whip. Some students have reported firsthand that one lash, and you could go crazy for a couple of minutes.

I and Wuyi fed off each other’s energy, as the water filled our buckets. We heard Bush-Baby cries afar off but they were the least of our concerns. Everywhere was dead quiet and pitch black, you could hardly see what was in front of you. Just as soon as we had lifted the handleless buckets unto our heads, two dark figures emerged from the bush behind the massive water tanks (I wonder why we called that place “hand-pump” anyway).

My heart sunk in my stomach.

I would gladly chose to be hypnotized by a Bush-Baby, than confront an “Eboode!” any time, any day. Here we were, hosting not one, but two them. The thick black figured, giant looking, whip-hungry things approached us slowly. “Jesus! Isn’t rapture overdue already?” The testimonies I’d heard from various Eboode’s victims, replayed in my head. I realized I was shivering – The bucket was still on my head. Barely.

“So you guys don’t know that it’s a punishable offence to disobey Lights Out?” The one facing us asked (in Yoruba).

“We’re sorry sir!” We chorused.

“So you’re more desperate for water than others abi?” He was slowly moving closer.

“We’re sorry sir!”

It was so dark, all I could see was the yellow bucket on Wuyi’s head. Adrenalin was gradually shutting my brain down and flowing to my feet. In one instant, I saw the Eboode raise his whip and before my rational mind could weigh options, I bolted like a mad man. I wasn’t sure if they chased us but I was sure I completed a 200m distance in approximately 9 seconds. That’s a mad man’s record – Beat it!

A few seconds later, Wuyi bursted into the Juniors’ hostel and for a second we looked at each other, panting like wild dogs. Without saying a word to each other. We simply retired to our beds and called it a night.

Mature Minds Talk

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    1. Aunty Ini, I'll tell my Mummy for you. You're making fun of me.

  2. I can't stop laughing. This is some brilliant story telling. Great one!