The Father and son that turned “home” into python soup.
“Kanu! Kanu!! Where are you?” father calls out to his son. The younger man walks in grumbling and rolling his eyes, “Yes, Daddy?”
“Why have you not washed the plates or ironed my shirts? Why are you loafing around when you should be at the shop selling okpa?” the father asks, his arms clasped over his protruding tummy and his head bent just so his amusement can be well displayed.
“Daddy, you know you are mad sha? You know your brain is not working at all? I have warned you never to call me to do anything in this house until you give me my birthright and let me pack out of this house!”
“Kanu! O mua?! It is me you are calling mad? Amadioha strike you dead there!”
They start to scuffle, they kick and thrash about. There is a baby in a cot rocking from side to side. His mother is frightened but she cannot pick sides in this scuffle. The baby and child had always suffered most in these squabbles, because they don’t even want to be on any side; they just want to eat and sleep.
Kanu sends a heavy punch that hooks his father’s left cheek. He wants to follow this up with a kick but instead his feet slams into the baby’s cot.
Now the baby is wailing, the mother is pointing fingers and shouting on the top of her voice. Father is infuriated, he goes straight into his room and pulls out his hunter’s gun. The gun is loaded with pellets that are known for spreading far and wide, he is pointing and waving the gun wildly.
“Papa Kanu! No use hammer kill cockroach ooo! Talk to your son ooo!” The woman screams, she hugs the baby to her chest and her loud wailing continues.
The two men stare each other down, the tension grows.
“I dare you! Useless old man. Nothing you do can stop me from taking what is mine. In fact, I am taking this baby along.” Kanu makes to grab at the toddler, slaps the woman whose arms won’t slacken their grip.
A crack of the gun, the sound breaks the banshee cry. Pellets have flown where they might, everywhere has gone strangely silent. The baby is no longer crying, the woman lies on her side holding a bleeding leg.
Kanu bursts out of the house with his clothes half torn, dishevelled and bloody. He remembers holding the baby just before it went limp, the pellets had merely bruised him but the baby was hit. He shakes his head from side to side, he is panting and can hear those heavy footsteps, soon another shot will ring. Kanu plunges into the nearest bush, he could see father emerge from the doorway through a corner of his eye.
Father barks curses, he knows baby may need medical attention and mother may faint of blood loss. They say a rolling stone gathers no moss, and Father has always been a traveller, a leaver of trouble. The man, for some reason, always has something urgent to attend to just when crisis strikes. He swiftly packs a brief case and walks out into the dying light of evening.
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