LOKO (Part II)
On the said day Abraham closed late from work and because his motor had broken down earlier on he was only left with the option of trekking down to the bus stop to catch a bus home. It was past 7 pm, an hour when the sun had set and darkness had begun to descend. The expressway was lonesome safe for the vehicles rolling off at neck-breaking speeds. Abraham sighted approaching a bus painted in the regular commuter colour of blue with white stripes on the sides and he waited by the road, hailing and waving. The bus however sped off, not waiting. Apparently it was full of passengers.
But just as the bus wheezed off, seeming to carry the echo of Abraham’s voice in its wake, Abraham sensed a sharp rustle in the bush just behind him and with it came a furious whack on his shoulder. It seemed his shout had disturbed something on a delicate balance. With the weight of that whack, he adjudged that his assailant, whoever he was meant nothing but real harm. On impulse he fled, not even waiting to determine who the enemy was. It was getting dark and all he could make out was a dull masculine outline. It was getting dark and lonely creating a perfect milieu for any evil perpetrator to do his hideous business undisturbed. So he ran with frantic effort, calling on all reserved ounce of strength within him.
Abraham saw the figure crouch in a jiffy, retrieved the club which had bounced off his shoulder and fallen to the ground and seeming to be rolling the stick over his head as if marshalling all his aggressive energy into it, the man, still not pacified, again threw the club with fury. The club wheezed past Abraham, slightly missing his head. It thudded in the puddle ahead with great impact splashing off a mighty torrent. That was so close and it left Abraham’s tongue dry realizing his nearness to death!
A quick backward glance, Abraham discovered through the headlight of an oncoming car that he was being hunted by “that mad man”, but for what reason he did not know and of course that did not matter then. The man looked grim and totally hateful and in a flash of a moment he had bent down again to gather stones. Abraham doubled up, sprinting off like a hare. Loko was tall and built of strength; for every leap that Abraham made away from him, Loko recovered twice in a single swift stride. The bus stop was still quite some distance away and the quarry and his assailant were two flashing figures on the pedestrian walk that stretched on and on.
Soon, Abraham rammed one forward leg into a ditch and stumbled. Arms flying in the air for balance he eventually fell on his knees and hands. Nervously struggling to rally himself, he felt the thuds of Loko’s feet pounding heavily on the ground, gaining on him. The man was advancing in a frenzy, the heavy club now back in his hand was raised above his head. It was the time to kill and he moved fast for it. The smell of cold death was rife and the ugliness of its prospect opened the floodgate of adrenaline. Abraham had heard that if one was bitten by a man insane for many years, one was sure to get infected. He got up just before the killer came and the fleeing resumed.
Now the bus stop was in view. The headlight of a waiting bus confirmed it; but the nearer he came to the bus stop the stronger Loko was on his heels. The race was more intense now for the both men. The victim realized how close he was to safety and would do anything to reach the strongholds; the pursuer realized how close to escape his quarry was, if he did not act fast he would miss the sheer satisfaction and pleasure of splitting a skull open or at least breaking an arm.
Another backward look and Loko was really close, not more than an arm’s length and a half away; one hand reached forward for Abraham’s billowing jacket, the other raised and hung the club at a determined and precarious height, ready to hit. And just as Loko would have grabbed the suit and pulled him back, the silky material slipped out of his fingers. He did not have a second chance at it for in the same breath one last frantic stride brought Abraham’s foot onto the deck of the waiting bus. The passengers who had seen the ensuing struggle quickly hauled him in and slammed the door at once. The driver hit the pedal, so that by the time Loko’s club came down, it landed on the chassis instead of Abraham’s skull. Loko stood arms akimbo, frustrated, mouth agape, panting, chest heaving. He looked forlorn and disappointed as he scratched frantically through his torn trousers on a half of his buttocks.
Abraham recounted the incident laughing all through. I just could not laugh. All the time I was imagining, what if I was the one being chased? A corpulent figure that I was with no exercise in a long time, what chance of escape would I have had? I remembered walking by him at the foot of the classroom stairwell that had become his home, oblivious of Loko’s aggressive tendencies. Since that day I became warier and kept an eye out for him.
Last Part in the Series – Loko:
Loko (Intro): Life on the Street of Dagbolu
Next Part in the Series – Loko:
Loko (Part III): Loko’s Blessed Night in Iya-Osu’s Shop