Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Day The World Ended Episode 18

I’m not quite sure when I
started running. All I know
was that I was running very
fast and Bimpe was running
in front of me, her feet
throwing sand and dirt in the
air, her shoes gone. Arnold
was running ahead of us,
throwing an occasional fearful
glance behind him at us and
urging us to run faster.
Nobody said anything, our
feet did the talking. We ran
through the trees into a field
and then into the bushes. I
dared not turn back but I kept
on straining with my ears to
hear that awful hissing sound,
imagining the snake behind
me in hot pursuit and feeling
that at any moment I would
be snapped up in the air and
gulped down the huge
snake’s throat just like Dare.
We must have been running
for a long time before I finally
collapsed from sheer
exhaustion in a heap on the
ground behind some bushes.
I started crying profusely and
Sola came and joined me. Mrs.
Alabi and the other two boys
ran past us and disappeared
into the bushes along with
Arnold and Bimpe.
“My names are Arnold Tayo
Adedeji, but you will call me
Senior Tayo until I declare
otherwise, you hear?”
“Yes Senior!” James saluted.
We all burst into laughter,
except Mrs. Alabi. She was
looking at us as if we had all
gone mad.
“How can you people be
joking at a time like this?” She
gasped. “Can’t you see how
serious our situation is?!”
James turned to her. “Ma, I
wasn’t joking oh, it’s just
labour prefect I used to call
him. Many of us call him like
that without knowing his full
“Some people even call me
gorilla sef!” Arnold said, and I
blushed deeply as the others
burst into another round of
laughter and Mrs. Alabi finally
smiled. Arnold nodded. “Take
it easy Ma. Let us laugh now; it
will make the journey easier.”
She nodded and we followed
Arnold as he set down the
bush path.
“Arnold’s name is Tayo?”
Bimpe said, limping beside
“I never knew either. I think I
even prefer Tayo to Arnold.”
“I didn’t know you preferred
anyone.” Sola chuckled
“Abeg your wahala is too
much, leave me jo.” I said and
she laughed.
“Senior Tayo don’t leave us
behind oh!” I called to Arnold
who turned around with a
smile and slowed his steps.
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We followed Arnold down the
road until we came to
Macauley junction. I gasped
because I hardly recognized it.
Where had been a gently
sloping hill was now more of
a mountain and for the first
time I wondered if this was
not indeed the end of the
world as Bimpe had said. The
tarred road had been torn out
of the ground and lay in
heaps on the floor. The hill
had been raised so high
above ground we would be
almost climbing to get to the
top. I doubt any car would be
able to climb it without
difficulty. I saw where I
usually parted ways with
Bimpe and Sola way ahead
and much higher than before
and I had the sudden urge to
throw up. I turned to one side
as the spasms came to my
throat and tried to vomit but
nothing came out. Sola came
and started rubbing my back
and Bimpe started crying
“This is terrible!” Emobor
gasped. “Has the whole world
been turned upside down?
And for goodness sake where
is everybody?”
“Just what I wanted to ask,
again.” Sola said. “Where are
all the people?”
“The sooner we get to our
various destinations the
sooner we will find answers,”
Arnold said. “We have to keep
moving. We can walk up this
slope easily but be careful so
you don’t slip and fall. If not
you’ll find yourself tumbling
down the hill very fast.”
“Let’s be quick.” Mrs. Alabi
said and surprised everyone
by leading for the first time.
She moved purposely forward
and we followed behind her.
We climbed up the steep
slope, looking out for
anybody, any animal, anything.
There was nothing in site. No
chickens or goats, no dogs, no
birds singing. It was
As we climbed higher we
came across abandoned and
wrecked vehicles. They were
almost in the same state as
the ones we had seen on the
express except this time these
ones had peoples clothes
strewn all over the front and
back seats. Some of them
looked funny in that you could
see the complete set of
clothes at the steering wheel
like someone deliberately
arranged it; Suit, tie, shirt,
trouser, even belt still in the
trouser without being
loosened. Andrew went to
examine one of them. He
approached a silver colored
honda accord 2010 model
and opened the door. It had
the insignia of one of the
popular banks written on it.
He reached in and lifted out a
shirt, dropped it back and
brought out the trousers.
Something like dust fell out of
“Ashes.” Arnold said. He
dropped the trousers back in
the car and was about leaving
when he stopped and turned
back. He bent inside the car
again and brought out a pair
of boxers.
“Why would they all pull off
their clothes?” James asked,
“Maybe they we asked to do
so.” Arnold said.
“And their underwear as well?
Including boxers? I’m sure his
singlet is there somewhere.”
He also looked into the car
and sure enough he brought
out the singlet. It had been
inside the shirt. He shook it
and ashes fell out as well.
“My mom used to tell us that
during the war, soldiers
would sometimes tell people
to strip Unclad so as not to
conceal hidden weapons on
their persons.” Emobor said.
“Yes but why arrange the
clothes back so neatly and
then fill them with ashes?”
Arnold asked.
We all stood there puzzled.
Eventually we decided to move


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