Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Day The World Ended Episode 5

"That doesn't sound good," bimpe said with a nervous laugh.
We all looked skyward and saw nothing at first, then something like cotton balls falling out of the angry dark clouds that had formed overhead, and towards us. We screamed as the first of the really huge hailstones began to fall. Some of them were the size of footballs and others just small pellets. We rushed into the trees, hoping that we would be safe under its branches. It was only when we got there that we remembered the children playing in the fields!
"Hey, you people!" Bimpe shouted, "get out of there!"
The kids didn't hear us but instead jumped around happily, still oblivious of the danger they were in. Some of the smaller pellets hit them on their frail bodies but they laughed and picked some of the larger ones up to throw at each other.
Then disaster struck.
One of the really huge hailstones landed on one of the older children, a boy with a bald head. One moment he was laughing and playing like all the rest, and the next there was a splash on his head as the ice struck and I could see crimson red mixed with water spurt out like a burst melon. He fell to the floor immediately and was still. The other children had not comprehended what happened and ran to see what was wrong, totally unaware they were most likely to soon meet the same fate.
"We have to go and help them!" Sola shouted, and throwing her school bag over her head for protection, she ran into the field.
I stood there, immobile with fright, unable to move as I watched my friend bravely charging towards the kids, dodging some of the hail and her bag absorbing the shock of the large ones she could not avoid. The other children had scattered by now, screaming and running in different directions, yelling for their parents. Sola reached the boy and raised his limp form up, just as a man in agbada ran towards them from one of the neighboring houses. Together they carried the boy into the safety of the house. I watched with Bimpe as we saw subtle movements from the man who seemed to be the father as he tried to revive his son. After a while the boy's limp form jerked and he got up struggling. Sola stood straight, a big grin on her face, and gave us the thumbs up sign.
The hail seemed to have gone as suddenly as it had started. In a few moments the clouds had melted away and the sun was out, shining in all its fury. I watched as what was left of the hailstones melted into little puddled a t the side of the road. Sola strolled back to us, swinging her bag.
"He's going to be alright" she said, still grinning her boyish grin. "The man is a herbalist. I don't know the leaf he used to revive his son but it worked!"
"How could you have gone under the hails like that?" I almost shouted at her, "you could have been seriously hurt!"
“I couldn’t just leave them to themselves could I?” she countered, her eyes blazing. “I even thought that you girls were behind me. What happened?”
“I thought you could handle it yourself.” I said, trying hard not to show how frightened I had been. “Let’s go home before something else happens.”
We said our goodbyes once again and I headed for home. The roadside looked peaceful and tranquil as if nothing extraordinary had just happened. The only clue to the bizarre hailstorm was some children and adults who had been outside of their houses when it happened and were chattering about it excitedly.
When I got home I saw Ayo running round the house, probably doing one of his exercises. He waved at me briefly before continuing. I waved back and entered into the house.
Dad was back, sitting in the parlor and watching CNN. I sighed, no Telemundo for me then, and went towards him.
“Good afternoon papa.” I said respectfully going on my knees. He nodded and touched me on my back, indicating that I should stand up. There was the smell of delicious Ewedu coming from the kitchen and I suddenly realized how hungry I was. I moved in that direction immediately.
“Good morning mom!” I cried, hugging her around the waist as she skillfully prepared the Amala. She giggled and playfully pushed me away.”
“Does this look like ‘morning’ in your eye?” she said laughing.
“Sorry mom, the aroma coming from this kitchen confused me a little. Good afternoon. When are we eating?”
“Go and take off your uniform first and then we’ll see about eating!” Mum said as she went back to preparing the meal. I jumped out of the kitchen and headed for my room with my school bag trailing on the floor behind me.
“Young lady pick up that school bag before I descend on you.” Dad’s voice came softly but menacingly to my ears. I turned around and saw he was still staring at the television, but his moustache was beginning to twitch. I advised myself and quickly carried up my bag.
I entered my room, dropped my bag on the bed and hurriedly changed into my home clothes. Deji wasn’t yet back and had a knack of hogging the television as soon as dad left it for us, so I wanted to eat quickly and gain control of the remote before he came. I rushed back into the parlour where mom had already served my food and sat down hungrily to eat.
“But is that even possible?” I heard mom say from the kitchen. “Has it ever happened before?”
“They are saying it’s a first in recorded history.” Dad replied, his eyes still glued to the TV. “As usual American scientists have sprung into action.
If it had happened here now they will just report it on newspaper and go on with their lives. This country eh.”
“Which one is this country?” Mom came out of the kitchen and went to sit beside dad. “Do we have people that study the weather in this country? If your son had come and said he wanted to go to university to be a Meteorologist, would you have agreed?”
What were they talking about? I glanced at the TV to find out. Usually my brain switches off once I see CNN. If I recognize the logo and the newscaster sitting behind a desk or in the field holding a microphone I suddenly lose interest and either change the channel if my dad isn’t around or go and find something useful to do, like sleeping, if he is.
However what I saw next on the television got my full attention.
Ice. There was ice all over the screen. What made it more abnormal was that the ice was in huge chunks, like someone had thrown a huge sheet of ice from the sky and it had shattered unto the green English fields below. The camera panned to the left to show a few dead livestock, mostly small animals like chickens and calves. The elderly white farmer on the screen was looking very frustrated as he repeatedly shook his head and turned his face away from the camera to hide his tears. I read the words that scrolled by at the bottom of the screen
Is the Sky Falling? Huge sheets of ice crash unto Greenwich, England.


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