AMARA (short story) written by David Drama
Amara slowly descended the staircase, step-by-step. Where had everyone gone this Saturday afternoon? Waking up from her short nap, she was shocked to find an empty apartment. Both Mum and Dad were not in their bedroom, and neither was Junior, her younger brother of eleven anywhere to be found. Such had not happened since they moved to this part of the Lagos metropolis almost six years ago. Never! Was Amara to be worried? The flight of stairs led out to the backyard of the two-storey apartment building Amara’s family lived with other residents.
“Amara,” the voice called as she finally stepped out to the backyard. “How are you, my dear?” It was none other than Mama Ebike, the fair-skinned neighbor who lived on the ground floor. She was a seamstress who worked from home in her hovel erected right behind the residence. Amara saw she had a broom in hand and busied herself sweeping the front of her store.
“F-Fine,” the fourteen year-old replied with a confused countenance which Mama Ebike seemed to notice as she adjusted her red scarf.
“Are you going somewhere?” She asked flashing her habitual smile.
“I can’t find my mummy and daddy,” Amara replied as she shook her head. “And Junior too; nobody is upstairs,”
“Are you sure?” Mama Ebike seemed surprised and Amara nodded. &ldquo
idn’t they say where they were going?”
“No, ma,” Amara replied. “I woke up and couldn’t find anybody,”
“But how?” Mama Ebike mused as she dropped the broom and stood arms akimbo. “We should look around. Come then – let us go.” Then the warm neighbor reached out towards the young girl and Amara eagerly stepped forward, very elated to have found help – but that was a second right before she suddenly froze on her tracks.
“Mummy Ebike!” She exclaimed in alarm as her eyes flashed open and then pointed towards the woman’s direction. “Look!” Amara wondered how her eyes had not noticed before. Following her finger, Mama Ebike turned to see the army of Agama lizards quietly basking on the wall directly behind her – then she simply giggled and scoffed.
“Funny child,” she teased. “Are you afraid of lizards?” She asked, but Amara was not going to admit to one of her biggest fears, and almost every other crawling creature that there was.
“I don’t just like them,” she replied, shaking her head and not making eye-contact. There was no way she was taking a step further. Mama Ebike was laughing now.
“My dear, they’re still God’s creatures, you know?” She asked wearing her warm smile while Amara made a face.
“I don’t care,” her point was very apparent.
“They’re not so bad,” said Mama Ebike, and then Amara saw her take off a leg of her slipper – and then without warning, swung for the wall and crushed the nearest lizard with the hard sole making Amara flinch right where she stood. Then to her total shock, the child watched her neighbor grab the mashed up lizard, raise it to her mouth, and then bite a large chunk off it. Then she began chewing. “In fact….they taste wonderful.”
The look on Amara’s face was beyond description now. As much as Mama Ebike was a friend of the family, she heard &ldquo
addy” about once or twice describe this woman before her by the term, “offish.” But Amara was yet to look up the word in the dictionary, but she was sure of one thing – it was no compliment. Mama Ebike swallowed the rest of her “snack” in delight now and was smiling warmly again, but she could not blame the young girl for not reciprocating. “Why are you staring like the worst has just happened?”
“Huh?” Amara unconsciously let out with her eyes still wide open. “You…You just ate…”
“And?” Mama Ebike instantly rebuffed. “Aren’t lizards eaten in some places?”
“Not…” Amara opened her mouth to speak but……WHAM! Another lizard had gotten squashed – a large male this time, and a shocked Amara wondered why the rest of these dumb things patiently waited to die. She watched again in disbelief as this woman raised the barely living reptile and bit its large reddish-orange head off to her horror.
“Hmm!” Mama Ebike moaned out while Amara quickly looked away in utter repugnance. “Their heads are the juiciest,” she mumbled, gnashing its skull with her molars; and then she began gobbled up the rest of the body within seconds. Amara was petrified now as she looked up and witnessed the Mama Ebike swallow it all down her throat. And then came the sigh of satisfaction. Amara’s stomach was starting to grumble now. She desperately looked around wishing for the presence of a third party to witness this…this madness, because no amount of her ramblings would convince anyone, not especially when Amara was known to add some exaggeration to the simplest tale. Who on earth would believe her this time? Please Join Our Forum Today For More Updates, Click here
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