Thursday, 4 February 2016

SHERRY

Today, as I stepped out of the office premises to get lunch across the street, a speeding truck from the opposite side knocks Sherry, sending her off the ground and then effortlessly, her light frame drops to the ground dead. The speed of the truck minimised the sound of the thud, nevertheless, one could still hear it from ten metres away. She had joined her ancestors.

The crash was so sudden it was almost unnoticeable.  ‘Oooww’ was the simultaneous chorus from passers-by; others shouted ‘Jesus!’ What a gory scene on a Monday afternoon, I froze. My palms drew shade over my face and both jerked sideways as she landed on the hard surface. The afternoon was bright and the sun, biting. For a moment, I did not wish to uncover my face, that way; I could just turn around and return to the office as if nothing happened.

‘I should have waited a bit longer in the office’, I thought. I would not have witnessed the incident. In any case, the news would still filter into our office, which would be much bearable. After all, lunch break was a whole hour and half, beginning from 1pm. 

The shouts intensified as reality dawned on onlookers. Shop owners, passers-by and dog chain sellers who dominated the area drew closer. They accosted the driver immediately and would not allow him to park on the side of the road for fear he bolts away. The thought of finishing anything I began clouded my mind, so I told myself that I had to see this to the end even if it cost my entire lunch break.

Sherry’s body lay scattered over the tarred floor. Her head rolled towards the front of the beans vendor’s desk, collecting sand particles along the way till it stopped on the pavement and sending Aunty Mansa’s customers fleeing in various directions. Her eyes were no more in the socket. ‘Oh Sherry Sherry!’ Aunty Mansa was dazed, abandoned her stall to join the conversation at the edge of the road. Fresh blood escaped from Sherry’s lifeless body parts.

Her limbs were torn into shreds and her intestines sprawled on the road, two strands remained stuck to the bumper of the truck. By this time, the road had choked, sympathisers increased by the minute and the two-way lane had become one. Road traffic became dense. Each vehicle that passed sought to avoid going over Sherry’s mangled body while passengers in moving vehicles leaned over each other to catch a better glimpse.

There was Jackson, embattled, crying as he run around helplessly. He looked terrified, fearing to near the crowd for fear of being stoned. Apparently, he was in Sherry’s company. He assumed she was following him when he crossed the street. She did not. When she did, the truck approached from nowhere and smashed her. I recognised Jackson and Sherry immediately. They are friends whom I had seen together on two occasions, today being third.

Aunty Mansa told us of their love relationship. That Sherry was often lured by Jackson into them taking a stroll. That she often waited till everybody left home before she hopped off to her lover. The security officer was always at post yet never notices when Sherry leaves home since he was also busy engaging his lover, the charcoal seller. Those are opportune moments for both Sherry and the security officer. Each one got what he wanted.

Meanwhile, the truck driver, a man in his mid-fifties had the Almighty God to thank for not being stoned. He looked visibly pale and inwardly troubled. He admitted wrong doing, confessed that he was slightly intoxicated because his wife of thirty five years had passed on shockingly the previous night. The crowd agreed to let him go.

Jackson, the thin-face American hair terrier dog hovered around mystified. He belonged to the old goldsmith who lived at the tail of 17th Jakada Street. Jackson loved to wander and rarely slept at home. Sherry, on the other hand was a stout round-eyed Labrador retriever, the latest of dogs owned by the Minister of Agriculture who lived in the same area.

When the noise receded and traffic began to ease, the dog chain sellers scrambled for Sherry’s remains.



Copyright (C) 2016
#thestoryteller
Originally read at Citifm Writers Project Radio Show
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