The Flood

A child sat by the roadside. His mother had gone awol somewhere into the market. He was alone, sitting on a bench, saddled with the responsibility of keeping the items left in his care. Something was striking about this boy. He was transfixed at the flood drain. It was as though it were his first time seeing such. He watched how the flood from the previous rainfall found its way into the drain. And so he stayed there for several minutes, watching and contemplating where the water and all its debris were coming and where they went. It was puzzling, as you could see it show on his small round face. Then at once, his mother came, gave him a light slap on his head, squeezed his ear and pointed at the items which laid naked on the floor. The bag had turned. He got up in a frenzy, his face filled with anger. He began to pack the items into the bag, and off they went. But while his mother dragged his hand recklessly, the child continued looking back at the flood drain. It was an incredible sight. 

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The day the flood came, no one expected it. Although we had seen the clouds and heard the rumblings of the thunder, we had assumed that by some miracle, we might be spared the day’s rain. Every town around us had been battered by this rain, leaving their rivers overflowing their banks. Father had woken mama and me up, put one hand on her mouth and putting the other on mine. He pointed in the direction of the door, and we followed him. He got his machete behind the wardrobe. Once outside, he told us to wait, while he went to peep, soon he called us to him, and then we started walking gently. The floor was flooded with blood. The rains had come, and it had taken our relatives and neighbours. Dead bodies were scattered everywhere. By some miracle, the rains had skipped our home. The marauders had come and gone. They had left their insignia and scorched the earth. Father cut through the bush and told us to hide there. That was the last time we saw father alive. The flood took him. 

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After what seemed like hours in hiding, mother grabbed my hand, and we came out of the forest. We barely recognised our town. The storm had come and gone and left destructions in its wake. We couldn’t stay, and so we searched for father, but saw him, his belly open, his wrists cut off and his machete in his mouth. It’s an image that will continue to be enshrined in my mind. This rain had scorched me and the flood had washed away my innocence. The rainmakers have come, and they have done their bidding. Now it was time for the sun to rise. We buried father hurriedly, picked a few clothes, and we left. The forest swallowed us whole, like a flood-drain.