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THE FRAYED ENDS OF SANITY.

Stories about what happened to individuals in real life situations.

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THE FRAYED ENDS OF SANITY.

Postby JOEAMOO » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:52 am

THE FRAYED ENDS OF SANITY
When I was 10, I was unfortunate enough to witness an incidence, so disturbing- memories of it have continued to haunt every dream of mine till date. For years I have carried a colossus of guilt. For years I have not shared this story with another soul. I have only but now decided to tell this story, perhaps because I feel it might make my burden a , bit bearable. From you the reader ,I expect neither your pity nor belief, for even I sometimes cannot bring myself to admit that the events I am about to pen , really happened. Neither do I expect your understanding nor solidarity, for what you about to read is what has made me the man I am today.
I will proceed and by this excerpt attempt to convey my earnest accounts of this horrific incident, and herein solemnly vow not to alter any detail in due respect to all those who lost their lives in the voyage….
It was in the harmattan of 1992, a bleak December, when I was hurled by my mother to visit the land of my paternal grandparents. Though I had made this journey several times before, this was the first time, I was travelling by train. I loved trains. I read about them , dreamt about them and every morning at 6am i would come out of my house just to watch my favorite train pass by. So intense was my fascination with trains that at a tender age of 10, I could recite several train stories and poems yet could hardly recollect the few wordy components of my beloved anthem.
Today was suppose to the happiest day of my life. But something just did not feel right. And it wasn’t until I got to the train station that my intuition begot an apparition. For the first time in my life I was without my mother. Up till the age of 10, my umbilical cord was still intact and I could barely straw beyond the confines of my mother’s womb, without bringing undue attention to myself.
So at exactly 6pm I was perched on the last coach of a dilapidated train on my way to essuoso.The train was loaded de facto, and every now and then ,the conductor passes through to ensure nothing was amidst. The crew car , which I was in, was a miniature replica of the country at large .There were more babies than oldies , more women than men, and the stench emanating from heavy sacs, quickly surpassed every effort I put in to smell good that morning. The crew car itself was quiet but the noise from the engine, was loud enough to wake the dead. And as if roasting in the hot weather was not work enough, we had to constantly battle the erratic entry of rats ,cockroaches, from tiny holes at bottom of crew car. I sat at the corner, contemplating, my options, .To cry or not to cry, that was the question.
I remember it was around 8pm ,when the conductor finally appeared. He was a vibrant prototype of the Ghanaian male approaching fifty. His abdominal girth, a befitting testimony to the ever so common indulgence in the wrong classes of nutrients. I was as always compacted in the last couch of the coach, tightly holding all my earthly possessions to my bosom .Then just when i was about to hand over my ticket ,a loud noise reverberated though my every being. it took me but a second to realize what had happened. With every turn of the train through its obligated curvature, a large sac of dietary luggage had slipped off the overhead carrier , plummeting and missing auntie nana’s infant, by a distance so minute, that the child might as well been hit. I continued to remain silent and watchful, totally in oblivion of the impending misfortune about to shape the course of my existence. With barely a minute gone, a cylindrically obsessed woman (never knew her name till date), rose from her seat and with just one swing of arm, hurled the mighty baggage, back to its original place. I sat and observed over the next several minutes argument and counter arguments over why the luggage should not be put back to where it was before.
Auntie naana was sitting in the middle of her couch, quiet and motionless, clasping her baby, as if her life depended on it. She will occasionally lift her head and glance at my direction, perhaps to convince herself that she was up to the task of watching over me , like she had promised my mother. We had barely made it through the ordeal of one medicine man, when we were interrupted by yet another. The medicine men were our only comical relief, with each promising remedy for every malady known to man. We grew accustomed to them just as we did the cool breeze and the frequent stops en route to our destination.
What happened next was sometimes I have played and replayed in my mind, over and over again. For I still cannot fathom, the sheer rapidity with which it happened. During one of its meandering paths through the deformed rail tracks, “the woman’s luggage slipped again, this time hitting auntie Naana’s baby, twisting her neck through an angle too obtuse for survival. A loud scream, squeak, pulsating cry, scanned through my body like that of demons from hell. Yet I remained unperturbed, motionless, scanning through this phantasmagoric scene, like an albatross gazing over its prey.


Within minutes everyone in the coach had surrounded Auntie Naana. They apologized frantically and said all they could to console her. The woman whose luggage pulled the trigger cried inconsolably, and for a moment it was hard to tell who had lost her baby.I sat for hours and then my thoughts began to drift into the land of fairytales. I fantasized about anything and everything just to take my mind off my present predicament. But just when I was about to drift into my next fairytale, I felt an unassuming heaviness , as if someone’s eyes was piercing through my soul.
For the second time since we came onboard our eyes met. She stared at me with eyes so accusing that for a while I began to feel my share of the guilt for her lost.
And then Suddenly as if possesed by the devil himself, Auntie nana sprung from her seat, threw her once beloved possession across the floor to my feet, and with almost a supernatural force yanked the woman’s baby from her.she threw the baby out of the train into the dark of the night…….
It took all the men in the coach to restrain her, and when they finally did , she had thrown more than 3 babies out of train, some partially decapitated by the sharp egde of the window panes.
At exactly midnight the train came to a halt, and I finally had the unfortunate privilege of examining the corpse which has found its resting place beneath my feet.
It was a monstrous work of art. The heavy package had succeeded in smashing the babies skull, popping out both eyes unequivocally like un-identical twins. The jaw though seemingly not broken, was definitely not where God intended it to be. It took a while for me to notice that I had turned the baby upside down, for its face was now posterior and I shrieked when I noticed the monstrous substance oozing from all orifices, natural and unnatural.
But then the damn corpse started to breath. Breath in absolutely countercurrent to my own breath. With each breath it took , the more suffocated I became. The more it screamed the more I wish I could. so when it finally gave up the ghost, I had held my breath, for a thousand years.
Unconsciously I dropped the corpse to the floor, and collapsed next to it.Aided by a splash of cold water to my face , my soul reluctantly returned to my body and I quickly recovered. I woke up not knowing if I was coming out of a nightmare or entering one. For everyone around me look holier, than before .But even in my period of abyss I quickly gazed at the floor and covered with empty cassava sacks was the prostrated remnant of the women my mother had adored and respected for years. Auntie Naana, was an advisor a source of inspiration to not only my mother,but most women in town I grew up in. She was a councilor, business woman, trader bringing food from the hinterlands.She had met my mom during one of her numerous journeys, and the two had remained close ever since.
I finally made it to my hometown , where an entourage of family members had besieged the train station upon hearing the multifaceted news- afraid I must have been one the souls perished.
Are you hurt in anyway , my treasure? My Grandpa asked.
“No Grandpa, I am okay.”
But you are bleeding, he insisted.
At that I gazed at my hand and saw the blood trickling and dripping from my left hand.
Till this day, I still do not know, what had caused the cut on my hand. I probably must have cut myself in an attempt to convince I was not having a bad dream.
Till this day, I never saw auntie naana again
Till this day, I never again visited the land of my fathers,
Till this day on my left hand I bear the scar
Till this day on my soul, I bear the scars.
@2010 .Joseph kofi Gyanteh
JOEAMOO
 

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