Sirens and Ropes

At exactly twelve past three, she came rushing out of her room, her hands covering her face. She was wearing only a black petticoat, and orange sandals on her feet.

When she got to the corrugated gate, she wailed, her scream piercing the already noisy late Friday afternoon.

“He has done it! He has done it!”

It was after a few seconds later, that a small crowd of onlookers began to gather around her, men and women, and indeed small children, all clamoring to hear her story. But the woman would not say much. She continued wailing, her arms on her head.

“What has he done? What has Sporo done this time?” an old man asked, his hoarse voice dimmed by the voices of excitement all around him. Sporo was famously known for his wife beating antics.

“Tell us!” a woman shouted from amongst the crowd.
“Oh John! Oh John! Oh John!” Martha’s wails cracked the hot afternoon air.
“ John? He is in there? In the room?” the old man went on, his brow heaving, and the crooked walking stick on his hands pointing at the zinc shack. His name was Abel. He stared at the women gathered around the wailing figure, and then said slowly, “Will someone cover her please? And get the kids away from here!”

A woman moved from within the crowd, and a minute later, appeared from a corrugated shack across the street, a neatly folded red blanket on her hands. A young man who had taken his phone and was shooting pictures was severely lashed at by old man Abel.

The young man swiftly put the device in this pocket, aware that a mob was one thing not to be messed around with. The children remained where they were. There is no age restriction in the township.

The kids, all young and old, all downloaded the scene with awe. It was going to be the talk of the day at school on the first day of the new term in two days’ time.
“He has done it!” the distraught woman continued to cry as they covered her semi-nakedness.

Then she collapsed and fainted.

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