I have just gotten a job to work as a state government teacher in one of the best primary schools in the city. I was so thrilled and enthused as I looked forward to my first day at work after my youth service. I am really lucky, I said to myself as I strolled up the stairs to report to the headmistress before resuming work for the day.
At the assembly ground, I was given the honour of conducting the assembly. Although I was a little shaken at first, I found out that it wasn’t that difficult after all. In fact conducting the assembly was much easier to doing the actual teaching.
After the assembly, I watched the pupils match towards their classes.
Once the assembly ground was empty, I and the other teachers headed for our different classes. I was assigned to teach the primary two pupils. Actually things didn’t turn out as I had envisaged about the little, beautiful children. I had thought that it would be like hell teaching those little angels but it was the opposite that I witnessed.
It was around 10am, some minutes before break that the clarion that changed my life forever rent the air. There were fretful screams and agonizing cries everywhere. Touched and eager to know what was happening in the school compound, I rushed out just in time to hear the first blast of gunshot. I was quicker as I cowered behind the tall trees and finally found myself hiding in an old tank recumbent carelessly, behind tall trees in the compound. I was still befuddled about what was happening. I thought about the pupils, how scared and alone they would be and decided to go for them but another blast retained me at my position. The old tank I hid inside gave me a better view of what was transpiring in the school compound but it was also safe as it was the last place anyone would come looking for me.
It took me a while to truly comprehend what was happening around me, but when I did, the realization sent goosebumps all over my body. I had thought that whatever was causing the commotion in the school premises would quickly go away as it came without anyone getting hurt, not until I saw the men in black tying an identical red bandanna round their heads did things begin to make sense. I shuddered inside the damp tank and almost wetted my pants in dismay. I knew who the perpetrators were without being told. They were the dangerous ‘Double B’ that have been going about killing and bombing innocent citizens and houses all in the name to prove to the government that they meant it when they asked for division between the Geishas in the North and Ilantoes in the East. There had been several bomb escapades on their account for the past six months. But all of that had been in Gala state, the federal capital of Niga country, where the white house rested and not here at Hantol state. Learning about the dreaded people sent me maturating on my panties without a being abashed.
I covered my mouth with my palms in other to stop myself from screaming out which might implicate me and give away my hideout. I saw their men dragging everyone in the school, both the teachers, headmistress and pupils to the center of the school compound. The teachers and the headmistress where keep together, far from the pupils who hunkered together. I watched them as anger tore through my chest but I refused to let it propel me in doing something I would rue. I had no weapon and even if I did, I was only one person against twenty dangerous gunmen. The pupil’s innocent cries got to me and flogged my soul in torment but I could do nothing to save them.
Remembering I had my phone with me, I took a risk; I called 911 and hoped they came early enough to save everybody.
My heart flew to my mouth, palpitating hard against my pale chest as I watched in horror as the children one after another where thrown into the deep school well to drown. I was abruptly finding respiration difficult as I watched the brutal, untimely deaths of the futures of Niga Country. I wanted to come out of my hiding place and protest but I know that it will only take a bullet to my belly to shut my gob. In my frenzied thoughts, I heard a gunshot and I turned in time to see the headmistress slump to the ground. She was trying to protest to the children’s killing and got a bullet to the head for herself. The men laughed and snorted like pigs and I knew without being told that it would take a whole police and army squad in the country to convince those unemotional killers to stop in their act. From the way they laughed, I knew they were enjoying every bit of the evil they were manifesting and that very soon, everyone would go bananas. So I closed my eyes and prayed a self conscious prayer.
More children drowned in the well as they were being sacrificed as if to a water goddess. Abruptly they stopped, and looked around searching as if sensing something wrong with the air.
Hurriedly, they dragged everyone to a classroom, locked it up and in the same quick pace, hurried to their van parked outside. I watched them climb into the Hilux van they had come with and race away. I watched them go, and when I was certain that they had left the premises, I decided to creep out of my hiding place, still wondering why they left in such haste. There were no explanations except that they made use of black magic. They must have sensed danger which meant one thing, the police would soon arrive. At least they have to be some people I can rescue before the police arrives I said. After all I didn’t hear any more gunshots after they led everyone to the classroom.
Gleefully, I began to find my way to come out of the iron tank. The force of the blast tore through the orchard where the old tank lay on its side, sent me soaring shortly in the air before my body hit the ground. I was muzzy once I landed. My brain whirred like an electric motor against my skull as I tried to recall what had just happened. My eyelids fluttered in unconsciousness as I watched the two different two storey buildings that have served as a classrooms to the pupils and school for learning crumble to the ground in rumbles. As I remained motionless on the ground, unable to move my limbs. I thought about the wasted lives of the little angels I was just getting to know and the families of everyone that had just been lost to the day’s mayhem. Their untimely gruesome death sentence caused hot sparse of tears to surge down my tear-stained eyes in torrents.
As if in reiteration, it made me convulsive. I was just getting to know this school, I thought furiously.
Abruptly my head felt heavy and wearily just in time as I heard the police siren in the distance.
“Stupid bunch,” I cussed aloud, through bruised lips in disgust. Police around in Niga are known for one thing: answering to urgent criminal calls only when they feel that the danger has requited. They hated to take part in the action. Who wants to die? I mused wearily unable to believe that there was still some humour left in me after witnessing such gruesome deaths. As weariness overtook me, a lone smile took over my lips and at the same time sending its brother, tears to console my face with torrential rain. I soon passed out into an unfamiliar world filled with darkness as I was carried into a stretcher. And as the medic van carried my limp body away, I thought I saw those little angles tormenting my very soul with their tears and leading it to hell… or heaven.