Burning Woman
Lagos! one of the most densely populated cities in the whole damn world! A city of people always on the rush! A city of refuse dumps! A city that needs to be totally recycled! A city of confusion! A city where the need for money has consumed all the love! A city full of madness! A city where law is forcefully taken into the stinky hands of the people!

It’s a Saturday! Weekends and Lagos are strangers! The city of course never sleeps! Buses, very yellow in nature stripped black like Siberian Tigers consume the roads with top speed, they go on rampage clearing any human, cow, donkey, horse, dog, cat and vehicle on their way with insults and pool of saliva filled curses!
Like Boys on Skateboards! the conductors balance on their buses and freestyle different moves on the expressway.

The police and the road safety officials who are always granted first class invitations to the disorderliness, also joins in the madness party, they even go as far as anchoring the event and ensure no civilian is left sane!

Just very close to this madness, lays a market square, a small piece of land full of traders fighting for space as well as a right to inhale clean oxygen into their suffering lungs!
Smoke! Fumes! Dangerous Gases! encompass the very ironic serenity of the market and like travelling through a magical portal, a group of 4 boys pass through the cloud of smoke and inhale the stinky market breeze!

Though taking the replica of a group, these 4 humans weren’t at all buddies, in-fact they had never seen each other before! but one mission brought them together, to buy some very cheap second hand linen and jewellery!

Steve, was the Macho Man! He had biceps as huge as a Python’s mouth, his butt had a street cred for being bulletproof!

Maxwell, the son of an Army Man! he always stayed armed, a pistol and a revolver was clipped to any trouser he was to put on every morning.

Stanley, was an Aboki’s son born in abject poverty! he never learnt how to eat with cutleries while he was an infant! ever since he saw a dagger at age six, he fell in deeply in love and since then he carries it wherever he goes, even to restaurants because he eats using them!

Jones, a drug addict, preferably cocaine, was registered as a criminal at age 14! He was convicted and taken to jail regardless even though still very much under-age. The Judge’s reason was that he was too dangerous for any prison! “This boy set a Church on fire, do you really think a counselling institution will contain him?” the Judge said firmly after giving out his final ruling!

Now, the market smoke acts as props for these young men, the fumes flow through their legs and pimps out the rugged motion of these four in unison! These guys look cool, slow motion effects cannot be overemphasized in their walking posture, even the Tomato Sellers spill tomato in their eyes from just being spectators!

Just on the other side of the market is a very innocent looking lady, her name Mirabel! Mirabel, in order to blend in with her environment, chooses to dress like a maid. She puts on very long black wrapper and a blouse as long as a gown, any passer-by could mistake her journey for the destination of a burial ceremony!

She visits the market in search of very cheap jewellery, two shops ahead lies a jewellery store and as she gradually approaches the store, a pool of Men begin roaming around the dark corners, it was like she was carrying a signboard saying in bold capital letters “My Name is Mirabel, Pls I want to be Raped!” The Men begin whistling in very contrasting but suspicious patterns like as if they were trying to compose a brand new nursery rhyme!

Mirabel! as insecure as ever! quickly doubles her steps and reached in for the jewellery store entrance, her eyes partnering with the back of her head for a clear view of the danger lurking behind! As Mirabel hurriedly opens the entrance door, a hand grabs her, the hand began squeezing, but the more it squeezed, the more the weak and feeble nature of the hand reveals itself! her screams already loading begin to reboot itself, this time into the voice of a caring woman! the hand belonged to a child, the child looked so innocent and you could almost not tell if he was male or female, eyes pure as crystals, smile as sad as a snowman during the hot summer! you could almost see vividly the rumbling in the child’s stomach!

Awwwwn! she cuddles him and lays a tent for him in her arms, “Do you want something to eat? You look so hungry? Where are you from?” She inquisitively asks and all through this tensionless interrogation the child utters not even a single fraction of speech, even a syllable doesn’t escape from his mouth, you could almost be convinced that he is deaf and dumb!

“You know what, I’ll take you with me shopping and when I’m done with this store, we will head out to a restaurant nearby, or an ice-cream shop, you like ice-cream don’t you?” still not a sigh from the child.

Mirabel! has never been to any jewellery store in this market, in-fact she never even shops around the area, for her class, it’s really too ghetto! but on this faithful day she is as humble as her account balance, which is currently in debt to her bank.

A section of 18-Karat gold bracelets lay in front of Mirabel, the glitters almost distort her vision of herself in the mirror next to her. The little boy’s eyes begin to roll like illegal tyres moving past the speed limit! Mirabel is fully aware that she can’t afford any of the gold in the store, even the cheapest gold was going to warrant her car taken hostage! She just accepted the fact that maybe her time of financial stability would come once more, “right now I can only be a Secretary on a temporary employment and record these prices, maybe I’ll be back, who knows?” she speaks to herself in a consoling manner, she definitely would be missing her induction ceremony into her family club “The Charades” and their cult “The Shenanigans”.

She begins to get tired of the survey, her eyes rolling anti-clockwise, dizziness comes knocking on the door. She takes a deep breath and releases a yawn which she had been keeping hostage all through her survey. Her legs already bored of interacting with the ground recodes her co-ordinates and onward she turns to the exit door.

Hands grabbing the door, elbows receiving cognitive command to make a pull, “Madam, where do you think you are going? Do you think I came here to joke?” the receptionist says with a stinky lollipop in her mouth.

“Pls I’m not in the mood for any miscreant today!” Mirabel defends her underrated prestige, her legs resuming movement and switching to top speed gear.

“Thief! Thief! Thief! Thief! Thief! Thief Ooooh! Thief Ooooh! Thief!” shouts the receptionist.

Mirabel’s auditory nerves fails to recognise the voice match and signal her adrenaline glands, her nerves still as calm as ever, clueless Mirabel walks on. She keeps walking until her balance is disrupted by a heavy slap that settles in just beside the neighbourhood of her eardrums, as she staggers, she receives three more bangs of deafening slaps and a solid rocky blow to her neck!

Her body finds solace on the damp market ground, her neck almost dangling off her shoulders. As her traumatized brain begins to reboot, a stone, large as the head of Humpty Dumpty sits on her knees! at this point, her eyes has to quickly take the baton from her brain as the ultimate danger surveyor.

Her vision blurred as a bathroom mirror after a hot bath! picks up an angry mob, full of men, old and young, stinky and rickety, unwell and unstable, scary and monstrous! tools of destruction and fatality finds comfort in their hands, knives, cutlasses, machetes, stones, electric wires, iron rods, phones, unzipped trousers!

She quickly remembers the child who a while ago was in her arms and her motherly instincts kick off despite the prevailing danger in front of her. She tries her best to make a 180° turn with her disconnected neck to keep the child safe and quickly a young human rushes into her arms, it was the child! or was it?

She wraps him in her arms, tears roll down her red eyes, at this point her brain already covers itself in shame and tags itself as a tenant in the body of a street thief, but her mind says otherwise, her mind realizes that there was a mix-up somewhere. Her vocal chords shoots out the sound of help, her stomach receives endless kicks! It was like there was an invisible foetus that they were trying to kick out of her!

Mirabel is dragged up, her skirt pulled up, her laps torn apart with the countless daggers from all directions, her skirt also joins the torn-apart body of Mirabel, and her privacy, her pride is striped off its meaning, exposed to the visionless lustful sight of the perverts, homeless with no roof over its head. Their hands reach in and degradingly invade her already invaded privacy, carting away what’s left of its meaning.

With the child wrapped in her arms, Mirabel screams! she screams repeatedly for aid, for mercy, for a chance of trial, for fairness, a cry for an iota of humanity, a sign to prove that not only wild animals surround her!

The Men loosen their trousers, zips open, their manhood making a swing like a pendulum clock standing the test of time! they rush her and clean off the pigments on her skin with their filth, she knows rape is imminent and a painful one! her safety long stolen, she has already been constantly assaulted by the Animalistic Mob.

Weak! Drained! On the verge of Death! Mirabel realizes that her last and only escape plan is to faint! a heavy lifeless slump may be the only way mercy might reveal itself! like the Tower of Babel, she falls effortlessly on the rocky grounds soaked in spit and downpour from the smelly mob.

Mercy came knocking but the inhumanity kept beckoning overshadowing the voice of mercy, her legs pulled and skirt let loose, underpants torn in half, even the flies of the market could find their way into her violated privacy!

Her body immobile, her eyes staring at the mob, hate fills her slowly pumping heart, slowly and slowly her vision clears and she sees a small child giggling in front of the crowd. He resembled a boy and he wore a shiny bracelet, holding a jewellery box in his tiny hands, a man with the face of a Puppet stands beside him and stares at Mirabel, he laughs out loud and spits on her homeless breasts.

Her vision keeps blurring as she tries to identify the man and child, drops of blood darken their image as they walk further away from the waste grounds. As she tries to fathom what just happened, her eyes uses up its last lens to pick up a doppelganger joining the squad of the man and child, now it was clearer to Mirabel. It was a plot all along! her arms open wide, the child she held so dear gone! she was the girl and he was the boy! they were twins! sent by the puppeteer to track her movement and make the theft that spelt her doom in capital letters!

“Sule, Bring the Tyre!” the mob hailed at the top of their croaky voice! it was time for the ritual! the main event of the Jungle Justice! the Sacrifice! the Burnt-Offering! Mirabel was going to be burned like steak on a stainless grill!

Tyre rolling, petrol pouring, matchbox warming up to be struck by its offspring. Mirabel screamed loudest, she was heard voiceless! Tyre wrapped round her body like a hula-hoop! Matchbox about to be kissed by its sacrificial babies!

Fire is birthed and the match-stick is released on the Tyre! Mirabel says her last prayers and draws up her last energy to make the ever sexy and powerful sign of the Cross! she closes her eyes and awaits her fate.

The match-stick lands, but like a common failure it raises a quenching flame! The cheering mob are silenced. The Tyre is Fireproof! Cheerless Mirabel opens up her eyes and looks up to Heaven!

“She can’t escape oooh! You must die today! Pass me the Dagger, we have to stab her to death!” a man with bow-legs as curved as the gear of the Olympics Arching Team says out loud, his teeth as brown as cow dong.

The mob marches forward, daggers, knives, machetes, even the butchers and tomato sellers were ready to chop any sign of life out!

Her arms spread out wide, her shoulder stretched to its elastic limit, Mirabel faces five hands holding five daggers, two hands wielding a machete, an old woman’s hand gripping a knife!

The first man makes his thrust on her stomach, piercing viciously through her abdomen, and onward the next in line takes a thrust next to her slowly beating heart! and as the third person makes her move a loud bang is heard! It was a gunshot! It was a gallantly dressed man, he looked exactly like a Major General. It was Maxwell! his eyes filled with tears, he realizes his beloved friend laying in a tyre, the lady who once took care of him and put a roof over his head, showered him love. If there was any chance of repayment, it was now, as her life hanged in the balance, on the wrong side of probability.

Like James Bond on Set, Maxwell cocks his gun and makes a headshot for the Bastard that stood in front of Mirabel! the mob attempts to attack, but then a wave of goons appear from across the back of Maxwell! It was Steve! Stanley! and Jones!

Steve, macho as ever reaches to the earth for a piece of its pigment and like a canon he flings a huge stone on the Mob, smashing their existence into pieces.

Stanley, throws a dagger on the woman holding Mirabel captive and like her tomatoes, the dagger was sold into her wicked heart and a sea of blood making room on Mirabel’s innocent face.

The dagger is exchanged to the airspace of Maxwell and his goons by a member of the angry mob and like trade by barter finds its way to the direction of Jones. Like a war-shield, Steve’s butt accepts the payment on behalf of Jones scared chest!

Maxwell loads a new round of firepower and poured a rain of bullets on the mob, he gives them the bloodbath they asked for! The rest of the mob fades away, Mirabel is drained of her womanhood, she is drained of life itself! as quickly as ever the boys make it to her axis and they take her up in their arms, sprinting their way to the closest ambulance. As they reach further to their destination, Mirabel’s heart drifts further away from its pump action, her heart is about to stop, her ghost is already ironing its white robe!

Maxwell rests her in the arms of the paramedics, emergency revival is administered and slowly but surely a pulse of hope is born again on Mirabel’s feeble and spineless Neck!

Written by Stephen Uba

I am the Pot of Beans behind Waterybeans.Com.

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