BEYOND THE PLAYGROUND - by @dentil
The sun finally set for our usual evening games. As the gang leader, Nattybongo did his usual rounds. He threw his first stone into Magcarnie’s house. It broke a window glass because her mother’s shouting was rather unusual and much louder than the previous days. As usual curator1’s wife as nattybongo usually teased her with, responded to his call and she came out. Jeez, aunty Lydia’s shouting became like the sound of thousand bees undergoing nuptial flight. All the kids on the playground knew her because of her being overprotective when it comes to her four daughters especially the youngest, Magcarnie’s. Magcarnie as determined as ever was able to escape her mother and made it to the playground. Nat continued to the other houses, he called all the other kids; the twins; Mcsamm and Bigsamm, Lovelette, Lovina, njaywan, and Kwaku-oppong.
Lovina, the oldest among them was twelve and half years old. Mostly, she uses her age as an excuse to beat the other kids on the playground but not Nattybongo, never had she even tried like he would beat the shenanigan out of her. Everybody thought Nat was twelve but little did they know that he was just a lactogenic nine and a half years old boy.
After playing all the games that came to their mind ranging from tree climbing games to sand swimming, the saddest part of their gathering come. That is, how to enter into their various homes without being caned. As for the twins, everyone knew that their mother always spares them so they were always happy even when the game time was over but for some people like Nat and njaywan, they were always welcomed back home with either a belt or cane.
Nattybongo’s mother and Aunty never joked with disciplining Nat and his sisters.
When he got home, surprisingly for the first time in his life he was not welcomed with a cane. Besides, he had already become acclimatized to caning so it had little or no effect on him. His mother and aunty rather welcomed him with a box of sweets and chocolate. He actually thought he had died and had ascended into the heavens. To make the evening much better, she prepared his favorite meal; rice balls with groundnut soup and chicken. At the sight of the well-served food, he turned to ask his aunty a question,
"aunty Lucy please am I dead? Am I really in heaven or this is a dream?
She gave him a suspicious smile. The clues were all there in front of him, it was a trap for a bigger punishment but how would he know, for Christ’s sake, his favorite food was right in front of him well garnished.
He was dirtier than a full-grown African boar and the stench coming from his shirt was worse than the flatulence of a skunk still they allowed him to eat even without bathing. He pounced upon the food and ate to his satisfaction; within seconds he was done eating. Whiles eating, both his mum and Aunty decided to leave his side, little did he know that he was in the house all alone with them. His siblings had been sent to his cousins’ house which happens to be a few meters away from theirs.
Later on in the night, He could feel water all over his body, he thought he was dreaming of bathing in a very nice Jacuzzi. To his realization, there was a bath but in a very special way, not the Jacuzzi type. His Aunty had actually poured cold water on his naked body. He doesn’t even know how she managed to remove his clothes without him realizing it. As she kept on pouring more cold water on, suddenly he felt a very sharp pain in his buttocks. His mum had also landed with his dad‘s electric cane. His father had a cane that was as thin as an electric wire so they nicknamed it electric cane. She landed the cane on his tiny innocent body several times till wisdom finally came to him for him to play dead and they finally decided to stop.
His screams and all the running around were useless because they had locked the entire house down and rather unfortunate for him too, the windows to his bedroom were soundproof. The best he could do was to play dead.
They didn’t even attempt to send him to the hospital the following day. Nattybongo at that very young age planned on running away from home ...
To be Continued.