Synopsis: Abou lost his father before he was born. His mother remarried and his life became bright until his stepfather passed away. Abou’s mother was soon accused of witchcraft and he learned what people are like when they are afraid.
Fortunately, a well-respected old man endowed with philosophical wisdom delivered them through several spiritual confrontations and allegations from the queen mother and the ancestor-worshipper. However, his mother thought it better to move to the city. In Banjul, he met new challenges. Would he be able to have the courage to say ‘no’ and escape the life he chose for himself?
On my way from the school, I was stumbled by a queer eyesight all over the ether. Animals were running away into the bush and a laden smoke was spread all across the sky. Strangely, old zombie-like creatures made a queue on the opposite sides of the route. You could not recognize the face that was known to you before. I stood and looked back (to see) if the situation was still normal where I was coming from.
The overriding sounded wind raised piles of dust and the leaves started to tremble as though a heavy supernatural gizmo was ascending along the visible trail that made a curly structure skyward. Those zombie-likes were groaning in chorus. I was not sure if I was frightened by the sight or not, but once clear and nearly at my grandfather’s house, I felt a pain in my stomach, perhaps out of hysteria, and I emptied the contents onto the ground.
I found it difficult to still mind my business. The outrageous creatures increased their volume. No goat was seen; no donkey or hen was seen either. Their odd cloaks could not stay by their sides under the effect of the mysterious wind.
“Abou!” I heard a sound behind a thick puffy smoke. A cat was lying at the base of the big baobab tree that is situated at the center of the village. I looked at it but pretended not to be bothered about it.
“Abou, don’t come nearer,” the voice behind the smoke added. “Grandfather!” I called as I thought that the voice was akin to his. “Naaam (Yes, in Mandinka), don’t call again. Use the other route behind you and go home. Sainabou is waiting for you,” the old man said. I could not clearly see him. There was no more time I should waste to figure out what was going on.