BOTTLES AND GUNS are our way of life.
When you travel on lonely roads, you look for us in every darkness that moves. You are expecting us, so you come along with a bag of money. We are there waiting for you. Tonight, we are covert and we wait for you to stop. We wait for your tyre to deflate. We wait for you to step out and get the tools to loosen the nuts on the rim. We wait for you to stand alone in the press of the night. Finally, as gentlemen that we are, we step out to keep you company. True, we might rough-handle you a little bit. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.
We shout at you. Lie down my friend! Cover your face! Where is the money?
You do not respond. You pretend like you do not know how this will end. You shiver like a leaf about to fall, you plead. We know you are just playing hard to get, we know people like you. The women we love also think like this. But eventually, like them, you give in. You ask us not to shoot. You tell us to take the money and spare your life. We ask you to get up, dust your clothes. We will even help you change your tyre.
We want to exchange stories, but you are not fun at parties. You are still afraid. You think we mean you harm. Why are you afraid of us? Do you think we are evil? We see you nod. We get angry, but not at you. Well, maybe partly at you. You caused this, after all. We try to recycle common tales.
We graduated with first-class degrees but there are no jobs in the country. We have families to feed. How are we supposed to tell parents that sold themselves to poverty to buy us education that there was no point at all, that we will end up as wretched as they are?
You scoff at these things. You shake your head and mutter that you do not believe us. Being a first-class student yourself, you do not think that any first-class student would do this thing.
We laugh. Yes, you are right. We were only trying to have a bit of fun. We graduated with mere “pass” degrees, but all of the rest are true. From the way you look at us, you want to believe the tales, but you do not think that it is enough for us to do this thing.
Again, you are right. We do not do this thing because there are no jobs. We do not do this thing because of our parents at home, they died many years ago anyway. We do this thing because we love to do it. We do this thing because it feels good to take what is not our own.
Now you nod your head as if you knew all along. But then you spit at the sands, and your saliva sticks to the small leaves that sprout out of the ground. You say we are deplorable, a menace to the society. You use a lot of big words and we start to get bored. We do not like to get bored so we shoot you.
You die and all the other big words that you know do not help you. Your blood spreads under your tyre, flows over the asphalt black and rolls unto the untarred edge of the road.
We tighten the last nut on your tyre before leaving.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Femi Ayo-Tubosun is a Nigerian writer and poet. He is on a journey to write as well as he possibly can. Largely inspired by memes and anime, he believes that Anomander Rake is the finest character fantasy fiction has ever produced. Behind Kvothe, of course. You can find his works on his personal blog at femiayoblog.wordpress.com.