Shalom walked forward, bent and scooped up a handful of black mud and thoroughly rubbed his hands with it. He then stepped into the freshwater lake and walked forward. More little people were now gathered on the banks of the lake as Shalom waded deeper, and then he bent and dove underwater, causing the people to groan with sudden fear.
Eventually, the Chief came to stand beside his daughter.
“Where’s that fool?” he asked with a little worried sigh.
“He went…underwater, Mese!” Calima answered with unease. “He’s going after the demon fish. He says they’re catfish, that the first President brought the species from North America.”
“America my buttocks!” the chief exclaimed with dread. “This boy will kill all of us! He must leave this place at once!”
And then Shalom emerged suddenly with a broad grin on his face. His left hand was inside the mouth of the huge flathead catfish, and his right hand was holding its gills. The huge fish was squirming frantically, causing some of the little people to scream and scamper away, but most of them remained, quite intrigued with what the visitor was doing in their midst.
Shalom waded to the banks where Ntowhe was waiting for him. The little man looked really terrified, but his eyes bored into Shalom with almost reverential trust.
Ntowhe soon came back with a plastic bucket as Shalom expertly cut up the fish into generous chunks. He carried the bucket back to the kitchen with the people following him. Ntowhe was suddenly excited and provided sauce to garnish the fish. And then, he got another fire going and soon they were grilling some of the fish on a wire mesh.
Shalom eventually took the pan of yam from the fire and sieved the water out. His stomach grumbled with hunger as he took off the lid and selected one of the yams. The people were gaping at him with open mouths, their expressions horrified as he bit into the food and ate slowly and with much relish!
Suddenly, about five children came around him and stood looking at the huge bowl with great hunger on their faces. Their parents cried out with warning but the little ones stayed, looking at the food with great longing. Ntowhe looked at Shalom and licked his lips, and then he slowly took out one of the tubers and quickly put it on a piece of leaf when it burned him. He blew air on it to cool it, and then he picked it up and bit into it.
His face opened wide with sudden stunned shock.
“Ahhhhhhh!” he whispered. “Bo afa papa! Teiya bo afa!”
Shalom smiled wolfishly and nodded.
“Bufa roff roff!” he said, and the people guffawed with laughter at the slaughtering of the language. Ntowhe reached for another one, but Shalom pushed his hand away. “Herh, exercise patience! Let the fish grill!”
Some of the children began to cry, and Shalom picked up one of the yams and cut it into little slices for them, and they almost swallowed them whole.
“Herh, little children, be careful!” Shalom said with a scowl. “I’m very hungry! This food is for me! Don’t come and annoy me!”
The sweet aroma of the grilled catfish was almost insane to bear, and several more children were crying now, and even the adults were wriggling their noses with desire.
“I won’t give you this food, so don’t even try!” Shalom said angrily and looked at the stunned Calima. “Please tell them to go away. They said it was demon food. They should leave me alone!”
She nodded unhappily.
“Over here, our children eat first, Shalom,” she said gently. “Please, if it is edible, let them eat.”
“Apuuu!” Shalom said as he shook his head. “When I gave it to you people to prepare it for me, what did you say? There are more over there! Go for it yourself. Now, let me go and piss and come enjoy my food.”
He stood up and moved away from them.
“He is…wonderful!” Chief Ogum said with sudden wonder. “That food indeed looks and smells delicious! And that fish too! Ah, surely the gods themselves brought us a saviour!”
“Yes, Mese,” Calima said softly. “This can mean the end of our miseries, Mese!”
“Yes!” the old man said. “He should show our men how to catch the fish! He’s wonderful!”
“Oh, no!” Calima screamed with alarm. “They’re eating his food!”
Indeed, as soon as Shalom was safely away some of the children rushed forward to sample the food, and within the blink of an eye they were struggling over the food and the grilled fish!
Shalom heard the great din and he quickly tucked his lance back into his boxers and ran to the kitchen. He stopped and gaped at the people with utter shock!
The pan was empty, and all the grilled fish was gone!
“Oh, you wicked people!” he shouted with furious shock. “You bad, bad, bad people! What’s the matter with you? Gluttons!”
Calima quickly walked toward him.
“Shalom, please, I’ll prepare some for you right now!” she said with concern.
“I don’t want it!” he said petulantly. “You evil little people! At least leave me some two and a little fish for me too, but you ate everything…everything! Give me my clothes! I’m leaving here! You people are ungrateful! Ahhhh! At least leave me two bi mpo!”
He snatched his clothes from Calima and began walking away.
The chief shouted to his daughter to convince Shalom not to leave. Shalom put on his clothes and turned away with disgust. Ntowhe ran to him suddenly and held his hands as he stared at Shalom with abject misery.
“Agya, mede Awurade epa wo kyew, bewey, oka? Enni pa wo kyew!” he said.
“He is begging you with God not to leave, and he is begging you on behalf of all the people, Shalom!” Calima said miserably.
“Bad man, bad, bad, bad, greedy man and greedy gluttonous children!” Shalom said petulantly. “At least leave me some!”
“Shalom, I’ll prepare some for you right now!” Calima said desperately. “Please, do not go!”
Shalom was so angry and hungry, but when she held his knees and pressed her face to his groin, he sighed desperately and then nodded.
“Just show me where to sleep, Calima,” he said.
Already he could see the people rushing into the field of elephant yam, and soon they had harvested a lot of them.
He was shown to a room, and told a warm bath was being drawn up for him. By the time Shalom finished bathing and returned to the room, Calima came to tell him his food was almost ready.
Almost thirty minutes later, Calima served him with elephant foot yam and fried flathead catfish. The stew was leafy and delicious. He sat on a stool with Calima facing him and a lantern burning on a table between them and ate.
“We are full this night, because of you, dear Shalom,” Calima said, and for a moment she looked incredibly vulnerable. “Today has been a miracle. Thank you, Shalom.”
And Shalom smiled broadly at her with a little shyness on his face.
“They will shit, you know,” he said conspiratorially. “Those children and people who ate my food. They will have a bad night. They will have stomach cramps and shit all night!”
He giggled insanely and Calima looked at him with horror.
“Are you cursing them, Shalom?” she whispered, and he shook his head.
“No, no, not that,” he said through his giggles as he stuck sweet fish into his mouth. “They are used to licking cocoa beans and eating frogs and snakes!”
“We don’t eat snakes!” Calima said indignantly.
“Whatever,” Shalom said, throwing his left hand. “But I don’t trust you people. Human meat koraa you can eat. But, as I was saying, their stomachs are not used to the yam, and they’re eating too much of it. Oh, they’re going to shit, yeah. Serves them right.”
And when he laughed, his face made more handsome by the interplay of the lantern and the shadows, Calima smiled fondly into his eyes too, and her gentle little heart fluttered.
Later in the night, when Shalom was returning from the bathroom where he had been shown, he saw that many more of them were still in the kitchens cooking and eating, and he laughed himself silly as he approached the room he had been allocated to.
“The way these people are going to get belly cramps and shit roff roff!” he said to himself as he laughed.
Some were also moving through the plantation in the far distance with lanterns and baskets, still uprooting the delicious food.
“These people paaaa!” he said, still giggling. “I’m sure they would eat all that elephant foot yam from the plantation by morning. How can such small, small people eat that much, Awurade Nyankopon?”
When he approached his door he saw Calima and a young-looking handsome little man standing to one side of the building engaged in what appeared to be a hot argument.
Shalom put the bucket down and frowned at the man who gave him a scalding look.
“My paddy if you look at me like that I’ll boot-boot you!” Shalom said in English, and the young man suddenly came toward him with clenched fists, ignoring Calima as she tried to hold him back.
“Whooa youa thinka youa?” the man said furiously in a funny kind of English that made Shalom guffaw with great laughter suddenly.
“What was that, huh?” he asked through his giggles.
“Are youa laughina at mea, youa foolisha mana?” the little man asked furiously. “Donta maka mea angrya!”
Shalom was by now laughing so hard that he could barely breath.
“Mya namea Shaloma!” he said with a giggle. “Whooa youa ifa maya aska?”
And the incensed man landed a hard blow into Shalom’s stomach.
“Atwiaa, stop that, stop that!” Calima shouted with great alarm. “Mente nso di na?”
“Ouch!” Shalom cried with pain and grabbed his belly. “What’s wrong with you? Why did you do that?”
“Keepa awaya froma Calima!” the man shouted in fury and drew back his fist again, and suddenly Shalom saw that there was a sharp ugly knife in the man’s hand.
Scared, Shalom drew back his leg and booted the man in the head hard.
“Agyeiiiiii!” the man screamed as he fell back and clutched his head.
“Shalom!” Calima cried in alarm as she indicated the door. “Please, go inside! Go inside now!”
Many other people were running to the scene and Shalom sensibly turned and entered the room.
It was not a very tall building and his head almost touched the ceiling as he walked. There was a lantern burning in the room. There was a table and a chair, a short wobbly wardrobe and a bed made with straws that had been lashed together expertly.
They had put a fresh patched sheet over the bed and provided another cloth for covering himself with. There was also a pillow stuffed with old pieces of clothes.
Breathing hard, Shalom removed the towel from around his waist and, quite naked now, fell down gratefully on the bed. He shut his eyes tightly as he remembered Adobea, and wondered what she would be doing now.
“Oh, Adobea!” he whispered miserably. “Shaloma missa youa verya mucha!”
Even as tears of longing and pain came to his eyes, he giggled and turned on his side on the bed.
“Todaya, I boota boota kapuepuea heada ina Hweaa Dinga Donga!” he said and broke into mighty peals of laughter that went on until the door burst open, and Calima came inside. She pushed it shut and lifted a heavy bar and put it into two holding spaces on each side of the door, and then she turned and looked at the giggling Shalom.
Calima sighed greatly and her fingers flitted across her breasts.
The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story,
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