“The Vague Fire” By Al-ameen Yushau
Smoke filled the air. The entire room was engulfed in flames before Tanimu realized what was going on. He called for help but no one responded. He tried to get out, but the smoke blurred his vision. He began to feel dizzy. He was unconscious until he awoke to the sound of loud beeps and machines blaring. He found himself in a hospital. Luckily, a passer-by rushed him to the hospital. He couldn’t remember how the fire started or what led to it. He was given some medications and discharged. The man paid the bill.
A few weeks later, he relocated to his friend’s house, and the experience seemed vague to him. A month later, his friend’s house also got burnt down. He had concluded that his village people were after him. So he travelled to a nearby village, Dogon Dawa, where he met a wizard called Sarkin Mayu. The man confirmed his doubt and claimed that his village people were really after him and didn’t want him to succeed. He offered Tanimu the option of revoking the enchantment, but he had to provide some items for the curse to be broken. Tanimu did as he was told, but weeks later, nothing changed. He still had nightmares and visions of large and blazing fires with no idea where they came from.
The next day, he pondered on his life; then set off for Abuja to see his dad, whom he hadn’t seen for a long time. He got there and found his dad laying on his deathbed. He looked very pale and he had lost the intrepid look that Tanimu always feared. His mom was happy to see him after such a long time. She recounted the terrible experience concerning his dad’s illness. He sat with his mom while they prayed for his dad’s recovery. For days, he couldn’t even move or say anything. He suddenly regained consciousness and revealed that he had something to say to Tanimu. He revealed that he had committed an atrocity during his youth, and was cursed. He suffered a great deal because of the curse inflicted on him, so he visited a wizard who took the curse away from him but warned him that the curse was moving to one of his kids. He forgot the wizard’s warning, but it just came to him as he was about to get some rest. Tanimu’s mom fell in tears, and Tanimu infuriatingly left the house.
He got distressed and constantly worried which led him to find consolation in hard drugs and alcohol. He became emotionally unstable. One day, he walked to the train station and without thinking, threw himself at a moving train.
About the Author
Al-ameen Yushau is a student of Little Scholars School Malali GRA, Kaduna. He is a mentee for the 2021 YELF Mentorship Initiative.