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The Phoenix
*When the sun hides, it reappears*




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Darkness is beginning to cover the daytime. Ikem parents waited for him throughout the evening, but he didn’t come back. His mum paced round the house, as though the house was on fire. The neighbors could hear her shouting, “Ikem! The only eye of a blind woman!” some concerned neighbor like Mazi Ugo came to know why such a loud cry came from the house of Oduka. Mazi Ugo carried his lantern to see the earth clearly; they have had incidents of snake bites along the street. He knocked loud on their gate; Mr. Oduka opened the gate for him. Mazi Ugo chews stick every time of the day; in the morning, afternoon and night, come rain come sunshine, a stick is always in his mouth. Mr. Oduka at times doesn’t like the sound he makes with those sticks in his mouth, the way he spits on the earth at interval, and how he uses his stick to brush his teeth hard. But there was no time to think about all this things, what was on Mr. Oduka mind is finding his only son.
“What happened?” Mazi Ugo asked, drawing his wrapper closer to his chest. Mr. Oduka looks weary, not knowing where to start.
“Ikem hasn’t returned from the library”
“Ah! Let’s go, and look for him immediately” Mazi Ugo said. Mr. Oduka was confused he didn’t know what to take along with him. They all ran into the car.

At the library they met the security men who sympathized with them and helped them search for the lad inside the main building and the environment, but Ikem was no were to be found. No trace of him, but they security men recognized the young gentleman who loved book as a good gentle boy. What option was then left for them, except to visit the police station? They entered the car and drove to the nearby police station.

The same police man that handled Ikem’s kidnap case was on duty that night. His round face glitters in the light, he opened his drawer and brought out a bottle of whisky - and slurped down the drink. His eyes shown brighter, he could hear people drawing nearer to the police station door, a female voice wailing. The door opened and the family of Oduka came in, he recognized them very well.
“Oga police it has happened again!” Ikem’s father said
“What again this time around” the policeman said, his face saddened at the news.
“But I saw Ikem some few days ago, he was with a strange looking Youngman…” the policeman said, pointing his fingers towards the electric bulb, as though the way to find him lies there. He couldn’t pretend again to be less concerned, he loved Ikem, and he wants to show him that he is a real hero, not a man who takes the glory of rioters.
“I promise to bring Ikem back” the policeman assured them, “go home now; there are nothing more you can do.” That was it Mr. and Mrs. Oduka and Mazi Ugo left. The policeman put his hand under his drawer, brought out the rum and slurped it down his throat.
 Its time to show a bite of patriotism he said beneath his breath.



Continued ...


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