Good Friday | Ope Olum’degun

There were no taxis or buses plying the route because it was Good Friday. He gazed bemusedly at his only option out the dusty village, scrutinizing the contraption and its driver as he had done with the food they served him on seedy plastic plates for three days. It might work, he murmured, shading his face from the scorching Sahel sun with the vehicle’s frame. Through ninety miles of highway ahead, it just might.

There were five others waiting. Six, if you counted the goat one of the women cradled in her arms, which he did, seeing as there was barely enough room for the humans. Another woman stood by with two kids – each looked to be around ten. The third woman was rather attractive. He’d been there three days and never saw her? Ah, well…

They finally boarded the rickshaw. But only half his ass fit in the seat beside the driver, what with one of the kids stuffed between them. The women and the other child squeezed together in the back and, as if on cue, began yammering in that language he never got the hang of. The goat soon joined in, its bleats awfully reminiscent of a crying baby. The rickshaw shook on both sides as the driver started the engine, and then meandered out of the dirt road onto the highway.

 

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