Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)
TITLE: BACK TO THE WOMB!
By HARUNA ABDULMALIK
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It’s pitch-dark here. The blackness exerts such excruciatingly strange pain, so painful that I needed seeing some light but my eyes wouldn’t open. My eyelids are lead-heavy or even glued together. The darkness remains real; I can’t wave it away. I can’t even visualize light, at all. The vague pain keeps rising, rising, from within with such distinct vagueness.
Everywhere is dead-silent. Even the sound of silence is absolutely absent. Dark silence cries out! A shouting silence, an absence, that hurts, paralyses, that even burns, deeply. Any whisper will be helpful, timely, therapeutic.
My throat is very dry, desert-dry. I am impotent, paralyzed from the hairs of my head to the nails of my toes. I am shut in, feeling no external pressure, completely anaesthetized , oblivious of anything but the inner self. I must be lying motionless in mid-air, a dead-still air; I feel so light, extremely light to be existent!
I thought I screamed. I know, but the entire range of the sound was absorbed, completely, or stopped by, say, a cotton wool or gauze stuffed in my oral cavity. No sound. I can’t hear. I think I need some help here, some relief.
I tried catching a breath but couldn’t… I don’t want to choke to death. My chest is too heavy for a mortal to bear. A strange tightness wraps my upper trunk. The need to breathe persists, not getting better or worse. I feel like a quadriplegic invalid immersed in an ocean, slowly, helpless sinking to an unreachable floor, being at the mercy of gravity. My nostrils are totally sealed up. My heart is extremely burdened. I feel a wave of nausea, something heavy within. Oh! I wish I can let it out, but I can’t… I can’t… .
I can’t breathe! I didn’t realize this before now. Am I going to die? But my heart has not been beating all along, or am I… ? God forbid, I don’t want to die? No, no, I am not dead!
Wasn’t I supposed to undergo a kidney transplant or, maybe…no, no! I need a surgery! I need a transplant! That’s all, I need a… no, not this!
Heeellppp! Some… . No sound.
I know I must be lying down, lifeless, maybe cold in rigor mortis, on the surgeon’s table, in the village mortuary, in our traditional coffin, or … my God, I don’t want to be buried; something will happen if my prayer group prays. But, didn’t God tell us that my “sickness is not unto death”, that is … if they pray? Or , didn’t they? Or, maybe… .
They never prayed , no, not even once.
The evening sun hesitantly crawled to sleep among the towering forest trees in the distant horizon of tropical Africa.
… Mother Earth carefully cuddled him.
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