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Sequence 23




© Aaron Ansah-Agyeman




He went to the bathroom and brushed his teeth and took a shower. He felt very tired but he was exhilarated. It had dawned on him that he could drive, and already he had decided to try and fix one of the cars in the yard and if it could move, he would just drive up the road and go away to find Adobea.


He missed her so much and could just imagine the pain she might be going through.


He had just finished dressing up in some clothes he found in a metal trunk in the room when a knock came on the door. His heart gave a lurch of fear as he thought it might be Calima. Nothing could put that girl down, and in a way, she was beginning to terrify Shalom.


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When he opened the door, however, he saw that it was Chief Ogum standing there. “What at all is this?” Shalom said with sudden exasperation. “I don’t understand your language, and you don’t understand English, and now you visit me alone! What are we going to say? Look at his big head!”


The Chief smiled up at Shalom and spoke softly in perfect English.


“Actually, my young friend, it is quite intrinsically obvious in the most expansive and visually explicit way that you do possess a rather huge head quite bigger than mine. So, perhaps, you would pay due cognizance to that fact in the future when you have recourse to refer to any part of my anatomy, sir.”


Shalom’s eyes almost popped right out of his head as he gawked at him. “Heeerh, shalawele!” he screamed. “Chief, you can speak English good like that? Heeeerh shalawele!”


“Weleweleshala!” the Chief said and quickly stepped into the room, causing Shalom to laugh. “But, please, don’t let anyone know for now, okay? It is my secret weapon, and it has saved us from more than one danger.”


“Secret, secret!” Shalom said and made a sealing gesture across his lips, and then


he shut and locked the door.


He turned towards the king.


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“You’re bad paaa o!” Shalom said with a wide grin.


Chief Ogum smiled.


“A homo sapien is he who observes in silence with his buccal cavity disciplined!” he said softly. “So, indeed, I did observe your ways and garnered wisdom to myself that indeed, you have been sent here by the wisdom of a bigger God. I was hoping that you would find my daughter an appropriate partner for I would have wished to have you stay with us permanently, but alas, your plans with Atwiaa told me your sojourn with us would be but for a spell.”



“Herh, ekoo te brofo, the parrot speaks English!” Shalom cried, absolutely impressed. “Chief, you’re heavy!”


The Chief smiled and put a hand on Shalom’s knees.


“My people have suffered,” he said gently. “We were almost rendered abysmally extinct but the Lord of Providence saw it fit to take us out of our flummoxing and vexatious life…”


“Herh, Chief, it is enough!” Shalom said with a scowl. “I know you can speak English so stop that elephant English! Concert!”


The Chief laughed and patted Shalom’s knee again.


“Oh, Shalom, indeed I would have preferred you as a son-in-law.”


“Ahh, I love somebody else, Chief,” Shalom said. “And as for her when we make love I can kiss her at the same time. As for Calima anytime I want to kiss her during lovemaking we have to pull it from inside and do adjustment of mouths!” The chief burst into raucous laughter and nodded.


“Ah, yes, indeed, that is so,” he said. “But, as I was saying, you being here is a great blessing to my people. We will always love you and you’ll always have a home here anytime you decide to come back. This morning some of the elders from Hwea-Ding-Dong came to see me, Shalom.


Obviously, the king that chased me away and installed has sold all their lands, and they’re in strife! They now want to kick him out and take me back. They were over there at the place we used to be, and I had to go there to see them.


I told them they have been very wicked to us. They apologized, and now they’re all moving here. The land here is good, the food is plenty, and there is such goodness all around here because you opened our eyes. Many more people are coming to stay here. I have decided to rename our village as Shalom Krom!”


Shalom grinned wolfishly with delight.


“Shalawele!” he shouted. “I’m pleased about that. Thank you!” “Weleweleshala!” the Chief shouted, and just then a knock sounded on the door and Atwiaa came in when unlocked it. There was a great contusion on his cheek as he stood there forlornly looking at them.


For a moment both Shalom and Chief Ogum were chagrined, scared that Atwiaa had found out the chief’s secret, but evidently he had not.


“Hey, Atwiaa, what happened to your cheek?” Shalom asked with concern.


“Ita isa Calima!” he said forlornly and with great despair. “Ia trya kissa hera, anda shea usea thea tapoli toa hita mya facea!”



“Oh, Atwiaa, take your time, take your time!” Shalom said as he tried to suppress his smile. “You don’t have to try to kiss her. Win her trust and confidence first! It will take some time!”


“Oh, stopa thata bunkuma talk!” Atwiaa said angrily. “Shea seea youa justa onea daya, justa onea daya, anda shea allowa youa toa puta youa etutobi intoa hera echi!”


“Ah, so she did that to me in one day so what?” Shalom asked with a giggle. “I am handsome than you, Atwiaa! I gave you people food and fish and this big place and you want to replace me? Shalawele! You’re not me, you hear? So, take your time.


It is because I am here. Just win her trust and kindness. When I leave, you’ll have her!”


“Anda whena area youa leavinga?” he said miserably. “Justa goa awaya! Ene bekire wo bo to he! ”


“Atwiaa!” Chief Ogum said harshly, obviously displeased by the part Atwiaa had uttered in their language, and then followed with a string of castigation at the man. “Ei, Atwiaa!” Shalom said with a giggle. “So, because of vajayjay you’re sacking me! Shalawele! You’re bad, Atwiaa! You’re very bad!”


Chief Ogum took Atwiaa’s hand and led him out of the room as he spoke earnestly


to him.




Shalom spent the next three days teaching Atwiaa, Ntowhe and two other men how to operate the power plant and the water-pumping machine. He also showed them better ways of making fish traps.


Over the three days, a lot of people migrated from Hwea-Ding-Dong to Shalom Krom. It was a wonderful sight to behold as families were reunited. NoNormal-sized hildren who had been forcibly taken from their parents broke down in tears when they were reunited.


They all flooded the gigantic building and enjoyed the great luxuries within. Their numbers increased by the day which made Shalom remark that soon Hwea-Ding-Dong would be a land of the dead.


He also took time to overhaul the clogged engine of one of the trucks in the parking space, a Bedford truck. And late on the third night he managed to get the engine to start.


Shalom was so excited, but he was alone, and so no one saw it.


Tired and worn out, he went upstairs to his room. He used the back stairs to climb to the roof and then descended to the room because Calima was on the second floor



and she always screamed and cried when Shalom was going upstairs and she heard his steps on the landing.


Shalom took a shower and put on his clothes because it was a cold night, and instantly went to sleep.


He was awakened by a great knock on his head.


“Ajeeeeeeiiiiiii!” he screamed with pain and sat up.


His eyes widened with horror when he saw Calima sitting on the bed beside him with an iron crowbar in her hand which she had used to whack Shalom solidly on the head. Her right leg, tied with herbal concoction, was braced with wooden splinters.


“Calima!” Shalom screamed with horror. “What is that? How did you get here?” She pointed at the door and Shalom turned to see Atwiaa and Ntowhe standing morosely there.


“Shea forceda usa toa carrya hera herea!” Atwiaa said.


“Oh, Atwiaa, you’re a moron!” Shalom said, and immediately Calima swung the crowbar and whacked Shalom on the back of the head so solidly and painfully that Shalom saw stars and almost passed out! He could feel a huge swelling on the back of his head.


“Calima!” he screamed, appalled. “Are you mad? What’s gotten into you?” “You bastard!” she shouted hoarsely. “You think you can have your way with me and leave me, and give me to some other man? Do I look like rubbish to pass around? Yes, Atwiaa told me of your plans! I’m going to stay here with you, Shalom, and you’re going to marry me, do you hear me? You’re not ever leaving this place! It is now Shalom Krom, and you will marry the princess and stay here forever! Do you hear me, you wicked man?”


She whacked Shalom on his shins with the crowbar hard!


“Ajeeeeeiiiii Calima!” Shalom screamed with tears in his eyes. “You’re a witch, Calima! I told you I love Adobea!”


“Aboabiba, Shalom!” Calima screamed, enraged. “You will forget Adobea and love me! You will marry me!”


“Shalawele!” Shalom screamed and bounced off the bed. “Like I craze!” He pushed his feet into his sneakers and made for the door.


“Hey, Shalom!” she screamed shrilly. “Where do you think you’re going? Stop him, Atwiaa! Stop him Ntowhe!”


The two men grabbed Shalom by the thighs, and Shalom burst into laughter. “You have two seconds to leave me otherwise I’ll throw you out of the window, Atwiaa!” he said.


Atwiaa left him immediately, but Ntowhe still held him hard.


Shalom gave him a great knock on the head with his knuckles.


“Ajeeeeeei!” Ntowhe cried and left Shalom’s leg as his hands massaged his skull. “Wode aboi!”


Shalom fled out of the door and took to the stairs as Calima’s frantic voice screamed out his name. Shalom did not pause, taking the steps two at a time until he got to the main entrance.


He was panting hard with exertion but did not stop.


It was the dead of night and everywhere was silent as he raced to the Bedford truck, jumped in, turned the ignition and the truck burst into life. he turned on the headlights and drove out of the main gates!


He saw many of the little people pouring out of the entrance now, obviously drawn by the racketing sound of the truck, but he did not stop. His only regret was not saying goodbye to Chief Ogum, but he had simply had enough of that conkahead Calima.


As he turned through the main entrance he recognized Chief Ogum running at the car, waving his arms frantically and looking very agitated as he shouted and begged Shalom to stop, but he did not. He could not trust Calima ever again. Shalom gained the rutted truck that led up the hill, and he assumed it would eventually take him to the main road.


And so, he left Shalom Krom behind and drove into the darkness of the approaching dawn.








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