Heavy, each step he took. Feet sinking into the shallow flowing waters before hitting the asphalt of the paved road. Darkness hugged him, the road lonely. Occasional flashes lit the world around him, exposing the trees lining the street on both sides. Their branches bent in the wind, reaching for him. He saw nothing of it, pupils glazed over, his only thought, putting one foot in front of the other. Soaked to the bone, his suit clung to him sopping wet, weighing heavily. Cold sunk into his skin, occasional shivers racing through his body. The hem of his trouser stained by the filth floating past from the overflowing gutters.
Two headlamps illuminated him from behind. The driver slapping the horn elicit; no response from Namdi walking on the road. He did not slow down. With a cut of the wheel, tires squealed; the car swept past him, close enough for his soaked suit to flap up in the resulting wind. The wheels churned up a tidal wave of water which battered Namdi, causing him to stumble. A bottle flew out of the window of the swerving car, hitting him on the temple.
"Oshi! Comot for road! Mad man!"
The abuse hung in the air, the vehicle disappearing around the bend. Namdi looked down at the bottle; unfazed by death’s interest in him. Once again he began to walk, the middle of the road his path. The heavens did not let up, rain increasing in intensity. A light shower soon became a full gale, driving the cold he felt deeper into his bones. Each step became a trial as he battled against the elements. Still he walked on, bare feet hitting the asphalt one at a time.
A fierce clap of thunder resounded in the distance, deafening Namdi, his hands reaching to clasp his ears. A flicker lightning fell to the earth, hitting a tall tree to his right, setting it ablaze, sparks flying with abandon. The fire lit up the street, a beacon that could be seen from miles. Namdi stopped and watched the tree burn; the scene reflected in the dark pupils of his eyes. Heat rolled off the blaze, reaching Namdi, driving the cold from his bones. With the rain, it did not take long for the fire to die down; the tree nearly burnt to a crisp. A few embers still struggled for life, illuminating him along with another set of headlamps coming from behind.
A car rolled up beside Namdi. The passenger door opened.
From the interior of the dimly lit car came a demanding voice. Namdi hesitated, life having creep back into him. He took one last glance at the burning tree before stepping into the car.
Continued on next page...
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