Atia looked at Babatunde who seem drunk and can’t believe his ears.
“So a corpse you kept sat down when the funeral workers touched her, and because of this you think you have seen it all? Baba, you really must be drunk. That you live a miserable life does not mean you have seen worse than us.”
Koto sat straight and looked at his peers and says:
“Guys cool down, what have you Atia seen that I have not seen?”
Atia sits straight and says “You really know how to push peoples buttons. Koto you think we do not know that you were sleeping with a fresh dead girl when she opened her eyes and the coward that you are, you took to your heels never going there again?”
Koto drinks all his hard liquor at a go and pulls long at his cigarette trying desperately to hide his face in shame. All who are gathered shout in unison “So it is true?”
They resolve that Tunde tells his version of the story. He tells it thus:
“I was a child of fourteen when my father died. He was a mortuary man at Kran Hospital. He came home one day and said someone had slapped him. According to him, they brought the corpse which was a royal corpse for him to take care of. He flung it back and forth after three days in order to prepare to put it in the fridge for preservation. But before he realised what was happening the corpse got up and slapped him shouting ‘How dare you treat me with disrespect?’ He ran home straight to tell me and died afterwards. I decided there and then to become a mortuary man too. But I swore to get a third eye in order to combat any dead spirit who would dare challenge me. And I’ve had plenty of challenges. Just last night, I saw one of the corpses dress up after getting up, go out for about three hours and come back to lie dead again. Of course I said nothing. I respect them so whenever I am going there, I knock and so they respect me in return. I slapped one who opened his eyes during a post-mortem and he returned back to his death.”
“And you are making noise that it is a big deal?” Atia asked disappointed. Because of his utterances, the others ask him to tell them his version of mortuary horrors and he goes on thus:
“One day, I went to work and just opened the door to meet a party at the mortuary. There was liquor in abundance, cigarettes too and music and they were dancing and partying like never before. I was lost in thought for a while but when I came back to my senses, I made to run after shouting in fear, immediately, the music stopped and they all turned to look at me. That is all I remember. I woke up the next day on a hospital bed. The day mortuary man saw me in my collapsed state in front of the gate. I remembered what caused that and never went to work again after I was discharged from the hospital.”
Kwashiga shivers at the thought and says ” Now that is something scary. I guess I have been lucky, one corpse only spat on me probably to show its disgust for my touching it. African corpses must be handled with care I guess. Now lets change the subject and think straight.”
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014 with inspiration from The superior female teachers of TAMASCO.