She should be out anytime now. The last lamp had gone out shortly after her father, the burly deputy headmaster made a last lap around the house, a steady beam from his torch carefully sweeping the compound. No shifty shadows behind the trees. He locked the gate and as the dogs did their roving charge around him, retreated back to the house. He was ready to retire. They were ready to take charge. I shift. I had crouched behind a shrub twenty feet from the gate. A little too far for the dogs to pay attention to me but close enough to see the back side of the house clearly. The window should open anytime now.
Thundering beats briefly ride out the wind. The party is well underway. The theme for the night is a dance to celebrate the passage of a right. Circumcision. Tonight, I am going to shock the skins back into fellow graduates when I show up with the deputy’s daughter. The heavily guarded trophy date we all dreamt of but could only argue over who has shaken her hand more. Earlier this morning I ran into her at the miller’s and after boosting my count, I got a word in and she surprisingly jumped to the idea. All I had to do was to sit out this slight hurdle. She will be sneaking out anytime now.
The moon disappears behind a cloud sending the entire compound into darkness. A glow-worm uses the occasion to send out a luminous green signal to potential mates in the neighbourhood. No reply. At least not from my angle of sight. Poor thing, it was quite sharply in contrast to the cricket somewhere beneath the shrub. Seemingly spoilt for choice, it sends out annoyingly loud chirps in reply to dozens more ringing in the night. On behalf of the glow-worm and increasingly, my own. I am going to stamp the lights out of the cricket anytime now.
Just as I am about to decide which foot to thump with, I notice a tiny crack emerge from the window. I wasn’t imagining it. I shift slightly to get a better view. A tiny shift, it is, but I suddenly feel numb. A strange numbness I had never felt before. A prickling sensation runs through my legs. I stagger and the flash light drops to briefly illuminate the ground beneath and roll off to shine its light back to a distant star. In the brief moment, I notice the shrub camouflages a termite mound. A steady stream of soldiers are trooping their way up my shoes and into my trousers. They should be all over me anytime now.
Screaming was certainly on the cards for the night. But that was while dancing the night away, not on a quiet road taking off my clothes fast while fleeing in no specific direction. Even as I round a corner, the dogs are barking their heads off. I pause for a moment to catch my breath. Damn its cold. I rule out trying to get back to my clothes and light. Everyone should be out anytime now.