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    Anyone who knew Taminus market in Jos Plateau state, knows that at Noon, it was usually rowdy and jam-packed with several kinds of people.

    These people include sellers, buyers, those who came to check out new products, and those who would pretend to check out products with you and when you are not watching, they drag your purse and run off.

    That afternoon, I had gone to buy. But before then, I had told Uwana to accompany me, so that she would show me where I could buy a pair of shoe, at a cheap price.

    Since we do not live in the same street, we planned to meet at the market.

    I was this type of person who would tell you to wait at a particular place, that I will be there soon, whereas I may be at home. But in the case of Uwana, when she says “I am there” it means she was there.

    Uwana got to the market before me and waited as usual. I was about leaving the house when my cellphone rang.

    “Ekenma, where are you?” I heard her angry voice over the phone. “You know I hate it when you make me wait.”

    I pleaded, and told her that I was almost close to the market, when I was just leaving home. Quickly, I waved a tricycle and hopped in. I did not journey for long before I met a traffic. The type of traffic which do not move, the type you would not even know what the cause of it was. I was stocked in the tricycle, sweating, and faning my face, with my palms.

    My cellphone began to ring again. When I checked the caller ID, it was Uwana. She would kill me if she discovered I was no where near the market. So I decided not to pick the call.

    She called again and again, then stopped. Later, a text message came in, it was from her.

    “If I don’t see you in the next ten minutes, I’m leaving”.

    I replied immediately, told her I was stocked in a traffic jam, and begged her to be patient. After what seemed like twenty minutes, the traffic was lifted, by them Uwana had called again. But I did not take the call. And I knew no matter how angry Uwana was, she would never bail out on me.

    I was almost close to the market when I heard a loud thunderous sound. Then I exchanged glances with the passengers seated in the tricycle.

    “What was that?” I asked.

    “Make una no fear,” the tricycle driver said, “Na trailer fall.”

    We continued the drive, and did not journey a mile when the sound erupted again. This time, it was louder and it shook the ground, even the tricycle vibrated. By then we were almost close to the market, so we all alighted to see where the sound had came from.

    I saw people running. Some ran backwards, while some ran forward. Then I heard someone shouting,

    “Na bomb, oh! Na bomb!”

    I stood, and watched as people ran in confusion. I dipped my hand into my purse and fetched out my cellphone. With a shaking hands, I dialled Uwana’s number and placed the cellphone to my ear. It made a defening sound and disconnected. I dialled again, it disconnected. Immediately, a woman ran passed me, wailing, with her hands placed on her head. She knocked the cellphone off my hand, it fell on the tared road and shattered. She did not even stop to look, rather she ran along.

    I started running like every other person. But I was not running to safety. I ran to the shop or rather to the spot where Uwana and I had agreed to meet.

    Thick smoke coming from burnt vehicles and burnt wares, blurred my vision. The air smelled like burnt meat, yet, I ran along. I saw blackened, burnt bodies, lying every where. Some without head, while some without hands or legs.

    A woman’s stomach was ripped open and her unborn baby popped out of her stomach. The placenta still visible and fresh blood gushed out.

    My stomach churned and a formidable nut formed in my throat. I covered my mouth tight with a hand, to prevent myself from vomiting.

    I walked along, half running, half walking, my wobbling legs tripping me over. I fell, rised and continued walking. Until I reached the spot where we had agreed to meet.

    The building close by was wrecked by the bomb blast. And I could hear cries from trapped bodies beneath the collapsed building. I scanned around, hoping to see Uwana, but she was no where. Not even admist the blackened bodies littered around.

    Then, I saw it. A detached arm by the corner. It was pale, almost purplish, with blood spilling from the part detached from the main body. It had the same wrist band, I and Uwana had. The one which was customised with our names. It was Uwana’s arm.

    I stilled, and a chill shiver wrapped me. My legs became a jell and everything went black.

    THE END!!!

    Written By Peace Ndukuba.

    With Love,
    In memory of those who died in the Jos twin bomb blast, May 2014.

Re: [Short Story] “Echoes Of Death” by Orakle: 10:05 pm On May 12, 2021

    I remember I had a friend who was a friend’s sister by name Francisca Chinyere
    I heard she was close to Juth when it happened and her legs were amputated so she died next day

    Orakle:
    I remember I had a friend who was a friend’s sister by name Francisca Chinyere
    I heard she was close to Juth when it happened and her legs were amputated so she died next day

    It was really a sad day for all

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