BAG OF SADNESS
The soft skin below his eyes are puffy and sagged. His white eyes has beocome murky. The back view of his head is crowned with grey hair. He is faced up, intensely staring at the stars. The dark is blissful, the night air still. The half moon light is dim and so is his life.
The pain he feels each day as he reflects on Josh -Oh Josh! Thoughts of him occupy his mind; memories so dear- overwhelm his thinking and splatters of tears creases his cheeks.
When he is sate with musings of his dead son
-his bright face, his auspicious smile, their wild laughters together when they are both thrilled- he turns around and starts heading in the direction of the tents.
Moving at a considerable slow pace -one that comes with ageing feet- Slowing down even more as he approaches the sloppy path leading home. Home, where he still got eleven sons left. Even then one always outshines the others in the heart. He could never find a substitute for his loss.
The light streaming in through the high prison windows reflects noon.
Page is grubbing at meager grains while Josh sits with his back to the wall of the prison cell, starring into nothingness. They’re sitting opposite each other and their eyes finally meet.
“You haven’t touched your food?” Page’s eyes fix on him while his mouth busies with chewing.
“Seems you’re not hungry” he says, spooning another mound of food into his mouth as he shifts his gaze to his plate.
Josh stares at his own plate of food next to him on the prison floor. He picks up the plate and scoops some food into his open mouth. They are half cooked and tasteless as he expects they would be. He chews slowly.
“So she set you up and her husband throws you in jail! Women are monsters! Why would she do this to you? She’s so heartless!” Page resumes. His angry outburst rubbing off hard on Josh.
Josh nods and swallows hard.
He picks up the little cup containing water beside him and gulps it down. At least it would prevent him from choking, yet he coughs loudly.
“I won’t blame her!” Josh replies after few minutes of deep silence. His face is devoid of emotions, giving no clue as to how he is feeling on the inside.
“Women are wicked! That’s my own! And to think of the fact that she is the one who made advances at you and is now making you pay for her misdeed is totally driving me nuts!” Page says as angrilly drops the empty plate with clatters noisily.
Page sighs. “If I ever get out of here! I would never spare wicked women like her when I come in contact with them! Her kind doesn’t deserve to live! This is how they go about, making innocent people suffer reproach! Why do you have to suffer for no just cause?” He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, throws his legs apart on the prison floor and lets out a loud contented belch.
They hear footsteps approaching now.
One of the guards lifts the wood crossing over the solid prison door. Narshon is flanked by two other straight-faced guards as they station behind the one opening the cell. The door opens and they roughly push Narshon into the cell.
He falls in head first and almost hits the floor with his head, but he somehow manages to avert this by quickly supporting himself with his hands, preventing his face from being marred any further with bruises. The prison door bangs shut and they hear the sound of the lock before the foot steps of the guards fade in the distance.
Narshon stands and starts dusting his prison uniform- a miserable knee-length garment with ‘V’ shaped neck.
Josh stares at him dumbfounded.
Page shakes his head in pity.
Narshon stares at them both without uttering a word or enlightening them of what had transpired. He staggers to his usual spot on the prison floor. His stern face and mood unbearably overwhelming the prison air.
Credit(Editor): Robbie Kaine