The Night Keepers Of The Kitchen

Have you ever thought about what happens to your forks, spoons, and knives? You're certain there were twelve two days ago, and you're counting them now, unable to figure out how or when you misplaced two. If this is your dilemma, then come along with me as we unravel this great riddle.

2:45 am, I woke up from my sleep with a slight headache and a strong urge to drink water. I was about to reach for my water bottle when I remembered that I had been too tired to fill it up before going to bed the previous night. I coughed a little as my dry throat reminded me of how much I needed to take water. Getting up from the bed, I tiptoed in darkness to the kitchen, so I do not make any noise (and partly because I am scared too).' What impudence! Why are you hellbent on bringing shame to us? This is the third time in 7days' I heard someone say from the kitchen. I took two small steps backward.

Fear became a tangible, living force that crept over me like some hungry beast, immobilizing me as I thought we were being robbed. I heard another fellow speak. 'I'm sorry, my Lord, it was the youngest who bathed me this Night; we all know how much she hates me; I kept falling back into my bathing water, but she didn't even scrub my ones; she devoted all her time and energy to number 12..." Oga, no dey call my name, state your argument without calling my name. From the reply, I guessed that was probably number 12.

I didn't know what to make out of this, so I decided to wait and unravel this mystery. 'Well...' It was the Lord's voice speaking now. 'you know the law, you have repeated the same mistake three times in a row, you will have to be imprisoned for two weeks. 'Also, number 7''Speak My Lord, for your servant heareth,' I heard a different voice say. 'I saw you hiding at the back of number 9 when duty was calling', their lord was speaking, 'did we not swear our loyalty here? For this, you will be imprisoned for three days.

After the two, he imprisoned five more people for different reasons. I heard none complain. I picked the little courage left in me and decided to peep inside and see what was really going on. What I saw didn't make me feel frightened or afraid. What I felt was beyond such mere nouns. I saw what could be described as a gathering of serving spoons; a total of 12 spoons, one ladle, and two forks. The twelve circled around the ladle; the forks seemed to be his bodyguard or so. Could the resultant effect of meetings like this be the sudden disappearance of our spoons? 'At this juncture, continued the Lord (who unbelievably is the ladle), 'let the prisoners who have completed their term come out for...' He stopped, turned in my direction, and pointed at me.

'Catch her!' I didn't wait to find out if it had really seen me or not; I just took to my heels immediately and didn't look back till I entered my room. I quickly closed the door, rushed to the bed, and covered myself with a duvet. I was already very scared. I heard the door open. My heart skipped. Alas, they found me, for I had seen the two forks march angrily into my room with fireballs that illuminated everywhere. Out of fear, I closed my eyes. One of them called my name, 'Amara,' surprisingly with my Mom's voice. I opened my eyes and saw my Mom.

'Amara, you've been coughing. Are you well?' She asked me, her hand placed on the wall, very close to the light switch. She must have switched on the light. 'Why are you shaking like this? She asked, moving closer to me.' This is malaria; your body is very hot. I tried to tell her what I had seen, but my voice was gone. All I could say was in whispers and incoherent. When I finally found my voice, all I said was, 'I need water.'

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