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Last night in my weird dream, I found myself walking across town with my cousin. We walked through the crowdy, untidy and noisy street, giggling and having fun as we gossiped about issues only important to us. Apparently, we were out shopping (or window shopping as it were) because  as we walked down the street, my cousin found something that caught his interest and he stopped to price. I joined him of course, and together we priced the roasted yam and plantain that seemed/smelt delicious. The woman’s makeshift shop was just by the road-side, and behind was a vast grassland along which dotted shrubs and small trees in what was an ascending hill. It was indeed a sharp contrast from the bustling, untidy street beside it, and it fascinated me.


Meanwhile, my cousin continued to price the roasted food while I observed the beautiful landscape. The woman was exceptionally persuasive as she insisted on her price. Her two little children ran about her, distracting me because my focus was shifting to the sudden change that was taking place; a white smog was filling the air. As this continued to happen, it was obvious everybody else was oblivious of what was going on. But I sensed something had terribly gone wrong. Just then, the horrible stench came. It appeared to have come from the smog, a horrible odour so strong it wrenched my stomach. At this time, everybody had become aware of what was happening, and the smog had become so thick I could hardly see far.

My cousin used his handkerchief to cover his nose while the woman used part of her wrapper to cover hers. With her palm she shielded her little boy, and in that moment of confusion I could see the horror in her eyes as she looked around for her daughter but could not find her. And just as she was about to panic, the little called from a tree in the grassland beside us which she had climbed to play “squirrel”. I looked to the street and everyone went about with face-masks on.  The smell continued to grow more and more nauseating, while I was still completely confused by what was happening. By this time, the smog had so thickened I could hardly see.  Across the grassland, the landscape was almost hidden by the white smog.


The smog began to change its colour from white to smokey-black, its smell becoming too unbearably unpleasant. and in the street beside us, total chaos had broken out as people screamed and ran, car tyres screeching as everybody just tried to get away. I was completely scared at this point, but I realized fear would not help me  much. I quickly jumped over the gutter to the other side and then began to run towards the grassland. The only thing that continued to occur to my mind was that a disastrous fire outbreak might have occurred somewhere burning some chemical and releasing both the thick smog and the stench…


Emmanuel Abara Benson

NOTE: Story was a true dream. Photos credited to GOOGLE


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