The Grinning Goat in Headlights.

The banging was loud, spaced out, mocking. It was deliberate: Had malice in each jolt it caused across the damp room. The minister stood against the curtain, shivering, half of his frame behind it as if not sure if he wanted to hide or see who his tormentors were. Behind the door, a woman’s voice whispered loudly for the keys. Annabelle, having more sense than him was all dressed up now. She put her handbag around her shoulder and straightened her blouse. She looked behind her at the politician: first at his face, then at his boxers. His erect penis poked out still, refusing to go flaccid. A Pinocchio – reminder of his many, many iniquities with women throughout the years. She made to say something to him but was interrupted by loud clicking sounds as the whispering woman and her posse attempted to unlock the door.

Their own key was behind it. It was a futile attempt. Annabelle turned away from the door to the Minister again. “What are you doing? Get dressed!”

He was a mess; his mind, a million places at the same time. Her words woke him up so to speak. He darted towards the bed and picked up his trousers with shaking hands. He had one leg in when the first thump tore through the room. They were trying to break the door. These people were determined. He quickly put the other leg in and threw on his shirt. The long sleeves were a tackle in themselves; he was nowhere near done when a second attempt was made at the door, this time almost breaking its hinges apart.

Oh Jesus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Trembling fingers fidgeted at buttons turned piano keys. He looked at his shoes and realised he was going to have to leave without them.

The third thump had the door flying to the ground. Almost on cue, Annabelle bolted towards the exit, surprising the surprisers. She had slammed into and through them before they could collect themselves. His wife and her useless brother shouted curses at her as his daughter, mobile phone in hand, chased after her father’s mistress.

Meanwhile, the minister who had just found his car keys after a frustrating search across the sheets dug them inside his pockets and turned swiftly. No doubt hoping to follow Annabelle’s cue. His wife met him.

“Ei Kwadwo! Kwadwo you have killed me. Kwadwo what are you doing here?”

She fell on her knees and grabbed at his ankles. Her useless brother went back to the door, checking for his daughter. He tried setting himself free but Akos had always had a good grip. It was one of the reasons he did not enjoy sex with her anymore. Her brother moved back into the room, dabbing at his pockets. He pulled out his phone and frantically searched through for his camera. The minister, realising what the plan was grew more violent now, pushing and squirming at the viper clung desperately to his feet.

“Ei Kwadwo! Kwadwo you want to beat me!? Kwadwo you want to kill me!?”

With one final, exhausted tug, he pulled himself out and run towards the collapsed door. His daughter, phone directed pointedly at his exasperated face, met him. He froze.

“DADDY AYEKOOOOO. Well done Daddy, I am soooo proud of you. Look at you. A shameless he-goat caught squarely in headlights.”

The speech was eloquent. Rehearsed. They had been planning this for some time, he could tell. He looked over at his wife, and then at her useless, incompetent brother, and then back at the phone.

“Naa, put the phone down. You don’t understand what this –”

“I don’t understand what Daddy? That you are a lying, cheating, imbecile?”

There she went again with the English. His wife, who had miraculously stopped crying now chimed in,

“USELESS MAN. OHHH oh OH. IDIOT. The whole world will see your foolishness. Me, Namley, I will make sure of it.”

He went through the motions again, looking first at his wife, then at her useless nincompoop of a brother, then back at the phone.

The minister went silent as the women in the room continued to rain insults at him, determined to bring his hard-earned reputation to the gutters. He had realised something in the brief moment it had taken him to access his fate. He really was not smart at all. First Annabelle, a whoring prostitute had found an escape before he could even process the situation, and now his wife and daughter had him ensnared in their meticulous trap. What was it about women that made them so susceptible to conniving, manipulative tactics? Why was it that they always thought that they could outsmart and outwit their way through life? Was their gain in being the weaker sex that they from an early stage learnt to use their brains instead of their fists? That was the problem with them though. That they thought the brain could ever win against the fist. Mtchew! Feminists. All of them. He spat the word out in disgust.

Feminists! You are all useless Feminists!

The room went quiet as his attackers exchanged puzzled looks. Recognising the opportunity, he tackled his daughter to the ground in an awkward haze and easily yanked the phone from inside her hands. His wife made to pull him off her, but it was too late. The minister, pants half down his buttocks run out of the room.

Naa reached for her mother’s hands and lifted herself painfully off the ground.

“Uncle Nii, were you recording?”

Nii stared at his sister, and then his niece, confused.

“Oh, but you didn’t tell me to record? You were recording so me, I stopped.”

Naa dusted quietly at her jeans, innately processing her growing dislike for men.

Art Credit: Debi Hubbs – The Grinning Goat.

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