They were coming for her soon.
This, she knew because her mother had told her so.
Moreso, her mother had gone the same way.
‘You must march at dawn, Koko. When you see these signs…’. She’d told her, an overpowering sadness swimming in her shiny orb-like eyes.
That was the night before she was taken. Though her cries and pleas for mercy reverberated through the entire compound the next morning, it was all for naught.
This week, Koko had eaten more beef than she had thought possible in her existence.
The habitually sombre mood she exhibited since her mother died evaporated slightly that she managed to play a bit with them.
Everyone was all smiles that week including the gate-keeper who let her out whenever she wanted.
It wasn’t until she was taken to the small, dark house that it occurred to Koko she had seen the three signs her mother warned about.
She did not sleep that night.
At dawn, they came.
Three of them she didn’t know with a dirty bag and dry, dead wood. Hunched, hefty, hungry— their opaque eyes betraying the latter.
She allowed herself to be led out meekly and noticed with satisfaction how they visibly relaxed.
Unexpectedly, she did two things she had never before done— she let out an animal-like howl and then closed her uneven dentition on the arm of the closest one to her.
It felt unnaturally good— the taste of fresh blood and ripping flesh— that she was tempted to have a second helping.
But there was no time!
While they remained frozen in animated horror, she scrimmaged in-between them and out into the streets of Calabar; and as she dashed on into freedom’s embrace, Koko let out one long celebratory bark.