This is the fourth and final composition piece in the Student Writing Series.
It was nearing midnight in the town of Afien.
Mr Firsch, my guardian had just finished shaving his bristle moustache and was happily under his bed covers, drifting into Lalaland. Everyone else was asleep.
I was not going to sleep tonight.
I was high up on the local hill, taking more than just a peep at the legendary Ghost Town.
Ghost Town was, till now, a myth told us by our grandparents and those before them. The story went that every night, hours after we were all coiled and asleep in our beds, our ancestors rose from death and grave and relived moments full of life and zest underneath the hill, in the bottomless abyss of nothingness. I thought of all this as fickle – that our grandparents took too many swigs of beer before they came to fib to us. I thought…
From the top of the hill I could see Ghost Town. It had this light blue colour and everything there was an eerie shade of this light blue.
The buildings were different, each from the other – from mighty skyscrapers to meek thatched serf huts made of light blue mud and straw. Then there were a gigantic marble church, a magnificent gothic museum, a soccer pitch which almost looked perfect for me to flaunt my supreme sports skills, and no, not a school in sight.
Ghost Town looked everything like the dream place everyone wanted to be but did not know. Yet.
I could see all those who had gone before me: the millionaire who died in an aircraft crash, perched at the top of his mansion; my grandparents walking on the pavement, bobbing their heads to the jazz band playing in a massive amphitheatre close by; my lively dead dog, Fifi, running furiously from street to street and back; Mrs Firsch, the lovely lady who used to treat us kids to baked goodies; and Clifton, the madman who used to ramble on and forever about the existence of this place when he was alive and was part of the day and earthly side of Afien.
He looked quite sane now. Clifton.
Ghost Town really had it all.
I was so enthralled by the city’s awesomeness that I nearly did not hear the bell chime for 5 o’clock.
Soon, the sun began its steady climb up the sky and Ghost Town began to disappear, in bits and splits. All the ghosts rose into the air and flew towards the nearby cemetery. The blue buildings – virtually everything – sublimed into the clay chasm.
Everyone, everything was soon gone.
“Was it necessary to go back to Afien, really necessary to go through constant troubles, to be confused and consumed by all the evils of the world, to be soured and pained by men – humankind, in general?
Were all these pains and troubles necessary when paradise was just a mere death away?”
…so the next time you see me – probably with a crooked neck, or a broken back, or wobbly legs or whatever I sacrificed to get here – I will probably be sprinting laps with Fifi, or swimming in the town pool or lying on the ghost blue grass wearing a big smile and looking at you, telling you I am in a better place…
Keli Dey loves what many of his peers loathe: Jazz, Football, Comic Strips. The list never ends.
He loves to read too, and to seek and come to love new book genres.
He is an undying, unapologetic fan of 8’o clock business shows and premier league interviews – he thoroughly enjoys crushing his amateurish classmates on any FIFA game.
Like your typical gawky 14 year old, Keli doesn’t often express his thoughts in the open, unless he is coerced, many times, for far too long…
But give him a piece of paper. And a decent pen.
— Dansoman, Accra, Ghana; Friday, 29th March, 2019.