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Extra info for The Granta Book of the African Short Story
Close up! cease it. cease. ’ ‘This mystery romance! What are we going to do-ooo? ’ She flung her palms open dramatically, face raised to the sky, after which bent over giggling. I slapped her arm, part indignant, yet she wouldn’t cease. I simply needed to chuckle too, yet I knew she wouldn’t enable me overlook this; she could milk it for weeks, months. We moved on right down to the dorms, weaving our means via throngs of girl-women. They stared at highers wasting their digi, giggling like they have been possessed. Later, doubtless this may swell into a few soiled hearsay: ‘Wodo and who? … Nooo! ’ My hand crept into my pocket as Nassuna and that i slowly calmed down and attempted to develop into grown-ups back. i might go away the security pin there. Why now not? now not as a online game, yet to job my memory of what he known as ardour. i used to be stuck in its spell. THE FUGITIVE ____________ Alain Mabanckou Translated from the French through Polly McLean whilst i feel again to it, seventeen years later, I’m consistently haunted by means of an identical photograph. I’m dripping with sweat, out of breath, my mouth is open, and I’m working as speedy as my legs will hold me in the course of the never-ending hall of Montparnasse-Bienvenüe Station in Paris. those thoughts are as dogged because the swamp leeches of the Lukula River, all of the long ago in my fatherland of Pointe-Noire, Congo-Brazzaville. As I write those strains this day, my middle starts off pounding to the beat of these anguished strides – I had by no means run that quickly at domestic, even on race days in school. I loathed PE, and particularly working. At that level it by no means happened to me that in the future within the French capital i'd pay dearly for this aversion to game. If I’d been a great runner in my early life, possibly I wouldn’t were rasping for breath, with my tongue striking out and my muscular tissues on hearth, that day at Montparnasse-Bienvenüe. however it wasn’t fairly the instant for regrets over misspent adolescence. now not the instant for resenting my feeble legs. I needed to run. Run from the hazard drawing nearer with each moment. they are saying that worry offers wings. To summon a few additional velocity, i presumed of my classmate Ndomba, who may well outrun his personal shadow. He used to be our fortunate Luke of the racetrack. How did he do it? He defined that for him, the race came about solely in his head, as the legs easily perform the orders of the mind. So it’s the mind that does the working. you simply needed to think the course on your brain, step, by way of step, by means of step. We have been beautiful sceptical – we’d by no means heard of someone having legs connected to their mind – yet after all we discovered Ndomba used to be correct: by the point we reached the end line, numerous mins at the back of him, he might already be unlacing his running shoes. He enjoyed to tease us, asking, ‘Where was once your mind? ’ As I ran just like the satan during the sizeable Paris station filled with passengers, I murmured to myself that i used to be faster than my shadow, that Ndomba was once looking at over me. and in reality i may see his face. i used to be channelling his legs. Channelling his mind. It was once as though he was once whispering, ‘Run! Run! speedy! speedy! keep on with the course on your head!