POINTY PANTA AND THE ZOMPIRE SHARKS
By Ekeoma Ajah
enough, she could see a pair of purple eyes coming towards them. No, not one pair but two. Then she saw the third pair and then the fourth. Four?!! She hadn’t worn diapers in ages, but she suddenly felt like she might need them as the four pairs of eyes came closer still.
As they drew nearer, Chima whispered to her, “Stay close.”
Pointy didn’t need a second invitation; she ran, coming to stand beside Chima, who had come to a halt. Now that they were closer, she could see who the eyes belonged to: the baby zompire sharks that had taken Kemi away; Kemi, who also now had purple eyes, and last but not least, one of the adult zompire sharks they had earlier encountered.
The baby zompire sharks lunged at Chima while Kemi stood, watching and quivering. It looked like some things would never change because even after morphing into a zompire, Kemi’s frightful nature was still intact. Legs quaking – and her tail firmly tucked between them – Kemi frantically clawed at the concrete
floor. Perhaps she wanted to bury herself in a hole to escape the situation she found herself in, but the floor didn’t appear to be yielding to her plans.
Chima, on the other hand, charged at the baby sharks, his claws flashing this way and that. While he fought the baby zompire sharks and Kemi tried to find a hole to bury her quivering self in, Pointy was left defenceless. The big zompire shark ran towards Pointy, baring his teeth as he ran, his intention obvious. Chima was too busy fighting the baby zompire sharks – what they lacked in size, they made up in speed – to come to her aid.
Even if Kemi could help, it was unlikely that she would since she was now a zompire. Pointy started running, but not before she saw that Chima had knocked out one of the baby sharks. She ran as quickly as she could, looking back to see if the large zompire was following. Sure enough, he was, though he was rather slow, hampered by his size. Pointy ran even faster, buoyed by the thought that she just might outrun the zompire. Then the unthinkable happened. The zompire shark leapt into the air, bridging the gap between
them. He seemed to soar as he looked at Pointy from above, giving her a cheeky, evil smile. Pointy felt a sense of déjà vu. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. As the zompire shark descended towards her, Pointy’s dreams and the faces of her loved ones flashed before her eyes. Her grandfather’s face flashed before her. Then it came back and seemed to be saying, no, shouting something at her. He was screaming, “Do the roll-up, Pointy, do the roll-up!”
Yes, indeed, the roll-up! Pointy thought frantically. That was it! She had been too busy focusing on the strengths of the others to remember hers. Too busy thinking of Chima’s sharp claws, Kola’s speed, and Kemi’s keen sense of smell to remember that she had her own strength. She could do the roll-up. And so, Pointy did the roll-up.
You see, Pointy came from a unique line of porcupines that can do the roll-up. Whenever they are in danger of being devoured or hurt by any powerful opponent, they simply roll up into a ball. They extend their quills, turning themselves