Canteen Punks

“Oya, time don reach for all of you useless people to vamoose,” A fat man stated as he hit the table. 

In fear, all the ladies and children got up from their tables and walked out as some guys followed them out, laughing. 

I could feel dad’s anger rising at the rude statement the fat man had made.  

We had come to have lunch in the usual canteen close to dad’s small house which was also close to the local school. And this isn’t the first time Dad and I are hearing these taunts and rude words, especially to the female teachers. 

I knew today was going to be different as he stood up from our table and walked over to the table of the fat man who had just spoken. Seeing my huge dad approach him, he dropped the chicken he had picked from one of the female teacher’s plate with anxious concern. 

Dad sat on a table beside him; tapping his fingers on the table, he stared at the fat guy. 

Unable to hold it anymore, “what are you looking at?” He asked dad. 

But dad kept mute. 

“I asked you a question,” he roared as he leapt up and made to attack but dad was faster. Dad got hold of his fist and stared deeply into his daring eyes. 

The only guy who hadn’t gone out with the others moved to hit dad but he got a mighty punch that sent him to the ground. I chuckled. 

The fat man loosened himself from dad’s hold, charged towards dad and they started fighting. I figured out the other two had heard the noise because I could see them running in. Seeing that dad was gaining, I turned around and rushed for them. 

The lanky one tried to grab me but I ducked and immediately grabbed his arm and wrung it. I snickered as his cries filled the air. The chubby one rushed at me but I ran and I kept running around the table. 

“Jenny, I need you here,” Dad called, abruptly halting the fun I was having. 

I stopped running and so did the panting chubby man and with a blow to his forehead, I put him to sleep. 

“I’m here,” as I got to dad. He had hung a rope on the fat man’s neck but they were still struggling. Dad urged me to double the ropes. Torn between battling with Dad and me, his strengths faded, giving me the chance to double the ropes. As he let dad go, we watched him struggle for his life, upside down. 

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