Venturing from the men’s hut Gift paid a distasteful visit to the latrine, squatting in the fetid dark. Everything about the village, every path and clay pot, and particularly every odour, from wood smoke to animal dung, thrust his early life back into Gift’s resistant being. That brief remembered time before his mother took him to live in the city: before he learned the ropes and joined the Firm, first as a lookout, then a runner of illicit errands; before his mother left him, fawning after her pimp... He recalled the constant chores, herding the goats and the long daily trek to cut and fetch bundles of firewood, carried home on their heads. He remembered his mother’s stories of mighty warriors, great cunning, and mischievous sprites. He could see again his toothless grandparents, hear the cracked lilt of his grandmother’s lullabies and smell his grandfather’s pipe.
The back of beyond.
He needed to get the fuck out of here.