Now, when you see something you love, you share… in the spirit of valentine!
Ngozi pulled on the painting of a cherub, and as she expected a dark doorway lay behind. She swung the bright white light of her torch into the narrow room and saw nothing. Her curiosity piqued, she left the dimly lit hallway behind and stepped into the stifling darkness.
The painting slammed shut behind her with a bang! and her battery powered torch went out.
She instantly backed up to the painting and tried to pry it open. It didn’t budge. Then as the cold hands of fear started to wrap around her heart, candles lit up along the walls of the room and she saw she wasn’t alone. There was a mask, hanging at the other end of the narrow room. It was a long oval made of pitch black obeche and etched with faces frozen in silent screams. She gasped, still feeling frantically for a way out. When…
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And I tried scary… of sorts. check it out:
Ome didn’t know much, but the things he did know, he knew well. Like his ultimate purpose in life, which was to serve God, and his calling to love Seun with all he had; spirit, mind and body—which explained why he was now outside her flat, 11pm on a Tuesday night, waiting.
He had put his all into their thirteen month old relationship with Seun. He didn’t have any reservations when it came to her, his love was long suffering and kind; it did not seek its own. He wasn’t moved when his friends staged an intervention for him about his plunge into the relationship, telling him to slow down a bit… what did they know about love? He wasn’t bothered either when his mother told him he would only marry Seun over her dead body… after all, love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. And he truly loved Seun.
It therefore came as a shock to him when she called him over the phone on Sunday morning, as soon as he got back from church—exactly a month after they had celebrated one year of being together—and ended the relationship. She said they wanted different things from life, from a relationship. She said it was over. What did she mean “different things”? He wanted whatever she wanted. God had planned for them to be together… she was going against God’s plan and he had made up his mind to get her back on track.
Ome sat on the cement pavement in front of her house, waiting for her. She had been avoiding him since she almost broke his heart over the phone. But his heart was not broken, he knew he would make her see reason, he would surely get her back.
Ome checked his watch. It was now 11:08pm and she still hadn’t returned. It was unlike her to be out so late, but he wouldn’t complain. He would be patient. He would wait.
Ome was slowly drifting off to sleep when he heard her footsteps. He sat up immediately and checked his phone. The power outage made the face of his watch difficult to see… 12:13am. The footsteps approached; slow, hesitant. He began to rehearse his speech in his head, he wouldn’t chide her for coming home so late. He would be sweet and thoughtful, remind her of why she fell for him in the first place.
The footsteps stopped right in front of him and he looked up. It was a girl, but she wasn’t Seun. In the darkness of the night, he couldn’t make out much of her but her eyes stood out; like brown pools of chocolate… beautiful. He could drown in those pools and enjoy himself thoroughly—if she would let him. He didn’t know what it was, couldn’t explain how he felt, if it could even be described as a feeling. He just knew he needed something and whatever it was, she had it. He knew it well.
Then she spoke, her lips parting and meeting, forming inaudible words that he didn’t quite hear, didn’t care to hear. When she turned her back, he followed. There was something about her, something magical, pulling him to her… like gravity. Something that demanded to be discovered.
Her steps were no longer slow or hesitant. She walked now with the determination of someone who had somewhere to be and needed to be on time. He followed her fearlessly, blindly, thoughts of Seun not quite forgotten but tucked aside. She seemed to know her way well. Placing his feet wherever she placed hers, Ome followed righteously, his pace matching hers perfectly.
She took a left and he took a left… but then she was not there. He suddenly realised how dark the night was. He reached for his phone but couldn’t find it. He didn’t know what the time was but the night was black, there were no stars in the sky. He hadn’t paid attention to his journey here; he wasn’t even sure what “here” was. The air was damp and the trees were oppressive. He couldn’t go forward, couldn’t go back either. Ome had lost his way.
There was a hiss, then a crippling bright light, then he saw her again, recognised those eyes immediately with relief. She was back! But something about her was different. Ome wasn’t sure what had changed because he couldn’t exactly see her. He felt her, her eyes on him, powerful. Ome felt like he was drowning; his eyes hurting, his ears ringing, his heart tearing into his ribs. He felt the chill in the air at the same time the ground tilted, slowly giving way. But he couldn’t move, he couldn’t do anything but stare wide eyed at her. He was now waist deep underground and his legs felt like ice. Help me! He tried to scream, as the ground under him continued to fall but he had no mouth. He suddenly remembered Seun, he couldn’t leave like this, not without seeing her one last time, he had to survive. He struggled to breathe; somehow, he knew that if he could just take a deep breath, he would be able to move and save himself from her…or whatever it was she had become.
He inhaled deeply, ignoring the pain in his lungs—
Ome woke up gasping for air, sweating despite the cold. His thoughts immediately went to Seun when he heard her footsteps. He sat up immediately and checked his phone, the power outage made the face of his watch difficult to see… 12:13am. The footsteps approached, slow, hesitant…
So, I’ve been challenged to be more daring with my writing and as Barney would say… “Challenge accepted!”
This is my first attempt and I hope I get better as the week progresses. P.S, Boys and Girls has not been posted because my network issues got resolved very recently. I apologize.
You never forgot did you? The things he could do with his hands, the way he made you feel. You couldn’t unlearn the things he taught you, couldn’t hide the parts of you he discovered. You had to admit at some point that he was the best you ever had. Three years and you still woke up at night, wet and sweaty; you still had sex dreams of him.
You were engaged, and had to smile wanly every time he made love to you, making the effort to moan his name passionately through faked orgasms. He was sweet and romantic— cute—but really you wanted wild and raw… you wanted to be fucked.
You knew what you were doing, you didn’t “stumble” on him, you hunted him down. It was a convenient “coincidence” that you suddenly needed to draw up a will at the law firm he happened to be working with.
A few weeks, a few drinks later, you realised that not much had changed; he still liked to take you from behind while you stood in front of the mirror, you still had to dig your nails into his flesh to keep yourself from losing your mind, he still knew your body better than you did.
Your man… he didn’t have a clue; at least he didn’t act like he did. You are his wife now, and he loves you and his twins…at least you hope they’re his.
So… hit or miss with this one?
When I was six years old, I gave my first blowjob.
“It’s a game”, said He. “Don’t you want to play?”
It was too big, and I threw up on him.
He said I’d do better the next time.
When I was seven years old, I watched a group of fellow second graders cheer as a boy in my class tried to kiss me. He hugged me from behind, giggling all the while.
I threw sand in his eyes, and was sent to the Principal.
When I was eight years old, I had an elderly teacher ask me to stay behind in class. He carried me on his shoulders, and called me pretty.
“Teacher’s Pet!” my friends declared, the envy visible on their faces.
They ignored me at lunch that day.
When I was nine years old, an older girl on the school bus would ask me to lift…
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So November is my best month of the year… (not June?!) No, not June. There’s just something about November, the harmattan, the promise of Christmas… and new year!! the Christmas carols, Thanksgiving, black Friday!!!
So. I thought I should do something for the month.
I first wrote this back in 2014… when I was younger, and free… 🙂 and well… Happy Harmattan!
***************************************************************************************************It was a place, a dirt road, dark and dusty—the government funds didn’t reach these parts, the tar wasn’t enough. An unnamed street, just a right after the farmers’ market, the citric smell of lemons and oranges forever in the air. It was in the time of harmattan, when children would go to bed with petroleum jelly in their nostrils and wake up parched, their nostrils thirsty for a little moisture.
It was in the time of Christmas carols and wish lists and pot-bellied Father Christmases with fake beards. The school calendars had been restructured so that all schools would be on vacation by then. It was in November, the streets awoke to the sounds of excited children—on their bicycles, on bare feet, running and walking children, both naughty and nice. These weren’t streets that never slept, they had slept through it all.
John Dio woke up to a very ordinary Saturday morning. He had cereal for breakfast, picked up laundry by noon, got wine at Spar, and at exactly 5pm, he was at the front door of his mother’s house. He knew the door was open but he’d knock anyways. His mother opened the door and squished him in a big hug, retrieved the wine from his hands and placed it in the wine bucket. She was perfect, his mother; always chirpy, always beautiful, always the life of the party, in spite of his father’s death two years back.
He took off his denim jacket, embracing the rich smell of good food. His tummy rumbled as he pulled out a chair. There is a kind of hunger that cereal can’t manage.
He sat opposite his sister, Teelé and her husband Nkoyo Elkan the third who spent the better part of dinner on the phone, tapping away on his iPad at the same time. Beside him was Mr Ado, the TV presenter who could no longer tell the difference between screen and off screen, who was now spending too much time around his mother, who was the reason why John had to work hard to maintain his appetite.
Two hours, four beers and a smoke later, John decided it was time to leave. Teele and Nkoyo were still around, Nkoyo was still on the phone. He hugged his sister and waved his mother goodbye, she was in the sitting room with Ado.
John got into street 148B singing along to no worries. He just sang his favourite line: I just know your life’s gonna change— when he felt the impact.
A car had run into A car was running into him! He felt anger as quickly as it evolved into panic. This was no accident, this was deliberate. John sped up, tried to outrun the car but it was no good, there was only so much his Peugeot 406 could do against the attacking Tundra. Eventually, his engine gave up. These parts of Lagos used to be safe… John thought to himself as he arranged all his valuables: wristwatch, money, car keys, he didn’t want to be found uncooperative.
A tall, lanky man opened the car door and dragged him out, there was a gun in his free hand, John could see the silencer.
“Please, I’ll co-operate, please. Everything I have, I’ve placed them on the passenger’s seat.” John begged, trying and failing to sound calm.
The man just looked at him, his face devoid of emotion—he almost looked bored—as he pulled him towards the truck.
If he wasn’t armed for robbery, what was he armed for then?! “Please, please, I’ll give you anything, everything I have! Just don’t hurt me, please!”
“Shut up!” The man hissed, pushing him onto the back seat of the truck and placing duct tape over his mouth, binding his hands as well. They had company, another man in the passenger’s seat. All John could make out was his bald head, with folds around his neck. The lanky one got in the car and started the engine.
They drove for what seemed to John like eternity—and stopped. They both got down, the lanky one placed blindfolds over John’s eyes and they continued on foot, shoving him in this direction and that. John would have cried if his brain wasn’t working overtime trying to figure out what the hell was happening. The frustration of it all, the silence, the darkness, was mind-numbing. There was a dull pain in his wrists and an offensively strong smell of oranges.
They stopped. The bald man was panting somewhere in the distance. John could tell it was him because he could recognize the scent and the skeletal hands of the man shoving him as the lanky one. The lanky one then got out a polythene bag and duct tape from his backpack, binding John’s feet and laying him flat on the ground… John could feel the sand.
The lanky one looked at the bald one “You can leave.”
There was a moment of silence, followed by receding footsteps and more silence. Why was nobody talking?! Finally, the lanky man took off his blindfolds, the cold wind of night assaulted John’s eyes.
Without a single word, he moved away and sat beside John on the ground, his gun in his lap. Minutes passed into what seemed like hours, John sat thinking about his life, and possible death, his mouth had begun to itch. The lanky man sat, motionless, his unwavering gaze far off into the distance. Surely, morning should have come by now.
Footsteps… there were footsteps approaching! Slow and unsteady, like the owner was limping. The lanky man quickly got a blanket from his bag and covered John with it. He had his eyes trained on the distance, waiting for whoever was approaching. The footsteps got closer and closer, until he could see him: a thin, haggard man, his torn shirt clinging to his bent back. He got to them and stopped abruptly, surprised. Then walked on.
“Hey!” The lanky man called out under his breath, standing up.
The haggard man stopped, looked back and continued walking. The lanky man reached out, grabbed him and placed his hand over his mouth, pulling him to the ground. Like a well-practiced ritual, he bound the man’s hands and feet, placing duct tape over his mouth. The haggard man struggled weakly and finally gave up, watching the lanky man apprehensively. The lanky man then went to get the polythene bag and in one swift motion placed it over the haggard man’s head and tied it. The haggard man struggled, gasping for air then went limp.
He took off the blanket that covered John and he saw the man. He froze. I’m next he thought, I’m dying next! The lanky man bent over, taking the bag off the lifeless head, using a knife to cut off the duct tape. John was breathing so hard, he thought he would soon have an asthma attack. The lanky man squatted in front of him, his gun in hand, his index finger to his lips. He peeled off the duct tape from his mouth and unbound his hands but not his feet.
“Am I next?” John’s whisper was shaky.
The lanky man pulled out a cigarette “Hand me your jacket.” He said, lighting it up.
John hesitated. The man flexed his gun. John took off his jacket.
In a dense cloud of smoke, he bent over the corpse and passed its arms through the sleeves. He grabbed the corpse and dumped it in the well, got an iPhone out of his pocket and took pictures.
The man packed up, discarded the tape, the polythene bag, everything—and walked.
John stood on frozen feet, too tired and too scared to breathe. Now that he wasn’t going to die, he wanted to go home.
The streets awoke to the sounds of excited children—on their bicycles, on bare feet, running and walking children, both naughty and nice. Nobody knew what happened last night, nobody will ask.
When If the smell of decay finally gets noticed, when if they finally see the rotten corpse in the well, they’ll call the authorities to handle it. But nobody will cry, nobody will mourn, nobody will ask questions.
Nobody cares about dead mad men.
I’m reading a book by Liz Curtis Higgs (if you see her, tell her I love her) titled Bad Girls of The Bible…and what we can learn from them.
She tries to put herself in Lot’s wife’s shoes and gives reasons why she might have looked back…after all, don’t we all have “reasons” for our disobedience?
1) She missed the warning, don’t look back (Genesis 19:17) over the wailing of her daughters.
2) In her grief, she simply forgot the angel’s dire prediction.
3) She was curious (many an act of disobedience have been a result of curiosity).
4) She dropped something and turned to pick it up (what’s that one thing you have that’s soooo valuable, that you’d turn to pick–if you didn’t know you ran the risk of being turned to a pillar of salt?)
5) she tripped over her tunic in her haste.
6) She heard a cry for help and was moved by compassion to look. (Us women and our compassion)
7) She mourned her family and friends, lost to her forever.
8) She longed for all the material things she had left behind. (Maybe a pair of louboutins, or her school leaving certificate… certainly she needed to work in this new city)
9) She clung to memories of the past and dreaded the future (nostalgia maybe… many a time, we’ve felt the need to return to the past, to a place of certainty. I get afraid of the future sometimes)
10) She and Lot had an argument and out of habit, she whipped her head in the other direction… she didn’t mean to look back… it was the devil. (that excuse must have still been in vogue by then).
Lot’s wife (let’s call her Lottie) wasn’t singled out for punishment–“one wrong move and the woman gets it”–but rather, she chose her fate by choosing to disobey the CLEAR command of the Lord. She merely turned to look back but what she saw, the rest of them never knew.
…and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26
In conclusion, this is not an attempt to make light the consequences of disobedience, or try to play judge in any way. I just want to call out to our conscience. Lottie is a perfect example of how a “little disobedience” can alter the course of our lives forever.
Being removed from her circumstances, it’s easy to accuse her and blame her for disobeying simple and clear instructions. It’s easy to forget our disobedience day in and day out.
God’s actions are a function of His omniscience, omnipotence and all other omnis. We cannot question His judgement because we do not know the half of it. But then, here we are, alive and standing–not as pillars of salt though–because of God’s grace. Let us thank Him every day!
Source: I am not enough
So I thought we should do some poetry tonight… here goes!
I have so much to say
But my words
They won’t be enough
To say my sweet nothings
To keep you from walking
When you get up to leave
These arms are not long enough
To reach you
Not strong enough
To hold you, to keep you
My eyes do not cry enough
To tell the truth
My tears not wet enough
To drown me, drown us
Keep us in loving memory
When you get up to leave
This heart cannot break enough
To kill me
To pour me out
Bleed me empty
Say the words I never could
I love you, I need you
I’m shit without you
Will not be enough
To keep you
Change your mind…
When you get up to leave
There’s only will, and this old man
Sitting by a drain, saying he’s sorry
Passport beside him, dressed in rags
Dregs of stories come to haunt finally
There are no time towers in cities anymore.
There’s a clock still beneath the streets.
What does a road want? A Nairobi vagrant
Scarcely ten, had once spoken to him of love
There’s only will, this old man knows
All the road wants are walkers. Stamps
Stories and emphasis are coincidental. Men are
Sorry, always, when they write the story.