Archive for October, 2012


Halloween Special


Feel like writing.

________
“Trick or treat?” The hooded child asked.
Without a word, I shut the door.
“Bloody Halloween kids” I grumbled, sitting back on the sofa and picking up my book.
The doorbell rang again.
I sighed and dropped my novel. I really hate Halloween nights.
Bloody kids!
I yanked the door open.
The same kid.
“Told you to fucking scram didn’t I!” I shouted. He was quiet and I immediately felt guilty. I shouldn’t swear at youngins.
“What is your name?” The boy asked in a quiet voice.
My name? Against my own volition, I told him.
“Chichi”
He repeated my name, as if practising.
“Ok Chichi” he said and raised his head to look at me. At that instant, the security lights went off.
I didn’t see his face.
He pulled his hood back down and the lights flickered back on.
I suddenly felt disturbed and without another word, I shut the door and locked it.
No more answering the door.

I could not concentrate. Something I couldn’t put my finger on niggled the back of my mind like a worm.
Upset and tired for no reason, I decided it was time to sleep.
I live alone.
I don’t know why this thought came unbidden to my head as I brushed my teeth.
I lived alone.
Shaking off my disquiet, I jumped into bed and switched off the lights.
Creaks.
On a normal day, listening to the creaks of the house soothed me to sleep but not today.
Every groan sounded like an invasion. Every creak, like someone was in the house with me. The house seemed colder. I huddled under my duvet, trying to stay warm.
My rational mind forced me to stop with the foolishness and sleep.
After tossing and turning, I managed to drop off onto a troubled sleep.

Cold.
Dark.
I run.
Trick or treat?
I’ve got no bloody sweets kid!
Run!
Trick or treat?
Run!
What’s your name?
Chichi.
Chichi.
Chichi.
Trick or treat?
Colder.
Run faster.
One stinking sweet bitch!
One. Stinking. SWEET!
Cold, small hands grab my ankles and long, sharp nails dig in.
I scream.

I woke up in sweat, shivering as my body fluids dried on my skin. I groaned and stretched my hand to flick the switch on my bedside lamp.
Light.
“One stinking sweet”a voice whispered.
I turned sharply.
I saw no one.
“One stinking sweet!”
My eyes widened. It was that child’s voice!
Suddenly I felt clammy hands grab my ankles.
I screamed, trying to kick off my invisible captor. The hands multiplied on my skin, pinning my arms to my sides and holding my head steady.
I felt something cool touch my cheek.
With sharp pain came recognition…and terror.
A knife.

——————-

Knife wounds decorated her face.
He had stuck the knife inside her mouth when he got tired of stabbing at her eyes.
He walked towards her and gently removed the knife.
He checked the clock on her bed stand.
“Not too late” he whispered.
He bent close to her lacerated ear and whispered.
Suddenly, she coughed, blood spraying her night shirt.
He stepped back and watched her.
She shrunk before his eyes.
When the transformation was complete, he helped her out of the bed.
“Come” he whispered gently, giving her a hooded cloak.
“Work to be done.”
Slowly, she nodded.

————————–

Juliet grumbled as she paused the movie on her laptop.
She opened the door and frowned at the two hooded children standing outside.
“Trick or treat?” One of them whispered, a girl.
“Go somewhere else!” Juliet grumbled and tried to shut the door.
The other child stuck his leg in the way.
“What is your name?” He asked
Juliet frowned. “Juliet. So?”
The two children repeated her name and her security lights went off.

———————-

Three hours later, three children rang a doorbell.


It’s 04:24am and I am struggling to make sure this story rocks for you guys.
I do not believe in Halloween. That is because on Phantom Pages, EVERYDAY IS FRIGGING HALLOWEEN!
This is my third and final Poe rewrite. It also happens to be my favourite because it is my favourite Poe story.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Dig in, zombies!

COLD CLUTCHING HANDS

When you hear a statement like ‘I heard a voice from my past’, you mostly expect to hear the tale of a vengeful ex-lover.
In my case, I heard the voice of an old school friend back in my Kings College days. My shock and somewhat reserved pleasure of hearing from him again was obvious.
“How did you get my number?” I had asked politely and listening to the voice recount the tale, while I rummaged through the deep pockets of my memory, fuzzy as they are, to remember what my caller looked like.
All I could recall was a hazy face of a chum with whom I played pranks and sometimes has dinner with. We had seen a few times after our college days and slowly, we grew apart.
“I need your help Demilade…”
That snapped me back to the conversation right then.
I paused.
“My help?” I echoed, wary.
When a voice from the past calls you, asking for your help, you know there’s trouble and trouble is one thing I have had enough of.
“Yes, your help” he replied. “Can you please come over to my house? It would be easier to explain.”
I remember my silence at this. I was mute for so long, he said several “Hello?”s just to make sure I was still on the line.
A better part of me had been ready to cut the phone and switch it off for the rest of the day. A little part of me, curious little part of me, was intrigued.
I against better judgement, I decided to satisfy my curiosity. What harm could it do?
“I don’t know…” I began and his pleas began anew.
It’s important.
It’s a matter of life and death.
I had later given him no assurances of my coming, seeing was I was in a different state, but I remember telling him to text me his address.
For old time’s sake; that was the phrase in my head.
Weeks after that call, I was back in Abuja. I had forgotten totally about my proclaimed friend.
It was on a bored stroll that I remembered him and the address and quickly, I went through my directory to get it.
I contemplated on calling, but decided to visit instead. Past 6pm it was but I felt that wasn’t too late to pay anyone a visit. I didn’t plan on staying too long after all and he did say it was a matter of life and death.
That, was how I found myself, driving to No. 56 Mississippi Street, Maitama.

I must say, the envy bug took a huge chunk off me as I parked outside a gate, the number 56 beautifully decorated on the side of the wall. Even from without, I could view the large house. Rich enough to afford a house this nice? Again, I searched my memory on this ‘Old friend of mine’. Yes, I remember he did come from an affluent home. He must have done well for himself, I thought.
With a creak and a groan, the gate opened and a security guard emerged from within.
“Demilade Phillips” I said to his silent enquiry-a quizzical look- of who I was. “Tell your master, Demilade Phillips is at the gate”
The security guard cast a baleful look at me and my somewhat rickety old Corolla before going back into the building.
It felt like an eternity before the bigger gate opened and I took this as an invitation to drive in. I drove through, gaping at the actual size of the house.
It was even bigger than it looked!
The security guard, who had been following my car, pointed to a spot where some other cars had been parked. I must say, I hadn’t seen the latest Range Rover until that day.
How awed and somewhat intimidated I was to park my old, red car beside the black beast.
I switched off and got out of the car.
“The master would see you. Follow the path Sir” the guard admonished and left me to find my way.
As I walked, I began to notice how old and decrepit the house seemed. Paints on sides of the wall were chipped, revealing greyed plaster. Weeds decorated sides of buildings like verdant garlands and grew from the cracks of the paved footpaths.
The house was falling into disrepair.
“Demilade…” a voice said, breaking me out of my scrutiny.
I turned and stared at an unknown man; unknown to me for all of 10 seconds and I’m sure I must have had an idiotic look on my face.
Slowly, I began to see hints of a man I knew ages ago.
“I look a mess, I know” the gravelly voice said, smiling sadly at me.
A mess? He looked positively frightening!
Bushy beard, thin frame covered in a faded blue shirt that had seen the insides of a washing machine one too many times.
Of course, I didn’t say this. I could only manage a ‘Wow’.
“You sure have changed” I whispered, walking to shake his outstretched hand firmly.
“Been a long time. Dee” he said, calling me by my old school nickname.
I laughed suddenly. “Too long Roboto. Too long!”
Roboto, that is, Rotimi my friend.
I remembered him now.
And with remembrance came the burning question, “What happened to you?”
If anyone was ever a shadow of his former self, this man was. The chubby lad from our Floreat days wasn’t this emaciated man I was staring at. He sighed and motioned me towards the main house.
“I’ll tell you everything when we’re inside”
I acquiesced and walked with him in silence, our feet grinding the gravel on the footpath.

“Have a seat” was all he said as he ushered me into his palatial home.
Palatial…and dead.
The drapes were drawn shut; gloomy. The furniture was coated with the gauzy film of dust. I could hear the rattling of an air conditioner in one part of the living room, whining as if taking its last breaths.
“Pardon the appearance” he said, breaking me out of my study and I smiled, sitting on a lumpy sofa beside him
We exchanged news and pleasantries.
Yes, I am an engineer.
Ah! Yes! I remember Tokunbo.
No, I ended up not getting married; bachelor for life.
The story of finding my bride kneeling between the legs of my best man, I left out. It wasn’t something I wanted to share just yet.
I threw his questions back at him.
He was an oil magnate.
Took over family business at death of his parents.
No, he wasn’t married.
He lived with his sister.
“Sister?”
And just as I was about to ask after her, a blood curdling scream rent the air. I shrieked, jumping out of the sofa I had reclined in with alacrity. Another burst of animalistic shrieks and screams filtered down and my skin puckered with goose bumps. I turned toward the direction of the sound, somewhere inside the house.

“What was that?” I asked in whispers, surprised at the calmness of my host, sitting still, watching me.
He smiled grimly. “My sister it seems, decided to say hello”
Quite shocked, was I at this revelation.
Embarrassed, I regained composure and sat down as obscenities and curses continued to rain down on us. After what seemed like an hour of madness, there was quiet.
I cleared my throat for the lack of anything to do.
Finally, the reason for the call was revealed.
I listened in morbid fascination to the story of how expensive vices rendered his only remaining family mad.
“Why didn’t you take her to a hospital?”
He shook his head and looked into my eyes. “Family is family. Couldn’t leave her in a mental home.”
How did he take care of her, I had inquired and her told me he saw to her needs, tough as it was. No one wanted to stay long in the house, ergo no servants. At nights, her screams got worse and frightened past domestic workers away. Not even the promise of a tripled salary could entice them to stay.
I was stunned at this revelation. No wonder the poor lad was in a state!
Rude of me perhaps, but it had to be asked.
“Why did you call me?”
He shook his head. “Truth, I don’t know. You came to mind one day. Felt the need to call you, to speak to an old buddy”
I received this news in silence and confusion. To speak to an old buddy? He continued to ramble on and I couldn’t hep but think that surely, he was getting as crazy as his sister.
I expressed my condolences to him and explained how I saw no way I could be of any help.
He got up suddenly and walked to me and holding my hand in a tight grip, he knelt in front of me.
“Just be there for me again. I need a friend again!”
I was quite taken aback by the gesture and the somewhat feverish light that I saw in his eyes as he stared quite intently at me.
I could do naught but agree to his terms.
He greeted my statement with a genuine smile and for a second, my heart went out to the poor, poor man.
“I have to be leaving now” I said, making a show of checking my watch.
He offered to walk me to his car and I agreed, glad to be leaving. We took a different path to the first and I noticed a garden that had a giant obelisk and a statue of angels.
I stopped to stare at the beautiful carvings, greying under the burden of the elements and age. He realised I wasn’t with him and walked back to me.
“Oh. you’ve meet my parents” He whispered.
“Your parents?”
He nodded and pointed out two open graves.
Ready-made for him and for his sister.
“How morbid” I commented and he laughed queerly, sending shivers down spine.
“Have to be prepared” he murmured and we continued our walk to my car in silence.
“Please come by more often” he said as I got into my car.
I nodded politely and shook his hand before closing the door and setting off.
That was how we met and I was determined never to meet him again.

As usual, saying something is one; actually keeping to that word, another matter entirely.
After our brief and somewhat disturbing visit, I got an urgent call and quick as a bird, I was out of Abuja. I did try to keep in touch with my friend, a call here, a text there.
All pleas to come visit were of course null as I wasn’t even around. Granted, I had gone to Calabar for a convention, yet, my convention had ended a week ago.
What then was stopping me from going back home? Was I afraid of my friend, or the fact that the goodness in me wouldn’t allow me lie to him if he asked after my location? Why was I so afraid to ‘help’ him? Could I even be blamed? After all, I didn’t understand what he really wanted from me.
Be that as it may, I stretched my stay in Calabar for a fortnight and going on the third week, I decided I had had enough. I wasn’t going to let another man scare me away from my city. Absurd!
I was on the next flight to Abuja.
I did enjoy a week’s respite before he called.
“You in town now?” he had asked.
I was a grown man; I did not lie. “Yes I am.”
He had asked me to come pay him a visit and I politely declined. Open graves, mad inmates. I sure wasn’t going to go back to that house.
“We would go out for a drink?” I said, offering an olive branch but he too declined.
“I have a sister to look after.” he replied frostily, before saying his curt goodbye.
I must say, I did feel bad for a second but that passed and the wave of relief I felt billow through me made me almost euphoric! I was free!

Alas, I was wrong.
After a few days, I got a frantic call in the late evening. My heart leapt out of my throat and fled when I saw his caller ID. A part of me darned my old friend and curse my good upbringing!
Mr. Politeness.
I picked up the call.
“Demilade you have to come! You have to! Oh my God!”
He shouted and I could have sworn he was sobbing down the line. My pulse raced with worry.
What is it?
I kept asking but the call was cut short. Either he ran out of credit or the network was bad. It was a particularly rainy evening after all.
Fast, I grabbed an umbrella and walked to my car. Wipers on, I drove off to his house.
At the back of my mind, I wondered if I was making it a habit to be a knight in shining armour. My friend was no damsel, which made it all pretty disturbing, truth be told.
It seemed the guard had been given express instruction to let me in because he only had to stick his head out to confirm my car and without questions the huge gate swung open. I parked (next to the Rover again), but had no time to admire the car.
Umbrella open, I walked to the waiting figure who could only be Rotimi. He had no umbrella and the heavy rain pelted him with their watery missiles. Quickly, I rushed and shared my umbrella with him. I was about to chide him when I saw the look of abject despair on his face.
“She is dead” was the only thing he said and walked away from the protection my umbrella provided, oblivious to the chill and dampness. I followed him quickly and entered his home; still was as dreary as the first time.
“I have to bury her” his second sentence to me.
I held his arm, confused. “Bury her? It is raining! And it is night. Won’t you at last have a proper funeral service?”
He turned to stare into my eyes and the look I saw in his eyes stopped me. Here was a man who was dead already.
I wasn’t going to be able to reason with him, I realized too.
“Fine…” I murmured. “I will help”
I watched some of his stiff mien melt and for a second, I thought he was going to fall to his knees. He walked away from me and I noticed his quaking shoulders.
He was crying.
Embarrassed and feeling out of place, I stared at my wet trainers which had left a set of muddy tracks on the marble floor.
“She’s upstairs” he whispered when he had gained a measure of control over his emotions and together we walked up winding stairs to her room. He opened doors, switched on the light and the first reaction when I put my head in there was to run out of the house and never come back. The room stank of urine, faeces and and underlying smell of rot. On the walls were depraved scribbling and realistic drawings of the most obscene and bizarre images.
“She was quite an artist” I whispered awkwardly, for the lack of nothing better to say. He grunted in reply and pointed to the bed where a shrouded body lay.
I was unsure of what to do.
“Where is the casket?” I asked and he looked at me oddly.
“Casket?” he echoed and my mouth rounded in an ‘Oh’. He planned to throw her inside her watery grave that way. How…nouveau.
He moved to the other side of her bed and motioned for me to grab hold of the shrouded ankles. I must say, for a second, I baulked but then common sense returned and I wondered to myself what harm a dead woman could do to me.
A clap of thunder and a flash of lightning decided at that moment to occur, causing me to jump, startled. The fluorescent bulb flicked and dimmed and I felt the sudden need to be out of the room before it went completely dark. I lifted her ankles –how heavy they weighed!- and gingerly, we made our way downstairs. I could not manage the task of carrying an umbrella and a corpse so I resigned to getting myself wet.
He led us under the rain to one of the dug graves and without ceremony, we dumped her body in. He shovelled some sand in, whispering something that was lost to the sound of rain falling on the corrugated roof of the guest house nearby. He buried half way while I stood there, getting rained on, watching him mutter as he laboured. Our eyes met and as if noticing me for the first time, he stopped and walked to me, dropping the shovel.
“I can do this tomorrow Dee. let’s go in.” he shouted above the noise and I nodded, walking with him inside. I left another set of even muddier tracks inside the house but he didn’t seem to mind. Not that I was surprised.
He took me to the kitchen and we removed our shirts. In the kitchen sink, we wrung water out of them.
“Sorry for the inconvenience” he said, directing me back to the living room He disappeared and appeared seconds later with a bottle of Jack Daniel and two glasses.
“Rum” he said, pouring me a full measure. With whispered thanks, I poured the drink down, wincing and sighing with gladness as the warmth of the liquor hit the back of my throat.
He began an odd eulogy right then to the dearly departed. I said nothing, listening to him. I suspect he must have forgotten I was even sitting with him in the living room. He soon quieted and a hush fell. I was grateful for the silence, content to listen to the rain pitter patter furiously and soon I found myself drowsy lulled to sleep by the sound of raindrops.

I cannot say what woke me up but wake up I did. I stretched, wincing in my neck and m eyes alighted on Rotimi. I got up slowly, staring at my friend with a growing sense of foreboding. There he sat on a love seat, eyes open, glass clutched tightly in his hands, whispering to himself.
“Roboto…” I said, before approaching him.
He did not move to acknowledge me.
Was he asleep? In a trance? I drew nearer and tapped him.
“Rotimi…” I said, staring in partly worried and in part fascination at his unblinking gaze and moving lips. I leaned in closer to hear whatever it was he as mumbling.
“She is not dead. She is not dead. Only drugged her to sleep. She is not dead. Buried her alive. Drugged. Alive. Not dead. She is asleep. Drugged…”
She is not dead?
She… She was not dead!
My eyes widened as the import of his words hit me. I drew away from him sharply. Thunder struck and lightning obliged with its flashes.
As if on cue, the power in the house went off.
Gloom.
I felt fear begin to creep at the back of my neck.
His whispering became louder still. I could barely see him in the gloom and another flash of lightning revealed him. He was rocking back and forth.
My heart raced and I quickly stumbled my way into the kitchen where I had hung my shirt to dry off and hastily wore the damp shirt. it was time to make me exit
I heard the door bang open and close and I ran out of the kitchen and into the living room to investigate the noise.
My heart stopped.

Rotimi continued murmuring, oblivious.
Low cackling, muffled laughter; slow, shuffling footsteps.
The living room brightened with another lightning and I swallowed a scream.
A naked, muddied woman walked slowly towards Rotimi.
The light was gone just as quickly and we were plunged into darkness.
She laughed harshly, voice similar to the one I heard the first time I came to the house.
My mind put two and two to make four and my bowels lost control. I felt the warm trickle of urine run down my legs.
She wasn’t dead.
She hadn’t died!
I shook  as I kept still at the entrance to the kitchen, hoping the darkness covered me. I listened in horror as Rotimi shrieked.
Another brief illumination.
She had her hands wrapped around his neck, grinning in feral delight. Rotimi’s eyes bulged and for a split second, as his eyes roved, as if sensing my presence, our eyes met.
Darkness gladly descended.
I heard him choke my name.
Help.
I cowered in my hiding place.
I’m sorry.
I can’t.
I heard her scream in glee, accompanied by repeated, heavy thuds. His blood-chilling scream unnerved me and I stuffed my fingers into my mouth to stop myself from screaming.
I don’t want to see!
Nature disobeyed and the room was brightened again.
Her hand was wrapped at the back of his neck, blood dripping. Where Rotimi’s face used to be, a pulpy mass.
Blood and brain matter littered the floor.
She slammed his head on the marble floor again.
“Nuts. Crack me some nuts” she barked and howled like a wolf.
“Holy Mary Mother of God” I whispered tremulously.
Darkness was back.
I heard her ask a distinct question.
“Where is the other one?”
My heart stopped.

It was my turn!
I forced my quaking legs to move, trying to fix a cordinate on where she was when the room was last illuminated.
“WhereisheWhereisheWhereisHE! NUTS! CRACK YOU LIKE A NUTS!”
I heard her move and quickly, i inched my way to the door.
My mind was disoriented. Which way was it?
“NutsNutsNuts” I heard her whisper. Was she nearer?
I swallowed a scream, urging myself to think. I stumbled on furniture and cursed mentally.
She had heard it.
Her shuffling was getting faster.
Quickly, I moved away, feeling a stool under my palm and suddenly knowing which way the door was.
She was quiet.
I stopped and listened.
She was quiet.
I walked slowly towards the door and at that moment, another brightness.
A figure stood before me.
Her black eyes gleamed, yellow teeth exposed in a grin. Her matted hair fell over her face. obscuring an eye, hands akimbo.
“And where did you think you are going?” she whispered to me.
“Oh shi…” i groaned, stepping back.
Quicker than a flash, i felt her cold hands seize me by my shirt.
Panic seized me.
I screamed, pushing her away with a might born out of fear and grunting in satisfaction as i heard her hit a chair.
I scrambled for the door, hands shaking as I tried to find the handle.
She screamed and lunged for me just as I found and yanked the door open. For a brief second, I felt the cold clasps of her fingers at the back of my neck before I ran blindly, out of the house.
She followed me.
I heard her scream as she came out in pursuit.
I pumped my legs as fast as they could carry me, praying to the Almighty I got to my car. I squinted frantically, trying to locate the huge Rover I knew as a landmark.
Found!
I ran towards it and heard fast footsteps behind me. My hands fumbled for the keys in my pocket as I ran towards my car and I unlocked it. I literally flew at the handle, yanking and jumping inside, slamming the door and locking.
Thud!
I heard her body slam on my window and even in the poor light, I saw her glimmering eyes and smile and my eyes widened in horror when I noticed the stone in her hand.
My fingers fumbled with the keys as I heard her first smash, trying to break my window open.
“Come on!” I shouted at the car as I stuck the keys in the ignition and tried to start.
The car wouldn’t start.
I tried again, muttering frenzied encouragements.
Smash!
I shifted away as the window gave way, broken shard of glass showering me.
She stuck her hand in the hole and tried to grab my, managing only to hold on to an ear.
I screamed.
I felt long nails dig into my skin, drawing blood. She was going to tear my ears out!
With a scream of triumph, my car came alive and without a thought, I reversed, and nodding with a grim smile of satisfaction as she screamed, letting go of me as the jagged window lacerated her arm.
Loud blasts of my horn summoned the guard and immediately he had the big gate open. Without a warning to him, I sped off into the night, not even sparing a glance backwards.

I fell sick after this.
Due to the chill of standing under the rain or due to the horror I experienced, I do not know. It could have been both.
After weeks of self-medication, treating my ear, I got better.
I left my car and moved away from Abuja, going to Lagos to stay with my family.
I do not think I will ever come back to Abuja.

She is out there, waiting.
Some nights, I wake up in cold sweats, afraid. For a few seconds, I believe I see her beside my bed, eyes glimmering; fingers stretched out towards me.
Would I wake up one day to feel her cold fingers closing around my neck?

—————————————————————————————–

Inspired by The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe.
That’s it with POE!
This is a thank you to all who have read and helped me with words of encouragements and creative criticisms. It is always great to know I have an audience to sound out my crazy ideas on.

Please, do not forget to vote for Phantom Pages here for Best Writing blog http://nigerianblogawards.com/vote.php. If you had voted On Monday to Wednesday last week, please vote again because your votes were not counted. 😦
I would really appreciate it if we could make this happen!

Tomorrow begins a new month and I can’t wait to get writing new things!

Do comment and have a wonderful Halloween celebration if it’s your thing.
I’ll be sharing one cup of rice to every child that comes to my door for sweets. How’s that for a treat?
^.^

Firebug


Hey people!
I’ve got the uber-talented Joshua here!
Yay!
Read, enjoy and comment! Peace!

FIREBUG

Fire falls like a fold of floundering ferrets from her face and burns the world.
Because just yesterday she watched the sun poise and coil like a venomous snake.

Her mother lay there like an old carpet; that every time you stepped on,the dust rose to your face and stung your eyes but not with enough force to make your eyes water,only to register its presence at the back of your mind.
She watched her eight year old son whose eyes were wide enough to consume every smiling face and every walking story in a heartbeat. Those eyes were sunken now; he was confused.
The way that she was about Fermat’s last theorem. Why are X,Y,Z and n negative integers and so what if n wants to be greater than two?
But this was not a number theory that needed to be understood.
She wished it was,but it wasn’t.
She could see that he was grappling with the situation,trying to sketch it into a mental sheet of paper so that it would make sense. But every time he tried, the pencil snapped in two and fell like a love that was too afraid to fly.
A lot of things seemed too afraid to fly that day: the birds in their nests, the kites at the park, looking morose as they gave in cowardly to the bark of the wind. Her prayers too seemed unwilling to soar and many times she would sit back and scream at the ceiling like it was some contraption she had invented.
She embraced his tiny body and felt the blood running through it and like a pivoted bar falling into its notch, the grip was fastened.
Nothing was going to break it; not today, maybe tomorrow, but not today.
Because hugs were not hugs unless the skin of the hugged agreed to compress against the hugger; unless its soul welcomed the other in that brief eternity.
The air sandwiched between them must be in coincidence.
Only after these acts of correspondence are observed to the letter can the bodies truly latch onto one another and nothing can distort that moment, not a forest fire not a stray bullet.

He withdrew his face from her bosom and looked her in the eyes.
She saw the tears well in them and then subside.
She saw that he understood.
The message had been clear: I am home.
Because no matter what ends of the world a lie travelled, the lie would always belong to the liar.
She needed him to know that no matter how many fountains he drank from, she would always be the source that replenished him.
She would always be warmth and a good book.
The smell of coffee and the casual shoulder brush with a stranger.
The ensuing apology and the understanding smile.
She would be all the intimacy he needed even after steamy nights at a friends party and at the back of an old truck.
She would be all the breathtaking views his eyes longed to see even if he sailed all the glassy seas and danced on every Himalaya.
She would also be the constant headaches and the pain in his back.

The memory that she had stabbed his grandmother twenty-two times and watched the life leave her eyes while the kettle screamed in the kitchen like a lost child.
Like a lost note missed by an overconfident finger and demanding retribution.
Because notes don’t like to be missed; everyone knows that.
She would be the nudge in his head every time he was upset,the nudge to act quickly and attack the upsetter.
The nudge to protect himself with worries that he would always find in the pocket of his jeans.She would be cold nights and unrequited love.
Because home was not just where the heart was but the realization that the heart was not and could not be some place else and that it might as well sit its ass there.
Because home was not a promise of sweet dreams and laughter.
Home was a promise that when darkness engulfed the mind’s deepest recesses there would be a perceptible nod somewhere in the corner.
A nod of approval, a nod that would mean the pain had only begun, a nod that would forbear many tragedies and hold the assurance that escape would come,narrowly and with the possibility of being missed.
But that it would come.
And that was enough.
”It’s time for you to go” she said.
He turned around slowly without a word and left the house.
She watched just like she had watched many times before a part of herself leave.
It wasn’t the leaving that hurt her, or the possibility that it would want to stay wherever it went,it was the fact that it would cope, survive, thrive without her auspices.

She picked the gallon on the table,opened it and spilled its contents around her and on the woman lying lifeless a few feet from her.
She bent and kissed her cold face.
She then took out the box of matches from her back pocket, deftly struck it, and tossed the hungry flame on the dead body.
She took the stool in the corner, sat and with the lack of interest evident on a student’s face when the teacher broaches a subject he already knows.
She watched it eat its way through the woman’s clothes like a carnivore with a proclivity to solicitude. The drapes caught fire and so did the ornamental table she bought on Christmas.
Smoke swam in the air now but it did not disturb her. She could hear voices across the street and the distant whir of a police vehicle.
She leant back and let the flames tickle her bare feet like sexual foreplay.
She closed her eyes as the smell of her own flesh wafted upwards and reminded her of a family barbecue her mother had forced her to attend many years back.
One of the many family gatherings that did not go well.
It was tradition at these gatherings for her to read a poem she had just written,she could not remember the title but the lines never left her.
With great effort,she parted her lips slightly and began to whisper the words as they came to her

Fire falls from my face like a fold of floundering ferrets and burns the world because just yesterday I watched the sun poise and coil like a venomous snake…

———————————————————————–

Sigh…
:’)
On to other things, please go to the Nigerian Blog Awards website and vote us for Best Writing blog! If you voted last Monday- Wednesday, the votes were not counted so please vote again.
Thanks!
I’ll pay for your BIS. Really. 😀
*snorts*

A Tale of Two Friends


My dears!
Velcome!
Another Wednesday, another story.
Just in case you have’t realised, (hands LAST medal), I took it upon myself to rewrite some of Edgar Allan Poe’s short horror stories in my own way; own style- Modern, Nigerian, Me.
This would be my second attempt, (First was Red Eye, two posts before this)
Hope you enjoy!
A little announcement/reminder at the bottom!

———————————————————————————————————-

Watch your mouth, I had warned him.
He was drunk; he didn’t care.
He crossed boundaries, naturally, and he just has to pay.
He must!
It doesn’t matter that he apologized to me the next day, sober and sorry. The damage had been done and his apologies won’t stop the others at the pub sneering at me behind my back. I watch how quiet they go whenever I step in and I know; definitely talking about me.
Oh Debo, you will pay!

I totally messed up, I admit.
I can’t even believe what I had said that night. I mean, John is my good friend.
I would never purposely try to make a mockery of him.
I apologized profusely the next day after that horrible night and thankfully, he accepted my apology.
Other guys have told me they sense a cruelty to him but if anything could prove them wrong, that did.
I have stayed off alcohol since then; bad stuff.

My manner and approach never changed so he never suspected a thing.
“Debo my guy!” I’ll hail as he entered the bar and smiling, he would throw me a salute.
It gave me pleasure to think up ways to punish him while we spoke of mundane things like family and work.
After weeks of rumination, I had the perfect plan.
The New Year is a good day to die, as Debo would find out.
With haste I made my preparations and my wife, noticing the odd joie de vivre about me wanted to know just what was on my mind.
“Just happy about the New Year, darling. So many possibilities” I whispered as I took her in my arms and kissed her softly.
Spread the love.
I picked up my mobile and dialled his number.

My phone began ringing and I grunted in irritation as I dropped my cutlery to answer.
“Guy this better be important. Cutting into my food time”
Despite my irritation, I smiled a little at John’s laughter at the other end of the line.
“Quick one, Mr. Food. Would need your help tomorrow. Would you be able to come to…say my house?”
I raised an eyebrow.“Dude, you know its New Year tomorrow. Of course I will be busy!”
He scoffed. “Busy doing something you cannot get out of?”
I lowered my voice, conscious of the fact that my wife was home.
“Wifey is taking me to church and then, plan on meeting Nengi later”
“Who’s Nengi again?”
I laughed quietly and whispered conspiratorially “My new babe! Told the Wifey I got an office party. From there, FIAM! Off to my baby!”
“Baaad guy” I heard John croon, laughing. Then his voice turned low and serious. “But I need your help quickly. Say by 7pm. Need your opinion on a certain piece of land I plan on buying”
I paused, thinking as I ran my tongue across my teeth, searching for stray pieces of meat. “Ah but can’t it wait?”
He blew out air- his way of showing frustration- “Well…I guess I could just ask Godwin…”
Godwin?
I chuckled. Surely, he was joking. “Come on! Godwin? You know that guy is a fake. Just wait! The land isn’t running away!”
John sighed. “It’s really important. Trust me, I am desperate enough to consider Godwin…”
I scratched my beard in thought.

‘Take it!’ I urged him in my head.
I heard the annoying sound of his long fingernails scratching his beard in thought and grimaced.
‘Come on!’
I knew about his beef with Godwin and I was ready to goad him more when he finally spoke.
“Fine…” he groaned.
‘YES!’ I pumped my fist in victory.
“But we won’t take long though!” I heard him add.
“Sure! No problem! Thanks man!”
I heard his grumbled “You’re welcome” and grinned.
Bait taken.

And that is how I’ve gotten him in my car, driving, heading to his waterloo.
“So where did you tell your wife you were going?” I ask casually. I need to be sure he hadn’t mentioned me to his wife.
Debo chuckles and whispers comically, “Office party”
I laugh along.
Perfect.
My wife would not be home from her church activities till 11pm. She would most likely think I am home, sleeping off the stress church induced earlier.
Enough time.
Just perfect.

I maintain a stream of conversation, hoping the journey would be quick enough.
‘Office Party’
I chuckle in my head; I am too smart for my own good!
I look around as John drives. “What area is this? Very unfamiliar..”
John smiles. “Don’t worry. You will meet your girl in time”
I don’t know why, but I suddenly shiver, like someone just walked over my grave.
Probably the AC; since when did I turn paranoid?
Conversation peters out and we lapse into silence, listening to a radio DJ play the latest ‘choons’.
Suddenly the car stops and I break out of my reverie to survey where we are.
We have entered a cul-de-sac, surrounded by vegetation.
Something about the dense bushes sitting ominously against the backdrop of the darkening sky unsettles me, causing goose bumps to erupt on my flesh.
“Where is this?” I ask, looking at John.
“Why? The new land I want to buy.” He whispers, smiling.
I smile uncertainly and look around. “I can’t even see anything asides these trees…”
I hear him chuckle and I turn, confused.
“What’s funny?”
He smiles at me.
Suddenly, the thoughts about what my other drinking buddies had said about John rises unbidden in my mind.
‘Something about that your friend John smacks of wickedness’
The quality of his smiles unnerves me; nearly feral.
I decide I need some fresh air.
I make to open the door but meet resistance.
Locked.
“Open the door”
John’s smile becomes wider. “No.”
My face scrunches in confusion and part irritation.
As I turned to try opening it manually, I hear the rustling of cloth against upholstery.
Something screams at me to turn.
I obey my instincts and spy a claw hammer in his hands, grin still pasted like a bad comic on his face.
“What are yo…”
The last thing I see is the hammer moving out of my line of vision.
I feel a blinding pain at the back of my head.
Darkness.

It feels good.
Almost too good; I want to give his head a few more hits but still myself.
Oh the punishment is just beginning.
I unlock the car and go over to the other side and with several grunts of effort, I pull his dead weight not helped by his considerably bulky frame, out and into the bushes. I leave him for a moment to lock my car and when I am ready, I find the hidden path I had discovered at the back of my new property.
I drag him to a hole I had dug a week ago, in preparation, and after a little body ministration, I dump him inside.
Slowly, I begin filling the hole, trapping his body, making sure I do not get any soil on his face. That would be no fun.
When he is properly buried from his chest down, he begins to stir.
I smile and drop the shovel, sitting on my haunches, waiting for him to notice his situation.

Pain.
I struggle to open my eyes, trying to understand why my arms and legs felt so heavy.
My eyes slowly focus in the gloom and a weak, horrified shriek escapes my mouth.
I am encased in something.
Sand?
I look up and notice a barely visible figure.
It has to be only one person.
I lick my dry lips. “John” I croak. “What is this?”
He burst into fits of laughter. “What does it look like?”
I swallow hard, wincing at the pressure of the soil pressed against my throat.
“Why?”
I hear his low chuckle rumble in his chest.
“Call me an impotent bastard is what you did…” he whispered softly. “ I used my manhood to acquire wealth. I believe that was the way you phrased it yes?”
My brain whirs in confusion then I remember.
My heart stops and a growing sense of fear envelopes me. “But…I thought…we had settled…”
“Settled?” Another round of laughter.
“You forgave me John. I was drunk!” I squeak, feeling my forehead bead in sweat.
“Well…we will be settled after this…”
He sits, waiting for something.
I gulp, feeling my Adam’s apple bob uncomfortably in their earthy confinement.
Oh God…

I sit, waiting.
Smiling.
When I hear his first gasp of pain, I grin and bring out my torch.
The show has finally begun and I need to see his face!

I feel tiny burns where my right calf is.
The urge to itch drives me to shift myself in my grave.
After my futile struggle, I gasp in defeat, feeling sweat roll down my neck.
Trapped.
The itching sensation begins to grow and spread. I can feel something-or some things travelling up my thigh.
“What is happening John?” I whisper fearfully. “John!”
He doesn’t answer me and I cannot see him.
Has he left me to die?
I feel a sob try to break free and I swallow it, breathing hitched.
The pain is increasing.
Pricks and stings.
It’s increasing!
Sweat mingles with tears, the saltiness stinging my eyes, forcing me to shut them tight. My lips mumble prayers and curses.
My brain goes on overdrive.
What is is?
The pain!
Scorpions? Ants? Spiders? Cockroaches? Snakes?
Panic bites at the edges of my mind and I begin to shudder.
“Lord Jesus…”I whisper shakily, gasping for breath.
“John!” I shriek. “Please stop!”
I hear a flick and a light beam hit my eyelids.
He’s watching me.
The bastard is watching me suffer!
The fucking sonofabitch!
Crawling.
Up my trousers.
I moan in terror, pleading for mercy, cursing him at the top of my voice.
“JOHN FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!!”
“Do you want to know what is biting you?” he asks softly, ignoring my cries.
I bite down on my lips, the coppery taste of blood flooding my mouth.
IN MY PANTS!
JESUS!
“JOHN PLEASE!!”
“Fire ants” he whispers.

“Fire ants…”
I savour the feel of those words in my mouth.
Delicious.
I had poured a couple inside his clothes before burying him; my own personal touch to this whole scene.
I watch him blubber in terror, tears streaming down his face, snot making skid marks down his lips.
He screams curses at me. He cries for forgiveness.
I suddenly feel a stab of sadness and my heart melts.
I switch off the torch and locate my shovel.
“I’m sorry Debo…”

Pain!
Pain!!
John!
God!
I can feel them feasting on the soft flesh of my belly.
THEY’RE EATING ME!
OH GOD!
“PLEASE…” I moan, in gibbering whispers.
Pain!
Release me!
I hear the scrape of metal on something and I whip my head frantically, trying to see what he’s doing.
“I’m sorry Debo…” I hear him whisper.
A huge scream rips itself out of my throat.
“DON’T DO THIS!! JOHN! I HAVE TWO KIDS! MY WIFE! JOHN!”
“And I have none. I am an impotent bastard after all aren’t I, Debo?!” he shouts back at me, his voice ripe with anger.
The sound of something metallic again; and that is when I feel it.
Clods of soil, hitting my tear streaked face.
He is burying me alive!
THE BASTARD IS BURYING ME ALIVE!
My bowels lose control and I feel the cloying dampness.
“NO!!!”
WHY!.
JOHN WHY!
My ragged sobs are the only things i can hear.
I thought we were friends?
Friends.
Broken.
Jumbles of images flash in my head as the sand hits my face.
Biola; my darling wife. I am sorry.
Ayo, Gbemi. Your father is sorry.
I’ll never see you girls grow.

Oh Lord I won’t see my babies grow!
“I CURSE YOU JOHN!” I suddenly scream, shrieking.
Funny…

This is funny..
Adebola Ajayi so this is the way you will die?
I burst into gales of laughter.
John…
Curse you!
CURSE YOU!
I keep laughing and some soil enters into my mouth, choking me.
I gag, trying to spit, unable to turn my head.
I cough, expelling some and more take their place.
Struggling to breathe.
Can’t breathe!
Oh God!
Did it have to be like this!
Oh God!
Why!

Did it hav…e…

The last minutes of a man…
I contemplate on this as I continue to fill up the makeshift grave.
He laughed.
What was so funny?
I should have stopped to ask him.
What did he find so funny?
A small wind brushes my skin, rustling the leaves on the trees. For a second, I am sure I heard the vegetation mimic his laughter again.
I pause.
The cold wind suddenly bites my exposed skin and it breaks out in prominent goosebumps.
They laugh again.
Panic…
With an immediate sense of urgency, I finish my work and without a backwards glance, run to my car. The shadows of the trees lengthen, as if in pursuit, dogging my footsteps.
Hands shaking, I open the car,  jump in and locked the doors, breathing heavily.
It takes a while for my shakes to subside and I feel sweat dry on my skin.
Silence.
Suddenly, I grin.
“Why did I just scare myself like that?” I ask aloud and laugh.

A laughter answers.

I shriek and jump, eyes widened as I turn towards the passenger seat of the car, the direction of the sound.
Sitting behind me was a mound of sand, in the shape of a human, laughing, clods of soil falling off and reforming.
“John…”
I hear Debo’s whisper.

I scream.

————————————————————————————————————

Hope you enjoyed that!
That was inspired by The Cask of Amontillado by Monsieur Poe!
Do leave comments!
In other news, we got nominated for Best Writing Blog and we can’t win without votes!
Ipso facto and ipso jure, please go to http://nigerianblogawards.com/vote.php and vote! vote! vote!
Remember to confirm your nomination via the email they send you!
Merci!

My last Poe story, we shall have on the 31st of October!

DAN DAN DAAAAAAN

Tee Hee!

Special Announcement


Hey!
How are we doing today? Moody?
Good good.
I’ve got great news for you!
(No, you’re still not HIV negative. -_-)
Phantom Pages has been nominated under the Best Book, Poetry or Writing blog!
I’ll give an early thanks to everyone who brought us this far!
Now, the real voting begins and as usual, I need your help!
*Insert cute smiley*
If you feel Phantom Pages deserves this ‘award’, please go to ->
1.  http://nigerianblogawards.com/vote.php
2. Enter your name and email.
3. Vote for Phantom Pages under the Best Writing section. Vote for others too!
(Sarcastic Centre for Humour!)
4. Send this off and you’ll receive an email asking for confirmation.
5. PLEASE PLEASE click on the link or your vote won’t be counted!

I’ll really appreciate it if you could pass this on every one you know.
*insert another cute smiley*
*barfs*

But wait o.
Bikonu.
This award sef sef. What are the winners  getting?
I vote for a year’s supply of small chops. (puff puff, lamb chops, samosa, mince pies, chicken bites)
I know, I am a foodie. -.-

Anyway!
Going to be late for work.
Yay! \(^.^)/
Please don’t forget to vote for Phantom Pages!
Also, a story is coming up on Wednesday; my Poe journey.
If you haven’t, read the former post Red Eye and comment!

Thank you very much for your time.
P.S: I am looking for a houseboy. Must serve Mr breakfast in bed.
Apply Within. (Seshuaaaaa)
😉

Red Eye


Hello!
Remember i said i was working on something new; an experiment of some sort?
Yes! Starts today!
In case this is all ‘new’ to you, I decided to take on the task of rewriting some of my favorite short stories by Edgar Allan Poe. There are three of them and I would be posting them every Wednesday, leading up to Halloween Wednesday.
I was going to make people guess the original stories butttt… figured some of you haven’t read Poe’s works so I’ll be putting the original title works at the bottom.
That said, here’s the first story!

————————————————————————————————

RED EYE

I am a good daughter. This needs to be said. I have my faults, as we all do, but I have been good.
My mother would like you to disagree but pay her no mind.
She hates me.
She always had and truth be told, I cannot blame her. I am a child of her shame, a child born out of violence. She had always been quick to let me know that; that and the fact that I was born ungainly. Had I been pretty or even petite like her, maybe she’d have found a place in her torn heart to love me. Sadly, Fate dictated differently. I am too tall and too dark; too clumsy.
“Just like that mad demon that raped me!” she’d yell on her worse days. She is OK on her good days. OK meaning she leaves me to my devices –mostly reading torn sections of old newspapers-, hardly talking to me. On her bad days, I am the subject of her well-worded expletives and well-aimed blows.

We live together, my mother and I. I suspect she has a family but she has never mentioned them to me. She mumbles names in her sleep. I think they might have kicked her out of the house; probably due to the circumstances surrounding my conception.
All a guess, of course.
I know nothing and no one.

A trial it is, living with her.
Being poor, I am unable to complete my secondary education- sad, considering the fact that I just happened to be good at school studies- and now I help her in the running of her fish business just few blocks away.
I hate fish; I hate the smell of fresh fish; the cloying disgusting rank that nauseates me every time. Telling her this once had been a bad idea, judging from the sizable welts I received from her beatings. My opinion matters naught and I have learnt to bear the olfactory assaults. I do not own perfumes so I have and will continue to rely on soap and water to wash the smell off me though I suspect the odor has stuck to me, considering the upturned noses I got from students when I was still at school.
“If you know what is good for you, you’ll kill yourself!” She would scream sometimes. Some days I wonder why she hadn’t gone ahead and aborted me when she found out she was pregnant. Even God would have forgiven her that act. My father, after all, is a mad man.
Yes, she was raped by a mad man.
An exception to whatever rule governs killing unborn children.
Even if she was against abortion, why then didn’t she leave me in an abandoned dump-site to starve and die, providing a feast for whatever wild dogs strayed upon my scrawny body? Why did she let me live? Was I some sort of reminder of the fate that had befallen her? A living obelisk; a monument of her shame?
I have asked myself these questions.
Everything has always had a way of being my fault.
The fish mongers sell her rotten fish – “Onome this is your fault!” she would scream followed by a missile of a pan or a cutlery; thankfully, not a knife.
Bad sales- “’This is your fault! You’re too ugly! Chasing my customers away!” -and as usual, accompanied with her friendly missiles. I guess I have to thank Providence for giving her such a bad aim.

The funny thing is that on some days, I do believe it is my fault.
I’d hate me too if I were in her shoes.
It does vex me sorely though when she calls me mad.
I hate it.
I am not mad.
I am not my father.
One would imagine she’d have hidden the condition of my father from me but Oh no!
Not her!
I remember being 12, coming to her fish stall from the public school she barely managed to afford to take me to, in tears.
Bastard child, I had been called.
Of course, I got no measure of comfort from her asides her tongue lashing to clean my stupid tears and help her with customers. I think I spoilt her mood for the rest of the day, judging by her violent chopping of fish and barely veiled insults at customers. A little part of me had been happy, she was angry because they had abused me. She did feel something for me!
I bore her abuses with a smile, naïve me.
Home we went that day, and typical me, I broke a glass cup, her favorite cup. Needless to say, she flew off the handle.
“Idiot!”  Hit. “Stupid fool!”  Hit. “Why won’t they call you bastard!” Slap.
I howled, begging for mercy.
Hit. “You should be happy they did!” Hit. “After all” Slap “Your father was a mad man!” Hit.

That was how I got to know of him.

To be honest, it made life easier for me at school. I would chuckle when the inbred daughters of Satan would gather in their circle, calling me names.
A bastard child is better than a child of a mad man.
“Stupid mad girl” mother would scream and I would bristle angrily.
I am not mad!
I was unfortunate enough to say that to her hearing. Needless to say, I nursed a swollen lip for a week.
I hate my mother.
It is a terrible thing to say about one who gave you life but it is the truth. I hate my mother; I hate what years of bitterness and anger had turned her into. I am unashamed to say that the thoughts of her dying painfully have given me a measure of comfort.

If there is anything I hate even more, it is her left eye. You see, she lost the use of that eye during the rape incident that brought me into the world; another fact she never tires of telling me.
“I’d have been able to see with my two eyes if not for you! Idiot!”
Her left eye is forever partially open; a yellowy mess of dead optic cells filmed over with a red gauzy membrane.
The divine comedy of God or the hand of his son, Satan; I do not know.

Fish eye; red eye.

It became a habit to stand out of the line of sight of her dead eye, frightened as I was by its intensity. It would glare at me, shooting me a look full of hatred. Dead isn’t dead and I am not imagining things.
It hates me and it would kill me soon.
I do not know how, but I can feel it.

******************

It is evening and we’re done for the day.
We walk home, me in silence, she in her usual loud voice complaining about sales, shouting greetings at her friends, mumbling curses at her ‘enemies who want to see her downfall’, screaming at me to walk fast, screaming at me for walking too fast. 
We go home to no power as usual- Welcome to Magodo- and I hurry to light the kerosene lamp which we use. She goes inside to undress and after a while, while I unpack our bags, she comes out with her favorite seat outside the compound.
“Come fan me!” she commands harshly and sighing, I walk over to her, to obey.
She closes her eyes to sleep.
Well, her right eye.
Red eye gleams; I can hear it chuckling.
“Stupid mad girl” the eye seems to whisper.
I shiver.
I suddenly feel the need to close the eye.
Put a paper over it; shut it out!
It is horribly distracting. Tonight, I cannot seem to tear my gaze away from the rheumy, dead orb.
I stop fanning and immediately, the other eye flickers.
“Idiot what are you stopping for” she murmurs sleepily. I continue my task, murmuring an apology. I stare at her faded shirt in the weak light, breast flat with age underneath, hanging freely. A slight wind stirs the compound and her nipples respond obscenely, perking up even in her sleep.
I grimace, averting my eyes in embarrassment. My look is drawn back to that eye.
It glistens dully and for a second, I was sure it quivered.
Something is hiding behind that red eye. I draw nearer, careful to make sure I do not wake her.
Yes! There! It moves!
My skin crawls and I want to draw away but morbid curiosity keeps me rooted to the spot, staring.
I am not seeing things. I am not seeing things.
Suddenly a protrusion sticks out from her eye and with a barely muffled shriek, I fall back, hand on mouth, eyes wide.
“You should have stayed” the eye whispers. “Come nearer so I can poke your eye too”

I shudder, a thousand goosebumps chasing one another, my skin their playing field.
“Mad girl. Keep staring. Come closer. I will poke your eye and eat it”
I shake my head hard, trying to rid myself of its voice.
It wants to kill me!
“You’re mad. You’re better off dead. You will die sad. Come closer…”
I drop my fan, stepping away from it; from her.
“Are you running away? You’re very mad. Madder than mad. Come closer!”

SHUT UP!

It means to kill me!
My mother is snoring, dead to the world.
‘Run!’ my brain screams at me.
“Yes! Run! Idiot! Run from me!”I defy it, legs shaking as I slowly walk away from the sleeping figure. When I am out of its sight, I run to the backyard, burying my face in my hands, feeling tears drop like watery gifts into my shaking palms.
It wouldn’t leave me alone.
It would never leave me alone.
It would kill me.
It would!

**********************

“Onome blow out the lamp! Idiot! What are you waiting for? Don’t you know I use money to buy kerosene?”
Mother’s voice coming from the bedroom.
I study the lamp a little longer, staring at the yellow flame ensconced happily within a globular glass held together by metallic companions.
“Should I?” I whisper.
It just sits there on top of the wick, saying nothing.
I take a deep breath and blow, plunging the house into darkness. I trace my way back to the one room we share, my hands –and painfully, shin- guiding me. I hear her soft breathing as I lay down beside her, making sure to keep a distance. She has the tendency to kick while sleeping. Even in the dream, she stays fighting.
Should I?
I wait, listening to the house speak, begging them to dissuade me.
“Do it…” the ceiling whispers.
“Do it!” the walls cry.

Do it! Do it! DO IT!

I turn fitfully, wrapping my shaking hands under my armpits.
I can still hear them.
“She thinks you’re mad”
“Yes! Mad!”
But I am not…
“But she thinks you are! Stupid girl!”
“It’s for the best…”
“Yes! The best! Do it!”
“The best?” I whisper and I hear mother murmur in her sleep.
I still, waiting for her to finish her turn into a more comfortable position before slipping back to her dream world.
A madness seizes me.
I need to look at her face.
Just one more time before I run away; yes, I want to run away.
I need to!

When I am sure she is asleep, I get up tiptoeing to the kitchen, wincing as my searching hands almost push the lamp down. They steady and I blindly locate the matches. I light the lamp, making sure it’s dim and walk back to our bedroom. I draw as close to her as I can without waking her up and true to form, the eye is open.
“Idiot” It calls out to me. “What are you looking at?”
‘You’ I think, still staring. ‘Looking at you for the last time’.
“Mad animal! I know what you want to do! Always running away! Stupid girl!”
I hear it laugh and I grit my teeth.
“Why are you staring at me with your ugly face? Mad animal!”
“I am not mad” I mutter angrily, fingers squeezing the metallic lamp tight.
Mother murmurs again, and turns. Quickly, I step back, dropping the lamp at the farthest corner.
I am not mad.
I will not run away.
I pick up my pillow, flat shapeless thing and approach my sleeping mother.
I am not mad.
My hands shake slightly as I stand there, staring at her slumbering form.
“I am not mad” I mutter weakly.
What am I doing! I have no courage to…
“She thinks you are mad!” the wall cries out.

“I don’t think you are mad” I hear the eye whisper, “I know you are mad!” It chuckles.
“No I am not!” I shout, forgetting myself in that moment, startling my mother.
She wakes up, groggy.
“Onome…wha…?”
Panicked, I do the first thing that comes to mind.
I climb on her and press the pillow over her face.
I hear her surprised shriek, muffled by the pillow.
What am I doing!
“YES! YES!”
I can hear the house screaming!
“Mad! Mad!” the eye still yells.
“I am not mad!” I shout, pushing the pillow harder.
She buckles hard under me, as her brain gets starved of oxygen trying to throw me off. I press my weight on the pillow, heart pounding loud in my ears. What is this sensation?
I press even harder on her and realization steals up on me.
Pleasure.
Pure, intense pleasure.
“Kill the eye! Kill the eye!”
“Mad! Mad!”
The cacophony in my head increases and I struggle to tune them out.
“Shut up!” I growl, shaking in disgust as I let go of the pillow.
I am afraid to lift the pillow up; to see my handiwork.

Silence.
Shivering.
I have to see…
I slowly lift the pillow, hesitantly and stare into her dead eyes, face sculpted in a mask of fear.
Dead.
“I killed her” I whisper, dazed
“I killed her…”
I slump on the bed, body shaking, tears clouding my vision.
“With these hands…”
I stare blindly at my large, callused hands.
Suddenly, I am seized by an idea.
I get up and move to her. If I gave her mouth to mouth, she could come back.
Yes!
I pry her lips open and without a thought place mine, breathing deeply into her mouth.
I stop and put my head on her chest, listening for a heart beat.
Nothing.
I do it again.
And again.
“Wake up” I mutter, listening. “It was a mistake. I swear!”
I slap her.
“Wake up!”
Slap!
“Up!” I cry, breath hitching.
“Mummy wake up!”
Dead.
The house stays silent, listening to me, watching me cry till I drop off to sleep, cuddling my dead mother.

**************************

Pull, tug, push.
Hide.
All day to myself.
I wander around the house, making sure to avoid where I have hidden her.
Would she smell? When would she begin to smell?
I walk aimlessly, biting my nails to the quick.
What do I do?
Noon.
Hunger.
I sneak out of the house, making sure I am not spotted. Few steps away and I stop.
What if someone walks into the house? What if she isn’t dead?
A wild panic seizes me and I run back to the house as if the hounds of hell were in pursuit.
Walk. Walk. Turn. Bite. Walk.
Tummy rumbles and I wince.
I cannot go out; not yet.
Night.
Yes, night.
Walk. Walk.
I am startled out of my reverie by a knock at the door.
“Mama Onome? Onome?”
The voice is familiar.
I walk out of the room to the veranda.
“Ah Aunty Philo” I say, forcing a small smile.
“Onome you’re home. You people did not sell today? Where is your mother?”
I smile again, tightly. “Oh she went on a journey. No business today”
Mama Philo, the neighbor helps herself to my mother’s seat outside. “Ah journey? But I didn’t see her when she left! Did she fly?”
I laugh, wondering if I sound as natural as possible. “No o! She left early”
Mama Philo ‘Hmms’ and asks for a drink of water.
“Ok Ma” I say, relieved to be going inside.

As I cross into the kitchen, I hear it.
Lub dub.
I pause, listening.
I do not hear the strange sound again and hurriedly, I pour the guest a quick glass of warm water.
As I approach the verandah, I hear it again.
Lub dub.
A beating heart.
I stop, drawing a weird look from Mama Philo.
“Onome are you ok?”
I look at her. She didn’t hear it?
I laugh, trying to cover up the awkwardness. “Yes. Just my…head hurts”
She nods and accepts the glass from me.
The sound comes again, and this time, louder.
I stare wildly around, where is it coming from?
I turn to Mama Philo. She seems oblivious.
“So how are things Ma?” I ask stupidly, trying to cover up the sound of the beating heart with my voice.
She answers me, recounting the tale of something; I am not listening.

It is getting louder.

“Aunty I am coming” I say distractedly, walking inside.
The sound is coming from the room.
I walk in, letting my ears guide me to the source.
My eyes widen when I find it.
Lud dub.
Lub dub.
Beating.
Her heart is beating.
Panic.
I run out of the room, startling Mama Philo.
She jumps out of her chair. “Onome what is it?”
She stares at my horrified expression in confusion.
I smile wildly. “Nothing” I shout, voice unnaturally loud.
I clear my throat. “Nothing” I repeat.
I start laughing.
I don’t know what is so funny but it seems appropriate to laugh.
“You can’t hear it?” I suddenly ask. I need to confirm.
Her face clouds up in confusion. I burst into gales of laughter.
She can’t hear it!
SHE CAN’T HEAR IT!
“Hear what?” she asks slowly, looking at me like I just grew two horns.

LUB DUB

LUB DUB

I laugh louder, trying to drown the sound with my voice.
Beating. It’s beating!
HER HEART IS BEATING!
“Nothing! Hear nothing!” I scream out, laughing harder.
Laugh harder she must not hear it!
She shifts warily. “Onome are you alright? What is inside the house?”
“Nothing!” I say too quickly; too loudly.
Louder.
LOUDER!
“Are you sure?”
Why can’t she hear it?
“Yes! I am fine”
Why am I screaming?

Suddenly I grip her arm, pulling her into the house, ears shut to her screams for me to leave her alone.
Is she struggling? Why?
I need to show her.
I MUST!
SO LOUD.
TOO LOUD!
MY EARS!
“See!” I scream, tearing off the clothes i used to wrap mother’s dead body.
“THERE SHE IS! SEE HER! HER HEART IS BEATING!”

Why am I laughing?

WHY CAN’T I STOP LAUGHING!

——————————————————

This story was inspired by Tale Tell Heart -Edgar Allan Poe

Mirror Mirror


Hey!
Dionysus again is here with a story for us!
Gheun!
Got an announcement to make at the end!

————————————————————————————–

MIRROR MIRROR

What do you see when you look at that glass in your bathroom just above the sink? Perhaps you have it in your room and it mimics everything you do while looking at it. You see something both amazing and frightening; a vision of yourself. Looking a little closer, you realise your image is reversed and your right hand is on the left, your left hand is on the right, right eye, left and left eye, right. We see a mirror but we can never fully see how people see us, how they picture us in their minds when their eyes lock gaze on us. A picture is distorted, the image in a mirror is reversed and so all we have left to see ourselves are the minds of other individuals. Each individual is immersed in his/her own subjective world and what is called objective reality is just an illusion, a chimera, a lie; It doesn’t exist.
How can we claim to know what is outside of us when all we have are our five senses to guide us? These  senses are hard-wired inside of us, connected to our brains and nervous system. Take away these five senses and we become blank, dead. All we would have left are our memories and imaginations which are completely subjective.
While we could all come close to seeing ourselves the way we are through a mirror, it was not so with Daphne. Daphne was found by Ms Thornberry sometime in 1966. She was taking out the refuse when she heard the cries of a baby somewhere in the bushes just near her shed. As she moved a little closer, the cries started becoming louder. The weather was chilled and left the skin with goosebumps. Ms Thornberry felt a liquid drop on her forehead. She wiped it with her left hand; water. She looked up at the sky and an outpouring of rain came down, the lightning illuminated the night. As the rain picked up and the wind became more fierce, Ms Thornberry was having a hard time hearing the cries that were coming from the bushes. Each drop of rain was like ice falling from the sky and as it hit her skin, it left her bones frozen. She still went further into the bushes as she had already come too far. As she went deeper, she saw a baby lying naked on the floor; the rain had turned the sand to mud and the babies body was drenched in a brown sticky goo. She quickly rushed to carry the baby and placed it underneath her cloth, into her bosom to protect it from the rain. She carried the baby back into her house and quickly gathered wood to burn at the fireplace. She sat in the fireplace with the baby to keep both of them warm. Ms Thornberry could tell from the baby’s genital that she was female and would later call her Daphne. The baby crying ceased crying and a strange smile was left on its face as Ms Thornberry placed Daphne near the fire.
Ms Thorneberry noticed some strange things about Daphne as time went by but she chose to ignore them. Daphne seemed to always cry when near water and she seemed to always be happy near fire. She noticed this the first time she found Daphne when she was trying to bathe her and wash off the mud from her skin. As soon as she took her from the fireplace and into the bathroom, the smile left Daphne’s face and she started crying again. She also noticed a strange deep voice that came and went as Daphne was crying mostly at night; The voice was too deep for a baby. What finally scared Ms Thornberry out of her wits was what she saw when Daphne was 10 months old…
The day was just like any other day, Ms Thornberry cooked her meals, did her knitting and watched her favourite shows on Tv. She heard Daphne crying and realised she had soiled her diaper  She changed the them in the bathroom. As she was carrying Daphne back to her crib, what she saw next caused her heart to beat so fast it almost exploded in-between her breasts. As she was carrying Daphne back, she passed in front of a mirror and the Caucasian blonde baby she was carrying on her arms had changed to a black daemon with a tail, dark yellow eyes and horns. Ms Thornberry dropped Daphne from her arms and she started crying as soon as she hit the floor. She looked at Daphne on the floor and she was normal again, crying but in the mirror, she saw the dark evil baby laughing with saliva dropping from its mouth with its sharp yellow teeth. She ran out of the house to a church nearby, the only church in the small town of Reldington.
1972, Ms Thornberry had left Daphne with the church as she was frightened of the child. Apart from her evil reflection in the mirror which grew as she grew older, she was a very obedient, meek and nice girl. The church people believed that evil had no power over good and that light always overcame the darkness. They believed Daphne was a good girl who the devil marked as his own to prevent the world from seeing the light and the beauty that was evident within her soul, something the pastors claimed to have seen spending time with her. All mirrors in the church were destroyed and this was to make Daphne forget. Even though Daphne could not see the evil people saw when they looked at her reflection, she couldn’t see herself. She looked at the mirror but there was no image, just pieces of cloth hanging in mid air from her invisible body.
One day when Daphne was having her bath, the usual uneasiness crept in her soul as she was immersed in water. She had learnt to handle it better though through age. As she was laying in the bath letting the soap caress and clean up all the dirt from her body, she started feeling cold. She ignored it for a while but the chill got cooler and she tried to stand up but it was too late. The bathing water had frozen into ice and she was stuck in it. The water vapour in her breath had cooled and smoke was coming out of her mouth. She tried to scream but all she could do was shiver. As she looked at the ice beneath her, pangs of fear went through her veins as she finally saw the evil reflection everyone saw of her when they looked at her mirror image. The black grotesque image smashed out of the ice with pieces dropping on the ground shattering like glass and all the evil came out like a big black shadow and entered into Daphnes mouth.
She fainted…
1988, Daphne was now a minister in the church at Reldington. Ms Thornberry did come for sermons but she always kept her distance from Daphne. After the incident in the bathroom, the pastors had called what happened to Daphne a miracle. No longer was there any evil reflection in the mirror after she woke up from the bathroom incident. They also noticed something different about Daphne but it didn’t bother them then. Her meekness suddenly vanished and was replaced with boldness. Her humility disappeared and she became more self assured. Her voice had changed from a lullaby to a soothing melody that spurred one into action rather than sleep. The crowd was always eager to hear her message as she spoke directly into the hearts of the congregation; her sermons were more carnal even though she always had bible passages to back them up. She was spreading the gospel but it was not one of peace, humility and docile submissiveness but one of dominance, power, sexual freedom and overcoming. She made references to passages like Psalm 137:9, Proverbs 5:19, Leviticus 26:7, Ezekiel 23:19-21 in her sermons. The good girl Daphne was was no more as the daemon had completely possessed her body and soul that day in the bathroom…
By 1996, Daphne had opened her own church and the small town of Reldington known for its puritanical inhabitants and boring routines had become more promiscuous, more sensual and the people had become more liberated mentally as well as physically. Daphne was a goddess when she was on the pulpit. Men lusted after her, women admired her confidence, children looked up to her as a role model, grannies looked at her as a daughter. Everyone looked at Daphne but what each of them saw was not the same person. No longer was her image in the mirror evil but now, everyone saw her not as she were but how they wanted her to be. She represented the most carnal side of every human being. She was lust, selfishness, whims, desires, pleasure, and more to every human being. These feelings were aroused by just her presence. One felt he/she could indulge in whatever they wanted to whenever she was around. Praise and worship was so sensual in her church, nobody wanted to sit down. Vulgarity was used in her sermons and the old prissy people seemed to find it amusing and were not offended by it. Whenever you entered her church, it was like all morals, all conscience, all weakness based on caring for your neighbour just vanished. It was a magical experience in an apathetic world devoid of any wonder.
The Priests in the old church at Reldington town knew there was something wrong about Daphne, something unnatural. They sensed it before but ignored it because of her meekness. No longer was she meek but she represented the symbol of sensuousness, licentiousness and depravity of the highest kind. She had perverted the teachings of the bible so much that sex seemed natural and celibacy seemed stupid and unnatural. She had attributed violence to power and ‘turning the other cheek to weakness and stupidity’. Yes, the people of Reldington were hearing the word of God but the word of God is anything someone with a silver tongue can bend, twist and contort to suit their own selfish carnal beliefs, something Daphne did. Someone could be having sex, a totally ungodly act and be moaning Thank you Lord!, Yes Jesus!, God it feels so good and other inanities during the act. Someone could be fighting on the street and claim he was fighting with an evil morally unjust person when the bible clearly states turning the other cheek. The church knew it had to stop Daphne before it was too late.
“Daphne, I took you in as a daughter, nurtured you, cared for you and accepted you when no one cared. Your parents even left you for dead wherever they are; may God have mercy on their souls. What is this you are doing, I no longer recognize you”.
“First of all old man, I didn’t ask anybody to save me did I? You humans always try and use guilt to manipulate people. I’m not falling for that shit”…
“Humans?.. You talk as if you’re not human”
“What I am is irrelevant. That is not the point. You’re missing the point. You call yourself human but what does that mean? Even You don’t know what a human being is. Because you give something a name does not mean you know what it is”
“What is the point Daphne, please tell me. Make me understand”
“Understand? Then again, another label. What does it mean to understand? Is understanding not an excuse for thinking of something else? For instance, What good is understanding that your wife would be raped by a murderer, fucked right in front of you while you’re tied down and they force you to watch? You understand she’s screaming, you understand she’s in pain but what can you do? That is the question. That is the only question you humans should bother yourselves with. What Can You Do?
“Why use crass language Daphne, this is unlike You.. This isn’t you”
She guffawed.
“You are such an idiot. Unlike me? You don’t even know me. You stupid humans think that just because someone smiles to you, that person is nice? You think that just because someone is polite to you, the person is a saint? Let me tell you sugar, where I’m from, the most diabolical evil people are the ones that usually smile and appear docile, meek and polite. That guy smiling there is in so much pain, in so much sorrow and he needs to smile to keep himself from killing someone or ending his own life. That girl over there that looks so depressed is actually happy, very happy. She’s just protecting herself from her fellow dumb humans by wearing a cloak of solemness and sadness. Inside, she’s as happy as a thousand orgasms happening simultaneously.”
“You always answer my question with other questions Daphne. I want you to stop this madness. This isn’t the way the church is run.. This is blasphemy!”
“Who made the rules? You? Me?, I don’t know. Who says the church is meant to be run a particular way? You think that because your sermons are masochistic, there is any nobility in them? You think that because your messages appeal to weaklings, there is any truth in them? They are indeed lambs of God, designed to eat, shit and follow. I know a God exists but what do you foolish humans call him? You call him Fear. You worship Fear. A pastor gets your attention not because he is saying anything special you don’t already know but because you are afraid of public speaking and he does something you fear. You humans don’t worship God, you’re afraid of going to Hell. By proxy, you humans worship Fear of Hell and not God. I simply preach a message of self empowerment and self reliance, something much more significant than your stupid sheepish congregation waiting for a God to take away all their problems, give them all the money while they sit back on their lazy ass, fold their arms and call it faith.”
With this, the priest stopped talking as he knew he couldn’t win Daphne in the arguments. Her points of view although morally wrong seemed so rational he had no good arguments to match hers. He brought out a crucifix and a small vial containing holy water. He sprinkled some holy water on Daphne and prayed with the crucifix
Her laughter turned harsh.
The water steamed a little on her face before turning into ice and dropping on the floor. She collected the crucifix from the priest’s hands and mimicked him in his prayers. The priest was shivering. While the priest closed his eyes, praying profusely in shaky whispers to his Maker, Daphne stabbed the crucifix into his throat. The blood rushed from his neck gushing, smearing the hanging Jesus, before he finally dropped dead.
MURDERER!!! Someone yelled. With this, most of the towns people rushed to the church where Daphne was. It was night time.
She KILLED HIM!!! SHE.. My wife.. NO!!, where is SHE??!..
The man no longer saw Daphne but instead, he saw his wife. So did the others. One person saw his brother standing in front of the dead priest, another saw her small daughter, another saw her grandma…
YOU KILLED HIM!!! Daphne Yelled.. All of You!!!.. She started to take the form of everyone in the church one by one as she spoke.. ALL OF YOU!!!.. Her voice had morphed and turned deep and menacing. She finally revealed her true form stretching a distended body, covered in black coarse fur, horns large on her head, complete with yellow eyes and teeth.
The church door slammed shut and there was a stampede. She broke open the roof with her fist and the night sky was filled with red clouds. The lightning was of a green colour and suddenly, the rain started. This time, it wasn’t water dropping from the sky but fire; molten magma. ALL OF YOU!!!!! The fire descended upon them as their flesh was peeled from their skins with each drop. Terrible screams filled the church to match their agony. When the storm was over, all that was left were bones and sizzled human organs and body parts all over the church.
Those who were still alive in Reldington never saw Daphne again. Many thought she had died in the church with the rest of the locals but till this day, nobody knows her whereabouts. Reldingtion went back to normal as Daphne left and the people continued their puritanical and impoverished lifestyles…
——————————————————–
Hope you enjoyed that!
Now the announcement…
Had a brainstorm whilst reading Edgar Allan Poe’s horror classics last month and decided to ‘make them my own’.
What does that mean?
Starting from Next week Wednesday till Halloween Wednesday, I will be bringing you three stories inspired by E.A. Poe.
Modern. Nigerian.
I probably should have made a banner for this but nah! Too much senrere (  ._.)
Hope you’re as excited as I am!
\(^.^)/

How To Be A Vampire


Today’s post is brought to you by Dionysus. He has a lesson to teach.
Shhhh.

———————–

Ladies and Gentlemen, this isn’t some crap where I tell you to let a vampire bat bite your neck and then you slash your wrist to turn into a vampire..
Nope..
This is the Real Shit!
By following these simple rules, you would become a vampire. Vampires are more powerful than the jocks and the cheerleaders in terms of attraction to the opposite sex. They hardly do anything; they don’t play sports nor do they socialise with everyone in school but they are usually the most attractive to the opposite sex… These simple steps would set you on the path of becoming a formidable and irresistibly alluring vampire…

1. YOUR COFFIN

This is your place of solitude, your place where you escape from the world. It may be your room or perhaps a private area somewhere. The key thing about this coffin is that there is nothing stimulating your mind that is outside your control. This means if you’re listening to music, you’re listening to the music you want to listen to. If you’re watching a movie, you’re watching the movie you want to watch. If you’re reading a book, you’re reading the book you want to read. You are consciously feeding your mind with the kind of information you want it to have. All that matters is that you’re in a receptive state. Your room is your coffin. Make sure the curtains are always drawn to avoid sunlight from entering the room. It also helps to turn the lights off so your room reminds you of night. Don’t leave your room unless you really have to and if you do, come back as quickly as possible. Your room is your coffin, your place of rest, your spring from which your draw forth energy and revitalise your immortal body.

2. AVOID THE SUN

Forget all these stupid commercials about creams and soaps that will make you fresh. The key to becoming fresh is avoiding the sun. Don’t stay under the sun and avoid it as much as possible. Soon, your skin would start getting paler, whiter, fresher. The more you stay in your coffin, the more your skin becomes vampirish. Also to have the full effect, it helps to smoke pot. This gives you that vampirish red eye look contrasted with your pale white skin.

3. GO OUT AT NIGHT

Vampires hate the sun. Apart from the fact that it scorches their skins and turns them to ash, nothing ‘va va voom’ ever happens underneath the sun. Everything during the daytime is always so PG13 like life suddenly became Disney Channel. At night though, weird things happens, uncensored things, Carnal things. Vampires are known for their love of blood, flesh and sex. The night is usually the period most people let loose, Release the Beast, Unleash the Dragon but during the daytime, they are on a leash…
So, go out at night. If you have to go out during the day, wear a ring on your finger. This is the ring that protects you from the sun burning you to ashes. It also represents something else in reality.
This is called ‘Peacocking’. By wearing a mystical looking ring on your finger, you look mysterious and people are attracted to mystery. Accessorise mostly with black items, black chains, rings, bracelets etc. Also, its cool to dress in mostly black attire.

4. THE GLAMOUR MOVE

This is what vampires use to capture and influence the souls of other human beings. They do this with their gaze. To do the glamour move, look people directly in the eye when you speak and don’t blink often. This makes them very attracted cause they love the attention and yet are frightened by it. It gets their juices flowing. Believe it or not, it is easier to maintain your gaze with someone than to let your eyes keep darting around all over the place when speaking to them.

5. LOVE ARCHAIC MATERIALS & CONTROVERSIAL THINGS/TOPICS

The strongest Vampires are usually the oldest. This means they have more knowledge and power than the ones that came after them. A Vampire must have seen the grim as well as the good in his/her long time alive. You should have knowledge of things, mostly controversial things that are mysterious but really happened in reality. You should do away with the nerdy techy way of speaking adopted by the youths of this generation; tweetering language, facebook language etc and sound like someone in the 1920s. I’m not saying you should go all shakespeare and talk in the manner in which they spoke, all I’m saying is if you have 10 words to say, make sure you take your time and say them as cleanly and as clearly as possible. Its better to say 10 words well pronounced than a thousand words in haste which usually signifies nervousness.

6. COLLECT RARE RELICS, TREASURES

Believe it or not, items have tremendous power imbued upon them. They capture the subconscious parts of our minds and override the conscious. If for instance someone puts a statue of Jesus in his room or a large crucifix, He/she would start having thoughts of Christ and this in turn influences his/her behaviour. If on the other hand someone puts a picture of baphomet in his room, a pentagram, a black sabbath poster and a skull in his/her room, He/she would start having evil thoughts and this in turn would influence his/her actions. I’m not here to preach to you about morality. We choose to be heroes or villains; one cannot exist without the other. Collect items that are dear to you and place them in your coffin or your room. When your mind keeps seeings these objects or items that you like on a daily basis, it influences your mind subconsciously and brings you closer to how you need to be; A Bloodthirsty Vampire.
Symbols are extremely powerful… For the blood effect, you could drink red wine and let it slither off the side of your lips so you’d look like you just drank someone’s blood. Also, blackcurrant and zobo would do the trick for the vamp effect.

7. DRESS IN PLAIN CLOTHING

Plain black shirts and white shirts, short sleeve, long sleeve, Tshirts etc are the way to go if you want to become a vampire. Drop the fancy colored shoes and the tight jeans and the bright colored pink or yellow Tshirts.. I don’t know why this generation embraces that crappy look but that look just says ‘look at me everyone, I’m a fucking nerd trying to be cool’.
Instead of buying blue, green, red, yellow footwear, save up your money and just buy one black ankle boots. It goes with everything. If you’re wearing jeans, wear something that gives your balls space to breathe and not some tight crap. Black pants are awesome for the vamp look. Black pants + white shirt = ultimate vampire look. If you are wearing jewellery or accessories, black jewellery is the way to go. Its very cool to look at someone’s neck and you see a black rope hanging on it. It says I’m rich but I don’t like to show off by wearing a big gold chain or a fancy shiny silver chain. Also, silver items are known to burn vampires skins. Black accessories also make you look mysterious. Its always good to have a bland flat look.. Not too colorful and not too dull.. Also, the more gloomier colored clothes suit the soon to be vampire. Red, Purple, Dark blue, Dark Green, Black, Dark Grey etc.. White is the only bright color that suits a vampire. The idea is that when people look at you, you should remind them of the night, taboo, darkness and unrestrained passion.

8. TALK LESS

In this generation were everyone thinks they know it all and talking too much is the way to attract the opposite sex, it pays to talk less. If someone says something to you and you tried so hard in those seconds after they said it to come up with something reasonable to say but you couldn’t come up with anything reasonable to say to reply them, just look them in the eye and let a small smile come out from the side of your lips.
Don’t try to be funny.
Everybody is such a fucking comedian in this generation. Stop trying to be funny, Its the cheapest and most insignificant way to get attention. Its much better to speak philosophically than to speak about facts, the News and what is happening currently in the world. The idea is this; the less you know, the more fodder for conversation. Even though you did know something, pretend like you don’t and let them talk about it to you. You can then apply step 4; The Glamour Move. Just keep looking them in the eye as they speak and try your best not to blink too much. Let the tear fill your eye and let it shine with a nice gleam to hypnotize them but don’t let the tear roll down your cheeks as this would quell the spell.

This is all I could think of for now, maybe there are more, maybe not but practice these steps and watch yourself slowly but surely transform to a real life vampire.. Don’t doubt it, Try it.
This is legit shit!

———————–
You’ve heard him!!!
P.s: Best Vampire, Lestat de Lioncourt. (Stuart Townsend), created by Anne Rice. Oh Yummy!!!! ^.^

Once Upon a Time – A Play


Allo!
C’est moi, Madmoiselle Phantom Pages and today, I have something different for you today!
As you’ve probably realised, I try out diffrent writing styles and genres and today, decided to try for a play!
If you see this play as crazy, then you’re most likely normal because it is crazy but hey, Ideas are ideas!
Hope you enjoy my own story about two Nigerian couples in Jerusalem!

ONCE UPON A TIME

SET: IN JERUSALEM DURING THE TIME OF JESUS

CHARACTERS:

Jesus
Mary
Joseph
The Ogbonnas:, Papa Nonso, Mama Nonso, Nonso
The Ajalas: Iya Moji, Papa Moji
Mary of Magdalene
Crowd.

____________________

ACT I

 

                                                    SCENE 1

                               (In a busy evening market place in Jerusalem, Mama Nonso is seated inside her stall, fanning herself. She occasionally calls to the crowd to purchase her goods. Iya Moji passes by)

 

MAMA NONSO

Iya Moji! well done o! I am greeting!

 

IYA MOJI

(IYA MOJI turns at the greeting. Seeing MAMA NONSO, she walks into her stall and sits down on a stool)

Ah…

(She sighs heavily)

Mummy Nonso bawo…

 

MAMA NONSO

 I am fine o! You’re frowning today. What is the matter?

IYA MOJI

 (Shaking her head sadly)

My dear things have just been poor o. The kind of taxes I have been paying wo! Caesar wan kill person for this place o.

MAMA NONSO

(Tuts in commiseration)

Eyaa…Nne it’s not only you. I haven’t been able to sell anything all day!

IYA MOJI

(Fold her hands under her chin, jerking her knee)

 My dear what can we do? I can’t even get enough fish to sell…

MAMA NONSO

Ah! Why now? What happened to Simon your fisherman?

IYA MOJI

(Hisses)

That one!

(Claps hand and hisses again)

 MAMA NONSO

 (Looking confused)

O gini kwa? Did you two have a disagreement?

IYA MOJI

No o! Disagreement e no dey this one o! The nonsense man decided all of a sudden to stop fishing! All of a sudden! Ah!

MAMA NONSO

(Chuckles)

Biko Iya m. Stop making me laugh. Which one is stop fishing? Simon? That one that had been fishing kemgbe! How now?

IYA MOJI

(Shows MAMA NONSO her hands and places them back under her chin)

It is just like magic o. I heard he now follows that Jesus boy around.

MAMA NONSO

(Looking confused)

Jesus? Which Jesus?

IYA MOJI

Ah Jesus na! Aunty Mary pikin!

MAMA NONSO

Oh that one! Eh… Why is he following him?

IYA MOJI

Ah so you haven’t heard?

(Claps and sighs)

MAMA NONSO

(Holds IYA MOJI’s knee)

Heard what Iya m? Talk na!

IYA MOJI

Mummy Nonso things are happuni o. Jesus say he is the son of God o.

MAMA NONSO

 (Bursts into fits of laughter)

Biko nwa nne m. Repeat yourself. Jesus said what?

IYA MOJI

(Chuckles a little)

Is not a laughing matter ah! Jesus eh. Aunty Mary and Uncle Joseph pikin talk say him be God son o! Mummy Nonso e tire me!

MAMA NONSO

 (MAMA NONSO Laughs harder. She sighs and cleans her tears of mirth)

When this madness start nne? Ha ga kpokwa nke a gini?

IYA MOJI

(IYA MOJI sighs and gets up)

Wo! Me, I am tire! Mummy Nonso make I go house. Papa Moji would come back and be hungry. You know men. They don’t play with food!

MAMA NONSO

(Gets up as well)

Nne I know. Let me leave you nwanyi oma. Sorry I didn’t offer you anything! Greet Baba Moji for me I nu?

IYA MOJI

(Smiles and waves)

 I will. Oya odaabo o. Greet Daddy Nonso and Nonso

(IYA MOJI exits)

 

 

MAMA NONSO

 (Sits back own and fold her arms under her armpit)

Jesus? Son of God kwa? Let Amadioha not strike him dead o! Hia!

(Fades…)

SCENE TWO

(At Aunty Mary’s salon.

Female apprentices are busy washing women’s hair. Mary is walking about, supervising them.)

(Enter IYA MOJI into the salon)

IYA MOJI

 Ah! Aunty Mary. You’re in today. Afternoon ni o!

MARY

(Sees IYA MOJI and smiles)

 Iya Moji. Customer. You’re welcome. Please sit down.

(Makes a chair available for IYA MOJI)

IYA MOJI

(IYA MOJI sits and removes her scarf)

 Ah thank you my dear.

MARY

 (MARY moves behind IYA MOJI and runs her fingers through her hair)

Your usual wash right?

IYA MOJI

 Yes o jare. The hair is itch me bad bad.

MARY

(MARY combs and begins to wash IYA MOJI’s hair)

So Iya Moji how is Daddy and Moji?

IYA MOJI

 They’re fine o. How is Joseph and your children?

MARY

 (Pours water on hair and continues washing)

They’re great. Joseph wants to retire from his carpentry business and hand over to James.

IYA MOJI

Ehen? But is not righti o!

MARY

 (Pauses for a second and continues)

It’s not right?

IYA MOJI

 (Clicks tongue)

Lailai!

MARY

 (Rinsing and patting hair dry)

How is it not right?

 

IYA MOJI

Eh na! The business is supposed to pass on to the first son. The business is supposed to be for Jesus, beeni!

MARY

 (Smiles)

Well…my son Jesus has his ministry. He cannot take on the business. It has to be James.

IYA MOJI

 (Turns to face MARY)

Ah Aunty Mary! So the rumors are true! You and Joseph are letting Jesus go mad up and down? Ah! Aunty Mary! He’s your first son o! You’re supposed to sit him down as his mother beeni! Sit him down and tell him to stop his madness before they arrest him o!

MARY

(Laughs)

Iya Moji it’s not like that. Jesus was called into this ministry. You see I conceived him before I knew Joseph. An angel, Gabriel appeared to me and told me I would bear a son who would be the Saviour of the world. Jesus is the son of God.

IYA MOJI

 (Stands up slowly, a look of disbelief on her face)

I can see where your son got his madness from. Ori e o pe! Instead of you to take my advice and be a good mother you’re here telling me stories. Angel Gabriel appeared to you?

(Claps hands and laughs in derision)

Angeli Gabriel ko. Angeli Malaika ni!

MARY

(Affronted)

I am telling the truth! I was conceived of the Holy-

IYA MOJI

(Interrupts)

Make i hear word abegi! Take your money!

(IYA MOJI drops coins into MARY’s laps and walks away, mumbling about stupid women and angels. MARY stares after her, confused, mouth open)

(Fades..)

SCENE 3

(At the house of the Ogbonnas. In the morning, Mama Nonso, runs out of her house crying and screaming)

MAMA NONSO

PAPA NONSO! PAPA NONSO OOOOOO! BIAKWA! BIAKWA! PAPA NONSO!

(A young man, NONSO, carrying a bag over his shoulder tries to come out of the house but MAMA NONSO runs back and blocks him. She holds his shirt.)

NONSO

(Trying to remove his mother’s grip on his shirt)

Mama leave me alone! Leave me alone let me go!

MAMA NONSO

(Still crying)

I’m not leaving you alone ooooo! Nonso i choro igbu m! You want to kill me! PAPA NONSO!

(NONSO struggles to move past to no avail. PAPA NONSO rushes to the scene and holds his crying wife.)

 

PAPA NONSO

Nwanyi O gini! O gini n’isi ututu a! This early morning! What is it? What is happening here! Mgbo Nonso! What is happening!

NONSO

(Pointing at his mother)

Papa! It’s mama! She won’t let me go and join Jesus and be a disciple!

MAMA NONSO

(MAMA NONSO begins screaming again, throwing herself on the ground)

Ewoooooooooo! Anwula m ooooo! Jesus anapuna m otu nwa m nwere! Jesus has stolen my only son! Anadioha biakwa eeeee!

PAPA NONSO

(Shouts angrily at his wife)

Nwanyi mechie onu! Shut up let me listen to the boy!

(MAMA NONSO stops screaming, biting her fingers, crying silently)

 

PAPA NONSO

(Turns to face his son)

Nonso. Where are you going to?

NONSO

(Sighs)

Papa…I said I am going to join Jesus. Papa he works wonders! He made the mad man down the street well papa! He heals people! I saw it with my own eyes! I believe he’s the son of God and I want to obey his Father in heaven.

PAPA NONSO

(Shaking his head, looking dismayed)

But Nonso you cannot just leave us. You’re our only son. You need to settle down, marry and give us grandchildren eh Nonso nwa m…

NONSO

(Slowly slinks away from the door)

Mba papa! No! Jesus said we should seek the kingdom of God first and his righteousness. I am going. Papa. Mama. God bless you.

(NONSO runs away. PAPA NONSO tries to chase him, screaming for NONSO to come back. MAMA NONSO begins screaming and crying, rolling herself on the ground)

(Fades)

SCENE 4

(The same day, in the afternoon.
At Joseph’s carpentry workshop.
JOSEPH and one of his sons are busy working on a table.
PAPA NONSO walks in with MAMA NONSO.
JOSEPH notices them and stops what he is doing.
He looks confused at their sombre faces)

JOSEPH

(Motions them to a long bench)

 Mr. and Mrs. Ogbonna. Is there a problem? Please seat down.

PAPA NONSO

(Shakes his head)

This is not a sitting matter Mr. Joseph. If we wanted to sit down we’d have stayed at home.

JOSEPH

(Looking confused)

 Ok. I am sorry. Please what is the matter?

PAPA NONSO

(Clears throat before speaking)

The problem is your son Jesus. He has stolen our son Nonso away with his…his cult.

 

JOSEPH

(Sighs and sits down)

Jesus again. If I had a denarii every time someone came here to report about Jesus, I will be a rich man. Today, it’s the Pharisees coming to complain. Tomorrow the Sadducees would come from another corner. Now you people. What am I to do?

MAMA NONSO

(Kneels down, pleading)

Papa Jesus bikozie nu. Just speak to your son. Tell him to bring Nonso back biko. He’s our only son. Otu nwa a m muru…

(MAMA NONSO stays crying again. PAPA NONSO consoles his wife)

PAPA NONSO

(To his wife)

Ebezina nwanyi oma m. Biko o?

JOSEPH

(Sighs and wipes his forehead)

Mr. Ogbonna I’m sorry but I cannot help. Jesus is not my son. I am just a poor substitute for an earthly father. I cannot persuade him to do anything against ‘The will of his Father’. I am sorry.

(JOSEPH goes back to his work. PAPA NONSO consoles MAMA NONSO and they walk away)

 

(Fades)

SCENE 3

(At the Ajala residence)

(IYA MOJI is screaming at her husband who has just been caught sleeping with another woman, Mary of Magdalene. He is wearing only a wrapper. Mary is beside him cowering, trying to cover her nakedness with a cloth hastily tied to her chest)

IYA MOJI

(Screaming at the top of her voice)

OLOSHI! OLOSHI! OLORI BURUKU! ORI E DA! STUPID MAN! SANGO WILL KILL YOU TODAY! USELESS MAN!

(IYA MOJI holds his wrapper and pulling it. BABA MOJI is trying to prise her hands from it)

BABA MOJI

(Trying to hush his wife in a low tone)

 Bukola o da be o! O ti to-

IYA MOJI

(Ignores his pleas and continues screaming)

GBE ENU SOUN! USELESS MAN! YOU’RE NOT ASHAMED OF YOURSELF! BE DISGRACING YOURSELF WITH STUPID SMALL GIRLS. AH! BABA MOJI!

(IYA MOJI leaves him and drags MARY)

 

IYA MOJI

IWO! IWO! Mary Magdalene abi kini oruko e!

(MARY sobbing and covering her face so IYA MOJI‘s slaps land on get arms)

IYA MOJI

Omo oshi! Omo ale jati jati! Useless girl! That’s how you go about sleeping with peoples husbands! O ri e!

 

(IYA MOJI tries to year the wrapper covering MARY‘s nakedness but MARY holds on to it tight)

MARY

(Sobbing)

 I am sorry Ma… Please…

IYA MOJI

Shut up there! Oniranu! Abi you! Mary Mangelina abi Angelina! Angelica nko! Omo odo! They will stone you today!

(People begin to gather at the scene)

IYA MOJI

(IYA MOJI begins to yell at them)

Stone am o! Kill this stupid girl! Idiot! Stone this stupid man I call my husband too!

BABA MOJI

(Begging IYA MOJI)

AH! BUKOLA! STONE ME! Ah! What will Moji say! Bukky! Ma binu!

IYA MOJI

(Continues screaming, tying and untying her wrapper)

Why didn’t you think of Moji when you were between this Omo oshi’s legs! YOU ARE MAD! O RI O PE!

(She tries slapping him but he dodges. The crowd gets agitated and begin to pick up stones. MARY is crying to herself, trying to hide her face in shame. Suddenly the crowd goes quiet and parts. JESUS walks in to the scene)

JESUS

(Turns to IYA MOJI)

Woman, what is happening here?

IYA MOJI

(Glares at him and hisses)

I see you don’t have respect again eh Jesus omo Mary! You’re calling me woman! Is that how to address your elders?

(JESUS ignores her and turns to an onlooker, asking the same question)

ONLOOKER

Mary was caught fornicating with Baba Moji so we’re going to stone her.

JESUS

(Stares at them all and a hush falls)

Is that so? Ah nnkan be…

 

(He squats on the ground, doodling without lifting his head up)

He who is without sin should cast the first stone.

(With that, JESUS ignores them all, still doodling. The crowd drop their stones and slowly disperse. JESUS lifts up his head and it is just him, IYA MOJI, BABA MOJI and MARY there.

 

JESUS

(Turns to MARY and BABA IBEJI)

Where are your accusers?

(MARY shrugs, still sobbing quietly. JESUS turns to IYA MOJI)

 

JESUS

Forgive. As your Father in heaven forgives you your lies and gossip, forgive them. Sin is sin. Your lying is just as bad as their sin.

(Just as JESUS is speaking, PAPA NONSO rushes into the scene, carrying his wife, who looks dead. He comes to JESUS and falls at his feet, crying)

PAPA NONSO

Jesus! Please! Nonso said you perform miracles. Biko! My wife! She just fell down and won’t talk. She’s shaking. Please. Help her!

(IYA MOJI rushes to MAMA NONSO‘s side)

 

IYA MOJI

(Places hands on head and starts wailing)

Ah! Mogbe! Mummy Nonso! Ah! Daddy Nonso o! Ah!

JESUS

(JESUS touches MAMA NONSO‘s forehead)

Rise up and walk

(MAMA NONSO‘s eyes flicker and open. She stands up, looking dazed. They’re all in shock.

PAPA NONSO kneels at JESUS’ feet. BABA MOJI and IYA MOJI follow suit. MARY joins them)

 

IYA MOJI

Ah e jo! Your mother was righti o! You’re the son of God true true! A miracle worker noni!

BABA MOJI

Please! Omo mi! Have mercy on me!

MARY

Yes Sir! Mercy.

JESUS

(Rises)

Go and sin no more.

(JESUS leaves them kneeling and bewildered and walks away. They all stand up.)

 

BABA MOJI

(Turns to his wife)

Iyawo mi. Forgive me. I will never do this again. I will never cheat on you. E jo. Bukky… Omo toh shan.. Ife mi…

IYA MOJI

(Mellows and sighs)

You will not kill me o Baba Moji. Eh…Ok o…

MARY

(Comes forward and kneels at her feet)

I am sorry ma. I will never do this again. This is all I do to feed. I have no other job…

IYA MOJI

(Helps MARY her up)

I have heard you. As a young girl, don’t go and sell your body for money. It is not goodi o! To be breaking marriages ah! Is a evil something beeni! I forgive you. I can employ you in my fish business. I need an assistant. Oya go and dress up first.

MARY

(Gets up)

Ah! Thank you Ma! Thank you!

(She runs inside the house. PAPA NONSO hugs MAMA NONSO)

 

 

 

MAMA NONSO

(Still dazed)

He healed me…

PAPA NONSO

Yes…

 

MAMA NONSO

Nonso…

PAPA NONSO

Nonso is fine with him. Jesus is…He is a God man. Nonso is fine.

(MAMA NONSO sobs softly and scene fades)

THE END o!

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😀

TEE HEE!

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