Archive for August, 2013


The Fall


THE FALL

 

The perfectly golden ring fell,
spiraling;
Before it kissed the surface of the fires of Doom that formed it.
It glowed incandescent,
brighter than the human eyes could take
before slowly, it dimed
and abruptly winked out of existence.
Melted.
Disintegrated.
The Eye bulged in disbelief;
Rings of fire that formed its lashes
Aflame.
A terrible scream;
One the ears of man had never heard before
Neither had the dwarves,
Or elves,
With their immortal years.
Teeth gritted,
Hands gripped weapons tighter,
Eyes bulging from sockets.
Fighting not to lose themselves,
To the madness the screams promised.
The Eye fell.
All eyes watched, transfixed.
Mordor! Mordor!! Mordor!!!
Ah! How you have come undone,
How your yoke evil on Middle Earth
Has been broken, O Sauron!
And the Tower that was built to hold your Eye,
Look! See how it falls!
It gives up its bones,
The bones used to build it up.
The skulls
of men
of dwarves
of creatures long extinct.
Their souls cry as one with relief;
As the mighty eye meets the ground.
At last!
Vanquished!
And all the creatures of Middle Earth
Stand and gaze in wonder
As the ground opens
and swallowed up the servants
Of Sauron.
Of Darkness.
Peace is come.

————————
So, I watched the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King for the umpteenth time yesterday and this wrote itself in my head.
*Shrug*

Have a lovely weekend!
Jana!

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Fate


Nana Yei motions for the midwife and points at the child.
The midwife takes the baby away from the nursing bosom of Ndana who protests weakly as the child’s mouth is removed from her pendulous breasts. Perhaps too tired from the pushing and groaning that brought forth the child, she does nothing more asides struggle to sit up and watch her baby given to the old woman in apprehension written all over her face.
Nana sits in front of the hearth, the heat warming her gnarled hands, highlighting the grim look on her etched, aged face. The midwife presents the baby and she accepts, cradling her head gently.
“Ah…” she whispers immediately, eyebrows knitted. “You again…”
She pokes the child in several places with bony fingers.
“Nana what is it?” Ndana whispers softly to her grand mother, her eyes fixed on the child illuminated by the fire.
The sense of foreboding in the room thickens and curdles, turning the room chilly, causing her to shiver.
Nana moves away from the fire, her chair scraping on the floor as she turns to Ndana. Her face is hidden in the shadows, inscrutable.
“Kill her or be killed” she croaks with such finality, Ndana and the midwife are jolted.
Ndana gasps, as the first trickle of many tears to come begin to form at the corner of her eyes.
“If only it were easy to dump her into this fire” Nana mumbles to herself, still cradling the baby, staring intently at the guileless face of the slumbering child.
Shaking, Ndana stands up. “No…”
Her face contours into a mask of pain momentatily, a reminder of the ordeal she had just done through bringing the child Nana just condemned to die, into the world.
Gritting her teeth, she takes tentative steps till reaches Nana and with jerky movement, snatches the baby away from her.
The baby kicks in protest, toothless mouth opening the beginning of a cry. Ndana cradles her, murmuring softly and stroking the soft cheeks until the baby quietens down, tiny fist grabbing at her thumb.
Ndana smiles as teardrops fall on the child’s forehead as if in anointing, running down into her thick head of hair.
All this while, Nana turns her scrutiny back to the fire, fingers fiddling restlessly against each other.
“She has to go” she whispers sadly.
Ndana looks up, her coffee brown eyes flashing. “Over my dead body! Not this one! No!”
“Over her dead body she says” Nana gestures at the fire as if in conversation, chuckling softly. “Then she will die. By that child’s hand. And it would really be over her dead body”
Ndana walks back to bed, choking on a small cry as her arms shake, holding the child to her chest as if to protect it.
“You’re wrong” she whispers fiercely to her Nana, the seer. “You’re wrong”
Nana sighs.
“If only it were that easy. I want to be wrong, Ndana. If only I can unravel the threads, de-tangle it maybe? Undo what has been done? Set it straight? No. Words spit out like saliva cannot be swallowed. I have said it as I have seen…”

Nana’s words would ring in her ears even hours after she’s left.
She would forget them but they would ring in her ears again, moments before her death.
Ndana would smile up at the face of her wild-eyed daughter, wielding a knife.
“You came seven times” she would whisper. “But seven times, I killed you. Nana would have made it eight but…”
The knife would plunge into her repeatedly.
She would gasp at the pain. “I had to…have you. You would…kill me but…ah…I had… to hav-…”

The eight year old girl would wake up on her feet,wondering why her fingers are wrapped tight around the handle of a knife.
She would stare with incomprehension at the bed and in seconds a blood curdling scream would crawl its way out of her throat as she realizes the soaking mass of blood and flesh on the bed is wearing her mother’s clothes.
“I told you not to kill her!” she would scream.
“Fate, my child. She was fated to die as her mother died. Just as you will die…” a voice, only she can hear, would whisper.
“Why! Why! Mama! Why!”
“A son. Get a son…”
The girl would drop the knife, falling to her knees.
“Alas, it is a cruel game the gods play with your family. Demand a son and yet, cause the daughters to kill the mothers. Unless the mothers kill the daughters first… Cruel game of the gods…”

——————————————————

Hello!
This story was originally posted up on Musedminds.com. If you follow me on twitter, (@Weird_oo), you’d have noticed the links that pop up every morning that are not from here. Lol.
Musedminds is a literary blog and liking the idea, i decided to join the partnership with other amazing people.
Whenever you have the time (i.e now) do pop in there and give it a look about eh?

That being said, do have a lovely weekend.

Jana!

Undeparted


“Susan Okpara is dead”

We sat shocked in the assembly hall, our minds trying to assimilate what we just heard.
Susan? Our Susan?
Susan the Head Girl. Susan the M.B.G. in Princess High.
Some of us did not believe it.
We refused to believe, even as we sat on the pews at her funeral, watching her covered coffin as a Bishop spoke about Life and Death.
It still did not…no… would not hit us as we watched her being laid into the ground.
We refused to let it hit us as her coffin was covered with sand, as we took handfuls from a mound; we knew we were just going through a ceremony.
The box is empty.
It had to be.
Susan is not inside.
She couldn’t be!

Susan Okpara is not dead.

Simple.

“Susan is not dead” Mr Ikon said authoritatively when we resumed the next week.
He glared at us, daring us to argue but no one was ready to.
He was her prized pupil.
Mr Ikon walked to her desk and pointed, finger trembling as he tried to control the tremor in his voice.
“Susan is not dead. She is here with us, sitting right here. We cannot treat her as dead”

That was how it begun.

We were willing to go along with it.

Susan wasn’t dead.

Her desk remained there for her.
We stuffed her assignment into them.
It didn’t matter to us that it was soon overflowing with papers.
We packed them neatly, writing her name on each one and storing in her metal locker.

Her name remained on the register and I personally signed her in every morning.

We reserved a seat for her for school trips.

She was the prom queen and her crown was put on her seat.

It was graduation day and for the first time, we forgot about Susan.

“Everybody come together. Now smile. Say cheese”

We smiled as the flash blinded our eyes for three second

Two weeks later, my graduation pictures came.
I smiled as I looked through them.
The last was the panoramic view of all the graduating students.
I smiled as I identified everyone.

My eyes glanced over myself…and stopped.

My heart stopped.

Then redoubled.

I closed my eyes.

I opened them, blinking rapidly.

I looked back at the picture,

No, i was not mistaken.

Behind me, Susan stood in her school uniform.

Her skin seemed translucent; faded.

Lips stretched wide into a smile that didn’t reach her cold, dead eyes that glared out at the camera.

My hands shook, my breathing coming in gasps.

I looked at her hands.

They held my shoulders.

No, not held.

They clawed at my shoulders as if trying to rip my arms out of their sockets.

A whimper escaped from me.
The photograph fluttered away from my hand and dropped on the bed.

Sweat rolled off my brows and I brought out my phone, shakily trying to dial Lola’s number.

Just at that moment, I felt it.

I felt a hand pull on my shoulders.

I turned violently, jumping off the bed, eyes wide with terror.

No one was there.

My throat clogged as I picked my phone quickly and dashed for the toilet.

“Oh God” I whimpered as I locked myself in.

I sat down on the toilet lid, fingers slipping off my keypad as I tried to get Lola’s number from my phone book.

I wiped my hand rapidly on my thighs, trying to control my breathing as sweat into my eyes,  listening to the phone ring.

I licked my dry lips anxiously.

“Hello! Oh my God Feng was just about to call you! Did you hear what happened? Mr Ikon is dead!!”

My brain slowed to a crawl.

“Hello? Feng? Feng? What is it? You crying? ‘Cause of Mr Ikon? No? Feng what happened!?”

I took a deep breath.

“L..Lola…”

“Yes? Talk!”

“L..Lola..Susan…”

“Huh?”

“SUSAN IS NOT DEAD!”

As I spoke frantically to her, I felt it again.

Hands gripping the back of my neck.

I screamed, phone dropping off my trembling hands and clattering to the floor.

“Why didn’t you people let me die?”

—————————————————————————

Hey!
So, this was first scribbled after i finished watching an anime, Another. Served as an inspiration for this story and if you watch it, you’d know why.
I’d recommend to fans of animation. Yes, it is Japanese but hey, I think the Japanese tell the best horror stories.

That being said, hope you have a lovely weekend and Eid Mubarak to my Muslim readers!

Jana!

The Final Trick


“20 minutes Tyler!”

I can hear the crowd roar with approval from the dressing room backstage.
I smile a little, swiveling my turning chair until I’m facing the huge mirror that covers almost half the wall in the ‘common room’ as it is called by everyone. I watch life pass by behind me.
Chorus girls dressing; one trying to pin a tassel to her dark nipple. I watch the curtains leading to the center-stage part a little, allowing the stage light to filter through, before it falls back into place.
Yells of encouragement, of laughter. I sit in front of the mirror and watch in fascination as painted-on faces come into view.
One girl notices me and suddenly her face is lit up with a beaming smile. She whispers quickly to another girl standing nearby and they both turn and look at me.
They make to approach me but suddenly are  turned away when they hear their cue to partake in the spotlight.
Their turn on the big stage.
They wave and the cheekier of the two girls blows a kiss at me. I make a catching motion and place it on my lips, smiling slightly as she blushes red and hurries off.

“Tyler! You shouldn’t be here! Your dressing room. You would be next”

My manager.
Without a word to him, I do as he demands, walking away from the hubbub of the changing rooms of the other side acts to the quietness of mine.
Main act of the night.
Star.
Alone.
My manager hovers behind me like an annoying bee with me playing the flower.
He is nervous; his fingers twisting at a piece of paper, the pamphlet for tonight’s show.
He is talking to me.
“This would be the biggest! The biggest show ever! We are making millions!”
I tune him out.
I sit on my ‘throne’ and face an even bigger mirror.
What is it with mirrors in this place anyway? It seems like everywhere I turn, there is another me, staring out with lost, brown eyes.
Lost.
I watch him talk, bulbous nose moving with every enunciation. He notices my absent-mindedness and sighs dramatically. I almost chuckle at the comical way his already huge girth expands as he takes a deep breath.
I wonder he has a baby hippo nesting somewhere within his voluminous white jacket.
I remember when he was slimmer, hungrier.
I remember when he first met me.
‘Do you want to be a star?’ he had asked me then. I remember looking at dark, shifty eyes and wondering just how he was going to pull that piece of magical trick off. I remember shrugging my shoulder and nodding noncommittally. I did what I did because I enjoyed it, not because of stardom but I figured that too wasn’t bad. Stardom meant I shared my art with a wider audience an of course, better funding. Maybe even one day affording a new suit and not the hand-me-downs I picked up from charity stores.
He was true to his word.
He made me a star.
But he sure did reap the benefit later, if his weight is anything to go by.
I raise one hand to silence him mid prattle.
“It’s just another show Donny. Relax.” I murmur, a small sigh escaping my thin lips.
I have finally responded and he grabs this opportunity before I shut down.
“Just another show? THE QUEEN IS OUT THERE! Dignitaries! This is IT! IT I TELL YOU!” He walks about, guts heaving, hands flailing.

“Yea yea…” I stare at my reflection intently.
I’m not sure what I’m looking for; maybe glimpses of the ten year old boy who stared in amazement at the street urchin’s hands as he made the cards he held up disappear.
I can still remember his toothy grin, his croaky voice that asked me to pick a card. “Go on” he had cajoled and i picked a card.
I remember his cackling laughter at my stare of wonder when he had produced exactly the card I had picked up.
“Another!” I cried out in excitement; that pure, unadulterated excitement.
I am looking for glimpses of the boy who went home and proudly announced to his father that he was going to be a Magician.
‘Stop talking nonsense and get your hands ready for kneading’ my dad had replied shortly to me.
A baker he was, and a baker he was determined to make out of me. To my father, baking was in the Hughes blood and he was ready to knead me into what he was by all means.
I wonder where the boy who went back to that street urchin, begging him to teach him the tricks of his trade is.
What happened to him?
Would I ever feel that way again?
Would I ever feel that rush of excitement and sense of adventure I felt when I finally left home in the middle of the night, leaving to seek my fortunes as an entertainer? That freedom; that belief.
I look hard at myself and I cannot find him.

“Are you even listening to me!”
Donny’s voice breaks into my contemplation and I sigh, exasperated. I turn to him.
“Where did I go to?”
He looks puzzled. “Tyler, you’re here…I don’-”
I shush him. “Do you remember the Canon show?” I whisper.
H frowns, knowing where I was leading to.
“Not today of all days” he mutters to himself as he walks to the drawers, rummaging them, pointedly ignoring my question.
“Remember the way the small crowd cheered? How you lifted me up and called me a genius” I whispers, more to myself.
“Ah!” he calls out, securing a packet of Bupropion. He fetches me a glass of crystal clear water and proffers the two small tablets to me.
“You’re not spazzing out on me today of all days Tyler. No.”
I ignore the tablets in his hands and rest my chin on my steepled fingers back to gazing at myself.
“I don’t need those”
He looks aggrieved and I suddenly feel a little pang of guilt. I sigh, my face softening to accommodate a smile.
“Fine. I’ll take it. Just shoo. You’re a mother hen”
His smile comes back and dropping the tablets in my hands he holds my head and plants a wet kiss Donny-style on my forehead.
“We’ve made it!” He laughs and walks off. I can hear him scream at my makeup team to get to work.
When I’m sure he is out of sights, I get up and dump the antidepressant pills in a bin.
I’d do without them.

Soon, I am on stage and I feel rather than see Donny give me a thumbs up. I hear my wife’s laughter as she claps.
I smile to myself.
She believes I do not  know about her and Donny. Better off that way isn’t it?
A tic pulls at my eyebrow and quickly banishing thoughts, I wear my mask; full wattage smile. All suave.
I can barely make out the said dignitaries in the audience, the spotlight cast on me, turning them into mere shadows with voices.
Alone.
I wait for the rush I get from the applause and cheers but nothing hits me.
It is all noise.
Alone and Empty.
Like an automaton, I go through my practiced routines with such dexterity, I could have been doing them blindfolded.
After the thunderous applause that signals the end of my last performance, I clear my throat.
As if on cue, there is a hush.

I smile.
Not the mask; not the full wattage smile.
I smile; small, sad.
“Now, for my final trick” I murmur.
I hear the buzz of excitement in the audience; i also hear Donny’s voice demanding to know ‘What the hell he’s doing!’ from someone.
I do not turn.
I pick up a sword, one of the props and slowly twirl it like a baton in the air. The silent anticipation is so thick, I could have cut it with a bread knife.
“I’m done” I whisper and without thinking, I drive the sharp point of the sword into my neck.
I bite my lips at the pain, my eardrums able to pick out the gasps and claps over the pounding of blood.
They cannot see my blood, carefully absorbed by the black cloak I have on.
I suddenly realize they are waiting… for the illusion to be revealed; for the magic.
My knees buckle and I crumple to the floor.
Dimly, I hear the first real screams of fear.
Ah…
Shouts assault my ears and I feel arms around me, trying to save me.
I finally see him; the young boy who did Magic because he loved it. He extends a hand to me.
Slowly, I reach out and take it. I feel his small, familiar palm squeeze mine. I try to return the gesture.
Finally.
Finally.

——————————————————–

Hey everyone!
This was a half-finished tale hidden somewhere and decided to stay up (currently 3.23am) to finish it up and ready to post.
I do hope you liked it.
There was some sort of message I wanted to pass across when I started writing this initially; I cannot remember what now but I’m hoping i unconsciously included it in the story so let me know if you see it.

That being said, I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Jana!

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