Category: flash fiction


Palet, Deliverer


Hi.
I know, crucify me. I haven’t been writing awhile now.
This would be my first proper story since October last year and hence, my first story of the year.
Hope you enjoy it!

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PALET, DELIVERER

He hid himself in the shadow of a tall column, momentarily whispering a prayer of thanks for Sethis, the Pharaoh, and his obsession with the odd pillars. When he heard the last shuffling of the feet of worshippers in the temple and the last whispers as acolytes left, he made ready to move. Silence descended and he slowly padded on his bare feet, walking familiar steps as he had every day since he began to come in here.

In his head, he counted until his feet met the first raised dais. He climbed the stairs until he got to the top, facing the altar. He sidestepped the altar and walked into an inconspicuous room at the side. Inside the room lay what he came to find.

His heart thudded in his head and his blood rushed with the euphoria that came with doing a bad deed.

He knelt blindly, feeling with his hands for the tell-tale shape of the box. When his hands brushed past an oblong object, he retraced his movements till he touched the box.

Yes. This one.

His fingers caressed the symbol of the ibis engraved.

He put his hands into the shift he wore, slipping out a key he had early pilfered from the Chief Priest. He inserted the key and twisting, he opened the box. He dipped his hand in, brushing away the slips of silk used to cover the item he was after.

At the first feel of solidity, he smiled and using both hands, he brought out the tablets of gold. His breath hitched at their surprisingly heavy weight. He stood, holding the tablets to his chest and not as quick as before, he made his way out of the room. He gingerly walked past the altar, to the stairs and down. So intent on keeping his footing, he didn’t notice the guard creeping up behind him.

“Halt!” The Egyptian guard shouted and he stopped abruptly, his heart suddenly thumping harder with adrenaline.

“Who are you? What are you carrying?”

The man stood still, mind calculating. Making up his mind, he set his burden down slowly.

The guard shifted, his stance showing he was ready for whatever happened.

“I said who are you!”

“At ease” the man whispered and the guard gasped his name in recognition. He relaxed and was suddenly wondering what had just happened when a sharp pain bloomed at the side of his head. He collapsed, and the man caught his dropping body before he thudded and alerted more people. He put his hands under his nose to check if he was still alive. Ascertaining he was dead, he picked up his burden and walked away.

He did not notice the second guard who had heard his name said and seconds later, watch his comrade get killed. The guard quickly left to report.

The man, hiding through shadows finally got to his room and with a thud, he shut the door. He dumped his load on the bed.

Walking to the table, he kindled a lamp and smiled softly at the golden tablets, glowing beautifully.

Ramoses’ eyes glinted as he eyed the Sacred Book of Thoth.

——————————————————————————————–

He crept out of the room, making sure he had hidden the tablets properly. Breathing deeply, he decided to take a stroll, allowing himself to be guided by his feet. The guards posted to the palace at night were used to the late-night strolls of the Princess’s son. With a small bow, they acknowledged him and returning their bows with a wave, he walked into the night, his nose instantly flaring at the mixed smell of spices to drive the Nile’s blood-sucking insects back and burning wood.

He walked aimlessly, allowing his fingers touch stones and pillars, reminiscing. Unconsciously, he walked through the Israelites’ quarters, deserted. They weren’t ones to hang around at night. It wasn’t even safe for them during the day.

His sandaled feet met with cobbled stones and he hummed a little tune as he walked through what would be a bubbling market in the day but was quiet now, save for a few who walked quickly into homes.

His attention was caught by raised voices and curious, he walked towards them. In an alley dimly lit my burning torches, two Israelites argued and suddenly feeling the need to play mediator, he walked to them.
“Peace my friends” he called out.

“Who are you? Who is your friend” One spat, eyes shifty with apprehension.

He walked closer and when they saw his face, they gasped.

“Ramoses!”

His face was a popular one. He smiled.

“Ye..”

“You! Killer!”

Ramoses stopped. “What? What do you mean?” he asked quietly.

“Do you want to kill us like you killed the guard? I overheard the guards just a few minutes ag..”

Fast-thinking and without waiting for the man to finish, Ramoses fled.

They knew!

How?

He didn’t allow his mind dwell on that, focusing on getting himself back to his quarters.

Suddenly he heard voices of guards coming closer.

Quickly, he used the not so-well known route he had traipsed with Rameses when they were children, beating his way to the palace. He had to get to his room before they thought to search it!

In and out of alleys, he disappeared, mind churning with apprehension. How had they known?!. Soon, he was outside the window of his room. With care, he climbed and praying he had not shut it from the inside, he shifted the wood aperture and tumbled into his room.

Quick, he searched for the tablets and finding them, he breathed a sigh of relief. They had not been in there yet.

He wrapped the tablets in bales of clothes and quickly changing, he put on a Israelite cloak he had bought out of a whim, after finding out about his secret parentage. Disguising himself with soot to darken his hair and roughen his face, he hefted the clothes and grimaced at their weight.

He opened the window and stumbled out.

As he shut the window, he heard the clamour of guards just at the door and as the window thud shut, they burst open.

Quickly, he disappeared, making his way out of Egypt.

Any place was better than Egypt…for now.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Zipporah looked at the man who had been with them for the past two week out of the corner of her eyes with distrust. He had come, claiming to be an escaped Israelite from Egypt. She didn’t know much about the world but what she knew was that no Israelite escaped from Egypt. He claimed to be called Moses and he wouldn’t let her help carry his sack when he had come. In fact, with the way he had acted when she had offered to help with the sack, she knew he definitely had something to hide.

Hmmm…

She watched him laugh with her father Jethro as they shared lunch.

Just who was he and what secret was he hiding? Why was he abusing her father’s hospitality by claiming to be who he wasn’t?

Curiosity got the better of her and suddenly, she got up and slowly walked out of the tent. Out, she quickly ran to the tent they had set up for him as her father’s guest after he had helped them with the thieving Amalekites who came to steal her father’s sheep.

She crept in and eyeing his bedding, she found the mounds of cloth.

She walked to it and uncovering, she gasped.

Gold.

Glimmering, shining gold.

Even more fascinating were the scrawls on them she was sure were letterings. She could not read. She had always been fascinated with words but her father never understood the need for her to learn, seeing as she was a woman. He had asked her to put more effort into being pleasing enough to be a bride when she had asked to be taught.

She sighed as her fingers caressed the engraved words.  Taking the second tablet, she stared at it in awe.

Beautiful.

The third was a much thinner sheet and had pictures of men and women with animal heads. She stared, unaware of the shadow that grew behind her back.

“You looked through my things” Ramoses said softly.

She jumped; dropping the sheet she had in her hands in a hurry and getting up, suddenly cautious of how small the tent was. Was he going to harm her?

She cleared her throat. “Who are you?” she asked, staring at him warily.

“You have seen the book.”

She nodded, her gaze shifting to where she had dropped the tablet. “I cannot read but I know real gold. What is an Israelite doing with something…like this?”

He eyed her “And since when did I have to answer to a mere slip of a girl?”

Her eyes flash with anger and she stood to her full height. “Since this mere slip of a girl can tell her father that his guest could be a thief.”

He stared at her and she stared right back, as if daring him to call her bluff.

“Ramoses. Son of Nepheri, Princess of Egypt…or so I thought”

She laughed in derision. “A Prince. Really. I might be a woman but I am not stupid.”

He frowned. “I am…was a Prince”

“Am. Was. You lie.” She sniffed, folding her hands under her arm.

“Would a common Israelite have this kind of book in his possession?”

“You stole it” she hit back.

He sighed, exasperated. “Stole a treasured book? How does a lowly Israelite get into a Holy Temple to steal a Book of Gold?”

She paused, biting her lip in thought. She suddenly stared at him with renewed interest.

“You’re not lying?”

He threw his hands up in exasperation. “I am not, woman!”

He sat down and rearranged the bundle, pushing the golden tablets back into the fold of the cloth.

“A former Prince of Egypt…” she murmured in thought, gaze faraway. His shuffling brought her back to the present and she turned to him. “How?”

He looked up. “How?”

She settled herself down on the bedding. “Yes! How? It must be a fascinating story, like the type Papa used to tell us as kids!”

He looked into her inquisitive eyes quivering with excitement and shook his head.

“I am sorry. My story isn’t a child’s fairy tale. And it is not safe information”

“I know it is no child’s story and I am not a child. I want to know. I yearn to know. I am imprisoned here by my duties to family. Only by stories can my mind soar free”

“Zipporah, there are some things you cannot know. It isn’t safe”

“Oh please Moses! Who would I tell? My sisters? They have no other dream but to get married to the man Papa chooses for them. I promise on my life to keep your secret safe” she pressed her hands to her heart solemnly.

He looked at her expectant face and smiled a little.

“Well, I was a Prince, yes. I was born a Prince, brought up a Prince in the temple of Ra himself, I was an acolyte. A scholar. With no chance of taking the throne, I buried myself in the study of our gods. I immersed myself in the study of the book you just held.”

He paused, mind far away.

As she opened her mouth to urge him, he continued.

“I found out I wasn’t a prince after all. My mother…foster mother told me. I had been drawn out of water. I sought out my real parents but couldn’t find them…Israelites of the House of Levi.”

She stared at him in fascination. “What is Egypt really like? Does the Queen bathe in milk like the merchants that come around here say? Is her skin as white as alabaster?”

“Egypt…” he sighed. “Both beautiful and deadly. Like the Egyptian snake. And the Queen might bath in milk but you’re prettier than she is.”

She shushed him, trying to hide a small smile.  “And why did you take the book? What is in it?”

He thought.

“Why indeed” he murmured.

Lying on the bed, he hooked both arms under his head.

“I took it on a whim. Maybe the god the Israelites worship would show me what to do with it.” He said sardonically. “There has always been talks about a deliverer among them. Maybe…maybe I took it for him. What if he came? It would be a good weapon against the Egyptians…”

She shook her head. “What is in the book? How can you go from an Egypt- loving Prince to a Egypt- hating Israelite in a matter of days? It is…not right.”

He studied her intently, mind suddenly wondering how he never noticed how lovely her lips were. Sure, she wasn’t as pretty as her other sisters but there was something about her inquisitiveness that gave her a strong aura.

At that moment, he decided she was a good woman.

He smiled at her. “As I said, Egypt was both beautiful and deadly. Even as a Prince, I had no love for Egyptians. The cruelty…” he paused, brows creased in a frown. “I once had dreams that I would somehow be the Pharaoh and the first thing I’d do would be to give slaves their freedom.”

He laughed; short and bitter.

“And the book?”

“Magic.” He smiled mischievously. “Magic of the Earth, of the skies. Words of Power. That is what is in the book.”

She looked at him, trying to see if he was joking. Something about the book she had touched left her with a feeling that he wasn’t.

She shivered.

“Magic…” she murmured.

A month later, they departed as husband and wife. He married her to ensure his secret remind close to home; She married him for adventure.

They journeyed together to Egypt, where his destiny awaited him.

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“I require an audience with the Pharaoh” Moses said boldly to the court official.

The bald, fat man eyed the Israel in his presence with such contempt. “The Pharaoh does not speak to slaves.”

Moses smiled. “Tell him this slave holds The Book.”

The official raised a pencilled eyebrow. “The Book?”

“Thoth” Moses whispered and the countenance of the man change from surprise to fear to apprehension. He stared harder at Moses, as if trying to strip away the beard and the premature lines on his forehead. His eyes widened in recognition.

“Ramoses!” he gasped.

“Moses. Tell him, Moses.”

Ramses sat on his throne, eyeing the man before him.

“You came back. Where is the book?”

Moses smiled at his one-time friend. The look on the Pharaoh’s face showed exactly what he thought of their friendship.

“It is where it is, until we reach an agreement. Harm me, and you’ll never find the book. You will never find it if you try to be sneaky too. If you threaten my life, I would teach the Israelites the words of Thoth and we’d see how it feels to be mastered, Ramses”

“Pharaoh to you” Ramses muttered furious

“You will meet my demands and then, you can have your Book.”

Pharaoh eyed him.

“And what are these…demands.”

“Free the Israelite slaves.”

Ramses jumped off the throne in ire. “Impossible!”

Moses watched him as he paced, his short brown legs pumping furiously as they took him up and down.

“Impossible!” he sat back on his throne.

Moses shrugged.

“I could reinstate you as Prince. You could have the finest Princesses from Ethiopia for wife. Gold! Rubies! Jade!”

“Free the Israel” Moses murmured.

Angrily, the Pharaoh called the guards who he had dismissed to have a private word with the renegade thief.

“Take him out of here but do not harm him”

As he was being led out, Moses turned.

“You’ll send for me”

Ramses eyed his back as he left, churning inside.

Two days later, Ramses sat agitated, fingers drumming on the elaborately gilded armrest. He heard croaks and gritted his teeth as a frog leapt on his arm. He swiped it with irritation, yelling for a guard to kill it.

“And where is the whoreson!” he yelled and the court officials nervously twitched, unsure of what to do.

“He would be with us soon, Pharaoh”

He hissed, spitting. “Frogs. Using our magic against us. The cheek! I should kill him!”

“But Pharaoh!” One of the plump officials with a high reedy voice quipped. “He said he’d destroy the book if we killed him!”

“Yes! Yes! Bring him here already” the Pharaoh angrily muttered.

A second later, the tall arrogant frame of Moses filled the hallway and he walked to him.

“Ramses. You sent for me.”

“Of course I sent for you! How dare you!” The Pharaoh’s eyes widened with rage as he tried to control his temper. Breathing deeply, he calmed.

“Banish the frogs to the Nile”

Moses pointed at the Head Sorcerer who stood among the officials. “He is a sorcerer. He can do it.”

“He could have done it had you not commanded ALL THE FROGS IN THE NILE OUT!”

The Head Sorcerer threw Moses a look of disgust. “Cheap tricks” he muttered.

Moses turned to him. “Cheap tricks? Or maybe the god of Israel is using me to punish you” He smiled and turned to the Pharaoh. “Free the Israelites and I will banish the frogs”

“No!” The Pharaoh’s voice boomed.

Moses chuckled and turned to leave.

“Stay right there!” Pharaoh commanded he paused. “Yes?” he asked without turning back.

“Fine! Go! And return the Book!”

Smiling, Moses left and the officials gathered round their King.

“But Pharaoh!…”

“You can’t…”

“Free them?…”

“SILENCE!” The Pharaoh commanded and a hush fell.

He looked at his subjects and smiled. “Of course I would not release the Israelites. But he doesn’t know that…”

He chuckled.

It wasn’t long before Moses made another appearance in the courts of the Pharaoh.

“Darkness! Hail! Locusts! Turning the Nile to blood! A curse on you and the filthy Israelite woman that birth you! A curse on the people you champion! Go! Go! Out of my sight! And give us our Book!”

Without any acknowledgement, Moses went back to the Israel quarters, where the Elders of the community waited.

“Would he release us?!…”

“Are we free to go?…”

Moses held a hand up at the clamouring. When it was quiet, he sat down.

“He would not release us.”

The Elders groaned, cursing.

Moses held a hand up and again, they hushed.

“I will force his hand and this time, he will let us go” he murmured to the gathered men.

“What will you do Moses?…”

“What power do you use?…”

“Why does the Pharaoh fear you!”

Moses waited till the noise quietened.

“It is the power of a God” he whispered. “And a God will deliver us. Make ready. Three days from now, we will leave the land of Egypt.”

“How!…”

“Tell us Moses!…”

“Deliverer! The Deliverer!…”

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

Moses sat in his room, the golden book on the table. The lamp illuminated the strange writings.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath and let it out. Slowly, he began to recite, arms wide, voice in whispers.

A shadow made of dark matter formed and whispering commands, the shadow dispersed.

He sat down shaking, wiping off the beaded sweat on his brows. He closed his eyes and muttering, a bright light appeared on his table.

Seconds later, he covered the tablets and made it ready.

The Pharaoh would let them go now, His Book to be returned.

He made ready and headed to the Palace.

His attention would be needed.

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

“You killed my son. My only son.”

“You caused it, Ramses.”

“You killed the first son of my people…for Israelite slaves”

“Can we go now?”

Ramses nodded, resigned “Go. If I see your face again Ramoses, you will surely die. Drop the book here. Drop it and leave. You and your accursed people!”

Moses dropped the bundle on the table and left.

Outside the courts, he laughed, face alight with victory.

“Freedom!” He screamed.

“Freedom!”

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

They left with all they had, leaving nothing behind.

“Your day of Deliverance has come” he spoke in a loud voice.

The people roared in approval, shaking the foundations of Mizraim.

430 years in slavery and they were finally free.

“Freedom!” Moses cried.

The people of Israel echoed his cry.

“Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!”

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

“What do you mean!?”

The Head Sorcerer swallowed. “Pharaoh, this is not the Book of Thoth.”

The Pharaoh touched the golden tablets. “Feels real. Explain!”

The sorcerer closed his eyes, whispering and the air shimmered.

On the table where the golden tablets were before, laid three bricks.

The silence evaded the air. Then the Pharaoh let out a roar of rage, causing the sorcerer to fall back in fright.

The guards rushed in in alarm.

He sat on back on his seat, head pounding.

“Summon the Commander of my army.” He whispered. “Summon the commander of my chariots.”

The guards rushed out and the Sorcerer took the opportunity to make his escape.

“Free my slaves. Trick the Pharaoh. He will surely die…” he murmured, making a tight fist with his hands.

“He will die!”

He slammed his hand on the desk vehemently.

“Ramoses!”

 

Forty Years Later.

Moses walked to the Tent of Meeting, followed behind by the young man and would-be successor he had chosen, Joshua, who had a bag slung over his shoulder. He breathed heavily at the weight.

“What is in the bag?” he asked for the umpteenth time that night and Moses ignored him.

Inside the tent, Moses commanded him to leave the bag and step out.

Once out, Moses gingerly moved the bag into the Holiest of the Holies.

He stopped to admire the golden Ark of Covenant which was placed in the middle.

Slowly, he pushed off the lid of the ark.

Forcing his old muscles to move, he hefted each tablet placing them into the Box.

When the third sheet was in, he breathed hard, wiping his forehead. With shaking hands, he pulled back the lid to the Ark of the Covenant.

The next day, he gathered the High Priest and Levites.

“The Ark of the Covenant must never be opened. It is a Symbol of a God’s Power and Knowledge” he whispered to the small gathering. “It shall be carried by the Levites after they have sanctified themselves”

They nodded in agreement.

Moses sighed and closed his eyes, satisfied.

He had found a new home for the Sacred Book of Thoth.

The End

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Fact or Fantastic Fiction?

Day 31- Tartarus


Hello!!!
So glad to be saying that today would be the last day of the 31 day challenge!! Yaaay! ^_^
And of course, the last day of the year 2012. Yay. -_-

Today, I have a lovely piece custom-made requested from @VokePella and provided by Monsieur @Griffinstreaks!
Totally enjoyed reading it, and hope you do!

TARTARUS

Darkness.
It is all that can be said of this gloomy place, in sight and in mind. It is all you will know dwelling here  yet, our punishment has not been served; we simply wait for the appointed time. To imagine our Creator and Father prepared a place much worse than Tartarus is the only frightening pronouncement that shakes any of us, all 200 of us.

Our sin? One of the most abominable of them all; we lay with women, born of man and they bore us children.

The Nephilims, a creation most forbidden; Father sent 40 days of rain down upon all the Earth to wipe them off the land. It succeeded in cornering a few, in drowning a few but some still survived, some still exist. In that we all take pride, that our new lineage (for our former brothers have disowned and disavowed us) will continue till the end of the age of man.

My anger is eternal, to my Father, to my distanced brothers and most especially, to Man, for his favours are many, obtaining preference over my kind. In subtle and quiet ways we have funnelled messages and plans to our children on earth, shown them and coached them in the best ways to conceal themselves, to mislead man, to assure his destruction will coincide with ours. We are well aware of our fate, that forgiveness cannot be sought at the foot of My Father; my kind is not permitted that, but man is.

Uriel, my former commander never shows himself.  The last I saw of him was 70 centuries ago- if my counting is precise- in his splendour  He had come to inspect our prisons and chains. We all saw what we once were in the appearance of his radiance- resplendent and divinely blinding in all the glory Father had bestowed upon him- compared to what we are now; blackened skin, featherless wings and a gust of hate, anger and destruction swirling around us. Our voices are coarse with bitterness and the vilest of words; voices which once were instruments of sweet praise and adoration to Father.

The Tartaruchi, the worst of Uriel’s kind, the keepers of this dark prison remind us of our impending doom; they look forward to our imminent end, rebuking us for falling so easily for the lust of the flesh but they will never understand how these beauties our Father created can barely be resisted; woman.
Daughters of Eve; so sensual and giving, dotting and devoted. I once tried explaining to their leader Temeluchus, a most feared creature, even viler than I ever was during the time of the wars. His features momentarily softened as I told him of the joys and pleasures promised in the bosom of a woman; it did not last long; he scorned me and rebuked me openly, flaying my side with his great sword.

There are periods when I sense the hate amongst my kind, my own brothers, creatures I once led into both battle and damnation. One dared look me in the eye long enough for me to perceive his thoughts. I tore him to shreds before his brothers, wing from bone flesh from skull, as a lesson to those who easily forget that like me, they chose this fate, not ignorant of the consequences.

Till the Day of Judgement, my children work tirelessly to ensure damnation is not solely apportioned upon me and my brothers alone. Man shall join us in the Rivers of Fire and Torture or whatever Father sees fit to condemn us to. For every one of us Watchers, hundreds of millions shall be made to taste the bitterness of a dark eternity. This much of my word I have given to my brothers and it will never be empty, even within these confines of darkness and ashes.

As I sit here looking into the dark, perceiving and sensing my brothers as they continually grow restless, I sense a coming finality. It has never been so strong before. The time is surely near, the Tartaruchi have doubled their postings around Tartarus and they are now adorned with ceremonial armour.

“Brothers, the promise I made to you on our last day of glory is upon us, our Day of Judgment draws near, imminently closer, and so does that of Man…”

I say these words like never before, filled with hate and anger so great, I leap to the highest point of our prison and raise a familiar battle cry. My brothers shout with me “..did I not promise you all this small consolation?! Have I not given it?!”

Even in defeat, I can sense the satisfaction in their spirits, our wounds shall never be healed until that most insignificant creature dwells in the same place my Father sends us to.
It shall be so, I swear it.
I am pulled from my thoughts as I hear a mighty trumpet, then another and another, by the time the seventh one goes off, my brothers above it all chant my name.
The feeling of pride and glory return, for it has been ages since my name was called; Samyaza! Samyaza! Samyaza!

 

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Am I the only one that had little shivers of pleasure at the end? Yes? (   ._.)
A big thank you to Griffinstreaks for this!
I’d drop a book recommendation, if you love tales of the Nephilims and Watches. Well, three books.
The Grigori Trilogy by Storm Constantine. (Stalking Tender Prey, Stealing Sacred Fire and Scenting Hallowed Blood)
You would love it! Promise!

The perfect way to end a perfect run!!
Thank you to all the contributors:  Dionysus, Taryhel, Coolprinceee, The Anonymous guys, Aina (iamosegun), Samson, (Nosmass_Efx) and Griffin sama!!
A special shout-out to Ms Mae Gregory for following every post and her Time Capsule post that gave me the idea for Sakura Blooms.
Another special shout-out to Voke Pella for hooking me up with this swanky post to end the year!

And the most special of shout-outs, to everyone who read our chatterin and nattering, sensible or not!

2013 would be a good year for us all and we’d all live to grumle about me doing a 31day challenge come Decemer, 2013
😀

Oh and this is a big, big hug to everyone who made my 2012 special.

And an even more special Phantom Page shout-out to my Edwin!!!
Thank you for organising the blog and taking over from me when I ran away!
God bless you! I’ve always got your back!

Preying Mantis, don’t think i’ve forgotten you. Evil pest, you! :* 😉

That’s all folks!

TEE. HEE! 😀

Day 24 – The Bold Chicken


Hello! It’s a beautiful Monday morning! Kidding. -_-.
It’s a gloomy Monday and what better to boost moods than a story? Yes, I have a story!
Silly-ish! Enoy!

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THE BOLD CHICKEN

Obinna woke up and for a second he had no idea what day it was.
Then he remembered…and grinned. One looking at him would have described his smile as almost feral, yellow teeth glistening dully between dry, cracked lips.
“Today na today!” he murmured as he got out of bed – an old mattress, soft with age.
He yawned, stretching his arms as far as they could go up his head- which wasn’t far, considering his short stature.
‘Small stout’ his friends would call him in jest.

He walked over to the black polythene bad near his bed and after a search, punctuated by his yawning, brought out a white singlet which he donned quickly and left the room. He walked into a sparsely furnished and dark living room and peered closely at an unremarkable clock on the wall. Muttering and pointing, his face was scrunched up in concentration.
“Aha!” he whispered at last, smiling in satisfaction, as if he had just deciphered a particularly difficult code.
“It is thirty past six” he murmured, thirty pronounced ‘taati’.
With another smile, he left and walked into what seemed to be a kitchen. He scurried around in the darkness and came out triumphant with a knife and a bowl.
“Jezas good morning Sir” he sang softly under his breath as he used a key he must have retrieved from the living room to open the door. He walked back in to drop out and came out a few second later, picked the bowl with the knife and walked outside into the morning.
He took a deep breath and smiled, remembering his village. It almost smelled the same, thanks to the grassy pasture his Master and his wife had grown around the compound.
With a spring in his step, he walked to the back of the house, whistling a Christmas tune under his breath.
He got out a stool from a corner and placed it beside the gutter.
He brought the knife and with flourish, swiped it on the cemented ground.
He grinned, part excited about the crisp sound the metal made as it came in contact with the ground.
“Anyi ga eri sha sha! All correct Sah!” he said excitedly, shaking his shoulders in glee. “We will eat prenty!”
He swiped the knife a few more times, and testing its blade with his fingers, he decided it was sharp enough.
He got off the stool, knife on hand and walked till he got to a metal cage where cluckings were heard.
A hen poked its head out of the bars of its cage and Obinna gestured to it.
“Today na today!” he jumped up and broke into a dance, wriggling his waist as he made stabbing gestures to the floor.
“You willi dah-co-rate our prate today” he chortled.
The hen stared at him calmly, head twitching every few seconds.
“Anyi ga eri gwo gwo! All correct Sah!” he mock saluted at his poultry audience and burst into gales of laughter.
“When I serve Oga and Madam food today, I will sarut like dis and say All correct Sah!” he told the hen.
He cradled the knife under his armpit and opened the cage.
As he reached inside to grab the hen, it flew into his face, causing him to shriek in surprise, dropping back and allowing the hen escape.
“Chimo!” he shouted, and gave pursuit, knife in hand, swearing oaths on how he was going to kill it mercilessly.
The hen eluded him, managing to slip from his fingers every time he tried to grab a hold of its feathers.
“I che n’inwa anya! You think you’re bold ookwa ya!” he muttered furiously, trying to herd the taciturn hen to the back of the house.
It made for the front gate and his eyes widened in realisation and horror.
There was a gape just at the base of the gate where the hen could slip through. He had been told to fix it since by his Master but had postponed it due to laziness.
True to word, the hen shimmied through the opening, and Obinna caught it- ALMOST!
The hen disappeared and he heard its triumphant clucking as it ran its merry way off.
Tears came unbidden to his eyes add he imagined the reaction of his Master when he’d wake up later to find out that the Christmas chicken he had bought -quite expensively, as he boasted to his wife- had just run away.
Even more sorrowful, the fact that for the first time in many years, he won’t be eating chicken on Christmas day.

——————————————————————————————-

Eshinshin carry pomo!
Lol dunno why I felt the need to type that!
How is everyone enjoying their holiday? Good?
Well I’ve got no holiday. Got work today. Yes, My boss is a Grinch but hey! Free lunch!
\(^.^)/
You have a lovely day and be safe!!!

Day 23


I’ve been abandoning you all to my guest writers. This is because I’ve been having trouble writing anything. Frustrating.
Still having troubles writing. Kinda.
Not sure what id be doing today.
Well I’ll write on the spot.
Good luck!

————————
THE WEAVER

Mother looks at me with disappointment. Her thin lips fold downward as she shakes her head in silence.
I pretend like i can’t see her; head bent down.
We are sitting in the small living room. We’ve converted it into our work spaces.
She on her sewing machine, I on my typewriter.
On a normal evening, the cacophony of the clucking keys and the whirring machine lulls me into a near doze.
Today isn’t one of those days. We’ve had an argument again about my career.
Why won’t you follow my path? Be a seamstress. Stop living in a fool’s paradise. We cannot afford your hobby.
She never understood my need to write. She hasn’t even forgiven me for selling my meagre belongings to buy a deadbeat typewriter.
A waste of time, she hissed as she watched me clean my joy meticulously.
She sighs again and goes back to her sewing.
My fingers hover hesitantly on the keys.
I rip out the paper and insert a new one.

THE WEAVER.
I title the page.
I watch my mother out of the corner of my eyes as she works and the opening paragraph comes to me.

“Her head bent, she sews. My head bent, I write. A weaver of cloth; a weaver of words. Would she ever
realise we’re one and the same? Two different methods. But one purpose; Creation.”

I stop and smile.
I wonder if I’ll finish. I wonder if she’ll like it if she read it.

Day 15


Hey guys! Today, I’ll be doing another freeform writing, seeing as I have nothing set to offer.
Good luck!

___________________

Mama, they marched us to the parade ground. I held the hand of Nahor. He didn’t let me go even as I stumbled. They shouted at me roughly, Mama. It made me sad. You never shout at me even when I am naughty.
After marching us to the ground, they made us take off our clothes. They said we might have diseases. They shaved my hair too. I am not happy. I miss my curly hair, Mama. I miss your fingers running through my curls.
Where are you mama? Hope they’re not shouting at you? No one shouts at my Mama!
They’re taking us into a chamber mama. They said it’s to bath us.
I hope I’ll be able to see you tonight. Nahor misses you too but he’s ‘being a man’.
They’re pushing us roughly into the chamber.
Nahor is shaking.
It’s just a bath. I wonder why he’s afraid…

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

They captured us from our homes. Rounded us up like animals. Don’t take anything! Out! They screamed at us, hate twisting their faces, guns pointed at us. We obeyed.
We’re on a train huddled together.
Where is our destination, an old man asked. They hit him and told him to him up.
We’re watching landscape change in silence. Someone tries to sing but no one responds. Our hearts are heavy.
We’ve passed familiar places, Towns we visited in happier times.
The train stops at a station and more people are pushed in.
Where are you taking us to? An indignant man asks. One of the guards shoots him in the chest, laughing and leaves him in the carriage. The younger children are screaming. 
Some of the girls are crying.
Why us?
What did we do?
The men are trying to move the body to another part of the already cramped coach.
The train passes a post that reads ‘Auschwitz’.
I watch the sign even as it had passed out of view. Fear twists my heart.
Bubbe holds my hands tightly, her frail body quivering with exhaustion and age.
We wonder what we’ll find there…

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

Cries.
Screams.
Their voices are raised, day and night.
Black smoke pours out of the huge chimneys attached to the chambers.
Cries.
Screams.
They’re being burned alive.
Eli Eli lama sabachtani?

———————–

That’s it.
Dunno why they came to mind; those children in 1942.
They went to Auschwitz- Birkenau.
They never came back…

Sigh.


Hey.
Today’s post is by someone who would rather remain anonymous.
Do enjoy!

———————————————————————–

RIVER

I read my uncle’s stories. Not Uncle Jonah, Uncle Joseph.
It gets confusing sometimes to differentiate
them in my head; all the twins I know look and think alike, even though mother says Jonah and
Joseph were as different as night and day. Mother has a folder of his stories and drawings, most of
them are from his twenties. All his teenage fiction is lost now, gone with the wind. There’s also his
diary from 2001, the one which mother took in 2002 and kept. I think I’ve read that from cover to
cover many times. Then he didn’t use so many big words and there was happier then. In one of the
pages he actually called mom and grandma hags.

Mother doesn’t talk about my Uncles Jo any more.
She doesn’t talk much, about anything. I’ve seen videos of her from younger when she wore really
small shorts and rode horses on the beach and seemed to constantly laugh at every little thing. She
isn’t that person any more. She misses them though, in her own way. The family portrait from when
they were younger doesn’t have any dust on it, unlike most things in this house.
I was tiny the last time I saw Uncle Jo, a baby really so I don’t really remember much about him.
But I know him.
I know he used to hate people shortening his name. There’s a day here, March 14, when
he got really angry because he introduced himself to a girl and she asked if she could call him Jo. He
was angry about it, his name was just two syllables, two phonetic sounds and she wanted to shorten
it to one.
People shortened his name a lot Joey, Joe, Jo, Jay; some even shortened his surname. He
felt shortening a name was robbing it of its power. Joseph meant beloved, everything else meant
nothing. He wrote that he felt guilty after, she really didn’t mean anything by that. And he’d taken
out his frustrations on her. Uncle Ed used to do that a lot, feel guilty because he stood up for himself.
I think he was a coward or too sensitive, most times a mixture of both.

I know uncle Jo felt under pressure, much like I feel. It’s a different kind of pressure from the one I
feel but at least the effect is the same. Pressure not to disappoint. Constant anxiety, its like this
physical thing, your heart in your mouth, sweaty armpits and hours trying not to rationalize the things
you’ve done, looking for mistakes in them.
Mine is from being the only child mother has. Her greatest legacy. Mother is a very hands-on person in her life. And she believes in results, that the work should be done in secret and the results presented like a magician’s show, so it appears effortless,
apparently plucked out of thin air. She is that way with her work. And she is that way with me.
At home I can be petulant and sad and needy and whiny, at home I’m allowed to have emotions. But
outside, in the company of strangers I’m only allowed one; serenity.
Smile to older strangers, walk slowly at the buffet table, even though I can people taking second and third helpings, eating my
plate covered with small clumps of remnant food scraped from the edges of the serving trolleys with
a demure happy smile.
The happy child.
Uncle Joe was the good middle child. Every other role was taken, stuck-up first born, sadist spoilt last born. Mom and his brother fought constantly for
grandma’s attention and in all the noise, his own rebellions seemed small, a welcome relief. So he
stopped trying and started writing and drawing; eventually he had to choose. He chose drawing and
dropped the diaries.

The pressure is pretty bad on most days but I think I have it better than he did.
I’m not being ignored by mother at least not as badly as he was.
I wish I could write like he did. But I’m already in my teens and the gift hasn’t been passed down.
Maybe his was like a disease that snuck into his body undetected because of all the activity that
puberty brought on, and when everything settled, his Immune system worked through and found it
and neutralized it. Or maybe he gave up one medium of expression for another.
His pictures are beautiful. They are of dark things, but beautiful none the less.

There’s this particular one, inspired by this song he loves. It’s a girl on a bridge, leaning forward and looking over, at a much smaller
reflection of herself, rippling in the dark still river. The girl in the water is not looking back at her, instead she is looking at her hands, which are cupped together holding a dandelion. She is smiling, happy and oblivious to black murky water that surrounds her. The girl on the bridge is leaning so far
out that its certain she’ll fall.
The girl in the water looked like mom and the girl on the bridge had Uncle Jo’s hair. When mother first saw it, she stood there, in the gallery full of white walls and stared at it as her tears fell.
I cried too.
I don’t know why.
Maybe because the girl in the water was already so happy she didn’t care about the girl on the bridge. Perhaps it was because I knew only a truly sad
person could create something like that. Something so ominous an yet so simple. Or maybe I just felt
jealous and somewhat protective of the girl in the water; she was happy, but her happiness was
dependent on the girl on the bridge, if the girl on the bridge walked away, she would just cease to
exist.
You are the girl on the bridge, leaning out too far, hoping to catch a glimpse of a part of you that is
truly happy and oblivious to everything around her. Drifting away slowly, cradling what remains of
your innocence in her palms.
You will fall.
Because
That’s the only way you become the girl in the water.
Uncle Jo fell.
And his paintings and stories took on a life of their own.
I’ve been leaning over, reluctantly, looking for her. But so far, all I have seen is myself.

————————————————————————————–

*Sigh* 🙂
Jana..

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!

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