Category: short story


Ma Sullivan


She sidled up to the front aisle and sat down, her thinning grey hair covered haphazardly with a scarf. It did not stop stubborn wisps of hair bent on freedom from escaping. She sat and waited for the remaining seats to be filled up apprehensively. Her calloused hands gripped the clutch of her favourite bag and she rubbed the filigree design with her thumb feeling every bump; a habit she was wont to do when extremely nervous.
The room to be viewed was still empty of people, the only occupant, a big metal chair She stared at it, as if concentrating trying to pry it secrets out. Soon, it would be taking the only thing she had left away from her. Her lips dried and she licked them reflexively. She heard movements behind her and knew the pew had begun to fill up.
She did not turn back, avoiding to see the faces.
It wasn’t shame or fear.
No. Ma Sullivan knew no shame.
She just did not want to explain her presence; or offer apologies she knew would be ineffectual.
So she sat there, hair tucked haphazardly in her scarf, back ramrod straight, staring right ahead.
Quite a number of people wanted front seats, and as she made way for them, they saw her and gasped.
She did not avert her eyes; No Sir!
She looked them straight in the eyes, taking in the ill-disguised look of disgust on their faces without a twitch of her facial muscles in reaction. They always dropped their eyes first, shuffling past her. She heard them whisper amongst themselves and pass her name around.
She heard the murmurings behind her but refused to answer them; she had every right to be here.

Soon, the lights dimmed and the main stage area lit up, distracting them.
Guards came in and walked to the chair, checking the straps and bolts. When they were done, one of the officials gave a speech.
She did not listen. She tuned them out.
She came for one thing only.
Soon, they brought him out.
She stared at him as they pulled him to the chair and strapped him. Ignoring the bondage, she stared fixedly at his face.
He had grown softer around the edges. His eyes looked rheumy. He looked older than ever.
His once full head of hair was shaved completely bald and looking like that, sitting there, she could not help but be reminded of his father.
His father had once sat on just the same chair.
She had watched her younger son sit on the same chair.
Now, it was his turn.
As if feeling a stare, his weak eyes looked to the audience and seeing his mother, there was a sudden light in his eyes.
Not one of happiness; of anger, of resentment.
He sneered at her.
She watched him impassively, unprovoked. Seeing as he couldn’t rile her up, his swore at her, red in the face.
Unfeeling bitch.
Like she hadn’t heard that one before.
Was this his way to finally get the attention he always craved from her?
Well, he got in. She was there watching.
He flipped her a middle finger before he got completely immobilised and smiled at the little frown thst crawled up her eyebrows.
The bitch wasn’t carved out of stone then!

Soon the ceremony, as she dubbed it started.
The official stated his name; stated his crimes.
Ma Sullivan did not flinch as the list of murders her son had committed rolled out.
Murders against women her age; women that looked like her
Murders meant for her.
He had had her face in mind every time he strangled them; he said so in court.
His real victim was her but since he could not get her, they had to do.
No, he wasn’t molested ss a child.
But the fucking bitch was made of stone, all my life!
She sat stoic then, listening in the court room.
She was doing the same now; sitting there, stoic.

Soon it was show time,
They fixed the cap on his head and there he sat, looking as stupid as his brother had looked with that cap on his head; as stupid as his father had looked too, seated right there.

They killed him.

The others gasped as the electric currents fried him. She said nothing, merely watching her son’s jerking body as his brains fried.
It almost reminded her of his birth; the light flickering in the dinghy backroom of a motel. The smell of death and decay that she had been unconcerned about.
She wondered for a second if his electrocution had hurt as much as she did, pushing him out of her
It would have been fitting if it did.
Come in screaming, leave screaming.
It didn’t matter now anyway.
He was dead.
When he had been confirmed dead, she watched them roll out his dead body.

The show was over.
The murmurings began again.
How could she come to watch?
How could she bear it?
Just what kind of a woman was she?

She said nothing, walking out of the stifling room to the open air, grateful for the gulps of fresh air.
She made a beeline to her car and when she was safely inside, she rested her head on the steering wheel.
Tears coursed down her cheeks and she did nothing to wipe them away.
Where had she gone wrong?
Why did they all end up the way they did?
The media touted her as evil. ‘Matriarch of the Evil Sullivan”
It did not matter that she never participated in their crimes; or that she had kicked all three of them out of her house before they had gone on a bend.

Could she have stopped it?
She had failed.
As a wife; she married a lazy psycho, a lunatic.
As a mother; she was too busy to love them. She herself never received any love from her mother.She had worked hard to provide money for anything they wanted.
Why hadn’t they been enough?
Her lunatic mistake of a husband then bred them for evil.
As a human; she had been too afraid to stop them.
She kicked them out instead.
She had been a coward.

She swallowed a sob and decided on what she would do.
She would absorb all the blame; from the families of the victims, from the general populace.
She would absorb them all.
Then she would take it with her to a place where she knew she belonged.
To hell.

————————————————-

If this doesn’t make sense, welcome to the club. Didn’t make sense to me either.
Reading a book titled Talking to serial killers and this is the result of a half-formed idea.
Are people born evil? Or is it solely on upbringing?

Let’s think about that.

Advertisements

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!

Footfalls II


John sat comfortably, ripping through a pack of sandwiches with his teeth as he dialled a number.
Securing one tuna sandwich, he began to munch as he listened to the phone ring.
“Hey baby!” A cheery voice greeted on the phone
“Hey sugs! You on a break now yea?”
“Mhmm. Just having some coffee and looking through some papers.”
John chuckled,  shaking his head as he picked up another sandwich. “Madae McFaden it is called a break for a reason! Take a break!”
Her laughter blared out of the speaker. “I’d take a break when I’m dead”
“You? I doubt it!  You’d probably ask to be buried with your work.”
“Well, you can’t expect me to fold my hands in the ground,  doing nothing can you now?”
They shared a laugh and a small smile tickled his lips.
“I miss you baby…”
“I miss you too, hun. How’s Edinburgh and the convention? On a break?”
“All good and yes, on a break. Having some sandwiches in this huge cemetery. Real quiet and all”
“Urghhhhhh” She muttered and he laughed out loud.
“You know I hate those places. Dunno why you find them so peaceful”
“Because they are you wuss! Wussy Madea!”

Madea?

John suddenly shivered, turning. Had he heard someone?
“Gotta scram baby. Break over!”
“Ok hun. You take care” John said  distractedly, still looking about.
“I love you” She said blowing a kiss over the phone.
“I love you too”
He walked to the nearest trash can and put the empty packets in. Dusting himself of crumbs, he walked out of the cemetery.

Madea?
Madea…
Madea!

“Lend me your eyes”
John tossed and turned in his hotel room, sleeping fitfully.
“Lend me your body.”
He kicked at his duvet, deep in sleep, as if fighting off an invisible foe.
“Give me my bride!”
He groaned, hands clawing at his bedsheet, sweat beaded on his forehead.
“Lend me!”
“Lend me!”
“Lend yourself to me!”

“Yes!” John shrieked as if in pain and suddenly, eyes popped open.
He shuddered, feeling like he had been bathed in cold water.
He groaned, rubbing his eyes.
“What the hell?” He murmured.
His shivering made him realise he had kicked off his duvet. Sliding his torso out of bed, he stretched his hands and grabbed it, pulling it over himself.
He sighed at the warmth and soon, he fell asleep.

Madea…

She kissed him soundly on the lips and he hugged her hard as they cuddled on the sofa.
“Missed you…”
She snuggled into his arms and he stroked her cheek, absent mindedly.
“Did you say something?” She suddenly said, turning.
He blinked confused. “Mm? No…no I didn’t”
“Oh..thought I heard you whisper My bride”
He chuckled. “Wanna be my bride?” He asked, nuzzling her ear.
She giggled. “You asking me to marry you?”
He licked her neck slow…and she shivered.
“Do that again…” She whispered.
He blinked. “Do what again?”
She turned and leaned towards him, licking his neck slowly.
“That…” she murmured, her eyes glazed.
He felt his tummy clench as his heart began to pound.
Smiling, she stood and dragged him by his shirt, sashaying into the room.
Together, the three of them walked into the room.

Soon, she was riding the two of them to ecstasy.


I walk slowly, grumbling as I try to balance the shopping bags in my hands to lessen the ache in my tiring arms.
“Almost there” I whisper to myself, a billow of cold steam following my words. It is a cold February night and a little shiver dances up spine.
“Brrrr! Onward soldier, onward!” I murmur, egging myself on to walk faster. I muse about getting myself a help just to do the grocery shopping.
It used to be John’s duty but since we broke up…
Well, that is that.
Coming home to rest would be ideal but that would mean living on Pot Noodles till the weekend arrives. My saving grace is the 24hour Tesco store just by the corner of the next street.
I walk past the cemetery and grimace in distaste. Graveyards always leave me with the heebies-jeebies. Not because of any ghostly fears but an aversion i acquired after i got lost in one as a child.
It had been grandpa’s burial at Edinburgh and with the boredom of a seven year old child, I ran after a butterfly delightedly, believing somehow that that was the spirit of my grandpa. It didn’t take long for me to lose my direction in the huge ground. I lost track of the butterfly and couldn’t find my way back. The grounds soon became a labyrinth to me and I was sure everyone had gone home without me. My legs soon got tired from walking and I decided to sit on a little mound of stone that was shaped like a stool. Shock and fear registered in my eyes when I suddenly felt the ground give and I toppled into a shallow grave.
It was in there my father later found me, crying my eyes out, staring at the grinning skull of a dearly departed.

I shudder at the recollection. John had decided to get us a house on a street that had a cemetery just to get me to let go of my fear. At first, I protested but the rent was cheap and so didn’t matter.
Cheapskate.

“Almost home” I whisper, listening to the rhythmic squeaking of my sneakers as I trudge on.
“Can I help with that?”
My head jerks up at the voice behind me and I turn.
There is a man with his face hidden in the shadows. My heart rate increases exponentially and it suddenly dawns on me how vulnerable I am.
As if reading my mind, he comes closer to the street light and it illuminates his face.
A huge sigh of relief leaves my body. “Ah! Spencer! You gave me a fright there!” I chuckle in embarrassment.
Spencer is a friendly neighbour I see around often. John never liked him because he thought he had a crush on me. It didn’t matter that the alleged crusher had a fiancee he had introduced to us.
Spencer smiles at me. “Sorry about that. Didnae ken you stayed out late”
“Huh?” I murmur, confused, eliciting a bark of laughter from him. “I didn’t know you could throw in Gaelic with English”
He chuckles. “Something I picked up. Need help with those?” He points at my shopping bags.
I shake my head, not wanting to burden him “Nah, they’re fine. I’ll manage. Thanks though!”
“You sure?  C’n ‘elp ya”
I smile. “You’re doing the accent thing again. It’s cute. You should teach me.”
His smile broadens and for a second, shadows shift across his face, lending him a look of malevolence. I step back instinctively, blinking rapidly and suddenly, it is gone.
“Gotta…go now” I say quickly, fidgety. He notices my discomfort and nods politely and turning away.
I think I’ve offended him and I suddenly feel foolish.
“Umm…Spencer?” I call.
He turns.
“Maybe I could do with some help” I say sheepishly.
He smiles and walks back to me. “Nothing wrong with that, lassie. We all need help.”
I give him half the bags and he lifts them. “Whao! What’s in here? Bricks?”
We share a laugh. “Tins and more tins!”

We walk along, talking, until we get to my gate which he helps me unlatch as I bring the bags in.
“Thank you so much!” I enthuse, dropping the heavy bags at the front door.
“My pleasure. Always my pleasure” he replies.
I wait for him to start leaving but he doesn’t. I smile at him uncertainly.
Does he want me to invite him in? I haven’t had a man over since John left.
But this isn’t ‘any’ man. This is a soon-to-be-married man!
“So…have a good night?” I venture.
He nods. “I will. You’ll see”
We stand there in awkward silence and I begin to get worried. Is he going to force himself on me?
“How is Dolores these days? When is the wedding?” I ask, trying to remind him of his engaged status.
“Dolores…?”
“Yes… your finacee?”
“Ah…” he says and chuckles, stroking his beard.
My teeth gnaw on my bottom lip in anxiety and my tired hands tremble as I try to get my key out of my bag. They fall and I bend to pick them up.
That is when I notice.

Only two feet are connected to the ground.
Mine.
At that moment, it suddenly strikes me how I didn’t hear any footfalls walk behind me, before he showed up.
I stand up slowly, eyes wide, lips trembling.
He smiles amiably. “Ah…I see you’ve noticed” he whispers.
“Wha..what a..are you?”
“Madea…Madea…Madea”
He whispers softly walking closer to me and I step back, limbs trembling.
“Have you seen Madea? Madea? Where are you?”
I open my mouth to scream but only a croak escapes.
“Little girls shouldn’t disturb my sleep. Mm…Madea?”
The porch light barely illuminates him as his skin ripples, the colour draining out of them, going grey. His clothes tear, suddenly turn to rags.
The smell of damp earth pervades the air, cloying, choking. I gag, tears streaming down my face like rivulets, my saucer-wide eyes shaking. I feel something wet run down my thighs.
“Madea” he growles, his voice suddenly gravelly.
His skin stretches, thin, and a familiar skull grins at me.
“O…ohh..”
“Madea. I’ve been waiting to take you home with me…My bride”
He reaches for my face and i shudder as bony hands stroke my cheek.
The stink of rot…
Of a graveyard…
“Madea… Daddy cannot find you this time…

I scream.

Hands shake me roughly.
“Madea! Wake up!”
My eyes open and I take deep, ragged breaths, body daml with sweat, trembling.
“Jo…hn?”
He stares at me worriedly, eyes red with sleep.
“You ok?”
I open my mouth to speak but he places a hand to my lips, pulling me close.
“Shhh… It’s just a dream…”
My shakes eases and I sigh. “Him again…” I whisper. “Since you came back from Edinburgh, it’s gotten worse”
“Just memories… Shhh. Sleep”
He kisses me softly on my lips and slowly, I drift back to sleep.

“Madea…” John whispered to himself.

“My bride…” Another voice murmured through him, stroking her cheek.

He would not remember saying anything… or stroking her cheek.

—————–
To be continued. Maybe?

Down The Pike


It is like my eyes are suddenly opened and I see them, a host of them, in numerous queues that seem to stretch on till eternity. All sorts of people are lines up; people of all ages are lined up – from the ancient olds to floating masses of what should be fetuses.
How many of these lines there are, I cannot say because I cannot count.
‘As vast as the sand on the seashore’ is the first thing that comes to mind.
‘There are about 7 billion people in the world’  think to myself. ‘Surely, all of them are here today!’

I look forward to see where they’re all heading to; or herded to. There are checkpoints at the start of each queue manned by being  I cannot properly explain so forgive me if my description of them comes off as vague. In fact, if it is possible for a thing to look vague, then these beings are vague.
They wear dark cloaks, or maybe dark clouds as the cloaks seem to swirl like mists if you stare too long. They are hooded; the only visible parts, spindly black twigs knotted to form arms. In one hand of a being is holding what can be most aptly described as a huge scissors; although one cannot be so sure, seeing at these tools pulse with inner light, as if alive.

My eyes ache when I look at them so i return to study the host and that is when I  notice something truly odd. I blink to make sure I am not hallucinating. Slightly above each person is a floating string made of what I can simply describe as Light. Each Light is different in hue and my eyes widen in wonder at the numerous colours that have congregated over numerous heads; from the brightest of yellows that leave a lingering giddy feeling in my body to the darkest of blacks that make me look away, shuddering instinctively. Although  colours are similar, each string of Light is unique in a way I cannot put my hands on just yet.

Suddenly, I understand the function of the scissors held by the beings that man the checkpoints. I turn to watch them snip at these strings as each person is presented before them. Immediately a string is cut, the scissors absorbs the light, incandescent, so bright it dazzles the eyes that by the time you are able to see again, the person snipped is no longer there; replaced by another.
I watch in fascination as spindly fingers hold strings delicately between what would be a thumb and index finger of a human.
It takes me a whole minute to realise what is happening and my amazement is replaced with dismay…and fear.

“Death!” I cry out loud, turning back to the people queued, as if wanting to appeal to them to turn back. The ancient olds walk on, look of pure serenity on their faces. The disfigured and sick (obvious only by their skeletal bodies), trudge on, gratitude written on the harsh planes of their faces. There are the young;  healthy and smiling, oblivious. And then there are the scared, the afraid. They are aware of what is ahead. Their saucer-wide eyes, shimmering with tears; their lips trembling, as they try to stifle screams.
‘If all these people die, then who lives?’ I muse to myself and the answer comes to me just as quickly.
Some have been on these queues for years…for ages. They would not all die immediately.
While some know what lays ahead, a great deal do not and they would continue living unaware, until it is their turn to get their strings cut.

Hands push me forward and I turn back in surpr…
“No..no…no…nono” I murmur, my limbs suddenly losing their locomotive function.
I am on a queue.
I feel sweat bead on my forehead and armpits, and i break out in violent shivers.
I turn to the blank face behind me. “There has be..een a mistake” I stammer. “I do not belong here”
I am ignored and I try pushing my way out.
“Please, let me go. Please. I still have time. I don’t belong here. No. Please”
I choke on a sob, chest heaving as I am clamped into position by a mass of bodies.
I look ahead and my heart stops at the checkpoint that is just a few bodies away.
Tears streak down my face and my legs shake unable to bear my weight. I do not crumple to the ground, still carried onwards by the mass of bodies behind me.
I struggle!
I cry!
I scream!
I pray!
“God no…No please..not yet…still got a lot to do please No No” I mumble, terror settling in the pit of my stomach like an unborn fetus made of lead.

Soon, it is my turn and I stand before my executioner.
“There…has.. has been  mishtake..” I stutter, hiccuping. “It’s…n..not…ti..time. Pl..Please…”
Ignored, spindly arms hold my light and my teeth chatter as my eyes follows the path of the looming scissors.
At the first snap, my heart lurches as if being pulled forcefully out of my chest.
I open my mouth to scream.
The scissors glow green, so bright tha-

———————————————————————————————–

I am reading Insomnia by Stephen King and I was inspired by his depiction of Auras and Bald Docs #1 #2 #3 (Read the book and you’d understand what I’m saying 😛 )
This piece crept into my mind subtly and evaded my faculties till i was so distracted, I had to stop reading to write it down on paper, before continuing with my book.
(And it is a good read so far, I’d recommend)

Hope you enjoyed and do comment thaaaanks!
Have a lovely weekend!
Jana!

P.S.A + Rapunzel


So two years today, I was in front of my ragged Toshiba laptop finally registering for a blog after coming across stories from Terdoh and Toolsman’s blogs. A lot has changed since then; for one, I’m not using a Toshiba laptop anymore. Lol.
More importantly, I’ve improved immensely in my writing, If i might say so myself.
Most importantly, I’ve met a lot of interesting people that have all inspired, intrigued and also irritated me (Sometimes, all at once!) This is a thank you to everyone that has stuck with Phantompages; old and new comers. I’m grateful.

Readers, I thank you for the time you’ve spent reading my cravies and good and bad stories. For the constructive criticisms, I thank you. And for the love and adulation (Real and imaginary on my part), I thank you.

Writers, I thank you for the Messages and emails asking if I didn’t mind having your stories up here. I thank you for the help you’ve all rendered, keeping this blog alive.

Ah, as usual, special thanks to a couple of people (I could swear I gave these same set of people special thanks last year!): Eddie (For helping me handle the blog when I almost deleted and for being my close friend and Mother all rolled up in one!), Pemi, Ekwe, P.Mantis (Professional Asshole), and last but not the least, my Fire.

Blogging is a pain in the ass you know. And if there’s anything more painful than blogging, it’s being referred to as a Blogger.
I am a writer; I write. I will be an author one day, when my materials and good and ready to be published.

Umm.. run out of things to ‘say’. So, was running through my STORIES file and came across one I wrote for Achiva’s blog as part of a series. Made me chuckle so decided to brush it up more and put it up here.

Thank you once again for all the care and support.
Watashi wa minasan o aishite imasu!

RAPUNZEL

There lived a man and his greedy wife. They were very much in love but they had no child. The man did not leave her, despite the fact that his mother insisted he did so because his wife was a ‘useless woman who used abortion to scatter her womb’. He was in love and he would do anything for her. Of course, his mother didn’t approve and he could bet she has been ‘Casting and Binding’ sine they tied the knot as man and wife.

Beside them lived a Lagos big girl called ‘Aunty Dollars’. Aunty Dollars was notorious for her diabolical means of making money and bringing customers into her hair shop.
Aunty Dollars has this mango tree in her compound and her neighbors could see it. When Aunty Dollars went to Dubai for holiday, the man’s wife, greedy woman, decided she wanted the mango.
She cried and went to her husband.
“Honey I really want those mangoes at Aunty Dollars’ house”
The man was confused. “I can buy you any mango in the market my love. Must it be her own?”
“Yes! If you love me, you’ll get them for me”
The man was unsure of what to do.
His wife’s long throat increased the more time he wasted time. “I will die if I don’t eat Aunty Dollars’ mango o! I will just die here and you will bury me!” the woman wailed.
‘See me see wahala’ the man thought to himself. ‘On top mango again?’
The man tried to endure but the man eventually got tired of his wife’s nagging and deliberate bad cooking and decided to get her the mangoes.
With his heart in his mouth, he jumped fence into Aunty Dollars compound and got the mangoes.
He thought the matter had ended there with his wife.
For where!
The greed in the wife was something else. This woman started behaving like she was the Patroness Saint of Mangoes! She wanted more!
“Your mates are having children and you’re here looking for mangoes! Is it not thunder that will fire you Idiot!” he shouted one day in a rare display of anger.
He ate burnt, bottom-of-the-pot jollof rice and black dodo that night and with repentance in his heart and hunger in his stomach, he stole the mangoes.
Anything to keep his ‘darling’ wife happy; and keep his from purging his intestines out every night.

Until one day…
“Oho!” Aunty Dollars screamed at the base of the tree, cutlass in hand, catching her thieving neighbor unawares. He hadn’t known she had come back!
“Mr. Man! Aha! So you were the one stealing my mangoes ehn? You don die today!”
She sharpened the cutlass on the floor while the man, scared, stayed on the tree, mangoes in hand, pleading the blood of Jesus.
“Please” he begged. “It was the Devil! She sent me!”
“You will go and meet the Devil today. Ole!”
The man begged and begged, promising anything and everything.
Aunty Dollars, diabolical and crazy woman, thought about it and decided to take him up on his offer.
“Seeing as I haven’t been serviced in a while, I want you to sleep with me for a month” She smiled in satisfaction at the shock on the man’s face.
“B..but…But I am a married man!” he protested weakly.
“Oho! Now you remember you are married abi! A married man that steals mangoes abi! Oloshi! Do you want me to call the whole street to gather and burn you?”
The man begged for another bargain, anything but sleeping with her.
Truth is, it would have been easier if Aunty Dollarz was pretty but OH NO!
Aunty Dollars looked like the ugly twin sister of Eniola Badmus; a walking, breathing two bags of beans with legs.
How was he, a lean man, supposed to survive with such a heap of fat in bed? And what if she decided she wanted to ride him? Would cellotape glue his broken bones? Who would pay for his medical bills?
Oti o!
The man pleaded profusely but she was adamant.
“Neighbors o!!! Come o! Ole dey here! Bring tire!” she screeched, her fat buttocks quivering as she ran around her compound.
Fearing jungle justice, the man quickly apologized and agreed to her demands.
Without telling his wife, the man who climbed to steal mangoes, climbed to play his away matches in exchange for a month as was agreed. He would not admit to it but the sight of Aunty Dollarz’s ample mammary set his flag pole straight; compared to his wife’s lemon breasts.
Like a pulsing G, he scored (Proving his mother right that the problem wasn’t really from him). Before the month was over, Aunty Dollars became pregnant.
After nine months she gave birth to a beautiful girl with very light skin.
Thinking to give the girl an exotic name, she named her Rapunzel, after the fairy tale story. As the girl grew, Aunty Dollars noticed her hair was so long and black.
Aunty Dollars had an idea.

During this time, the prince of the land was going through hard times. He had spent his money on women in Saudi Arabia and his father had stopped his allowance permanently. As he was walking, contemplating on his life, he passed by Aunty Dollars’ house.
“Rapunzel! Open the door!” she shouted with impatience.
The Prince was amazed when he saw the beautiful girl that opened the door for the crazy woman everyone in Lagos knew. More so, he couldn’t believe how lovely and long her hair was. It was so long, it actually reached to her knees!
“Haaaaay! Asanwa baby! Obianuju!” he exclaimed to himself. “Erichaamichaaka!”
The Igbo blood in him sang and in his head, he devised a method to make himself rich.
After weeks of monitoring Aunty Dollars’ movement, he knew when she left the town and that was when he decided to strike.
He crept to the side of the house and knocked.
“Rapunzel. Beautiful egg of Life. Open the door please.”
Rapunzel, shocked to hear the voice of a man got curious and opened the door. When the prince entered, he viewed the beautiful Rapunzel and fell at her feet.
“My goddess! Is your name Maggi nne? Because you’re looking spicy!”
Rapunzel blushed.
“To tell you the truth, nne m, if i die now, I want to come back to this world as the dress you’re wearing just to feel your skin on mine AsweartoGod!”
He licked his index finger and touched the ground.
“Stawpeeeet” Rapunzel gushed, flicking her hair.
“Egovine! Tomato Jos! Omalicha! Rapun Rapun! You have stolen my heart, Please take it but give me the change of your love baby!”
Rapunzel, having never been washed like dirty boxers before blushed and fell in love with the prince.
“Am I really spicy?” she asked shyly.
“Yes baby m! You are o! You’re finger lickin’! So beautiful! Oh can I have a piece of your beautiful hair? To remind me of you every day!”
Rapunzel drank the zobo of Life and like a mumu she agreed and the prince chopped off her hair.
The next day, the prince sold it off as Brazilian hair to his vain sister. He smiled as he counted the money.
“Nna mehn! Lekwa correct business!”
And thus, the hairomance continued.

Rapunzel being a part-time mammy-water grew back the hair in no time and seeing this, the prince decided to open a saloon.
When Aunty Dollars came back from her trip, she was shocked to find out about how badly her business was faring. She enquired and found out that the Prince had opened his own hair salon.
Baffled, she went home to contemplate.
Rapunzel being a mumu in love couldn’t help telling her mother about the prince. She told her mother how they had planned their wedding already.
“Mummy he said he will give me the world!”
“The prince? That useless Emeka boy? That Igbo riff raff?”
“Mummy he is so great and romantic! He asks for a piece of my hair as a token of my affection. He’s sewing a shirt for himself made out of my hair. How cute!”
“So he cuts your hair! That explains it! Ori e o da!”
Rapunzel was confused and asked he mother what she meant.
“Idiot! He is just using you! He has opened a hair salon with your stupid hair!”
Rapunzel was shocked and hurt.
“It can’t be!”

She waited for the next time the Prince would come and she confronted him.
“Where’s the shirt of hair you’re sewing darling?”
“Ah My Akwa Ugo! My tailor is a mad man o! He hasn’t finished!”
Rapunzel smiled sweetly, her eyes hard. “Let’s go meet his now.”
“Now?” The Prince became nervous and Rapunzel knew her mother was right.
With anger, she threw the Prince out of her room window and the prince died.
Rapunzel also found out about how her mother was using her too to make money and she blamed her for the Prince’s death. Everyone knew Aunty Dollars’ reputation as a witch and she was arrested for murder.
Rapunzel decided to go into business for herself.

The neighbor, seeing the resemblance between him and Rapunzel one day added 2 and 2 to make 5. His Math was bad but he knew she was his daughter. His wife already had to children from him, both girls.
He told Rapunzel about her parentage and after DNA test proved him as her father, she moved in with him and handed over her business to him.

He later died, and somehow, along the line, her name changed from Rapunzel to Cinderella.

If you get what I just did there…

The End.

——————————————————————–

Have a lovely week people!

The Painter


She smiled at him from across the pub and he gazed at her blankly for a second before breaking eye contact. He felt her gaze steadily on him  and he pointedly ignored her, focusing on his pint of lager.
Coming to an abrupt decision, he downed the beer in three large gulps and setting down the glass, he waved to the waiter and walked out of the pub to the car park. He had been passing by the unknown neighbourhood when the sudden need to drink drove him into the side pub; the sudden need to wash out the bad taste of the news his agent gave him more like.
“You have to do something or I’m afraid I’d have to drop you!”
He huffed now in irritation at the memory checking his pockets for his keys.
“I know who you are.” A female voice said behind him and he turned in surprise.
It was the woman in the pub.
His eyes narrowed and he turned back to his car as his fingers snagged his keyring up.
“And who am I?” He asked dryly as he opened the front door.
She walked closer to his side, a big grin on her face. “The Painter. Eugene De Croix”
His eyes narrowed further as her smile became wider.
“Former painter” he spat out gruffly manoeuvring himself into his seat.
“But a fantastic one!”
He made to shut the door but she stood in the way, holding the door.
He eyed her for a second, taking in her features with practiced eyes of one who observed human features for a living. She was unremarkable; a large forehead above wide set eyes and a hooked nose. Her only saving feature were her lips; small and full.
‘And not belonging to that face’ he mused sardonically to himself.
“What do you want?”
She hesitated suddenly unsure of herself.
“Well…Ummm… You’re a great painter. And I’ve studied your work. And I’m an art stude-”
“Do you want an autograph?” he interrupted rudely.
She bit her lip and his eyes strayed to them, tracing every curvature, mentally applying a vivid shade of red to them.
“I want you to paint a portrait of me.”
A cruel smile formed on his lips abd he snorted. “Ha! What?”
She stood straighter. “A painting. That is what I want.”
“Well Miss…”
“Schronberg”
“Miss Schronberg, yes. I do not receive painting commissions in parking lots. And even if I did,  certainly not from you or your type. You cannot afford me. And since you say you’re an Art student, you’d know I haven’t painted in the last three yea -”
“I know I know. But I do not think you do it for the money, your art.”
He laughed in derision. “Oh yea?”
“You don’t. Your paintings tell me that. And you have donated quite a lot of them. Don’t you miss painting? The thrill of producing something great like your ‘Selene on a Couch?’
He stared at her with renewed interest.
Could he…?
“Nah..” he murmured, shaking of his head an a short laugh as he dismissed her.
“Please Miss Scrotumberg. If you’d excuse me…”
Unoffended by the unconcealed insult, she refused to budge. “No.”
He snorted, amused by her defiance. “I would call the police, Miss.”
She smiled. “You wouldn’t. ”
“Oh yea?” He smiled.
She smiled back. “Oh yea!”
He huffed and suddenly his agent came to mind.
Another work…another work.
He stared at her again, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel.
“Does anyone know you’re here” he asked suddenly and she frowned slightly at the awkward question.
“Umm..no. Don’t live around here. On a mini-sightseeing.”
He licked his lips.
“Fine. Jump in”
She broke into a wide grin.

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

He arranged her lips for her and walked back to his easel where a canvas was propped. He eyed the figure and dipping a wide brush into a paint pot, he smeared his paint medium on the half-finished canvas, total concentration as he brought her alive on the canvas.

Running dry of dark paint, he took his paint bowls and walked up to her. With unusual gentleness, he lifted her head and squeezed her neck, until tiny drops of dark blood oozed into his pot where he had made his precise incision earlier.
Her dead eyes gazed unseeing, a look of surprised permanently etched on her face.
He smiled briefly at her cold body, remembering how good it had felt to take her home; to sneak up behind her and with practiced movements, slash her throat.
She wanted to be painted after all and it had been a while he had employe his special medium.
Staring at her now, his hands began twitching again in excitement.
After his self-imposed hiatus because of  a murder investigation which resulted in him being questioned, it felt good to be back.Smiling and humming a little tune to himself, he walked back to his canvas, fresh paint in hand.

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

“It is fantastic to have you back Eugene! And you work, SPECTACULAR!”
He smiled indulgently at the overweight man who stood in front of his canvas, staring.
“This would sell. Ah I see you used your signature colour! The curves. The swirls. The contrast on the white canvas. SPECTACULAR!”

The spectacular rang in his head as he smiled, giddy with triumph.
Unable to contain his excitement, he took a late-evening walk, aimlessly meandering through streets and alleys.
“Hey boy. Fancy a fuck?” a voice whispered out of the gloom.
He turned and thinking quickly as a woman walked towards him. “Only if you allow me paint you after.”
“Whatever. Gonna be 30 bucks. Got a car?”
He smiled at her in the darkness.
His fingers twitched.
He licked his lips.

The End.

————————————————-

I always find it cheesy writing The End. Dunno why. Lol.
Have yourself a lovely weekend.
Jana!


“You don’t belong here” he stuttered angrily, wisps of sparse white hair waning as he shook his bony index finger in my face. I could smell the lingering odour of his hotdog lunch on them and wrinkling my nose, I moved his offending finger away from, making sure he noticed me wiping my hand on my trousers.
I chortled in my head at the hue of anger on his pudgy face, his walrus nose visibly flaring as his thin lips quivered
I stepped back.
“Well Mr Smibly” I said calmly, “I belong here just as much as you do. And there is nothing you can do about it”
I smiled sweetly at him and walked away, sitting at a corner where I knew he would be able to see me. I wanted my black ass clearly in his sight.
The racist cunt.

———
He took a deep drag and blew puffs of cigarette smoke into her face. He knew she hated it whenever he did that, which was the main reason why he did it anyway.
She’d complain but would never leave.
That was the nature of their friendship.
“What is love?” he said, repeating her question.
“Love is that special moment spent in between the legs of a street tart at night in Camden. That is love.”
She huffed in irritation.
She always huffed but never went away.
“Seriously! Just talk!” she said in her whiny voice.
He quite liked her voice; even more so when she was moaning in pleasure. It always made him giggle but she never noticed, too caught up in her ecstasy.
Love. What was love?
“Look, let’s forget love ok?”
He blew another into her face and laughed wildly at his antics and her deepening frown.
“Oh come onnn” he cajoled and she smiled a little, her hand subconsciously rubbing her unobvious baby bump.
How was she supposed to get him to love anything but himself?

———-

She smiled at him.
“So… I am going to ask you out” he said rather ceremoniously.
“For breakfast?” A small smile played on her lips.
“Yes, breakfast. Then I’ll ask you out.”
“For lunch?”
“Yes, lunch. Then I’ll ask you out.”
“For dinner?”
She was clearly enjoying herself.
“Yes. dinner. Then I’ll ask you out.”
“For…”
“Stuck?” he asked, an eyebrow raised.
She laughed. “Indeed. I am!”
He grinned and held her hands
“I’ll ask you out to he my girlfriend”
She raised an eyebrow imperiously. “Why?”
He shrugged. “I have no idea”
She burst into a fit of laughter, shaking her head.
“My, aren’t you a charmer…”
“So…?”
She nodded. “Sure”
A sly look crept into his eyes. “Why?”
“Why?”
“Yes, why?”
Imitating him, she shrugged.
“I have no idea”

————–

So, decided to put this up instead of wait till Monday
Wrote these one day on the train and left somewhere in an obscure folder.
Writing it made me smile. Lol.
Oh and a private wink to whom it may concern. 😉

Have a lovely weekend… nah just kidding. 😛
Jana!

Nekochan


Been too quiet here.
So, here’s something for today.

 

NEKOCHAN

tumblr_mfadq0YSwZ1qb6f1po1_1280

I can feel her weight on my chest as she protests angrily.

I ignore her for as long as i can, trying to find the fast disappearing trails of sleep i had been on.

A lost cause; i huff in disgust, slowly opening an eye to stare at her balefully.

She returns my look, glare for glare, her blue eyes piercing my grey ones.

Sighing in admission of defeat, i lift her off me and get up, stretching and grumbling all the way.

“You’re so annoying Shelley” i remark under my breath and she hisses in indignation.

Hmph.

She follows me as i leave the bed, walking into the threadbare kitchen.

“We’re broke you know” i whisper as i open the painfully empty fridge.

“Soon, we’d have nothing to eat but each other”

I smile grimly as I bring out the only jar of milk on the fridge. I sniff it.

A little off but it would do.

Getting two bowls, i pour us some milk, ignoring the blobs that come out of the can.

She sniffs in complaint and i sigh.

“Your old man is a loser, Shelley. Third month and no job. Running out of options here”

She shakes her head in disgust and daintily takes the proffered milk.

I smile, stroking her, feeling her relax under my palm.

“Your old man would soon start writing. You just wait. Forget journalism. I’d write a book, Shelley. A best seller. You’d be proud of me then, wouldn’t you?”

She huffs in disbelief and i smile sadly. Can’t blame her.

I’ve been saying the same thing for the past one year.

We eat in silence and when we done, i run water on the bowls. At least, I still have that.

I clean my wet hand on my shorts when I’m done and together we go into the living room.

She scampers immediately on top of my books on the table by the window sill, as if in reminder, ‘Start writing, bozo!’

I smile at my cat, carrying her away from the table.

“Not yet, you slave driver” i murmur, stroking her lazily.

“Don’t worry Shelley” I mutter sleepily, eyes heavy. “If we get kicked out, I’ll build you a lovely shoebox. Won’t be so bad… for you at least…you’d see…”

She shakes her head in exasperation, bemoaning in her feline lingo, what terrible owner she has. She scratches my chest spitefully and I wince momentarily snapped out of my sleep-induced fugue.

“Don’t swear at me Missy” I slur and slowly, my eyes drift to a close, my only companion and lover, curled in my lap.

———————————————————–

Yes, it is just a simple story.
No twists or turns- or death and doom. (  ..)
Neko is Cat in Japanese.

I’ll be a lot more present here, promise.
Anyway, do have a lovely weekend ahead!
Jana!

%d bloggers like this: