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Having A Title Is Too Mainstream.


I hate dreams.

I hate the insidious way it comes when you’re at your weakest point, unable to defend yourself from your own subconscious.

Happy dreams. Sad dreams. Scary dreams.

Oh. No. I like Scary dreams. They make you glad that shit ain’t real when you wake up. Unless, you slept beside an Edo girl in which case, the dream would be real. Obviously.

But that’s beside the point. It’s the happy dreams I hate.

I hate the light and joy I feel, sucked into this big, big lie. It’s like living a double life. One where you’re all great and your life is all figured out. One where you’re in love and your smile is always beautiful, even with your crooked and yellowed teeth. One where the people who hurt you never did and they still love you just as much as the day they started loving you. One where he holds you close and then from clap, you enter dance, if you know what i mean.
One where you’re not sick. One where you’ve food to eat (which may double as a nightmare).
One where you have the dream job you always wanted. See the pun?

You’re all clueless, sucked into the madness that is the world your mind has so fashioned to punish you with for the night.

And then, the neighbour decides to close his door a bit too loudly and suddenly, the magic is shattered.

Like Cinderella, after the stroke of midnight, you’re back to your real self, all alone on a double bed, nearing forty with no real goals in life.

It’s that first five seconds of that emptiness you feel, eyes still heavy with sleep. Heart becomes so heavy, you want to cry. And you may even cry. It’s allowed
You may then want to put a new spin on it, that maybe God is trying to tell you something. But you and I know God isn’t trying to telling you, you’re finally going to get laid. That’s just you boo-boo.

Happy dreams suck.

End of.

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Dreamscape and Nightvisions


I closed my eyes, heart beating fast partly in excitement and righteous anger. Soon, it slowed and I found myself on a familiar path, partially concealed by wet vegetation. I ran, frame tucked snugly under a sweaty armpit and the building rose to view, gleaming strangely, standing out in the sepia hue of the dreamscape. I walked boldly to the huge door and pulled on the ornate handle. The door didn’t budge.
I frowned.
“He must die. Fucking piece of shit. Humiliating me! I thought you were my friend! You were mine! I’ll fuck you up this time! FUCKING DIE!”
Eyebrows furrowed in concentration, my cursing rising like a mantra until it built to shrieks, spittle flying out of hate-filled lips like missiles.
I tried the door again and this time, it opened.
I stepped in, breathing heavily, a triumphant smile on my face like an ugly scar.
Without need for guidance I walked with purpose till I reached the red door. I pushed it open, walking into the gallery. Pictures hanged across the walls.
Walking to where I had deposited my last frame, I hung the frame I brought on the wall and stepped back to admire him, smiling at me from his picture.
I smiled back.
“If I can’t have you, no one else will”
Without pause, I turned and walked out, waking into reality.
I grinned.

“It’s a pity”
“Yea, a pity”
“So full of life. Life is too short. Na wa”
I hummed in response, eyes blazing with unholy glee. I walked away from the scene of the accident, squeezing pieces of his photo I had torn apart after he had dropped me off.
“No hard feelings abi?”
I suddenly let them go, spraying them like a confetti, a bitter laugh bubbling from within the confines of my chest.
“None at all. Don’t mess with me…”

She repeated the same words to me, her eyes red rimmed with mourning.
“Don’t you dare mess with me! You did it!”
I studied her under hooded eyes, fingers tapping on my books haphazardly strewn on the desk.
“Stop talking rubbish. We have our next lecture soon” I finally muttered, getting up to leave.
She pushed me roughly, bursting into fresh sobs.
“You killed him! Because he rejected you! YOU KILLED HIM, DEMON!”
My fingers twitched, wanting to grab her thin neck and wring it just to watch her big, stupid cute eyes beg for mercy before death.
I laughed instead.
I held a hand to my mouth, unable to stifle my giggles. Tears streamed from my face as my stomach clenched. Wiping my face, I leaned into her shocked face.
“Prove it” I whispered and snorted.
My heart pounded in excitement, a familiar throbbing feeling between my legs as I took my books and left the hall.
I couldn’t wait.
I couldn’t wait to lay down and sleep.

Door locked, I picked up my old picture album of us as teenagers, waiting to get letters of admission. With care, I cut out her picture from a photograph of two of us grinning sheepishly at an unseen camera man.
The throb between my legs intensified.
My fingers shook slightly.
My breathing became gasps.
Suddenly, my eyes closed and I twitched, biting a moan from escaping.
Slowly, I stilled and I raised the picture up, glazed eyes eyeing up my former friend.

That night, I took a little pill to help me sleep faster, her picture underneath my pillow.
I walked a familiar path and hung a frame up on the gallery wall.
I woke up immediately and tore the picture underneath my pillow to pieces, chewing them and spitting out the gob.
With a sigh, I laid back and drifted back to dreamless sleep.

I was woken up by wailing and shouts.
Linda’s remains laid in an indecent heap on the ground floor, four stories below.

————————
As written on musedminds.com by yours truly.
(Inspired by an interesting manhwa)

Swap


I want to write a story for you, my shy muse on the park bench every Monday at 1.30pm.
I watch your eyes narrow in suspicion when I hand you the final script.
I watch the heavily-penciled brow rise as you read the first line…then pause.
You recognise your name.
You try to fight the small smile that pulls at the corner of your lips when you see the flattering description I have used on you. You keep reading, immersed in a story that would soon play out.
I am forgotten, a side show. A messenger.
It’s just you and the story.
You pause and I detect the tension in your shoulders.
You look up at me, almost angry.
“What the fuck is this shit?” You ask almost angrily and I smile.
“Finish the story” I reply gently, pointing to the papers you’re now holding tightly in your hands.
I watch you battle your curiosity, eyeing me balefully as you go back to reading.
This time, you don’t read word for word.
Your eyes skitter fast over words, as if afraid to dwell on them.
Your hands begin to tremble visibly, but this time you do not stop.
You have forgotten about my existence again.
It takes me a few seconds to realise you have not noticed the tears streaking down your well-powdered face.
My fingers itch to lean close and wipe your tears, watch them glisten on my gnarly fingers before I taste them, tongue obscenely lapping to taste the sweet, sweet, salt of your tears.
I wait, fingers clasped tightly together. Your lips tremble and my body, with it.
At that moment, I can see it happening just as I had written.
I can see it happen and it excites me too much.
“This is horrible” you whisper, suddenly throwing the papers at me.
But you do not get up to leave.
No.
You bury your face in your palm and a great sob finds its way out of the confines of your throat.
I close my eyes, trembling, pleasure coursing through my old bones as the sound of your torn soul teases my ears.
I can almost feel it taking effect.
In my trembling, my stooped back begins to straighten. Clasped fingers begin to loosen.
I dare not open my eyes, lest I break the magic.
A moan of anguish escapes your lips and mine part, a young lover on the cusp of her first taste of pleasure.
I feel familiar tugs in me; on me.
Suddenly you stop, gasping.
My eyes pop open just as fast to catch the look of horror on your face,
You stare at your wrinkled palms in confusion.
Your eyes are drawn to me and your eyes widen…in fear?
“Wh…”
You stop, your suddenly gnarly fingers trying to open the clasp on your bag.
Shakily, you pull out a small compact mirror and with effort, manage to open it.
I know what you see and it makes me smile.
I almost want to stroke your grey, straggly hair.
I almost want to stroke the crows feet around your electrifying grey eyes.
“What the fuck did you do to me!” You scream in indignation but the theatrics is spoilt by your now weak vocal chords suddenly wheezing.
I smile fondly at you, patting your arms as I stand.
“Keep the story” I whisper and a little laugh bubbles in my throat.
I suddenly feel the weight of your hair on my head. I run experimental fingers through them and almost sigh in pleasure at the feel.
Just as I had imagined.
I watch you wear my features and I almost feel sad.
But the energy I feel in my bones quickly dispels my sympathy.
I love your skin.
I run youthful fingers across my face, stroking my full cheeks.
Your old fingers suddenly claw on my clothes.
“What have you done! Give me back my body!”
I forcefully prise your fingers off.
“Don’t be a spoilsport” I mutter, standing away from you.
“But…I need to get back to work”
This time I cannot control the laughter.
“Not today, you don’t”
I put what I hope is a comforting arm on your bony shoulders.
“Soon. You’ll get it back soon”
I grin, your smile sitting smugly on my face before I walk off.
I’m kind enough to leave my walking stick for you beside the park bench.
You’d be needing it.

Random 01


And she died.

Ok, this is supposed to be a light hearted non-story post filled to the brim with encouraging words for the week.
But you see, I have a very bad (good) habit of killing things literally. Not literally like literally but literally like litera-really. You feel me? (She asked, sounding like a Yoruba JJC in Yankee)
My habit is so bad (good), it extends to everything I watch. I mean, after two episodes of an anime and no one dies, it’s obviously a sign you’re watching a shoujo not a shounen. In fact,  a shounen is a disgrace to shounens if no one dies in the first episode.
Where am I going with this?  Your guess is as good as mine.
I don’t guess.

I’ll start again.

Good morning, denizens of Earth.
I bring you greeting from a tiny city surrounded by mountains, greenery and sheep.
It’s a sunny day out here and I’m so happy because I know it’s going to be shit soon. (She put on her raincoat in anticipation)
For breakfast, I had  an overripe banana, a burnt half pizza and green tea.
The good, the bad and the ugly.
I leave you to decide which is which.

(Clears throat)

Hear ye!

(Shoots beams of encouragement erratically)

And she died.

Moral lesson: Never use nuclear material as ingredient for ANYTHING.

image

Maiden Voyage


Slowly,  they march
Bare feet on carpet of leaves
Lanterns, yellow pinpricks of light
Face whitened with nzu
Trembling lips betraying the resolute hardness in their eyes
Young chests, wrapped in red clothes, yet to feel the weight of breasts, slowly rising and falling with every breath.
Heads bald, shorn of hair.

Slowly, they march.

Alone, no guide.
Walk to the end of the path, they were told.
Branches caress bare arms, leaving traces of moisture, verdant tears.
They say nothing, silence enveloping them like cotton burial cloth.

The forest is silent.
Figures flit in the tall, tall trees.
Watching.
A cold finger strokes a scalp.
A flinch but nothing is said.
Omu tightly clamped between teeth.

Deeper they go.
Until it is the end of the path.
A tall tree in the middle of a clearing.
They kneel at the foot of an orji tree, hands grasping its hard bark

It comes down.
They hear the slithering first.
Rustling branches, breaking the silence like a thunder crack.
Long nails scratching on rough bark.
Descending.
Something wet falls on a bald head.
Then the smell.
Dead.
Rot.
Prime smell of virgin earth.
Eyes are tightly shut.
Fingers like twigs touch their heads.
A blessing.
One word: Umu m
My children.
Slowly, they rise.
Step back.
Mist gathers at their feet.
Out of the mists, things rise.
Shapes, forms.
Long limbed.
Long limbs encircling.
Each.
Pulling them to their spots.
Feet sink slowly into suddenly mushy earth.
Arms are pulled,  till they are stretched apart.
Like crosses.

Slowly, root tendrils burrow into feet,
Tearing into skin, sinking into bones.
Mouths open to scream
Yet, silence.

Silence.

Where stood girls
Now stand trees.

*****************
She lost her children
Madness drove her
To the dark Ohia
Every year, she calls to them.
Every year, they answer.

The Writing Process Blog Tour


Yes, I didn’t die.
No, I’m not suffering from anything terminal.
I’ve just been BUSY.

I won’t bore you with the long details. Anyway!
The Thinking Tank himself enlisted me to join his battle in defeating an evil entity from the future. I won’t lie, I just agreed because of the after-party victory jollof rice. Fam, I don’t even want meat.
Lol ok on a serious note, this is a post about my writing process and strategy and all that.
‘What writing process? You haven’t written a story in ages!’ You say.
Well, sharrap.
I have been and am writing. Just not blog stuff.
Let’s head to the FAQs:

1. What am I working on?

Personally, (and when I say personally I mean for myself), I’ve got two projects lined up. One is a collection of short horror stories I’ve written. They’ve been put up on this blog at one point or another in the span of about two years. What I’ve done though, (just in case you’re wondering why I’d make a collection of familiar stories) is I’ve re-written them; given them more length, depth and alternative endings in most I think. I’ve also added stories I haven’t put up here so there are new things to read eh?
The second thing I’m working on is a novella and no, not horror. My main focus while I’m writing this is creating something that can be used as a literature text in Nigerian schools at all levels.
I’ve been drawing strong inspiration from The classic African literature masters; Achebe, Chukwuemeka Ike, Okri, Ekwensi et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
I’ve kinda stalled on both projects admittedly but I do plan on kickstarting again this summer so pray for me sumimasen!

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I tend to tell myself I write in two genres: one, horror, and the second, the rest all jumbled up.
I’ll just answer this generally.
Sometimes, I don’t know how my work differs from your average horror or thriller because I read a lot of them and I know a lot of what I read leech into my writing. I cannot stop that. However, for how it differs, I’d say it’s in dialogue.
If you’ve read a lot of my stories you’d notice they do contain a lot of dialogue not just a straight run through. In these dialogues, I try to show the state of mind of the character speaking and it works somehow.
Also, I tend to not write happy stories, even when it’s supposed to be a lighthearted story. There is an underlying sadness in a lot of what I pen down (even my romance stories are sad, X for Ada eg) I don’t know why. I’ve just accepted that’s just me.
I’m not one for flowery languages or big words. So I write so that a layman would understand the gist of my tale without Google.
Now for my horror, I’m very keen on madness and the mind. A lot of my horror stories reflect this. I’m also big on creating powerful, psychotic female characters. This is not a feminist bid on my part, it’s just the way my thought process works. I genuinely believe women are scarier than men and so I allow my belief take preeminence in my stories.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I don’t know if I have a clear reason why I write a lot of disturbing things. Lol.
First is probably I’m influenced by what I read, naturally. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Graham Masterton, Adam Neville etc. I also enjoy African literature even though I think I don’t read enough of them. Now, I’ve always wanted to merge these two ‘styles’. Horror in an African setting. The only book I’ve read that gave me a vague sense of this merger was The Bottled Leopard by Chukwuemeka Ike which still remains a personal fave of mine. Because I’m Igbo, it’s always easiest for me to make my characters Igbo so i can fully capture ethnicity in terms of culture and language.
When I was growing up, my sisters told me a lot of stories, scary stories. Igbo stories. Some passed down, some invented in their demented minds. Horror is an African genre. It’s in our folk tales. It’s in our art, Which is why the British museum have hidden our art in the basement! :’)
What I’m saying is that, this isn’t something new. It is just suppressed because religion and Da Blood! I cast and bind! Blah blah…
It’s just a story. They’re just stories. Or are they… Hehehe
I want to read more African inspired chillers and so I write them for my reading pleasure and for those who have the same appetite as I do.
My non horror stories, I write because sometimes I feel like proving I can be versatile. I don’t want to be stuck in a box. Or have my writing labelled under one concrete genre. I want to be like an amorphous substance; flowing, one molecule into the other.
I also extend my versatility to poetry, plays. Just because I can. I’m not the best at what I do but I don’t care because I enjoy it too much to make it about just being ‘best’.

4. How does my writing process work?

With a dialogue.
Seriously.
I do this thing where I run commentaries in my head. And hold conversations with different types of personalities in my head. And I stumble on that one dialogue that serves as a base to build up an enormous tale. Sometimes, the base isn’t solid and story ends up in my draft. other times, it makes the cut and ends up being told.
I tend to write as my Spirit directs, especially with short stories. I just write as I go, no plans. I find that having a plan restricts my imagination. I write and write till I get to an ‘end’. Then, i begin to edit and end up deleting half of what I got anyway! The editing phase is when I do my serious thinking, trying to make a story as plausible as I can. I mean I know it’s fiction but the beauty of the kind of stuff i write is making it so plausible, you believe it can happen (which most times, it can, but that’s a tale for another day)
When I have bigger projects, like my novella or working on a script for film, I do have an outline of what happens at every turn. I then fill up the outline with a corresponding story to match.
Then the additions and subtractions.
I type mostly but when I stumble on a good story in my head mentally and I’m maybe at work or in school, I go long hand.
Oh! I just remembered another novella in the making I’m writing by hand about cats. I wonder where I kept it… :-/

Anyway guys, that is all from me!
To pass this baton given to me, I’d introduce the next person writing about his own Writing Journey!
You all know him well, he’s no stranger to Phantom Pages.
Edgothboy! One of my favourite writers.
Eddie is an alumnus of the 2011 Farafina Trust Writing Workshop. He has called himself an amateur writer (Smh), cheerleader of the greats and a Melissa Bank groupie.
He blogs at PTS

————————

That’s all folks!
I’ll try write more, no promises.
If you want to ask any more questions, please feel free!

Ore to Benin


Be born again, be born again, the Preacher kept screaming into her ears, standing directly in front of her. She rolled her eyes and went back to reading her book.
His voice kept filtering into her thoughts and soon she found herself grinding her teeth to hide her irritation. It did not help that the woman sitting near her kept shouting AMEN! to everything he said.
Why couldn’t he carry his preaching to a church and let everyone travel in peace,  she wondered peevishly. She raised her head and using her fingers, combed her weave where resting it on the headboard of the chair had matted it.
As if looking for a target,  he pounced on her singular movement.
“Some girls of today! They worship the devil with their hair and nails! Queens of the coast! Agbara Persia! May their powers be destroyed in Jesus name!”
The woman sitting next to her directed her loud amen to her, staring at her as if waiting to be confronted.
The girl snorted under her breath, ignoring them.
“I cast and bind the Devil laughing at our prayers in Jesus name!”
The amens were so loud, it woke up the snoring man seated on the opposite row. He banged his head, startled and with an annoyed shouted asked the Preacher to shut up.
“Watch and Pray so that you will not fall! Stop sleeping!” the Preacher shouted,  to roars of laughter and Amens.
The man hissed, eyeing the short man clutching a tattered bible to his chest, clad in a suit two sizes too big, a sweating, preaching caricature.
Deciding he wasn’t worth his time, he closed his eyes and promptly went back to sleep.
She groaned inwardly, swearing to herself never to transport her goods via Chisco ever again.
The hallelujahs continued and Amens followed until he mentioned donation and suddenly the woman sitting beside her went quiet, suddenly absorbed by the rolling scenery outside.
Unable to help herself, she turned. “Shey you no go donate? Una wey sabi scream AMEN. Oya na!”
The woman eyed her, hissing theatrically as she mumbled about girls who didn’t know have respect for their elders.
Finally, the bus rolled to a stop and eager to be on her way,  she jumped down and with help, pulled her box out of the carriage.
Good riddance.
Soon, she was home and eager to look through her purchases, she opened her box.
And screamed.
Lined neatly, were heads of three children, each in a clear bag.

He got home and eager to check his purchases, he opened his box.
Lined neatly were bundles and bundles of weaves.
The Preacher looked at the box in confusion.

The Incident with Segun


Preparing for class on Monday morning and suddenly, I remembered Segun, a classmate in Primary 6. It was at this point that it dawned on me that after over 12 years, I could still remember what happened…or what almost happened that afternoon.

It was another afternoon in class and our class teacher Mr Irabor was going through some Mathematics with us. I remember the sweltering room, windows open because for some odd reason, the A/C in class had refused to come on . And thank God for that! Who knows, we might not have been able to hear the screams that alerted all of us.
“Excuse me Sir, can I use the toilet?”
Those were not his exact words but they were something to that effect and with a nod of the head as approval, Segun left the class.
I will give the briefest history on Segun; he was the quiet one in class. I wasn’t exactly gregarious myself but at that age, I always tended to play and hang out more with the boys.
He never played football; or I never played football with him and that was saying something considerng the fact I’d played with almost all the boys in class.
At that age and at that point, if someone had asked me to tell them about a boy who was probably in my class from Primary 1 Yellow, I would have been stumped.
It was after the incident I learnt his full name which I’d leave out for confidential purposes.

Back to class, we were still trying to fan ourselves with our hands and papers when we heard a faint thud. We had no idea what had happened, too busy being bored.
What snapped our necks to attention was the scream of a woman; a scream that was echoed by screams of children.
Lesson forgotten, we all ran to the open window, the nearest people scanning for the source of the screams, the fartherst, struggling to make it near the window .
“Everybody sit down!” our tacher barked at us and we obeyed with alacrity. Huffing, I remember he dropped his book and walked out of the class, probably going to find out what was happening.
“Can you see anything?” I remember someone asking a student who sat by the window, the craned their necks and after a few seconds shook their heads.
We decided to wait for our teacher, the only person who’d be able to tell us what was happening.
We noticed other teachers leaving their classes, intent too to find out about the screams.
We waited.
The headmaster walked in a few minutes later with a stern expression on his face, threatning any student who thought about stepping out of cass with expulsion.
Worry mixed with curiosity, we talked in hushed tones, as if trying not to drag any unwanted attention to our class.
The tension built up, fidgeting eleven year olds in their seats.
Our teacher walked in later with an inscrutable expression on his face. Class continued as usual and no one dared to ask him just what had happened.
Minutes stretched to almost an hour and soon, we got tired of waiting to know what had happened. We’d know at the end of the day anyway.

New filtered in after class.
Segun had jumped from the window of the boy’s toilet. The toilet was on the third floor.
There was a hushed silence of disbelief and fear. I think someone actually cried.
“He is possessed” a girl murmured. Apparently, a rumour was going round that a voice had commanded him to jump.
The more creative minds painted a scenario where he was pushed out of the window by a cleaner for soiling the place. Better still, he was pushed out by another student after a fight. The accepted story was that he was trying to sneak out of school and didn’t know we were on the third floor. That seemed the most plausible.
What we didn’t think of or chose not to think about what the fact that maybe, just maybe Segun jumped out of that toilet window to kill himself.
You see, suicide was so unfathomable for a Nigerian and a youngster that I only got exposed to the idea from reading Western novels.

Killing ourselves was something we indulged in our thinking maybe after a particularly bad session of flogging from our parents. We’d imagine dying just as the final whip lash was administered, somehow dying and simultaenously enjoying the sight of shock on our parent’s faces when they realised the error of their discipline-friendly ways.
We imagined ourselves croning in delight, knowing they’d carry our lifeless body in their hands, weeping and promising never to flog us again
The idea was to suddenly come back to life and be treated like royals for the rest of our lives.
That was as far as we thought when it came to death.
But Segun didn’t go for the dramatic pose.
He wanted the real deal.
He wanted to die.
I remember how scared I was that evening and the next day, the hush that enveloped the whole of Primary 6.
Was there a special assembly the next morning? I cannot rememeber.
All we knew at that point was that he was alive.
He fell from the third floor and landed downstairs where the nursery classes were situated but he managed to survive.
We thanked God privately for that. He only suffered a broken arm.
Was the incident swept under the carpet? Most likely.
I vaguely remember Segun coming back to school with a cast on his broken arm.
It was then i tried to study and know him. All i could get out of him was his name.
Sadly, my memories after that are a bit hazy.
Did he graduate with us? I doubt it. I think he finally left the school.
Expulsion?

Monday morning, and suddenly Segun comes to mind.
Walking to the bus stop, a question springs to mind.
“Where is Segun?”
Is he still alive?
Or did he manage to complete the deed he tried to do?
Has he finally killed himself?

——————————————————————————

Based on a true story.

Voyeurs of Death


The sawing and spraying of dust was punctuated by the laughter of the boys sitting at a corner, heads bent down in gossip. The Master had just left with an irate customer whose gesticulation made me giggle internally as I watched the sharp-tongued tyrant reduced to mumbling and apologies.
“Haaay! I saw one that his head was just open yakata!” one of the boys at the corner shouted, spreading his arms to buttress his point. I frowned. What were they talking about today? The clique always had a topic of discussion; the last one being the voluptuous girl that sold oranges along the street. Lade, the oldest of the bunch had managed to successfully convince the boys that he had licked her orange most vigorously, several times. The other boys had looked at him with admiration so undisguised, i snorted with laughter.
“Wetin?” Lade had asked me, as they all turned to regard me, the odd, silent apprentice
Memories of seeing the particular orange girl slap the lust out of Lade because of his attempted buttocks grabbing flashed in my head and for a second I had toyed with exposing him for the liar that he was.
“Nothing” I had murmured as an afterthought, facing my work, the small smile never leaving my lips.
“Blood just full everywhere yakpaaaaa!”
Another exclamation brought me out of my reverie.
Curiosity getting the better of me, I sidled up to them, temporarily abandoning my work.
“Ah! E get one man wey Army shoot for my front! Him belle burst open! All him stomach just commot, dey drag for floor. He no die o. He just dey pack all him belle back inside!”
I saw the fascination written boldly on the faces of the listeners; eyes glinting bright, bodies quivering with an almost erotic feeling of anticipation. I could have sworn I saw one of the new boys lick his dry lips, as if waiting to eat a particularly appetizing dish.
Repulsion and fascination held me to my position, as the story teller continued to recount of the man he saw who died by disembowelment.
“Ah! Hin get one wey i see for Warri when i still small!” quipped another boy, a wide grin on his face, glad to be the sudden center of attention. “He just tie rope for ceiling tie rope for hin neck come dey do like fish wey dem don commot for wata! If you see him face ehn! E come swell like bread wey dem put inside tea! Tongue come turn black like snake. Blood just dey everywhere”
The boys all snapped their fingers, Lade spitting out on the sandy floor and roughly covering it up with sawdust.
“Na wa o…”
“People fit die anyhow”
Although they murmured platitudes, I saw the secret shine of enjoyment in their eyes; their morbid curiosity egged on by the mystery of Death. I cleared my throat.
“I don see person die”
Suddenly all attention turned to me and for a second, i regretted opening my mouth. I was silent suddenly repulsed by the hungry look in their eyes as they collectively looked at me like the Messiah.
“Talk na!” one of the urged and I swallowed.
Taking my hesitation as a sign of the heaviness and morbidity of my disclosure, they drew even closer, necks craning like vultures waiting for a dying animal to give up its final breath before swooping in for a feast.
“For Aba where I dey stay I see one man wey just fall for road…” I paused
“Ehen ehen…wetin come happen?” One of them urged, gesticulating wildly, his fingers slightly trembling with the need to know.
I looked at them in confusion. “He fall. Hin come die. Dem talk say na heart attack. Just like that o”
There was a sudden change of atmosphere, like air being let out of a balloon. A look of what would have best been described as utter disgust marred their faces and for a second, I felt the need to be in fear for my life,their anger translating to bunched fists and sneering mouths.
Lade let out a loud hiss, diffusing the sudden tension, prompting other boys to turn away from me.
“I think say na beta tin he wan talk sef” I heard one of them mutter.
“Idiot pikin”
“Didirin”
“Omo Igbo. Olodo nonsense. Omo ale jati jati”
They sniggered while I watched their backs in amusement.
Without another word, I went back to work, musing on just what they found so exciting about Death’s mysteries.
I guess it’s ‘sweeter’ when you’re looking in from the outside.
Sometimes, I imagine taking a saw to Lade’s neck ever so slowly while they watch, drenched to the bone in his blood, incapable of doing anything else.
Would they find Death so exciting then? Probably not.
A small smile pulls at the corners of my lips as I saw another piece of wood.
I just may. I chuckle softly to myself.
After all, I’m no stranger to Death.
I’ve administered it before.

 

———————————————-

So, I haven’t been here in what feels like A MILLENIUM!
A lot of things really… but no excuses. GOMEN!
Although my schedule is unforgiving i’ll be trying my best to write one a week (or two weeks)
No promises. 😦

Till then,

JANA!

El Malvado Muñecas


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El Malvaldo Muñecas
Gently, the wind caresses
They swing
Synthetic hair fluttering
Catching the rays of sunlight.
Eyes stitched shut.
Lips stitched to a slashed smile
Across kntted faces
The locals cross the road
Quick signs of the cross
Away from the dolls
Garroted
Under barbed wires.
Puppet-like
The wing, the puppet-master.
No one knows how
Or why
Or when
But even the bravest of men
Would never stray where  they hang
Swinging merrily
Invitingly…
Touch me…

She died,
Nina, the curious.
A week after she had waited,
Away from Papa’s gaze
To quickly touch a doll
Light; just light on its feet.
Drowned.
A week after,
Her doll, redhead and patchy
Hung beside the others.
Garroted.
A dancing puppet.
Touch me…

Papa wailed as he saw
His gift of love,
Crudely added
To the macabre theatre
El malvaldo Muñecas
They took her.

Poseído!
Muñecas poseído!
Possessed,
Every single one of them
Their stitched-on smile
Never wavering
At the accusing glances of the locals.

It is whispered;
Sí, it is true
That on a certain night
They do not just hang.
On a night when the gateway
Between worlds open;
Día de Muertos.
Their stitched eyes open.

It is whispered,
Sí, it is true
They remember;
The warmth of their owners,
The echoed feel of a body
Pressed softly
Against a child
And then, they move
In search.
Of old owners, long gone.
Of new owners,
soon to be gone.

El malvado muñecas
The evil dolls.

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