Tag Archive: death


Legion


Hello ningensei (Humans, in case you wondered what that meant).
I bring you a story I joyfully received from one of the witers on one of my favorite blogs, (Pass The Salt), @Titaenium!
Do read and enjoy! 🙂

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“So the devils besought him, saying,
if thou cast us out,
suffer us to go away into the herd of swine”

Matthew 8:31
(King James Bible {Cambridge Edition})

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

The lake is still.
A monstrous mirror; reflecting the empty, endless blue of the sky.
She wants it to move.
She picks up a perfect pearl of a pebble and tosses it but before it slams into the sliver surface of the water, she wishes she hadn’t. The splash is deafening, sending ripples across the lake’s surface, turning glass into liquid.
Mary smiles a little as the chaos oddly calms her nerves for a moment. The lake is returning to stillness, but she isn’t. Her mind is a jumble of jagged emotion. She won’t cry. She didn’t cry the last three times and she won’t now.  He was just a boy. She had loved him; had imagined a wedding in the springtime, in  a garden bursting with colour and life. Then he had called to tell her he was on another continent. He was never coming back. There was no emotion in his voice but she could see him in her mind’s eye walking down some red-dirt road, avoiding a bustling crowd, full of colour and life, chewing his teeth as he forced out the words.

She had smiled through her tears as she whispered goodbye and calmly walked to the lake. A place she only knew. She had brought him here to her place.  They had kissed in the soft scented air, rolled around in prickly grass, sunbathed naked. He had  filled her hair with lilies and kissed her, told her how beautiful she – a loud scream escapes her lips as she grabs a handful of the pebbles that litter the bank and flings them into the air above the lake. They fall in staccato, puncturing the still glass of the lake for a second time and causing birds to take flight from the trees, where they had been silent, choked by the hot air.
She falls to her knees and ragged sobs escape her. She wants to stop but she can’t, love has fucked her over again and it hurts.

“Are you alright?” a deep voice rumbles above her. She looks up and sees a man, a very beautiful man. He’s physical rugged, matching his gravel-in-velvet voice and she would have believed he was some sort of construction worker if she hadn’t seen the paint smeared across both his knuckles.
“Yes.”, she says standing up,  dusting moist sand off her yellow sundress and tucking blood red hair behind her ears. , “I’m fine, just a little…tired”
“You looked  like you were having a meltdown and it didn’t look ‘a little tired”. His voice is tinged with sarcasm. She giggles.
“Well, it was  tired, when I have actual meltdowns I spit fire.”. It’s his turn to laugh.
“I’m Lucius”, he says extending his green, blue and yellow hand.
“Mary”, she says as she grabs it. It’s warm and rough and it makes her feel safe again. She stares into his eyes and her heart skips.  They’re the colour of rum, almost red.
“You’re bleeding”, he points to her knees, his brows, wrinkled.
“Sorry?”. She’s busy staring at his cheek covered in ink black stubble, she wants to touch it and forget.
“You are bleeding.?” He says, emphasizing the –eeding
She looks down, sees the raw red skin and realizes that her knees are tingling and that they have been since she met her Knight with Painted Hands.
“Oh. I h-“
“I’ll just go get  my painting gear, so we can get it checked at my place.”

They walk a short way along the bank till they get to his easel, stuck in the soggy earth. On it is a large painting of the lake in all it’s still glory; lush blues and shimmering greys, at the left bottom corner, she sees herself, a yellow smear  frozen in thought, staring across the lake. It’s breathtaking. She’s feels small and fragile.
As he bends over to wrap it in moist muslin, she knows what she has to do to forget her fuckhead ex.
Sex heals.
They walk to his apartment which isn’t so far from the river.
He goes to get his first aid kid as she perches tentatively on a sofa.
He comes back and dutifully begins to clean up her wound.
The moment he drops the soaked cotton ball and rises to look at her face, biting his lower lip innocently, she attacks.
He tastes like creamy coffee and smells of citrus, lake air and a heady male musk. His body is hard against hers and as she works her tongue into his mouth grabbing his stubble covered jaw , he hoists her and slams her into a wall kissing her back with a heat that makes her toes curl then he takes her to the room. He pulls off his shirt and tosses it over his shoulder; she has her dress in a pool at their feet. He lifts her and she wraps her legs around his waist, he moves sliding across the smooth wood floor of his apartment and drops her into the bed, pressing her into the soft cotton sheets with his fever hot body. He unclasps her bra and takes a nipple into his mouth and the world shivers.

They’re dancing.

A primal dance, punctuated with the music of their moans. She’s above him, head thrown back, pale neck exposed, stomach bellowing furiously, curly red mane stuck to her shoulders with sweat, she can feel his hot flesh deep  inside her. He lies in the white sheets, his tan skin contrasting, the tattoo of a hog’s head peeking through the hair on his heaving chest; the air is thrumming with lust. Lucius crests with a ragged moan emptying himself into her. He flips her onto the bed and looks into her sky blue eyes, dark with lust and smiles, sliding his fingers into her centre and watching her back arch in ecstasy. He grabs her hips in his rough painted hands and with his mouth, brings her over the edge, ripples of heat flashing through her as she sees the Sun.

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

She stands at the door, her shoes in her hands and her yellow sundress rumpled. Her red locks are a halo of unruly curls around her face. She smiles at the nearly naked sleeping Lucius, kept decent by a slip of white bed sheet. He looks like a bronze statue as the sun slips through the curtains to ignite his tan skin. The sex worked; her ex now seems like an old memory that left a bad taste in her mouth. Life could now go on, with her being single and studying towards a healthy CGPA. She has her hand on the handle, when Lucius’ voice freezes her,
“Will you come back?”
“No, not really”, she laughs, moving mused hair out of her eyes, “I’m not ready to start and/or continue anything with anyone right now.”
He smiles, a crescent of blinding white in the morning sun.
“You will be back.”, his tone is sure and almost authoritative. She laughs again, but her heart does a little flip.
“Okay! If you say so!” her voice is unnaturally high and her hands are flailing more than normal.
Lucius has gone back to sleep, bronze eyelids quivering.
She slips on her shoes.
Weird. He doesn’t even know where I live.
Mary leaves the house and attempts a cute, long walk of shame to the nearest bus stop. She catches a glimpse of herself in a store window and sees her neck covered in hickeys. She takes a bus back to her tiny apartment.

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

Something is wrong.

Mary heaves dryly and a sharp pain shoots through her chest.  The roots of her hair are the color of blood, dark with sweat as she rests against the porcelain bowl of the toilet seat, breathing heavily. Her skin is pale and her eyes are a ripe pink; full of terror. She has been on the toilet floor for six hours unable to move. She takes a final heave and blood gushes out, red splattering against the shiny white.
She gasps and her hand goes to her mouth, tears running down her cheeks. She stands up on uneven legs and calls the ambulance.

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

“You are pregnant. The blood is weird, but it’s probably internal tears from all the dry vomiting” he says.
The world gradually goes hot and the tears start again. Her throat is dry.
“I’m sorry, Mary, but you need to calm down. Just go to sleep, you’ll be better. I’ll be back tomorrow for a scan.  Just call me when you need me.”
His body looks like its a thousand miles away and his voice echoes endlessly. Mary is pretty sure she is having a heart attack. She could not be pregnant. She just could not. She had always protected during sex with James, her ex, and he had been gone about two months before he called, so it wasn’t plausible. Lucius had been seven days ago and it just wasn’t biologically possible even though there hadn’t been protection. She remembered Lucius’ words and realized that she would be returning to his doorstep just eight days after having vigorous unprotected, nearly anonymous sex with him. She giggled to the empty room and drifted into a drugged haze.

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

She’s having sex in a pig sty. She can feel the wet mud and dung on her back, around her large hairy pigs are silent and watching with black beady eyes. The man above her has the head of a hog, just like the one on Lucius’ chest. The body looks exactly like his too, complete with a tiny scar above his right nipple.
He repeatedly pounds into her.

The pigs are watching.

He starts grunting and a heat begins to well up between her legs, then she begins to scream, though it comes out as low moans because of  her gagged mouth.

The pigs are watching.

Snot drips from his snout onto her bare breasts, sliding down their middle, and causing her to nearly vomit and choke into the gag.

The pigs are watching

The heat is building and his grunts are getting louder.

The pigs are watching.

He comes with a loud open mouthed squeal, head thrown back. The heat between her legs becomes a flame. She dies, muffled screaming, as her flesh burns and ashes float on the stale air.

The pigs are watching.

Mary is woken up from her vivid dream by screaming. It’s loud, shrill and piercing. She realizes she’s the one doing it; her mouth is open as she delivers piercing shrieks into the air. She notices something is different and when she looks down and realizes, everything goes black.

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

“LUCIUS!!!!!!”
Mary slams the bottle into the door and it shatters sending emerald fragments across the sidewalk. She starts pounding on the wood with her other hand, making the door shiver as loud booms echoes through the house.
It opens suddenly and she falls into Lucius, her weak wrist letting go of her weapon and it rolls down the front stairs.
“Hello, Mary” he says, a sinister glint in his eye as he drags her in and locks the front door.  He moves swiftly back into the kitchen where something is frying and filling the air with a rich, fatty aroma.
Pork.
Mary gags, as she steps in after him into the kitchen.
“What have you done to me!???” She screams, tearing open her blouse and revealing a belly the size of two basketballs. Buttons clatter across the hardwood floor as she stands there, holding the torn pieces of cloth open.
“Now, now, let’s be civil. I did nothing, only had sex with you to help you get over your evil ex”, he smiles. His teeth are too white.
“How did you know that?” A chill runs across her spine and over her arms. Lucius’ eyes are blood red.
“I know a lot of things, Mary Sherwood”.
“How do you know my name?” Mary’s voice quivers. Her shaking hands drop to her sides and liquid warmth runs down her leg. Whatever is in her stomach kicks hard, she screams in pain. Lucius smiles at her.
“For instance, I know…” he turns back to his pork.
“…that you are going to…” she can’t move when he swings the hot oil-filled pan into the side of her head, knocking her out cold.
“Die”.

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

The truck bounces down the dusty road, in its open bed is an unconscious Mary. White and gold blouse torn, an angry red welt marks the side of her face, her hair is singed but still shines ruby in the happy yellow sunlight. In the driver’s seat, Lucius is nodding to the motions of the bouncing truck. His shirt is off and his eyes are shielded by large sunglasses.
At the end of the road a large red barn stands, the paint peeling off in large patches, about twenty feet to its right, a little white cottage stands, as Lucius brings the truck to a halt in front of the barn, the door to the house flies open and five more Luciuses come out, walking briskly. They all look exactly like the man at the wheel; same height, same dark hair and stubble, same dark-red eyes and the same hog’s head tattooed onto their left pectorals. Two of them lift Mary off the bed of the truck and walk towards the barn that another two are opening. The barn is full of squealing, grunting pigs. They dump her unceremoniously into the mud.
When they come out, Lucius and the fifth are gone. They run into the house, grunting as they go.

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

Mary wakes up to darkness, chanting and pain. Six men stand above her, speaking harsh phrases. Her eyes adjust to the darkness as another cramp goes straight through her soul. They are naked.

The pigs are watching.

She looks down and sees she is naked too, covered in dark black mud. Her stomach has grown bigger, too big. The skin has been stretched to translucence and inside she can see a dark form much larger than a baby swimming. The men begin to chant louder, and pain rips through her body as her pelvic bones crack audibly. She screams and feels her throat fill with the dark copper of blood.

The pigs are watching.

The pain is radiating through her nerves, her centre is burning. Something is coming out of her and taking her life with it. Another crack fills the air as the right side of her chest collapses in, her lung fills with liquid and she begins to gurgle. The men chant even louder.

The pigs are watching.

Her vision begins to cloud over and just before life leaves her, she sees a man rise from between her thighs, covered in blood and slime.
It is Lucius.
She can’t scream, but her red hair goes a pure white. She dies with her eyes open, full of fear.

They stop chanting immediately she dies.
They, better known as Legion.
He had cast them out into swine thousands of years ago and into the swine they had stayed, waiting.
Finally, a suitable vessel presented himself to be possessed.

Legion shall never be bested again.
Legion shall not make the same mistake of remaining in one body.
Legion shall propagate; shall divide.

“Be fruitful and multiply” one of them say to the newly born man.

They smile in unison.

The silent pigs go crazy; squealing, grunting, and trampling over each other as they move to devour the pale, broken body of Mary Sherwood.

The End.

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I hope you all enjoyed reading that as much as I did!
Please, do leave your comments thanks! 🙂

Yetsi’at


Her tongue slowly slid out of her lips. She flicked them in the air, tasting; waiting. Her lips parted, revealing teeth that shone in the darkness.
She smiled and began singing softly, under her breath.

He sat, bare back hunched. Long, unbound white hair fell across his face, obscuring his visage. His fingers glided hesitantly on the strings of the instrument he carried on his arm. Head cocked, he listened to the sound of her voice. The soft whispering voice that sang in his head.

She sniffed the air, taking in the smell of sand and burnt spices. Her tongue slipped out again, measuring. She opened her eyes and stared out into the darkness, barely illuminated by pinprick glows of flickering flames. She saw nothing.  Eyes filmed over. No sight.

He cleared his throat.
“You shall not be afraid…of the terror..by night…”. His voice broke.

“Or of the arrow that fly by day…” she whispered out loud.

A slight wind buffeted the dark robes she was swaddled in, which hid her body frame from view. Only her head was bared.

He smiled and gently plucked his strings. He lived in his world of silence; silence broken by her voice. He plays to her voice.
He’s deaf.

The air thrummed with energy. Her tongue swayed expertly, gathering the energy to her palate, extracting the information she needed.
Assimilating.
Discerning.
It was almost time.

His fingers continued their labour of love. They kept picking and strumming even though they knew their owner would never enjoy the fruits of their labour. It soothed him. That was all that mattered to them.
Slender, pale fingers, kept working.

“It’s time” she whispered and he stopped, mid-play.They were apart on a high crag formed by a sand dune. A cool wind blew, as if in affirmation of this statement; its chilly fingers playing tenderly with her flowing mass of dark hair. She steadily walked towards him, unmindful of the sand that tended to give way under one’s foot. He watched her gracefully stand beside him and touch his shoulders. He felt shivers down his back and he inclined his head towards her.

The sound of skin splitting was stolen away by the slowly increasing howl of the wind.
Dark gashes appeared at his back and slowly, his wings revealed themselves. He stood up, great in height, instrument in hand. The paleness of his bared torso glowed in the dark. His hair took on a golden hue and his eyes glowed, a vivid shade of red. His wings, the purest of white and his instrument, the dullest shade of sienna.

Slowly, her dark robes began unfurling themselves, fabric waving noiselessly in the air. The mass of it blocked her equally pale skin from view. Her wings peeked from sheets.
“We ride” she whispered even as the unfurling continued.
He nodded.
Together, they walked to the edge and without hesitation, fell into the waiting arms of darkness.

——————————-

I watch the faces gathered around the fire. Facial expressions mirror one another.
Fear.
Confusion.
Yhuda, my older brother looks grimly into the fire, arm slung over the shoulder of his twin brother Iuda.
Tateh’s eyes are closed, eyebrows knitted. That is his thinking face, my Tateh. Little Yochanan is sitted near Tateh, eyes wide, staring hypnotised, into the fire. Mameh and my sisters are trying to get some unleavened bread ready. I can hear Mameh scolding Hephzibah. She’s a clumsy one, our sister.
I clear my throat.
“Tateh..papa…”
His eyes snap open and turn to me.
“Amram” he said, his way of asking me what ails.
“Why are we doing this?” I say in a voice barely above a whisper.
He coughs, ridding his chest cavity of phlegm and spits into the fire.
The small flames sizzle.
“Moshe Rabbenu says we shall be free people tonight. He says HaShem would deliver us. We have done all that he says. All we have to do is wait.”
I nod, even though I do not really understand.
Yhuda looks at me briefly at throws me a smile. I smile back, uncertain. Earlier, we had killed a lamb with Dod Ishkar’s family. We ate them roasted, with very bitter herbs and hard bread. Mameh had said the bread was made without the raising thing. Forget the word the Mitzrayim call it. We had eaten it in a hurry, as Moshe had told us to do. I had watched as Dod and Papa painted the door frames with the blood of the lamb killed. According to Moshe, the ceremony was to be called Pesach.
Dod had said gruffly that it would keep out Mal’ach Hamavet, when i asked what the blood was going to do.
Mal’ach Hamavet. Death.
That thought disturbs me.
Keep out Death? How? I will not ask Tateh. He is no good at explanation.
I’d ask Yhuda later.
“How will we know when we’re delivered?” I turn to ask Yhuda
He shrugs. “We will know”
Iuda nods at this and repeat the same words.
Tateh nods in approval.
We will know.
We fall back into silence.
I bring my meager belongings Moshe had said we should pack, closer and hug it, eyes open but mind lost in thought.

—————————–

Land became visible and his eyes could pick out shadows of people who passed, amongst other things.They slowed and smoothly descended at the bank of the Great River.
“Praa” she whispered to him as his wings retracted. Her robes once again moulded around her.
He nodded and together, they walked to do their duty.

———————-

Mashuy walked aimlessly, tired. He could not sit and rest.
Guard duty.
There was an increase in the number of guards tonight.
The Praa wanted to make sure Ramoses didn’t organise an assassination on the Royal Son, and then claim it as his ‘god’s work’.
It was his first night guarding the Praa.
He stood beside the door, trying not to lean. He would be whipped severely if seen by the Guard Master.
He allowed his eyes glaze, staring at nothing but the play of shadows.
Suddenly his back arched and he jerked to an upright stance.
The door opened on its own. He glanced at the other guards who stood watch, but they hadn’t moved a muscle.
He stared back at the door and was surprised to see it closed.
He thought his tiredness was getting to him.
He began pacing again.

——————————-

The demons stared at the two figures that approached, baleful, from where their statues were. The blind woman could not see them but her flickering tongue could taste their sweet, smarmy stench of corruption. Only Bastet and Hathor stood from their crouched positions, glowing in their ornaments of rubies and emeralds. They looked haughtily at the two emissaries, orb-like eyes shining dully in the dim room. They bared the way. The woman walked up to them and as she approached, the two goddesses shrank back. The woman’s hair rose from her back and like a whip, it lashed the demon goddesses away. They whimpered, eyes burning with hatred as they slunk back, failed sentries. They walked into his chamber and stared at his sleeping body, covered in silk. He, being the Royal Son. The first son of Praa.

She walked to his bedside as if with sight and cast her blind gaze on him.
The deaf man walked to the other side and gently fingered the forelock of the sleeping King-to-be, black against his bronze skin.
The deaf man looked at her and feeling her gaze on him, she nodded.
He brought forth his stringed instrument and humming, he began playing. His skin began to glow as the tune he played progressed.
The boy tossed on the bed, as if struggling. His eyes opened and he sat up with a jolt, mouth open in a silent scream.
The musician played his instrument faster, fingers flying over strings.
The boy flopped back on the bed, his writhing causing the bed to quake, bed clothes bunched around his almost naked body. He was fighting a losing battle. His spasms decreasing in intensity. With one final jerk, and a faint cry from his slack lips, his body stilled. Slowly, soul separated from flesh. Sensing the emergence, she stretched out her hand through her robes, gathering the smoke-like Ba that rose. She opened her mouth and threw it.
He stopped playing and stared at the boy, sadly.
“Come. Many more await.” she said.

—————————

Anahita opened the door and entered into her house under the cover of darkness. Her father would kill her if he found out she had just come in. She quickly walked to her room, and on second thoughts, suddenly stopped. She hadn’t seen her brother, Amen, since the sun rose. He was recovering from the boils which her father believed was inflicted on him by the accursed Ramose…or Moshe as the Habiru slaves called him.
She tiptoed into his room and poked her head in.
The torch flames had not been doused yet, she noticed angrily. The rustling of sheet drew her eyes to the figure of her father’s first boy on the make shift bed.
Her eyes widened in growing horror as she watched her brother jerk, eyes open, arms splayed to his sides.
She screamed…

——————————-

…and we all jerk in alarm.
The twins sit up, ears cocked.
Even Mameh stopped her kneading.
She walks over to Tateh and asks him what it is.
Tateh has no idea, I know, but he doesn’t say it.
“Moshe” is all he says. The name has turned into a talisman.
We all trust Moshe.
Again, the scream is repeated, this time, farther away. It is joined by another scream.
And another.
And another.We all stand, unable to hide the alarm anymore.

Yhuda voices what we had all noticed.
“It comes from the Mitzrayim side ” he whispers.
Yochanan looks more afraid  and he clings to Tateh, eyes getting wider.
Tateh disengages himself from him and walks over to Mameh.
He wants to go check what is happening outside.
“Moshe said to stay in. Remember. Mal’ach Hamavet ” she says in a hushed voice.
Tateh sighs and nods.
He motions us to sit back down while Mameh goes back to her little corner. She begins scolding Hephzibah again. It seems she’s crying. Ona, my elder sister shushes her brusquely.
This is going to be a long night.

————————————————-

They walked out of the last building.
“All done” the blind woman whispered, face turned to the sky.
“All done” he replied.
Screams of anguish rent the air but they are oblivious to it.
After all, he is deaf. He cannot hear them.
She is blind, she cannot see them.
Together they walk into the darkness, the emissaries of Death.

———————————————–

There is heavy pounding at the door and we all jump up.
Dod Ishakar’s voice asks for entrance and Yhuda is quick enough to go and open.
Tateh rises too and goes to meet his brother.
“Moshe says to move. We are free.”
I cannot believe it.
I stand, oblivious to the sudden increase in activity around me.
“Amram!” my Mameh says hastily, and I’m freed from the bondage of my reverie. I turn to face her and see she was holding a sack to my face.
“Quick!” Tateh says “If we don’t leave now, we might never leave again!”
The talk of missing our chance galvanizes us into action.
After 430 years of slavery, it seems we are finally free.
Baruch atah Adonai.

——————————————————-

Yetsi’at – The Exodus
HaShem – The Name
Tateh- Papa
Mameh- Mama
Mitzrayim- Egypt
Baset/ Haroth- Egyptian goddesses of protection.
Dod- Uncle
Mal’ach Hamavet – Angel of Death
Praa – Pharaoh.
Moshe Rabbenu – Moses, our Teacher
Ramoses- Moses’ real name according to some Egyptologists and  some Scholars.

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Originally had two tales in mind but this is a merger of both. This is dedicated to the people of HaShem everywhere in the world, celebrating the feast of Pesach (Passover).
Hope you enjoyed that. You can lie if you didn’t 😀

Lambs


She admired her dapper self quickly in the mirror one last time, even as she heard her mother scream for her to ‘Hurry up and move!’. Something about her beating the traffic. She smiled to herself, patting her newly braided hair unnecessarily and smoothening the pleats on the skirt of her new school uniform.
Off to boarding school.
She chuckled and ran out of the room.
For the first time since they- her family- moved houses, she was happy about the change. Leaving Festac behind and relocating to V.I had hit her hard; her school friends, neighbours, swimming club friends. At least they still went to church every Sunday there. Not like they had a choice, seeing as her dad was one of the Pastors there. The good thing about moving was that for the first time, she was going to become a ‘boarder’. And it was not just any school, it was Princess College! One of the most prestigious all-girls school in the state. She had called Timi, her bestfriend to share the good news last week. Remembering their conversation suddenly dampened her mood as she got into the back seat of the Peugot 505 with one of her luggages.
‘Boarder?? At Princess College??’
‘Yeah! It’s so cool abi!’
‘Hmm…’
‘What is hmm now. You’re supposed to be happy for me.’
‘I am, I am, babe. It’s just that i heard something about that college…’
‘What? Their standard of education is really good and…’
‘I know that. I applied there after primary school remember?’
‘So what is it then?’
‘I heard stuff about witches and stuff in their hostel at night. And at certain times of the month stuff like..’
‘Abeg abeg abeg! Don’t tell me you believe that Madam Koi Koi rubbish. Or Bush baby stories. Those are primary school ghost stories jo!’
‘Hmm..Ok o. Sha be careful there Geebee. Pray o.’
‘Yeah yeah..’
‘Gbemi don’t yeah yeah o. I’m serious….’

Of course she was serious.
She scoffed in her head as she waved to her little brother until they disappeared out of sight.
She settled back in her seat. She was going to be alright. After all, she was the daughter of a Pastor.

“…there are two bunks free in Newton house. I’d advice you to take the one beside me. The other is near the toilet!”
Gbemi smiled and nodded.
“Thank you Senior.”
The Senior laughed.
“No need for formalities in here. Only on school premises. You can call me Amanda.”
‘No need for Senior! This school too cool gaan!’ she thought.
“Ok Se…Amanda”
Amanda smiled at her sweetly.
“Welcome to Princess College.”

Gbemi allowed the mass of students streaming from the Grand Hall to carry her along while she thought about the announcement the Principal just made. A student apparently ran away from the hostel. The Principal sounded furious; she had the right to. She wondered why anyone in their right mind would leave the school. It wasn’t like the living conditions were bad. The punishments could be a bit severe she agreed especially coming from the Matron but still!
“All these ajebo kids sha. Small thing they run away. Abeg!” she muttered under her breath.
Someone tapped her shoulder and she turned.
“Ama..I mean Senior” she smiled sheepishly.
“You were frowning before. Are you Ok?” Amanda asked.
“Yes. Yes I’m fine. Just what Princi said…”
“Oh about the girl than ran away? They do that a lot.”
Gbemi’s eyes widened.
“Really?”
“Yeah. Some just miss their families i guess.” she said and shrugged.
“Oh.”
“Anyway, don’t let me delay you. What do you have now?”
“Government.”
“Oh with that perv Mr Abidemi!” Amanda chuckled. “Goodluck with him. I’m glad i dropped that subject! If you need any help though you can always meet me during Prep time.”
“Really! Thanks!”
Amanda smiled indulgently “Anyway. See you later!”
She wriggled her fingers and left.
Gbemi tried to imitate her finger-wriggling. If this were her former school, she would have taken Amanda to be her school mother. They didn’t do that kind of stuff here. She had asked Nengi, her new friend. She said it was old-fashioned. The Seniors didn’t bully so there was no use for that, apparently.
Gbemi shrugged and continued walking to her class.
“All these cool kids sha.” she murmured. She couldn’t wait to gist Timi when she went back home on Mid-term break.

Everybody was tensed.
Gbemi could feel it. She could see it infact. Even Amanda the most docile person she knew snapped at one of the Junior starter girls (calling them J1 girls was ‘old-fashioned’ too) in their room, driving her to tears.
“Na wa o” she whispered conspiratorially to her reading partner in the Prep hall. “Is anything happening? This one everyone is just boning anyhow anyhow”
Judith sighed and dropped her pretense of reading.
“Don’t you know the date? It’s Friday 13th.”
Gbemi stared. “…Erm so?”
Judith looked at her, amazed.
“What! Talk jo! What’s wrong with Friday 13th?”
“Well…the crux of the matter is that bad things happen apparently.”
Gbemi looked at her incredulously.
“You people believe all that superstition nonsense?”
She hissed and went back to her reading.
“It’s not superstition…Ok maybe it is but it’s serious Gbemi!”
Gbemi laughed.
“Don’t make me laugh abeg. Let’s read. Today might be Friday 13th, but next Monday is 16th and we have an ‘End of the year’ test then!”
Judith stared at her.
“Fine.” she whispered.

Well bad things did happen, though she wasn’t sure it was on the scale of what Judith…and the rest expected.
First, the dinner was burnt. Then, some girl sprained her ankle and had to be rushed to the clinic. Worst of all, the generator became faulty; light flickering, unstable. There was an unnatural sense of quiet in the rooms. She had approached Amanda for help with her revision and luckily, she was in the mood to oblige her. Was it her imagination or had Amanda been looking sad? On top this Friday matter? O ga o! Their unease had leached into her.
She admitted this as she tossed and turned on the bed, unable to sleep.
Because of the power outage, the whole boarding house was plunged into darkness.
Her ears were picking up every sound. It was a little windy outside and an unlatched window kept banging at the side of the wall infrequently. The roof creaked a little as a particularly huge gust of wind blew.
She heard other sounds too; even one that sounded like a muffled sob. Probably a J1 girl missing home.
The hair at the nape of her neck suddenly rose and she shivered.
Was her mind playing tricks on her or did she suddenly feel eyes, staring…boring into her through the darkness?
She shuddered and chastised herself. It was high time she made another attempt at sleeping.
She closed her eyes and took deep breaths. Her ears twitched at a sound and her eyes snapped open.
Footsteps.
Her heart began to race.
She heard the door of the bathroom open and close and she sighed, releasing the breath she hadn’t realised she was holding.
The toilet flushed a few seconds later. Someone was just using the loo. She hissed under her breath.
‘Friday the 13th ko. Sunday the 14th ni.’ she thought.
She closed her eyes and once again, they snapped open. She could clearly hear it.
Footsteps.
From behind.
Her body tensed and her hands gripped her sheets in fear. She felt sweat beading on her forehead and armpits.
‘Turn!’ Her mind screamed at her but she was afraid to make any moves.
She felt cold hands touch her exposed arm and she yelped, jumping and hitting her head on the bunk.

“Oh my God I’m sorry!” A voice whispered.
It was Amanda.
Gbemi’s heartbeat thundered in her chest. She swallowed hard to moisten her suddenly dry mouth.
“No problem.” She said hoarsely.
“Sorry for disturbing your sleep…but please..can…you..?”
Amanda stopped and swallowed a sob.
She was the one crying? Gbemi became worried.
“You’re crying! What happened? Are you ok?”
She didn’t answer but Gbemi heard her sniff and wipe her nose.
“Yes. Just.please follow me..to the bathroom.”
Gbemi’s eyebrows raised in the darkness.
“Oh?”
“Yes..I’m..I’m afraid of the dark” Amanda answered in a small voice.
She almost laughed out harshly at the ridiculous request.
Afraid of the dark? That’s why she’s crying? O ga o!
“Sure. No problem” she said getting up and donning her slippers.
She felt Amanda groping for her hand and she let her hold it. She could feel her sweaty palm holding on tight.
Counting the steps in her mind, Gbemi led her to the bathroom, opening the door ans instinctively reaching for the light switch. She remembered the outage and her hand fell. She hoped Amanda would not make her wait outside the stall as she did her business.

Suddenly, Amanda wrenched her hand away and forcefully pushed her into the dark bathroom.
She shrieked and tried to open the door, hands shaking with fury.
It was locked.
What kind of rubbish was this now!
She hit the door, screaming to be let out but no one was answering. She became angry and kicked the door repeatedly. Surely, the other girls would wake up with the racket.
No one did.
She sank down on her haunches, shivering. It had become chilly in there. And there was something about the darkness that unnerved her. That feeling of staring eyes came back and she shuddered, rubbing her arms brusquely.
Giggles.
From one of the toilet stalls.
She got up.
“Wh..who’s there?” She whispered.
More giggles answered her.
Her eyes struggled in vain to pierce the darkness.
It was complete.
Dense.
Surrounding her.
Stiffling her.
She heard the squeak of the metal hinges and she knew whoever was inside was coming out.
“I’m covered by the Blood!” She whispered fiercely, her shaking voice belying her conviction.
“Are you?”
A voice whispered.
Husky.
Female
“Are you really covered?”
She shook.
“Yes! I rebuke you!”
A laughter.
Harsh.
Then silence.
“Rebuke me! As if!”

She felt clammy hands; numerous clammy hands hold her arms and legs.
“Leave me alone!” She screamed.
That laugh again, this time, very close to her ear.
“No.” The voice whispered.
She felt bile burning in her throat as the clammy hands clamp on her head, holding her head in place as one hand prised her mouth open. Tears of terror streaked down her face. Her bowels betrayed her.
A tiny hand shoved itseld down her throat and she wheezed in an attempt to breathe. White light danced across her eyes and her body jerked sporadically, a rictus of shock.
Darkness claimed her.

“….I’m most concerned madam. It would seem she ran away from the boarding house.”
Mrs Ganiyat’s eyes widened in fear.
“Why! Where would she go to now ehn! What is this!”
The Principal held her hands in commiseration.
“We are doing everything we can as a school, Madam. The police have been informed..”.
Mrs Ganiyat swallowed a sob, nodding.
Gbemisola? Run away? Eledumare!

Mrs Okonkwo turned in her chair as her office door opened. Three Senior students walked in and sat down. She smiled at them.
“Well…” She started rubbing her hands.
“When would be the next time?” One of the students asked.
“Whenever she gets hungry again. Who knows. In six months? A year? Tomorrow? Who knows?” she shrugged.
They nodded in silence.
The sacrifices they had to make to keep the school standing.
Amanda grimaced inwardly, remembering to leave a mask of unconcern on her face.
She had liked Gbemi. It was too bad her name came up. Even worse that she had to lead her to her death.
Mrs Okonkwo retrieved a basket from beneath her table, filled with white paper.
“So…the next name. Who would want to do us the honour?”
One of the three girls got up and plunged her hand into the sea of folded white papers, picking their next sacrificial lamb.

Not The End
———————
Seems my block has been lifted. Praises. 🙂

What the Water Gave Me


The world’s a beast of burden
You’ve been holding on a long time
And all this longing…
Would you have it any other way?
You couldn’t have it any other way…
Lay me down
And let the only sound
Be the overflow…
What The Water Gave Me – Florence + The Machine

So cold, it makes me so alive…

The frigid water invades the frayed faux-leather of my snakeskin boots as I wade a step deeper. It swirls around my exposed calves and swishes in between my toes, coaxing me in ever so slowly. My mascara begins to run as the tears come; trickles at first and then bursting into small torrents of regret and relief. I am finally going to do it. I’m finally going to be free of this constant static in my head.

The water’s come up to my knees. The pebbles have given way to marshy silt that squelch with each step, sucking my feet in. Each step is slightly harder as I wade deeper. I can see lights on the other side, winking off and on, almost beckoning. Swim across, they seem to say, leave your past on yonder shore and start afresh. It is tempting, so beguiling, to just let a swim cleanse me. But I cannot undo the mistakes that have littered my path here, and I will not forgive the hurts that have crippled my soul and brought it to its knees.

The slightly browning cloud of disturbed filth advances before me like a herald. The cold numbs the stinging on my buttocks and upper thighs, the ‘not so little’ scratches; his little gift to me. I feel almost cheated, the stinging had kept me sane, kept from screaming the horror that clouded my judgement as he pushed me into the alley and put the knife to my neck. I whimpered as he groped for my lace panties, tearing them off to put his filthy fingers into me, checking if I was ready like I was some sort of oven. He took me violently on the cobbled street. He made me look at him as he used me, glorying in my filmy eyes and quivering lip as I tried my best not to cry. He didn’t bother to close his fly; just withdrew when he was done and crawled off me.
“Consider this pro-bono.” He cackled before he turned and ran away.
It wouldn’t have hurt as much if he’d buried the blade in my side. To him; I wasn’t even human, it wasn’t any different from jimmying a vending machine. He isn’t the first to dehumanise me, but he will definitely be the last.

Walking is almost torturous now. Each step drags me deeper into the mire as the added weight from the circle of weights tied to my waist causes my feet to sink deeper. Just like how each time made me lose a little more hope that I’d ever get out.
“You’re pretty as a button,” Lucinda would say, “not an old hag like me hiding behind a wall of makeup.
“All the pretty ones get out. You will too.”
But instead, each one dragged me deeper down, adding to my despair. One or two came along throwing me little buoys of niceties. A warm bed, a hot meal, intellectual discourse. And just when my fingers began to grasp, they sailed away. Lucinda’s words would haunt me,
“Paste on that smile like you’re in a pageant, treat them well; even the bastards. Someone will notice you… eventually.”

The small eddies break around my breasts. The tissue paper filling the pockets of space in my brassiere soak and float to the surface, and slowly drift away. My small breasts swim in the now empty bra and a wistful laugh gurgles out of me. What am I, if not a walking irony. A voracious reader whose reading habits started because she snuck off to libraries so she could sleep in peace and quiet. A child navigating an unforgiving world in nothing but garish makeup,oversized underwear and undersized clothes; a depressed prostitute tottering in heels, a dreamer living a nightmare.

Gulp!
A scream escapes as the silt gives way beneath my feet. It is quickly silenced by a mouthful of water. My legs kick involuntarily to propel me upwards, a skill drilled into me from childhood lessons at the community pool. I rise a little, then sink interminably slow. The air rushes out of my lungs in a flurry of bubbles. I gasp and water rushes in to fill the void. My arms flap wildly and my chest heaves as it tries to fight me, but neither of us are winning. I tire quickly and the involuntary flailing stop and in a moment of unprecedented clarity, I can see beyond my melancholy. The beauty of weightlessness, my body and all it’s scars, testimonies to my torment, naught but an afterthought. Is this what peace is like? Is this what I have been searching for?

—————-

This therapeutic writing was brought to you by my partner in crime, amongst other things, @edgothboy.
Show some love 🙂

Nobody


For the thirteenth time, I replay the song, allowing the melody, wash over me like a refreshing shower of rain. With every high note the singer hits, my mind sways. It has to be done. Its my only way forward. My only way to break away.
She’s partly right.
I’m nobody.
I’m not free.

“You’re nobody and you’re not free, to sacrifice yourself to hope, to escape…”

I’ve tried.
My life so far has been nothing but a pawn in a badly played chess game in the incompetent hands of whatever Being bored enough to play with me.
My mother died birthing me.
I had no father; at least that was what my birth certificate said.
I was called Chioma. By whom, I have no idea.
Good God.
Was He? Was He really?
The only family I knew were other children, lost as I was in a world we had no business being in. Victims of circumstances. At least I was not abandoned in a bin. This I told myself, nights after the older children bullied me. I had someone. She only died. Ah. I was young then. I had nothing. She would have thrown me away like other young mothers, given the chance. I didn’t have a father after all. Who wants a child with no father in this society?
I was the quiet one. The weak one. The one that cried at every little thing. The ugly one. The slow one. The dumb one.  Our minders said it was a harsh world out there. It was hard to imagine then, considering the fact that life in the orphanage was terrible.
Harsh world out there. I had been thrown into that harsh world. I turned eighteen and was therefore an adult.
I cannot escape it.
Other younger ones envied me.
You’d be free.
No I wouldn’t.
I’m nobody.
I have no voice.
I’m a stranger in my own land.

“Nobody is your name, in an eternal search of a meaning that would fade soon…”

Have you any ambitions? What do you have in mind?
I stared at the Matron.
Yes, yes I do. I want to be a scholar. I want to get a degree. I want to be a historian. I want to be everything I read in books and see in the occasional movies.
Of course  I did not say it aloud.
I’d have been laughed at.
You barely passed JSCE. You have no WAEC result to speak of. A scholar? Pah! You’re not smart. An apprenticeship is what you should aim for.
I knew I wasn’t smart but she asked what I had in mind didn’t she?

“In a weird slavery, with a book in your hands and a lot of ideas in your head that you can shout in the wind but you’re Nobody and nobody will hear you…”

An apprentice at a hairdressing salon is what I’ve become. You’re lucky to be here. This is just a favour to your Matron. Watch and learn the trade, my Madam told me. I watch people with lives come in. They nag about jobs, school, husbands. I watch in my little corner,  in my old okirika clothes, hanging off my thin frame. No one pays me any attention. I’m not taught anything. The others are. I have no natural abilities like they do. Their hands can move at unnatural speeds while my hand works are sloppy at best. Nobody wants me near them. You smell.  They’d turn their nose up at me. I’m That girl. I have no name. I’m nobody.

“You’re nobody and you’ll be alone till your future won’t be written ’cause you smell of stranger in your own land”

It’s a Sunday and my Madam and her children are gone to church. I stumbled upon her son’s listening device. I press a random button and the song comes on.
I’ve been sitting here for a long while, on the floor of his dirty bedroom, listening to the woman speak to me.
I have done nothing today.
My madam would be vexed.
It wouldn’t matter anyway.
Slowly, I get up, shaking off the cramps in my legs.
She’s partly right.
I’m nobody but I will be free.

————————————————————-

Madam came home to meet their house help, Chioma, hanging from a badly tied noose in the living room. She let out a surprised yelp, quickly shepherding her children out of the house before they saw her. “Call the driver” she instructed her eldest son, going back to the living room.

She looked at the tongue protruding from an ugly face she had always tolerated barely. She sighed in revulsion

“Stupid girl”

End.

——————————————

Phantom: I had not planned on writing anything new for a while but this song (Nobody-Ravenscry) was driving me insane. I feared I’d do something stupid if I didn’t write something down. Pardon me if it is less than satisfactory. Therapeutic writing I’m afraid.

A Haunting


Presenting for the first time here, @NateOblivion!!!!! Do enjoy!

————–

Scratch.
Scratch.
*pause*
Scratch….

The infuriating sound had begun again. That incessant scratching that seemed to emanate from deep within the walls, deprived her of sleep and slowly hacked away at her sanity, piece by piece. She sat awake, head held between her arms, rocking back and forth on the white linen sheet. She’d fumigated the house three times in the past two months, but nothing seemed to stop the noise that had been keeping her awake since they had moved into this house in the more salubrious part of Victoria Island six months ago.

Linda’s eyes were bloodshot for lack of sleep and her temper seemed to flare up at the slightest provocation nowadays. She’d already lost one job for yelling at her boss when he pushed her buttons too hard, and so far she’d been caught sleeping on the clock twice at the new one. The school grades of Jumoke, her teenage daughter, was abysmal; a sharp contrast from the straight A’s she’d so easily maintained. Her abusive husband had died (Thank God!) and she used the money he’d left them to buy their luxurious four bedroom house and since then, their lives slowly crumbled around them. Emmanuel, her new love and fiancé, had been there to support them throughout, but he was too caught up in planning their wedding, which was only weeks away.

It had seemed like such a wise decision that day. The house seemed to call out to her, like it had been waiting for her for so long, a haven free of the constant complaining, the blows that had rained on her since forever, a place where she could forget what had happened with David. A place where she and Jumoke could start a new life. Now their fortress had become a personal hell, a torture chamber. The scratching increased in intensity, resounding through the house. She rocked even faster, shaking her head and mumbling to herself. Unable to bear the noise any longer, she bolted from the bed and dashed to the wall and banged it fiercely like a woman deranged. She screamed as she thudded on it repeatedly, cursing loudly. Suddenly, everything went black.

It only took a few seconds to adjust to the vessel, for every part of It’s essence to diffuse through its entirety. Soon enough, it had full control and began to see through it’s eyes. It broke into a smile and began to march towards the other room as though entranced.
The child sat up at the sound of the door.
“Mummy?” she called, her voice tinged with apprehension. “The noise has started again, and it’s scaring me.”
“It’s okay, darling. It’s gone. I’m here now.” It said, in the woman’s light voice.
The child lay back down and turned away. It surveyed her petite frame. She looked so frail, so delicate. When the child had drifted off to sleep, It rose and grabbed the pillow and put it over her head, holding it in a vice like grip. It smothered her, delighting in her muffled screams. She kicked and writhed under the pillow, thrashing about wildly, but It held on till the kicking stopped and the body between its legs lay still. It looked into her cold dead eyes and with a contented grin, vacated the host.

Linda stared in horror at Jumoke’s lifeless body. She looked even more horrified at the pillow she grasped tightly in her hands which she dropped as if it were a poisonous snake. What had she done! She shook her violently and screamed her name at the top of her lungs, her voice choked with tears. Jumoke remained unresponsive, her frightened eyes, fixed with the glassy glare of death. She fell to the floor, rolling and wailing. There was no way to explain it. She must have finally snapped under the pressure and taken it out on her only daughter. She was a murderer, a heartless one at that! She’d killed her husband, and though it was in self defense, it was still murder. Now she had killed her daughter. Her only reason for living was gone. Numbed by grief, she walked down to the utility room, grabbed a rope and fashioned it into a noose as she walked back to her daughter’s room. She gazed into her dead girl’s eyes one more time, to remind herself the reason for her decision. Closing her eyes, she whispered a prayer she knew would not be accepted; not if everything she’d been taught was true. She hung the noose from the ceiling fan and placed a chair below it. She tightened the rope around her neck. With her eyes tightly shut, she thought about Emmanuel and how devastated he would be that about their death. He deserved an explanation. Linda started to loosen the knot on the noose when the chair was suddenly and forcibly kicked out from under her. She panicked and clawed at the rope around her neck. The pain compounded as her trachea closed off, vision swimming. She stretched her toes downwards but she was too short, she tried to swing towards Jumoke’s bed frame but each try only tightened the knot. On her fourth try, her neck snapped. A few wild twitches, and Linda knew no more.

David looked down on their bodies; his daughter’s on the bed, his wife’s dangling from the fan. Gratification flooded his ephemeral being at finally getting even with the worthless woman he’d called his wife, even though it was at the expense of his daughter’s life. She’d broken the blood oath they had undertaken so many years ago, when they were young and drunk on love; an oath to belong to no one but him. Oh how she tempted him sorely! With those slutty dresses she wore and how she blushed when men ogled her body. He made sure he punished her for every little betrayal. She thought he hated her but he loved her, more than she’d ever comprehend. She thought she’d escaped him but even death wasn’t enough to break their bond. Bound to the very blood that coursed her veins, he followed her to her new house, where he waited, hoping she would not go through with her proposed wedding. There was no way he would allow another man have his wife, his property or father his child. He would rather have them join him, where they could be a family again. He grinned. Family forever. But he knew there was a price to pay. He could already feel himself being pulled apart, the darkness rushing in, the glittering teeth of the demons that’d come to mete his eternal punishment.
He welcomed them in.

The End.

And there you have it. Special thanks goes to @nateoblivion for sharing his story with me. You can read more of his works at PTS
Do leave your comments! Thanks!

River of Tuoni


‘Oh! heavy-hearted am i!
Tuoni has taken my son’ – River of Tuoni (Amberian Dawn)

——————————————————————————–

Kielo stood at the bank of the River Tuoni, uneven breaths expelling cold steam into the air. Behind her were dark trees, partially obscuring the moon. The full moon was a blessing as her lamp had extinguished when she fell on a root branch inside the forest. Her only source of illumination. She had come as far as the edges of the uncharted forest of Tuonela, searching for her son. How many times had she warned him? Do not venture out when its late. Why couldn’t he understand that he was her only child? She and Pasi had tried to have children for a very long time. And just as they were about to give up, he came into their lives. Olavi. Heir of his ancestors. She sighed. She was going to give him a good hiding with her belt when she found him. Eight year old boys shouldn’t give their parents grief!

Watching the still river in trepidation, she remembered the  rumours about this river. Those who went in never came out. Those who went in to swim always drowned.
What was she to do?
“Olavi!” she screamed into the unnaturally silent night.
The sound of wind picking up the haunting cry of a mother looking for her lost child, was her only answer.
Her eyes prickled with tears of frustration. She wiped her eyes angrily. Crying wasn’t going to solve anything. She needed her wit about her. The wind blew across her thin dress, causing her to shiver. She shouldn’t have been too hasty; at least she should have taken a cloak with her. With a wry smile, she imagined what Pasi would say should he see her state. ‘Hasty, impatient, stubborn woman!’ he would have huffed under his breath, removing his own cloak to cover her. She rubbed her bony arms quickly for warmth. Temporarily satisfied, she knotted her belt firmly across her waist. Pushing her blond hair off her face, she cupped her mouth.
“Olavi!!!!!!!!!!!!”
She waited for a few seconds and sighed.
She had no choice.

The fear for her child overshadowed her fear for Tuoni. She had to cross to the other side. No boats ever traipsed the river. “My rotten luck!” She tested the water with one foot. “Cold.” she muttered, mentally readying herself. She picked up a log of wood she had used on her way into the forest as defence and with the sense of false bravado, she waded into the black death-land river. Her chattering teeth and water parting, disturbed the silence. Suddenly, she wondered if any reptiles lives inside the river. She had never heard of any. ‘Well that doesn’t mean there isn’t any Kielo! If only Pasi was here..’ she mused. Occasionally wrenching her feet away from the clinging hands of underwater plants that wrapped themselves around her ankle, she trod on. What if a snake bit her? Or a man-eating fish? She shuddered. “Paska! You’re being silly Kielo. Come on, move! No time!”

She went on, stopping momentarily to catch her breath. Half way through and her belted waist was completely submerged.
Movement.
She heard something trouble the water. Her heart thumped, and slowly, she stopped, stick raised.
The moon barely illuminated the creature, preceded by its thrashing sounds, making a beeline towards her.  Her mind wildly grabbed at ideas, painting scary pictures of what animal was coming towards her. She was petrified.
The thudding of her heart was loud enough to burst her eardrums. Self preservation kicked in and in her haste to turn towards the shore, she tripped and the icy depths swallowed her.
“Ach! Hitto! Stupid! Clumsy Kielo! Typical!”
She regained her footing,  cursing and shaking, water dripping from hair matted to her face. Her stick! She slapped her head in disgust. Totally defenceless!

She wiped off water from her face quickly, turning to face the danger. It had been behind her, sitting quietly, watching her. A duck? No. Not a duck. She looked closer at the bird, amazed. A swan. A black swan. She had never seen one in all her two scores and ten years of living. “Watched me make a fool of myself didn’t you? Almost had a heart attack for a bird? Typical Kielo!” The bird was quiet. What did she expect? For it to talk to her? She hit her ears hard to unblock her ears..and perhaps, her brain. Expelling a shaky breath, she gently reached her hand to stroke its ebony feathers. It felt real enough. “I don’t suppose you know where Olavi went would you?” she said to it, smiling wryly. Her smile froze. Did the swan nod? “Did you nod?” she asked stupidly. She watched the long neck lower slightly. Her mouth hung open, the sudden ruffling of the swan’s wings bringing her back to the present. It turned away from her, its beak, pointing to the shore and without a pause, made its way off. She closely followed it, wondering if she was being silly or if she had lost her mind.

They got to shore safely and she crawled to solid ground, glad to be out. “So what next?” she asked the swan, wringing water off her dress as she got to her feet. She started in shock, fear in her eyes as she watched the swan morph. Its feet stretched and feathers molted, falling off to reveal white skin. Horror further twisted her face as she saw the new form of the swan.
It was a human child in a foetal position.
He got up, shaking its head to remove water out of blond hair and she caught a glimpse of his face.
Her breath caught in her throat. “Olavi!”
He turned at the mention of his name, his eyes dancing merrily. He ran to meet her, throwing his arms around her waist.
She whimpered, tears spilling from her eyes as she gathered him into her arms.
“Mama”
“Olavi…”

———————————————————————

Pasi held the damp cloth to her head, cooling her off as she writhed on the bed, eyeballs roving wildly in closed eyelids.
“Kielo…” he whispered gently, baritone shaky with tears.
She had been like this for almost an hour.
He had come back from work to see her lying on the kitchen floor, unconscious. Dropping his bag of tools, he carried her into their room. She was burning up with fever, thin limbs writhing on the sheets. He wondered at her roving eyeballs. What was she seeing? Where was she? Would she come back? He held her hand and kissed it.
“God, please help her” he whispered. He sighed, wondering how long before the doctor came. He had sent someone to fetch him. He checked the clock on the wall. 9.16pm. Ten minutes had passed already. “Please hurry Dr. Pekke” he murmured to himself. His eyes caught his reflection in their bedroom mirror that was lined with pictures. An old, weak man stared back at him. The whole of his sixty-years, showing in the dull yellow lighted room. With a heavy sigh, he looked back at his wife of thirty years. They’ve been together for so long; through good and bad times. He couldn’t lose her; not after Olavi.

He was watching President  Mauno Koivisto debate on the idea of European Union membership in the living room when he heard Kielo’s scream. He jumped off the sofa, spilling his lager in his haste. “Kielo! Mikä on se! What is it?” He ran  out to the front yard where she was talking to the neighbour’s kids. 
“Kielo! What happened?” she turned and the lost look in her eyes chilled him. Olavi. He quickly locked the doors, hurrying up to catch up with her as she ran. The closer they got to Laajoki, the more he became afraid. He couldn’t think it.  There was a crowd gathered at the bank of the river and instincts directed her towards them. “Move!” she shrilled in a high voice, trying to get through. He didn’t follow her. Something had caught his eye. A rubber toy, lying discarded. Olavi’s rubber white swan. Ignoring the heart wrenching cries from Kielo’s direction, he picked up it up, tears obscuring his vision. He felt an arm pat his back and looked up into the eyes of his friend Janus. “Hän hukkua.”  He drowned. He walked up to his wife, bent over the body of Olly. He pulled her up gently, ignoring her struggles to pull free. “Kielo” he whispered. She lost her will to fight. She collected the toy he handed her, drawing it to her breast. Head bowed, He lifted his son to his chest…

Had it really been a year since it happened? He sighed. She had taken the death harder. Sorrow ate at her core, till she looked like the shadow of her former self; frail, sickly. He nursed and showed her love, but it just wasn’t enough. He wasn’t Olly.

Her breathing changed; became faster.
“Kielo?”
With a sudden movement, as if jolted, she jerked from the bed, eyes open, arms outstretched. A single cry emanated from her lips before she slowly faded.
He checked her pulse.
Nothing.
She was dead.
He fell to his knees, cupping the face of his wife and without restraint, let out a huge wail, her last words ringing in his ears.
“Olavi…”

Lopussa.

*In Finnish mythology, Tuoni was the god of the Tuonela (Underworld).*
This post was inspired by a song, River of Tuorin by Amberian Dawn. People unafraid of Metal can check it out! 🙂

Swan Song


They partied till the break of dawn
Around each other they fawn
Knowing this was their last sun
Let them be, let them have fun

He would not last the Night
Having given up the fight
This has caused him all his might
And robbed his future of its sight

He was such a lovely dancer
Before he was ravaged by cancer
Now he dances with wobbly toes
Like a newly born fawn of a blind doe

But together they the cancer dare
To stop them from having this last dance
Her body clothed his body bare
The needles in his body like some cruel lance

On her shoulder did he breathe his last
The candle burning, dying fast
He is gone to the world beyond, very vast
Sailing like a ship, without a mast.

But everyone who saw his last dance would testify
That truly he left them mystified
About how with his graceful steps he beautified
A night, where only death was dignified.

*Swan song came out as a result of the fear of dying without a last major performance on the world stage. The swan is a graceful bird which sings just once in its lifetime, and this occurs at the time of its death and that is the most beautiful song you would ever hear. We all wish to have a major performance we all can’t be lead acts but let’s make our cameo worth it.*

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