Children’s Day Rat Race Reading

On Children’s Day, the good people at Patabah Books, Shoprite, Surulere hosted me and a group of lively children to a reading of my illustrated book, Rat Race. We had truckloads of fun and I believe one or two fell in love with reading and writing that day. Here are some pictures from the event. Enjoy…

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My Fave Picture by Far from that day. The look on his face is priceless

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The Pictures were taken by BCC. You can reach him on 08038086824

My friends are having this fabulous stage play on Sunday. You should plan to attend.

FinalStagePlay Poster

Guardians of the Seals – Prologue

Been working very hard on pre-production of my next book, Guardians of the Seals (hence my fiction posting hiatus). Editing of the manuscript by Kemi Ogunniyi of Reaccentuated is done. We’re doing illustrations with Ekene Ngige of X-Animators now. Since Demola Rewaju hoodwinked me into promising to post fiction if my twitter follower count hit 5k yesterday, and Nana @purehaire was the follower that made it 5k. So, here’s a very short peek into what #GOTS. Enjoy.

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Guardians of the Seals Imani

Tara held up the pregnancy test result one more time. She had imagined a thousand and one times how it would feel when her experiments finally succeeded, but nothing prepared her for the emotions that welled up within her. She had finally done it! She would go down in history as the woman who freed her gender from the shackles men had placed on them.

She had to see Lamela urgently. It was Lamela who had introduced her to The Place. She reached for her phone and dialled Lamela’s number from memory.

“Hello Tara,” she heard Lamela’s almost masculine voice say.

“Lamela!” Tara shrieked into the receiver. “It worked. I’m pregnant! All by myself! No man involved!”

“Calm down Tara,” Lamela replied curtly. “Explain to me in real sentences.”

Tara rolled her eyes. Lamela was always like that- naturally hardly excitable, always cool, calm and collected. Tara tried to get a grip on herself. She was a world-famous scientist after all, and such unabashed excitement was unbecoming of her. “Autogamous reproduction in the female of the human species is now confirmed possible,” she stated with better composure. “I have just successfully made myself pregnant without the use of sperm or any male cellular components. It’s a girl. Men are no longer a necessary evil; we can perpetuate the human race on our own.”

“You used yourself as a test subject, Tara?”

“Yes, I had a brain wave and couldn’t find a test subject quickly enough.”

“Why didn’t you run it by me first?”

“Lamela, are we going to argue about this and lose sight of the magnitude of my discovery? Come on! I’m going to start experiments for phase two of the plan. Now that we don’t need men, we can as well do away with them. Isn’t that what we want?”

“Of course,” Lamela replied edgily.  “It is. Pardon me… I’ll be with you shortly.” Then she hung up.

Lamela’s response worried Tara a little, but she ignored it.

When Lamela finally joined her in the lab with a group of people, Tara thought she was finally going to meet the elusive owners of The Place. From the periphery of her vision, she observed that all her attendants were leaving the lab. She also noticed when she turned around that two of the six people that Lamela had brought in were men. That didn’t make any sense.

“What are these men doing here?” she protested vehemently.

“Shut up!” Lamela replied roughly.

Before Tara could wonder what was going on, the men had surrounded her and held her down.

“You are naïve, dear Tara,” Lamela said. “You have bought yourself a lease of life by using yourself as the test subject though.”

The other women began to chant, a rasping, reptilian sound. Suddenly, a chilling breeze swept across the room. As the chants reached a crescendo, Lamela morphed into the most hideous creature Tara had ever seen.

”Know that I will be watching you closely, Tara,” Lamela warned sinisterly. “You are precious because of the child you carry but if you try to play smart, I will kill you myself if I have to.” She paused for a moment to revel in Tara’s fright. Then she ordered, “Take her away!”

And so, Tara’s nightmare began.

Dance of Shame – By Olaoluwa

I’ll be reading from my illustrated children’s book, Rat Race on Children’s Day at Patabah Books. Nothing beats getting our kids falling in love with reading young. So, bring your kids in on that day. See the details in the image below. I got this beautiful story from Olaoluwa Oni and I thought to share it with you guys. Enjoy Dance of Shame. Should post something from Guardians of the Seals sometime soon. Hope you’re looking forward to it. :)

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Patabah Childrens Day Reading

 

I found myself running as quickly as my fragile breathing would allow, and, even though I ran with all that I had, enduring the sharp stabbing pain in my chest, a nudging irksome voice inside my head told me that it was all to naught. Still, I did my best to ignore the voice as I ran down the brightly lit, tastefully decorated corridor. I felt the sharp jolt of pain before I realised that I had stubbed my left toe against the clay flower pot that accommodated a healthy, green, Aloe Vera plant- its haphazard growth boasted of the freedom I craved so badly. But there was no time to stop and cradle the toe; I was barely seconds away from the door. Instinctively, I reached towards the handle of the door, barely acknowledging the warm, calmly-seeping crimson that now marked the path of my footstep, and tried the handle of the door- it was locked.

Of course I had known it would be locked- we never left the front door open past 10:00 pm, but I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t learned to hope against the odds. It was this hope that kept me tugging at the brass door handle, willing it to budge, but knowing that it wouldn’t. Finally, it was foolish to continue to hope, so I let the handle slip out of my furiously sweating palm and turned to face fate. Resignedly, I slithered to the floor and waited what even my hope had to acknowledge, was the inevitable- my one-minute race to freedom had come to an end.

From my position on the floor, my blood began to form a noticeable pool beneath the toe; my thick hair standing disheveled on my head; sweat, tears and mucus forming a revolting mess on my face; my pajamas sleeve torn and hanging almost artistically on my shoulder; I saw him.

Rage

It was the word that came to mind the moment I laid eyes on his features, closely followed by ‘fury’ and then ‘anger’.

Rage

It was the emotion that began the ritual dance whose rhythm I knew all too well. And so, as he took calm, unhurried, almost lazy steps towards me- rage personified, a cold unfeeling smile on his lips, his eyes bright from the bottomless darkness that they echoed, I knew what to expect; what to anticipate; what to fear.

SLAP

Pain, familiar but still excruciating, seared across my face and for a brief second, stars flashed across my eyes. Automatically, I adopted the fetal position, attempting to shield the most of me from the assault I knew had just begun.

‘Have you finished running?’ he asked, his voice a jeering taunt.

But I knew better than to answer- answering was not part of this dance. I felt a sharp pain as his well-aimed kick caught my rib and I knew that there was nothing I could do- it was the turn of this side to take the beating. I could hear his breathing become more and more laboured as he kicked at me, and before long, as always before, my mind was freed from the pain my body felt. And so, as my body took the beating, waiting for the dance to come to an end, my mind, out of boredom wandered.

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

I was about six, huddled in the dark cupboard in my room. The door to their room was locked. I could hear her cries for help; his maniac laugh- I remember that as a child, I had always associated his laughter with her pain. I heard a thud on the wall and hoped that was him hitting the wall in a show of strength- even then, I had learned to hope. The next sound-her high pitched cry of pain, told me I was wrong. I heard him walk around the room, heavy stomping footsteps, befitting of a man in his position, mumbling something about his food not being ready on time. I heard her hiccupped explanations, her stuttered apologies all delivered amidst tears. Even at my young age, I had a vivid imagination and I could picture her on her knees, her hands wrapped protectively over her head to protect her face. If she thought she could placate him with her pleas, she was wrong as it only seemed to infuriate him some more. I heard another dull thud followed by the sound of splintering, large wood. Again, I heard her cry for help; his maniac laugh; over and over and over again.

Neighbors knocking on the door stopped the charade- if there was anything he liked to do; it was keep up a good image. I heard him unlock the door; heard the concerned voices of the neighbors; his reassuring tone –‘nothing to worry about. We are doing some heavy moving; the television was on too loud; sorry about the noise’.

I heard their murmurs of relief; offers of thanks for his recent good deed- ‘don’t mention; it’s the work of the Lord. After all He expects us to love one another as he has loved us.’

I heard his apologies for ushering them out so quickly- ‘he needed to go and continue his ‘heavy moving’’.

Click.

The front door was locked once again, leaving me wondering if these neighbors really believed the overused ‘heavy moving’ phrase.

I always wondered why she never once stepped out- showed herself to the neighbors. It would have been entertaining to see his face. Hear his stammered explanation. But wondering was a futile exercise. She never once did, she never once will.

Another Click

The door to their room was shut again and from inside the locked door, I heard her fearful voice, his angry but hushed tones-

‘How dare you make such loud noises as to alert the neighbors? That is a crime and crime begged punishment.’

Another dull but this time, unrecognizable thud; a whispered howl of pain; yet again, her plea for mercy, why she bothered, I never know. He never stopped. He never once did, he never once will- a dull thud, a howl of pain; a vicious cycle; a dance of shame.

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

The sharp pain shooting across my head brought me hurtling back into reality. I could sense that he was squatting over me and could feel, even through the commotion raging in me, his humid, short breaths. The little things you notice in times of pain.

I felt pain shoot through my scalp as he yanked at my hair and all I could do was sigh. Bile rose in my throat as my body felt like it was being stretched to its highest threshold- but I knew that it could take more; it had taken more in the past. I kept my head down, trying to diffuse the nausea by taking steady breaths; acknowledging that there was still more to come. Almost on autopilot, I raised both hands, attempting to cover the most possible surface area of my face- I already knew what to expect and he did not disappoint me.

Slap

I tuned my ears out in anticipation of the verbal insults but vaguely, from my inner recluse, I still heard them as they were being hurled out. I sighed and to drown the voice even further, I took yet another trip down memory lane.

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

I remember Bisoye- he was the one thing that made my childhood worth living. I was nine and convinced I had met the love of my life. He had a rich brown complexion that reminded me of the ogi baba that my mother used to make us for breakfast on Saturdays; his hair was a thick kinky black that curled into itself several times, bringing him to tears each time his mother ran a comb through it and best of all, he was full of fairytales that always ended in ‘happily ever after.’ He had the sort of assertiveness that made him a natural leader among his peers but also the sort of sensitivity that made him gravitate towards the person that was hurting the most- me.

I remember the day he sat beside me on the swing. It was a Monday afternoon and I was waiting for him to pick me up from school. Normally, my mother would have picked me up but she could not leave the house because her bruises from the last ‘incident’ (his self- generated euphemism for his assault) had not healed. As it would have been awkward trying to explain away the black eyes and swollen lips, he had put her on house arrest until she had fully recovered. And so I had to wait till he was done at work, (usually at about 5:00 pm) before he could pick me up. But I didn’t mind the wait- not really. It afforded me the opportunity to play on the swings and run in the sand without inhibitions. When I was alone, there were no mean kids muttering about ‘that strange girl’; no teachers trying to psycho-analyze why the only child of the town philanthropist was such a recluse and there was no father to hit me for as little as breathing too loud.

But today Bisoye was there, like a rude jar in the familiar rhythm of a song; a cancerous growth that somehow brought much needed relief.

‘What is your name?’ he demanded of me, all the airs of someone used to being answered, oozing out.

From my position where I was slowly rocking the swing on which I sat, I watched him without answering, not really understanding this dance that I was being introduced to- an apparent dance of love.

‘Why don’t you like talking to anybody?’ he pressed further, nonplussed by my silence.

Shock held my tongue in place, which was just as well because my nine-year old brain had somehow ceased to come up with answers.

‘I am coming to push you’ he said taking wide purposeful steps towards the swing. He must have decided that I was deaf because he mimed his intention by pushing out his hands, his palms opened wide and indicating the swing. Still, I watched curiously- this creature, it seemed, had come from another planet.

When he got to the swing set, he went behind me and screamed ‘ready?’ and before I was given a moment to consider, I felt myself soaring in the air seamlessly. I immediately felt panic overtake me, and panic quickly turned to hysteria and within the few seconds that I was air-bound, I was screaming frantic with fear. I landed with a loud thud on the floor, scraping my elbow and knees on the playground sand, crawling into a fetal position.

I saw him rush towards me and was immediately thrown back two days before where I had lain in the fetal position on the lush- carpeted floor of my house and my father had bounded towards me to give me a good spanking for screaming too loud while he hit my mother. My nine-year old brain connected the two incidents and I closed my eyes waiting for the blows to start but instead I felt a surprisingly tender touch and instinctively, my eyes fluttered open in confusion. The face that stared back at me was not the face of my brutal father but the anxious caring face of the nine-year old lad that, that day, became my best friend.

‘Sorry. Are you alright?’ he asked his panting heavy from the short distance he ran.

I nodded and tried to sit up; I felt very shy- I was not used to being the centre of attention even if the audience was a singular nine year old boy. He helped me up and brushed off the rough stone particles of the playground sand from my pinafore. Then he examined my knees and elbows

‘Sorry. Do you know first aid?’ he asked eagerly, willing to do anything to help.

I shook my head once again, looking down at my feet.

‘Me too. We are supposed to start it tomorrow in class.’ he explained as he led me to one of the stone pavements.

I followed quietly behind him, quite unsure of what to say. We both sat on the stone pavement.

‘What’s your name?’ he asked again, miming a little- he still wasn’t sure if I was deaf or not.

‘Sandra’ I answered finally and felt a strange rush of euphoria as I did- a mixture of freedom and heady, reckless confidence.

‘My name is Bisoye’ he said, offering his hand out the way I had seen only grown-ups do. I found his gesture slightly amusing so I just stared at his proffered hand instead of taking it.

‘What’s funny?’ he asked, looking down at the ostensibly amusing hand that dangled mindlessly between us.

‘Children don’t shake hands’ I said now actively laughing, it was the first time in nine years I had ever voiced an opinion.

‘Are you sure? Because my daddy says a good handshake is the beginning of a beautiful friendship’ he explained sagely, although withdrawing the offered hand.

I shrugged, not sure how to defend an opinion.

‘Was it your daddy that told you that children don’t shake?’ he asked

I shook my head.

‘Was it your mummy?’ he enquired further

Still I shook my head

‘Then how do you know?’ he asked, his brows furrowed in confusion and his arms crossed in skepticism.

‘I don’t know I just do’ I said shrugging; even I knew that was a weak explanation.

He regarded me closely, obviously judging whether or not I was a fraud. Then he uncrossed his hands.

‘So what do children do?’ he asked.

‘They hug’ I answered confidently.

And right there, on the playground, as he threw his arms around me innocently and sincerely, I experienced my first feeling of acceptance.

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‘Are you deaf? I said stand up’ I heard the order dished out, accompanied by a violent pain in my side. I struggled out of my fetal position and tried to unravel myself, standing. My limbs seemed to have gone numb from all the hitting and so refused to support my weight

‘Kneel down’ he ordered further

This order was easier to obey because it took the weight off my legs that seemed to be made of fast melting butter so I hurried to comply. I watched him unhook his belt and remove it, detangling it meticulously from the slim contraptions that held it in place at intervals. He then wrapped the metal end around his palm, holding it securely, and my subconscious registered that we were done with phases one (fist punches) and two (verbal assault), now was phase three- the belt whip.

‘So now tell me why you didn’t serve me my omi isowon?’ he asked me

I shook my head, mute

‘You are now too big to serve me properly abiiii?’ he asked again.

Still I shook my head knowing that I was not yet required to answer.

‘You are expecting me to go and serve it myself, not so?’ he asked.

I looked towards the ground, waiting for the next phase to begin.

‘I said answer me’ he ordered.

‘I forgot’ I muttered quietly.

‘You forgot abi? I will now give you a reason never to forget’ he declared and I was not surprised when the belt came slapping hard across my side. Instinctively, I put out my hand to protect my face as I had always done in the past.

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

I was ten years old and kneeling before him as he brandished the belt in front of me. Tears were streaming down my eyes, but they were not tears borne out of fear of the rod but tears that I had lost my best friend forever. I remember as Bisoye told me earlier that day that his parents were taking him to the United Kingdom for his Secondary School education and I remember, even today the pain I felt in my ten-year old heart.

From the day we had met at the swings, he had become my best friend, my confidant and the only thing that had gotten me through the day for the last one year. I had come to depend on him in an almost unhealthy manner.

The day Bisoye broke the news to me, I had rushed into my room and whipped out the diary that he, Bisoye, had encouraged me to keep and began to pour my heart and soul into it. When I was done, I started flipping through the pages that I had filled over the year and began reliving all the emotions I had felt when I wrote them- when my father had broken my mother’s arm – fear; when my mother told me she had suffered a miscarriage and so I wouldn’t be having a little brother or sister anymore – sadness, when he gave me a wide cut on my back, rubbing on it with ata gungun for breaking a glass cup while washing-pain; and when I had shared my first kiss with Bisoye -joy. There were a lot more entries journaling my activities through the year- so many that I fell asleep as I was reading them.

I was roughly woken up by a well-position abara, the type that landed right in the middle of the back, making it impossible to massage the spot. I did not have to ask or be told what I had done wrong as I saw him brandishing my purple backed personal diary that Bisoye had given me for Christmas. The sleep vanished from my eyes as I hurried to my knees, obeying a silent command. He took his time to unknot his tie and roll his sleeves to a point just below the elbow, assuming the airs of a professor about to start a thesis, before he turned to address me.

‘What is this supposed to be?’ he asked as his 6ft5in frame towered over me menacingly, his belt lying threatingly in his hand.

I was silent, looking down at my feet my- knees were already aching from their prolonged contact with the cold floor

‘So what if someone else had seen this nonsense eh? How would you explain it?’ he asked as the first blow landed across my shoulder

I howled in pain as I rolled on the floor clutching my shoulder, my ten-year old reasoning convinced that it would never heal. I felt several blows hit my back, stomach arms and legs and I writhed in pain, tears and sweat pouring out and causing my wounds to sting even more. Then from the haze of my misery, I saw him take a pair of scissors to my much beloved diary, the only other listening ear I had- the only one that was not going abroad. And so in spite of myself, I begged him not to, promised to keep it safe but he simply hacked away unfeelingly, not even pausing to acknowledge my entreaties.

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

…And so I did not beg, I had learned not to -begging never did anyone any good. I was still on my knees at this point, shielding my face from the blows delivered by the belt, wondering when the next step would begin; already getting bored of my pain. Then the blows stopped as suddenly as they had started and I knew that the next step was about to begin. I looked up and saw the now familiar tears running down his face, mixing with his own sweat. I saw him rub at them with his bloodied knuckles- knuckles bloodied with my blood.

‘I don’t know why you constantly choose to defy me when you know how much I love you’ he said sadly, causing the belt to lie limply at his side. The next phase had begun (his absolution)

‘You know how much it hurts me to discipline you but still you choose to do wrong. Why?’ he asked and paused but I knew this was a mere rhetoric.

‘I love you so much’ he declared reaching out and hugging me tightly but my skin stung from the contact of his sweat with my open wounds. However, I knew not to shrink away- shrinking was not part of this routine.

Then he took my face in his hand and asked me the question that usually marked the end of my torture

‘Do you love me?’

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

I was 11, returning back from secondary school where I existed in a dark, hollow, friendless abyss. Although a loner in school, I loved it there; I could not risk making a friend that would be taken away from me as Bisoye was; so I simply made friends with the one person I knew would always be there for me- myself.

At my young age, I had become very skilled at engaging myself in a conversation or simply drifting away to a better place when I wanted to. So more often than not, I was always staring glassily into space, far away from the goings-on in my immediate surroundings. I acknowledge, with the benefit of hindsight, that my behavior might have given more observant parents reason to worry; but nobody ever worried.

As I approached the house I saw him there, the bully- my father, in his immaculately pressed shirt and spotlessly polished shoes-both indicative of the blood labour of my mother. He was there with his just-as-resplendently-dressed friend, another important member of our community.

I advanced towards the pair of them, curtseying and offering up my greeting. The guest was impressed- what a well brought up child.

As my father went into a characteristically loud soliloquy of how much he loved me; of how important it was to discipline children, I zoned out. Just standing and waiting through the routine, having a silent conversation with my new best friend- me.

I knew this cycle. My father would finish his self-praise; the guest would press a wad of notes into my hands; I would refuse; the guest would insist; my father would permit; I would collect it, curtsey and offer up my thanks-then I would be allowed to go free.

The second phase of the routine started- wad of note, refusal, insistence, permission, collection, curtsey, thanks-……….but then the guest broke the cycle of activity. Just as I was about to leave, he asked a question the answer of which I knew but could not offer.

Omo daddy. You love your dad so much don’t you?’

It was almost a rhetoric asked with an indulgent reminiscent smile. No harm intended- but every harm caused. I froze. I knew the wise thing to do was just answer yes and get it over and done with. But I could not. Seconds ticked past and both of them waited for my answer. I ventured a look up. My father’s smile was frozen into place, and he looked as though he was an eerie plastic grown-up doll whose creator did not understand what a smile looked like. The guest looked confused and genuinely concerned. Still I could not answer. I stared back down at my feet.

‘She must be really tired. Let her go upstairs and rest.’ My father finally came round

My lifeline- I didn’t need telling twice. I was off.

Minutes later, he came in- a very sad look on his face. He called me to himself and gave me a hug. This was a new dance I did not know, but assuredly it would fit into the old. He told me how much he loved me. Then he asked me the question again.

‘Do you love me?

I was silent; and at that point the new blended into the old. He pushed me away roughly.

‘Do you love me?’

Still no answer

Slap.

‘I’m talking to you! Answer my question. Do you love me?

Blinded by pain; deafened by the slap- still no answer.

Slap.

‘Do you love me?’

Eyes stinging, ears ringing, I heard a yes whispered. It sounded like my voice; I couldn’t be sure. But it must have been because the slaps stopped. He drew me to himself and whispered once again. I love you too and kissed my forehead.

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

…And so I knew to answer a yes. But I did not. Why? I don’t know. At this point I was on the ground. My hands had long given up trying to protect my face. He had discarded the leather belt now and was kicking about viciously. He had ceased to ask the question long ago. It seemed every fiber of his being was concentrated on finding the most part of me he could hit. He wasn’t even talking again. Just hitting away and sweating; and hitting and sweating- a vicious cycle.

And then something in me snapped. I don’t know what it was, but the pain seemed insignificant. It had gone on for so long it was just another activity. It freed my mind to think. The only way out was death. I could see that now. I flashed back through the twenty years of my life. Not a year had gone by without this dance of shame. My life revolved around this vicious cycle. It would never end. The only way out was death.

I was weak now. He was still hitting and sweating; and hitting and sweating. The pain was but a dull opiate. It held promise of the end I desired- death- If he went on a bit more, surely I would die. I saw the headlines in my head.

‘Gubernatorial aspirant beats twenty year old law undergraduate daughter to death’

A smile teased my lips at the thought. It was a dark smile that held no trace of humor but was full of evil. He saw the smile and it infuriated him and so he hit harder and sweated harder but still I looked into his eyes.

My father, the one who gave me life, was going to take it back. It was sad twisted humor. But it was also strange logic.

I laughed hard, looking into his eyes all the while. It infuriated him. He hit harder and harder and I laughed harder and harder. The darkness settled over me and with my last conscious thought the lawyer in me wondered….is this suicide or murder? But even as I thought it I knew I would never know because the dead knew these things not.

THE END

 Dance of Shame

MayDay Post by Dimeji – My Pikin

So here’s an interesting 6part story by Dimeji and he came up with the novel concept of putting each episode up as a story chain on different blogs. Here’s the 5th of them. Follow the link at the end for the finale on Dimeji’s blog.

Mayday Dimeji

 

My people dem say ‘to born pikin nahin dey pain woman pass’ but make we tok true, woman wey carry belle for 9 months, wey lie down push comot when all the doctor and nurse dem dey look her yansh, know sey make your pikin die go pain pass. How people go take hear am, sey d pikin wey you born, wey suck your breast, wey you send go school, don finish, do graduation party, tie your gele gogoro make everybody look you dey jealous you just kpai like fowl.   How?

Na so dem talk sey my pikin Olufemi just follow go. Olufemi temi, omo ade, omo ayo, areemo ile baba re, arole mi.

Ha. Aye ma nika o.

Everybody dey house dey cry, hin papa just dey inside room, lock door no gree comot come see all the people dem wey come greet am. Dem talk sey Femi don go. Na lie. Na me born am.  The time wen femi still small, no be me dey know wen hin injure for school? No be me dey clean d injury dem, dey put dettol and plaster? Na me get my pikin and my own pikin, omo temi, never die.

When dem two boys come house today, talk sey dem see Femi dead body for one house wey dem go yesterday hin papa jus fall for ground begin dey do like person wey get warapa.  Useless man, everydey wen d pikin dey house no be so so curse e dey curse am?

“Useless boys, Stupid boys, good for nothing, just like your morrar”

Now e hear sey d boy die e dey roll for ground dey shout “my graduate”. Graduate wetin? No be me dey sweat to carry all my profit from my shop pay all d pikin school fees wen e dey go school go study engineer? D man go look us two dey give money to hin small wife because she go school, she be graduate. Well, my pikin too don become graduate afterall, graduate cancel graduate.  When dem dey do ceremony, na hin cap white pass, na hin shout pass, do party for d whole street dey announce sey hin pikin na graduate. Shior!

Na me get d pikin and my pikin never die. Dem for gree me look d body make I show dem say hin never die. Maybe e dey sleep e no wan answer dem. But Olufemi mi must answer me, emi iya e.

Now I dey look dem dey put hin body for ground, white cloth, I dey beg him papa, make dem no bury am today, make I call Pastor B come. I tell am, sey Pastor B go call my pikin, e go wake, sey na sleep e dey sleep and even if e don die true true, Pastor B go pray, the prayer go wake am. Alahji look me talk sey I dey crase, sey make I go meet my pastor but before sun touch ground dem must to put my pikin for ground.

Na so I jus dey dere dey look dem, won ti e fi posi sin, after them finish dem carry go, I jus dey here dey look the grave. Na only dat Morenike girl remain, iyen ni tie, she jus tanda dey look me. Hmmmn, maybe na she femi wan marry true true, tori pe, before na hin friend Abisola dey find Femi come, den as Femi and Abisola fight, she con dey come find am for house, I go see dem two from my shop dey enter, one time sef I catch dem dey play love play. I want talk, but if I talk Femi go carry mouth, no go chop my food until I beg am. I leave am ni o, after all omo Abisola yen o ti e le wa, even though she sef still dey come do love play for we house, woo Morenike, Abisola, ki ni iyato?

Ha! Femi no even marry, give me one grandpikin to carry. Shebi before if I ask am he go talk sey money no dey, e dey find job. I dey tell am, sey Pastor B don talk am, sey d job wey e want, e go find. But Femi no go comot go find am. E go siddon make d job come, d wan wey come sef e go talk sey d money no reach, sey no be d wan wey e want be dat. E reach somewhere, I come carry my money, all d money wey I get for dis world, give am make e start dat hin business. Na d business con kill am. Olufemi o!

I don call Pastor B sha, e never finish. My Pastor go come, we go do am like Lazarus, e no mean, my Femi go comot from dat ground. My phone begin dey gring, na Pastor B be dat, e don arrive, as I reach gate, return, dey carry Pastor come d place wey dem put am, with Morenike, nahin I see Olufemi mi dey comot from d ground. I shout ‘Pastor! Halleluyah! God has done it!’. Nahin Pastor B cover my mouth, sey no be God be dis.

Morenike jus dey shake for my back.

Pastor B still dey cover my mouth Femi come begin dey waka. I wan bite hin hand, my pikin dey waka comot,  he want make e lost?

“Sister. Listen to me. I did not feel the power of the Lord leave me. This is a machination of the devil. Let us see where he is going first. It might be a coven that wants to use his body. Eaters of flesh and drinkers of blood, then we shall call the Lord down in their midst”

Yeeeeeeeeekpa! Dem wan use my pikin do small chops.  Na so me I follow Pastor B dey follow Femi. Him just dey run, people dey give am space. We dey drive for back, dey speed sef, because the kain run wey my pikin dey run ehn, Jesus! E be like dat time wey dem dey do race go tell david sey Absalom don die. We pass 3rd mainland enter Ikoyi, my pikin still dey go fourforty.

When we stop, we dey front of one big house, Morenike talk sey na here awon ore Femi talk sey dem come work yesterday.  Femi jus dey look dier gate, tanda dey look am. We jus park far small dey look femi. Small time hin waka come back small jus run, jump am. Femi jump d whole gate. All the gate. From ground. Reach up. Gbam. Inside compound. Pastor eye open, my mouth follow open, Morenike jus dey hold chest. True true o! Na witchcraft o! Dem wan chop my pikin.

We jus dey the car dey look like mumu. Some two people dem just appear for d front of the gate, jump am, dem no even wait small, look ground.

“Aha! The coven is arriving. We must attack now. We must!”

I comot my gele, tie am for waist, we must deliver my pikin today by fire by force. “Morenike oya je ka lo“. The girl jus dey look me like panla. Let’s go and do the Lord’s work o de n gbon. Mscheeeeeeew. Me and Pastor B come go d gate. As we near am, pastor B come open hin suit remove one small stick wey get red cloth, d tin be like omorogun but with all dem nkan agba ti won ko si are e, juju ree!

“Ahan. Pastor. But warrisdis. Have we not supposed to go with the powers of Gods almighty”

“Iya Femi, don’t worry. You don’t understand. This is a different level of grace. Let us go in, I will explain later. Show you how to sit in the lap of God. But for now, remember, the Bible says we must be as wise as serpents in this wicked world.”

Na so we go o, as we rish d gate Pastor B push am, d gate dey open, nahin everybody come dey jump since morning. Hian. The house big o! Be like Ooni Palace. As we dey waka go, Pastor B dey hold hin stick dey speak in tongues, I jus dey look my own. When we rish door, one breeze just blow, push the door plus me plus Pastor B for ground. I open eye, Pastor B just dey lie down dey look. Iro o. Dem wan begin chop be dat o. Nahin I run enter, my people, wetin I see. Femi dey dere dey hold Abisola, Femi dey drink im blood. Eaters of flesh and drinkers of blood. Olufemi! Na hin papa pikin!

 

 

THIS IS STORY 5/6

TO START AT THE BEGINNING GO TO STORY 1/6 HERE

TO GO TO THE NEXT STORY, CLICK HERE

 

Boiling Pot Of Madness – 4

Here’s the 4th and final episode of Boiling Pot of Madness, a collaborative work by Dimeji (@iStalkWriters) Femi (@DisFemiSef) and Harold (@HaroldWrites). One writer wrote each of the first three episodes, picking up from where the other left, completely at liberty to develop the story as they please. Interesting experiment. The finale was written by all three together. Enjoy.

TL

Dimeji Femi Harold

Margaret slammed her phone to smithereens after she was done venting her anger to Afonja. These boys have gone mad, she thought. They had completely re-written the plan. This wasn’t what she had envisaged. All she had wanted, and had asked of them was to disrupt the elections, not….

The whole country was now in chaos. The governors were either missing or dead. Same goes for honourable members of the legislative houses across the federation. The country borders have been infiltrated by unknown elements. She, herself would have been dead meat by now. But for her awareness and prompt kamikaze driving, she would have been assassinated the other night. She had to relocate to a relatively unknown part in Abuja to avoid prying eyes. These infidels were laying siege to the country!

And where the hell was the President? The last she saw and heard of him was his presence at the Election ground in Otuoke right before the explosion. She knew he wasn’t dead – the security forces did not find the President’s remains at the venue. Where could they have taken him to? What were they up to?

Margaret thought of ringing Gideon Wosu. She picked up another phone of hers and dialled his number, but just before the call could connect, she dropped it. That would be dangerous. If she spoke to him, he would know she was still alive.

She rubbed her palms as she continued pacing around the room.

What if he knows I am alive, what does it matter? I have already called Afonja, and the news would still get to the rest that I am alive.

“The hell!” she exclaimed, then picked her phone and dialled Gideon’s number the second time. He didn’t pick on the first ring.

As she listened to Gideon’s ring back tone, the events of the night were she had met the group flashed through her mind.

Three months before the general elections, the President had called for a special meeting with the security institutions. The subject matter was obvious – how to ensure a fair, free and safe election. The polity was getting heated up. A break out group from the bokoharam – the Al Shubeb were posing a few security challenges in the north; some dissatisfied former militants and members of the now-dissolved Niger Delta militants amnesty program were plotting a national protest for non-payment of amnesty dues. On the political scene, the Northerners were aggrieved that a candidate of Northern origin was not picked as the ruling party’s Presidential flag bearer. A couple of political associations had vowed to make the country a boiling pot of violence for the injustice done; The East also felt pained –  they had hoped for an igbo Presidential candidate. A few elder statesmen spewed angry words in the media; the West were not left out in this furore. They felt they deserved a candidate of western origin too…

Margaret had listened carefully to the submissions of her colleagues in related Federal security parastatals on how to contain the situation if any threats were posed. And as the head of the SSS, she made a contribution or two of her own too.

Right after the meeting at the Presidential quarters, she made a few calls to her alliance. She informed them on the direction with which the country was going.

It was then she was given some intelligence report that the Al Shubeb and some dissatisfied former militants were meeting in a fortnight. Whatever the agenda was, she never knew and she never cared. She stole a cue from the report. What if she could unite the four most dreaded outlawed groups in the country for a common cause? What if she could bring together the MEND, OPC, MASSOB and talk the BOKOHARAM out of their cease-fire operation? What if…..

As she paced around the room reminiscing on the events of the pre-election period, a call came through her phone. She did not recognise the number and so did not bother picking. The phone rang the second and third time. She ignored it. Then an SMS came through.

Leave the room tonight…

The message was as short as a clock hourly hand. For the first time since the assassination attempt on her life, Margaret felt a cold chill run down her spine. What did the message mean? And more importantly, who was the sender? How did they know where she was?

After the assassination attempt, she had relocated to the suburbs and was now holed up in a cheap hotel room. Did they trace her down there? Or did they tap her call to Afonja and traced the address? Was her phone bugged?

Margaret quickly redialled the number which sent the message. The voice on the other end was feminine.

“I should not be talking to you….” it said.

“Who are you?” Margaret cut in.

“Who are you?” Margaret repeated. “Talk to me!” she barked.

“Who sent you? How did you know where I stay? Why should I leave tonight?”

 

Margaret could feel her pulse beat faster. The tension was getting to her.

“Gideon says you should leave tonight,” the voice said and the line went dead.

Before Margaret could get a grip of the situation at hand, she heard a knock on the door. She was startled, but kept quiet. The knock came again. Then she heard the words, “Room service.”

“I..did… not order for anything.”

“You have a delivery.”

“Leave it at the door.”

Margaret could hear footsteps fading away. She waited for a while, and then approached the door. She looked into the peephole but did not see anyone. After a few seconds, she slowly opened the door. A parcelled box lay on the floor. She quickly retrieved same and shut the door.

Inside the box were a number of photographs. The images on the photos looked familiar. On closer scrutiny, Margaret discovered that they were pictures of her little daughter, Ngozi.

“Bastards!” she exclaimed.

Ngozi Ogoegbulem was Margaret’s eight year old daughter from her failed marriage. Right before the elections she had sent her daughter to go stay with her mother in the coal city of Enugu, her hometown.

What do they want from me? What do they want from me? Who is behind this?

Only one name came to her mind: Gideon Wosu. She made to dial his number but stopped midway, and dialled her mother’s instead.

“Nne Mama,” her mother teased on the other end. “Kedu?”

The calm in her mother’s voice put Margaret’s mind at rest. She was certain all was well.

“Mama I’m fine. How is Ozi ?”

“She’s fine. She’s currently playing with her friends in the yard. Any problem?”

“Umm no Mama,” she said abruptly and dropped the call. She knew if she stayed any longer on the phone her mother would suspect all was not well and she did not have the time to explain.

 

The wall clock ticked. It was 6:00 pm. Margaret quickly packed a few clothes and documents into her backpack. She had to leave as the caller had instructed. Where she was going, she had no idea. Just as she made for the door, she felt a tiny object burst through the door and whiz past her right leg. A little movement to the right and the object would have hit her. Margaret gasped and paused for a moment. Another sharp tiny object burst through the door again. This time it missed her head by a hair. It was then it dawned on Margaret that her worst nightmare was now a reality – she was under attack. She immediately fell to the ground, laying low. More bullets burst through the door. Margaret’s eyes roved round the room, her heart pounding heavily. Was this her end?

She spotted a rectangular hole on the wall meant for an air conditioning unit. There was no such unit. Instead, the hole was covered with pieces of brown papers.  Could she make it there in time before her assailants gained entry? Throwing caution to the wind, she darted towards the hole, pulled out the carton and climbed through. Rolling over and thumping to the ground on the other side, Margaret found herself in the parking lot. She heard the door from within the room crash to the ground under heavy pressure. Powerful footsteps could be heard roaming the room.

Margaret left the spot, surreptitiously tiptoed around some vehicles, found her way out of the parking lot and unto the dusty streets. Then with all the energy left in her, she ran for dear life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good day y’all. Another week, another episode of Boiling Pot of Madness. Hope your weekend was good, we here enjoyed it. @HaroldWrites is at it again, enjoy the writeup, don’t forget to follow the blog to get email notifications, like us on Facebook and you can follow us on twitter. Enjoy it!

It had been about week now since the election day mayhem. And just as the country was in disarray, same went for AkwaIbom state too. The State was devoid of any form of recognised previous government as the leaders of the old ruling political class were either killed or missing. The leader of MEND, General Gideon Wosu had appeared on selected south-south media channels to declare control over the region. He had said he and his troops now oversaw the south-south geopolitical zone.

“Today, I bring you good news,” he had said in a live telecast. “The days of exploitation by irresponsible and corrupt government officials are over. I and my colleagues have come to liberate our people. This region has been the backbone of the forgone entity called Nigeria but we have never enjoyed the dividends of our natural resources. We were manipulated by the colonial masters, abused by the military dictators and marginalised by the so-called democratic governments. We cried and begged for what rightfully belonged to us, but no one listened. We fought with words and blood, but never succeeded. But today, the Almighty has shone his mercy on us. We finally succeed in our struggle and stand in victory. Let it be known to all men henceforth that the region once known as South-South shall from this day be called The People’s Republic of Boma! We shall strive to achieve our collective goal, for this land is the people’s land! Long live The People’s Republic of Boma!”…

The international community had condemned the coup in the country and had threatened intervention. The United Nations had released a statement reprimanding perpetrators of the coup, saying it was sabotage on humanity and the rule of law. Some G8 nations had offered any form of assistance to bring the culprits to book. The United States government in particular had promised to capture the leaders of the four militia sects. In response, the militia leaders had promised war on foreign nationals within the country if the international community attempted to carry out their threats.

At the government house in Uyo, Gideon Wosu sat in council with his advisers and right-hand men. The week had been a very eventful one. After the taking over of different parts of the country by his fellow rebels, Gideon had immediately set forth to appoint interim heads of the different states within his region. These heads had limited powers and were directly answerable to him. They could only execute directives in their states after due consultation with and approval from him.

At the Executive Council meeting in the government house, Gideon and his cohorts plotted the distribution of oil revenue to the different regions. There had been a little disagreement as to how much revenue should go to Cross Rivers, Port Harcourt and AkwaIbom – the three major oil producing States in the region – as against the other smaller oil-producing states.

As Gideon made to make a final pronouncement, his phone buzzed. He stole a glance at the number calling. It was Afonja, the military leader of the OPC.

“One minute gentlemen,” he said and made for his inner office.

 

The four militia groups had not communicated as a group since the coup. They had signed a pact to take over the country in a collective effort, but keep their distances and rule over their respective zones thereafter. So it was strange that Afonja would call.

“Yes?”

“Gidi, we have a situation here,” Afonja said.

“What is it?”

“Margaret is still alive.”

The words sent chills down Gideon Wosu’s spine. Ordinarily, he should not be scared of an adversary’s presence; the forces of the four militia groups could grind anyone to pulp. But Margaret was not just any adversary. She was THE adversary. She knew too much about their military operations and strategies. She had literally squeezed the information out of them at the meeting where she had converged the four militia heads. This was her only demand in exchange for intelligence report about the state of the country’s security. She knew who were who within their ranks, where they got military support from, their contacts abroad, their hideouts within the country etc. The only thing they had kept from her was their plan to modify her plan. She had wanted them to only disrupt the presidential election. They saw it as an opportunity to take over the country.

They had felt comfortable relaying their other secrets to her because they knew she was dead meat any way. They would take care of her right after they took over the country. But they had failed.

“What? I thought Al Mustapha was supposed to take care of her? What happened?”

“His boys failed. Twice…”

“But how is that possible? She is within his territory. How could she have escaped him? Where is she now?”

“We don’t know, but we have reports that she’s planning to aid the US government into our land….”

“Our land, you mean your land? I hear you call it ….”

“I mean the four zones.”

 

There was a brief silence. Both men were weighing in on their options. This was going to be another war, one which they really weren’t prepared for. After the election day take over, they were already fast running out of military supplies.

“Call for a meeting,” Gideon said “They want war? We’ll give them war.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey everyone! Another great Monday morning to you all. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks eh? Well we’re back with another installment of BPOM to kick start your week. Today we have @DisFeMIseF at the helm. Please give it a read, leave a comment and share the post. It’s important to get the word out as writers depend on this a lot. Thanks. You can follow the blog to get email notifications of new posts, you can also like our facebook page, we’d love that. And of course you can follow us on twitter @ideaniverse. Cheers!

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

The tension was so palpable it could be cut with a bread knife

The location was secluded, the meeting clandestine and the topic, inflammatory. The four warlords sat around a table silently sizing each other up. Al Mustapha, with his long beard and little beady eyes sat deep in thought. He was the head of the dreaded Boko Haram. To his left sat Gideon Wosu. Arrogant, selfish and greedy, with his large face and large hands was in the process of speaking his mind. He was the leader of MEND. He did that all the time, speaking his mind. His brash and brazen approach towards everything won him very few friends and loads of enemies. Next up was soft spoken, but extremely dangerous Francis Ngigo, he was the leader of the MASSOB. He rarely spoke, but it was said in different circles that he was a ruthless and cruel man. He tortured his prisoners. He had killed countless people and was seen to be without a shred of mercy. He sat with a look of supreme calm on his weathered, but likeable face. Then of course, there was Afonja, leader of the OPC. His large nostrils were flaring as he thought of all the things going on.

They were the most dangerous men in the country

And now they all had the same problem

Margaret

How one woman could cause men as powerful as these so much problems was a mystery, but here they were, worrying about her and what she was going to do. Afonja himself was seething, he was the one that she had called first and he was irritated by her insolence. Why couldn’t she just die in peace, like the rest of the people he had ordered killed? Didn’t she see what they were trying to do? They were trying to build a stronger bunch of nations, a place where there was no strife, no war, no tribalism, and people could live in peace with one another and be happy. In every revolution, there had to be sacrifices, and Margaret was the biggest sacrifice in this one. She should be honored to play that role and grateful to be given the opportunity.

BAM!

Wosuhit the table with a large fist

None of the men flinched

“How could this happen?!” he roared.

Afonja found all this a tad dramatic, but Wosu had always been the dramatic one, his people needed him to be that way, so Afonja felt it worked for him

“I thought Al Mustapha was to take care of that miserable woman Margaret?”

Al Mustapha raised an eyebrow

“You seem to forget…” he said in heavily accented English “That we all picked them together” he finished coldly

“Yes” retorted Wosu “But they were your guys, you said you had used them before and that they would not fail. We all put our trust in you and you failed us”. In Afonja’s head, he was saying ‘speak for yourself’ but in reality he kept quiet. Someone needed to be blamed and blaming Al Mustapha at the moment seemed logical.

Al Mustapha was looking at Wosu with a look of pure loathing. If eyes could kill.Afonja decided to be diplomatic

“This is not a time to be sharing blame. That was in the past, the question now is: what are we going to do?”

“We kill her of course!” said Wosu

Afonja rolled his eyes. Duh! As his teenage son would say when someone stated the supremely obvious. But these were men who only knew how to kill, so making such an exclamation was probably not the wisest course of action

“Yes Wosu, killing her would be convenient. But how do we do it this time?”

All the men fell silent. That was a question that they all had to mull over. Wosu wondered if the threat to her daughter had gotten to her. It had been a desperate move, a move that in hindsight was probably not the wisest. He had known all along that she was still alive; he just needed to seem surprised. If the other warlords knew about his little faux pas with the daughter and everything, they’d be very miffed, and you didn’t want to miff these guys unless it was absolutely worth it. Wosu just decided to keep quiet, they were smart men, they would come up with something.

“We could send another set of assassins” suggested Afonja

“We can’t use assassins anymore. She would be on high alert for them, they’d never get close” said the quiet Francis

Afonja sat deep in thought, this was stupid. How could one woman have them all wound up like this?

“How about we…” started Al Mustapha

“How about we what?” said a voice

The men turned their faces towards the sound

They paled

It was Margaret

Wosu made to get up, but Margaret whipped out a gun and pointed it at him

“Sit!” she ordered.

The proud warlord complied

Francis was calm. That was always his disposition

“So, what can we do for you Margaret?” he asked as if he was talking about the weather

“Well I don’t know Francis… said Margaret her eyes scanning the room and taking it all in and also watching her hostages to make sure none of them made any sudden movements

“How about you leave me and mine alone and also stop this foolhardy plot of yours”

“How did you even get in here?” said a clearly enraged Wosu

“You seem to have conveniently forgotten that I am the director of the SSS. I have a specific set of skills. You’ll find your men unconscious and when they wake up, they would be tied up with no recollection whatsoever.

“It was pretty smart of you to pick this place. The lack of security was a little surprising though, but I guess that more security would have meant that more people would have known about this meeting. So it was really only logical for you to have just one guard each for company. And because of the blatant mistrust you all have for each other, I have the only gun in the room”

The warlords just stared at her, quietly seething

“I see, you’re planning my murder. So, here’s the thing: I don’t want to die. I also want you to put a stop to your operations immediately, surrender publicly and we can go back to the way things used to be.”

Afonja couldn’t believe his ears

Was she joking?

Surprisingly, it was Francis who spoke first.

“Margaret dear, you know we can’t do that. We would crush you and whatever army you think you have” he smiled, but the smile never reached his eyes. They were cold and soulless. He was angry, but Margaret didn’t care.

She held all the cards now

“You say ‘We’ like you’re all friends or something”

“We share a common goal, yes” replied Al Mustapha

“I wonder how true that is” mused Margaret

Afonja didn’t like where this was going

“Woman! Don’t waste our time. What is this all about” said the ever impatient Wosu “You’re one to talk Wosu, seeing as you tried to have me killed again. And you also tried to threaten me with my daughter”

Francis raised an eyebrow. Al Mustapha had a very smug smile. Wosu felt himself going red

“You little bitch” muttered Wosu thinly. He hated her with every fiber of his being right now.

“Or Al Mustapha, What are you smiling about? Isn’t it true that you already have sleeper agents in the new territories being formed by your counterparts and bombs that have been set in major cities and landmarks?”

Al Mustapha stopped smiling

“You know the north can’t rely on agriculture alone. Well they could, but you’re unwilling to wait for the period it would take to build an economy on the back of agriculture. So you plan to terrorize the territories of your counterparts and wage a jihad and take over them”

Wosu was shell shocked, as were the other men in the room

“Well, Mustapha, who’d have thought you had it in you” said Francis lightly

“YOU BASTARD!” bellowed Wosu

Al Mustapha looked at the others defiantly.

“I have no need to explain anything to you. How do we know that Margaret isn’t lying?”

Margaret smiled “I am the director of the SSS, I have links with almost every intelligence agency in the world. A few phone calls and all your plans have been revealed to me. The Americans are watching, as are the Chinese. They are just waiting to see what you will do and then act accordingly, to their own interests”

“I see. So this is probably accurate information” said Francis

“I see you look pretty calm Francis” said Margaret

“In fact I am” replied Francis

“You still plan on realizing the dream of Ojukwu. A Biafra, a nation for your kinsmen”

“It is a noble endeavor; I see no shame in wanting to create a nation for my people. A place where they can call home and be at peace with themselves”

“Charming” mocked Margaret lightly “Did you also tell your cohorts that you intend to make Lagos a vassal state and that if refused you’d destroy the entire state so that no one would have it?”

Afonja’s eyes nearly popped out of his head

“Was that your plan all along?” he asked

Francis’ smile was gone. His lips were pursed and his neck was suddenly bulging with veins

“And Afonja.”

Afonja felt dread

“You want Lagos too don’t you? And also Edo state, which could be said to be partly Francis’ territory… or Wosu’s

Wosu glared at Afonja

“HOW DARE YOU!” he said

“How dare i?” asked Afonjaincredulously“Edo has a lot of Yoruba speaking people and places and we intend to take full advantage of the oil found there. You have other territories that can provide you with your oil. So, we’re taking this on.”

“Over my dead body” said Wosu

“Then maybe that’s how we’ll take it” retorted Afonja

Margaret smiled

“Well, there you have it. You all are disgusting maggots that are going to kill each other anyway. But troops from other nations are coming into our borders as we speak and I’m going to give them information about every hideout, every stronghold, every tidbit of information I have on you all. Unless you surrender…and quickly

“Gentlemen?” said Margaret with a grace she did not feel. And with that she took her leave, walking out the door as if she owned the place, an unquestionable air of victory surrounding her.

There was silence

The warlords looked at each other with a new layer of distrust and disgust

The foxes had just been outfoxed

They were all thinking the same thing

War was inevitable now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good morning good people. Hope you had an amazing weekend. A s with all good things, Boiling Pot of Madness has also come to an end. This finale piece is written by  @iStalkWriters. An amazing read. It has been fun, we hope you enjoyed it. Make sure you give it a read, leave a comment and share with people. If you haven’t read the story, please you can read them here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-kN), here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-kE), here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-kA), here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-kg), here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-jY) and here (http://wp.me/p2sk25-jK). Thank you again for reading and for your continued support.

Next week, @DisFeMIseF would start a short series that promises to be great, please look forward to it. Follow us on twitter, like our facebook page and follow the blog so as to get email notifications of new posts and stuff. Enjoy!

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

When Margaret left the room, she had walked out with the only gun, but, in a room with men who had killed before they had lost their virginities, a gun was only one in an array of weapons to be found in their bare meeting room. Afonja was staring at Francis Ngigo, his disgust at Gideon Wosu’s drama forgotten. All he could think of was an Ife tuntun without Lagos state and this bastard Francis wanted to claim it for his own or destroy it.

Francis wanted out of the room, everybody had a secret but his plans to claim Lagos had just been irreparably jeopardized. He hadn’t gotten his sleeper cells in place yet. Now that Afonja knew of the plot, it would be doubly hard to pull off. He pushed up from the table, important as it was, winning Lagos wasn’t his biggest problem anymore, if Margaret was right and she probably was, Al Mustapha had plans to terrorize all the other regions, he reached for his belt, the buckle was fashioned out of pig iron, swung at the right angle, it would kill a man on contact.

Sensing danger, Al Mustapha stood and backed away from the table. There was a small knife lodged in the heel of his slipper, he eyed Francis warily, the igbo were quick to attack, he had to be careful. Afonja’s eyes followed the tension, he reached into he trousers and retrieved his ring, he slipped it on as Al Mustapha backed away muttering incantations under his breath.  Francis might be vile, but Mustapha was going to betray them all, the man had no honor.

“Gentlemen, sit, let us discuss.”

Gideon Wosu was on his feet, the walking stick he usually carried with him in his hands, its ivory handle now held promise of a brutal beating the way he carried it like a weapon.

Afonja and Francis got up.  Francis’ voice was quiet when he spoke. “There is nothing to discuss, you are no better than the cancer I sought to free my people from when I agreed to this coalition.  The pigs in politics would lie and steal and stab each other in the back and let civillians suffer for it. That will not be my legacy. Biafra is already a great nation and she has a bright future, her rebirth shall not be marked by war. I will pull my men out of Lagos, you can have your Ife tuntun,” Afonja scoffed, Francis ignored him  “Mustapha will remove his people from all Biafran territories, we will leave this room and never meet again, I will end Margaret once and for all. We shall broker with the Americans and the Chinese. Assure them that their business interests will be safe in all our territories. After the first decade, feel free to expropriate.  I bid you adieu gentlemen, you are not welcome in Biafra.”

Gideon let his stick slide through his palms till he was holding it by the handle again. “Do we have a deal?” Afonja grunted, Al Mustapha nodded. Francis made to walk out of the room. Outside the door he made his way to the small tray where their cell phones had been deposited, the others were behind him. He punched the number in from memory, “Nnamdi, mechaya.”

They all left the building, ignoring the men tied up in the lobby, Gideon kicked the young recruit that was supposed to be guarding him as he walked by.  They all dialed for alternative transportation. Out of inherent distrust more than anything else, they each had a small kill force in close proximity.  When their vehicles arrived, they grunted their good byes and made to leave, then Afonja turned around and put a hand on Al Mustapha’s shoulder “Brother, I pray that we never meet again” then he turned, slipped his ring off and got into his vehicle all the while muttering under his breath. As they pulled off, Afonja, Gideon and Francis made calls to their respective bases with the same instruction, “Fire on the North”

When Al Mustapha first saw the creature in his back seat he was deep in thought. He had managed to convince himself that Francis was right, a peaceful co existence was best, why kill and maim, the North could rebuild itself, it could prove them wrong. The creature laughed. Short and black with tiny horns. He gasped, the men in the front turned to check on him, they saw nothing.  When they told the story later, they said he started off screaming Shigidi and when he stopped, he made a single phone call and dropped dead.

Al Mustapha stopped screaming when he remembered the ring, Afonja’s hand on his shoulder, he knew it was over but he wasn’t going down without a fight, he ignored the little demons that now filled every space in the car except those filled by its occupants the rest of whom were oblivious to the abominations. He dialed his second in command, what he meant to do was punish them all, Gideon, Francis and Afonja, especially Afonja.

“Initiate Operation Peace and Unity”. The man at the other end stammered, “Si … Sir?”  Al Mustapha hummed out the last few lines of the first stanza of Nigeria’s national anthem, he chuckled at the irony before he died. In minutes, missiles were launched from every military base in the North and they were heading for the rest of Nigeria. Those missiles flew over thousands of ground troops from the South, East and West heading in the other direction. War had begun.

………………

War meant nothing to Nnamdi, he was exceptionally single minded. Some might say obsessive, Margaret was his current obsession.  Nnamdi hated failure almost as much as he hated poverty or being told that he could not do something. Which is why when his sisters had laughed at his dreams of going to MIT, too small minded to think that the life he saw in the magazines brought to the village by their more fortunate relatives could ever be theirs, he killed their father to gain enough sympathy to follow a relative to Lagos.

When his relative refused to permit him to further his education, he cracked his head open with a standing fan and cleaned out his wall safe. He made it to MIT, away from poverty and since he became an assassin he had never lost a target till Margaret and her cute Lexus.

 

 

 

He had found her soon afterwards but he had watched from a distance. The only person who knew that he knew her whereabouts was Francis Ngigo, the savior of the east, the man who trained him. He had wanted to execute her at her rundown motel, Francis asked him to hold off, he had followed her, watched her subdue the men guarding the meeting, admiring her skill and savoring his moment of satisfaction. Watched her go into the room and come out, he ought to have gone in to make sure Francis was okay but he would not let Margaret out of his sights.

So when she got into a grey sedan, he followed in a beat up Honda accord. She wasn’t speeding, this was Lagos, the streets were not as accommodating as the Abuja freeways. They were on the 3rd mainland bridge when Francis called, ‘finish this’ he had said, Nnamdi did not respond. He pushed the overdrive button on the shaft of the automatic gear stick and planted his foot. The Honda shot forward.

Margaret was in the last lane, as far away from the sheer drop to the lagoon below as possible. She didn’t sense any danger until the Honda rammed into her quarter panel, sending her hurtling sideways into the center of the bridge, the impact of the first collision pushed the car closer to the wrong edge, amidst the screeching and the futile attempts to swerve, the US Government issued Chevrolet she had gotten from the embassy was overturned, engine fluids leaking out.

Nnamdi walked over to her car, things had calmed, traffic had started to build up behind them, people were assessing the damage to their respective vehicles. She was crawling out of the car, pistol in hand, he crushed her ring finger when he first brought his boots down on her hands, the scream was stuck in her throat. He knelt beside her drinking in the moment, her helplessness.  He let her crawl away from him, trying to get away, towards the carnage behind them.  His Honda was still in the last lane, untouched. He let her get far enough away to hope before he took three quick strides, leaned downwards and in a single motion, almost elegant but undeniably grotesque, snapped her neck.

That was when he noticed the silence. It was too quiet. Everyone was staring upwards, at a flare. The flare in the night sky got larger as it approached. Nnamdi knew what it was, but he was too shell shocked to step out of the way of the missile, not that it would have mattered, nobody on the bridge survived. Nnamdi didn’t feel a thing.

………………………..

Across the atlantic, there was another meeting of powerful men going on, there were representatives of the Chinese and American governments and scattered among them, the leaders of the largest capitalist organizations in the world. They all stared at the scaled digital map of Nigeria projected on the wall, it seemed almost peaceful. A few days ago, the map had been spotted with red dots. Those dots were crisis areas, explosion, riots, looting, any breach of the peace whatsoever was represented by a little red dot.  Beneath the map, a blinking number stated the death toll beginning from election day, it updated automatically as reports came in, right now it was reading slightly above 100,000. It was election day and the Country was taken down from within.

The men inside the room could care less that a regime was toppled. Regimes were transient but business, money was eternal. So they waited and schemed trying to decide how best to protect their interests. They had hoped a military ruler would emerge, one that could be bribed and would have no difficulty with furthering their cause without pesky distractions like human rights and the rule of law. Now, with this talk of secession, they were considering saving Nigeria from herself, marching on the country and appointing an interim government. It would draw criticism from the international community, but a lot was at stake.

Michael Famutimi faced the room. He had been smuggled out of the country after Margaret had left the office that evening. Airlifted to Ghana by helicopter and then flown to the United States. It was he who had found a way to convince the Americans and Chinese to unite their efforts. Now that the map had lost its spots, they seemed uninterested, prepared to accept the secession.  He couldn’t have that, he wanted his home, his Nation, Nigeria.

“Gentlemen, Nigeria is still yours for the taking. If we let this happen from now on you will be dealing with four countries, four goverments, four lunatics. They might pretend to preserve your interests but you should know better. How about assets that fall within different territories, there would be new immigration rules in place,  and these men hate each other, make no mistakes. How do you manage accessibility to your investments? Look at her he said, pointing at the map, she is beautiful, she is worth saving!”

All eyes were on the map when someone gasped. Michael Famutimi turned around and had a heart attack. The peaceful grey was gone, the map was almost entirely red and at the bottom of the screen, the death toll counter was rising so fast the change was a blur. The room went silent when Michael Famutimi hit the ground, then a phone rang out in the room, decorum was shattered with the sounds of assistants, informants, partners, calling in to tell some of the most powerful men in the world what they already knew, there was nothing left to save.

Wewe – The Song

If you don’t know what Write Right is, you can see all the pictures from the Prize Giving Event HERE.

Those that were at the event will remember the superb performance given by the duo of vocalist Naomi Mac and guitarist Femi Leye on that day. The song is based on the Write Right 2 Winning Entry, Wewe by Ifeoluwa Watson. I got them to go into the studio to record the song and they produced this beautiful piece. Enjoy and share. 

TL

Wewe Song Poster

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WEWE

FF on twitter @femileye @NaomiMac @ifewatson and @tundeleye :)

Boiling Pot Of Madness – 3

 

 

I’ve been on the case of freeing the Nigerian Citizen, Yusuf Ishaq held by security agencies for live-tweeting since hence didn’t post early. Our voices are rising and I ask that you join to pressure the government to disclose his whereabouts and release him or charge him to court.

 

Today, we have @DisFeMISef with the continuation of BPOM…believe me when I say today’s post is so totally awesome and jaw dropping..Share comments and feedback with us, would mean a lot to us all..Enjoy

TL

Dimeji Femi Harold

Afonja smiled.

Everything was going according to plan. Better than planned even. The nation had had no idea what hit them. He smiled again. Finally, his people would no longer have to live with those barbaric and uncivilized northerners, nor would they have to grapple with the thieving Easterners, nor would they have to suffer those idiot slouches from the South.

OluwaseungbogboAlayaki was a big man. He had a high forehead and deep set, cruel eyes. He had a large nose with comically large nostrils. And his black lips were small in comparison to the rest of his face. He was the leader of the OPC. His followers had decided to call him ‘Afonja’. Afonja was the equivalent of a Field Marshall in Ilorin which was then under the control of the Oyo empire. Afonja had engineered a successful rebellion that had taken Ilorin outside of the Oyo empire’s rule.

This was exactly what the present day Afonja was doing now. He was taking his Yoruba people outside the rule of this oppressive country, ruled by people who were not fit to tie his shoelaces. It was a fitting name.

The OPC had dwindled. They were no longer the force they once were. Oh, he remembered with fondness and nostalgia all the mayhem they had caused in the late 90s and early 2000s. When the military faction had just broken off from the main party, led by their dear leader Ganiyu Adams.

Afonja was the next head.

He had vowed to take them back to their former glory. They had been feared. They had been revered. Those days were coming back.

He was looking over reports from various specialists on issues regarding boundaries for his new nation. The land of the Yorubas. He chuckled to himself as he imagined naming the country ‘New Ife’ or ‘Ife Tun Tun.’ Yes! That had a nice ring to it. He also had his computer before him giving him the latest information on what was going on. The easy part was over, now was the hard part.

They were going to have to negotiate peacefully with his other warlords as to how the nations would be divided. He still had his eye on Kogi and maybe even Edo state to add to his ‘Ife Tun Tun.’ He was liking that name more by the minute. The biggest problem was going to be Lagos. Afonja knew that the Yorubas had claims to it, but he was sure the other warlords were going to make a play for it too. He had a couple of plans on how to deal with these inconveniences though. He’s started putting them in motion ever since the plan had been revealed to them.

This brought him to think about the ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret. He laughed. She thought she was smart bringing four warlords together, but she was way over her head here. He had to hand it to her though, her plan was brilliant, but she was too much of an idealist. This was all for the best, this way, everyone would be happy. His belief was that the best thing for Margaret to do was to disappear, that was unlikely though, as he fully expected her to be dead by now. There had been no place for her in the grand scheme of things. She had played her part brilliantly. When she had told them of the plan to execute the Executives and how to go about it, the opportunity was glaring. In fact, it was he who had persuaded the others to agree to the separation. The politicians that could have stood in their way were either dead or too scared to do anything. Margaret was too much of an idealist to agree with the plan for separation. She was gooey eyed and believed that with the executives out of the way, the nation could move forward in peace. Afonja knew this was impossible. It was impossible simply because it was never meant to be in the first place. So on hearing the plan, Afonja just tweaked it a little. In separate nations, they could all progress. It was a pity Margaret had to die. But that was the way it was, sacrifices had to be made.

An assistant came in. He saluted and held out a phone.

“Sir, won pe yin”

“Tani?”

The assistant didn’t respond, but he looked uneasy. Afonja grabbed the phone.

“Hello?”

He heard the voice on the other end and froze.

He couldn’t believe it.

Speak of the devil.

It was Margaret

Afonja tried to stay calm.

“What the hell was that? I don’t remember agreeing to this?”

Her tone irritated Afonja. She was a woman, she had no right to talk like this, like she was ordering him or looking down on him. But he kept his cool and answered,

“We made a few adjustments to the plan”

“And I wasn’t a part of it,” Margaret asked. “You tried to take me out of the picture?”

“I’m sure you understand Margaret, it’s for the greater good” he answered smoothly.

She was incensed.

“No! No! No! No! No! No! No!” she exclaimed. She was silent for a while. Then she exhaled. “You will all regret tangling with me.” She said this in a quiet, dangerous voice. Afonja had to admit he was a little uneasy.

“We can work this out Margaret. Come, let’s have a meeting.” She didn’t answer. He knew she was considering it.

“Goodbye Afonja”

“Wait Margaret, let’s try a…”

She had hung up. Afonja gritted his teeth. The nerve! He gripped the phone rather tightly. Then he stopped himself. He relaxed.

This was just an annoying little obstacle, an inconvenience to the greater plan, he’d take care of it, and her.

She wants a battle ehn? Oh, she’ll definitely get one.

Afonja smiled.