WATCH OUT FOR MIND BLOWING AFRICAN STORY ON THIS BLOG.
When Serumun finally made it overseas, we all thought Aunty Kaver’s problems would evanesce. Weeks went by and spawned months. Months passed and begot years, Serumun never returned.
Aunty Kaver became a frequent visitor to Aja post office and everyday was the same: “Madam, there are no letters for you from Europe o,” and Aunty Kaver would cry her voice mute: “You must have mixed it up, Serumun would never abandon his mother.”
There was a time we all thought Aunty Kaver had become mad. She talked alone in the streets and never washed her clothes and never took a bath. She smoked shinsha with young expatriates at the city slums and drown her belly with local gin at Madam Ekot beer parlour, even on sundays.
One sunday — a communion sunday, Aunty Kaver staggered into church with a bottle of gin wrapped under her garment. She danced senselessly, out of beat, during hymnal rendition and the saints reading.
She flung into the sonorous air, the tray of holy communion and the blood of Christ spewing over Father Terwase’s white garb. Able men manned her and hurled her down the stairway of Christ and the brethren of Christ cheered sardonically.
And the time came when she was penitent and absent minded and taciturn; she lived the ember months isolated from the rest of the world and the festivities of the season.
In the new year, I visited Aunty Kaver, her living room was a shadow of itself — the white washed walls stared at me painfully, the window louvers appeared like the harmattan rain could send them flying into gloom within nanoseconds. A wooden box TV seated on a skeletal frame, presumably one of her last furniture, gawked at me blindly.
Aunty Kaver leaped out of her room, looking like a walking corpse from a horror film. Tears rolled down my cheeks unbidden and I embraced her and her eyes soaked ankara.
The day Aunty Kaver died, no one knew until the following day when the stench of her decomposed body pulled every one out of their homes. She was buried without a coffin at Iki forest with a few people surrounding her shallow grave.
A year later, Serumun returned and adorned her grave and threw a lavish party as a second burial. Serumun was stinking rich, we heard he was a star player for an English club. He had houses in Europe and North America. He was married to a caucasian blondie and they’d a caucasian hybrid son. He flew back overseas after the ceremony and never returned.
Aunty Kaver would be remembered as a mother that gave all she had for her son to succeed but I don’t think Serumun remember her.
Mrs Amazon balances her masculine presence on her mighty seat as Ebiere clambers on her own seat, looking pale with anxiety. “Ma, i mean no disrespect,” she utters then regrets it as the great goddess’s eyes dazzle sullenly. “Yes?” Mrs Amazon ask quizzically.
Ebiere hisses the stale air in her lungs and purrs: “I’ve been under the weather Ma…” “That’s not an excuse for me not to fire you,” Mrs Amazon retorts and Ebiere’s subconscious is instantaneously engulfed in flames. “However we cannot afford another loss,” She shrugs and Ebiere’s heaved breath falls. “Loss?” Ebiere’s voice is mixed with an unnecessary concern. “Titiola left the station,” Mrs Amazon says, passively. “Titiola?” Ebiere ask, her face scouring the impression that the fire incident had caused her amnesia. Yes, Titiola, the Queen of Naija air waves, her subconscious snugs. Yes, same undisputed Queen of british accent with no trace of an itinerary to Europe. Yes, that same Queen.
So how does this affect me Ma’am? Her subconscious glowers at Mrs Amazon. “You’re very promising Ebiere. Well not as talented as Titiola but you’re the unavoidable replacement,” Mrs Amazon pouts. “I can’t replace her…” Ebiere is unaware when these words leaves her mouth.
“I thought so too but the others thought otherwise. Well it’s settled. We are paring you with Eva D.”
Eva D? “I am happy with the countdown show Ma.”
“The fire had forced us to rethink time. No one has much time Ebi. Your time here as elevated you. You deserve the top too…”
Ebiere is bewildered on whether to feel complimented or victimized. Eva D isn’t her biggest fan, she is not seeing the show between the two stopping Eva D from wanting to raise hell on her.
“Thank you Ma,” Ebiere purrs finally.
“Well don’t thank me, you deserve it.”
Ebiere swallows this development with her throat sour with doubt and she’s about leaving when Mrs Amazon’s thundering voice pulls her back to the seat: “Call me Mrs Benson…”
Those days when we were boys, cheerful and playful. Life was nothing but a playground; boys dancing naked under the rain and lifting acrobatic moves under a scorching sun.
Boys with no scents, our sweats were our most treasured fragrance. We bathe in sands and sent some to Ally.
We danced diabolically but we still remained boys of good colors, spread to give the hopeless hope and suicidist life.
Surrounded by love, we created harmony in discord. The trouble makers came but never went away the same.
To cut it short, when we remember those days when we were boys. We see maturity for what it is, a cage not freedom.
©Gabriel G. Odigiri
When I was younger than I am now, I had a friend—Skito. One of the boys that lost their homes to flood. He had brownish gray eyes, light brown hairs that resembled the sunset and a fierily pale skin that turned red when he stayed long under the sun.
He didn’t like the others because they always acted smart around him. He liked fishing in the swarm at dawn and always returned with something—a tilapia, sun fish or other kinds of fishes.
We use to build sand houses together at the bank of our river in the hours preceding the sunset during the dry season. We built the houses till it turned a village.
One day the river climbed the earth and washed away our village and i saw pain in his eyes like a ball of fire.
After a week of mourning, we started rebuilding and this time, far away from the river bank. It became a village again, even bigger and we molded sand men to live in it.
On a certain evening, we smoked fishes and soaked garri in water and relished the spectacle of our hardwork.
A day later, we returned from fishing and saw our sand houses leveled to the ground. Skito’s eyes lost its glow, his mouth muttered silent words and for the first time I saw his tears, no different from ours; contrary to the speculation that people like Skito cried blood.
His chest romped and fell as his knees landed on the ground. He was broken and I wanted to hold him and console him but I was too caught up in the myth that surrounded his existence:
if you touch him, your skin will turn white as his; you will become blind like a cat, you will become deaf like him…
But Skito had been more human than all of us with dark skin since I had been his friend. He needed a friend but I couldn’t be his friend again.
He looked at me with don’t you think we know who did this expression on his face and I swallowed. He rose fiercely from the ground like a wild cat that had just regained his claws.
I followed him but he was too fast for me to keep up with, so he got lost in the sunset.
The sunset evanesced but I never saw Skito again.
Ebiere seethes under the blanket as the alarm blows animatedly. She stretches her hand towards the alarm and turns it off. She lies back on the bed, glancing half blindly at the alarm clock—it reads 6:00 AM and she expresses disgruntled.
She reluctantly pulls out of bed, almost yawning her lungs out. She wears a short satin nighty, revealing her long brown legs. She saunters towards the bathroom’s door and enters.
She takes off her nighty, revealing her full breasts resting cryptically on her chest. She turns on the shower and it automatically rains on her.
She scrubs her body with a soapy sponge like she’s about to remove a tough stain.
Water flows from the shower and washes the soap off her skin. She snatches her towel from the bathroom hanger and dries her body. She loosely ties the towel over her body and saunters out of the bathroom.
She stands in front of the wall mirror and staring back at her is a gaunt brown skinned female with deep eerie eyes and a natural long black hairs. She slowly drops her towel and her full breasts are put to display again.
She sensually runs her hands over her body with a lotion. Her hands becomes interlaced in between her legs and she feels herself and then starts to moan faintly.
Her phone rings and she hastily pulls up her towel and hurries to the phone. She taps the phone’s screen and speaks into it: “Hello?” A grave silence responds. “Hello…” She repeats. “Hello Ebiere, where are you?” A glowering male voice rises.”I’m at home,” Ebiere responds.
“You’re still at home? Come on Ebi, tell me, do you have another job now?”
“Then are you trying to lose this one?”
“I can’t stop thinking about the fire.”
“We are all traumatized but we have to get works done here.”
“I will there…”
“Get here soon…”
The phone line cuts and Ebiere stares regressively at the phone’s screen. She hurries to her bags at the corner of the room and searches impatiently for a clothe to wear. She gets dressed in the fuss and draws a thick line on her lips with a nude lipstick and brown powder on her pimpled face.
She hurriedly exits the room for the streets. She takes a motorcycle to the bustop. Having waited for a couple of minutes with the rising sun in her face, a bus arrives and she boards it to the city and in no time the bus gets lost in the bustling city.
She arrives Raven FM building at exactly 7PM. As she enters the hall way, memories from the fire incident flashes in her mind. She begin to sweat under her skin and feel vulnerable and aghast as she once felt been entrapped in a raving studio.
The walls and celling have been repainted with sunflower yellow and wine red respectively but her subconscious presents a black celling and dark brown walls to her cringing eyes.
As she moves into the face of the gallery, everything in her front appears to be engulfed in flames. She frightfully takes a step backward and then suddenly feels a weight on her right shoulder. She impulsively turns and standing in her front is a woman not too older than her with an avuncular smile resting effortlessly on her aging face. “You scared me,” Ebiere snaps. “Thank heavens you finally made it to work,” says Chimerin, her avuncular smile still resting beautifully on her face.
“I have not been myself this last weeks.”
“No one have… But thankfully we’re getting our groove back.”
“Yes, there are changes.”
“A lot. We’ve a new boss now and her face is not pretty at all.”
“Yes ladies?” A deep throaty voice resonates from their behind and the two women turn impulsively to what could be the perfect replica of the historic amazon standing in their front.
“Sorry Ma…” Chimerin snaps while Ebiere stands flabbergasted. “Get to work…” Mrs Amazon’s voice is laced with lighting. The two women turns with their legs about to sprint out of their body. “You,” pointing at Ebiere, “My office now.” Ebiere gives Mrs Amazon a surprised look while her heart did a backslip and she begin to wonder whether she can survive this change.
Night and day, she carries on her head the burden of survival, a load of misfortune and poverty.
She sells in the street, at the market square, on the road, in schools, at the mosque, in churches…
She is only a girl, thirteen, with a weight too heavy for her. Her innocence and puerile smile has been taken away.
You see only her frown now and her dried tears.
She dream of comfort but it’s not real… She dream of school — only if she could learn to read.
She says one day, she will stand on the high way, so strangers can run over her or take her in their arms.
©Gabriel G Odigiri, 2017
This is a work of fiction. Names and events are products of the writer’s imagination. Any resemblance to people, dead or alive or past events is merely a coincidence.
No part of this series should be reproduced without the consent of the writer.
All rights reserved, including the rights of reproduction.
©Gabriel G Odigiri
The wheezing noise of the radio waves fades with the breaking voice of the caller. The blithering alarm from downstairs and the voices of people reverbarating like thunder frightens her, forcing her to hastily pull from her chair. As she raises her legs for a run towards the door, the lights in the room goes off and she becomes frozen like the lights of her brain had also gone off. She heaves a panic sigh, having delved back to reality and begin to count her steps towards the door. As she walks blindly, she remembers her childhood, how as a little girl; she had been afraid of dark places, how it has even affected her as an adult and how much strength she puts to overcome this—Nyctophobia. As she took another instinctive steps with her heels teethering, she slips and goes flying over the speakers. She hits her head hard on the floor and becomes unconscious. Some minutes later, she wakes with a spliting headache and then staggers to her feet and straddles towards the door again. The light in the room automatically comes on and the microphones pick the sound in the room and it reverberates in the speakers. She begins to feel alive and takes another painstaking steps towards the door. As she reaches the door, it pulls her back and she falls to the floor. Next, she hears is a male’s voice: “Oh! Are you okay?”