Do You Love Me?

I had just taken this picture when she asked me that question.

Had to remove her image… Sorry. Privacy policies…

Yes, that question.

We were in a popular frozen yogurt franchise. We were sitting around a table meant for four people.

She was seated by my left hand side. ‘Mrs’ (not mine, but another’s) was seated by my right hand side. Her husband was still at the toilets.

My angel had ‘to go’ and I had taken her to the female side. Handed her over to a vivacious looking female employee who benevolently escorted her in and out. I had waited outside (of course) trying to look busy and non-creepy loitering around the female half of the toilets.

Mrs’ husband had also felt the burden to unburden. And so we three had left her, (Mrs) guarding our frozen delights, and table.

‘Vivacious’ returned my angel safe and sound, but she was suddenly flirty and inquisitive… Sigh… At the risk of being immodest, I am compelled to inform you that women find me attractive.

That is all I have to say about that… No, no, that is a story for another day.

Anyways…

I diplomatically defused Vivacious and turned just in time to see my angel walking back toward me. She had a look in her eyes that reminded me of me. She and I share DNA… A lot of DNA I think. Like me, she is territorial. Not jealous, territorial. I immediately assumed that she did not like Vivacious.

By the time we got back, my frozen yogurt was now a complex mixture of atrocious flavors and color. Undeterred I raised my cup to sip…

Out of my peripheral, I saw Mrs visibly inhale in near ecstasy as I opened my (rather small) mouth.

‘Mrs Johnson’…

Hmmm…

Where do I begin with her?

She refers to me as ‘the one that got away’.

She has liked me for years!

She was (in my opinion) one of those misguided people… Those rebels without a cause. She seemed determined to live life on her own terms and made sure that we all knew this.

Interestingly, no one cared what she did with her life or vagina.

I was part of a small ad hoc committee she once assembled. She had slept with all seven of the eight men there. And with two of the women too. Her agenda was ‘career advice’. I was glad that I could not make that meeting.

I do not suffer fools lightly.

Without regard for my personal code of ethics, she did not just overtly convey her feelings for me, she proceeded to hint that I marry her.

Me!? Marry… Her?

Haaaa!!?? (in a Yoruba accent)

Anyways…

A few years ago, this young man bravely walked up to me and requested that I introduce him to her… He said that he wanted to marry her.

And Shazam!

He did.

All is well that ended well…

My contract with the United Nations had me in Nigeria for a year at this time and I had another year to go.

In light of recent kidnappings, rape of children and other such abuse, I had established a ‘safe word’ with my seven year old angel.

An innocuous phrase. To be used when, and if she was ever molested in any way. Especially if the perpetuator was within proximity. Or it was urgent but I had company.

The phrase was the question, “DO YOU LOVE ME?”

I slowly lowered the cup and dropped it on the table without sipping.

My mind went nuclear… Then I channeled the rage in seconds to a single laser beam.

“I love you baby” I replied softly looking deep into her eyes. Searching for the hurt… The pain… A sign… Anything!

Nada.

It was like looking into my own eyes… No dice.

The abuser(s) was / were definitely on our table. Mr and / or Mrs.

But how?

When?

Why?

Were they mad? Did they not know what I would do to them? The lengths I would go to kill them painfully?

Then ‘Mr’ re-joined us.

The atmosphere had suddenly changed. The tension though intangible, was palpable.

“What did I miss?” He quipped eyes roving from his wife, to me and then my angel.

“Nothing bruh… Just some love between my baby and me…” I rhymed sing-song like lightly punching my daughter’s shoulder.

My angel’s eyes were like laser beams boring through the back of my head.

Something was wrong… Dear Lord, what was she trying to show me!?

Her eyes wandered toward the entrance and all our eyes followed hers…

“Is that your car driving away Papa?”

We all craned our necks and established that it was not my SLS AMG.

“Let’s finish up…, bottoms up!” I suggested.

We all quaffed the contents of our cups and dropped the cups simultaneously.

My angel looked downright distressed at this point. Her curiously beautiful features further enhanced by tears in both big innocent eyes.

I winked at her…

She sat up blinking and cleaning her eyes hopeful…

“I wish we had a child together Dan…”

Mrs Johnson gravely intoned. Eyes dreamy.

Sweeeeeeetttt Jeeeeeeessuuuss!!!!! The shock almost killed three of us.

Her husband viciously spat out her name in lieu of a dire warning.

“I imagine your girth in my tightness Danny – love …”

“inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un…”

(PLEASE ask Wikipedia for the meaning)

I jumped up like a bullet and bodily picked up my kid and ran for the front door.

“I’m sorry, but I love you…”

I heard her shout at me as I fled into my automobile and fled the vicinity like a banshee exorcized.

I pulled over a few minutes later and parked. Engine idling.

“I saw her pour something in your yogurt Papa… I didn’t know what else to do”

“Thank you baby. You did good. I am proud of you. Using my car as a distraction… Epic” I remember saying, nodding in approval.

Her face scrunched up… “Distraction… I was not…” Her voice trailed off.

“Papa… No! How…?”

“I switched cups with hers” I replied laughing.

“Why was she trying to kill you Papa?”

Mmmmmmm…

The blissful wonder of innocence and its attendant peace.

In rare moments like this, the true essence of kids beam forth. Bathing their listeners in righteousness.

Where would I begin? The devil? Demons? Witchcraft? Hexes? Love potions? Love charms to enslave? Kayan Mata?

Naaah…

“She is a very, very naughty aunty… She is no longer our friend.” I (parent-ally) informed my ward.

Mrs Johnson suffered a mental breakdown from that instant. She deteriorated in mental health until she passed.

I hear that it was not pleasant way to go. She died in pain and agony.

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Prophet (Dr.) Abi’ Samuel

(Thank you R. O for letting me do this. May you always have parables to tell.)

I have never deceived myself. I think that that is the worst sort of deception, when you lie to yourself.

My name is Prophet (Dr.) Abi’ Samuel. I shepherd a flock of about three hundred and fifty souls in the capital city of Abuja.My ministry is called, “See His Glory International Ministry”.

I am not your regular pastor. I was not ‘called’ into the ministry, I chose the ‘call’.

Why?

Simple… It was either this or the Nigerian police. Jobs were scarce back then. I was raised by liberal catholics. I was always religious.

My decision was ordained. (trying to keep things Biblical hehehe…)

As with any entrepreneurial venture, I encountered teething problems. I was in dire need of parishioners. Unfortunately for me, they were all in other people’s churches.

I was stranded around the same time in a popular north-central state. I was passing through the state on a journey. Car problems arose and the driver practically bailed on us.

One of my fellow passengers was a middle-aged gentleman who was from that state. He was helpful but hard up. By the time he got me to a motel, it was midnight and I knew that he had nowhere to go.

Contrary to my nature, I shared my room with a total stranger. In a strange land.

He was appreciative in the morning. He told me that he was a priest. His lineage were those chosen by a river goddess to serve. They were the oracles, diviners, servants and custodians of that marine deity.

I told him that I was a struggling pastor. I was honest. It was only a business for me. But at least I would not be a menace to society.

I was actually going to preach and encourage holiness, but get rich in the process.

He nodded objectively and suggested that I visit his shrine. He said that the only way he could thank me was to help me see ‘his mother’.

There was something deep about that man. And so I went with him.

He got us to a secluded bank by a river. He had me follow him across waist-deep water into a sandy enclosure. It was like a tiny island hidden from view.

I noticed artifacts and effigies that depicted the image of the river goddess.

The place was clustered with sacrifices of fresh food and fruit.

Dead and dying livestock and premium aromatic schnapps.

He changed into a white wrapper and donned his regalia.

He had me wrap one of those white cotton wrappers about my loins and then he showed me a chest-high lake of brackish water.

His mother was waiting for me he said.

As of that point in my life, I had nothing. Fortune they say, favors the brave. And so I stepped into the rather ominous-looking pool.

I saw and heard things. The deity is real. She told me when I was going to die. She told me my entire life story. She was not wrong about anything she said to me.

She offered me power. She offered me charisma, wealth and fame.

All I had to do was to have sex with her regularly. She said that she was not jealous, but I could never tell another woman that I loved her. She said that would visit me at least once a week. Wherever I was in the world.

I was tired of poverty. Besides I had heard that most men of God got power from the devil. They were rumored to use juju to perform miracles.

I made love to the goddess.

She was pleased.

Over time I learned more about my goddess. For one thing, no woman was allowed to spend the night in any bed I was in. Even my wife. We had separate bedrooms.

Those unfortunate to have been caught in bed with me were tormented with nightmares, bloody scratch marks and sometimes suffered a supernatural beat down.

My church grew. Top government ministers started attending my services. Within a few years, I had branches all over the world.

God’s work spread through my ministry. I am on television and radio everyday. I am revered and respected. Life is good and the ministry is doing well.

Part of what the water goddess wanted was for me have sex with as many women as I could. She helped me understand that that was the best way to keep my powers. The more sex I had, the easier it was to perform the miraculous.

I heal many people. Hundreds in fact. I have raised the dead. Opened blind eyes. I really do these things. People ‘sow’ millions of Naira in appreciation for the miracles I perform.

Part of what the river goddess told me is that I would not only die old, but severely diseased and blind. This is not how I want to die.So I agreed to transition at the age of forty one years old.

I would die suddenly at the height of my ministry. I was set to go out when the ovation was loudest.

The only way to ensure that I died at that age was to pass the disease and blindness to other people by way of oral sex.

Though I lost a few years, but those are years of sickness and suffering. These women would either die early and their destinies used to propel mine upward and forward.

They usually died soon after or passed the scourge on in fractions to other sex partners. Extending their lives by a few months or years.

I like it when they give me oral sex.

I like it when they swallow.

Whoever she is…

Swallow my child…

The Hospital

I am many things. But tonight, I am a doctor.

The man had diabetes.

When we met for my prognosis he weighed 292 pounds, all of which supported a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

His disease was initially managed with diet, exercise, and metformin (Glucophage). Four months later, with weight loss and exercise, his blood sugar levels were consistently under 100 mg/dL, and metformin was discontinued.

All was well until a week ago, when he noted polyuria, polydipsia, and rising fingerstick glucose values, higher than 200 mg/dL. He has been eating well, with no nausea, vomiting, or symptoms of dehydration. He denies having any fever, chills, cough, nasal congestion, chest pain, abdominal pain, or dysuria.

In addition to his type 2 diabetes, he has hypertension, for which he takes losartan (Cozaar); hyperlipidemia, for which he takes atorvastatin (Lipitor); and gout, for which he takes allopurinol (Zyloprim).

His blood pressure is 148/70 mm Hg, pulse 100, and weight 292 pounds, and he is afebrile.

On examination, his skin, head, eyes, ears, nose, throat, lungs, heart, and abdomen are normal.

Urinalysis in the clinic shows large amounts of glucose and ketones.

He is a big man physically. Well heeled. His wife in my opinion, a trophy. About twenty years younger than he.

She did not like him a lot. As a woman, I can tell.

Though I am not her doctor, her husband told me that she too had his exact symptoms. She did not look it at all. In fact, she looked like a couple of million dollars. I wager that she is worth that indeed.

My hospital is famous. We handle hopeless cases. We have even raised the dead. Several times to be precise. We attract the rich and wealthy. Only the elite can afford us. It is public knowledge that if you passed away in our care, your time was up.

He was a politician on the rise. She was a celebrity… A socialite. She did nothing we knew, but she was popular. She was his second wife. His first wife passed away suddenly five years ago. She had been his mistress for just as long.

It would seem that she insisted on sitting with him throughout our consultations. I did not approve, but I am many things…

I am a twin. My brother is a pharmacist. We are in business too. We own a franchise to organic herbs and potions. We have never been able to meet demand. Do not take my word for it, but our products work.

My brother and I come from a long line of healers. We know herbs and medicinal roots. Our lineage is respected, and feared.

We are feared I hear because a few uncles and aunts went rogue. They crossed over to the dark side and were known to cavort with entities that may not be named.

My patient believed that he was going to die. He believed that someone had placed a hex on him. He believed that the same person was after his wife too.

He was right of course. But I could not tell him that.

I requested that she help us settle some bills in an office adjacent to mine. She did not like my suggestion very much. She hurried back less than five minutes later cross and totally in hate with me.

I wrote out his prescription and sent them off. But he knew that he was to go see my brother for alternative medicine. I was uploading my prognosis when she barged into my office rudely.

“I don’t know what you are up to, but it will not work!” She spat at me. Her face vicious and her eyes shooting daggers.

In response I pointed up behind me at the video camera installed.

“Audio and video”, was all I said.

She stormed out slamming my poor door on her way.

In contrast to my natural disposition, I did not like her all of a sudden.

My patient met with my brother and collected his medicines.

Later that evening however, he was rushed back to our hospital in critical condition. He did not look good. He was quickly stabilized and was soon asleep.

I was poring over his chart when I finally noticed her glare.

“Can you forgive him?” I whispered to her.

“Never!” She hissed back at me. She had flecks of spit at the corners of her mouth. She was a beautiful woman, but her anger made her even more beautiful.

“It is my job to save him…you are in my way.” I gently informed her.

Then she began reciting The Tears of Hannah. She turned her right hand upward and made the Claw of The Damned.

I smiled and respectfully warded off her spiritual assaults.

I saw tears glisten in her eyes as she tried to cast her spells over and over again. Her teacher was good, but they were all rudimentary. The lights in the ward and all our ‘technological’ equipment began to flicker. She wore her kinky hair in an unruly afro… But her enchantments altered her. Her hair was now stretched out like it was permed in that instant. Glass, metal and PET containers alike were rattling all around us on their own accord…

I felt our realm peel off slightly from the west and the Custodian of spirit’s lost slither in toward our location. He was bearing in swiftly, at this rate there was going to be a harvest of souls shortly. There were too many fragile souls recuperating in this hospital. They stood the risk of translating prematurely.

“ENOUGH!” I decreed.

And instantly an even eerier calm settled upon the satrap placed under my watch. The peace mildly interrupted by the sound of her weeping.

She was broken.

“You should have not allowed him to come in here. This is a sanctuary. He is here seeking mercy and refuge. You had every opportunity out there. Within this sanctuary… This satrap… This hospice… He is untouchable.”

She wiped tears and snot and drivel alike with the back of her hands. Just like a toddler would. Then she fell on her knees and opened her arms wide and finally petitioned The Watchers…

“He killed his first wife for advancement in his career. This I know. I have been sick for a long time now. I have underwear missing, used sanitary pads missing from my bathroom! The Prophetess told me… I will die by his enchantments. All I want is to live. And to have this wicked beast put down. I meant no disrespect. I am fighting for my life…”

Three of the thirteen (unsee-able) Elders nodded at me solemnly.

She was telling the truth.

The Grim Reaper coughed respectfully behind me.

Without turning I walked over to her and lifted her up into a tight embrace. She returned the hug and burst into tears… I did not want her to see the Reaper ‘eat’. No mortal should.

I pronounced him dead at the stroke of midnight.

X/xx/xx 2358 Called to room by pt.’s wife, Mrs. ****, stating pt. not breathing. Pt. found unresponsive in bed at 0000, no respirations, no pulse, no heart or breath sounds auscultated. No code called per advance directive and signed DNR order in chart. Death pronounced by Dr. R. I. Pollock at 0000. NG tube, indwelling urinary catheter, and I.V. access device in L forearm removed and dressing applied. Postmortem care performed and dentures placed in mouth. Belongings checked off on belongings list and signed by Mrs. ****, who will take them home with her. Body sent to morgue at 1315.

Renee Irene Pollock —

My 2019!

Hmmmm….(in a Nigerian accent)

I do not know where to begin this story from. But indeed I must.

As is common in my religion, the first few days, weeks and /or months of a year are dedicated to fasting and prayer.

Yours truly did partake thereof these holy rites.

The fasts end by six in the evening, followed by prayers for another hour or so.

The priest, prophet or pastor would close the meeting by making declarations, prophesying or just sharing a simple prayer.

I do not attend this ministry. I am new in town and this parish is close to where I live and where I work.

For some reason, I refused to break my fast as was the norm. I was fasting without food or water.

Understandably by the fourth day I was in another realm. I had been praying and meditating throughout. Trust me, I was spiritual, raised to the power of infinity.

A week into the ordeal, and after closing prayers, the priest, prophet or pastor requested that I wait behind after the prayers.

I did.

He is a rotund fellow. Slightly shifty in my opinion.

He said that he had a ‘word of knowledge’ for me. He said that a close relative was bent on ‘stealing my bright star’ and that God had been fighting for me in the spiritual.

He proceeded to advise that I give an offering to ‘perfect’ all God was doing in my life. He stressed that it did not need to be anything large. Just a token to acknowledge God’s grace over my life.

Sigh!

Luckily I was in a good place spiritually, and so I gave up my ‘widow’s mite’. It was literally all I had.

That night I was awakened to the sound of rustling and slight thumping in my kitchen. My neighborhood is opulent, thus secure so I assumed that it was an open window.

Lucky thing that I turned on the lights first… It was my window alright, but the said window somehow had a cobra writhing about. Stuck.

I kid you not.

A brown cobra that reared up and began spitting at me the moment it saw me.

Sigh!

I was spiritual do not forget. Yet tired. The windows were made of white painted aluminum. Set in a wall of white tiles.

I observed the serpent for a moment and timed its open mouth… Then squirted insecticide into and onto it.

It was not a good way to kill a serpent. I stoically watched it die.

It suffered.

In the end, it was foaming at the mouth. Mouth agape.

For some reason I was still clutching the can of insecticide when I returned to my bedroom.

I decided to wash my hands in the ensuite bathroom before going back to sleep. I thought that I could keep the big ‘extra-value’ canister of insecticide in the bathroom. Come to think of it, where it should have been! Not the kitchen…

Sigh!

God works in mysterious ways.

Lucky thing that I turned on the lights first… Because standing tall in my toilet was a snake.

A bigger cobra.

Black.

And it was standing stock – still seemingly waiting for me.

The second it reared it’s head backwards, I reflexively raised the insecticide and squirted the spray into its face.

Oooh the ruckus!

Sweet Jesus!

This sucker went berserk! It finally drove its fangs into my bathroom cabinet, smashing the glass. Then it started attacking sharp shards of the mirror still held by a wooden frame.

I testify that this thing slit its own throat by itself.

I imagine that I was just standing there mouth agape.

In the end, I could see through the self-inflicted wound all the way to the bones of its vertebrae. It’s blood pooling in a widening circle around its dead head. In my bathtub.

By this time it was three am. My alarm went off just then.

It was time to pray.

So I prayed until four am, with the canister of insecticide in my hand.

But then, the hunger, the thirst, the weakness, the toxic fumes and above all, faith prevailed. I fell asleep on my knees…

I jumped awake quoting scripture a few hours later. Psalms 23 I believe.

It was about seven am.

Groggy and sore, I opened my bathroom cautiously… The dead cobra was still there.

The other one was still in the kitchen too.

I decided to break my fast with a drink of warm water.

Called the office and took the day off. Then dressed up and headed to see the priest, prophet, pastor…. As usual there was a crowd of ‘faithfuls’ waiting to see him. He lived within the place of worship.

But then I noticed that the faces of the crowd were sorrowful.

I pushed my way to the front and into the house. There were policemen everywhere.

I knew what I had to do, I pushed my way to their kitchen and sure enough, the preachers wife lay dead. Mouth open, foam in her mouth.

The bathroom had the corpse of the rotund and shifty priest, prophet, pastor. Throat slit. Pool of blood around his head in a circle in the bathtub.

Broken and shattered glass everywhere.

And for some reason, the cloying smell of insecticide.

Insecticide that was never found at the scene of the deaths.

Sigh!

Happy New Year (I guess).

WANTED: A SOUL.

Do not read this story out loud at night.

Do not read this story in front of a mirror.

Do not. Never ever. Do these two things at the same time.

The first time it happened, I was about five years old.

My mother was out of town I think. We were left with her beautiful sister. My aunt was a ‘babe’, and so she had loads of distractions. My sister and I were left to our own devices.

It was a safe neighborhood. Mama Carol was a Grey-haired, overweight neighbor. Kept to herself largely, but always had a smile for kids.

I had just been smacked and so I was downstairs weeping. I was seated on the steps waiting to report my aunt to my mother the second she arrived.

Mama Carol shuffled over and consoled me. She pressured me into eating some sweets. She promised me that it would be our secret – secret.

That night I was in a dream. At least I thought it was one. Most of the kids on my block were there. Except for Zoe, my sister.

Mama Carol and a few other adults were in charge there. They taught us to be rambunctious. They taught us spells I grew to recognize them as curses. They taught us to basically terrorize our families.

There was a premium on blood and death. Big bonuses were promised if anyone died by our hands.

I always woke up tired in the morning. I found it stressful.

They stopped bringing me into their meetings when I asked why we could not drink a cola or Kool-Aid as opposed to blood.

The second time was in my freshman year.

Of all the fraternities to join, I ended up being tapped by one neck-deep in wars and battles. You could get shot or stabbed by these people for anything (real or imagined) ranging from a fart to your height. They were just so… Bloodthirsty! Their bloodlust was bananas!

A lot of brothers died. But Bello took a shine to me and protected me. Prior to his graduation, he oversaw my initiation ceremony. It was performed by the banks of a large river. I saw and heard things that I cannot talk about. Let me at least say that there are many entities on earth that are not human.

One day I deflowered the woman who would become my wife. I love her. While she slept, I felt nature ‘call’ me. Afterwards, when I stood up to flush, I was astonished to see the cistern filled with bolts, nuts, keys, chains, padlocks, a small bearing and all sorts of metal.

Suffice it to say that I wisely avoided getting shot at or stabbed after that incident. I was hitherto impervious to death.

The third time was when I was contesting for public office.

Whilst on campaign, I visited with my constituency. It was a townhall meeting.

The oldest indigene attended and requested to meet with me. At the end of that meeting, I foolishly allowed him to lay his hands on my head and pray in a dialect I did not understand. My sycophantic team kept screaming ‘amens’.

I won in the general elections.

I always win.

Even when I play chess online, I win. And I do not play chess! The game or prize does not matter. If I competed for anything, it was mine.

But people around me seemed to die every couple of months. Like clockwork. I have been attending more funerals than ever in the last four years.

And so I have taken to telling everyone of my experiences.

Uhmmm, no. This snitching is not allowed. It is an offense punishable by death in every coven.

I teach people how to break free of; blood oaths, selling of their souls, demonic possession, enchantments and divinations… I set free an average of twenty five souls every month. For the last year or so.

Then just last night, the fallen one shows up offering ‘my soul’ back to me… Lol…

Really?

Really?!

I am having too much fun with this rogue behavior. He can keep ‘it’.

I up and accepted Jesus into my life a while back. Lol…

I have a better deal with God.

Do not read this story out loud at night.

Do not read this story in front of a mirror.

Do not. Never ever. Do these two things at the same time.

Arinta’s Guardian

It is not in my place to ask him questions. I do not ask because I should not.

He recently contracted my chambers as his attorney for LIFE. As long as he is not breaking any law, I will keep my peace.

But we all know that he returned from Arinta Waterfalls a different man. He is suddenly wealthy. He is obviously richer. The change is not in his attitude, he is still as pleasant as ever. He is even more benevolent. But he is ‘more’ than what he was.

“Jojo… Please finalize the visas and payments for our trip to Mount Kilimanjaro? I will be leaving the country tomorrow, back the next day I think. I need to get the logistics from you. My pilot is refueling as we speak.”

As is now the norm, he has decided to sponsor The Backpackers’ next trip to Tanzania.

He is the only person alive that would dare call me any other name but Ms. Joanne. But he is ‘loco’ like that. In an endearing way though.

“I think we should use my plane, it’s only a ten seater though” He concluded.

“Who is that in this body? Loose him and let him go!” I quoted and joined him in nostalgic laughter.

If you know, you know.

We knew.

August 29, 2018

FOR AYDIN…

Arinta waterfalls was beautiful!

We arrived the falls after torrential rainfall. The height of the falls was nothing spectacular, but the water hurt when it hit our bodies. The waters were freezing and tempestuous.

Amaka (who disappointed me), Muchee, Goodness, L.P. (I still think the man is a serial killer 🤔😂), Iyke, Bayo and Toto all stripped to their bathing suits and braved the treacherous route to the falls and pose for pictures and get wet.

After watching them for a while, I caught the bug and eagerly joined in.

“Big Dan, hold that pose” Iyke shouted at me above the roar and melee.

I was not even ‘posing’ to begin with! I am not comfortable with pictures of me being taken. It is my eccentricity. I own that.

I was right underneath the torrents when he called out. I was imitating Amaka (who disappointed me).

Like her, I tried to spread my long arms like the statue of Jesus in Brazil when I lost my footing and fell over backwards.

I somehow presumed that my back would hit the wall of the rocks. Foolish assumption because there was zero visibility beyond the raging curtain of plummeting water.

And so you can imagine my terror when I kept falling, hit the ground hard and began tumbling.

I sat up in a cave. Dry. Banged up, but unhurt.

I could hear the thunderous falls behind me. The sound was slightly high up, and so I confirmed that I had fallen downward into this place.

I wish I could describe the cavern to you in detail. Alas, I cannot.

The cave was well lit and the air was fresh.

The floor was covered with fine sand. The sort of sand found on a beach.

The floor was also covered with bones of animals. At least I think that they were only bones of animals.

The cave was eerily quiet.

I did not hear it. I could not see anything even though the cave was well lit. But I needed no prophet to tell me that I was in the lair of a predator of some sort. A carnivore.

I eventually heard it. It is a sound I will never forget. That ominous hiss.

I felt my skin break out in goosebumps. I felt the hairs all over my body actually rise vertically. I remember thinking that I was in the presence of evil.

Maybe not evil in retrospect, but ancient powers that I did not understand.

Maybe not ‘powers’, but pure majick (yes majick, not the recent variation called magic).

The atmosphere cackled like static electricity. Time seemed infinite at the time. I was in a limbo, a trance-like state. Yet I was present in the present.

I heard the distinct sound of something heavy being dragged. The sound irritated my spirit sorely. It was a disturbing moment, like a countdown to an inevitable execution.

As the sound neared my seated form, the cave seemed to glow brighter. The sound was coming from before me. The closer it got, the brighter things became.

It got so bright that I had to shield my eyes from the glare.

From between slightly splayed fingers I finally glimpsed the entity…

It was the fattest and biggest snake I had ever seen in my life. NatGeoWild had never featured a snake so humongous!

It’s flickering tongue was easily two feet long. It’s head was about a square meter thick. It’s eyes were mesmerizing orbs about the size of saucers. It was impossible to take in the full size of the snake seated less than ten meters away.

And finally on top of its head gleamed the most beautiful diamond I had ever seen. The size bore verisimilitude to a grown man’s fist.

But please understand that it was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. Diamond et al. That snake glowed! I found it very attractive.

At this point I was on my knees. It maintained the rough distance of ten meters. It’s forked tongue kept darting in and out of its massive head.

I wondered at time how deep the cave must be. I wondered at whether the prehistoric reptile was male or female. I remember concluding that this thing was sexless. It just was. There was not going to be another like it.

I felt no fear. But I sensed that my life was being weighed…

And so I did the only thing I could;
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

The snake hissed long and hard in reply. It’s long tongue seemed to flicker quicker. Flitting in and out of its jaws in blinding speed.

Then it stopped. It stopped movement of any kind. It seemed to me that it also stopped the very essence of time in that instant.

It beheld my kneeling form with the longest of stares.

Then I stood up and replicated the pose that brought me here… Arms fully extended outward to the side… like that statue of Jesus in Brazil.

Then it bowed to me.

Yes. It showed obeisance to me.

As it bowed to me, the diamond on top of its head fell off and rolled over to me. It stopped inches away from my feet.

I stared long and hard at the entity before me before I stooped and picked up the precious stone. It was larger than I originally thought. It was heavy and beautiful. The stone throbbed in my hand. It pulsated so hard that I had to hold it with both hands.

Then I started to shiver. I felt energy… No, power surge through me. I felt invincible! I felt invigorated. I felt ancient abilities take root in my spirit…

And then I consciously decided to ‘own’ the energy… And I did. I imbibed the force and became one with it. Then I slowly stabilized into my new consciousness.

With both hands I offered the diamond back to the entity in faith and honesty… Maybe it had dropped it by mistake?

But the snake seemed to yawn. Each of it’s bared fangs were about a foot long. It’s jaws gaped so wide that I could almost see a meter into its essence…

Then it closed its mouth and slithered backwards a meter or so. I stepped forward and offered it again… But the snake seemed to yawn. Each of it’s bared fangs were about a foot long. It’s jaws gaped so wide that I could almost see a meter into its essence…

Then it closed its mouth and slithered backwards another meter or so…

A third time I attempted to return the diamond and again the same reluctance from the principality.

My swim shorts are made with patch pockets, military combat style. I secured the gem in the right flank pouch and velcro – sealed it.

As I climbed back up, it was still slithering backwards into the dark recesses of the cave.

I emerged through the water and joined the backpackers who were unenlightened as to what just happened.

Time may have stood still. I may have fallen into a black hole of sorts. I may have been in the cave for fifteen minutes real time. I cannot say for sure.

I have no intention of selling this diamond. It would seem that it attracts good fortune to me. All I do (or not do) works out for my good.

Everything I touch is profitable. I have an acute Midas touch now. A sort of MimShach anointing blesses all I am. I cannot stop prospering.

Conservatively speaking, I am worth trillions of dollars. And I am expanding my asset base exponentially whether I try or not.

I made no deals with the devil. I have not sold my soul or anyone else’s. I am never ill or tired. I regenerate daily… Testosterone levels have spiked within me. I am sure that if ever I managed to get myself injured I would heal instantly.

I write this for posterity. I want this kept for Aydin when he turns twenty one.

‘Chairman’, my son… DO NOT VISIT ARINTA WATERFALLS!

EVER!

The Ruckus At Erin-Ijesha

At least the Indian guy had decorum. Raju or whatever my husband calls him.

The other one, Goody, or whatever her name is was just plain getting on my nerves!

They were both seated behind in my car. We were behind the Toyota Hiace bus #backpackersabuja had chartered to convey the rowdy bunch to some waterfall in Osun state, Nigeria.

Olumirin? Ile – Ijesa? Not sure what my husband called it.

He was handling my situation calmly. He had told me about this trip a month ago. I had intentionally waited until last night to insist that I would come. He had taken my ploy in stride. Only catch was that we were now driving behind the main team in my car. My husband insisted that we use my car!

Men are scum!

Lol… Kidding. But a girl has to be careful. All these trips our men make out of town… ‘Stay woke’ my lovelies.

It is not that I do not trust him (hehehehehe) I am just marking my territory.

The trip was arduous! These people were insane! My husband inclusive. It ended up being an eleven hour road trip!

My lovelies, I suffered!

We headed to the waterfall the next day. They were all hyped and amped. I gathered that the falls were about seven stories high and that there were seven waterfall views… Or something like that…

The waterfall itself was nice I suppose. If you are in to that sort of thing. It was raining quite badly when we got there.

Then these wildlings decided to climb up to the plateau of the hill and spend the night in tents at a village or hamlet up on the hill.

Father Lord, I mean no offense… But a lot of your children are ‘not well’. Yes Lord, I am referring especially to these Backpacker-people.

Why any rational individual would leave luxury and comfort and venture into the unknown to suffer is beyond me.

That was their problem though. There was no way I was climbing any thing today. Except my husband’s tumescence… Hehehehehe… If you know, you know.

And if I was not camping uphill, neither was my behemoth. (Yes he is my large animal).

So I whipped up a sly attitude and voila! My behemoth grumpily informed his fellow lunatics that I was feeling poorly and that we would have to return to camp.

They hated me. I could tell by their concerted effort at nonchalance. But I did not care, this was going to go my way.

Not quite!

My behemoth decided to hire a tour guide. The guide would take them up the hill and bring him back while the other hippies would remain at the summit overnight. I was deserted for about two hours; wet, cold and miserable.

Men are scum!

Lol… Kidding.

Long story short, we were eventually reunited about two hours later and taken to ‘the best’ hotel in the area. It was not a bad place. I was was impressed. It is hard to impress me.

My behemoth impressed me too. Between passive aggressiveness, thinly veiled anger at my antics and whatever he had been drinking… My lord and king here on earth unleashed such pleasure on me that I blacked out from coital bliss, pain and fatigue.

I awoke to loud banging on the door of our hotel room.

I think I wet myself instantly. Judging from the time and the audacity of the ruckus outside I knew that they were thieves.

Have you ever been mugged? Robbed at gunpoint? Abused in any way whilst being robbed? Has it ever happened to you in a third world country?

Imagine all that… And then place yourself in my predicament, a full – bodied woman naked in bed with her husband? I did not need a psychic to tell me that my fate was about to be changed negatively that night.

With tears in my eyes and urine trickling down my thighs I acknowledged that I had brought this problem upon myself. Me and my insecurities! It would be a miracle if I escaped rape and /or death.

My behemoth was calm. He is always calm actually. He was already dressed in a blood red pair of basketball shorts. He was firmly tucking my limbs into my wet cut-off jeans shorts and hoodie.

Just then the door, it’s lintel and fittings came crashing to the floor with a loud bang. And the thieves were inside the small hotel room.

One of them was pointing a pistol at us. I remember screaming from behind my husband when another thief shot his gun into the Plaster of Paris ceiling of the room. Another was brandishing a very shiny cutlass.

“Get on your knees!”

“Lie down flat!”

“You dey craze?!”

The intimidation and yelling came in a deluge. Even though my lord and king here on earth was shielding me with his body, I knew that we were in big trouble.

I felt faith drain from my heart when my husband sank heavily to his knees and started sobbing like a baby.

I felt my jaw drop down to my ample bust. Just then one of the robbers found the light switch and there he was… My behemoth… On his knees, crying.

Big Dan?!

On his knees crying?!

You do not understand… This dude is ‘six five’ two hundred and fifty pounds of pure muscle. He has bullet scars and knife wounds. We have been married for ten years and he does not talk about his past. He never has. His reputation around town is rock solid. Nobody talks about him openly and it is not because they love him. There is something dark and mysterious about my husband.

His subservience and bawling shocked all four thieves into eerie silence.

The room was not a large one. The big bed took up most of the space. It was a tight fit for all six of us. I should say seven though. My husband’s shoulder is easily as wide as two peoples’.

I was not only distressed but increasingly worried about my husband’s meltdown. The scoundrels emboldened by his submissiveness had now started pistol whipping and slapping his lovely head with open palms.

Emasculating him. Taunting him.

“This your woman go sweet to fuck o!”

My world stood still. My life started to flash before my eyes.

I felt fresh urine exit my bladder without recourse to my will.

All four men were openly ogling me at this point. Two were on either side of my useless husband whilst the other two were shoulder – to – shoulder in front of him.

Till this day, I can not recall the faces of these men. Terror had me looking without sight.

All their eyes were on me, undressing me… I remember how my skin crawled at the thought of what was going to happen to me. I remember starting to shiver uncontrollably. I remember hearing my teeth chatter on their own volition.

“Take off your clothes!”

“Remove all ya dress! Prostitute!!”

“Your ear don block? You no wan obey? I go slap you o!”

I joined my husband and began mindlessly wailing.

The hoodlums roared in maniacal laughter.

I was too terrified to notice anything.

The four thieves may have been high, drunk, high and drunk or just distracted…

My lord and king here on earth suddenly moved like a blur… I heard ‘whooshes’ that all ended with loud thuds.

I kept blinking trying to clear my eyes until one of the robbers fell upon me. I remember screaming and clawing at his face. His weight pushed me back to the wall behind but then he keeled off me oddly and fell to the floor.

I glanced around in confusion and saw another one of them drop lifelessly to his left on the bed. A crimson stain immediately began spreading wider and wider on the white sheets.

I looked up to see the third man clutch his heart. Blood was seeping through his fingers. He was staring blankly at me. He crumpled in a heap and did not move again.

My protector. My warrior. My lover and my husband.

My lord and king here on this earth was somehow behind the fourth man and with a blur of his hand, a geyser of blood erupted from the man’s suddenly slit throat. He went down seemingly trying to claw his sliced open throat back together. His throat was emitting a rattling and gurgly rasp as he bled out in a seizure on the floor.

My lord and king here on this earth was actually the last man standing… He was covered in blood and he had a bloody stilleto in his right hand. He never travels without that weapon. I know it.

He beautifully sculpted body was heaving heavily. His jaw was tense. He was glancing wildly about in a crouch. He looked so Neanderthal…so dangerous… Beautiful danger.

The whole room now reeked of raw eggs and something slightly metallic. My lord and king here on this earth later explained that it was the smell of blood.

No my lovelies. I did not, neither will I ever ask my wild animal how he knows the smell of blood… Are you out of your mind?! This wildling just killed four armed robbers in the blink of my eye!!

Please. Ask. Him. Yourself.

Thank you.

Then my behemoth painstakingly went through the pockets of all the dead and dying men and robbed them. He took all the money he found on them and in the getaway car outside.

He must have gathered a little over a million Naira.

No my lovelies. I did not, neither will I ever ask my wild animal why he fleeced dead and dying criminals of their hard-earned bounties… Are you out of your mind?! This wildling just killed four armed robbers in the blink of my eye!!

Please. Ask. Him. Yourself.

Thank you.