Serti Takum

Veni veni, Emmanuel captivum solve Israel, qui gemit in exsilio, privatus Dei Filio.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!”

I do not think that there are many of us left. I am afraid I may be the last one.

Lore, strange truths were whispered in my ears from birth. From lips I never saw. They told me of ancient mysteries, they spoke to me repeatedly long before I had understanding. I have grown with these ‘gifts’. I Am.

Joan was there.

Becky was there.

I. K. was there.

Nura too, I think. The remaining Backpackers were in the second Hilux pickup truck.

It began that morning when we set out to camp at Mayo Kam. We stopped after the petrol station. It’s name (the petrol stations’) escapes me now. Where those traders line up to sell their wares to travellers. As always, we stopped to ‘eat local’. We got some moi-moi (bean pudding) cooked in plastic bags. We also got the yams we intended to roast by the camp fire from there too.

I was seated in front with ‘It Is Raining‘, our eerily quiet driver. I cannot lie, his name really is, It Is Raining. The rest of the team were fussing about trying to buy a bunch of stuff we did not need. I. K. came to me smoking a cigarette and being as rambunctious as only he can manage.

She was standing slightly behind the rest of the traders. She was tall for a local. The table upon which her kuli -kuli (deep-fried, hard and crunchy groundnut paste) was placed was understandably higher than anyone else’s. She had a boy of about ten years old beside her. She was close to this child I perceived. Not a sibling, he was too plain. Or maybe I should say that she was too beautiful. As of right now, despite all that transpired, I still do not know the ties that bound them together.

She was wearing a black cotton embroidered gown. She was slim and lithe. She was exotically beautiful. Dark Nubian. She truly did not belong there.

She and the boy… And so I stared a tad too long.

Naturally, she bristled under my direct gaze and as is the manner of men and women and love and sex and marriage; she made me know that she was interested in me too.

Taraba state of Nigeria still embraces a laid back and traditional culture. Decorum, modesty and decency still obtain. So I discretely commissioned It Is Raining to arrange for a discreet rendezvous scheduled for the next day. Seven pm to be exact. It Is Raining returned to me bearing news that gladdened my heart and my pleasure showed. She watched my face and coyly began stealing admiring glances at me. While Backpackers are not in fairness indecent, they can be quite direct. They teased me relentlessly about the obvious chemistry Serti (yes, that was her name) and I just shared.

As I have revealed in a previous tale, Mayo Kam was a kind of ‘Garden of Eden’. Permit me not to relive that past at the expense of this future. Suffice it to say that we got back to the transit camp the next day, at about noon.

I. K. and I immediately set about imbibing copious amounts of beer. We were joined by one Backpacker after the other until the makeshift ‘bar’ became pleasantly rowdy. At some point, we all decided to barbecue some meat later that night.

That evening, in preparation for my date, I had a long shower and massaged a lot of coconut oil onto my entire skin. It was lightly perfumed with frankincense. I donned a flowing white robe and made sure to wear my ceremonial beads. I finished my ritual by burning a specific special Oudh from Asia.

My ‘hotel room’ (if you could call it that) was basic. A small bed, a one-seat sofa and a plastic chair. I had arranged both seats side by side at the foot of the bed. Behind the seats was a large window it’s panes were made of glass louvres. I shut them and pulled the curtains shut. I required privacy.

I then proceeded to sit in the dark. I meditated on Serti until a soft knock on my door announced her arrival.

I turned on the lights and opened the door. Unsurprisingly she was still as beautiful as the day before. Unsurprisingly, she came with the boy. I sat them on the seats and then sat down opposite them both.

I gazed into her eyes for a bit, and then his. I returned to her lovely face and smiled at her. She smiled shyly in response. I held out both my hands; one to Serti, the other to the boy. They took my hand in theirs and then at my request, held hands too.

“It is time Serti…” I gently informed her.

Her face clouded over as the pain, bitterness, memories all popped out of her soul, through her eyes and into my consciousness. The preceding twenty two words is the part of my calling I hate. I blinked back tears of empathy and gently whispered,

“It is time Serti.”

This time she nodded curtly. The boy answered ‘yes’ even though I was not talking to him.

And so I lifted up my voice…

“…O come, thou Rod of Jesse’s stem
From every foe deliver them
That trust thy mighty power to save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.

O come, thou Branch of Jesse’s Tree
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust thy mighty power to save,
And give them Victory o’er the grave...Amen! “

And they both vanished into the bosom of the Lord.

Then I cried.

Mourning them.

Those two Spirits Lost.

I do not think that there are many of us left. I am afraid I may be the last one.

Lore…, strange truths were whispered in my ears from birth. From lips I never saw. They told me of ancient mysteries, they spoke to me repeatedly long before I had understanding. I have grown with these ‘gifts’.

I Am A Watcher.

I am mandated to maintain spiritual harmony and balance.

To evict and to summon.

To bind and to cast out.

I have been blessed with (The) requisite power and authority.

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Mayo Kam 

I am not originally a Backpacker®.

I only signed up for this trip because I was tired. I was tired of life.

I was tired of being alive. I actually went on that trip hoping to die. Misadventure, murder, animal attack… Anything. Even via the auspices of the pack of prescription sleeping tablets I had stashed away just in case my mind got made up.

Mayo Kam.

River Kam.

Yes, I believe ‘Mayo’ means ‘river’. The waters were deep, clean and cold. We were soberly lectured by the park rangers that a tourist fell in and drowned about a year ago. I so wished it had been me!

Listen, Mayo Kam is an excellent place to camp. Especially during the dry season when the waters have shrunk and left more sand and land in its wake. There is no mobile service in the Gashaka Gumti Game Reserve. If you are Nature’s kid, you have a home there. It is truly amazing. It is beautiful, pure and largely unsullied.

We were eleven Backpackers in all. Two heavily armed park rangers and four local fishermen that met up with us by the camp site.

Leinad, Raj, Rebecca, Henry, Bashiru, Noorah, Joanne, James, ‘Long John’, Sarai…and me. Enez.

Lovely, lovely people. Diverse experiences, countries and character. Never a dull moment with the Backpackers. Yet I was dead inside.

I was not sure of the time, but I was positive that the day was Saturday. For two reasons:- Firstly, there was going to be a Super moon tonight, and a lunar eclipse of some sort. Secondly, today was supposed to be my wedding day.

Cards printed. Venue paid for. Ivory white sleeveless wedding gown bought. Everyone that knew me in any capacity was aware. And why not? I was twenty five years old, I was in love with the only man I gave my spirit, soul and body to. He knew that even Jesus took a back seat when he arrived. Yet… Yet… He PUBLICLY called off the wedding after mandatory blood tests revealed that we were both HIV positive. As in, why?! Who does that?!! HE knew that he had infected me, I was his submissive emotionally and physically!

My mum consequently suffered a stroke. My dad tried to kill me twice. I tried to ‘kill me’ twice… I was the brunt of every joke. An object of pity and ridicule. The subject of many conversations. All of these inside a week.

And so I fled with the Backpackers, to this remote and dangerous adventure, hoping I would die. By my own hand or otherwise.

Leinad was making it hard though. To kill myself I mean. Or to even suffer injury for that matter. He was clearly interested in me. Men! They are so predictable, they would fuck anything given half the chance.

The fishermen arrived at dusk and immediately set about fishing roughly five hundred meters away upstream. They brought their own gear and so ours was redundant. While the rest of the female Backpackers fussed over roasting yam tubers and frying tomatoes, onions and peppers to make a sauce for the imminent fish, I somehow anchored three hooks together and found a spot on a boulder and began to fish.

Faithful and loyal Leinad tarried beside me in abject misery until my dark mood forced him to seek lighter spirits. He joined the group by the large fire and soon forgot about me.

A short time later, I got a bite and expertly reeled it in. It was a foot long indigenous catfish specie. It paled in comparison to the humongous sizes the fishermen were catching and so I killed it just as my dad taught me years ago and decided to use it as bait. I had just tossed my line into the water when I got called to supper. I wedged the flexible but strong fishing rod in a two foot deep crevice, and left.

I woke up reluctantly sometime during the night. I badly needed to pee, but my sleeping bag was very cosy. Besides everyone, including the park rangers, was asleep. I guessed that it was about midnight. It was pitch black outside the influence of the camp fire light.

One look at the sky decided me. I got up and walked towards the river and did my business in a hole I dug in the sand. I was just rounding up when I heard something thrashing about weakly in the water. I intuitively knew that my line had caught something big. I was up the boulder in a flash and back down with my fishing rod.

I think that all three hooks played a part in my catch. I think that the crevice helped wear down the fish. I think that the super moon and it’s unusual brightness lured that fish from the deep.

It was the largest fish I had ever seen in my life! It was not a shark or anything predatory. I think the locals call it ‘water elephant’ or ‘Giwan Ruwa’ in Hausa.

It was beautiful. I was not afraid. Death by this fish if it could would be welcome anyways. And so I darted knee deep into the treacherously cold and fast flowing water and dug my left hand into its gills and began pulling it ashore.

I came to pee in the bikini bottom of a two-piece swim suit, with just a hoodie over me and the bikini bottom. The rocks under the water were slippery and sharp. The humongous fish clearly did not want to leave the water… I was almost drowning within seven minutes.

Whatever I lack as a woman; big boobs, bubble butt et al… came to my aid that night. I used all of the six feet of lithe physiognomy I possessed to lever my catch out of the water.

The fish was only a little shorter than me. My left hand was still locked under it’s gills. That hand was now numb. I locked my right hand into the gills on the opposite side of its head, sidestepped the last foot or so onto the sand and lunged, pulled and lifted in one explosive move.

I landed on my right side painfully with the fish’s head between my thighs. Both my hands still gripping it tightly. I was exhausted! My breath was raggedy and labored. I was wet and cold, I was shivering and shuddering – (from hypothermia, shock and adrenaline).

As I slowly caught my breath, the fish too started to calm. As I slowly warmed up from the heat my body was producing, so did the fish.

But I knew that something was wrong… and so I slowly eased off my painfully cramped fingers and looked down at the fish.

It now had long hair and was a naked girl. I could feel her cheeks on the insides of my thighs. I could feel her cleavage on both sides of my right thigh.

I was by now hyperventilating in shock. But I was spent, lactic acid had built up to the detriment of my muscles. I simply could not move.

And then she started convulsing; flopping about in a most unnatural way. I did not need to be told, she was dying.

I successfully struggled to sit up. I held both her shoulders and began to push her back into the water… But the sand and my tired body impeded my noble intentions.

I began to weep. Not just because of there and then, but because of before. I finally got to cry at the injustices, at the curse of being a woman in Africa, at being ‘the weaker sex’. I was simply so exhausted and tired on the inside and outside. All I could do was to keep stroking her hair and back babbling, ‘I’m sorry. I’m so sorry…’ over and over again.

I learned something that night; we are spirits and we live in physical bodies. At some point she stopped shivering and translated. I felt her leave. She was not her body, she was gone. Her body went limp, numb and cold. I saw her stand beside me wearing a look of slight confusion and wonder.

“Please, I didn’t mean to… I am so sorry!” Were my exact words to her.

She looked down at me for a while and then her beautiful face softened. She knelt beside me and then blew softly on my face, and then lightly kissed my lips.

“Enez…baby girl… Wake up!”

“Did you frigging catch this behemoth?!” Leinad’s handsome face inquired in disbelief.

It was about dawn, not quite bright yet. I made him help push the fish back in the water. We watched it bob in one spot eerily before it sank suddenly.

I shivered suddenly and hugged myself. To my utter amazement, I was bustier! I groped my new and improved breasts in confusion. I looked up at Leinad and the look of pure lust on his face terrified and thrilled me.

I am no longer ill. Have not been ill since that day, not a cold, rash or headache. I am at peace. I am rich and I am wealthy. I am happy.

P. S: “Please, I didn’t mean to… I am so sorry!”

Chappal Wadi

About my Christmas…

It was supposed to be nice and easy. Time spent with family and friends. That is until she called me from the fire.

My muse I mean. Not the young, hot one though. It was old, old mother. I was stir-frying venison and vegetables on the 21st of December 2017 when the bright blue flames of the gas burner cackled and grew. She was within. Within hours I was mysteriously the wildcard selected to accompany the urban myths, adventurers extraordinaire and totally bonkers Backpackers Nigeria® to climb Chappal Wadi. The highest point in West Africa and Nigeria. And aka, The Mountain of Death.

We took off on the 23rd of December, 2017. I refuse to bore you with details of that journey. It was gruelling and fun though.

Fast-forward to the 26th of December, 2017. We were finally at Ngoruje, a transit camp run by the Nigerian Gashaka Gumti National Park. We arrived at about six pm after about seven hours traveling on bad roads. We set up our tents and soon had a fire going. We were surrounded by the reserved trees of the national park. It was chilly and windy. It was dark. The only light came from the campfire.

Yet I could sense that she was waiting for me. And so I walked towards the edge of the forest. It was dark and cold there, but quiet. I sat gingerly on the exposed roots of a tree and almost immediately I perceived her. She always smelled of cinnamon and wood smoke. Old old mother is very very old. She told me a lot of things about the Backpackers Nigeria® and bid me to put my life on the line for them. She is not one known to be garrulous or to linger. I left the edge of the forest with a heavy heart.

It is called the Mountain of Death for various reasons. The park rangers told me that it was because many tourists had died there.

The majority of the good people of Taraba state were largely unaware of the existence of the Mountain of Death. Did not know, did not care.

The motorcycle riders that risked their lives and ours for about four hours ferrying us on dangerously undulating rocky foot-wide trails up and down mountain sides from Ngoruje to Njawai told me that it was because many families had died there simultaneously – mysteriously many years ago. No evident reason.

The head of the hamlet at the base of the mountain, in Njawai told me a lot of things. He especially asked me to convince the Backpackers Nigeria® not to climb. When I asked why, he said that I had ‘the mark of pure light’, and that I knew why. The conversation was in Fulfulde (pronounced Fool-fool-day), the main tongue of the Fulanis. One of the motorcycle riders was ineffectively translating to and fro because I was speaking in the Hausa language.

At the end, the head of the hamlet reluctantly gave us his permission to go up the mountain… But not his blessings. We were ten Backpackers, two park rangers, two journalists and three local guides.

Just before I lost view of the hamlet, I raised my hand in salutation to the head of the hamlet, and he curiously waved ‘goodbye’ back at me.

The altitude sickness was gradual and severe. We were in poor shape within the hour. The climb was up a gradual slope. We sighted antelopes, birds and startled God-knows-what further into the bushes.

There were a couple of things that had been bothering me.

Firstly, we were definitely in Cameroon and not Nigeria-Mambilla as was advertised. Secondly, we had not secured migration passes from the Cameroon’s immigration authority, I was not sure, but I felt like we were being watched. Stalked even. Thirdly, and most importantly I was gradually getting covered in goosebumps… It’s my gift. An early warning signal of sorts.

I was one of the only three that was armed with a firearm. I was the only civilian armed. I had fallen behind because I had to relieve myself. I was on my way back when I heard muffled moans and hushed tones ahead. When I caught up, my team were all standing still like statues. All of them.

I could hear the sound of flapping. Like really large wings flapping. But I could see nothing. The pungent smell of sulphur confirmed the presence of what I could not see. The gusts of wind from the flapping was raising up dust, leaves and grass. Items of clothing worn by people standing stock-still billowing eerily.

I heard the flaps move slightly away to the first local tour guide. Before my eyes, and in a few seconds, the man gradually emaciated like he was being sucked dry. Like an adult dragging on caprisonne quickly. Kukah crumpled (obviously) lifeless to the ground. Bardeh, the second local tour guide suffered the same fate. Then I perceived it move towards Sarai.

“Stop!” I yelled.

I felt it stop, deliberate and veer towards me in a slow whoosh. I remember wishing that I had called out ‘stop in Jesus name’ instead of just ‘stop’.

However, about a meter away from me, I heard the sound of singeing and I smelled burning feathers… I think.

I swear I heard whimpering and another rush toward me and then singeing again, burning feathers… and then all went quiet.

It spoke in an ancient tongue. In guttural and curt syllables. I deduced that I was being asked questions. And so I introduced everyone by name and explained in English why we were here… And then all went quiet.

“Please. Leave. Now… ” it grated in its harsh guttural voice. And yes, in English.

Instantly the air cleared. The bodies on the floor vanished and the trance was broken. The Backpackers® emerged all seemingly clueless as to current direction, location, urgency and time.

“Let’s hurry back down!” I shouted.

“Hey Big D, what about Bardeh and the other one?! Raj enquired.

“They went back faster.” I quietly replied turning away so he could not see my face.

“It’s getting dark, I’m getting cold…” Rebecca petulantly whined.

“We need to pick up the pace! This place is dangerous, especially at night!!” I called out and began to lead the long way down.

All Backpackers® are alive and well. Clueless about what really happened on the Mountain of Death, but alive and well.

May Bardeh and Kukah rest in peace.

Happy New Year!

Death Becomes Him

I can not believe that this impetuous, over-pampered and carnally-minded simpleton actually picked up that phone call… 

I swear by the throne of Jehovah, I will kill him first chance I get. 


Ring… Ring… Ring… Ring… 

“Hello…?” 

“… I kept hoping that you’d pick up one day…” 

“Uhmmmm… Yeah… I was conflicted.” 

“Because of what I am?” 

“What are you exactly?” 

“I could show you…” 

Laughs…“For real?” 

More nervous laughter… “Where are you exactly?” 

“Here.” She answered from behind him. 

I kept watch over him. He could not see me, but she could. 

From that day they were inseparable. That day in which he had unwittingly summoned her by accepting her ‘hello’  from’ the other side’. They talked a lot. Very often. He was a very curious soul. 

He was exactly thirty three years, three months, three days, three hours, three minutes and three seconds old when he (unfortunately) stumbled upon the ability to ‘summon’. 

I confronted her one night when he was asleep. I was after all his protector. In righteous indignation I insisted on being told her plans. 

She knew that I had the power to translate her spirit back into the abyss. I am holy and righteous. Maybe that is why she demurely replied me in almost suspicious humility. 

She told me that she loved him. 

“But you are a succubus, a demon!” I recall blurting out. 

She then reminded me about the time the sons of God took for themselves wives of the sons of men. And how they cohabited in love and harmony ever after. It was their offspring that became unruly, not the abominable anomaly. 

I can not believe that I am admitting this, but she was right. 

I immediately summoned Headquarters for wisdom; and reinforcements were expeditiously despatched. The Company clearly considered this client untouchable. He was the apple of someone’s eye. He was clearly special and the beloved of someone important. 

We watched as ABIKU taught him great mysteries. She revealed ancient Truths and Verities that he clearly hungered for. She showed him the treasures of darkness and the hidden riches of secret places. He inevitably became very rich and prosperous speedily. He practically rode the high places of at least two worlds. 

She was plump, shapely and comely. The human vessel she chose was as he found pleasing. She inexplicably favored him for his warmth and meekness. Under our surveillance, she metamorphosed into human (female) tendencies of jealousy, tears and domestication. 

They were under no illusions about who and what she was, and yet they proceeded to know each other carnally. Because of her default (basic) existence and office, they copulated often, and with reckless abandon. Succubi are carnal like that. She was extremely pleased with him. They were in love. 

It has been a decade now. Their unholy liaison is now confirmed by the presence of a ruddy, cheeky and naughty lad. ABIKU is a mother. 

My name is Chrioni. I am the messenger of Yahweh; (The Alpha and The Omega, The First and The Last, Holy of Holies, Jehovah.) 

I am the head guardian angel primarily assigned to this mortal, and then to his family. 

The situation has all of us messengers befuddled. And from the murderous looks of the demons snarling and hissing constantly at ABIKU, her kind are incensed beyond belief. 

We are all watching and waiting. 

Spawn of Satan

I imagine that you are reading this from somewhere not in Africa. 

As you read, you will probably sneer and then dismissively chuck me off as backward, gullible and ostensibly religious-bordering on the insane. 

But I know what I am talking about. 

Welcome to a warm and dark continent. The traditions and customs here are still archaic. The first gods are still worshipped here. Worshipped, not merely served. There is a difference. 

I do not believe in coincidences. 

Once, yeah… Okay. 

Twice, I start to reach for my sidearm. 

Thrice, I come out of my den snarling behind a hail of bullets. Machete in the other hand. 

The following took place about ten years ago. (Between the eighth to the tenth years… to further misdirect you… I am smiling broadly right now.) 

One. 

I was in a long term relationship with a lovely young woman. By this time I already knew that I could not marry her. She was a snooping, manipulative, arrogant bitch! (Hmmm… Now where did that emanate from? Forgive me, I am clearly still upset with her). One midnight, she surprised me while I had my pants down. Erect phallus in hand. Indulging in self-help and self-love. She lost it! She broke down in self-righteous tears,  and when that did not work she told me that it would never be well with me until I learned to treat her right. In retrospect I regret not replying her ominous words. You see, I am a creature of habit. I am a maverick, but I have method to my eccentricity. So I know and notice when my jewellery and items of my clothing suddenly disappear. I know about her father, and I know that her mum still worships the first gods. Despite being a deaconess in a local community church. So I knew that her threat was not idle. 

Two. 

By now things had deteriorated quite badly. I was in a bind in every respect. While I did not owe money at the time, I used to be a millionaire. Yes I was still involved with ‘Evil-ynn’, that conniving, stinking maggot. And sibling of Satan! (Hmmm… Now where did that emanate from? Forgive me, I am clearly still upset with her). It was a hot and dry Friday afternoon. I was in between (seemingly futile) business meetings. I drove to a quiet park. They were typically leased to vendors who maintained them via recreational facilities and restaurants and / or a beer parlour. All sorts of mobile vendors would stop by tables offering wares ranging from roasted peanuts to lingerie to cheap electrical accessories. This particular vendor was a Yoruba traditional medicine man. He was selling bottled plant roots and potions purportedly able to cure piles, diabetes and all sorts of ailments. I was bored and I am likable, so he told me that I was on the verge of greatness but that I needed to pray more fervently. He said that my prosperity had been tied up in a tree somewhere. He advised that I prayed that night with a white handkerchief last thing before I slept. That he would stay up and pray in agreement with me at my preferred time. He was a Muslim. I am a Christian. 

Three. 

I was out of town officially. I was mentally chastising myself on why I had bothered to arrive by air. The assignment was clearly not going to be as lucrative as I had hoped. Then that sneaky, succubus that hated Jesus called. She typically called at my lowest times, just in time to make matters worse. Witch! (Hmmm… Now where did that emanate from? Forgive me, I am clearly still upset with her). Luckily a former colleague called me right after her call. He knew I was in his town and wanted to swing by. He arrived with a young man he introduced as ‘his prophet’. They were on their way to dedicate a parcel of land or something. Just before he left, he told me that I had made a mistake dating ‘Evil-ynn’. He told me that I needed deliverance. He said that ‘they’ had ‘tied my progress’ to a particular shrub somewhere in Ankpa. A town in Kogi state, Nigeria. 

Sigh! 

I had no choice but to speak with my pastor. He had us both pray at a set time with a set of specific prayer requests. 

It has been a while since that prayer session. Believe it or not, I am wealthy and rich. More so than ever, and this is me modestly understating things. Everything is going well. Perfectly actually. 

Evilynn’s mother ran mad. She had a mental breakdown in a NEXT –  CASH AND CARRY supermarket. She was said to have rambled on and on about her being a witch. She reportedly asked for my forgiveness. 

Evilynn’s sister ran mad. She had a mental breakdown in a popular Abuja market. Same story, she mentioned my name too. 

Evilynn. Chikadibia – went slightly bipolar. She broke into my convenience while I was there seated waiting on gravity to call on nature. She sank to her knees right there in the ‘shitter’ and apologized. She told me that her mum did it to protect her daughter from harm. I absolved her of wrongdoing in my books. Hey, I loved her once. 

A popular shaman in Ankpa apparently lost his damn mind and stepped in front of a truck suddenly. Before he died, I hear he confessed to a lot of vile things. Yes. Yes, my name came up… Again! 

At this juncture, I wisely relocated. Left town for good. Good thing I did. 

Inside of a week all the aforementioned, plus one or two unmentioned were dead. 

They all died in their sleep. They were insane until they died. 

Mama Mia

My mum is just a mum. 

No slaying… 

Not a diva… 

No swag… 

Does not own a smartphone. 

The quintessential mother; loving, selfless, godly, religious, safe… You know, mummy-ish. Every phone call from her ended with a prayer. She is a Christian and a ‘prayer warrior.’

I come from the Northern part of the country. A job in the federal capital territory was a dream come true. I jumped at it enthusiastically. 

The first few months were tough. My learning curve was steep. But I balanced out. As things got better, I moved into a better part of town. I got a car and started to make new friends. 

I met a group of attractive women et al. They were called the ‘witches of Harlem’ behind their backs. They had a Goth/Emo combination going on. They were easily the life of any party or occasion. 

I have always done well with women. Women love me. I think it is because I am nice… Yes, really I am. 

The ‘head witch’ was Ada. 

She was hot. 

Hawt. 

Haute. 

She had a tattoo of a tiger over her left boob. It started between her breasts all the way… Uhmmmm… Left. She was tastefully pierced and studded here and there. I first met her at a soiree hosted by the American embassy. 

She walked up to me and told me that she liked me. She then asked if we could date. I was single at the time so I said yes. I love tigers…

My rep’and market value skyrocketed afterward! I suddenly began to get invited everywhere. My affiliation with the witches of Harlem was well received. I began to be called, ‘the wizard of Oz’. 

Teehee… Me, church-boy, a wizard?! Teehee…  

Anyway, Ada was okay. I truly have dated better. Looking back now, I think I had started to find her boring. All bark and no bite. I have been with ‘church girls’ that behaved like your favourite pornstar. So, I found Ada a tad lacklustre. 

I have always insisted on condoms. Despite the fact that Ada hated condoms. 

I insisted despite the clean bill of health her blood work from National Hospital showed…She raved and ranted about her hatred of condoms… Shed a crocodile tear or two… Threatened to sexually starve me…  (and she did). I insisted on the condoms regardless. 

Remember that she sexually starved me? Right…it lasted about a week. She staged the fight on a Friday. 

By the next Friday then, I was on a casual date with Adriana, the daughter of a Brazilian diplomat. We were at MarionStones® eating grilled steak and vegetables when Ada suddenly showed up and was disrespectful to me and my date. She caused such a scene that we were all asked to leave the establishment. 

Adriana already knew about Ada, so she was cool and wanted another date if I “survived the night.”

I got back to my studio apartment to meet a livid Ada, who proceeded to verbally abuse me. She said that she would make my life miserable and that I “had better fall back into formation!” 

I calmly broke up with her and walked her out of my house. 

The nightmares started that very night. I woke up screaming every night for the next few days. I would wake up and see scratches and cuts all over my body. Injuries that were not there the night before, injuries that no human could have inflicted. 

I became skittish and paranoid. I was tormented by ghouls and nightmares every single time I shut my eyes. 

I uncharacteristically called my mum and requested that she come spend a few days. She uncharacteristically accepted and said she would be at my place by dusk the next day. 

That same day,  Ada called and asked if I had “come back to my senses” yet. I told her to “go and die!”

That night, she showed up in my dreams with a few garishly dressed women and told me that I was going to die the next day. 

I woke up troubled. I was starting to understand that these women were not just called ‘witches’ for fun. I was suffering the wrath of a witch scorned. I am not ashamed to admit that I knew I was going to die the next day. I was a broken spirit. My only regret was that I could not reach my mum to spare her the trauma of being the first person to see my corpse. 

I actually put my affairs in order before noon the next day. My mum arrived towards evening. After fussing and praying over me for half an hour, she left me in my room. I was now more optimistic. I had faith and hope. 

I must have drifted off to sleep because when I opened my eyes, Ada and three of her friends were in my room holding gourds and cowhide whips. I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound came out. My heart began to beat violently, my tongue felt swollen and my eyes bulged as they took turns assaulting and battering my strangely supine (and somewhat restrained) body. 

Ada then pulled out a long porcupine quill sharpened at the tip, dipped it into her gourd and approached me, her intention obvious… Just then the door of my room flew open and my mum stepped in. 

I tried to call out for my mum to save herself until I saw that she was smiling.

 Yes, smiling! 

You do not want to see my mum smiling when nothing is funny. 

She locked eyes with Ada who was now looking back and forth between my mother and I in confusion. 

“Rachel, I… I don’t understand… What are you doing here?”

“He is my son!!” Was all my mum said through gritted teeth. 

At her words I felt a great weight lift off me, unseen shackles seemed to fall off my body and I regained  my faculties instantly. 

I looked up to see Ada and her goons curtsy humbly at my mum and then, I swear (down), vanish into thin air. 

 

I tried to bring up the topic the next day, but then my mum started to smile… 

A Tale of Two Sisters 


“Fury! 

Baal-khenaz, I beseech thee

May her happiest day be her saddest 

I pledge my life as surety 

Give her sorrow, shame and stigma… 

Fury!!”



This tale of two sisters… Where do I start? 

One was called Goldie. The other Tiwa. They were neighbors. They were family friends. 

They were physically alike. Both beautiful and intelligent. Both were the same age. And as the story goes, they hailed from the same state of origin. 

They were used as reference points by their parents to motivate the other academically, spiritually and morally. 

They attended the same schools. Fiercely competed for first position in class. Both were eloquent speakers. Both were destined,  to all of us that had the pleasure of their friendship, destined for greatness. 

That was where their similarities stopped. 

Goldie was a gifted dancer. Tiwa, a blessed singer. 

Goldie tended towards the sciences, Tiwa preferred arts. 

Goldie was fair-complexioned. Tiwa dark of skin. 

And so they grew. And got older and wiser. In retrospect, their parents meant no harm. The proof lay in the almost unholy alliance Goldie and Tiwa shared. 

Aye, they stuck together throughout college. They went to the same schools. 

They were roommates even in the university. They were disturbingly intertwined in almost every way, a dorm mate stated emphatically that Goldie and Tiwa were lovers at some point. “There was something strange about those two.”  

It is not quite clear how and why they started poaching each others lovers… Which by the way were few. But they seemed to need to prove to each other that one was better, hotter and sexier than the other. Not against Joanne or Catherine or any other female, just betwixt them both. 

As they grew older still, their lovers (though few) thinned and then became specific, special beloved. Love, romance and marriage found anchor and became possibilities. 

Goldie at this point was an architect of great reckoning. She was a public figure and a real estate authority. She had become very wealthy and engaged to a fine young man called Felix. It was common knowledge that she was utterly besotted with the man. 

Tiwa on the other hand fell in love with a man yoked by marriage. When it mattered, his wife cloaked herself in abject humility and submission. And alas, he chose to remain with his wife. Tiwa, a popular talkshow host on television surprisingly took the heartbreak in stride and went on to seduce the entire country via her daily television talkshow hits. She was like Oprah. 

The devil incidentally came by (yes him… Satan, Lucifer, whatever you know him as), consequently Felix, (Goldie’s beloved) had reason to be featured on one of Tiwa’s prime time shows. 

And as only the devil is capable of orchestrating, Tiwa and her best friend’s lover fell in love thereafter and commenced a very public and a very torrid affair. 

To the utter amazement of the country, they elected to get married a few weeks later. And to the utter bewilderment of the country, Goldie elected to utter nothing. 

Understandably the wedding was high society. The wedding colors were gold and white. The upper crust of society were in attendance, duly arraigned in dazzling shades of gold and white apparel and accessories. 

Felix held his own, the vice president of the country was the sponsor of the wedding and presided over the ‘cutting of the cake’ segment of the wedding. 

At his bidding, Felix performed his first official role (of many more) by feeding his wife a piece of cake and then some champagne. It was beautiful. Guests, celebrities and those in attendance cheered and attested to his composure and gentle nature. 

At his bidding, Tiwa performed her first official role (of many more) by feeding her husband a piece of cake and then some champagne. It was beautiful… Until suddenly Felix clutched his throat and staggered backwards a step. His eyes bulged in obvious pain as he sank slowly to his knees. Reaching out to his wife for help it seemed…, a drink perhaps? Tiwa reached out and barely had her fingertips touch her husband’s before he keeled over sideways in a dead faint. 

All these took place within ten seconds. No one had the presence of mind to react. Though she could not confirm Felix’s death at the time, as she looked around in shock and confusion, her arm now pressed to her bosom, she saw Goldie stand up with a grim smile and sashay out of the cathedral.

Goldie was dressed in a black dress. A black veil of see-through chiffon over her head. A black diamond-encrusted  brooch bearing the likeness of a spider was pinned to the dress, on the left side of her bosom.