That Man…

Tell him…

That you love him

That you long for his body

You are ecstasy. He, the fantasy.

Court him…

There are things that he likes

Invest shrewdly; you cannot lose

You are the music. He, the lyric.

Touch him…

Seduce him incessantly

Use his body, he is yours

You are Qetesh… He, Pothos.

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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 —

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!

Ælfgifu and the Charm of Sango

El – fgifu:- (El – ghi – foo)

“… Latini\nized form of Ælfgifu, an Old English name derived from ælf “elf” + giefu “gift”, or/and Æðelgifu, from æðel “noble” + giefu “gift”. This was the name of the first wife of the English king Æðelræd (Ethelred) II… ”

#Nameberry.com

“… The Ikogosi Warm Springs is a tourist attraction located at Ikogosi, a town in Ekiti State, southwestern Nigeria.[1] Flowing abreast the warm spring is another cold spring which meets the warm spring at a confluence, each maintaining its thermal properties.[2] These attributes make the spring a tourist attraction in Nigeria.[3] Research suggested that the warm spring has a temperature of about 70oC at the source and 37oC at the confluence.[4]The Ikogosi Warm Springs is a tourist attraction located at Ikogosi, a town in Ekiti State, southwestern Nigeria.[1] Flowing abreast the warm spring is another cold spring which meets the warm spring at a confluence, each maintaining its thermal properties.[2] These attributes make the spring a tourist attraction in Nigeria.[3] Research suggested that the warm spring has a temperature of about 70oC at the source and 37oC at the confluence.[4… “

Wikipedia.

We had no business going all the way to Osun state!

Well, there was that waterfall and the village on top of the hill, but that is a conundrum for another day. That state is where Becky is from… So yeah… I wanted to go see her roots.

I mean where she is from you evil-minded ogre! Nothing else. You are spoiled rotten. We will not last long as friends…

So we ended up in Ekiti State of Nigeria. We were headed to the exotic Ikogosi warm springs. We had a few other stops at waterfalls and shrines.

I have grown accustomed to paranormal issues in my life. I will be just fine.

And so you can imagine how underwhelmed I was when we arrived at the springs and checked in. There was nothing spectacular for me!

We were about seventeen on the team, three Germans, an Indian, an elf (yes you read that right), a bunch of amazing Nigerians and a lesbian. (uhmmm… I’m being mean I know. But she should have said, “yes” to me. I do not like rejection).

Consequently, I speak for myself. But one or two of my fellow #Backpackers agreed with me.

We hit the pool at about nine pm. The pool had just been drained and so we were reduced to splashing in about a foot of lukewarm water…

Tufiakwa!

(expletive, meaning ‘God forbid’). Don’t quote me though, that is what Muchee told me. She should know I think. After all she is an Ibo girl. Not sure which of the Ibo – speaking states she is from. I should dig into her core values.

I mean where she is from you evil-minded ogre! Nothing else. You are spoiled rotten. We will not last as friends…

A ‘tour guide’ had given us what was supposed to be her version of the origin of the Ikogosi warm springs. By the time she was done, I was bashing my head into random Iroko trees just to stay awake.

Darling Jesus, Maranatha!?

By the time our late dinner swung by, I was successfully plucking out my eyelashes. One strand at a time.

It was drizzling outside. It was pitch black too. It was about eleven pm when my team finally fell asleep.

I crept out of my shared room armed with my trusty machete, walking boots, night vision goggles and a small cup (yes you read that right).

I was home free (well not quite) when a voice stopped me dead in my tracks.

“Hey Sexy…”

It was El-fgifu. Suffice it to say that she is many things to different people. As of tonight, to me, she was misplaced.

I squinted at her beautiful features trying to read her mind.

“Hey baby” I finally replied. “Whatchu doing up?”

“Where are you sneaking off to Sexy?” I hear that she works with her voice in a radio station. I can only imagine the sanctions from the national broadcasting corporation. That woman’s voice is an aphrodisiac!

“If I tell you, I would have to marry you… Or kill you…” I quoted to her.

“Who are you in this body?! Loose him and let him go!!” She recited back at me.

‘If you know, you know.

We both burst out laughing.

We knew.

As I turned away, I heard her voice call out. I turned to see her standing and lifting a locket from around her neck with two hands. She held it up hands slightly apart. The shape of the leather strap to the locket was a perfect triangle.

She said that she wanted to lend me her locket but that I was too tall. She asked me to please take a knee. I am a tall fella, she is all of five feet flat. Her request made a modicum of sense.

She did not allow me touch her or the locket throughout the time . I am not stupid, I knew that that locket was actually a charm she carried around for protection and good luck. And so I gratefully complied. I used to be a prolific womanizer, I have learned to acknowledge a lover’s intuition. As long as she truly loves you.

I walked past the heated waters of the pool and got to the meeting point of the hot and cold streams of water that never mixed. It was pitch black and raining and so I was sure that I was largely unseen by human eyes.

In precise movements, I filled the small cup with equal amounts of the cold and hot waters and quaffed it in one swallow. I knelt in the waters and braced myself… Meditating…

A minute later I rose out of the shallow streams and started up the gangway that held a caution. “DO NOT GO BEYOND THIS POINT”. I broke into a measured jog and vaulted over the wall onto the rocky and uneven forest floor at the other side.

I pulled out my machete and hurried upwards towards the real source of the heated waters of Ikogosi. Sure enough, I saw what I wanted to see. I spent about a minute on my knees doing what I had to do. Maybe one day I will be able to tell you about these things that I saw and did. But right now, I cannot.

I was back over the wall as quickly as I could manage. I was covered in smelly sweat by this time. I had adrenaline coursing through my veins. I was giddy and felt a surge of invincibility.

I got to the pool and decided to take a swim. After all, the warm springs were said to have healing powers.

There were two ladies already enjoying the pool. From a distance, it looked like Becky and Amaka, fellow Backpackers. I dove nude into the pool and began swimming laps. I swam vigorously for about fifteen minutes and then I had to take a break.

I heard Becky call my name and so I waded through the pool to meet them where they were seated under the torrent of steaming water that was filling up the swimming pool.

Though my instincts already knew that they were neither Becky nor Amaka, my legs pulled me toward them on their own volition.

“What did you do?” The first woman asked me. Mild. Gentle. A flirt.

“Do you know what you have done?” The second older (and angrier) woman snapped at me.

I had no idea what to say. Primarily because they were both speaking to me in Yoruba language which I have never spoken, read or understood.

Secondarily because I realized in those seconds that I now somehow understood the said language.

Tertiarily (shut up editor!) because I was now fully aware of who these women were.

My silence seemed to infuriate the second woman because she stood up suddenly and made to touch me.

A small bolt of lightning or was it a livid cackle of static electricity scattered the air in a thunderous boom. They both flinched, screaming in terror.

I placated Oduduwa’s grandchilds’ wives as best as I could. I commended them for working together for the first time in centuries to fight a trespassing sage such as myself. I requested that they go about their fancies and allow me do the same.

By the time I got back to the guest chalets, it was as quiet as a graveyard in the dead of winter.

But El-fgifu was still sitting out drinking out of a cup. An alcoholic beverage I wager.

Why am I not sure about the contents of her cup? After all we were very close as individuals. After all we genuinely knew, liked and respected each other…

You see as I made to remove her locket from around my neck, I noticed that it was no longer on me.

No it did not fall off, it was inexplicably back around El-fgifu’s neck. The charm itself nestled comfortably between her deep cleavage.

It was all too much for me to handle in one night.

I walked past her thoroughly flabbergasted and weary to my bone marrow.

“Goodnight Sexy!” She called after me.

“Good morning Baby… It is two am. See you in a bit” I replied as I walked.

The Day She Died…

We had been quarreling for a while now.

Every little thing seemed to set us off. We were fighting ninety percent of the time these days.

Deola was starting to look like a good replacement..

Deola… Ah… ‘Dee’ as I loved to call her. Buxom. Nubian beauty. Bold and forthright. She had been hitting on me with a vengeance for months. She was promising me ‘heaven on earth’. She told me that she was game ‘whatever, wherever, whenever’, that all I had to do was ask.

Chaaaiiii!

Chika was nagging again. Her gratey voice snapped me out of my reverie.

Chikadibia… Sigh… So beautiful that it was not fair. As smart as starched military khakis too. Her mind is astronomical! It also helped that she was the only woman I knew via recent experiences that could handle me sexually.

That day we were arguing about a wedding she wanted to attend. I had told her that she could not go. She was livid. She was trying to make my life a living hell.

Throughout her tirade I was ‘sexting’ with Deola. Mild stuff.

But,

Deola was starting to look like a good replacement.

Long story short, Chika defied my instructions and went for the wedding. (I am that sort of boyfriend, get over yourself. Thankfully, I am not dating you).

I was seated in my opulent den when she returned. She sashayed toward me, smiling like nothing was wrong. She bent over and leaned in and kissed my cheek and then sat down beside me.

Something inside my head snapped. Audibly I am sure.

I let loose a vile litany of invectives. I was well into giving her a piece of my mind when the corner of her mouth started twitching.

Little tics at first. Then sight tremors and finally that side of her mouth began to twitch.

But I was on a roll.

I had just begun cursing her out, (yes it is that sort of relationship, get over yourself. Thankfully, I am not dating you) when I perceived that all was not well.

My sick, twisted, wicked and premeditated words dried up instantly.

The second I saw the corner of her mouth droop just a fraction of an inch. I bolted out of the room.

By the time I returned with my car keys, she was slumped on the floor face down.

I had her in the hospital about thirteen minutes later. The nurses had her on oxygen and hooked up to a few machines. They were starting to check her blood pressure. They were also trying to get blood from her arm to run some tests.

Chika suddenly stiffened, and then started to stretch unnaturally. Then she seemed to crumple… Then stiffen… Then crumple. It was clearly a bizarre death dance.

Pandemonium broke out. It was grotesque sight. Her previously beautiful face was scrunched up in a series of revolting rictuses.

I was standing by the door. I am a big and tall man, the nurses needed all the space they could get. I had just closed my eyes to pray for her when I heard her start to convulse.

The seizures were so violent that the hospital bed was bouncing off the white tiles of the floor.

I forced the deepest calm I could muster and from within began to pray for her. Inaudibly I think. I did not want her to die. Not because I would have to explain what happened, but because I loved Chika.

I am not sure how long I prayed, but it can’t have been for more than a few seconds… When someone, something prompted me to open my eyes.

I saw a vertical plume of light slowly rise from Chika and slowly start to ascend. I darted forward and held the light.

Yes, you read that right. Until I did it I did not know it to be possible. But it felt like the only move I had. And it worked because I was now somehow holding Chika by the wrist.

On the bed, she had flatlined and the nurses were still struggling to resuscitate her.

Here, about a meter away I was holding on to her spirit.

“Baby-m… (term of endearment, ‘my baby’) please don’t go… Please baby don’t leave me” I begged her celestial version.

“It is time Igwe. My time has come.” She objectively reported.

“Chika, I am sorry!” I remember crying out audibly.

The nurses were practicing CPR on her earth suit at this point. One of the nurses had her hands on her head and was weeping quite loudly.

“Igwe I forgive you… Don’t worry… I am tired… Bye – bye…” She told me in a sad voice. Her guileless eyes held proof of forgiveness. Her entire visage was devoid of malice or ill will.

Chaaaiiii!

Never! Not on my watch!! So I employed the only strategy that I could. I uttered words that I knew would touch Chika’s spirit. A suggestion that was sincere. It would be tendered from my spirit to hers.

“Chikadibia, I want you to be my wife. I want you to give birth to children for us… I will go and see your parents tomorrow.”

Time froze for an instant.

She looked into my eyes for a while. Then she turned around and returned into her earth suit.

Then all of her as I knew it slowly sat up on the bed.

The nurses fled in terror when she sat up slowly. Hospital sheet sliding off to reveal her impossibly beautiful face. They ran because she had just been pronounced, ‘dead’.

We have been married for thirteen years now.

We have three children.

Two girls and a boy.