TWICE IN A PLACE (Moses Olarotimi)

Posted: February 3, 2015 in Tales
Tags: ,

twice in a place
TWICE IN A PLACE
‪#‎Moses_Olarotimi‬

Somewhere in the rural part of Yola State, the sky was heavy and ready to cry. The trees merry in delight as the wind majestically walked through the terrain.

‘Azizat! Azizat!!’ She called.
‘Yes Mama,’ Azizat answered.

The charcoal stove was in her hand as she made for the door.
Thunder struck the second time. Thought it never hit same place twice, but there on the short wooden stool was Mama Azizat’s lifeless body with two holes. One on the fore head, the other on her left breast, it came through the back window.
“Maa…m…aaaa!” Azizat screamed. She dropped the stove, it fell and the hot coals scattered about.

I had imagined the whole event to play out like that.
It was a sad one to imagine.

“The hut was burnt to ashes…” Said the news-caster.
“Two burnt corpses were found the next morning by some villagers. The young girl, and the woman with two holes. One through the head, the other through the chest. They died while writhing in agony. The thunder struck twice in the same place,” she concluded.
The sight was gory enough as the picture came on the screen, I went to bed without dinner.

On my bed I asked, “what ill had nature with the two helpless villagers? Or was it God’s handy work, Or perhaps just one of those random accidents to curb mortality rate?”
I slept in the hard arms of a million thought.

Moses Olarotimi (Sheyzznote)

‪#‎Talesmen‬

NO LONG THING (David Coxson)

Posted: February 3, 2015 in Tales
Tags: ,

no long thing

”Dem say make I come back come collect change o.” He says handing me the bottle of coca cola.

I can’t help but smile as I have him lead me to the woman. If it was another day, I could have let it pass. This happens to be my last penny, and I am not ready to let anyone hold on to it. I look at Abboy and chuckle.
Smart kid!
I was twice as smart when I was his age.

His face flushes.

I deduce from her explanation. Boy buys an item and runs off before woman comes out with the change. He tells the sender there is no change yet, hoping it becomes a forgotten issue. He goes back after a while to claim the money. He made a mistake along the line, however. He chooses the wrong man to trick.

How did I find out?

At his age, I was a genius in that field.

PS: Sorry Kid, I’ll make it up to you someday soon. Not today. I must pocket this 100fcfa change. It’s all I’ve got.

David Coxson

(Talesmen)

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION (Coxson David)

Posted: January 9, 2015 in Tales
Tags: ,

by David Coxson

new year resolution

1st Jan, 2015.

He remembers Kate. He gets his old diary, looks at the dates, and smiles. It had been rough, he thought to himself; quite rough. The new year will be different, he assures himself with the same sad smile upon his face.

2014.
April 15th.

He met Kate. It wasn’t the most romantic of ways. . .or perhaps it was. Kunfe had gone to Sweet Sensations to dig himself into some quick lunch, and Kate had been the girl at the counter. He’d thrown a jibes about phones hung around the breast region not ever having a good network reception afterwards. She had laughed coyly and somehow, he had got her number. It wasn’t a hard thing.

5th, May.

After a couple of dates and some breath-taking moments together with Kate, he had confided in Jane. Jane has been a very wonderful friend. She had told him to take it slow, and not to get hurt.
In her words; ”Guy meets girl. They overwhelm each other. Chat about everything and late into the night too. Gradually, chats become boring. Everything talk-able has been poured into the first few weeks. Then comes the late replies. Sometimes, there would be no replies. And the love starts, or appears to start dying. And someone gets hurt. So, Kunfe, don’t get hurt.”
He had promised he would not, and that Kate was different.

9th, July.

The first sign. Un-replied whatsapp messages. Last seen proved she kept coming online for two days. There should be no excuse for not replying him.

11th, July.

She replied. She had been very busy, and whenever she logged in; it was to check incoming messages. There was no time or chance to reply them. He had told her he understood.

20th, July.

Another un-replied message. She kept coming online but would not reply. Was he over-reacting or too sensitive? He had to calm down, he told himself. Message was replied 9hours later. A ”busy now” would have sufficed, he thought.

1st, August.

He intentionally didn’t send a happy new month message. By text, call or whatsapp. Why does she expect him to be the first to always do that? Disappointedly, she was too busy to do that too.

2nd, August.

”Happy new month, dear. Sorry it came late.” He had to do it.
She replied ‘Kk.’
It was unlike her. Until now, she had never abbreviated. He loathed it. The ‘ks’ and ‘kks.’ He sighed. It was coming.

4th, September.

For two months now, he had been the one calling her. She’d earlier beeped or sent a ”call me back”, and now, those have stopped. He was beginning to go crazy. He loved her. God knows he did.

22nd, September.

He had promised to never call or text her until she does. And he would stick to it. Good radiance to bad rubbish. Why is Kate never like Jane. Sweet Mary-jane; always understanding. Even the taunts and teases were soft on her. She could handle any joke in the world. But Kate? The slightest innocent word would be twisted to make him look like the devil. To allay his welled up anger and frustration, he whatsapped Mary-jane. As usual, they ended the chat with a laughing Kunfe.

October. . . November. . .

She’d simply whatsapped him for the important holidays, and family or friends’ events. He’d answered casually. End of chat. The love was gone. He was sure.

25th, December.

He waited till evening to wish her merry christmas. He knew she’d be waiting for him to do it first. That was always the problem. She always wanted him to do everything first. He hated it. He realised they haven’t seen or gone on a date with each other for two months now. She had been too busy.
She replied: ”Very early for you to do that. Merry Christmas anyway.”
They had a little chat. She had to do something.

1st January, 2015

Enough is enough. Never unearth what wishes to remain buried. He looks at his watch. It is 3:15pm and she still has not called or texted to wish him a happy new year. She will always claim she loves him. It is evident she doesn’t.
He tears out a sheet of paper. And begins to write:

1. Find a new love.

2. Take it slow with her.
Will not overwhelm her too soon.
Be mysterious as it fuels the love longer.

3. Would not open…

Phone rings. Hidden caller Id.
”Happy new year, Sweetheart. You mean the world to me and I’d never lose you for anything. I want you to know I really love you. I’ll be coming to see you tomorrow…”

He tears the paper before he realises it. He bit his lips tightly as he volleys the paper into the bin. He could never stop loving her, come what may.

Coxson David is an aspiring writer and a student of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. A member of Talesmen literature, and Da’Sacred Poetry.

Talesmenwe tell you stories.

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FINDING CYNTHIA

             by Chris Tilewa and Moses Olarotimi

 

In Komolafe’s arms his dying boss found strength to speak his last words. “Find Cynthia,” he said and tucked a piece of paper into his breast pocket, “she alone is the key!” He drew his last breath. Perplexed, Komolafe held on to the corpse as tears drizzled down his sad face until the police came and arrested him away on the charge of murder. The hands that gripped him were strong and unrelenting. They shoved and tugged at him but his mind was far from him. “Find Cynthia,” that final word, almost a command, took over his thought. But who is Cynthia, how is he to find her, especially now that he would be confined in the custody of the police? But amid the stream of thought an idea came to him like a revelation. And suddenly he halted, startling the policemen. In a swift, sharp move, he managed a firm elbow to the face of the man who was holding his arm and put a foot in the crotch of the second. The blow came so unexpectedly that they lost grip of him. Before they could regain, they saw him running away like a dog with its tail freshly cut.

 

As a chauffeur, Komolafe had been driving his boss for more than seven years; he sure had been closer to him, even more than any of his relatives. He had wondered if his boss ever got married or had a child of his own. No such discussion ever came up between them, and he never summoned the courage to ask even when, on several occasions, he attempted to.

A clue to finding ‘this Cynthia’ and the key to unravel the mystery before him must be in the piece of paper his boss tucked in his breast pocket before he died. He found a spot in a corner at a bar nearby, quietly sat at a table and retrieved the paper, only to meet another shock. He had expected he would find an address, a phone number, or some name that would help find Cynthia. But on the creased sheet of paper which was now held to his face with shaking, sweaty hands, none of such was written; three groups of digits, separated with hyphens, were barely scrawled.

Komolafe arched his brow as he read aloud: “01-10-013”, what could this mean? This is what a dying man leaves to help find his killer? He was tempted to think all of this was a kind of joke, one not funny. The police were after him, and he never remembered his boss, when he was alive, to ever make trivial jokes. Deep inside he was agreeing that this was serious and his only clue was a. . .a date? ‘Yes’, he said reassuringly, “this is nothing but a date”. October first, last year. He sighed and rested back on the plastic chair, trying to figure out where to begin.

 

Of everything the creator blessed Komolafe with was a retentive memory; he has a keen recollection of events and incidents. He ordered a bottle of beer, and as he drank from it ruminated on the events of October 1st, last year. The day had started with an exchange of Independence Day greetings with his boss, and then into the car. They both drove to the office to collect some files, then to the hospital for medical checkup with a doctor who was also friends with his boss. Komolafe was sure none of these places would pose a threat to his boss. He took a gulp to wash down the thought and picked his thinking from where he left it. From the hospital, that day, he drove the boss to see the Bishop of his church, and most of the day was spent there and Komolafe would have to stay for many hours waiting for his boss to emerge as usual from the path leading behind the cathedral; it’s usually a boring outing for him. “Purple!” He screamed, startling those around him. Not caring if anyone stared he drank what’s left of the beer in concurrent gulps, without a second’s pause to take the bottle away from his mouth.

“I must find the lady. Purple, that’s what boss called her that night at the club,” Komolafe thought aloud, and as he made for the door he spotted the two police men, who he had earlier evaded, approaching the same bar. He turned quickly, took the back door, paid the barman and fled.

Purple was a code name Akomolafe’s boss used for a woman Akomolafe, in the real sense of the word, did not ‘know’. Infact, Komolafe didn’t know any woman affiliated with his boss except that in the few times, when he drove his boss to the bishop’s place he, Komolafe noticed, usually walk stealthily, like one who do not want to wake the dogs, towards the quarters behind the cathedral, and returns after a while towards the car with a look of exhaustion and having about him the smile of a sated husband. Settling in the owner’s corner in the car, he’d call at Akomolafe: “remind me to give Purple a call.”

“Yes Sir!” Akomolafe would reply, asking no question. No driver questions his boss, they are meant to take only orders. But Akomolafe was not a fool; he had been observing, taking note. Could Purple be Cynthia? He thought within.

 

Club Seattle was known to accommodate wealthy personnel’s in the state, but being the driver of a prominent philanthropist, Komolafe was allowed in. When he mentioned that his boss had sent him to Purple, the name almost got the security man fidgeting as he opened wide the door allowing Komolafe in, to the welcome of jazz music and a colourful interior.

He wasted no time at all, after enquiring from one of the attendants of Purple’s whereabouts, his hurried steps soon find a stairway, and in two full strides he was on the landing, before a door. There was no sign of movement from inside, so he adjusted himself for composure. He knocked.

“Come in,” came a sweet accented female voice from behind the door; he hesitated and then went in. Komolafe quickly scanned the room; there were five men and a lady he immediately assumed was Purple. “What’s the code?” She asked as she stood up and worked towards him. At that moment, Komolafe knew he was in a deep trouble, he knew nothing of a code or password, “I’m here to see Purple,” he tried to explain, “and Oga Okorocha sent me here”. He noticed her eyes widen at the mention of his boss’ name but she quickly hid it beneath a bland smile, “blow off his brain if he cannot state the code,” she commanded.

“Wait!” Komolafe screamed, fear evident in his eyes. He thought about showing them the crumpled piece of paper in his pocket but thought better of it; if he ever tries to put his hand down into his pocket, they will think he’s reaching out for a weapon. But his good instinct got the better of him and with shot eyes, without knowing exactly what he was saying, he read out the digits he had seen on the paper in one breath. When he opened his eyes, he saw large arms lowering their guns that were once pointed at him. And Purple, with the same bleak expression, ushered him in with a wave of her hand. Purple retrieved a square shaped box that looked like a little coffer from under a stack of wine cartons and handed it to Komolafe.

“Guard it with your life,” she said, “and if the police ever know about this, you are gone. Guys see him out.”

 

All the puzzles and precision surprised Komolafe, did his boss know he was going to die? He sat on the bed staring at the box before him in the hotel room he rented for the night. The box was mechanized to open at the input of the correct combination of alphabets as indicated by the small, glassy screen over the lid. Komolafe tried Okorocha; his boss’s name, but the screen displayed error, he tried purple and some other words and names; the screen still displayed error. He’d even stupidly assumed that the password did not exist.

All hope to unlock the box was abortive, and it seemed the quest had finally come to an end. The thought of living like a fugitive so scared Komolafe; so much that he could no longer fight back the tears that formed in his eyes. “Find Cynthia!” came his boss’ voice again, a whisper to his ear, his eyes ignited. He did a mental count, ”oh!” he said, and quickly pulled the box closer and inputted the words as it displayed on the screen in capital letters: C-Y-N-T-H-I-A. The lid clicked open, the wide smile on Komolafe’s face was nothing short of relief, but he anticipated in his heart with a panic what awaits him in the box.

From inside the box was a pile of documents and a red envelope. On each document were two recurring signatures; Okorocha Patrick and Caleb Bankole. The documents showed a transaction of four billion naira, and of an illegal trade and transport of hard drugs. Beneath the signatures was the date: 01-10-13.

Okorocha had a dysfunction one might call date amnesia; he is forgetful of dates. So to make up for this he likes to appoint significant events like promises, meetings, and business appointments on holidays, dates observed by many. His business deal with Caleb fell on October 1st. Komolafe tried to recall all the places he drove Okorocha that day; from the office to collect some files . . . the hospital? He straightened. ‘The hospital!’

Perhaps this drug documents had something to do with the doctor; he probably has special patients he sells them to; celebrities, or even rich men like his boss. But then he remembered that Okorocha didn’t take the files with him into the hospital building, that the only place he remembered him taking them was to the cathedral. But he didn’t think anything happened in the cathedral that day to contribute to the death. Maybe they were files different from these ones.

So he searched deeper into the box to see what else he could find; Nothing.

Nothing but a red, fancy envelope that looked like one sent between lovers. “Oga had a secret lover?” he wondered, and felt like he was intruding his boss’s private life. But then what life does the dead have that is not lost already? He opened the envelope, and on a small card inside it was written “find Cynthia in the cottage behind God’s temple.” What’s this? Komolafe read again, and the puzzle began to connect in his mind, images reeling through his head; of Okorocha coming towards the car from behind the cathedral with that look of a satisfied husband. . . of the file. . . of his last word ‘find Cynthia’. . .everything pointed to the cathedral. God’s temple.

Komolafe picked up his hotel card and dashed out.

Komolafe had descended the stairs with all thought whirling around the mysterious Cynthia and the sudden misfortune she plagued his world with. He had barely stepped into the reception when he spotted the faces of the same men who had come to arrest him at his boss’ place. How could they have traced him here? He thought. Quickly, he bounded up the stairs back to his room, and shot the door behind him.

He knew he had limited time to figure out what to do, but then, he picked up his pen and wrote a long detailed letter; Explaining the death, the piece of paper, the box, the documents, the red envelope and its message. And he concluded by stating that only she can save him now, and that the police must have had him in custody by the time the letter gets in hands.

“The password for unlocking the box is your name. Please confirm the evidence in the box and bring them along to the police. My life is in your hands; please don’t let my boss die in vain.” Satisfied, he folded the letter and neatly put in the red, fancy envelope, packed the documents back inside the box and locked it. He dialed the intercom for room attendant, and one soon came knocking. Trying to conceal his haste, Komolafe handed the box and the letter to the confused hotel worker, and shoved into his hand an address slip and three notes of a thousand naira, “kindly help deliver this box to this address,” he said pointing to the slip, “please, it is important you do it now.”

The attendant smiled on seeing the money, “Oga, no worry. My shift is ending in twenty minutes; I’ll deliver it on my way home. You don’t have to worry, our job is to make you happy” Komolafe did not wait to hear his happy prattle; he left him, headed down the stairs into the waiting arms of the police in total surrender.

*         *       *

“…you seem to be the only solution to all of this. Please, lives are depending on you.” The nun read the last words in tears. Nothing had happened to Okorocha that she didn’t know of, but the news of his death came as a shock. The memory of their first meeting was still fresh, like it was only hours ago. She was taking a quiet, leisurely walk around the church when she saw him. He sat on the last pew at the back row. That cold night she saw him as a straying man who lacked affection of a family, the warmth of a home of himself. He looked rich but his soul was retched. But that night he poured his heart out to her, and from then on they would become more intimate than with the heart, but also with both their soul and body. He became her first; she was his last–his only Cynthia.

Cynthia changed from her vestments into a black dress, a show of mourning, and she sneaked out of the cathedral. The day was beginning to go to rest but she didn’t mind. All secrets were to be unraveled; she had made the resolution once and finally. She headed to the police.

 

The Bishop sat in meditatively on the front pew, a slim tall man in his sixties. He has a captivating mien and a kind of peace was in his eyes that could tame a beast. So was he, in quiet communion with the angels when Cynthia walked in with uniformed men. As if in a world oblivious of people around him, he said the Lord’s Prayer aloud so that the policemen got disconcerted.

“That is the man you came for,” Cynthia said bitterly, pointing at the Bishop. “He is Caleb.” As if her outburst gave them courage, one of them grabbed Caleb’s arm tentatively. Bishop Caleb rose in all honour, he looked like he was speaking from a trance, that same cold look and resolution with which he’d shot Okorocha.

 

He had gone discretely to Okorocha’s residence to convince him and, if he remained adamant, to make him pay for his sin; he went with a revolver in his garment pocket, and though he was sure he’ll use it, he still inclined more to persuasion. “You can’t back down on me now,” he’d said, “we have to complete building God’s temple.”

“We can find another mean,” said Okorocha. “We can do other business that is not illegal, and I think we have had enough money from drug pushing already. It’s time we stopped.”

“But not enough to reach my goal,” said Caleb, a little louder than usual. He moved closer to look into Okorocha’s eyes with an imploring face. “I have vowed to duplicate King Solomon’s success, I have promised God to single handedly build Him a house. And He saw my heart and decided to help me do it; He ordered your steps into the church that night when you needed money to pay your debt. . . to redeem your life. I saved your life, you owe me, and you can’t back down now.”

Okorocha appeared too tired to continue to argue. “This is crazy, Bishop, God dwells in holy places, not in a house built with ‘crack’ money. I am not going into this sinful business again, and that’s final.”

A heavy moment of silence passed.

“The Lord has justified his chosen,” said bishop finally, pointing a revolver at Okorocha, “they pay with their blood who come against him.”

 

“The Lord justifies his chosen,” said Bishop again, now with an ironic smile as he committed himself to the hands of the uniformed men. He looked at Cynthia without passion and stretched forth his hands to be cuffed. They walked him out of the church, and he never returned

 

 

MOSES OLAROTIMI is just a simple dude who loves writing stories, poetry and anything that comes to mind.

Twitter/IG: @sheyzznote

CHRIS TILEWA is a young Nigerian, a creative writer, social critic, and lover of aesthetics. He writes fictions, poetry and non-fictions. You may want to join him on Facebook: Chris Tilewa, or on Twitter @krislucid.

 

toaf5
(6)
I hope you have so far not been bored by this tale? I just want to say thank you for taking time out to read. You are well appreciated. All grammatical errors (lol) I apologize for. And no, today is not the last day. I just wanted to say THANK YOU.

Back to Izy…

First there was complete silence.
In a split second the little girl screamed, holding her mouth and jaw in her two hands as she ran towards her mother who was among the women cooking. Then one of the two women who put the pot of soup at the corner ran to where the soup was, to check the extent of damage the water had caused. She let out a scream.
“Who brought this stupid boy here? The soup is ruined.”

Izy stood up from the floor where he fell and simply said, “I am so sorry. I will leave now.”
Or what more was there to say? Or do?
What worse thing could happen again on the first day of a year? This was definitely a sign of things to come. Izy thought all sort of things as he walked out of the gate. He did not bother looking for Iya Zacchaeus to collect his money. He had been abashed enough for the day. He felt really bad and did not mean for any of those things to have happened.

His shirt was a bit wet, so he was trying to squeeze out some of the water when he heard footsteps behind him. The sound told him the person was walking fast towards him. He looked back just as Iya Zacchaeus reached him; she put something squeezed in his right hand and without a word turned to leave. He checked his hand and saw a thousand Naira note.

Same day- Two hours later

Izy was satisfied belly- wise after visiting one of the few canteens that was open for business on New Year’s Day. He felt good after all the drama at Iya Zacchaeus’ family house. It was like a dream to actually have held that amount of money in his hand, but he couldn’t have held it forever- he had to eat.
Strolling satisfactorily, he smiled at some children dressed in their Sunday best- or rather- New Year clothes, shook his head at a young couple he saw canoodling in a car and he even said hello to a teenage boy who carried a tray of food from one house to another with his little sister tagging along.

Izy did not want anything to bother him at all, so he did not think of night time and how or where he was going to sleep. He just walked on slowly, drawing in the different food aromas as he went.
Then he saw a big house, painted white, with lovely flowers planted by the fence. He moved closer to see what was written on a sign hanging by the gate.
“BEWARE OF DOGS”
Just below that sign there was another one.
“Gatekeeper URGENTLY needed”

After reading both out loud, he smiled and began to walk away. He was humming a song his guardian used sing to her children (about becoming rich in the future) as he kept on strolling. One day, he thought, he would also own a big house like that one- no, a bigger house, he would also be able to employ a lot of people. He would not only employ them, he would also help them make their life better and treat them as relatives. At least, it would keep some of them off the streets…
Izy stopped in his tracks.

Keep them off the streets. Keep him off the street.
What was he thinking? There was an opportunity for him to get off the streets.
He turned abruptly and walked back to the house, stood in front of the gate and re-read the words on the second sign.
URGENTLY. That meant quickly right? As soon as possible.
But, what if they already got someone and maybe forgot to put the sign away.
There was no harm in trying anyway. The worse that could happen is for him to be informed that he was not what they expected, or that they already had someone.
So he knocked on the gate and waited. Almost immediately a man opened the gate and asked what he wanted.

Smiling, Izy answered, “I saw the sign you put out here and I want to apply.”
“Really? We just put that up this afternoon. We were not expecting anyone to show up so soon.”
Izy was invited into the compound and told to sit on a bench beside the gate.
Thirty minutes later Izy had a job with provided accommodation, free daily feeding (twice in a day) and all he had to do was open and close the gate.

BY: DAMILOLA AWOTIDE