Archive for May, 2014

ECLIPSE PRIME (ACT 2, SCENE 1)

Posted: May 12, 2014 in Drama
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ACT 2, Scene 1

(Curtain lifted)
Light falls on…

*****A seat away at a corner on a long huge log of palm tree, a gouge of palm wine sits like an idol on the floor before Shodimu who was seating on the log as he sip drink from a small calabash in his hand. Three or more logs where seen around, heap of small calabash unwashed lie at a side as flies merry about around it, and at a far end, closer to where Shodimu sat was a busy lady in a rafia tent, she must be the owner of the inn*****

SHODIMU: (sips and belch out loud) what a good day to challenge the god of wine to a duo, sure me to win (sips) are there better palm wine in the world than that of this inn, Moroyin is known also not for her beauty and precious gems, but also for wine and pretty maidens (laugh sarcastically) bring more pal…pa…palm wi…win…(Belch) palm wine

INN OWNER: (from within the tent) will you seize from belching so loud, don’t you think its so disgusting? (Hiss) on such a sunny afternoon, must you add the irritating tremor from the stinking  small round hole in your shapeless head to it, even my nose can perceive how it stinks (spit out from inside the tent)

SHODIMU: (laugh) your beauty and wine compliments each other so much that not even your hordes of insult haul at me will matter (belch again) I belch so loud that I even disturb the gods, but what will they do? (Laugh) I can’t die now, no, not yet, even death knows that for sure (sips) enough dying for today, am here to drain my bitterness in this gouge of wine, so your whip of insult can be tolerated (sips, turn towards the inn) Moroyin needs no death to pay us a visit by itself, Dikudi has chosen to do its bidden (turn head away and sip some more, driving flies away from perching on his calabash) not even the King is safe anymore (sigh)

(Entering is the proverbial’s drunkard, staggering here and there, hardly can he maintain a steady balance. A gouge in his hand from which he drinks his palm wine. Tattered and smelling, flies follow from behind and he careless what they gossip behind him as they buzz about)

TOMORI: (wave his hand behind him) why are my entourage so noisy today? Can’t you all gossip silently anymore? (Turn towards the tent) my bethroted, will I still your suitor be today or perhaps you might consider me for a spouse? (Smiles)

INN OWNER: (smile) definitely not today, may be you should try your luck again tomorrow (mocks him)

TOMORI: (sips) A man who seeks a treasure from the rock most be heedless to the wailing sound of the anguished looking axe. I’ll try more persuasion tomorrow (sips) heyy! You (pointing at Shodimu) I heard you mention that the King is not safe because of Diku…diku… (Peep in the direction of the four cardinal point) let me be sure am safe before calling the name of fear (sips and sat beside Shodimu) you know who I mean. Tell your plight, a little drop of water in turn, makes a mighty ocean, will you do me the honour of telling me what’s happening? (stare at him)

SHODIMU: (turn to look at who disturbs his moment of enjoyment) ah! Its you Tomori, useless drunk ever to live (squeeze his face) be gone from here and let peace stain the troubled ground (sip his drink)

TOMORI: aw! Its really you my friend (tries to hug him)

SHODIMU: (shove him away) get away from me you rejected piece of stinking rag (slaps his hand away) who in Moroyin’s pride is your friend? Are you so losing your mind to wine that you really don’t recognize or have respect for a royal person?

TOMORI: (looks around in a fearful gesture) I hope you are not referring to yourself as been royal? (Burst into laughter) Errand fool like you, the wine must have made you start day-dreaming, its true that when a leaf stays long in the bossom of a bleach; it ultimately becomes a bleach, Shodimu! Its a shame to see you behaving like the blurry-white coloured liquid in your hand (drinks his wine) I am better than you oh messenger! Atleast am free to roam where I chose, is it same for you? Is it not from an errand you so return? (Laugh)

INN OWNER: Can you both stop behaving like ladies and talk like men, I count my earnings and I need full concentration to do so (hiss) trouble no trouble else you get it double

TOMORI: What news have you of the Okuta mountain and its saga? (Sits to face Shodimu) What has Dikudi done this time again?

Shodimu: I saw it with my own two naked eyes how he tear through them like a raging storm, none of the royal guards could withstand him and his cohorts (sip wine) they were swift and fast, with just wooden clubs against spears and swords. All the royal treasure diggers ran for their dear lives (a man run pass where they sat) see! See! That should be one of the workers, I know them from the way they dress

TOMORI: Oh! The gods bless your sight, yet I hope some day like treasure they won’t demand the same (sip wine) you alone unlike most of us who dwell in Moroyin is priviledge enough to see the mountain, except for Dikudi who is violating the royal decree all in the name of ancestral heritage. I envy you Shodimu, you must have seen enough precious stones to build an empire of fortune (move closer to him and whisper) or have you been able to take some while you visit the end of the rainbow? (Smiles)

SHODIMU: Are you out of your senses? What if someone over heard your implicating accusation, don’t you know my head may lose its neck for it? (Push him away)

TOMORI: Haba! It was just but a sincere question. It is only a killer who quickly hide himself away at the sight of a cutlass, it is only he who have tasted sleeping that can describe the sweetness of death, why feel guilty of the crime you did not commit? (Clears throat mockingly)

SHODIMU: May all this your proverb not put you to trouble someday, let me be! I come here to ease my sight and heart of the horror I saw today, and yet you’ve come here with your own war of proverbs (drinks all that’s left of the palm wine in his bowl) my time to leave this hell for my paradise is come atlast (stand but staggered back in his seat)

INN OWNER: Shodimu! I heard that o. My own inn has suddenly become your hell after you’ve exhausted your miserable moment on my sweet palm wine, thought you said there’s no better inn in Moroyin aside this one? Indeed you are a double mouthed man so very unstable, its better you take your leave now

SHODIMU: You don’t have to tell or chase me, I’ll leave your inn for you (drop some cowries inside the bowl) here is your payment for service, am leaving for my paradise, to the palace my feet may now come to (stands again and struggle to maintain balance) to my home I go, onward to my haven of rest

TOMORI: Pitiful person like you know not grave from bed. (Shakes head) between the King and Dikudi we will see how it will all end, and am so sure that we will hear the tales from your mouth (laugh)

(Shodimu staggers out as Tomori mockingly laugh him)

*****Light Fades*****
CURTAINS FALL

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Ije pulled into her suburb with an accustomed ‘near-speedy’ driving along a pale feeling of difference, deciding whether or not it was wise to make home timely at such a Monday. It has been substantial months since her return from work came in hand with twilight contrary to her usual nightly arrival.
 
“Earnestly I need words with Tony . . . . Only if this pride of mine can be swallowed;” were the thoughts that revved her mind.
 
A few blocks to her residence sauntered an elderly man with a young lady supposedly his daughter, sharing exhilarating chats along the subway of the suburb. Approaching from behind, ije’s attention was captured by their lively demonstrations, the man nodded with interest and both laughing at intervals. Picturing herself as the lady and Tony her husband, the man, reassured a seeming auspicious outcome in her crumbled marital happiness. At that moment she resolved to unclad every weight of pride and come to terms with her man. Her soul thumped with increasing tempo as she sped across, speculating on the possible scenario.
 
“This in real sense was your fault Ije,” she silently re-admonished herself.
 
She is an ambitious woman who aspired the greatest height of career. Working hard and smart amassed her with the company of elites whereupon she achieved an abiding connection with the CEO of her Multi National Organization. Things worked fine, promotions stormed her with travel privileges and all that anyone could wish for at the expense of her time with Tony. Returning late night and leaving far before dawn, spending weekends and months outside town gradually nibbled all her marriage once shared in common.
 
The scene of a faithful day when before her eyes, Tony was utterly humiliated at her cost, hunted the life out of her. It happened that her CEO along with his driver had dropped her home some minutes past 11 o’clock in what she claimed was an official trip, unbeknown to her that Tony failed to embark on their earlier agreed journey. The CEO lavished kisses on her neck while she chuckled and giggled like a newly betrothed maiden. Upon entering the house, she was astonished to behold Tony’s presence and she half concluded, “Perhaps he has taken notice of my endearment with the CEO.” Confirmation to that speculation unveiled abruptly as Tony fronted her with heated questions which earnestly heightened into argument and for the first time in her life, a slap from Tony pounced hot upon her cheek. That was the height of embarrassment she would tolerate from a man she believe, feeds from her purse. She returned the offensive in kind and got the beating of her life. Nothing was left of her little strength except the ranting of words – despicable words of abuse to Tony.
 
“Yes am his lapdog.” She screamed opinionatedly. “He has my thighs at his wish because he worth it. Far unlike a riffraff like you who cannot afford half of what it takes to make your woman sound.” “I feed you Tony, I feed you,” her voice bawled …. “And do you know what? He pays me that money. Your flight tickets are from his damn pocket, even the food on your table after your days of fruitless work.”
 
The beating increased as she vomited all the unhearables till Tony had a sudden sweep of weakness at a particular word of hers. “He is your fellow man,” she lamented, “I married you to help me achieve my dreams but he did. I don’t regret saying he deserves your wife more than you do.”
 
This dropped Tony cold against the wall and he began weeping with head buried in his both palms, presenting Ije an opportunity of revenge. She rammed a mortar into his skull and got a break of a phone call while he yelled in pains. The fight commenced as she countlessly pounded the disoriented Tony with every object her hands could find until he mustered some balance and took hold of the prime.  At this time Ije’s CEO barged into the apartment with a handful of fierce looking bodyguards. The phone call was to him and his response was timely. At the end Tony ended up in the hospital and return home on wheelchair.
 
“Give it time, he may still walk again,” said the doctor. “Though his spines were excessively cracked.”
 
The couples though dwelling beneath the same roof, neither spoke to one another nor observed whatever conjugal involvement as married people till a full year went by. Ije prided on the fact of her strength and connection, enough to drop her husband on wheelchair for laying hands on her. She however subtly wished for the months to run by till he gets back on his feet. Her anxiety was full blown when after a full year, no development was recorded and the doctor announced that hopes of Tony leaving the wheelchair was bleak. At this moment, she sort ways to mend the rift which have grown too wide to be bridged. She cried all day at work and thought of how she have sent her life to a steep voyage with no lesser end than destruction. All the “I DO” when at the altar now contains more patches than cloth. The continued affair with her CEO has become more obligation than pleasure and aspiration.
 
These rattled through her mind on the twilight of that Monday as she headed home, resolute on an apology, though unsure of the possibility of Tony’s instant acceptance. She would break the news of her intention to quit her job thus, distancing from the CEO – a thing she believed Tony would relish. With that, she would regain the time to rebuild her home.
 
“I have decided to be a good and humble woman,” she kept mumbling as she neared her residence. Suddenly a vehicle swerved into her path and she quickly notice a man at the rear, point a gun at her windscreen. She once had seen the man in the entourage of her CEO’s wife whom she supposed must have grown resentful of the affair between her and her husband. It happened so fast. All she recalled was the loud bang that cranked a bullet into her brains. Next was blurred faces of crowded sympathizers who were pulling her off her vehicle and then emerged a fellow on wheelchair who looked close to Tony. She managed to hold dying breath as he held her, fuzzing with tears and remonstrating words that sounded vague. This was the moment she ever longed for – a moment buried in Tony’s arms, feeling his warmth. For those seconds, nothing mattered, neither the past, present nor future; not even the death before her. In his arms was a touch of heaven.
 
“Am sorry baby, I love you,” she muttered with a weary smile as her breath drew the last.
 

Nnaemeka Kezie (eN)

Talesmen

TALESMEN- MIDNIGHT PALAVER
By: MOSES OLAROTIMI (Sheyzznote)

MidNight Palaver

 

 

 

 

‘Eriwoyaaaa!’, words of a deep native doctor’s voice, piercing the heart of the silent night. A big calabash sat firmly upon a lad’s head, it content was a fresh Isi-Ewu (goat head) with blood still oozing from it neck. It was a slow rhythmic walk, the lad proceed with caution some pace ahead of the native doctor, while he lagged behind peeping into the darkness as if he wasn’t sure if what he was doing was right.
‘Stop there!’ Came a voice from behind a mango tree. The vigilante put on his flash light, pointing towards the native doctor and the lad, ‘where una dey go for dis middle of nite?’ He began to move towards them, his gun held in one hand, and flash light in another.
‘Me na herbalist for dis town. Many sabi me; Baba Fagbamila, mouth and ears of the Oracle. I wan giv chop-chop to the three-path junction Orisa, please allow us proceed without delay’, said the native doctor. The vigilante stood gallantly before them; look straight into the lad’s face. Poor boy! He was already sleeping on his toes, but still carrying the burden of a dead goat’s head.
‘Thunder fire dat ur smell-smell mouth. Na una dey dirty our environment wit useless sacrifice abi? Which yeye three-paths junction juju you dey talk about? Dat junction don full wit una rubbish food wey una dead gods no dey eva chop. Imagine dis beta Isi-Ewu wey we for take do pepper soup, na him u wan go waste for dat place’, pointing his flash light inside the calabash to be sure of what he was making claims on. ‘I go use you do scape-goat today, you mad man. People dey sleep, you dey make noise for road for here. I go show you pepper dis nite’. He balanced his gun well in his hand, and aimed it at the native herbalist who was standing with jaws dropped in surprise. He was caught up in fear, but tries to put forth a courageous stance. ‘Ha! You dis night crawler, don’t invoke the wrath of the gods upon yourself and your generation o. Na jeje i dey go o, wey you com wele me begin accuse me of my job. May Esu (Satan) not use you o’.The Vigilante burst into laughter, ‘your job? You dey cwaze! Let me tell you all the offense wey you don commit wit dis your garrulous action, as per say you no sabi law. Offence number
1- loitarin,
2- publical newsans,
3- pikin abush,
4- envarunmental pollusionalism,
5- consti…constibution dabarunism,
all dis na crime against law, and you are under arrest’. The native doctor became so confused, but he would not give in so easily. He burst into a thunderous laugh that almost scared the hell of the vigilante, who was not sure what it was that made him laught so sarcastically. The herbalist knew his moment has finally come, he decided to put up with some challenge. ‘Vigilante or Area watch dog or wetin dem dey even call you, don’t ever try show law for me, i sabi my right pass wetin you dey fit dey think o. Make I tell you the offens wey you just gbagaun too. Number 1- salandarous, 2- falls accunsetionalism, 3- infingaring of my religious right, 4- participation in unlawful job not consti…consti…mogbe o, dis na gramma o! Constibusionaly sabi sabi, 5- use of unregis…ta killing machine, 6- Arasmenti, 7- disropton of juju sacrifice, 8- mis…misrepu…posentasion. And I redi to charge you to courtu for all dis vao…nasion of congitu-gbana goberment law’.The Vigilante push back some steps, look left and right direction to see if any one was listening or watching them. ‘How herbalist like u take sabi goberment law?

You dey show yourself abi? For your mind you don become oga barrister abi? Na here daybreak go meet me and you, you go com explain give people wetin you want take dis small boy do. Na people like you dey take people do juju, God don catch you today’, he pointed the gun at the native doctor, ‘if you move, I move you. Just respect yourself and maintain for there’. The young lad dropped the calabash on his head at the native doctor’s feet, and lie down beside it, he was immediately heard snoring deep as the two men stood watching his strange act all the while. ‘Which kind Vigilante you be sef? I go curse you o!’ Shouted the native doctor, his patient were wearing out already, ‘you be enemy of progres o.

I dey doing my religious work and you com dey hia accusation me of nonsense. Abeg, free me like Terry G before I Sangolo and Malango for you o, I get work to do’. The mouth of the gun hit the native doctor on his chest, ‘you don dey mad abi? See me see wahala dey o? I go fire you if you try move, useless juju man! Your secret don expose. Breeze don blow, and fowl yansh don dey public. Today na today’. The native doctor began to make incantations in native dialect, waving the horsetail in his hand.

He hit the ground thrice, and spat before the Vigilante. The Vigilante jump back in fear, he has been watching the native doctor all the while performing his madness, but all of a sudden the cloud began to form, the wind began to blow, lightning flashes the sky. The native doctor was surprise as much as the Vigilante; they both look up to the sky, and knew it was time to run for shelter. Nature’s warning was too short to wait their options, the rain poured out from the sky with great anger as if God was tired of their gibberish talk. The Native man picked up the young lad in his arms, the Vigilante carried the calabash and it content without been told, and together the two men took to their heels heading for the native doctor’s house not far from that spot.

– Moses Olarotimi (sheyzznote)
Talesmen